Friday, October 29, 2010

Chicago White Sox Pass Up Future Star To Continue With Losing Past....

Ozzie MLB Photo-thumb-275x235-195645.jpg
Apparently saying goodbye is the hardest thing for the Chicago White Sox to do. A great job of reporting today from Chris DeLuca and the Chicago Suntimes in this morning's edition breaking the story that the Chicago White Sox indeed were allowing other teams (in this instance the Florida Marlins) to talk to Ozzie Guillen about moving on from the south side to their destination. According to DeLuca's major league sources, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was intent on making "The Blizzard Of Oz" his next manager where the talks between the two organizations involved a trade for the rights of Guillen for top prospect and right fielder Mike Stanton.

Of course we know now that the Chicago White Sox have made it official that Ozzie Guillen is indeed coming back in 2011 to manage the White Sox in his final year of an extension he signed in 2007. At the time I did not like the move and even before the season began I stated that if Ozzie Guillen does not make the post season in 2010, that the White Sox need to move on from Guillen. However if this story is indeed true that the White Sox are more interested in the services of a manager over a possible franchise player in Stanton, White Sox fans need to really look at their organization.

Who is really running this team and is the decision to keep Ozzie Guillen really the best move going forward?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Don't Expect Too Much From Your 2010-2011 Chicago Bulls.....

Tonight the most anticipated NBA regular season in recent memory begins on the local level as the Chicago Bulls begin their 2010-2011 season in Oklahoma City. With new Head Coach Tom Thibodeau at the helm and a roster that is 75% new to wearing the red and white, the Bulls go into the season projected by many to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Of course with any new season fans are going to project where they believe this team finishes in a Eastern Conference and a league that is extremely "top heavy."

By "top heavy" I mean you can look at the NBA and pretty much know exactly which teams will be at the top of the league. More than any sports league, the NBA is the most predictable American sport in the land and I believe to a certain extent that does not help. In the NFL, NHL, and MLB you do not have players scheming to team up with one another to "dominate" the league (see the Miami Heat). You know that the Lakers will rule the west, and the east is a battle among the Celtics, Magic and Heat to see who will lose to the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

Am I wrong?

But in a league that is so predictable, how predictable are the Chicago Bulls? With a record of 41-41 in each of the last two seasons making the postseason both years, what defines a successful year for the Chicago Bulls?


Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Morning Quarter-Bashing Of Jay Cutler Needs To Stop....

How would you describe Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler?

Cocky? Yeah

Risk-taker? Absolutely

Moody? Maybe

But the next in line of disappointing Chicago Bears quarterbacks since the 1985 Chicago Bears....that's not fair to say. I find it amazing in the 18 months since the Chicago Bears made the trade for Jay Cutler how fans' perception of #6 has gone from savior to villain. Yesterday was not Cutler's best day as quarterback of the Chicago Bears and it has not been his worst either. Yet I find it amazing how people are now starting to question if the trade for Cutler was a good move in the first place. Fans and some media asking if Jay Cutler at the young age of 27 is done as a professional quarterback in the National Football League.

The Monday morning quarter-bashing of Jay Cutler needs to stop.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Players/Fans Need Reality Check On Devastating Hits "Rule"....

When did football fans turn into the Roman Empire rooting for the lions to devour on the criminals of the country? This past week has embarrassed me as a football fan and I feel compelled the scream to the masses of humanity what idiots we sound like. Players and fans alike.

This week the NFL established a new level or fines and suspensions for what was first termed "devastating hits" either to the head and/or neck. NFL football operations executive Ray Anderson has since backed off the vague term "devastating hits" saying it was not his "word" and clarifying that the new rules will adapt to:

"Flagrant and egregious violations of our current rules, we will be enforcing, effective immediately, discipline at a higher level."

In other words the NFL is simply enforcing further what the current rules for illegal hits to the head already are. So why all the fuss over a more strict enforcement of what the rule book already states? Are we (football fans) that protective of a game that violence is only a fraction of what is encompassed in the game itself?

We really need to grow up people.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cubs/Ricketts Takes Another Step Backwards With Hiring Of Mike Quade....

The Chicago Cubs have their new manager! Let's say hello to Mike Quade.

1985-1986 - Manager Macon Pirates
1989-1990 - Manager Rockford Expos
1991-1992 - Manager Harrisburg Senators (Minor League Manager Of The Year)
1993 - Manager Ottawa Lynx (Minor League Manager Of The Year)
1994-1995 - Manager Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons
1996 - Manager West Michigan Whitecaps
1997 - Manager Huntsville Stars
1998 - Manager Edmonton Trappers
1999 - Manager Vancouver Canadians
2000-2002 - Oakland Athletics First Base Coach
2003-2006 - Manager Iowa Cubs
2006-2010 - Third Base Coach Chicago Cubs/Interim Manager (Aug. 22)

Minor League Record: 1,213 - 1,165 (17 seasons)
Triple A Record: 314-248 (3 seasons)

Among all the candidates that were available, the Chicago Cubs chose to go with Mike Quade and his 24-13 record as a manager of the Chicago Cubs before even talking to eventual free agent manager Joe Girardi.

This is the another step backwards in the one year history of the Ricketts regime.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Chicago Bears Not Who We Think They Are....It's Who They Are

"The Bears are who we thought they were!"


So easy to sit back and wait for defeat when a football team is surprising out of the gate winning games they were not supposed to win. We all know the Bears overcame opponents with technicalities (Detroit), bad play calling (Dallas), overwhelming dumb mental mistakes (Green Bay), and just simply a flat out horrible excuse for a NFL team (Carolina) to stand at a record of 4-1 heading home to play back to back games before the bye week. The Bears were not playing great football. The Bears were not dominating teams week in and week out. The Bears were just playing well enough to squeak out wins. All the winning aside as with any team the Chicago Bears flaws are even more glaring week in and week out simply because they have yet to improve on them through six games.

It is not that "The Bears are who we thought they were", it is more "The Bears are what they are." Not good enough.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Mike Ditka Clueless With Comments On Jen Sterger.....

There is something about the old school football male that screams what we have termed in sports radio as "meatball." For example someone who still compares the current-day Chicago Bears team to the 1985 "Monsters Of The Midway". The guy who prefers fire and passion over talent (i.e. Aaron Rowand over Jim Thome). Someone whose attire still to this day mimics the very popular SuperFans skit from the late 1980's early 1990's Saturday Night Live days.

We all know someone like this and we love them for being that one guy we know who is more stuck in the past than concentrating on the future. Referencing the clan of Todd O'Connor, Pat Arnold, Carl Wollarski and Bill Swerski at a table at Ditka's restaurant: the person who that fine establishment is named for is in the news again. Not for a new salsa line or another cover of Cigar Magazine, but his take on Brett Favre and his recent alleged pictures he sent to then New York Jets employee Jen Sterger.

Like many of his fans and followers, Iron Mike is so stuck in the past that someone needs to shut the old "coach" up.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

The NFC North Is The Chicago Bears To Lose.....

Few things are certain in the National Football League. Peyton Manning having a great season. A controversial call in which replay does not overturn. Roger Goodell suspending somebody.
One thing that we all do every season experts and fans alike is make predictions on who we believe will win the Super Bowl and how our local/favorite team will fare. With those predictions, certainly most of them will be wrong and that is what makes sports fun. The opportunity after a long NFL season to either puff out your chest and say "I told you so" or to harp on your friends and let them know how wrong their projections were.

Going into the 2010 Chicago Bears season after a winless pre-season with very little to be excited about, most experts and fans had this team finishing the year at a little better than .500 at best. Some choose to predict better and some predict worse of course, but without a doubt very few predicted the 4-1 start that the Bears are off to. Each week and each win the flaws seem magnified even more but the wins keep stacking up.

As I was finding it hard to believe in this Bears team and I believe that lady luck is indeed on their side in 2010, the NFC North is now theirs to lose.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brett Favre Must Face Maximum Punishment If Pictures Are Proven True....

Over the past couple of years there has been a disturbing trend that has developed in sports that as time goes on will become more and more a daily staple of sports conversation on radio, in print and on television. Time and time again the modern day athlete gets caught up in the "TMZ" type culture of the new media forums of today. From Big Ben allegedly forcing a woman to stay in his company to young shirtless superstars of the NHL caught on candid camera in a limo drinking the night after a tough loss.

I am not here to play moral police because I believe at one time or another in our lives we do something stupid that we totally regret and wish would have never happened. The difference between the dumb things we do and the dumb things athletes do is simply their star is larger and their stories make money. From Tiger Woods to Michael Jordan, athletes live in a different reality than the rest of the world and the their reality is what drives businesses like the ones I work for and the ones you listen/watch/read. known for breaking the TMZ side of sports reporting (hence why a TMZ Sports is in the works) published a two minute video including some alleged voicemails and some pictures NSFW of apparently Brett Favre. The NFL is investigating the matter in which Brett Favre allegedly sent this pictures to then New York Jets reporter Jenn Sterger. News of the photos have not only made the rounds of tabloid magazine and newspapers, but now national television and radio shows.

The independent investigation being done by the NFL is reportedly moving at a rapid pace. If indeed these pictures are of Brett Favre and he violates the NFL's personal conduct policy, he should be suspended for the remainder of the regular season.


Monday, October 11, 2010

The Chicago Bears Luck Continues With Win In Carolina....

The NFL season is now five weeks old and we can finally start to weed out the contenders from the pretenders.

At least....we think so!

This has been a most unusual five weeks in the NFL season because almost everything we expected has turned upside down and made some of the best experts look like average NFL fans. Did anyone have the Kansas City Chiefs as the last undefeated team standing in the NFL? Did anyone have the Detroit Lions has the highest scoring offense in the NFC? Did anyone have the San Francisco 49ers with the same record as the Buffalo Bills after five weeks?

Probably the biggest shock of them all is the Chicago Bears are 4-1 and leading the NFC North over the highly powered Green Bay Packers. That and the Indianapolis Colts are only a game over .500 after five weeks, but let's concentrate on the Bears. Looking at the way the Bears have made it to their record however, do we still know exactly how good these Chicago Bears are yet?


Friday, October 8, 2010

Why Expanded Replay Makes No Sense For Major League Baseball....

Every postseason baseball fans have the same debate all over again about how or should instant replay be instituted in Major League Baseball. Every postseason there is a fair/foul call, a questionable hit by pitch or a check swing that was/was not called that lights up the ire of today's baseball fan. Have we not realized by now that its the technology itself that could possibly ruin the game forever?

I never realized till now how much umpires have been the new marked man in sports. We the fans have turned our attention away from players who may be "cheating" the game itself and found ourselves a new enemy not wearing one of the 30 team uniforms of a major league team. Men who do not bat for power or average or run at lightning speeds to steal bases. Technology has made the umpires public enemy number one and it is simply not fair to force them out of a job. That is what "expanded" replay would do because once you expand, no matter the style of expansion, it will never be enough.

Using last nights examples in the Yankees/Twins game and the Rangers/Rays game, these are perfect examples of why "expanded" replay would do no good.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cubs Take A Step Backwards If Mike Quade Is Next Manager...

What a great time to be a baseball fan. 70 Degree weather outside, the leaves start to turn color and once again there is postseason baseball all day long today with no Chicago teams involved. All is well in the world. As exciting as the kick off of baseball's postseason is, there seems to be something missing and once again it is the disappointing fact that no Chicago team is involved.

Some would say if "we" have no horse in the race than why should "we" care. Some root on former players/managers who have made their way through the windy city to their current destination representing that team on the journey to the fall classic. Some just watch baseball because the constant barrage of Chicago Bears coverage gets sickening to a certain extent.

However there is a lot to do here at home in Chicago with both baseball franchises as one tries to decide to give it one more go-round for a shot at a title, and one looks for a new manager. Peter Gammons visited with Mully And Hanley back in early July and warned Cubs fans of the possibility of Mike Quade being successful that it would be tough not to give him the job. With a 24-13 record to finish the year helping spoil the postseason dreams of the upstart San Diego Padres at the end of the season, Mike Quade is indeed the top candidate right now to be manager of the Chicago Cubs in 2011.

He may be the leading candidate, but he cannot be the ultimate winner for the job.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Juice Williams A Quarterback For The Chicago Bears??

As horrible as the Chicago Bears loss to the New York Giants was on Sunday night, the worst part about it could be yet to come. The Giants set a NFL record for most sacks in a half with nine beatings on Jay Cutler ultimately with the Bears' franchise quarterback sidelined for the remaining 30 minutes of the game with a concussion. Judging from what Lovie Smith said yesterday in his press conference with the assembled media, he expects Jay Cutler to be ok and ready to play by game time on Sunday in North Carolina.

What Bears fans should fear the most is if indeed if Jay Cutler is out for any significant period of time, you can simply consider the season over for the Chicago Bears. The Chicago Bears back up quarterback situation is easily one of the worst in the league. Comprised of 38 year old Todd Collins and 25 year old Caleb Hanie, they have combined for a total of three regular season starts in the last ten years. There is no Michael Vick, Mark Brunell, or even Bruce Gradkowski waiting in the wings when/if number six falls to injury.

Or is there......??


Friday, October 1, 2010

LeBron James "Race Card" Nothing More Than Smart Business.....

In an interview with CNN's Soledad O'Brien, The self anointed "King" LeBron James said that race "played a factor" in the extreme backlash he has felt since "The Decision" aired on ESPN television on July 8th of this year. I am a 29 year old white American so my personal experience witnessing racism in my life is extremely limited. However I will not come out and say that racism does not exist in current day 21st century America. But on the way home from working another week of The Mully And Hanley Show on WSCR The Score, it finally dawned on me what LeBron truly wanted his "race" comments to mean and I sat back and laughed.

As I followed the "LeBron-A-Thon" throughout the seven days where LeBron was an official free agent welcoming teams to come to Cleveland to make their pitch for the two time NBA MVP, we all knew in the back of our minds that if he did not choose Cleveland "The King" would feel some sort of backlash. You can debate the extreme nature of the backlash he has faced since "taking his talents to Miami" if it would have been less harsh if he were to go to New Jersey, Chicago, New York, etc. For LeBron James to insert race into the reasoning why the backlash has been so severe shows his mis-understanding and youthful incompetence of exactly how he acted during the "LeBron-A-Thon" itself.

Or does it? Could this be just the latest in intelligent marketing by "The King" himself?