In Which We’re Afraid, Very Afraid

If you’re one of those people who actually doesn’t know the millennia old history of Halloween, click here, and get ready to learn. It has some wonderful costume ideas as well as actual knowledge stuff. That should keep you busy for a while.

For the rest of you I’m just going to take a look at the sports world around us.

Here are some reasons for you to have nightmares.

  • Derrek Rose’s Knee. Sure he’s healthy now, but his knees have been blown more often than a sailor on leave. The Bulls, finally realizing that, have put together a good team that could get to the playoffs without him. But they can’t win it all unless he’s 100%. And even then it’s a crap shoot.
  • Da Bears. Let’s face it, even the most ardent fans are coming out of their comas well enough to realize that the Bears just made an average player, with the leadership skills of a rotting pumpkin, the highest paid player in the league. That means they have less money to go get good players. That means this team now is going to be what you see for the next few years.
  • The Hawks. WHY CAN’T THEY SCORE!?!?!?!?!?! That seems to be the keening wail heard most often. Hawks’ fans worry about Sanforized toupees so I don’t pay that much attention. But if they get canned in the first round by the Blues look for Hawks Nation to turn the Madhouse on Madison into a bonfire.
  • The Sox. WHY CAN’T THEY SCORE!?!?!?!?!?! Well, a lot of that had to do with the fact that Kenny Williams was, probably still is, enamored with slow, fat, white guys with big bats. Watching them waddle around the bases was not nearly as exciting as Mr. Williams predicted. Still, even with those days behind them, the Sox have more holes than a moth eaten sheet.
  • The Cubs. They were the Cubs, they are the Cubs and they will always be the Cubs. They have built a team of power hitters who can’t catch or throw the ball. Unless that changes you’re going to see a lot of 16-13 scores and most of them will be losses for the North Side.
  • The Fire. They hate you.
  • The Sky. They don’t hate you. But they’re like that needy cousin who sits in the corner guzzling bourbon while waiting to be loved. You know they’re going to snap and then something is gonna end up on the news.

There you have it. Abandon All Hope All Ye Who Enter Here is now your motto. Those Sarah McLaughlin dead puppy commercials will be the bright spot in your day. You’ll beg for some debilitating disease to cause you long term suffering just to cheer you up.

Happy Halloween.

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In Which That Was Painful

Shellac - (n) The name of one of the best bands you’ve never heard of, led by Chicago legend, singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer Steve Albini.

Shellac - (n) A resin secreted by the female lac bug, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. It is processed and sold as dry flakes, which are dissolved in ethanol to make liquid shellac, which is used as a brush-on colorant, food glaze and wood finish.

Shellacking - (n) When you get beat so bad the welts on your ass beg for mercy.

We will be discussing the latter version here today.

I caught the beginning of the game and it seemed like it might be close. I left partway through the second quarter to run an errand or two and then toddled over to a local watering hole to catch the second half. I walked in with 13:00 left in the 3rd and the Patriots were up 45-7. Obviously it was not going to be as close as I had anticipated.

I’m not sure where to begin. But, for lack of a better place, let’s start with the quarterback. Jay Cutler is not now, nor will he ever be, an elite quarterback. Elite QBs make the team around them look better. I won’t even belabor the obvious comparisons. Simply look at what Kyle Orton has accomplished in Buffalo. Yes, that Kyle Orton and, yes, that Buffalo. And, yes, he’s the guy we got rid of to get Captain Shit-the-Bed (as he is lovingly called in our boards).

Is Trestman a legitimate head coach in the NFL? Last year he seemed so. This year, with an arguably better team on the field, not so much. He gets outmaneuvered at least twice in every game. And while I can’t speak for the mental status of the team, those who can tell me that they’re not paying attention any more.

Which is not a good thing.

One of our favorite Ricks at the Sun Times, this time Telander, takes a look at what happened.

There’s a movie coming out called ‘‘Dumb and Dumber To.’’

I believe I just saw the football equivalent to that scheduled idiot fest. Let’s call it ‘‘Does a Bear [Bleep] in the Woods: Number Two,’’ featuring quarterback Jay Cutler, coach Marc Trestman, defensive end Lamarr Houston (injured while celebrating!), linebacker Shea McClellin (pretzeled), cornerback Al Louis-Jean, defensive end Jared Allen (no sacks), safety Chris Conte (run over by a truck named Gronkowski) and, well, everybody.

This one was smelly.

When receiver Brandon Marshall warned the media not to listen at the locker-room door and cornerback Tim Jennings ominously told us to ‘‘stand back’’ as the Bears stumbled in from their 51-23 shellacking at the hands of the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium, I took their advice. I headed to the Patriots’ interview room.

This bad vibe with the Bears is amusing, particularly as it wafts from Marshall, who caught three passes (on 10 targets) for 35 yards and complained to the refs about the others. That came after a short play he co-authored was put on Friday by Victory Gardens Theater at the Ritz-Carlton.

According to those at the charity event, Marshall and his pregnant wife, Michi, couldn’t have been more cordial and accommodating. And his play, ‘‘Love of the Healing Kind,’’ was heartfelt and dealt with overcoming mental illness through personal kindness and charity.

(Media weren’t included in that largesse, I’ll assume.)

At any rate, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady stood at the rostrum, trying to deflect the praise coming his way in the form of questions about his astounding performance. He was 30-for-35 for 354 yards, five touchdowns, no interceptions, no sacks and a 148.4 passer rating. A halo dropped on his head from heaven.

I’m kidding, but not by much. Brady, 37, is on a sanctified roll almost equal to that of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, 38, who just set the NFL record for most passing touchdowns.

Brady stood in the pocket the way he always does, bouncing on the balls of his feet like a boxer, patting the ball while scanning the field, then rifling a completion to a receiver you never heard of until Brady made him famous.

Yes, you know the great tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was forced from the game in the fourth quarter with dehydration we’ll assume was caused by catching all nine of the passes Brady aimed at him for 149 yards and three touchdowns.

But how much had you thought about receiver Brandon LaFell before Brady loaded him up with a career-high 11 receptions for a career-high 124 yards and a touchdown? Or tight end Tim Wright, who caught seven passes for 61 yards and a touchdown?

Remember that one of Brady’s former tight ends, Aaron Hernandez (175 catches, almost 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2010-12), is now in prison on a murder charge and that little receiver Wes Welker is in his second season with the Broncos.

So Brady simply reloads, making stars of players such as Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and Shane Vereen.

How different from the Bears, who have Cutler throwing to what supposedly is the best trio of Chicago receivers in history in Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett.

Why do Brady and dour, sour, perfectionist coach Bill Belichick continue to make Patriots history? This was, after all, their fourth consecutive game with no turnovers. (Cutler has committed 11 turnovers himself in the Bears’ five losses.) It was also the Patriots’ 71st victory in a row at home when leading at halftime. (The Bears haven’t won at home this season.)

Brady’s five passing touchdowns were the most for him in five years, and his 85.7 percent completion rate was the second-highest in Patriots history.

‘‘I think you rely on a lot of experience over the years,’’ he said. ‘‘There are lots of looks I’ve seen, so it’s hard to really surprise me.’’

He credited the rest to teamwork and to being able to learn from foul-ups past.

‘‘When we got our butts kicked against Kansas City [a 41-14 loss a month ago], you have to put the game behind you, move forward and understand the things you screwed up.’’

I asked Belichick about his relationship with Brady.

‘‘I love coaching Tom,’’ he replied in his monotone.

But I believe him. We believe him.

Cutler and Trestman only can hope to find that chemistry, that blessed roll.

The only rolls these guys will find is at the buffet before they watch film.

And do they really need to watch film on this? Do they not know what happened? It wasn’t just Tom Brady, fawning media post-game aside, it was a collective dump taken on national TV by a team that can’t get out of its own way. They look lost no matter which unit is on the field.

What’s worse is that the offense seems to be regressing each week. Brandon Marshall caught a walloping 3 passes in 10 attempts. .300 is great in baseball, not so hot in football.

On the plus side, the Hawks look poised to make a real run and the NBA finally begins playing for real, so it’s not like you have nothing to root for.

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In Which It’s Da Bears -n- Da Fish

I have been hard on Jay Cutler. Mostly because I don’t like him. As a quarterback. I’ve never met the dude. But knowing that he prefers stupid women tells me a lot about him. He doesn’t like being the dumbest guy in the room. That’s a bit of a problem for him in most rooms.

Also, we already know that he’s wildly inconsistent. He has good games, bad games and some games where he isn’t a factor either way. That’s not an elite QB, that’s some dude who happens to be in a uniform.

But he’s ours and we have to live with him.

Kind of like that gaseous cousin who keeps coming by for holiday parties.

I know Cutler has his fans. Given the internet any idiot can have fans. Hell, I have fans for fuck’s sake. That doesn’t make me an elite QB.

And I also know that his fans rend to write in all caps and wish me Ebola. They are lovely people. If I may use that word.

Still, the Bears are suiting up today against the Fish so let’s let Adam L. Jahns tell us all we need to know.

A fantasy owner’s dream game by New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen on Thursday night — 114 total yards and two touchdown receptions, including a diving 49-yarder, against the New York Jets — warranted at least a phone call.

But brothers will be brothers.

‘‘Ahhhh, he’s overrated,’’ Bears rookie free safety Brock Vereen said. ‘‘No, I couldn’t be happier for him. We’ll worry about him in a week or so, but I hope it doesn’t happen next week.’’

The Miami Dolphins are more than enough to worry about this Sunday for the younger Vereen, a fourth-round pick.

This is a milestone week for him. He got all first-team repetitions in practice at Halas Hall and will make his first career start in place of injured starter Chris Conte.

Vereen tried to sell Sunday as business as usual, but first starts are hardly that, and he knows it.

‘‘Sure, yeah, there’s no need to lie about that,’’ Vereen said. ‘‘But at the same time, it’s about staying focused and being confident.’’

Vereen built that confidence by being the ultimate fill-in player in the secondary. He has played a vital role in the Bears’ three wins, sliding in for the injured and excelling at nickel back against the San Francisco 49ers and free safety against the Jets and Atlanta Falcons.

His performances against the Jets and 49ers were particularly noteworthy, considering both teams were throwing often to rally from deficits.

‘‘He stepped in at some critical moments earlier in the season,’’ strong safety Ryan Mundy said. ‘‘That’s kind of a window into the type of guy that he is and the type of player that he can be.’’

The starting job might go back to Conte when he’s healthy, but Vereen has a chance to raise the Bears’ faith in him, which started on Day 3 of the draft, when they traded up to select him. They believe he can be more than just the sound special-teams player he has been.

‘‘He’s a very mature young man to start off with,’’ Mundy said.

A sign of that would be how Vereen handled earning an extensive look with the starters at organized team activities before falling behind Conte and Danny McCray on the depth chart. Vereen believes he grew from the experience.

‘‘At the pro level, the first thing you learn is that it’s far more than your physical tools,’’ he said. ‘‘I think I’m a better player for that. Where I am now is a much more confident, comfortable player.’’

The Dolphins aren’t the prolific Denver Broncos, but it’s likely they will attack Vereen and test him every down. Vereen might not have the size or the same abilities as Mundy or Conte, but his ‘‘football intelligence,’’ as coach Marc Trestman is known to say, helps.

What does Vereen see in the Dolphins?

‘‘Speed. Speed. Speed,’’ he said. ‘‘Any position you look at, they’ve got speed.’’

If all goes well, Vereen might remain the starter against his brother, Shane, next week on the road against the Patriots.

And if Conte returns from his sprained shoulder, Vereen promises to be ready.

He already has proved he can be.

‘‘Even if you aren’t practicing with the first team throughout the week, mentally, you have to be,’’ Vereen said. ‘‘When you go home, you still have to prepare as if you’re going to start because, like we’ve seen three times this year, anything can happen on the field.’’

COACH’S CORNER

Looking at the Dolphins’ defense with Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer

• ‘‘Their run and pass defense is very good. They’re in the top 10 in both areas. As an overall defense, they’re very physical. They hit the quarterback in every game a bunch of times, and that’s the No. 1 goal in this game is to limit the hits on our quarterback.

• ‘‘You look at Tom Brady, you look at Aaron Rodgers, they were hit multiple times in the game. That’s our No. 1 goal coming out of this game is to keep Jay [Cutler] safe and to keep him in a pocket where he can complete a pass.’’

• ‘‘They do a good job of making five-on-five pass-rush situations. They don’t let you double anybody because a lot of times they’re blitzing and keeping everybody one-on-one and doing that with stunts. They’re violent. They’re good pass rushers in general. As an individual, they’re good. Then you add the element of everybody [having] one defender to block with no help, no slide, no help either way, it’s hard to hold a block that long.’’

• ‘‘Sometimes you’re better off getting everybody out and getting the ball off quicker and then situationally using a max protection to secure more than one-on-one in situations. It’s the timing of the play. It goes back to what I always say: Everybody is involved in a pass protection. A wide receiver who gets open quickly is going to help our pass protection. A quarterback who makes his read quickly is going to help pass protection. And obviously the protectors are going to do it.’’

UNSUNG SPOTLIGHT

Stephen Paea, DT, No. 92

The Bears’ defensive line has spurred the resurgence of the entire defense, and Paea has been a consistent clog.

In a contract year, he’s having his best season, which already includes a career-best four sacks. And he has been helped by other circumstances. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker’s scheme changes fit Paea. The arrivals of defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni and skills-development coach Joe Kim have made a difference. Plus, Paea has stayed healthy after injuries derailed his first three seasons.

He said he’s striving to be an ‘‘overall effective [defensive] tackle in this league.’’

‘‘This year, I’m comfortable in my pass rush,’’ Paea said. ‘‘This league is different now. Even though I’m a nose tackle, I’ve got to be able to show them I can pass rush.’’

WATCH LIST

Five players to watch on the Bears and Dolphins

BEARS

QB JAY CUTLER: ‘‘Our wins and losses come down to us protecting the ball offensively — not fumbling, not turning it over, and we win. That’s the formula.’’— offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer

RB MATT FORTE: ‘‘Like I always say, I’m like the fine wine. Get better with age.’’

LT JERMON BUSHROD: ‘‘Jermon has played at Pro Bowl levels in the past and is a very good left tackle. To have him back, it’s definitely a boost.’’ — Kromer

LB SHEA McCLELLIN: ‘‘Can he pick up where he left off, build on that and continue to improve? That remains to be seen, but that will be our biggest challenge as he returns.’’ — linebackers coach Reggie Herring

LB JON BOSTIC: ‘‘We’ll have to see where he’s at [with his back injury] and how [defensive coordinator] Mel [Tucker] feels mentally that he’s ready to play.’’ — coach Marc Trestman

DOLPHINS

QB RYAN TANNEHILL: ‘‘Their quarterback is a factor running the ball. It’s a read-zone week for us and that type of thing.’’ — Tucker

RB LAMAR MILLER: ‘‘He’s got tremendous speed and vision, and he can get to full speed in about a step-and-a-half. If you give him room, it’s going to be a long day.’’ — Tucker

DE CAMERON WAKE: ‘‘Cameron Wake is a Pro Bowler and a guy we have to get some chips on and help our tackles out with that.’’ — Forte

CB BRENT GRIMES: ‘‘Grimes is a technician. He’s super-duper focused. I don’t understand how this guy wasn’t drafted. I don’t understand how the Falcons let him go.’’ — Bears receiver Brandon Marshall

KR JARVIS LANDRY: ‘‘Landry is going to be a chore to cover because he’s an explosive player and they’ve got the best return team in the league.’’ — Trestman

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In Which I’m Curious

I Am Curious Yellow is a 1969 attempt at erotica that I had the misfortune of seeing. And because stupid people will pay to see boobs the film made millions of dollars and spawned a sequel, I Am Curious Blue. I thought of those films today because I’m wondering why anyone with a pulse would pay hundreds of dollars to go see the Bears. This team, like bad porn, continues to tease and disappoint.

After four weeks of flaccid defense the team discovered a method to allow them to bring their turgid (team) members to the fore. And, sadly, it was all for naught as the offense and the special teams just laid down and said “THE HELL WITH THE LUBE! JUST DO IT!!!”

Because, folks, I hate to break this to you but the Panthers aren’t good. They need to have a perfect game to attain mediocrity.

And yet they had their way with the Bears like a deleted scene from Caligula.

And the thing of it is that this team should be good. They should contend.

But, instead, we get week after week’s worth of weak excuses. And they all center around the same guy.

As Rick Morrisey notes, Jay Cutler just isn’t very good.

A lot of people are wasting a lot of time on X’s and O’s these days.

A media cottage industry has sprung up around the Bears, filled with game-tape junkies who break down how intricately designed plays are supposed to work, where the combatants should be on the field at any given moment and what techniques players should be using, down to the facial tic. The average news consumer might as well be trying to read Mandarin or interpret whale sounds.

None of the strategy stuff mattered when it really ­mattered Sunday.

The Bears’ 31-24 loss to the Panthers came down to who made plays and who didn’t when the game was on the line.

Jay Cutler didn’t. He wasn’t the only one, just the one we’ve seen starring in this role much too regularly.

Go ahead and analyze Sunday’s debacle all you want, but this was about the ability to thrive in the clutch. When the Bears needed Cutler to deliver in the fourth quarter, he delivered to the Panthers.

The film critics probably will look at his overthrow to Santonio Holmes and see a footwork issue or a release-point problem or a play-calling mistake. I see a guy who can’t come through when his team needs him to be great.

Trying to quantify nerve and pluck is like trying to quantify air. I might not be able to see it, but I know when it’s not there.

I’m beyond expecting any different from Cutler. I’m not Charlie Brown thinking he’ll finally be able to kick the football. I know what Cutler is, and yet I still find myself amazed at how consistently inconsistent he is. Or maybe I’m just impressed that someone can be so maddeningly mercurial on a regular basis. Even his most ardent supporters have to cringe when he has the ball in his hands with the game on the line.

He has loads of talent around him in Martellus Bennett, Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte, and it’s still not enough. It will never be enough with this guy. Something always goes wrong. You can count on it like the four seasons.

In the fourth quarter, the Bears were 0-for-3 on third-down attempts, had 31 yards of total offense (thanks, in part, to three sacks) and fumbled twice. Forte fumbled on the series after Cutler’s interception, so there’s plenty of blame to go around for the loss. But over the years, one guy’s name comes up over and over again in all the crime-scene investigations.

Some of you will wonder if Cutler’s diabetes is an issue. I usually get a few emails from readers about this after he struggles. All I know is that no one brings it up when he’s playing well. And he has steadfastly refused to use it as an excuse.

Over on the winning side, Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly finished with 15 tackles, according to press-box statistics, and who knows what that number will be when his coaches finish looking at the game tape? He was everywhere. He is that rare combination of speed, intelligence and drive. He makes plays in big moments and in smaller ones. The Bears don’t have anybody like that at any position.

The loss to the Panthers dropped the Bears to 2-3. They are in that muddle of middling teams with middling records that tease their fans with promises of good times ahead. But Chicago seems to finally be uniting in its weariness of Cutler. The city has seen the same thing from the ­quarterback too many times to buy it. To expect him at 31 to suddenly become a ­dynamic, efficient quarterback is the definition of insanity. You’ve expected it since 2009. It hasn’t happened. If coach Marc Trestman’s cerebral approach hasn’t tamed the mistake-prone beast, it’s safe to assume no one’s ­approach will.

Trestman had a rough game as well. The Bears abandoned the vertical game in favor of short passes to Forte. When you have ­Jeffery and Marshall, you don’t take what the defense gives you. You take what you want. The Bears went docile.

“We didn’t score enough points to win,’’ Trestman said. “I assume responsibility for that.’’

I’d love to be able to read the coach’s mind. He might think of Cutler exactly what he says about him at news conferences, that his quarterback is special. But I wonder if something else has elbowed its way in there: “Uh-oh.’’

Given that series of safe dinks I’m beginning to wonder if Trestman has lost faith in Smokin’ Jay. Going for safe, high percentage, passes when thrusting deep into opposing tundra was called for tells me that something’s wrong. As Rick notes, with the talent they have they shouldn’t take what they’re given, they should take what they want.

By the way, that works for football, not dating. Please don’t confuse the two.

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In Which We Discuss Sports

I have been putting in 70 to 80 hour weeks and, as such, have been a bad Jay the Joker. My apologies. I am told that this will, sooner rather than later, benefit me. Clearly I believe this to be true or I wouldn’t be doing it. Still, it really cuts in on my play time.

A quick, funny, story before we begin. I know this young lady who sees me a couple of time a month at a local watering hole. Recently she decided, at no urging from me, to “blow this Popsicle stand” and go to her place. Since I was pretty sure she didn’t just want to play Chutes and Ladders, I said yes. The next morning she rolled over and said “You know, for a 40 something dude, you have a lot of energy.” I pointed out that I’m 53 and have never heard from, or seen, her again.

Such is my life.

Okay, back to sports.

DA BEARS! Here’s what we know 1/4 into the season. They have no depth. If they lose a starter they’re fucked. We also know that Jay Cutler is who we thought he was and no one is impressed. That said, in this parity driven NFL, that doesn’t preclude this team from winning more games than they lose and contending for the Super Bowl. You just have to live with the fact that this team is not going to be great. Now all you have to do is hope that good is good enough.

DA HAWKS! Depth is not an issue here. They have an entire minor league that could be a contending team in the NHL. Given the rigors of the schedule and the violence of the game I think it will be a long time before we see back to back Cup winners. That said, I see no reason that this team can’t win every other year. I, like many others, have no idea why the signed Car Bomb again. But I, like many others, have questioned some of their roster moves before only to see them work out very well. Or, in the case of dudes I didn’t want to see traded, had it proven to me why they’re gone. Also, if you get the chance, catch the Halcones Negros de Chicago en Epspanol on the radio. It’s not a regular thing but when they do it those dudes are amped.

Dangerously so.

DA FIRE! Still hate their fans, still can’t win and still won’t get any pub here.

DA SKY!! Well, they gave it a hell of a ride this year and look poised to do so again. I’m glad for them. I’ve wanted to support them for a while but they kept shooting themselves in the foot. Now they seem to have shrugged off their fear of success and are set to be another Chicago team worth cheering. Also, another team with some real depth. Their #6 could easily be a #1 on other teams. Hell, so could their #’s 8 or 9. Even if your knowledge of women playing basketball is limited to the LBL this is still a team worth supporting.

DA BULLS! Derrick Rose is back. So far his knees look good and his shot looks like shit. He couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn with a cannon at 20 paces. Oddly enough, I’m not really sure that matters. This team has been built around Joakim Noah with Rose being looked at as a luxury. When I mentioned that was a good path to follow a year and a half ago I received death threats. And I took them seriously enough to ignore. Still, what else could the Bulls do? Rose is a risk and Noah isn’t. Who the hell thought that would be true a couple of years ago? That said, what we want and what we get, see my story above, aren’t always the same. The Bulls seem to be doing a good job of living in the the real world. And now that the Heat are a joke, this could be an interesting season.

DA CUBS! This team leaves me with mixed emotions. The only way I can deal with them is to separate the ownership from the rest. The owners are self absorbed idiots. They stroll that fine line between clueless fools and money grubbing tea baggers. That’s a tough line to find when one of the owners is a progressive lesbian, but there you have it. It’s like they went out of their way to get where they’re at. So, thanks to this fact, the fate of the team is ow in the hands of a federal judge. Won’t it be fun if he issues a work stoppage order now that the walls have been torn down? Yeah, I think so too. The team on the field, however, is interesting. They need 4 pitchers, 2 starters and 2 in the pen, and they need one vet to tutor the kids. The rest is already here or coming by June. A team built exclusively on free swinging, defensively challenged, misfits could do some damage during the season.  Oh, they’ll get killed in the post season, if they make it, when defense is key. But a team full of Dave Kingmans could be fun to watch.

DA SOX! Depth is an issue for them too. Butt not as much as it was 3 years ago. Hahn has done a good job of shoring things up on the fly. They still need a right handed starter and a left handed bat to sit between Abreu & Garcia, but that’s about it. Flowers is going to be their catcher for a while since they value defense so heavily. That doesn’t mean they won’t get a veteran back up, but he’s their guy and that’s the end of that discussion. Every pitcher they have loves this guy and that counts for something. Believe it or not. As to John Danks, I think you need to shorten your view to the end of the season. That’s when he made the adjustment that Cooper had been begging him to do. The result was a plummeting ERA and a lot more innings pitched. If, and that’s a BIG IF, he can keep that up for a season then this team will be a lot more deadly.  Now that they’ve shed all of their egregious contracts (THANKS K-DUB!) they should have the financial freedom to build the team Hahn wants. Given his oft stated desire for a team with a high battering average and great defense, that happens to be the team I want as well.

What a coinky-dink.

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