Forget the stiff upper lip — make it a hairy one

Reprinted from
June 24, 2010

  Leo The Lip couldn’t do the job.
  Now, maybe it’s time for the Cubs to seek out a hairy upper lip instead.
  As Chicagoans continue to bask in the afterglow of a world championship captured by a team most of them had forgotten existed until just recently, one fan brought up a good point while conversing with a couple of friends a week or so ago. I wasn’t one of those friends, but since they were sitting outside and I was busy trying to look as if I were doing yard work right next door, eavesdropping was ridiculously easy.
  Most of their conversation was of the basic guys-talking-sports variety, but during the gabfest, an interesting observation was made by the aforementioned fan: The Blackhawks had become the fourth Chicago-based title winner in a row to be coached by a guy with a mustache.
  Preceding Joel Quenneville were White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, Bulls coach Phil Jackson and Bears coach Mike Ditka. Lovie Smith, on the contrary, is clean-shaven, which may have had more to do with the Bears’ inability to beat the Indianapolis Colts a few years ago in the Super Bowl than Rex Grossman’s quarterbacking inadequacies.
  And that got me to thinking about some of the past shortcomings of Chicago teams. As I was growing up, success and Chicago sports were mutually exclusive terms.
  There were a few close calls — the 1969 Cubs, under the guidance of Leo “The Lip” Durocher, suffered the most infamous late-season collapse, but the 1967 White Sox, 1970-71 Blackhawks and 1974-75 Bulls also disappointed millions.

Softball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Lady Spartans practicing aggressive behavior

  Oak Lawn coach Brian Frangella knows his team doesn’t boast a great deal of power in its batting order, so an aggressive style of play will be necessary for the Lady Spartans to have any real chance at prosperity.
  Oak Lawn demonstrated just how much that method means to it last Monday, when it battered Bremen 11-2 in a South Suburban Conference crossover contest. The win was the Lady Spartans’ first of 2014, and although it was followed up by a 10-4 loss to TF South, Frangella still thinks his club is headed in the right direction.
  “What we saw against Bremen is what we want to do as a team, offensively and defensively,” he said. “Offensively, we were very aggressive on the bases [and had five steals]. I think good things happen when you put the pressure on the defense.
  “That’s one thing we talked about: We’re not going to hit a lot of home runs, so we have to be very aggressive on the bases and put pressure on the defense. That aggressiveness came together in the Bremen game.”

Trinity sports report

  • Written by Tim Cronin

Will Trolls pitchers come through?

  Now comes the heavy lifting for Trinity Christian College’s baseball team.
  Last Friday’s Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader against the University of St. Francis started a string of 14 games in as many days for the Trolls, which is guaranteed to put a strain on any pitching staff — and any coach.
  Trinity boss Jason Huisman will know soon enough the depth of his staff. Today’s doubleheader with Ashford University will, weather permitting, be the Trolls’ eighth and ninth games in a seven-day span and bring his rotation full circle.

Moraine athletics wrap

  • Written by Maura Vizza

Cyclones tennis team rolls again

  Early in the 2014 season, Moraine Valley College’s men’s tennis team appears to be in midseason form.
  Any adjustments the Cyclones had to make under new coach Ben Thompson have evidently been made, seeing as how they have now recorded two straight whitewashes. The latest overmatched Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference foe was Elgin College, which was on the business end of a 9-0 thrashing last Tuesday.
  Five of Moraine’s six singles winners were also part of a triumphant doubles team. The lone exception was Shepard grad Bryan Jimenez, who paired with Christian Lagunas to provide the Cyclones with one of their doubles victories.

Sports wrap

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

To hear Shepard girls’ track coach Verline Gaddis tell it, her athletes enjoy the feeling of success.

  To be sure, the Lady Astros experienced plenty of that at Saturday’s 15-team Stagg Invitational, where they took first place in their initial appearance in the Palos Heights meet.
  Behind senior captain Courtney Dalton, who won the 300-meter low hurdles race and anchored three first-place relay units, Shepard scored 109 points.
  That allowed the Lady Astros to easily outdistance runner-up Rockton Hononegah (88 points). Joliet West (66½), Romeoville (46) and Reavis (45) rounded out the top five.
  “I saw hard work from the girls at Stagg and they wanted it,” Gaddis said. “They like success. We have a good combination of seniors and underclassmen — 10 seniors and a lot of sophomores and juniors — and I was very proud of their performance Saturday.”