The Orioles have spent much of the past two months seeking to double the number of additions they’ve made to their rotation this offseason. On Thursday, they finally did.
Baltimore acquired Oakland Athletics left-handed pitcher Cole Irvin and minor league right-hander Kyle Virbitsky for infield prospect Darell Hernaiz, they announced. Irvin, who turns 29 next week, had a 4.11 ERA over 62 starts for Oakland the past two seasons, averaging nearly 180 innings per campaign. He has four years of team control remaining. Left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez was designated for assignment to open a 40-man roster spot.
Irvin joins veteran right-hander Kyle Gibson as the Orioles’ offseason additions to their rotation, with Gibson signing a one-year, $10 million deal with Baltimore in early December. Assuming the pair locks down a pair of rotation spots, that leaves three other spots open, with Kyle Bradish and Dean Kremer likely to secure two of them given their strong finishes to 2022. Tyler Wells, Grayson Rodriguez, Austin Voth, DL Hall, Spenser Watkins, Mike Baumann and Bruce Zimmermann make for a lengthy group of remaining candidates, with 2022 opening day starter John Means set to rejoin the rotation sometime this summer after undergoing Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery early last season.
Irvin was the Philadelphia Phillies’ fifth-round pick in 2016 and made his debut for them in 2019 before being traded to the A’s for cash before the 2021 season. Virbitsky, a 24-year-old who was Oakland’s 17th-round pick in 2021, had a 4.63 ERA in 23 outings, all but one a start, between Low-A and High-A last season. He struck out 140 batters in 126 1/3 innings.
Baseball America ranked Hernaiz as one of Baltimore’s top 30 prospects as recently as July. The 21-year-old was the Orioles’ fifth-round pick in 2019 and reached Double-A in 2022, hitting .273/.341/.438 with 12 home runs and 32 steals across three levels while playing around the infield.
The trade marks the second time this offseason the Orioles have parted with a prospect for an established major leaguer, something they hadn’t previously done in four years under executive president and general manager Mike Elias. In December, they acquired catcher James McCann from the New York Mets for Dominican Summer League first baseman-outfielder Luis De La Cruz.
This story will be updated.
Pitcher Gary Peters — the 1963 AL Rookie of the Year and a 2-time All-Star for the Chicago White Sox — dies at 85
Gary Peters, the 1963 American League Rookie of Year for the Chicago White Sox, died at 85, the team announced Thursday.
A two-time All-Star, the left-handed pitcher spent parts of 11 seasons with the White Sox (1959-69). His final three seasons were with the Boston Red Sox (1970-72).
Peters had a 124-103 career record with a 3.25 ERA and 1,420 strikeouts in 359 appearances (286 starts).
After making 12 appearances total from 1959-62, Peters had 30 starts (41 outings overall) in 1963, going 19-8 while leading the American League with a 2.33 ERA. He had 13 complete games, struck out 189 and walked just 68 in 243 innings.
He was named the AL Rookie of the Year and placed eighth in Most Valuable Player voting.
A Nov. 30, 1963 Chicago Tribune article with the headline “Gary Peters voted best rookie of ‘63″ noted a string of 11 consecutive victories for the “6 foot 2 inch, 200-pound Pennsylvanian.”
It also mentioned his ability at the plate: “Peters also was the leading hitter among pitchers in the majors. He batted .259, making 21 hits, including three homers, one triple and four doubles. The lefty, who came into professional baseball as a first baseman, drove in 12 runs.”
Peters led the AL with 20 victories — a career-high — the next season. He was an All-Star and placed seventh in MVP voting.
Peters topped the AL in ERA (1.98) again in 1966. He went 16-11 with a 2.28 ERA and a career-best 215 strikeouts the next season, making the All-Star team and finishing ninth in MVP voting.
He is eighth on the White Sox all-time list with 1,098 strikeouts.
“The White Sox send our condolences to the family and friends of Gary Peters,” the team said in part of a tweet.
More than $545 million in Bay Area bridge tolls are now free to fund transit and highway projects across the region after the California Supreme Court ended a legal battle between a crusading anti-tax group and the Bay Area’s bridge authority.
Transit planners are breathing a collective sigh of relief after the court decision on Tuesday. If the lawsuit from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association succeeded the region’s entire transportation financing map would have been upended. Projects like BART through San Jose, ferry terminal expansions in Berkeley and San Francisco, and extending Caltrain to downtown San Francisco faced the potential for further delays.
“It’s certainly something that’s been a cloud over us for the past four and a half years,” said Thomas Hall, a spokesperson for Water Emergency Transportation Authority, which runs the San Francisco Bay Ferry. The ferry has been counting on the funding measure to back $300 million in infrastructure projects along with vital operating funds to maintain current service levels. “It really put our business, our purpose, in the crosshairs.”
The litigation centered around Regional Measure 3, a massive 2018 ballot measure approved by 55% of Bay Area voters to increase bridge tolls by $1 in 2019, 2022, and again in 2025. The measure is expected to generate $4.45 billion over the coming decades for projects aimed at combating traffic congestion.
But the money flowing from millions of drivers passing through the Bay Area’s seven state-owned bridges has been trapped in legal limbo, locked away in a Union Bank account pending the litigation. In another twist, the court tied the fate of Bay Area bridge tolls to a separate dispute between residential landlords and the City of Oakland’s garbage and recycling fees. Plaintiffs in both cases argued that government fees functioned as new taxes and thus required a two-thirds majority to pass.
Despite the legal uncertainty, mega-projects have moved forward under the somewhat risky assumption that the Bay Area Toll Authority would prevail in the lawsuit. If the court ruled against the authority, drivers would have been reimbursed to the tune of $545 million.
“This is the largest regional measure that’s been passed in Bay Area history,” said Emily Loper, a vice president at the Bay Area Council, which spearheaded advocacy on the toll bridge increases. “The voters who passed this measure are already paying for that for the tolls and now they can finally start to reap the benefits.”
Even before the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association stepped in Regional Measure 3 was contentious. The nine-county measure was rejected by voters in Contra Costa and Solano counties but buoyed by strong support in San Francisco and the South Bay.
Tolls across all Bay Area bridges, excluding the Golden Gate Bridge, rose to $7 a trip in 2022 for commuters not using carpool or clean-air vehicles. In 2025 drivers will pay $9 to cross the Bay Bridge at peak congestion.
Tim Bittle, director of legal affairs for the taxpayers association, lamented the decision. Bay Area bridges are now akin to state parks, where the government can “exclude the public from entering unless they pay a fee to make use of it,” said Bittle. “When it comes to bridge (tolls) the sky is the limit.”Related Articles
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Among the most significant questions facing the Orioles’ rotation as the 2023 season nears is how many innings they’ll get out of arguably their most talented pitchers. The team itself is without an answer less than a month until pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota, Florida, for spring training.
During a segment with 105.7 The Fan on Friday, executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said Baltimore won’t have defined innings limits for pitchers John Means, Grayson Rodriguez, DL Hall and Tyler Wells. All but Means, recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, are candidates to be in the season-opening rotation.
“I think the limits are not going to be hard and fast, and we’re going to be smart about how we work these guys,” Elias said. “We’re gonna look at things on a case-by-case basis, and I think that’s gonna depend on where the team’s at, where the pitchers themselves are at.”
Baltimore’s opening day starter the previous two seasons, Means made only two starts in 2022 before undergoing the season-ending procedure in April. He isn’t expected to rejoin the Orioles’ rotation until midseason.
One of baseball’s top pitching prospects, Rodriguez didn’t make his major league debut in 2022 after a right lat muscle strain cost him three months. At the end of the season, Elias said there’s “a very high likelihood” Rodriguez makes the Orioles’ rotation out of spring training, a possibility that would net the team an extra draft pick if he wins American League Rookie of the Year. The 23-year-old right-hander threw only 75 2/3 innings after a career-high 103 in 2021.
Hall had a delayed start to 2022 after a stress fracture in his left elbow ended his 2021 campaign. He made his major league debut as a starter in August before returning to the minors to convert to a relief role, a way for the Orioles to use him while managing his workload. Baltimore’s No. 2 pitching prospect behind Rodriguez, Hall has never thrown more than 100 innings in a season.
Despite pitching with an innings constraint, Wells was arguably Baltimore’s most consistent starter in the first half, but he made only three starts in the season’s final two months as he dealt with oblique and shoulder injuries. Wells missed 2019 to Tommy John surgery and 2020 to the canceled minor league season amid the coronavirus pandemic, then spent 2021 as a reliever. Returning to the starting role he had in the minors, the 28-year-old finished the 2022 season with 103 2/3 innings pitched, nearly double his 2021 total.
Elias said the Orioles’ pitching and medical departments will work together throughout the season to make sure all of their pitchers have an appropriate workload. Means will be monitored carefully as he returns. Wells and Hall could both work as relievers. The Orioles have long been careful with their usage of Rodriguez; in 40 starts over the past two years, he’s never thrown more than 90 pitches, though the post-pandemic ramp-up and his lat injury were factors.
“We don’t want to get in a situation where we’re just shutting down one of our best pitchers in the middle of August because he ran out of innings,” Elias said. “There’s no real science behind that, either. There’s nothing that’s ever proven that throwing more innings leads to injury. This is just kind of baseball people trying to use common sense, and I think that we’re gonna bring our brains to workload management for our pitching staff this year, and hopefully, we get those guys out there pitching as much as possible.”
Many of the Orioles’ rotation candidates beyond this group come with workload questions, with veteran Kyle Gibson the exception after averaging 173 innings over the past eight full seasons before signing with Baltimore last month. Of the eight pitchers who made at least four starts for Baltimore last year, only innings leader Jordan Lyles isn’t returning, leaving Dean Kremer’s 125 1/3 innings as the most any pitcher in that group threw in the majors in 2022, and all seven of them — Kremer, Wells, Kyle Bradish, Spenser Watkins, Austin Voth, Bruce Zimmermann and Mike Baumann — set career highs for major league innings in 2022. Gibson, Rodriguez and Hall join them to form two rotations’ worth of candidates, though some figure to settle in Baltimore’s bullpen.
“One thing that I am feeling really good about with this pitching staff and this rotation group, in particular, is the depth and the numbers and kind of the upside and good variability I think we’re gonna have with this young group,” Elias said. “Whether it was the young guys that we saw kind of cut their teeth last year in the rotation, all of them are coming back, or guys that were in Triple-A and have really bright futures, I think there’s a lot of upside with this young group. But just the fact of the matter is [there’s] not a lot of innings or experience at the major league level with a lot of these guys.”
Elias said he’s still working to add another experienced starter, but the free agent market has largely thinned; of remaining free agents, only four threw more innings than Kremer last year, with only Zack Greinke and Michael Wacha doing so with an ERA below 4.89. The lack of options has perhaps shifted attention throughout the league to trade possibilities, Elias said.
Elias told reporters at November’s General Manager Meetings the team’s “priority” was a starter who could be in the “top three spots in the rotation.” Gibson could prove to qualify, though he was initially viewed as a back-end innings eater upon his signing. With Means sidelined, the Orioles lack a clear opening day starter, and it’s possible Gibson’s experience earns him a nod he also received for the Texas Rangers in 2021, with strong second halves from Kremer and Bradish also putting them in position for the honor.
Of course, Elias could still land a legitimate top-of-the-rotation arm in a trade.
“It is an area that I think would be a good way of upgrading our team right now, but those guys aren’t easy to get your hands on sometimes,” Elias said. “It was a very competitive winter. I can’t say I was really surprised by it. Pitching has always been something that’s hard to come by. We had some very close opportunities [in free agency] where it just went in a different direction. That happens, but we’re continuing to work on it.
“We’re definitely not going to rest in terms of improving this roster before we leave for Sarasota.”
Seattle police has shared few details about the moments leading to the death of 23-year-old woman, who was struck by a police officer in South Lake Union
Top prospects Colson Montgomery and Oscar Colás are among 26 non-roster invitees to Chicago White Sox spring training
Fan favorite Billy Hamilton is among nine free agents the Chicago White Sox signed to minor-league contracts, the team announced Thursday. The outfielder is one of 26 players — including 17 from within the organization — to have received non-roster invites to spring training camp in Glendale, Ariz.
The Sox also signed right-handed pitchers Keynan Middleton and Jesse Scholtens, left-hander Nate Fisher, catcher Sebastián Rivero, infielders Hanser Alberto and Erik González and outfielders Jake Marisnick and Víctor Reyes to minor-league contracts. All are non-roster invitees.
The players to receive non-roster invites from within the organization are right-handed pitchers Sean Burke, Declan Cronin, Edgar Navarro, Lane Ramsey and Matthew Thompson; left-handers Fraser Ellard, Sammy Peralta and Andrew Perez; catchers Adam Hackenberg and Evan Skoug; infielders Moisés Castillo, Luis Mieses, Colson Montgomery and Zach Remillard; and outfielders Yoelqui Céspedes, Oscar Colás and Adam Haseley.
Montgomery (No. 1), Colás (No. 2), Burke (No. 5), Thompson (No. 12), Céspedes (No. 16), Mieses (No. 20) and Hackenberg (No. 30) are among the team’s top prospects, according to Baseball America. Montgomery (No. 39) and Colás (No. 89) were ranked in the Top 100 prospects in baseball by Baseball America.
Colás is expected to be a candidate for right field after finishing with a combined .314/.371/.524 slash line with 23 home runs and 79 RBIs in 117 games for Class A Winston-Salem (59 games), Double-A Birmingham (51) and Triple-A Charlotte last season.
The 32-year-old Hamilton, a 10-year veteran, played in 71 games for the Sox in 2021, providing a jolt to the division-winning team with his defense. He stole 10 bases in 37 combined games last season for the Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins.
Marisnick, 31, could be in the mix for outfield depth. He slashed .234/.272/.390 with two homers and six RBIs in 31 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2022. Marisnick hit a career-high 16 home runs in 2017 with the Houston Astros.
Pitchers and catchers report to spring training Feb. 15. Position players report Feb. 20, which also is the date for the first full-squad workout.
The Biden administration has moved to protect the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota from future mining.
Vintage Chicago Tribune: Curling, ski jumping, ‘Silver Skates’ and more — our favorite sports from winters past
It’s a busy day in history, Chicago.
Yes, today marks 37 years since the Chicago Bears won Super Bowl XX.
It’s also the 56th anniversary of the “Blizzard of 1967,” which dropped 23 inches of snow on Chicago and stands as the largest snowfall on record here.
But we’ve already covered those monumental events in previous editions of the Vintage Chicago Tribune newsletter.
My co-curator Marianne Mather had a fantastic idea when she suggested we revisit wintry outdoor activities that Chicagoans have loved for generations. She found these beautiful photos in the Tribune’s archives. And, since we finally have a little snow on the ground and below-freezing temperatures waiting for us next week, then let’s get outside!How you can support this newsletter
Become a Tribune subscriber — it’s just $12 for a 1 year digital subscription.
Follow us on Instagram — @vintagetribune.
And, catch me Monday mornings on WLS-AM’s “The Steve Cochran Show” for a look at “This week in Chicago history.”
Thanks for reading!
— Kori Rumore, visual reporter
In a long, low Washington Park building around the turn of the last century, the sport of curling arrived in Chicago. The popularity of the Scotland import grew, and the Chicago Curling Club formed and continues to operate today. See more photos.Ice skating
Whether it’s on a pond, lagoon or formal ice rink, Chicagoans have always loved this winter activity. See more photos.Ski jumping
In the early 1920s and 1930s, ski jump contests and ski culture were thriving in the Midwest. See more photos.
- At the Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove, growing Olympic ski jumpers starts young.
- From 2018: So you want to try ski jumping? Are you nuts?
- Chicago’s Soldier Field: A timeline of events since 1924, including hosting the world’s athletes, congregations, politicians and performers
The first international skating competition in Chicago was held in 1918, the Tribune reported, and it came as skating was booming in popularity. Speedskating was a relatively young sport — the first world championship was organized in 1893 — but drew large crowds in Chicago for local races as early as 1904.
About 30,000 saw Arthur Staff win the inaugural Tribune-sponsored Silver Skates tournament at the Humboldt Park Lagoon in January 1917, according to the Tribune. The Silver Skates Derbies, a Tribune-sponsored race, grew rapidly during this time. A boys division was added in 1919. Women first raced in 1921, and a girls division followed in 1922. The Silver Skates competition continues today. See more photos.
- From 2014: When speedskating was king of winter
How many local athletes have won gold medals in the Olympics? Really, it’s difficult to know. It’s tricky to track since the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee only keeps tabs on an athlete’s birthplace and hometown.
That said, here are four stories of triumph in the Tribune’s archives spanning from 1932′s Winter Games to an iconic race by Chicago-raised and Evanston-trained speedskater Shani Davis in 2006. Read more.
- How the 2022 Olympians with Illinois connections fared in Beijing, from ski jumping to figure skating to hockey
SANTA CLARA — The jolts from Intel’s announced job cuts have intensified with disclosures of plans by the chipmaking giant to slash more jobs in Santa Clara, according to new state filings.
Spartronics, a maker of printed circuit boards and other electronic equipment, revealed in a separate filing with the state Employment Development Department, that it had decided to shut a Milpitas manufacturing plant.
Intel is planning to eliminate 177 jobs in Santa Clara, effective on or after March 15, the tech titan told the EDD in a WARN notice.
“All impacted employees are being notified of separation with at least 60 days’ notice,” Marc Nadler, Intel’s director of corporate people movement team, stated in the EDD filing.
With these latest job cuts, Intel has now revealed plans to eliminate 378 jobs in the Bay Area, a review of the company’s WARN letters shows.
These cutbacks by Intel are part of the company’s previously announced plans for worldwide staffing reductions.
“No employees will have the right to bump or displace other employees, and there is no union representing the affected employees,” Nadler stated in the WARN filing.
Spartronics intends to cease operations at its Milpitas site on Milmont Drive in October, a shutdown that is expected to eliminate 74 jobs, the company told the EDD.
“This action is expected to be permanent,” Spartronics stated in the WARN letter. “The entire plant will be closed.”
After arriving this summer from Alaska, the three young moose will make their public debut Friday at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville.
SANTA CLARA — Christian McCaffrey offered one, crisp word to describe his chances of missing Sunday’s NFC Championship Game: “Zero.”
He’ll sit out his second straight practice Thursday because of a contusion on his right calf, from the 49ers’ divisional-playoff win Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
How does that impact his preparation?
“It’s the same process for me, just lowering the physical load,” McCaffrey responded. “I’ll be ready to roll, man.”
McCaffrey said he participates in the walk-through sessions that preceded the official practices. He has scored at least one touchdown in eight consecutive games, the longest streak of his career and the best stretch by a 49ers’ player since Terrell Owens in 1998.
The 49ers have won 12 straight games since McCaffrey entered the starting lineup, after being rushed in as a reserve three days upon arriving in an Oct. 20 trade from the Carolina Panthers.
Whatever durability issues he had the previous two seasons with the Panthers have been replaced by resilience and reliability with the 49ers.
So, assuming he’s full-go for his first NFC Championship Game, what can the 49ers expect out of their offensive catalyst, all due respect to complementary stars Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk?
Simply put, if the 49ers fall behind fast like other Eagles’ opponents, coach Kyle Shanahan’s run-oriented approach must divert to Brock Purdy’s passing ability, and the offensive line’s blocking prowess against an Eagles’ front that produced a NFL-best 70 sacks.San Francisco 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey (23) takes a moment before walking onto the field at the start of their NFC divisional-round playoff game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
On top of that, the early rounds of a playoff bout come with a feeling-out process.
“The running game, especially this late in the year, it’s not instant (success),” left tackle Trent Williams said. “It’s not like you open game and run the ball down people’s throat.
“We never go into the game expecting just to bust the gate open with 100 yards in the first quarter. But obviously that’s part of our identity, running the ball and having a balanced offense. It’s going to be tough sledding, just like it was last week.”
In that 19-12 win over the Cowboys, McCaffrey had just 35 yards on 10 carries, the final of which was a 2-yard, go-ahead touchdown run to open the fourth quarter. He also had six catches for 22 yards on a team-high eight targets.
While noting the Eagles “pose a lot of challenges,” McCaffrey has grown comfortable in the 49ers’ system and behind an ever-improving offensive line, of which he added: “They’re so talented and so detail oriented that understanding the purpose of every play is important.”
Elijah Mitchell, McCaffrey’s understudy, also will miss a second straight practice, because of a groin injury. Coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday he expects both to play and that outlook has not changed.
Although quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo remains out of practice, Shanahan said Tuesday’s X-ray on the quarterback’s left foot did not reveal any setback, and that Garoppolo merely had a “outside chance” to practice this week.
Slated for limited duty in practice were wide receiver Deebo Samuel (ankle), defensive lineman Charles Omenihu (oblique) and cornerback Ambry Thomas (ankle).
Omenihu’s clearance to practice, in light of Monday’s arrest on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic violence, was not solely at Shanahan’s discretion but rather team ownership. “Everything starts with them on a decision like that,” Shanahan noted.Related Articles
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A man who died at a senior care facility in Walnut Creek last year accidentally drank a poisonous liquid, according to an autopsy report from the Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office.
The final report on the death of 94-year-old Constantine Canoun said his Aug. 31, 2022, death was caused by “a caustic injury to [his] pharynx, esophagus and stomach” that was caused by an “ingestion of akaline cleaning solution.”
Canoun died at Atria Walnut Creek four days after the deaths of two elderly men in San Mateo County that happened in similar fashion. Those deaths also happened at a facility owned by Kentucky-based Atria Senior Living.
A message left with the company’s media department Thursday was not returned immediately.
A lawsuit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court last September by the family of Maxwell and Peter Schroder Jr., both 93, claimed they died after staff at Atria Park of San Mateo served them cleaning fluid instead of juice on Aug. 27, 2022. That lawsuit also alluded to Canoun’s death, saying he drank fluid that had been left unattended Aug. 23.
Canoun died at a Walnut Creek hospital eight days after drinking the fluid. The lawsuit claims that the company lied to Canoun’s family, claiming he had become ill after eating “spicy chips.”
“That was an attempt to cover up Atria’s liability,” the lawsuit claims. “Constantine had suffered extreme burns and lesions to his throat, esophagus, and larynx. Those injuries were consistent with having ingested a poisonous liquid.”
The suit claims Atria “did nothing” to inform any of its staff or facilities about the death in Walnut Creek.Related Articles
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Katheryn Stebner, the Canoun’s family attorney, was not available immediately for comment.
Atria Senior Living lists 43 care homes in California, including eight in the Bay Area.
Staff writer Jakob Rodgers contributed to this report. Please check back for updates.
Good afternoon, Chicago.
Today marks the anniversary of two big events in our city’s history: The Blizzard of 1967 and the Chicago Bears winning the Super Bowl in 1986.
See historic photos of the worst snowstorm on record in Chicago, view the front page of the Tribune and take a look at the city’s coldest and snowiest January days. Then, you can browse excerpts from the Super Bowl XX-winning edition of the Tribune.
The Tribune’s Kori Rumore and Marianne Mather dig these gems up every week in the Vintage Chicago Tribune newsletter — a deep dive into our archives featuring photos and stories about the people, places and events that shape the city’s past, present and future. Sign up to get the newsletter in your inbox every week.Lightfoot campaign defended emails seeking volunteers after CPS raised alarm; memos now subject of watchdog investigations
The effort by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign to recruit students is under investigation by CPS Inspector General Will Fletcher and Chicago IG Deborah Witzburg. Read more here.
More top news stories:
- Light snow to continue through Thursday, slippery conditions a factor for commute
- Suspect in arson at Peoria Planned Parenthood clinic cited ex-girlfriend’s abortion, US says
The $15 million price cut, which amounts to a 33% price reduction, surely is the largest single price reduction for any house in Chicago-area history. Read more here.
More top business stories:
- A tale of two airlines: Big profit at American and loss at Southwest
- US economy slowed but still grew at 2.9% rate last quarter
Harms will be remembered through a trading-card series by Upper Deck commemorating eight Indigenous players, called the First Peoples Rookie Cards. Read more here.
More top sports stories:
- Chicago White Sox’s Luis Robert and Yoán Moncada are picked for Cuba’s World Baseball Classic roster
- Ty Berry’s 26 points lead Northwestern to a 78-63 win against Nebraska — the Wildcats’ 7th straight victory in the series
“Aszure is one of the most important choreographers of the 21st century,” said Hubbard Street Artistic Director Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell. Read more here.
More top Eat. Watch. Do. stories:
- Can ChatGPT review restaurants? Our food critic tests it out.
- Northwestern University film professor talks ‘Rust’ set and Alec Baldwin: ‘Procedures were not followed’
The 72-year-old gunman who sprayed bullets into a Southern California ballroom dance hall, killing 11 people, had no known connection with the victims, and investigators were still trying to determine a motive for the massacre, the Los Angeles County sheriff said. Read more here.
More top stories from around the world:
- Suspect in Half Moon Bay farm killings faces 7 murder counts
- Former Memphis police officers charged with murder in beating death of Tyre Nichols
As the A’s get closer and closer to Spring Training, the reshaping of their roster continued – and another big part of their last two years has been shipped out.
Left-handed starter Cole Irvin was traded to the Baltimore Orioles, the team announced on Thursday. Oakland also sent minor league pitcher Kyle Virbitsky to Baltimore in the deal, acquiring minor league infielder Darell Hernaiz, who was No. 16 in MLB.com’s rankings of Orioles prospects entering Thursday.
The A’s acquired Irvin from the Phillies before the 2021 season for cash considerations after the Anaheim native pitched in parts of two seasons in Philadelphia. Given a chance to be a part of Oakland’s rotation, Irvin had a decent 2021 — 10-15 with a 4.24 ERA in 2021 and 125 strikeouts in 32 starts — and a strong 2022, finishing 9-13 with a 3.98 ERA in 30 starts.
Irvin’s numbers got better across the board from 2021 to 2022 — ERA, WHIP (1.33 in 2021, 1.16 in 2022), WAR (1.3 in 2021, 2.1 in 2022) and batting average against (.275 in 2021, .251 in 2022). There was hope that he could improve even more in his age-29 season, too.Related Articles
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Now, that hope for further improvement will be what fans in the black and orange of Baltimore, who will get Irvin at the major league minimum for 2023 before he reaches his arbitration eligibility after this season.
Hernaiz, 21, was a fifth round pick by the Orioles in 2019 out of an El Paso, Texas high school and signed at 17 years old instead of playing collegiately at Texas Tech. The Puerto Rican had a strong 2022, batting .273 in 105 games between Single-A, High-A and Double-A with 12 home runs, 62 RBI and stealing 32-of-36 bases.
MLB.com’s scouting report says Hernaiz’s athleticism is his main trait, and his 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame leaves room for him to grow into a power-and-speed type of shortstop, in the mold of Carlos Correa. After ranking No. 16 in Baltimore’s top-of-MLB farm system, he may be considered a top-10 prospect for the A’s.
Virbitsky was selected in the 17th round of the 2021 MLB Draft out of Penn State. In his two professional seasons split between Single-A Stockton and High-A Lansing, the 24-year-old right-hander went 8-9 with a 4.49 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 142.1 innings.
A day after popular teammate Matt Nieto was traded to the Colorado Avalanche, the Sharks resumed practice Thursday in Raleigh, N.C., not sure if more moves might be on the horizon.
“I have no idea,” Sharks captain Logan Couture said. “You take it day by day. If you play pro sports, you know that changes happen. You can’t sit around and wait for things to happen.”
Nieto and defenseman Ryan Merkley, the Sharks’ 2018 first-round draft pick, were sent to the Avalanche on Wednesday for defenseman Jacob MacDonald and forward Martin Kaut, another first-round pick who was chosen five spots ahead of Merkley in 2018.
MacDonald was expected to arrive in North Carolina on Thursday afternoon and will be available to play Friday when the Sharks face Brent Burns and the Hurricanes in their next-to-last game of a five-game road trip.
Kaut will report to the Barracuda, the Sharks’ AHL affiliate, that plays in Henderson, Nev. on Friday night.
While Merkley and Kaut could each use a change of scenery, it’s unclear why Nieto had to be moved more than five weeks ahead of the March 3 NHL trade deadline.
Perhaps it signals that Sharks general manager Mike Grier won’t hesitate to make a trade well ahead of time.
The Sharks have other pending unrestricted free agents in forward Nick Bonino and goalie James Reimer, both with modest salary cap hits, who could be traded for draft picks or prospects. Winger Timo Meier, too, will be one of the NHL’s most sought-after players prior to the deadline.
Asked if he feels there’s a sense among Sharks players that more trades might be coming, coach David Quinn said, “I think every team in the league is going through that.
“Whether you’re thinking about adding players or subtracting players, it’s that time of year. It’s the National Hockey League. It’s pro sports. When you get closer to a trade deadline, every team is in a situation where they’re going to be some changes. So I don’t think we’re any different than every team in the league from that end of it.”
Couture said Nieto, who played in Colorado from 2016 to 2020, was upbeat about the move. While the Sharks (14-25-10) are well out of a playoff spot, the Avalanche (26-17-3) had won six straight games before Thursday to move into third place in the Central Division.
This year Nieto had 15 points in 45 games and averaged 15:39 in ice time.
“Just seeing him (Wednesday) night, you could feel a sense of energy that he felt,” Couture said. “He’s probably upset to be leaving the guys because I think he’s got some really close friends on his team. But at the same time, you could just feel the excitement that he had to go to have a chance to win.
“Ultimately, that’s why we play the game. So in that sense, I’m happy for him.”SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 27: San Jose Sharks’ Ryan Merkley (6) takes a shot against the Seattle Kraken in the second period at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
QUINN ON MERKLEY: Merkley and Kaut could be aptly described as two players who needed a change of scenery.
Merkley, 22, now in his third full season as a professional, did not have a strong training camp in September and was sent down to the Barracuda before the Sharks left for Europe. On Dec. 27, Merkley was benched for two periods in a game against Bakersfield and requested a trade shortly after. His last game with the team was Dec. 31.
“I’m sure that happens in a lot of organizations,” Quinn said. “Guys are in an organization for three or four years and things aren’t going the way they want it to, so they look for an opportunity to go somewhere else. So we wish (Merkley) well.”
Kaut, 23, has six points in 47 NHL games since he was drafted, with 27 of those games coming this season. However, after he was assigned to the AHL by the Avalanche on Jan. 14, there was some speculation that his time with the team had come to an end.
KNYZHOV RETURNS: Defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov played his first game since May 2021 on Wednesday, as he skated in the Barracuda’s 3-2 shootout loss to Henderson. Knyzhov, who tore his right Achilles tendon in August, had three shots on net for the game, including two in overtime.Related Articles
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Quinn had not received a report from the game, but said Knyzhov was excited to finally play again after an arduous 20-month process that involved numerous surgeries to repair various problem spots.
Knyzhov had been skating in contact practices with the Sharks for about two weeks before he was assigned to the Barracuda on a long-term injury conditioning loan earlier this week.
“He was feeling better and better and he was certainly looking forward to playing a game,” Quinn said. “So I’m really happy for him as he takes the next step in his recovery.”
NOTE: Quinn said defenseman Radim Simek, who has not played since Dec. 31 when he suffered a concussion in a game against the Dallas Stars, will not join the team on the road trip, which ends Saturday in Pittsburgh. The Sharks next game after their bye week and the NHL all-star break is Feb. 7 in Tampa.
HALF MOON BAY – The shooting rampage that killed seven people at two mushroom farms this week wasn’t the first time a disgruntled farmworker opened fire at his coworkers at one of the farms.
Just seven months earlier, at the same California Terra Gardens farm off Highway 92 where the first four workers were killed Monday, a different farmworker was charged with trying to kill a co-manager, firing through the man’s trailer filled with family last July.
Martin Medina, 49 at the time, had been banging on the trailer door at 11:30 p.m. July 1, “screaming he was going to kill the victim and his family,” according to a summary of the case from San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
Medina was “pulling on the door handle while victim held the door shut and told his family to hide,” the summary said.
The bullet sailed through the front glass door of the victim’s trailer and into the next trailer, where a couple lived as part of a farm worker encampment, Wagstaffe said. No one was injured, but Medina “continued yelling he would kill the victim as he walked away.”
Medina was arrested later that night, walking his dog and appearing intoxicated.
“These are two very different, very isolated circumstances,” Wagstaffe told the Bay Area News Group on Thursday.
Both, however, involved angry men, he said. The worker accused of killing seven and wounding an eighth on Monday is Chinese, 66-year-old Chunli Zhao, whose motive was still unclear Thursday. Medina is Hispanic.
While it appears unusual that two shootings happened at the same mushroom farm, Wagstaffe said, “you go to East Palo Alto, parts of San Mateo, Daly City, Oakland, the same incidents occur in the same places. So it doesn’t strike me as wild gunplay out there. They’re really sort of unrelated.”
Medina was charged with attempted murder and remains in San Mateo County jail in Redwood City on $5 million bond.
Check back for more on this developing story.
The Heat have a tall task in front of them on Friday night.
Although Miami’s record (27-22) is better than the visiting Magic (19-29), Orlando does have a small height advantage over Miami.
The Magic feature 7-foot-2 forward Bol Bol, the tallest player on either team, as well as 7-foot center Mo Bamba and 6-foot-10 rookie forward Paolo Banchero, while the Heat typically feature a smaller lineup.
Orlando is bringing in 42.6 rebounds per game, which is 19th in the league. But Miami ranks 26th with 41.6 per game. Wendell Carter Jr., a 6-foot-10 forward, leads the Magic with 8.7 rebounds a game. Bol and Banchero are both averaging more than six rebounds.
Despite the minor disadvantage, the Heat have a plan for working around the Magic’s height.
“Make sure our passes our crisp, make sure everybody’s … locked in, knowing that their length, it could be a problem,” Heat center Bam Adebayo said. “Being able to just be aware of everything that they have going on and try to take advantage of them in transition when they can’t load and when they pack the paint and everybody stretches their arms up. Basically, finding manipulation plays in transition.”
Both Miami and Orlando are playing well lately. The Magic have won three of their last four games, while the Heat are 7-3 in their last 10.
“We’ve just been (paying) more attention to detail,” guard Gabe Vincent said. “We’ve been playing harder, playing more together.”
Martin, Strus, Highsmith likely to play
Star forward Jimmy Butler was not listed on the Heat’s injury report on Thursday, and several other players also appear likely to play against Orlando.
Forward Caleb Martin (left quad strain), guard Max Strus (right shoulder irritation) and forward Haywood Highsmith (left shin contusion) were all listed as probable.
Strus played 37 minutes against Boston on Tuesday, while Highsmith played 30 minutes and Martin 11.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the three players listed as out for Friday’s game — forward Nikola Jovic (lower back stress reaction), guard Duncan Robinson (finger surgery) and center Omer Yurtseven (left ankle surgery) — are feeling better. However, he did say all three have to be patient with their recoveries.
“I don’t want for them to think about trying to fast-track it right now,” Spoelstra said. “They have pitch counts on each one of them. They have to be very disciplined and not try to rush that process, especially as you get to this stage. That’s really important. But I know that they feel better, being able to do a little bit more and being around the group.”
Spoelstra praises ‘impressive’ FAU
An hour north of Miami-Dade Arena, South Florida features one of the hottest college basketball teams in the nation.
Florida Atlantic has won 18 consecutive games entering their Thursday night matchup with Middle Tennessee State, earning a spot in the Associated Press poll for the first time in program history.
Spoelstra said he hadn’t been following the Owls closely, but he had heard about their winning streak.
“That’s always impressive,” Spoelstra said. “It’s not the easiest place to win. Whatever they’re doing there to build that culture and philosophy, all of that, it’s showing itself this year. That’s fun. You root for the local teams.”