SAMARDZIJA HOMERS IN CUBS' 7-5 WIN OVER D-BACKS: Jeff Samardzija had no complaints Monday.
Samardzija helped himself with a solo home run in the fifth and pitched 4 2-3 innings, leading the Cubs to a 7-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.
"Close your eyes, and you run into some things sometimes," Samardzija said of his home run.
He then used the word "outstanding" to describe how he pitched.
"The results aren't what we wanted. A couple of home runs and a couple of hanging off-speed pitches will do that to you but I tell you what, I like pitching against this team," Samardzija said. "They play ball the right way. They have an approach at the plate, the whole lineup does, and they jump on your mistakes. It's a great team to pitch against. They're well coached. Probably the best I felt all spring. We'll get those off-speed pitches down in the zone and be all right."
Samardzija, earlier this month tabbed the Cubs' opening day starter, allowed four runs on four hits, including a pair of home runs, and walked two. He also struck out two and walked two in his longest outing of spring training.
KONERKO'S 5TH HR LEADS WHITE SOX OVER ROCKIES: White Sox manager Robin Ventura has not yet named a starting pitcher for opening day. Perhaps he should go ahead and end the suspense and hand Chris Sale the ball.
After the way the 23-year-old left-hander pitched on Monday in a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Camelback Ranch, it is difficult to imagine anyone else throwing much better.
Making his second start of the spring and first since signing a new five-year, $32 million contract on March 7, Sale was the picture of efficiency. He gave up just one hit and faced the minimum 15 batters through the first five innings before giving up a home run to Yorvit Torrealba and another hit to begin the sixth.
Paul Konerko, serving as the DH, hit his fifth home run of the spring to lead off the second inning against Colorado left-hander Drew Pomeranz.
GOODELL HOPES FOR LIGHTER HELMETS, SENSORS: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell imagines a day in the not-too-distant future when players could be checked to determine whether their genetic makeup leaves them more likely to develop brain disease.
They then might be told to switch to a less dangerous position — or give up football entirely.
"In talking to the medical experts over several years, I think there's a predisposition to most injuries, particularly to the brain, or to brain disease," Goodell said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday. "So we do want to know what those biomarkers are."
Goodell also envisions players being required — with the union's OK, of course — to wear helmets containing sensors to detect hits that cause concussions. Those helmets might be lighter and "less of a weapon" than today's, he said.
BOLDIN, HARVIN TRADED AS NFL FREE AGENCY NEARS: On the eve of NFL free agency, trades involving top receivers Anquan Boldin and Percy Harvin grabbed the headlines.
In an odd twist Monday, Boldin went from the Ravens to the San Francisco 49ers, the team he helped Baltimore beat 34-31 in last month's Super Bowl.
Harvin, who expressed his discontent in Minnesota, was sent to Seattle, where he will join former Vikings teammate Sidney Rice.
NOTRE DAME WOMEN BEAT LOUISVILLE IN BIG EAST SEMIS: Notre Dame is back in the Big East tournament title game for a third straight season, and the Fighting Irish hope their luck is about to change.
Kayla McBride scored 17 points and Skylar Diggins added 14 to help No. 2 Notre Dame beat 16th-ranked Louisville 83-59 on Monday night in the semifinals.
Notre Dame has now reached the title game seven times since joining the conference in 1995, but the Irish have lost the previous six to perennial Big East powerhouse Connecticut.
VU'S GERARDOT NAMED TO ALL-HORIZON LEAGUE TEAM: Valparaiso junior forward Tabitha Gerardot received Second Team All-Horizon League honors on Monday afternoon. Gerardot posted 10 double-doubles in the regular season, and led the team in points (15) and rebounds (9) per game.
DEEP RIVER BOWMEN PHEASANT HUNT SATURDAY: Deep River Bowmen of Valparaiso will sponsor a pheasant hunt Saturday afternoon at the Dawm to Dusk Hunt Hunt Club. For details, call Mike Tichenor at (219) 309-6279 or visit either www.deepriverbowmen.com or www.dawn-to-dusk.com.
Around the horn
The Valparaiso softball team lost to Stetson 5-1 in Sunday's finale of the Hatter Classic in DeLand, Fla.