Enter Here To Find Things To Do In Chicago

Chicago, The Windy City, is filled with incredible and exciting things to.  There are fun things to do with kids this weekend and always concerts in Chicago tonight.  Whatever it is you might be seeking at any point in time, there is a very good chance it is happening somewhere in Chicago. 

Our very helpful Chicago Travel Guide can be of assistance as you determine what you want to do and perhaps hotels near me in Chicago and the best restaurants.  It’s always best to check out any great city with a travel guide and a game plan for your action!

Chicago has tons of attractions.  Some of those include Navy Pier, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Millennium Park.  There is also Grant Park and the Museum of Science and Industry.  Don’t forget Shedd Aquarium and the immensely incredible views from 360Chicago. 

What are some top attractions in Chicago?

Chicago has tons of attractions.  Some of those include Navy Pier, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Millennium Park.  There is also Grant Park and the Museum of Science and Industry.  Don’t forget Shedd Aquarium and the immensely incredible views from 360Chicago. 

Chicago is simply overflowing with arts and culture.  Take your kids to the Chicago Children’s Museum or the Chicago History Museum.  You can also check out the Art Institute Of Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center. 

If you are seeking performing arts then Chicago is the place for you.  Chicago is home the Hamilton Chicago and of course the Joffrey Ballet.  There is also the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Opera. 

The city is also a huge sports town.  You can always find the upcoming events and schedules at  We have the Bears Schedule, Northwestern Football Schedule, and of course all the hockey action with the Blackhawks and Chicago Wolves

Check out some live action of a recent concert in Chicago:

Getting To Chicago

Chicago is a favorite tourist destination. It is one of the best cities in the US with world-class museums and restaurants and it is home to Jazz and comedy. It is known as the Windy City. Of course, getting there first is most important, so it is helpful to know a few things about the airports.

Midway can handle all of the major airlines and is one great option for flying to Chicago. If you charter your bus beforehand can save valuable time and produce your journey a lot more pleasant. The rental car buses depart with just a few folks. When travelling in a bigger group, the typical taxi or limo services are not able to cater for such parties within a car.

The airport provides a number of shops to pass the moment. Smaller airports are not going to provide that sort of exposure. O’Hare International Airport provides an assortment of choices for vehicle rentals. Midway International Airport is in the middle of a large dining overhaul. If you’re planning to fly into Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW), you’ve got ten car rental companies to pick from.

Based on the pick up location and destination of your journey, an alternate taxicab service may be the best option for you. Chicago Destinations While traveling to Chicago learns more about the region and the places you may visit when you remain in the region. Chicago Destinations Your visit to the Windy City is certain to be fun and full of excitement.

Chicago Growth And Development – Entertainment and Living Options

To stay on top of all the best things to do in Chicago or any city, you must be aware of all the new development and amazing places being constructed to lure in residents and give people a nice quality of life. There is a mammoth new development in Chicago called The 78. It’s a $7 Billion plus mega-project that will include entertainment options and venues. In fact, the entire city is under an immense new construction boom. It truly is remarkable how much new development is going on for a major, established city. Just check out the new digs around the Northwestern campus as well. Incredible.

Chicago 2020 Broadway Season Is Something Special

Broadway In Chicago really did it big time in 2020. Some true smash hits from Broadway are coming to town. Dear Evan Hansen is returning to the Windy City after a super successful run in 2019. Sensational musicals Mean Girls, Frozen, and Come From Away will also be in Chicago this coming season. It’s a power packed year for theatre lovers in Chicagoland.

Shedd Aquarium

The aquarium is always a big hit and an excellent place to take the kids. Also a perfect trip for a school field trip. Shedd in Chicago is no different. Shedd said please don’t hesitate to nurse anywhere you’re comfortable. Shedd has a rather prosperous penguin breeding program. Shedd is a well-known place and can readily get crowded during summer, weekends or holidays. Shedd also receives a huge part of its power consumption from solar power, and it’s always increasing. In reality, Shedd has also made tremendous progress in the field of waste management.

Shedd Aquarium is located at 1200 South Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, zip code 60605.

It is possible to re-enter the Aquarium if you maintain your ticket. You only have to go to Shedd Aquarium! In general, Shedd Aquarium is a good location for families to devote an enjoyable weekend at. If you prefer to be part of the Shedd Aquarium’s workforce, you can volunteer for sure positions. Shedd Aquarium is among the world’s biggest indoor aquariums, housing around 32,000 creatures. Shedd Aquarium is among the most fascinating areas to visit when in the Chicago region. You can’t tour the complete Shedd Aquarium in simply a day so instead join their membership to visit it frequently. Perhaps check out the Shedd Aquarium for catching a concert at the Aragon Ballroom.

You can leave and return inside if you maintain your ticket. When you purchase your tickets, make certain that you reserve your time for any shows you would love to see as you will require a ticket to enter. Buying tickets early is almost always a fantastic idea. They can be purchased exclusively at the front gate of Dollywood and cannot be pre-purchased. If you wish to find discounted tickets, take a look at the discount section above.

Hotels In Chicago

When visiting Chicago of course it is imperative to check out all the hotels in Chicago so you can make the best choice for what you want. There are hundreds and hundreds of great hotels to choose from. The Centrally Situated Palmer House Hotel – The Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel Has Been a great stay for our family . This Hilton hotel is centrally situated and just two blocks from the Art Institute and Millennium Park. We walked to almost anything we did. We got tired, Lyft and Uber automobile services delivered us as taking public transportation, about the same cost. Named after its proprietor his hotel burned from the Great Chicago Fire. 

Today, the hotel is a popular place to go for social gatherings in its spectacular lobby. This could be a great option for after a Thalia Hall Concert or after a long drive back from a Notre Dame Football game. This hotel takes you back with ceilings offering guests of business conferences and weddings both hospitality and old world charm. Our loved using the Executive Floor Lounge. For everyone remaining floors, the lounge provides evening hor doeuvres and breakfast. The lounge is an upgrade in the fun element and a family. To give you a notion of how Hilton Palmer Parker House is at Chicago, here’s the distance from the hotel and a list of Chicago restaurants and nearby attractions. We walked to all except the Museum of Industry and Science. 

Chicago Attractions – The Art Institute along with Millennium Park – Willis Tower – Field Museum of Natural History – John Hancock – Water Tower Place – John G Shedd Aquarium – Adler Planetarium – Lincoln Park Zoo – Museum of Science and Industry – Chicago restaurants – Als Beef – Giordanos – Lou Malnatis – Xoco – The Purple Pig – Portillos – Self Guided Walking Chicago Food Tour – I Really like to sample food in Various cities, but there’s never Appear to be sufficient meals. Thats where food tours come in. Rather than joining one, we created our very own Chicago food tour with the aid of knowledgeable friends. 

Who says you need to eat a whole meal at one restaurant? These innovative meals work when there are plenty of great restaurants within walking distance. Map them out on Google Maps along with make your very own Chicago food tour. Appetizer: Charcuterie in The Purple Pig – First Course: hotdogs At Portillos – Second Course: An Italian sandwich in Als Steak – Dessert: Churros with chocolate in Xoco – Chicago Deep Dish Pizza – Im not going to get into that the Chicago Deep Dish pizza wars. They’re all Chicago classics in their very own right.

White Sox’ painful, discouraging season comes to close with 10-1 loss to Twins

Players will tell you the best two days of the season are the first day of spring training and the last day of the regular season. When it ends with a meaningless game in a season that was supposed to be anything but, it’s just not going to end well.

A couple of hours before the White Sox’ finale, a 10-1 thrashing from the Twins sending the Sox home at 81-81, equipment bags were laid out by clubhouse lockers as players were already packing and saying goodbye. Handshakes and well wishes were exchanged.

The Sox had already absorbed the disappointment of not making the postseason days ago and sa in on 78-year-old manager’s Tony La Russa sad farewell press conference Monday. Some of them won’t be back.

“A bunch of the guys here, they’ve started thinking, realizing this is their first time they’re not going to be in the postseason,” said shortstop Elvis Andrus, a free agent. “I went to back-to-back World Series my first years in the league and thought it was so easy. You have to be grateful and realize how lucky you are just to be able to make it to the postseason.

“I know everybody’s going to go home with that in their mind and put in a good offseason and not let that happen next year.”

The season was already over before Wednesday’s the season finale at Guaranteed Rate Field, and then right-hander Davis Martin got shelled for nine runs on seven hits including two home runs in 1 2/3 innings.

And then Martin left the game with right biceps soreness. It was one last fitting injury for a team riddled by injured list casualties this season.

Jose Abreu, who will be a free agent, asked acting manager Miguel Cairo to sit out Wednesday, denying fans the chance to give him a farewell if this happens to be his last season.

“I don’t like goodbyes,” Abreu said Tuesday.

Fans chanted his name in the ninth inning, hoping for an at-bat but to no avail.

Romy Gonzalez played shortstop as Andrus was the DH. Yasmani Grandal, AJ Pollock and Eloy Jimenez did not play, and the grind of spring training and 162 games came to a merciful end. It’s a grind often lost on fans, who don’t want to hear how tough it might be to play a kids game and get paid millionaire’s money. Especially if they’ve let said fans down like maybe never before.

Such was the case with the Sox, who declared themselves World Series contenders but needed to win five of their last seven games to avoid an eighth losing season in the last 10.

“It’s hard to put into words, there is a lot of emotion,” reliever Kendall Graveman said before the game, looking around the clubhouse. “We didn’t succeed.”

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Analyzing Blackhawks’ new systems under Luke Richardson

Ironically, the Blues’ one even-strength goal in last week’s preseason opener was actually one of the first good examples of the Blackhawks correctly executing new coach Luke Richardson’s defensive system.

In that play, Blues forward Brandon Saad skated up the half-wall in possession with Hawks defenseman Kevin Korchinski on his tail.

Michal Teply, the Hawks’ strong-side winger, correctly crashed down on Saad from the other direction, forcing Saad to pass inside to Kyrou at the faceoff dot. Then Josiah Slavin, the Hawks’ low center, also correctly moved up –with an active stick — to block Kyrou’s potential shooting lane.

The issue was Samuel Savoie, the Hawks’ weak-side winger, also went to Kyrou. That left Blues defenseman Griffin Luce wide-open in the space Savoie vacated, and Luce scored.

Besides Savoie’s mistake, though, the Hawks’ rotation closely matched what Richardson has spent training camp teaching. While none of those players remain on the Hawks’ NHL roster, those who do have regularly reviewed clips like that to adjust to his approach.

“We’re looking to kill plays quickly,” Richardson said. “It’s hard defense, and that just gives us more energy to play offense instead of chipping the puck out after being in [our] zone for a minute.”

Richardson’s system is based on a standard “box-plus-one,” one of the most commonly used defensive structures throughout all levels of hockey.

It’s a zone defense in which wingers each cover half the zone above the dots and defensemen cover half the zone below the dots, with support from a roving center. That zone aspect alone differentiates it substantially from the hybrid man-to-man coverage the Hawks used during Jeremy Colliton and Derek King’s coaching tenures.

A typical “box-plus-one” system focuses on protecting the slot while conceding possession on the perimeter, but Richardson’s version is more aggressive than most and sometimes pressures even on the perimeter.

“It’s moreaggressivethan anything I’ve played, and I really like it,” Sam Lafferty said. “Because as a center, you can strike sooner. And as a winger, you can strike sooner when the guy climbs the wall.”

Beyond the defensive zone, the Hawks won’t follow as specific and predetermined of a system –few NHL teams do –but Richardson has nonetheless given a few points of emphasis.

One point is that, during breakouts, forwards should circle back below the defensive blue line to assist their defensemen. Another is that players carrying the puck through the neutral zone –be it defenseman or forward –should move the puck vertically rather than horizontally whenever possible. Following both rules will reduce the risk of turnovers leading to counterattacks.

“We ask our forwards to get back for our ‘D,'” Richardson said. “We don’t want to go ‘D’-to-‘D’ andslowit down all the time. We want to go right back at them. … We’re skating back hard, not just waiting for the ‘D’ to get it back to you waiting at the far blue line. It makes you work early, but it pays off in the end.”

Once in the offensive zone, if the Hawks’ forecheck forces a turnover or wins a puck battle below the goal line, Richardson wants them to first see if they can hit the trailing forward — the “F3” –cruising down into the slot.

If that’s unavailable, he wants them passing low-to-high –back up to defensemen at the blue line –and then either finding open space or crashing the net to create traffic.

“A lot of teams swarm now and they’re all down low, so [that’ll] give us time out high to work something out with a forward running high, or simply shooting the puck at the net with a couple of bodies there,” he said. “Those are probably our best chances [during] all of training camp…so we’re going to start with that and build off it.”

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High school football: AP Week 7 Illinois high school football rankings

The latest rankings of Illinois high school football teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters.

Class 8ASchool W-L Pts Prv

1. Loyola (12) (6-0) 129 1

2. Lincoln-Way East (1) (6-0) 118 2

3. York (6-0) 104 4

4. Glenbard West (5-1) 75 3

5. Warren (5-1) 69 5

6. O’Fallon (5-1) 53 T6

7. Maine South (4-2) 41 T6

8. Neuqua Valley (5-1) 37 10

9. Edwardsville (5-1) 22 NR

10. South Elgin (6-0) 18 NR

Others receiving votes: Plainfield North 16, Glenbrook South 13, Bolingbrook 11, Marist 5, Palatine 4.

Class 7ASchool W-L Pts Prv

1. Mount Carmel (13) (6-0) 130 1

2. Hersey (6-0) 112 2

3. Prospect (5-1) 89 3

4. St. Rita (4-2) 81 4

5. St. Charles North (5-1) 68 7

6. Pekin (6-0) 65 5

7. Wheaton North (5-1) 62 6

8. Jacobs (5-1) 33 9

9. Batavia (4-2) 27 10

10. Lake Zurich (5-1) 17 NR

Others receiving votes: Downers Grove North 12, Geneva 11, Hononegah 7, Brother Rice 1.

Class 6ASchool W-L Pts Prv

1. East St. Louis (11) (4-2) 126 1

2. Simeon (2) (6-0) 115 2

3. Lemont (6-0) 105 3

4. Prairie Ridge (5-1) 83 4

5. Crete-Monee (4-2) 73 5

6. Chatham Glenwood (5-1) 58 7

7. Wauconda (6-0) 50 8

8. Belvidere North (6-0) 39 9

9. Notre Dame (4-2) 22 6

10. Normal West (5-1) 18 10

Others receiving votes: Champaign Centennial 10, St. Ignatius 8, Kenwood 6, Benet 2.

Class 5ASchool W-L Pts Prv

1. Kankakee (10) (5-1) 115 2

2. Sycamore (3) (6-0) 114 3

3. Mahomet-Seymour (6-0) 99 4

4. Peoria (6-0) 96 5

5. Morgan Park (6-0) 74 6

6. Morris (5-1) 71 1

7. Highland (5-1) 46 T8

8. Sterling (5-1) 41 10

9. Rockford Boylan (5-1) 19 NR

10. Glenbard South (5-1) 14 7

Others receiving votes: St. Patrick 9, Mount Vernon 6, Providence 5, Nazareth 4, Centralia 2.

Class 4ASchool W-L Pts Prv

1. Sacred Heart-Griffin (8) (6-0) 121 1

(tie) Richmond-Burton (5) (6-0) 121 2

3. St. Francis (6-0) 94 4

4. Joliet Catholic (5-1) 93 3

5. Rochester (5-1) 71 5

6. Stillman Valley (6-0) 70 6

7. Carterville (6-0) 50 8

8. Macomb (6-0) 31 10

9. Genoa-Kingston (5-1) 30 9

10. Wheaton Academy (5-1) 28 7

Others receiving votes: Breese Central 3, Coal City 2, Murphysboro 1.

Class 3ASchool W-L Pts Prv

1. IC Catholic (7) (5-1) 125 1

2. Reed-Custer (4) (6-0) 123 3

3. Williamsville (2) (6-0) 113 2

4. Princeton (1) (6-0) 105 4

5. Byron (5-1) 75 5

6. Fairbury Prairie Central (6-0) 67 7

7. Mt. Carmel, Ill. (6-0) 61 6

8. Eureka (6-0) 50 8

9. Seneca (6-0) 28 9

10. Tolono Unity (5-1) 16 NR

Others receiving votes: Durand-Pecatonica 7.

Class 2ASchool W-L Pts Prv

1. St. Teresa (12) (6-0) 129 2

2. Maroa-Forsyth (6-0) 110 3

3. Bismarck-Henning (6-0) 92 4

4. North-Mac (6-0) 91 5

5. Wilmington (1) (5-1) 83 1

6. Rockridge (5-1) 62 6

7. Downs Tri-Valley (5-1) 56 7

8. Carmi White County (6-0) 40 9

9. Johnston City (6-0) 21 10

10. Pana (5-1) 9 NR

Others receiving votes: Vandalia 8, Mercer County 5, Knoxville 5, Clifton Central 3, Nashville 1.

Class 1ASchool W-L Pts Prv

1. Lena-Winslow (14) (6-0) 140 1

2. Colfax Ridgeview (6-0) 108 2

3. Camp Point Central (6-0) 102 T3

4. Hope Academy (6-0) 99 T3

5. Shelbyville (6-0) 72 6

6. St. Bede (6-0) 71 7

7. Athens (5-1) 56 5

8. Fulton (4-2) 40 T8

9. Greenfield-Northwestern (6-0) 36 T8

10. Ottawa Marquette (5-1) 31 10

Others receiving votes: Tuscola 8, Kewanee-Annawan-Wethersfield 7.

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Vikings stars Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook aim for Bears’ weak spots

The Vikings have two offensive stars that would be problematic for any team in wide receiver Justin Jefferson and running back Dalvin Cook, but they’re especially concerning for the Bears.

Every defense begins its game plan against the Vikings by zeroing in on Jefferson, and for the Bears, that would mean deciding whether to have top cornerback Jaylon Johnson shadow him the entire game. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams prefers not to do that, but given how good Jefferson is and how unproven the Bears’ cornerbacks are, it’d be a smart move.

One snag: Johnson might not be there.

He missed practice Wednesday because of a quad injury that kept him out of the last two games, and coach Matt Eberflus gave no indication of whether it’s realistic to hope he’s ready by Sunday.

If he isn’t, that will leave either Kindle Vildor or rookie Kyler Gordon to tangle with arguably the most explosive wide receiver in the game.

Jefferson announced himself as a rookie with 88 catches for 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns and has only gotten better. Since entering the league, he leads the NFL with 3,409 yards receiving. He topped 100 yards in three of his four matchups against the Bears.

And this season, he already has 28 catches for 393 yards and two touchdowns. He has more yards receiving than everyone on the Bears combined.

If he plays, even Johnson might need a little help containing Jefferson.

But if it’s up to Vildor and Gordon? The Bears could have issues.

The gap between Johnson and the other cornerbacks was illustrated as clearly as possible by the fact that he didn’t face a single pass in the first two games. There’s no need to throw at him when better options present themselves.

While the front office’s projections for Gordon are sky high, he hasn’t found his footing yet. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers went after him in Week 2, and that’s been a blueprint for subsequent opponents.

Pro Football Reference says he has allowed a 114.9 passer rating, and Vildor, a 2020 fifth-rounder who has yet to establish himself, is at 112.7.

Cook is almost as much of an issue.

The Bears have typically stumped him, but most of the defenders from the teams that held him to 68.9 yards per game and 3.7 per carry over his career are gone.

The current Bears have gotten steamrolled this season. While they’ve allowed the 11th-fewest points, they’ve given up an NFL-worst 183.3 yards rushing per game. They’ve yielded the third-most yards per carry at 5.1.

“We certainly have a lot of work to do,” Eberflus said.

Cook made the last three Pro Bowls — he averaged 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns per season — and iseyinga defense that let Saquan Barkley rush for 147 yards last week. Cook is off to a slow start at 69.8 yards per game and a career-low 4.4 per carry, but surely sees this as a chance to get rolling again.

“I’m sure they won’t stop running the ball,” Bears defensive end Robert Quinn said. “If we don’t slow him down, it sets up the play action and all that other stuff. You want to stop the run and that should make everything a little easier.

“It sets up everything else [for an offense] if you can’t stop the run. Then it’s kinda, to be honest, demoralizing.”

The Bears’ defense, while imperfect, is their greatest cause for optimism at the moment. That group has kept the floundering offense in games. If they can’t get a reasonable handle on Jefferson and Cook, this could get out of hand quickly.

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Cubs finish with 15-2 win vs. Reds, lament losing season: ‘I’m ready to play into October’

CINCINNATI – Whole sections of the Great American Ball Park stands sat empty as the Cubs and Reds began their final game of the season. The rest hosted a smattering of fans clad in red and blue.

The gentle murmur of the crowd, punctuated now and again by a slightly raised voice that carried clear across the ballpark, served as a reminder of how far from the playoffs the Cubs were finishing the season.

Across Major League Baseball, teams and fan bases were gearing up for a postseason push. Not on this sunbathed field in Cincinnati.

“I still want to be playing,” Cubs manager David Ross said before the Cubs’ 15-2 win against the Reds on Wednesday. “That’s the way I reflect. I look at it like, we’re going to be better really soon, and let’s hurry up and get there because I’m ready to play into October. I’m jealous of the teams that are going on to play, and having to watch that on TV, and want to get back into that arena. So, we’re almost there, but we’re not yet. And we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

To get there, the front office also has plenty of work to do. The Cubs finished the season with a 74-88record, sitting in third place in the NL Central ahead of two 100-plus loss teams, the Reds and Pirates. The roster could use support in all facets of the game – pitching, hitting, defense.

“There’s a lot of different directions they can go with it,” shortstop Nico Hoerner said in a conversation with the Sun-Times. “I don’t know exactly what it looks like, or even who’s going to be here next year, and that’s a strange part of this time of year, for sure.

“But I just hope that whatever it is, it’s geared towards building a competitive team next year that’s going to fight for the division and that also sets us up for continued success for years beyond that. And I think that should be the standard here.”

Catcher Willson Contreras is expected to sign elsewhere in free agency, so the club will have to replace his bat and add more thump to their lineup. Center field, which the Cubs could fill internally or externally, is up for grabs. In the infield, only Hoerner has definitely claimed an everyday role. But he could play shortstop or second base, depending on who the Cubs acquire in the offseason.

The shortstop free agent market is strong for the second straight year. It’s set to include Trae Turner, Xander Bogaerts (can opt out) Carlos Correa (opt out) and Dansby Swanson (in extension talks with the Braves).

The Cubs’ pitching infrastructure has garnered praise this year for the starters it has produced at the upper levels of the farm system. But that young pitching depth won’t mean anything without rotation additions.

“If you go and ass a top-of-the line rotation arm to what we already have,” lefty Justin Steele said, “you could see something really special unfold.”

A strong rotation would do a lot to take pressure off the bullpen. And the Cubs add veteran bullpen arms on short-term deals every offseason.

Rookie Brandon Hughes has established himself as a reliable late-inning reliever, and Codi Heuer is expected to return from his Tommy John surgery rehab next season. In the playoffs, however, having Hughes and Heurer coming in before an experienced closer would give the Cubs a more solid footing.

“We made some strides this year,” bullpen coach Chris Young said. “You saw some guys finish strong, which is huge. If we’re keeping the bar high, we should have three or four more weeks of baseball left. That should be the mindset. That should be the goal.”

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Twins 1B Arraez tops Judge for AL batting crownon October 6, 2022 at 12:50 am

CHICAGO — Luis Arraez won the AL batting title, hitting a third-inning double after walking twice to finish the season at .316, and the Minnesota Twins rolled to a 10-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

Arraez was all but assured of topping the Yankees’ Aaron Judge for the batting crown when the day began. He removed any doubt by walking in his first two plate appearances and then hitting a drive that barely cleared the glove of right fielder Gavin Sheets before he was lifted for a pinch-runner.

Judge, who sat out the Yankees’ season finale, batted .311 with an AL record 62 homers and a league-leading 131 RBIs.

Arraez, 25, became the fifth Twin to win a batting title, joining joining Rod Carew (seven), Tony Oliva, Joe Mauer (three apiece) and Kirby Puckett (one).

Arraez received a hug at the top of the dugout steps from Carlos Correa, who planned before the game to give him a Louis Vuitton box in recognition of his achievement.

Arraez batted .361 (13-for-36) during a nine-game hitting streak to end the season.

Gary Sanchez and Jermaine Palacios homered during a six-run first inning for Minnesota, which snapped a four-game skid. The Twins finished at 78-84, a six-game improvement over 2021.

The White Sox (81-81), last year’s AL Central champions, had their three-game winning streak snapped and finished 12 games worse than their 2021 record.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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4 concerning Bears matchups ahead of week 5 game against the Vikings

The Bears have a list of potential mismatches ahead of their matchup with the Vikings

The Chicago Bears are facing yet another tough test with their Week 5 matchup against Minnesota. The Vikings have been playing like a playoff team since the season started and are currently sitting in 1st place in the North whereas the Bears are struggling to stay afloat above.500. Throw in the fact that the game is in Minnesota and the Bears are already in trouble before kickoff.

The Bears will face a completely different team from the one they saw last week in New York. The Vikings have an explosive offense and have some serious playmakers on that side of the ball. Whether it’s all-pro receiver Justin Jefferson, Pro Bowl receiver Adam Thielen or All-pro running back Dalvin Cook, the Vikings just have so many ways to hurt a team. This brings us to our next point, the most concerning matchups ahead of this weekend’s game.

Bears CB Jaylon Johnson Vs. Vikings WR Justin Jefferson

This matchup is currently a big question mark for Chicago. Johnson is one of the few Bears who has played against the all-pro receiver. Johnson has matched up with Jefferson for two years now and last year in a game Johnson followed Jefferson all over the field as a chaser.

Johnson knows what to expect from Jefferson however the Bears might not have Jaylon Johnson for this game. Johnson has been battling a quad injury that has kept him out the last two weeks. Even if the Bears have Johnson on Sunday the Vikings move Jefferson all over the field which could get Jefferson matched up against some of the younger less experienced players the Bears have in their secondary such as Kyler Gordon.

Bears CB Kyler Gordon Vs. Vikings WR Adam Thielen

Kyler Gordon has struggled early on in this young season and this week 5 matchup might be his biggest test yet. While the Vikings have an All-pro WR in Jefferson, Adam Thielen is also a massive piece of their offense. Thielen is on pace to have his best season yet since 2018 when he caught 113 passes. So far in 2022 Thielen has caught 75% of targets which is the best mark on the team. There’s no secret the Vikings will look Thielen’s way early and often.

Though in years past Chicago has been able to contain Thielen as he barely averages 30 yards against the team, this is a new Bears defense. A defense that has been pushed around on the ground by weaker teams and not able to pressure the QB enough to contain WR production.

Bears LT Braxton Jones Vs. Vikings OLB Za’Darius Smith

Za’Darius Smith will pose a tough matchup for the Bears rookie Braxton Jones. So far in this young season Smith has 3 sacks, 5 QB hits, and 6 TFL’s. Through 4 games Jones has allowed at least one sack a game and 11 pressures. Jones needs to be able to hold his own against Smith in order to get Chicago’s passing game back on track. If Fields is running for his life the whole game how are they supposed to get anything going?

Jones is currently ranked as the 70th best offensive lineman as per PFF. Jones has to be better in pass protection than he was last week. Last week against the Giants Jones’s mistakes killed two Bears drives and one resulted in a sack fumble one can only hope that he will cut the game changing mistakes to a minimum if any at all.

Bears TE Cole Kmet Vs. Vikings LB Eric Kendricks

Chicago has been trying to get their passing game going ever since the season kicked off. Cole Kmet has not been a big part of the Bears offense up to this point and that might be because he simply is not getting open. Kmet has only been targeted 8 times in 4 games and with Fields looking for literally anyone to be open this says a-lot about Kmet’s ability to create separation.

Kmet will likely struggle to get open this week as he will likely be matched up against Eric Kendricks for a majority of the game. Kendricks is one of the better coverage LB’s in all of the NFL and will be on Kmet like glue. Although Kmet has had some success against the Vikings in the past. Kmet averages 3.3 catches and 34.5 yards a game against Minnesota though he has not scored against them. Hopefully Kmet can find pay dirt this Sunday.

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Matt Eberflus calls Tua concussion ‘terrible,’ says Bears mindful of safety

Calling the concussion suffered Thursday night by Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa “terrible,” Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said Wednesday the Bears have been mindful about what quarterback Justin Fields and others can do to protect themselves from head injuries during the game.

“Certainly, we’re always concerned when gets on the edge, and making sure he protects himself,” Eberflus said. “But It’s always an issue. We want to do a good job on our defense to make sure we’re not doing and committing those fouls. We want to be clean. We don’t ever want to give them 15 yards and we certainly don’t ever want to hurt anybody.”

Calling a head injury different from one to other body parts, Fields said that “at all times you have to think about protecting yourself.”

The Dolphins have faced criticism for letting their quarterback return to a Week 3 game and then start four days later. They’ve already ruled him out for this week’s game.

Injury report

Running back David Montgomery missed his fourth-straight practice with a right ankle injury. The Bears first identified his injury, suffered in the Texans game, as one to both his right knee and ankle before amending it in Wednesday’s injury report.

Cornerback Jaylon Jones, who has played 57 defensive snaps over the last two games, sat out of practice with an illness.

Safety Dane Cruikshank, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, missed practice. Linebacker Matt Adams (hamstring) and tight end Ryan Griffin (Achilles) were limited. Both have missed the previous two games.

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Bears hope WR N’Keal Harry jolts passing game, but status uncertain vs. Vikings

The Bears are desperate to brighten up their dreary passing game, so even the faintest flicker of excitement is enough to spark optimism.

Their hope this week is that wide receiver N’Keal Harry can make a difference against the Vikings on Sunday. He has been out since suffering a high-ankle sprain early in the preseason and having surgery, but the Bears designated him for return from injured reserve Wednesday.

All that means is Harry is allowed to practice, and coach Matt Eberflus indicated he’d be limited at first. So there’s no guarantee he’ll be activated this week.

But if he is, the Bears will take all the help they can get.

“We’d have a big-bodied receiver that [gets] open and has good catch radius,” Eberflus said. “That’s an important thing to have [for] third down and red zone.

“He’s got a unique skillset… like a tight end. Tight ends are typically open because they’ve got smaller guys covering them. He has all that.”

Harry stands out among the Bears receivers because he’s the only one built like a linebacker. At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, he’s bigger than middle linebacker Nick Morrow.

Unlike Darnell Mooney and Dante Pettis, who have to outrun defenders to get open, Harry has the size to force his way open no matter how tightly he’s covered.

“He would be a good matchup for smaller DBs,” quarterback Justin Fields said. “One-on-one, especially red zone, just throwing up a jump ball to him — that’s one of the things he does really well. So just being able to throw more 50-50 balls.”

That all sounds great in theory, particularly to a quarterback who ranks last in the NFL in completions, completion percentage, yards passing, touchdown passes and passer rating. But Harry’s impact is far from a certainty.

None of those assets have gotten him very far in the NFL, and the Bears were able to acquire him for the low price of a 2024 seventh-round draft pick.

The Patriots drafted Harry in the first round at No. 32 overall in 2019, and he flamed out in three seasons. His best performance was in 2020, when he caught 33 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns. He has never put up 75 or more yards in a game.

Both sides were done with each other at that point. Harry requested a trade going into the 2021 season, and while the Patriots didn’t grant him one, he was no longer part of their plans.

He played 12 games after missing time with a preseason shoulder injury and averaged 42% of the snaps when active. He finished with 12 catches for 184 yards.

There was little doubt the Patriots would move on from Harry, and they dealt him to the Bears two weeks before training camp opened.Even with very little time to work together, Fields believed he and Harry established “a good bit” of chemistry.

The Bears also are hoping rookie Velus Jones will be part of their new look on offense.

They drafted Jones in the third round to be a multifaceted playmaker, mainly at wide receiver, but haven’t tested him out yet. He was hurt much of the preseason and missed the first three games, then made his debut as a return specialist against the Giants and muffed a punt with the game on the line.

Jones moved on from that quickly and has been working to prove he can handle a role in the offense this week.

“It’s all about making sure I’m on top of everything,” Jones said. “I’m just trying to show them they can trust me out there.”

Harry and Jones are both unknowns, but the Bears’ known quantities haven’t been giving them enough. Bringing in fresh faces can’t hurt.

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Gratitude, Music, and a Toast to a Tree in Kilbourn Park

Rachelle Bowden had seen the flier for the Outdoor Toasting and Gratitude Event in Kilbourn Park with the illustration of a fiddling cricket and the toad playing the viola, the legend “Here’s to the Memory of Ourselves Without Regret,” the promise of “music, art, snacks, and activity stations.” “Write a Toast to a Tree!” the flier suggested. “Make a Flower for a Friend!” Bowden had posted about the event in the Kilbourn Park Connection Facebook group. But she still wasn’t sure what to expect when she brought her grade-school-age son, Makai, on Tuesday night.

“I was like, treats and stations,” Rachelle said. “We only live a block away. It was low risk.”

Plus, it was Kilbourn Park. When you live near Kilbourn Park, there’s not much else to do but go to Kilbourn Park, an eleven-and-a-half-acre wedge of grass on the Northwest Side, whose eastern edge is defined by the Union Pacific-Northwest Metra tracks.

“We lived in Logan Square for ten years in a condo,” Bowden said. “We were half a block from the Blue Line at California and Milwaukee. We thought we could buy in Avondale, but we couldn’t, so we just kept going up Milwaukee Avenue. Now, I walk a mile to Starbucks. When we were signing the papers, they said, ‘Welcome to the suburbs in the city.’”

Once Bowden moved in, she signed Makai up for Garden Buddies, the toddler gardening class at the Kilbourn Park Greenhouse, one of the Chicago Park District’s three greenhouses. The Lincoln Park and Garfield Park conservatories are the others. Kilbourn Park’s is a lot smaller, with a few plants labeled “Tall Agave” and “Caution: Hot Peppers.”

The gardening program is “something you can’t get in any other park in the city,” Rachelle said. “They had a cocktail party with Revolution Brewing.”

Rachelle and Makai checked in for Outdoor Gratitude and Toasting at a folding table set next to a hawthorn tree. A sign hanging from the branches read “HERE’S TO THIS TREE/SALUD A ESTE ARBOL.”

Saluting a hawthorn tree in Kilbourn Park. Edward McClelland

“We’re inviting people coming today to, say, give thanks to this tree,” said Robin Cline, a member of Opera-Matic, the public art organization throwing the event. “I would give them an opportunity to look at the objects around us and say, ‘Thanks to this tree’; ‘Thanks to this water fountain.’ We want to feel grateful to the people who have helped us make it through the last two or three years.”

Rachelle and Makai each filled out a slip of paper. Rachelle gave thanks to her son Makai: “You are smart and loving and HANDSOME,” she wrote. Makai gave thanks to his dog, KC, “a small, cute, lovable doggo.” The slips were handed to two guitarists and a banjo player sitting under a tree. They were making up gratitude songs on the fly. 

KC, it’s good to know you, doggie,” sang the lead guitarist, Mr. Nick Davio. “You’re so cute and lovable. You’re on a leash, you can’t be beat. KC, one, two, three, I love this dog, oh, can’t you see.”

“Makai, they’re singing about KC!” Rachelle called to her son. She stood in front of the musicians and recorded the song on her phone. It wasn’t going to be released in any other format. 

“I liked it!” Makai said, giving a thumbs up.

The woodchip-covered enclosure between the fieldhouse and the tennis courts was crowded with children from the neighborhood. Opera-Matic members, brightly dressed in pinks, yellows and oranges, helped them construct paper flowers, color a forest scene, and decorate plastic cups full of apple cider.

“This is a toast to somebody’s son, Makai,” said Mr. Nick Davio, introducing the next song. “A toast from your mom, Rachelle.”

Rachelle aimed her camera at the band and pressed “Video.”

You are so smart and caring and handsome,” Mr. Nick Davio sang, off the top of his head. “You know how to dress the best. Got a dog named KC and you’re eating some Chex Mix. We’re just sittin’ around singing a song about Makai, my guy.”

Makai gave that song a thumbs up, too.

Making up songs on the spot — including about a special doggo. Edward McClelland

Makai’s friend Cooper was grateful for his favorite video games: Fortnight, Minecraft, and Grand Theft Auto 5. So the musicians sang about those.

“I was boss of the song,” Cooper bragged. “My friends were just helping me.”

The crescent moon rose over the Metra tracks. The sun set behind the houses on the western edge of the park. The few remaining children gamboled through the Tunnel of Joy — pastel-colored cloths held aloft by the Opera-Matics. The band ran out of toasts and started in on Latin jams, with the help of a late-arriving conga player.

Since it was sponsored by Night Out in the Parks, the Outdoor Toasting and Gratitude is coming soon to a park near you — if you live on the Northwest Side. Next Tuesday, October 11, at 4:30 p.m., it’s happening in Simons Park, 1640 N. Drake Ave., in Humboldt Park. On Tuesday, October 18, it will be in Mozart Park, 2036 N. Avers Ave., in Logan Square. We are grateful for autumn, but after that, the evenings may be too cold to toast the season.

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