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SPORTS & HEALTH Chicago and a New Baseball Season By Dan Ciaglia

A majority of the Fall and Winter proved itself a difficult time to be a sports fan in the Windy City. Chicagoans watched the Bears go from a dominating 7-1 to practically irrelevant, hoped the Bulls could be better than mediocre while awaiting the return of Derrick Rose, and wondered whether or not they would see the Blackhawks take the ice in the Madhouse on Madison in 2012-13. However, behind the scenes of all these woes, Chicago’s boys of summer, the White Sox and Cubs, have been working hard and long in preparation for Major League Baseball’s Opening Day on April 1st. As each squad wraps up their Spring Training schedules, baseball fans around the city are pondering one thing: what is to be expected from each team’s 2013 campaigns? To answer that question in 2 simple words: not much. For starters, no major acquisitions were made by either front office. Neither team was expected to be sought after destinations for top free agents like Josh Hamilton (signed by the Angels), Zack Greinke (Angels), or B.J. Upton (Braves). In fact, there was almost

complete lack of any action in free agency from both Chicago teams, which doesn’t leave much hope for either team’s faithful fans. On the South Side, they were able to keep the always reliable Jake Peavy in the pitching rotation and added Jeff Keppinger, an infielder from the Rays, to fill a gaping hole in the lineup left by Kevin Youkilis (now with the Yankees) and fan favorite A.J. Pierzynski (Rangers). On the other hand, the Cubs were a little more active than the Sox, but none of their signings were considered “high profile” by most standards. Their biggest splash was signing pitcher Edwin Jackson from the Nationals to provide some veteran leadership in the pitching rotation. They also brought in Kyuji Fujikawa from Japan to bolster their bullpen and eventually have him challenge Carlos Marmol for the closer role. Nate Schierholtz, an outfielder from the Phillies, is also expected to add some more depth to their lineup. So, what is to be expected from each throughout the season? Well, last year the Sox had an unfulfilling method of live by the home run and die by the home

Walking Among Us Rey Rodriguez

By Dan Ciaglia When it comes to baseball, the past couple decades have seen an exponential growth in the amount of talent that comes out of Latin America. More recently, it has become common for international players to play their college ball in the United States in hope of garnering more attention from Major League scouts. Last year, Robert Morris’s baseball program was introduced to Reinaldo (Rey for short) Rodriguez – a left-handed pitcher hailing from Valencia, Venezuela. Like the thousands of players who have come before him, Rey’s dream is to make it to the big leagues and must attract the attention of the scouts in order

to do so. Well, he is most definitely on the fast track to the next level; Rey is 1 of 17 players around the country from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to be named to the 2013 preseason All-America team. The selection comes as no surprise because Rey’s 2012 statistics are nothing short of outstanding. He posted a perfect 10-0 record with a 1.33 Earned Run Average and 87 strikeouts, 17 of which were in 1 game, a career high for the southpaw. He led the entire country in ERA, Opponent Batting Average, and Hits Allowed per game, such an astounding performance that was enough to earn him the 2012 CCAC Pitcher of the Year recognition as well as 1st Team All-American honors. On the 2013 All-America Team, he’s just 1 of 3 players from the 2012 team, unofficially being dubbed on the NAIA’s website as part of the “headlining trio” for this year’s team.

run. Unless their aging lineup can find a way to score without providing souvenirs, expect their offensive production to be about the same as last year – mixtures of hot and cold bats. On a positive note, look for a healthy John Danks to make the rotation better, and keep your eye on Chris Sale, the young lefty that should solidify his role as the ace of the pitching staff and emerge as one of the top arms in the league. Unfortunately for the Sox, the top dog of the Central, the Tigers, had a World Series caliber roster that only got better by signing outfielder Torii Hunter and keeping Anibal Sanchez on arguably one of the top pitching staffs in the league. Come October, expect the Tigers to repeat as AL Central Champions. However, I still have the Sox in the postseason as the 2nd AL Wildcard team, but it’s difficult to match them against the top dogs down the stretch. On the North Side, Theo Epstein’s master plan of putting together a long-awaited (105 years to be exact) championship team is still in its developing stages, so don’t expect many headlines to come out of Wrigley. Although it is Rey came to the United States 4 years ago, mostly attributing the move to playing baseball. “It was tough at the beginning since I did not speak English at all, but I am glad I took the opportunity and came here,” said Rey. Now a 23-year old senior majoring in Business Administration, Rey hopes to continue his successful career and has set the bar high for this year’s Eagles. He said, “My goal for the team is to win conference and go to the [NAIA] World Series. We have an awesome team and we will do our best to make it happen.” Rey is certainly doing what he can to help the Eagles reach that goal; in his season debut against North Central on March 1st, he surrendered just 2 hits and struck out 9, earning the win in a 13-0 blowout. Many people have come to the United States seeking opportunity, and that is exactly what Rey Rodriguez has set himself up for – an opportunity. He is racked up all the top accolades and statistics a pitcher could and has without a doubt proven his ability to get to the next level. Robert Morris University is proud to have such an accomplished student-athlete like Rodriguez. One thing, for sure, is that the future is bright for this young man. v

expected to be a down year, keep an eye on first baseman Anthony Rizzo as he starts his first full season, and Wellington Castillo as he is expected to be the permanent catcher for the future. Much like the AL, the NL Central’s best team, the Reds, only got better via a trade for the Indians’ outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. The Cubs should be a little improved on last year, but the Reds are expected to cruise through the Central and repeat as champs. As for the rest of the MLB, my predictions for playoff teams are as follows: joining the Tigers (Central) and White Sox (Wildcard #2) will be the Blue Jays (East), Angels (West), and Yankees (Wildcard #1) from the American League. From the National League, I’ll take the Nationals (East), Dodgers (West), Giants (Wildcard #1), and Braves (Wildcard #2) to compete with the Reds (Central). In the end, I am seeing the Angels taking on the Reds in the World Series with the Angels coming out on top. v

Spring 2013 Sports Report

Men’s Sports March 19, 2013- Sam Milligan Selected to the ACHA Division III All-America First Team March 24, 2013- Top Ranked Eagles Win NAIA Men's Bowling National Invitational For First Time in Program History

Women’s Sports March 14, 2013- Four Eagles Selected to ACHA Women's Hockey All-America Teams March 24, 2013- Eagles Finish in Third Place of NAIA Women's Bowling National Invitational Tournament March 24, 2013- Fourth Ranked Eagles Clinch NWLL West Conference Regular Season Championship & Berth to NWLL National Tournament

The Eagle - Spring 2013 Issue 2  

The Eagle is the student-run newspaper of Robert Morris University (IL). This is Spring 2013 Issue 2.

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