Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Watchu talkin 'bout willis...

Football tough guy Brian Urlacher dresses his son in pink Cinderella diapers and paints the 3-year-old's toenails blue, the child's mother charged in Will County court Tuesday. The mother, Tyna Robertson, threatened to block Urlacher from seeing the boy if the beefy linebacker keeps it up. Urlacher's attorney, Anita Ventrelli, filed a motion trying to stop Robertson from keeping 3-year-old Kennedy away from Urlacher. Robertson, in court for a hearing on the motion, said she would allow the visitation, as long as Urlacher puts away the Bears-blue nail polish and puts their son in gender appropriate pull-up diapers. After the hearing, Robertson claimed her son has become confused by the toenail panting and wearing pull-ups designed for little girls. "He pulls down his pants and says, 'Mommy, look how pretty they are,' " she said. Robertson also said Kennedy told her, "Big boys paint their nails," and said he refused to take a bath for two days to keep the blue polish on his nails from washing off. "He'd say, 'Mommy, I don't want to get my nails wet. I don't want to mess them up,'" she said. "It took two hours to get him in the bath." Robertson said her pleas to Urlacher to get him to cease the toenail painting and Cinderella diapering went unheeded. "He says he can do whatever he wants," Robertson said. "[Urlacher said], 'It doesn't make him feminine. It doesn't make him gay.' She said, "You're confusing him, if he's a boy or a girl." Asked to comment on the toenail and diaper claims, Ventrelli shot back, "Typical Tyna, talking to the press, as in virtually every other instance." He declined further comment. (

What kind of bullshit is this? Look lady, if you want to get paid more for child support, at least put some effort into making up a believable story like "he's hung like a moose and I can't take it" or "he forces our 3 year old son to wear Old Spice and tackle random strangers."

This is cleary taken out of context. Sure, maybe Urlacher paints his kids toenails Bears Blue. That's cool, no big deal, kind of like a fan who paints his whole body blue. Whatever... not gay, possibly awesome. Now, the diapers confused me at first, but then I realized what's going on - Brian Urlacher is a man-beast. The only way he knows how to discipline is to maim, cripple and/or destroy. I'm sure someone gave him this idea about punishing the kid with having to wear pink diapers - ultimate shame in the presense of such manliness.  

Regardless, this slander must not tarnish the living legend. His ex is clearly just trying to get some press and misses the beef. Urlacher is the epitome of testosterone and his kid would have to have 6 or 7 X chromosomes to offset his manliness. Stop dragging the kid into your sad life, you filthy whore.

Sidenote: Urlacher could easily be Bruce Willis' son:

"You should have heard your brother squeal when I broke his fucking neck."

-Thanks to ShaimsterMcRaim for the tip

Shedding Some Light

Not quite the sparkplug we were looking for

So, remember that earlier speculation about why Nick Swisher was unceremoniously dumped? It looks like the real culprit was Swisher's "attitude" towards the end of the season. Yeah, hitting .191 in the second half is a serious attitude problem.

Was he a bad influence on the clubhouse?

"You've got to ask the players about that," Guillen said. "To be honest with you, I was not happy with the way he was reacting at the end of the season. He wasn't helping me either."

"It was hard because when we brought him here, a lot of people were excited (that) he would have a great career with the White Sox," Guillen said. "But we got to the point that we went through the roster ... and we had a right fielder, left fielder, first baseman and DH. It was hard for us to find a place for him."

I was really expecting more vitriol from Ozzie, but I guess he sorta mellows out in the first months after the season ends.

In other news, a LOT of trade rumors with the Sox involving the Mets, Rays, and even the Reds. They include (but are not limited to), Jermaine Dye, Bobby Jenks, and of course, Javy Vazquez. More on this when something legit develops, but I would not be entirely surprised to see Jermaine Dye take a ticket out of town as part of a youth movement (Homer Bailey from the Reds, or Edwin Jackson from the Rays, knowing KW).

Here's hoping that rumor of Vazquez for the Mets' Pelfrey materializes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Do Not Get Excited

Hey Kid!

So, the Bears seemed to have everything under control on Sunday. Orton was back to making every pass look easy, Forte ran for over 100 yards, and the defense was nearly unstoppable.

...against the Rams.

Playing against the Rams is like playing against a pee-wee football team. You can employ all sorts of tactics that wouldn't work in a real game, such as the classic "yell real loud and get them all scared," or "put your hand on their head as they run towards you, stopping them in their tracks as they hilariously flail their arms." The Rams just aren't a fair gauge of what works and what doesn't work.

The Bears could have done whatever they wanted on Sunday and gotten a win out of it. Our "new" defensive scheme isn't some sort of perfection incarnate - it's that the Rams have no offensive line so every play turns out like a blitz for the poor sap at QB. All those great blocks and picks by our secondary? Yeah, Trent Green really strikes fear into the hearts of man. He got benched for the 3rd string QB (who, remarkably, tore us to shreds on a quick drive downfield).

On offense, Orton was able to make those throws because he had all day to set them up. I don't think Kyle got hurried more than once. So give the line credit, right? I think John St. Clair's excess fat could have been planted in the turf and it would have held at both guard positions. The Rams are really just that awful - on the field, and with their coaching.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love the Bears. I'm happy we won. We "earned" it. But I don't want anyone else buying into that "the season starts now" bullshit. We got lucky to play a team as shitty as the Rams, and we didn't lose. With the Vikings coming up next week, I sense a more than humbling experience...

Go Bears.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Giveaway: Surviving History

We love the History Channel, and the History Channel loves us.

I really can't think of a better DVD set for a Chicago sports fan. This is a 3-disc set discussing all of the older torture/death mechanisms in history. We're talking about the well known historical misery inducers - the guillotine, the iron maiden, and the Cubs. There's also some stranger ones on there, like the Shame Flute. I mean, what the hell is a "shame flute?" Well, if you sucked at your instrument, they made you wear this thing around your neck and then jammed your fingers into it so you couldn't play...and then they heckled you.

When I think of torture, I can't think of a more sympathetic town than Chicago. Barring the Bulls of the Jordan era and the 2005 WS win for the White Sox, the last 50 years have been pretty bad around here. The Hawks haven't won it all since Wirtz took over (and subsequently died), the Bulls haven't come close since Jordan left, and so on.

Worst of all, each one of the Chicago team leads you into believing that, OK, maybe THIS is the year we can get something done. And then they choke (see: Cubs, Fire, soon-to-be Bears). Needless to say, these DVDs understand your pain, and can give you other ways to wish for death aside from living here.

TO WIN: Tell us your most torturous moment being a Chicago sports fan. Comment on this post, or E-Mail your entries to Winners will be announced later this week.

Friday, November 21, 2008

More Fat People!

Dayan Viciedo, Age 13. 228 lbs.

While it's not 100% official, it is safe to say that the Sox have signed super-Cuban prospect Dayan Viciedo! To make a long story short, this kid is "the new guy" for the White Sox. Keep those Cubans coming!

Dayan Vicideo comes from Cuba, is getting paid $11 million at just 19 years old for a six year contract, and is supposedly one of the best Cuban prospects...ever. The White Sox will likely employ Viciedo at 3B...blah blah blah. That's not interesting! That's just a bunch of data spewed out by normal reporters! As you all know, we are hardly normal - that's why you come here.

Here's what you really need to know about the kid:

#1. He is FAT. Like the "holy shit you made it to America only because fat floats" kinda fat. At 19, he weighs more than 230 pounds. There's talk that his weight has ballooned recently, and that he's "getting out of shape" because he's unmotivated. If he's getting fat, that's on track to make Mo Vaughn look like Alexei Ramirez. I cannot wait to see the hot dog eating contest between him and Bobby Jenks. It's gonna be wild.

Will this affect his ability to field? Well, the whole "can't clap my hands over my stomach" thing seems to be working out for Miguel Cabrera, so we'll just have to wait and see.

#2. He supposedly has a cannon arm, and can field 3B, SS and OF. This is a good thing, and will make him all the more valuable for inheriting Juan Uribe's spot at 3B. After all, Uribe was just some fat utility guy with a cannon arm and...uh oh...

#3. He has pop in the bat. Like, serious pop. That's about all I can say because information is pretty damned scarce at this time (or not in English). Babelfish tells me that "Viciedo ball striking with beauty down grassed plains." Unless Viciedo is wearing a dress, I have no clue what the hell that means. I would say it's safe to assume that Viciedo first lures the ball into his own personal orbit before slingshotting it out of the park. At 16, he hit .337 with 16 HR. Yeah, that says something when some of your oppponents haven't even hit puberty yet and you're just using the inertia of your fat to pound the ball.

#4. Viciedo is probably going to make the Opening Day roster. Yes, he's young. Yes, he's unseasoned. However, much like Alexei before him, Viciedo is going surprise and earn a roster spot. I mean, really, who is going to compete with him? Josh Fields is a crappier version of the current Viciedo, and Dayan has a much higher ceiling. If Viciedo puts in a good showing, I wouldn't be surprised if Fields gets traded.

#5. He has all the support from established...Cubans. You know, it doesn't mean shit to me when someone endorses how good Viciedo is if they're his agent (Jaime Torres) or someone who is represented by Torres (Alexei Ramirez, Jose Contreras). This tells me nothing, other than that you're a ring of protection among one another. This practically garauntees that any new Torres/Cuban prospect is looking at the South Side in the future, but how the hell can we trust any of you if no one that speaks English knows if the kid is any good?

#6. His name is actually Dayán Viciedo Pérez. See those accent marks? Forget about it. I'm not going to look for the two freaky-ass accent marks every time I want to write about him. He should consider himself lucky I didn't just abbreviate his name to "Evita" or "VD" ...although there's time for that later.

#7. I'm not sold on him. This has bust written all over it. Kid is good at making contact, but is putting on massive weight. Can drive the ball with power, but can't run the goddamned bases because his chubby legs rub together making that sound like when you run your hand along saran wrap. I'm sensing a lot of strikeouts, and a lot of "let's swing for the fences." Unlike Ramirez, who is getting paid less and has the speed to be versatile all around, Viciedo seems very very one dimensional. I'm envisioning an unproven Paul Konerko playing third base. This strikes me as especially bad when you consider how he does NOT fit into future plans of "let's stop relying on the long ball and try and get the job done with speed and clutch hits." This kid IS the long ball.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


"Scarecrow, I'll miss you most of all!"

Somewhere along the line, the Mets lost their closer and started hunting for a capable body to put there. With a bevy of available Free Agent talent such as K-Rod or Fuentes, it would seem silly for the Mets, rich with money, to try and make a trade for a proven player.

And yet, here we are.

Really. Omar trading for big bad Bobby? What the hell can the Mets possibly offer us? We always like to think that we're in the playoff hunt with KW's perpetual "compete now" motto, so it seems unlikely that we would trade the anchor of our perpetually weak bullpen. If we do trade Jenks, you had better believe that it would be to get something else to "compete now."

If I'm the White Sox, I'm thinking either a starting 3B, or CF. Seeing as those two positions are occupied by big names Carlos Beltran and David Wright, I can't see that happening. Maybe Daniel Murphy, their young 3B, but who dumps talent like that? Stupid.

Expect the Mets to sign K-Rod to a three-year deal with lots of incentivies for future years. He'll mow down the pitiful NL, even in his current "less than 100%" form, and everyone will be happy.

And we'll keep Bobby, thanks.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cubs Decision Making Less Impaired With Each Passing Day

"Oh yeah, Ryan...that feels great...finish me off, pal..."

For some reason, players are expressing loyalty to return to the Cubs. Not only that, but they are expressing a desire to return to a team with a "storied history" for a discount! On Tuesday, Ryan Dempster signed a 4-year contract to return to the equivalent of baseball purgatory - at a discount.

How much of a discount, you ask?

Dempster technically signed a $52 million contract, but he could easily make far less than that. Throwing his signing bonus into next year's salary, Dempster earns $12 mil in 2009, 1$2.5 mil in 2010 and $13.5 mil in 2011 with an option for $14 mil in 2012.

To put that in perspective, Buehrle's extension (signed in 2007, when players were slightly cheaper) gives him $14 million for all four years (more than Dempster makes in any year), no trade rights in 2008 (something Dempster does not have) and a clause that if he does get traded, his salary bumps to $15 million a year and adds a year to the contract (keep dreaming, Ryan).

Now, I'm not saying that Dempster is a better or worse pitcher than Buehrle, but I am saying that they have had close enough numbers where their contracts would be indicative of their value (Buerhle has plenty of "implode in the second half" seasons). For a guy who posted the best season of his career - and as a starter, no less - the Cubs definately got a relatively safe passage.

For the Cubs' sake. let's hope his career path doesn't mimic Carl Pavano's.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Guess Who Won't Be Buying the Cubs?

Cubs or hookers...Cubs or hookers...

Mark Cuban, accused of insider trading (with of all websites! How could you!?), will likely not be buying the Cubs any time soon. Aside from the $750,000 that he likely saved by selling off all of his stock early, he likely will have to pay many millions in the resulting civil suit. For a man with a net worth of $2 billion, that's a rather sizeable chunk of change. However hilarious that this may be (and I especially love Cuban's blog post), I don't give a rat's ass about Mark Cuban's finances.

What I do care about is if Cuban is still going to be a front-runner to purchase the Cubs. As of this precise second, I have two quick reasons that say "NO."

#1. Moneeeeeeh. Aside from all the money Cuban is going to lose for "damages," the economy is in the shitter as well. This is HARDLY a buyer's market, and Sam Zell wants to get every penny...including the ones that they threw at Kosuke Fukudome to warm the bench.

#2. Selig. Bud Selig spent the last few years trying to wipe away the shitstain on baseball that is steroids. After some careful work (investigations, upped steroid rules, blackballed Barry Bonds), the mess is "mostly" behind us. Still, that was a lot of work just because one thing slipped through the cracks. I really don't think Selig is in a hurry to bring in an owner with the possibility of illegal activity - and he does have the power to vote against him as an owner.

Cuban would really have been a good fit for the Cubs - deep pockets, cares about winning, and is a "man of the people." Hell, I'll bet he would have even found a way to force Nowitzki to play in right field. Not only would he have been a face on a franchise that has long been "faceless," but he would probably have given Chicago fans the vitriol we secretly crave.

Alas. He coulda been a contendah.

Monday, November 17, 2008


The image really says it all.

Orton never took a downfield shot after taking that hit to the back of the leg, leaving the Bears to try and manage using only the short game. Forte worked as a runner and receiver, but we ultimately got too many short gains that left us wanting more. Hell, we put in Grossman! Do you have any idea what kind of strain it takes to put in Grossman!?

On the flip side, we couldn't stop the run (giving up 5 YPC total, not just to Ryan Grant), and let Aaron Rodgers have his way with us with quick, accurate passing. The holes in our defense only look smaller when the offense is getting the job done. When the Bears are trailing, the whole "one-dimensional" defense thing just gives opponents more options.

Yes, the fumble by Orton and other "big" plays hurt as well, but thoa


What. The. Fuck.

Ryan Grant read my post last week, called me up yesterday and told me he was going to shit on my face. Then I spoke to Lance, Tommie and Brian who reassured me that they could stop Grant even if they also had to carry a truck tire and wear 50 pound cleats.

I don't even know how to recap this game. I stopped watching halfway through the 4th quarter because I was concerned for those around me. This was a total shitshow on both sides of the ball and worst of all, we looked completely uninspired. This was a HUGE game- we win and we pretty much lock up a playoff spot and leave the Pack and Vikings to duke it out for scraps. Now we're in a three way tie with 2 much-hotter-than-us teams.

Sidenotes: Aaron Kampman is a cum-guzzling shitstain. I fart stronger than our pass rush. Corey Graham is better than Nathan Vasher. And Pex, if you're reading this, I hope the Packers lose to the Jets in the superbowl after Aaron "The Nose" Rodgers throws a pick and TJones catches a game winning screen pass from Brett Favre to seal the game and give me an upset fantasy victory over your not-quite-threepeating queefsquad.

We can all dream.


Kerry Wood If He Could

After one too many surgeries, even peeing is a problem

I meant to touch on this Friday, but I really wanted to make sure that Kerry Wood wasn't coming back. I mean, Wood is kinda like that hobo on Taylor street who comes up to your car with a spray bottle and a roll of paper towels. You tell him, "no, I'm great, don't need the window wiped. I don't have any money for you. Thanks anyways." Kerry Wood knows better, though. He proceeds to muck your window up anyways, and because you always do have the money, you pay him out of guilt. Rinse and repeat.

This time, it seems that the Cubs are really rolling the windows up and driving away, as every comment I've seen essentially says, "Kerry deserves more money and a longer contract...somewhere else. [Please go away, I just had my windows cleaned.]" They even went out and got another player to fill Wood's role - just to show they were serious.

Most people know that Wood's agent contacted the Cubs for a multi-year deal, and was turned down for "financial reasons." But did you know Kerry tried to come back to the Cubs for a one-year contract? That's right - like a loyal dog, Wood wanted to help the team and come back on the cheap. He wanted to keep trying to make up for all those years of medical failure.

And the Cubs still won't have any of it.

While Kerry sits outside on the porch and scrapes at the door, the Cubs have brought in Kevin Gregg and let him eat the table scraps. Gregg just had his best year in 30 years old. There's also that whole "coming off of surgery" thing that's never good news. Couple this with the fact that Gregg is a bit of a slow starter, and he might become the Cubs' new whipping post by the end of May. Does anyone remember how "fun" it was to torture Jacques Jones and Juan Pierre? Yeah, I thought so.

I wish Kerry the best...and the path of Mark Grace: get shunned by your team after giving them almost 10 years of service just to go on and win the World Series the following year with another squad.

Friday, November 14, 2008


This NFC North showdown means a lot to both teams, but especially the Packers. Despite a horrific offensive performance, they nearly knocked off the Vikings last week. For their part, the Bears played well in Week 10 but fell just short of picking off the undefeated Titans. QB Kyle Orton(ankle) may play against Green Bay, but how effective will he be? And can Chicago win with QB Rex Grossman if Orton isn't able to go? The Packers have concerns of their own. With LB Nick Barnett having suffered a season-ending knee injury, the Packers' sagging run defense could have more trouble containing stud rookie RB Matt Forte. A great rivalry game with huge division and playoff implications.

This is a HUGE game. Whoever wins on Sunday is going to take the division - either Green Bay or Chicago has won the NFC North since it was created in 2002 when the NFL switched to eight divisions.

With Barnett out, the Packers should have a tough time stopping Forte. He's leading the NFL rookie class in rushing with 713 yards and GB ranks a crappy 28th against the run.

"To play Green Bay, to play your division rivals in November," Chicago quarterback Kyle Orton said. "We're in first place, and these are huge games from here on out. This is what I put the effort in for, so I can do everything I can to be out there."

Is it just me or does Orton sound like a real QB? If you remember his quotes from pre-season (like "i'm here to be a game manager" and "my focus is on limiting mistakes and letting the defense dictate the game"), this is a monster change in tone. The guy has become a leader on the field and is letting his play and the team record speak for itself. I don't want to lather on the praise too much but Orton has really matured from a last option QB with no upside and limited ability to a consistently above average producer who can win big games and doesn't make mistakes down the stretch. Hell, I'd take Orton in the 4th quarter this year over almost anyone outside the top 5 in the league.

We will need our secondary to step up and win this game. We're going to score some points on offense and we should be able to own the clock with the run game.  Ryan Grant is slow, hesitant and a total pussy. It's Aaron Rodgers vs Nathan Vasher. This is big time.  This is what rivalries are made of. This is when the real men step up and become game changers. Let's do this.

So Long Swagger

Damn it man, I said shave those sideburns!

Well, it was a fun idea while it lasted, but it looks like Nick Swisher and his incredibly friendly contract are headed for a different monochromatic ballclub.

Yankees Get:
Kanekoa Texeira (I was so excited when I thought I saw Konerko and Texeira mentioned in the same sentence as the word "trade")

Sox Get:
Wilson Betemit
Jeff Marquez
Jhonny Nunez

The initial reaction I have is "damn it, we got fleeced." I think that Swisher is absolutely going to rebound from last season - Walker said something about there being a glitch in his swing that would take a whole offseason to work out of his system. If it would take Walker a whole offseason, you've got to figure that a competent hitting coach could probably fix it in less than a month. Likewise, Texeira pitched well in the minors, and has a good change to come up as a reliever, or maybe even get stretched out as a starter.

In return? We get Betemit, who is Swisher Lite. Betemit is a switch hitter and a utility infielder, but is much much cheaper than Swisher - and his career stats are on par with Swisher's worst season. In addition to Betemit, we get Marquez and Nunez, two unproven players in the minors. Marquez is already 23 and looks like he'll have a shot at being Nick Massett part deux (long relief, spot starter). Nunez, though, looks to be much more interesting, with a greater propensity for keeping the ball on the ground and not sucking.

Any way that you look at it, this deal means:

#1. The Sox want to free up some money. This is not surprising - money is nice to have. It may also pave the way for a FA signing this winter that may cost a little more than Jerry and Co. would like to spend, or maybe just to save some money. Who knows - maybe we could get some more of our guys under contract.

#2. Something was wrong with Swisher. This actually seems pretty likely the more I think about it. Swisher was in Ozzie's doghouse for the second half of the season (benched in the ALCS says something, doesn't it?). Even if it's not something between Oz and Swish, I still get the impression that it's an organizational difficulty of some sort. Maybe Swish was on 'roids? I hate to say it because I like the guy. I know Jerry and Kenny don't like to have users on their team, and maybe the writing was on the wall. I suppose only next season's stats will tell.

Stay tuned for more exciting off-season baseball!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Drink Plenty of Malk

So, we lose Hinrich, and now we (likely) lose Rose while he recovers from being a badass and playing hurt for FORTY-FIVE MINUTES. This is bad.

Get ready to see a lot of Thabo, because our listed depth chart is starting to just look funny. Take a look at this chart pulled after Hinrich's injury:

Backup PG: Thabo Sefolosha
Backup SG: Thabo Sefolosha
Backup SF: Thabo Sefolosha (Nocioni is still reeling from imaginary bullets)
Backup: PF: Thabo Sefolosha (Joakim Noah is an idiot)
Backup C: Aaron Gray (Irreplaceable)

And the sad part is, I only made up two of those. If anyone else important goes down, we may want to look into signing Jack Haley. I hear he makes everyone else around him play better...or is it that everyone else around him DID play better and simply made him look useful?

Look, I don't care about the logistics behind it as long as we win. Mavericks, coming to town.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Never in my life...

 Bears QB Orton practices in limited fashion
Kyle Orton (ankle) returned to Bears practice Wednesday, albeit in limited fashion. The Chicago Sun Times notes that Orton exhibited a slight limp.

"(It's early) in the week, obviously, but I'm preparing like I am (starting)," he said. ESPN's John Clayton, one of the must trusted sources around on injuries, believes Orton will start at Green Bay. Orton's mobility may be hindered, but his return would be good news for all Bears skill players. Nov. 12 - 2:18 pm et

If you had told me before the season that Kyle Orton returning to the lineup would be good news for all Bears skill players and that rotoworld would be monitoring Orton's weekday practice schedule, I would have slapped you in your stupid face.

Unless of course, the alternative was Caleb Hanie...

Derrick Rose is good, the Bulls are OK.

Highlights from 11/8 Cavs game. Check out the move at the :58 mark... (you can get it in high quality on youtube).

The Bulls lose 113-108 to the Hawks last night and for the second game in a row, Derrick Rose looks really really good in a Bulls loss.

Atlanta is one of the last undefeated neams in the NBA and looks really motivated. Al Horford beat the crap out of Joakim all day long and Mike Bibby even looked pretty good. 

Sure the Bulls are hurt (Hinrich out 3 months, Hughes and Gooden out) but Tyrus needs to step it up and Noah needs to play better D (or gain 20 pounds).

BoGo and Deng are consistently solid (19 a piece) but the real star is Rose. He was 4 assists off a triple double and has already scored more than 25 points twice in the first 6 games. He looks very comfortable in the offense and is just the quickest motherfucker I've ever seen. He also finishes better than TPC's mom at a swingers party.

We should wait a few weeks before the trade packages start occupying most of the Bulls discussions but it looks like we have a top 15 team so far and as Rose gets even better we could be dangerous. The key is going to be Thomas - can he learn to be a consistant low-post scoring threat or is he going to be the LaVar Arrington of the NBA (super talented athletic freak that can't put it together)?


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Can we?

The Hawks come to town to play the Bulls tonight, and I can't say I'm looking forward to it. Not because we're going to lose (per se...) but because it's going to be a really REALLY boring game to watch.

The Bulls really like to play two kinds of teams - teams that are one-dimensionally offensive, or teams that are just plain bad. These kinds of teams bring out the best in the Bulls, and make them watchable. The Hawks are neither of these, as they have what could be considered the most staunch defense in the NBA (and are all about "fundamentals"). Their average opponent score is somewhere around 85 (they held New Orleans to an embarrassing 79 points!).

Worse, their offense isn't quite "there" as Mike Bibby can only do so much, and their big new force in Josh Smith will probably miss the game with a high ankle sprain. Joe Johnson will do his best to fill in, but you really can't expect them to break 85 tonight.

As for us, we all know Hinrich is out for a few months which means Rose will be seeing a LOT of playing time from here on forward. Here's hoping that we get it down tonight, and win in some sort of exciting fashion (I hope).

Also, here's a pic of a Hawks cheerleader because it's Tuesday...or something like that. Any excuse, right?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bears are not 9-0

My, you have exceptionally strong, weight bearing hamstrings Mr. Forte!

If I had told you that the Bears would hold the Titans to 20 total rushing yards and that Rex would throw as many TD's as INT's, how would you predict the outcome? 10-0 Bears? 14-7 Bears?

I have no idea how we lost this game. 

Until yesterday, Kerry Collins looked about as accurate as Helen Keller playing darts.  Drunk. I've watched 3 other FULL Titans games this season and the guy couldn't hit a wide open Keith Traylor wearing a cape, not to mention he's not very nimble on his feet... usually a recipe for 10 sacks and a bunch of INT's for our opportunistic defense.

Not so, as we somehow managed to let the old man toss  for almost 300 yards and a pair of TD's, including one to ex-bear Justin Gage, who (justifiably) ripped on our city traffic issues right before the game.

Personally, I loved the gameplan: make the old man beat you through the air. With Tillman and Brown hurt, it just didn't work as well as it should have. Also, has anyone else noticed a significant drop in production from the formerly intimidating Tommie Harris? 

Last note, Rex looked good for what was asked of him but I'll tell you, Kyle Orton has made some serious strides this season. The contrast to Rex only highlighted how good Orton has become and how much we'll miss him down the stretch for a few weeks.

I'll Bet Iron Mike Could Fix This

Hey Coach, we could use some help!

I want to rip on Rex Grossman SO BADLY for yesterday's loss, but I can't. Really, in all fairness, he didn't let the team down in any way. He performed tolerably for what he is - the backup QB. He kept the mistakes to a minimum (1 INT), and while he was completely useless on 3rd down (3-14...ugh), we WERE playing the best team in the NFL.

So I won't rip on Rex just yet.

I will say that Rex definitely changes the dynamic of the offense. If you look at the involvement of players like Rasheid Davis or Marty Booker (guys that Orton uses to move the ball in a hurry or get that quick pass off over the middle), you'll notice that they - combined - had one catch. To contrast, Grossman dumped the ball to Forte to give him 7 receptions to go along with his 20 rushing attempts. That doesn't really scream confidence to me.

Speaking of confidence, I have little to none in the Bears next week against the Packers. As much as I would like to spout how "we're gonna win" and "Rex can do it," I'm starting to realize the gravity of our situation. Every Friday before gameday, they pull Orton out of the iron lung and say, "hey, we could really use you this week. Try playing. Please. Can you start yet? How about now?"

My prediction is that the Bears do their one defensive trick (stack the box, and force the opposing team to throw the ball), and get burned badly. Even a QB with a bum shoulder (Rodgers) could beat out our cornerbacks right now. Expect big games from Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Donald Lee, and even Ryan Grant (short passes) that keeps us going down the slide.

Projected Score: 27-10 Packers.
Projected Grossman line: 210 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 1 fumble lost.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Kenny's At It Again

He looks kinda like a beached sea-creature here...

I should know better than to second-guess KW's wheeling and dealing after the success of his last few moves (Ramirez, Quentin, Danks, Floyd...etc), but I can't help feeling that something bad is about to happen (Chris Carter part deux).

The Sox are reportedly shopping Javier Vasquez and Nick Swisher this winter. Swisher apparently had a "problem with his swing" that wasn't discovered until midseason and would take the offseason to work out (read: he will hit better this year). Hitting aside, Swisher is versatile, switch-hits, plays most of the field relatively well (and would be a fine fill in at 1B if Konerko goes to the Angels after all), and sees a lot of pitches. He could be much better next season, and could show more of the promise he had in Oakland - especially in our hitter-friendly ballpark. Oh, and did I mention that his contract is fantastic?

Vasquez, on the other hand, is on the downslope of his career. You can't expect him to turn in a Cy Young performance next year, but at the same time, he gets 200 IP and 200 K every year. That's really, REALLY consistent performance from someone who would likely be our #4 or #5 starter going into next year (Contreras may be back, and Richard showed he can play).

Well, we've got to do SOMEthing, right? This is Kenny we're talking about!

Here's my itinerary (call me crazy if you want):

#1. Trade Josh Fields. This guy is an accident waiting to happen. Low walk totals, high K's, bad fielding, and one-dimensional power are NOT what the Sox need right now. If he starts next year, imagine Brian Anderson on roids, but without the fielding ability. The few times he fully connects with the ball will probably leave the park, but how many times will he K on the breaking ball? Fields' value is probably the highest it will get barring big-league success, and he may net us something useful. As long as it isn't Willy Taveras...

#2. DO NOT GET WILLY TAVERAS. I cannot stress this enough. What the hell would Willy do for us? Yeah, he's fast. Whoop-de-do. He's not exactly a consistent hitter or particularly great CF. I would much rather let Anderson try and develop another year than have Willy get out at the top of the order every game. Hell, let DeWayne Wise play. Just please, please, PLEASE don't overpay for this sack of shit. Years of Fantasy Baseball will tell you all you need to know about Mr. 1-Dimensional.

#3. Let Paulie for Figgins Happen. I love Paulie as much as the next completely heterosexual baseball fan, but he's not the same guy anymore. Assuming that Texeira is gone, the Angels will need another big bopper in the lineup. Chone Figgins plays the infield (we need a 3B or 2B), has great speed (we like that), gets on base (yay), and would probably work out well as a leadoff hitter. Granted, he has an injury history (and gets hurt with regularity), but he could be a big change to the team dynamic. Risks were made to be taken, right?

#4. Get More Bullpen Help. We need to do this every year, don't we? The only consistent members of the bullpen were Jenks (consistently Jenks-y), Thornton (consistently beasty, but can't go more than 1 inning), Linebrink (consistently hurt when we needed him most), and Dotel (consistently gave up the long ball in clutch situations). After those four, it's a crapshoot. Wassermann doesn't really impress me, and the concept of Boone Logan or any of the other temp fill-ins starting next year terrifies me. Get help!

Godspeed, Kenny. Godspeed.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Agree

This Commercial Needs to Die. And I thought I was the only one!

Save us from 'Saved by Zero,' TV watchers complain

NEW YORK (AP) — Any car shoppers left in this brutal market are sure to cheer Toyota's decision to extend zero-percent financing for another month. But another decision may have them hitting the mute button: The automaker will keep airing a television ad for the deal that has sparked some serious ire among TV viewers.

Maybe it's the giant floating red zero in the middle of the screen. Maybe it's the way, one by one, the 11 vehicles included in the incentive zoom into the foreground. Surely, the cheery, twangy "Saved by Zero" jingle has something to do with it, along with the way Toyota Motor Corp. has saturated prime-time sporting events with the 30-second spot.

Whatever it is, Facebook groups, bloggers and other TV watchers have risen up against the Japanese automaker's ad with gleeful rage.

"It's pretty much unanimous that everyone I've talked with thinks it's very annoying," said Colin Anderson, a 19-year-old freshman at the State University of New York at Binghamton. He created the Facebook group "Stop Playing Toyota's 'Saved by Zero' Commercial" after first seeing it a week and a half ago. The group has since swelled to more than 1,200 members and is growing.

Anderson said the ad alone isn't what irritates him — it's the way it dominates the commercial breaks during sporting events. During Monday night's NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Washington Redskins, Anderson counted five or six airings during the first half.

"We changed the channel," he said. "We couldn't watch it."

Others put it even more bluntly. The auto blog called the ad "wrist-slitting" in a recent post. And Peter Schrager of Esquire magazine's football blog recently wrote that the ad "has penetrated the nation's consciousness in a way political candidates only dream of."

The zero-percent financing incentive was set to expire this week, but Toyota said Monday it would extend the deal for another month after the company's October U.S. sales fell 23 percent from a year earlier.

And "Saved by Zero" will keep adding to viewers' misery.

The ads will continue airing nationally through Sunday, Toyota marketing spokesman Joe Tetherow said. After that, dealers will have the option to continue airing the ads on a local level.

Tetherow said the campaign has been a hit with dealers, and whatever the reaction from the public, it has been effective in getting the program's message across. Toyota is even extending the incentive to a 12th vehicle, the subcompact Yaris, he said.

"I think the fact that it's being talked about is good, because the message is out there," Tetherow said. "The dealers like the program, and customers do too."

Tetherow didn't know how much negative feedback the company has received, and he declined to say how much the ad campaign cost. According to the media agency TargetCast tcm, however, a season's worth of advertising on ESPN's Monday Night Football alone likely would have cost Toyota $8 million to $10 million.

Sam Craig, a marketing professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, called the ad's jingle "haunting." (It's a cover of a 1983 song by the rock group "The Fixx.") But he said the ad may be reaching a point known in industry lingo as "wear out," when an ad campaign so inundates the target market that it begins to backfire.

"The danger of running the same basic ad over and over again is that as soon as people recognize that, they tune it out," he said.

Whatever the ad's impact on viewers, the ire it has provoked seems contained to Internet carping. Anderson admits his campaign against "Saved by Zero" has been fairly limited despite its online following. He hasn't even written to Toyota to complain, he said.

"Zero-percent financing — that sounds pretty good to me," he said. "The commercial, I think, is just poorly done."


Note: This is actually three different dunks scored in the span of two seconds.

The Bulls just got LeBron'd plain and simple. We just can't stop him. In his last six games against us, LeBron has put up a minimum of 30 points. If that doesn't put up some red flags about our defensive scheme for stopping him, coughing up 41 last night should definitely help put things in perspective.

The Good: Ben Gordon put up 31 of his own to try and help out the Bulls' cause, and Rose piled on 20 of his own. Both Rose and Gordon also kept the ball moving, with 7 and 5 assists, respectively. Even Luol Deng looked solid, putting up 18 after a miserable showing on Monday. Also nice was that Ben "Assface" Wallace didn't score a single point (more on this later).

The Bad: There's a lot. The Bulls got beaten soundly when it comes to ball control. Wallace and LeBron, and Ilgauskas had 33 combined boards. I have to assume Wallace didn't score because he was too busy standing in place and catching the ball off the backboard. The entire Bulls team (bench included) had 35. Same with steals - their startes had eight (LeBron with 4), our starters had 4.

The Ugly: There's two things worth mentioning. One, LeBron rolled his ankle and still schooled us. Two, did anyone see Ilgauskas nail that three-pointer? UGLY.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama's First Real Move

(takes slow drag on cigarette)
Hey, glad you could make it.

Yeah, I'm a little exhausted right now. You know how it is, the whole "election" thing. So, apparently I'm the first "black president." That's pretty cool. Look - I didn't call you over so I could talk politics. I've heard enough about politics to last me a whole four years. The reason I called you here today is because I'm part of a much bigger agenda.

Sure, I'm the president of the United States, but do you know why I pushed to be here? Do you think I wanted to inherit this mess of an economy that we have? Not a chance. I did it, because as I always said, We Deserve a Better America. It was true then, and it's true now.

(puts out cigarette, leans back)

I'm not a man to beat around the bush. I'm all-Chicago. I love the city, but it has a problem. A serious problem that no mere senator would ever be able to handle appropriately. In my first act as president...

...I want to make it illegal to be a Cubs fan. Not just illegal, but punishable by death.

What, did you think I became president to just sit around in a fucking office all day? I fought to be here, and I'm not going to let down all my loyal supporters. The REAL supporters, not some fair weather fans. I'm a White Sox fan. It's not just "tough" to be a fan of the minority team. It's miserable! Putting up with that "Go Cubs Go" bullshit every year just to wade my way through sob stories? No, that's an Obamanation - yeah, that's right, I made that up. Look at this fucker who managed to sneak into my celebration shindig last night:

The only time I want to see a Cubs fan in that pose is if I've jammed a cattle prod into his scrotum. Worse still, that douchebag Ronnie Woo-Woo got an Obama jersey. Me, associated with that waste of sperm? I'm tired of this. Last night, I ordered that all Cubs fans on the premises be shot. Shot! And not a single fucking person "bled Cubbie blue" that night. Well, let me tell you, as president, that shit is going to change. As president, I now have access to America's greatest resource. Oil? Please.

Please, step outside. I want to show you something.

Do you see recognize this man? That's right, Superman. Go ahead, laugh. He is the symbol of everything this country stands for - patriotism, truth, justice, and the American way. While he may look like a simple wax puppet at the moment, I assure that he will be much more useful to my cause once I inscribe these Hebrew symbols into his forehead. Every president recieves the talmudic inscription to bring the golem to life. However, due to Bush's illiteracy, the golem has sat unused and forgotten for over eight years. Now, it is MY turn to do what is right!

(inscribes Hebrew; golem groans)

Yes, that's right! LIVE! Listen to me, SuperGolem - I am your new master! Cleanse the world of Cubs fans! Bring me the legs of Ron Santo and the blood of Ronald "Woo-Woo" Wickers!

Man, I fucking love this country.

The Case Against Peavy

Glad to see at least ONE of his arms works...

It would seem that the Cubs have interest in Jake Peavy, a beast of a starting pitcher who is young and has spent his career in San Diego. This immediate interest comes as a result of Ryan Dempster declaring free agency, and is without a doubt one of the worst things that could happen to the Cubs.

I know I'm out of my groove when I'm trying to help the Cubbies, but acquiring Peavy is just a recipe for disaster. Sure, Peavy is only one season removed from a Cy Young Award, and had yet another year with a sub-3.00 ERA. He's a good pitcher, no doubt, but let's look at the intangibles, shall we?

#1. Injuries. Whenever the Cubs are looking at a pitcher with an injury history, I see a red flag. When the injuries are a result of being overworked at a young age or mechanics issues, I see two red flags. When I see that he's fragile enough to break a rib from celebrating a postseason berth, I get a whole red quilt. Match this up with a team that has a bad reputation when it comes to taking care of their pitchers (Wood, Prior, and soon to be Zambrano), and I smell a season of DL time. In the last two years, he's had a myriad of injuries - most recently, a 15-day DL trip for an elbow strain. If I'm a Cubs fan, the prospect of getting someone with that much of an injury history is terrifying (and you guys haven't even seen the dark side of Rich Harden yet!)

#2. Playoff Presence...of which Peavy has none. Part of the Cubs' problem this year was not their regular season performance, but their absolute choke-job in the playoffs. Peavy is the equivalent of CC Sabathia when it comes to baseball - amazing pitching during the regular season, and an awful showing in the postseason. Peavy's got two playoff starts in the last three years, and has given up a total of 13 runs in 9 total innings, going no further than the 5th inning of any playoff start. If you're looking for someone to hold the reigns for Game 2, Peavy probably isn't your guy (although Dempster's 7-walk 1-ER performance was rather miraculous).

#3. Money. Probably not that big of an issue, as Zell is in a "make money now, let some other guy foot the bill later" mode, but Peavy is going to command more money on the market than Dempster. Unlike Peavy, Dempster is older, has been less dominant in a pre-Cubs era, and would come with a cheaper price tag than Peavy (who is probably looking to cash in big time over his current $6 mil contract). Oh, and Dempster probably would merit a 2-3 year contract, while Peavy would be looking closer to 4-5. Hmmm...a four-year contract on an injury prone pitcher...does that sound like anyone we know? (Hint: I didn't link to Kerry Wood out of pity)

#4. Biased Stats. Not ripping on Peavy, he's a great pitcher, but PetCo park is seemingly endless. His 2008 ERA was an impressive 2.85...until you look at his 2008 Home/Away splits. Home ERA: 1.74. Away ERA: 4.28. Guess which one of those Wrigley qualifies as. Peavy has a respectable 3.68 career ERA at Wrigley, but when the wind is blowing out, no amount of pop-outs can help you.

#5. Attitude. Last, but not least. To make it in Chicago, you need to have cajones. You can't be some wuss West-Coast player who whines about every possible ailment. The media here is merciless, and can turn on you in an instant no matter who you are or how much you make (Hello Kosuke!). Some players never recover from the initial shock and expectation. Off the top of my head, Nick Swisher, Fukudome, Aardsma, and Gaudin. Hell, I hear that Will Cordero became a wife beater when he -- oh, what's that? Nevermind then.

Long story short, show Dempster the money - he's a shorter investment, and he's the smarter one too.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Neckbeard Lite

So, we lose one Neckbeard for at least a month, and now we get this one. Rex just doesn't have the same "I got stoned in the bathroom and then someone told me to put on this helmet" look, but he seems to know how to wear The Beard properly.

That said, just how fucked are we?

The Bears can actually still take the division if Grossman tries not to unleash the dragon every three plays (did anyone else see him overthrow Hester on that fly route? That's hard to do). With next week's matchup being against the conservative (but defensively monstrous) Titans, the Bears certainly have their work cut out for them. Grossman won't get many open recievers, and the Titans will surely stuff the box to keep Forte busy. Even so, if our defense can shut down Chris Johnson/LenDale White, there's a good chance we can win this game with some conservative drives for the FG.

This Sunday will really be the determining factor for this team. A win against the Titans can boost confidence (especially for Rex), and will help us take down the Packers the following week to lock up the division. A loss to the Titans, or excessive exploitation, spells doom and gloom for the Bears for the next four games until Orton is back.

Come on, Rex - prove you've got something left in the tank. It'll also help Keggers' case when he has to print that retraction about how Orton is better than you.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Oh Dear God, Please No

I don't even want to talk about this travest-sham-mockery right now. Terrible passing and Orton is out for at least a month?