Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Chicago bears win two in a row for the first time since 2015. When by now they’re expected to be at best 1-5. At 4-5 everyone is talking playoffs and the drafting of Mitchell Trubisky is seen as the best thing that could happen to this team. When we were thinking about that 1-5 start the question was which one. That answer was Pittsburgh. The only team Mike Glennon beat in his short stint as Bears starter. At three wins it was more than they won last year. At four wins people are starting to think their jobs are safe. The something happens that give the Bears and the city of Chicago even more hope: Aaron Rodgers gets hurt and possibly done for the season. No one wants see another player get injured in this time when parents are considering whether or not it’s the best thing to do to let their children play football. But a chance to beat Green Bay at least once in a season regardless who is behind center is always good.

We’re still several games away from .500 and after this weekend losing to the Packers minus Aaron Rodgers the mood is dark in the city. Once again every move by John Fox and Ryan Pace gets questioned and would there be some sort of distraction like a fight and the loser stalk the sideline pouty like. The offensive line is busted up, players playing out of position. No wide receiving corps to speak of and the defense at times prove they are human. This is why people are calling for the heads of the current regime to roll. This isn’t a team that is anywhere near playoff ready and won’t be anytime soon. They are however have more wins than the Browns and the Forty Niners combined.

Our Quarterbacks will look different next year especially with Glennon being gone. Will the Bears have to relive it all over again with Trubisky having to look over his shoulder. But this time against a talent that was drafted at his proper position in the draft not by giving up the house on a chance he’ll be the Quarterback of the future this time. No one wants a statue as their signal caller. Let me even more Monday morning quarterback it, I actually saw someone with a Glennon jersey in Chicago. Whoever sold that jersey is still laughing about that sale.
The 2017 baseball season is over. A post season I can only call milquetoast is over. The most talented team didn’t win but the band of brothers. I didn’t have the Astros in the World Series. The most compelling series the division series including the Cubs and Nationals. How many managers were fired after losing series? The Cubs weren’t built for success in 2017. Certainly not for a World Series Run. That they got to the League Championship says the Head Man deserves Manager of the year. However questions can be asked count your blessings Chicago. Should there not be the success these years I would pick up torches with you. There are huge holes the Cubs have to fill and tripping over yourselves to figure out who is going to be coaching first base doesn’t tell us what they’re going to be doing about Jason Heyward.

The Dodgers became a beast after watching the Cubs celebrate their ring ceremony. Then losing two out of three in Chicago early in the season. Getting dust kicked in your face by the team that took the pennant from you the previous season.

The Cubs did what a decent team with a good manager does. I think Joe Maddon took losing pretty hard as well. He was the last to finally admit/accept the limits of his team but was able to win with what he had. Had he lost in the division series would he be like the other managers who lost their job? The National League has more teams that are ready to runaway with their division than the American League but the post season is what counts. What stuck out in this year’s playoffs is how little players hit. The Cubs changed their hitting coach because of lack of hitting against the Dodgers when the last two World Series was about pitching. Everyone could see that the Cubs were an all or nothing team. This helped them to score more runs than any other team in the second half.

The Cubs have a lot of work to do. They have an over abundance of position players they can trade that Maddon can put out the same line up every day and players who deserve to play every day can do just that. We can throw a few names out there like Ian Happ, Addison Russel and as much as it pains me, Kyle Schwarber since they aren’t going to put him back behind the plate. But you cannot let Jake Arrieta walk.

Once again a lot of good men lost their jobs or changed teams. Men who were once managers are now looking at coaching jobs and men who were once coaches like Davey Martinez leaving the Cubs and taking the Washington job. Is it easier for a man with a readymade team with win now aspirations or taking over a team with no chance to win for a few years? This is a league where you tip your cap to his people but accuse him of tipping his pitches.

Chicago is not a city starve for post season success. But they are prickly about their baseball teams. Pay Arrieta what he’s worth and bench Heyward for Almora. Trade for pitching off the big league club if we have to but enough with questioning Joe Maddon and give him what he wants.

Friday, October 20, 2017

I could list any number of things that went wrong  or right with the 2017 Cubs. It’s been since before any of us were born that the Chicago Cubs went to three league championships in a row considering the current playoff system did not exist before the 1990’s. This team was less frustrating than the 2016 team. With some rest and some changes this team will be back in the NLCS at the very least in 2018.  How could we complain with the Black hawks getting swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs after having the best record in the NHL Western Division?

I call it my Cub coma. Hey did exactly what they were supposed to do. They made the season entertaining and they were competitive. We had other clubs in the city of Chicago who aren’t going to make the post season for years to come in three different sports. No one recognizes half of the players on the Chicago Bulls and a quick fist by Bobby Portis to Nikola Mirotic might be the only way anyone pays attention to that team. The Bears after five game into the season have switched starting quarterbacks. The White Sox are selling off their assets in hopes they will one day look like the Cubs quick.

Fans have questioned Joe Maddon since game six of the World Series of his use of Aroldis Chapman. They make it to the League championship with a bunch of kids at their core some still on rookie contracts. Then There is Jason Heyward. Not yet thirty years old but has shown he’s not an everyday player. An offensive liability.

Maddon knows exactly what he has and put the best of them on the field. No one will take on Heyward’s contract six years left on it. Expect to see him benched more often long as Maddon is at the helm. Give Albert Almora a chance to play everyday. Put Kyle Schwarber back behind the plate or trade him. The Cubs had better figure out what to do with him before some other team does. Or quit belly aching about his strike outs and low batting average but thirty homeruns per year.

What this team should be sorry about is the runs they left on base and the first inning home runs they gave up. Let’s bid adieu to 2017 and not have leaks of infighting. Bad blood. Let’s believe these boys loved one another. Glad they’re not one for social media controversy. Besides allegations of domestic violence against Addison Russel. Miguel Montero mouthing off how slow Jake Arrieta is to the plate. Domestic violence is no joke but the court of law has yet to weigh in. I am of a mind to let this season sunset and move on.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Cubs win the division and are set to defend their World Series Championship what none of the other playoff contenders can say. They start out with Washington on Friday the 6th of October. For Cub fans to outwit a former manager is paramount matters not that he was the last manager to get the Cubs closest to the World Series before Maddon. It is hard to outlive Cub lore.
This is a great stage and five games of hatred. I think the Cubs can win if this doesn’t become a series of one bull pen against the other. The Cubs can match anyone bat for bat. A starting staff coming into its own at the right time. They can go deep into games minimizing the use of the relievers. Their Achilles heel.
They’re going in with their starting staff  In tact and the comical question of which one should start the series. There are five good ones to choose from. Then which one goes into the bull pen for long relief? We’ll have to see how Quintana handles the success of being in the post season for the first time. Otherwise he’d be in the middle of a rebuild on the South Side for the rest of his career.
I think about the Dusty baker years with that freaking tooth pick always in his mouth. But he had the Cubs on the precipice of a World Series appearance in 2003. I’d never seen so many grown ups cry. With the rival White Sox winning it in 2005. Sammy Sosa gone by then. The Lou Piniella disaster yet to come.
The Dusty Baker years in Chicago is lush with story lines with a horrible ending. GM at the time Jim Hendry did his best to put great players on the field and yet could not win. Let’s not forget the steroid era would come to Chicago during these years. He benefitted from it and it eventually tore the team apart. I figure this is one team the Cubs match up well with and should be one of the more interesting series of the playoffs. They only have to win one more series to get back to the World Series. A rematch with the Indians perhaps.
The Cubs will get stronger as the playoffs go on. They will pitch like they did in 2016. Some of them won’t be back next year. Nothing to do but let it loose. Maddon will have some tricks up his sleeve for going back to back with this team. For Cubs fans a driving force is fourteen years later we’re still mad.

The idea that student athletes should be able to transfer without sitting out a year is finally striking a blow against a system that makes billions of dollars off of these talented youngsters. If a coach can get fired from a program one day and get signed to a school another day is more than unfair considering what he or she is leaving behind. Could be sanctions, top recruits. Fans. A program in ruins. This is a part of the argument for paying players and why the one and done system in college basketball is a farce.

College sports is a confusing as any math equation. The only thing that is clear is what kids cannot do. The sure the hell don’t understand why they cannot do it but according to the NCAA there are a ton of reasons why. So to get out from the weight of it even if allegations come out years after the player is gone they jump ship to the pro’s as fast as they are able.  Like any major organization no one considers the lives that are affected by scandal. They are far reaching with the many schools under the umbrella of the NCAA and as we’ve seen it takes just a single over eager individual to bring the whole thing down.

Professional sports teams spare no expense to get a player to sign with their team. While colleges will stalk a player from before he or she is high school age. They’ll make promises that these kids cannot refuse and their parents will never be able to offer their star no matter how many jobs they work. The parents become as complicit in the wrong doing just to see their child get opportunities they will never see themselves.

Besides that the children are plied with everything from alcohol to strippers on campus visits. These are things that no parent can stand for and are usually unaware of except someone speaks out confirming the idea that college campus’ are wild and unruly places with no protection of some of the most vulnerable of society.

I think it is a good idea to let players transfer when they want as we know they only get a certain amount of time to play. There should be consideration why they are leaving the program. Think Penn State. Adding money via stipend beyond scholarship money might be the best way to pay players but it has to be done.