Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bring on the Hope

Even the amazing fit of Wrangler jeans can't make this a comfortable situation

There's a few things that we can expect in Chicago sports, and one of them is the infamous "wait until next year." Few teams can perform as bad as ours do and still inspire fans that next year is not only the year we post a winning season, but that we manage to go deep into the playoffs as well. The idea of this is so ludicrous it would be the equivalent of Pirates fans expecting to win it all next year, or Detroit Lions fans getting playoff tickets. Preposterous.

After Monday night's nailbiter over the Minnesota Vikings, two things were made apparent. First of all, Devin Aromashodu (Devin #1) is going to be the WR that Cutler trusts. Unlike Devin #2 (Hester), Devin #1 has the ability to be physical, can run his routes, and still has the blazing speed that we like. All things considered, Hester isn't even the fastest guy on this team (Knox, then Aromashodu).

Second of all, we learned that Chris Williams just may be able to play his position. Any time you can keep the Williamseseseses and Jared Allen in check, you must be doing something right. Only one sack allowed - definitely a step up. Subsequently, despite some terrible decisions, Jay Cutler looked awesome, coming through in the clutch with some nice passes to move the chains and score when we needed to.

Before all of you get excited, I would like to point out that this was ONE GAME. That's it. All these pieces have been there for a while now - it's not like they just magically "clicked." We still need some work to make the Bears a better team. If we go into next season without making any changes, we're in the exact same spot we were in this year (maybe not Cutler leading the league in picks, but you get the idea).

Here are some things that WOULD help, though:

#1. An offensive line

#2. A secondary

Certainly not the most "high profile" of positions, and certainly not me calling for Lovie's head on a platter. Still, everything clicks together when these two get upgraded. A better O-Line gives Cutler more time, leading to less poor decisions and more production. A better O-Line also paves the way for Forte/Bell to give us a running game.

As for our secondary, which consists of Tillman waiting for you to catch the ball and then trying to pry it out of your hands, we're up shit's creek. I'm not saying we get Revis or Ashamouga, but additional help will let our Linebackers actually blitz (instead of faking) and will prevent speedy wideouts from torching us every year. This means more stalled drives for not-Bears, and more time with the ball for us, which allows us to run and pass as we please.

If we get some of those elements in the offseason, I'll jump on the insan-o bandwagon. Until then, you'll have to wait for next August for me to do it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


"It's been a pleasure fucking you."

I feel like a kid who woke up on Christmas morning to find out that all of his siblings were killed in a horrible fire the night before and that all of the presents were now his. PLUS no going to Church.

Best. Day. Ever.

Not only do the Cubs get rid of Bradley, but they pick up Silva, who is complete and utter shit. Bradley is not going to be just "good" this year - he's going to have another Revenge Year. For those of you that aren't familiar with this concept, let's look at Bradley over the years:

2003 (CLE): .321 average, .923 OPS. Is rewarded by being sent to the Dodgers, which pisses him off.

2004 (LAD):.267 avg, .768 OPS. Is sullen and cranky (sound familiar)? Doesn't get moved.

2005 (LAD): .290 avg, .835 OPS. In a Revenge Year, he pushes himself to the limit (and misses some games in the process). Is "rewarded" by going to Oakland.

2006 (OAK): .276 avg .818 OPS. Bradley is now pissed about being in Oakland. He misses a significant amount of time with injuries as well.

2007 (OAK/SDP): .306 avg, .946 OPS. Time for another Revenge Year! Bradley takes the frustrations of the previous season and turns them into death for all opponents. Goes to Texas because he wanted to.

2008 (TEX) .321 avg, .999 OPS. And there's a happy Bradley. He has an amazing year, and wants to stay on. Instead, he is "rewarded" by not getting the contract he wants and winds up signing with the Cubs, which pisses him off. You can see where this is going...

2009 (CHC) .257 avg .775 OPS. Oof. That's underperforming and Bradley knows it. That should likely set up for a Revenge Year...

2010 (SEA) PROJECTED: .308 avg, .876 OPS. Time for a Revenge Year!

Long story short, Milton Bradley is a serious headcase, but he's a headcase who understands when he's been crappy and does what he can to fix it the following season. By trading him, the Cubs ensure that they don't enjoy his resurgence in 2010. Better still, they get Carlos Silva, who is the equivalent of a pitching machine.

Silva's claim to fame is that he doesnt walk too many batters. Neither does a pitching machine. The WHIP says it all, with Silva hitting 1.598 in 2008, and 1.714 in 2009. That wouldn't be terrible, except that he doesn't strike guys out. In his last two seasons COMBINED he had only 79 Ks. To put that in perspective, Rich Harden had 171 in a shortened year LAST SEASON.

I can't wait to open the rest of my gifts!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kenny is Beyond Me

Look at this awesome crate of baseballs I got for Javier Vasquez!

Some people have a reputation for being good dealers, and other do not. Omay Minaya? Not particularly good at dealing. That guy under the bridge who walks up to the driver's side window? Not a good dealer (try the guy at the Jackson stop who pretends to be blind). For Kenny Williams, though, he has somehow earned a reputation as a guy who can make things happen.

Best of all, Kenny has said that he's "done" for this offseason, and people are just saying "Oh, that Kenny, he's got a move up his sleeve. No, boys and girls, he really IS done. Right now, all I see is 5 outfielders competing for three spots. No matter how this plays out, we're still not really in better shape.

Let's take a look:

1B: Konerko
DH: Andruw Jones
2B: Beckham
SS: Ramirez
3B: Teahen
RF: Quentin
CF: Rios
LF: Juan Pierre
B: Kotsay
B: Vizquel

Really? Our outfield of Quentin, Pods, and Dye has changed considerably - Pods has been replaced with Black Pods (don't believe me? Look at the numbers. They might as well have the same name), Quentin is replaced by Quentin, and so the real difference is Rios over Dye. When he's on the ball, sure, Rios is the better play. Another slump year, though, and this one stings.

The real kicker, though, is Jones as DH. I hear Carl Everett is available.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Birthday Sharks

I actually missed our second birthday - can you believe it? The little Dong is all grown up at TWO YEARS OLD, which, in blog years, is somewhere around 70 years old. Strangely, blog years are the only measure of time that works backwards (Under 1 Year = 20 years old, Year 1 = 40 years old, Year 2 = 70, Year 3 = 120 years old, Year 4 = 80 years old, Year 5 = 50 years old, and so on until you get back to 20).

And this is us jumping the shark.

When we started this little outlet for racism, hatred of Ron Turner, and general homophobia, we were like a drunk version of Apollo - bringing fire to the world by lighting it ablaze. We took out our hatred for Chicago sports in multiple daily doses. We made friends within the blogosphere. We were featured regularly on pseudo-respectable outlets like Deadspin, With Leather, and so on.

Now look at us - the White Sox signed a guy named Putz and there hasn't even been a post about it yet. Old me has at least 3 posts on this, one of which is just a series of MS Paint doodles on old White Sox slogans ("Grinder Rule #34: It never hurts to have a Putz on the team"). It's no secret that we've been lax in posting, and that when we DO post, it's usually out of guilt and less about enthusiasm.

Somewhere around this time last year, we started to drop off. It wasn't anything personal, really. We still all love the Dong and what it represents - it's just a pretty big time commitment to keep up with those big names like Chicago Bull and My Brain Says Rage...wait, what? Those blogs are dead? Oh fuck yes - we outlasted you guys! FUCK AND YES. QUITTERS!

Long story short, we're not dead. We're not even on life support. But we do recognize that we've been more of a flaccid flesh pile than the throbbing hard entertainment you deserve (does that make me gay for pointing it out like that? Probably. Oops).

I mean, I missed the Dong birthday! Two years ago, I would have sold my third nut just to GET to the Dong's birthday that I was so pumped for it! It's not like I waited until July to realize my folly, but missing it by more than a day is punishable by death, let alone the two weeks it took me to realize the problem.

We're not going to post multiple times a day. Hell, we're not even going to post every day. But I will tell you this - you will not be getting the same garbage that you get everywhere else. We will not say "oh look at the cute youtube video" and call it a post. You will get the venom that we spew when we think about Chicago Sports. You will get discertations about the Bears offense, the Bulls, and of course, the White Sox. Hell, if there's even a reason to cover that Chicago National League team, we'll talk about that too.

For those of you that have stuck through the rough times, we salute you. Oh, and as a reward to those of you that HAVE stuck around, you probably know we like to do a little something for our birthday...(hint hint)

Monday, December 7, 2009

What to do with the Bears?

Looming questions:

1) Is it time to fire Lovie?
This is a tough one... I'd argue that up until this season, the Bears have gotten better every single year he's been the coach including a Super Bowl run. He's been good at finding talent and has led an aggressive defense despite consistently lost talent (Mike Brown, Urlacher, Vasher) and pathetic offensive weapons (Orton, Grossman, no WR's etc). This season is a HUGE step backwards for the organization... I think we own Lovie one more year (more than we can say about Ron Turner).

2) How will we address needs this offseason?
With no high draft picks and key holes in our lineup at LB, DB, WR and OL, I'm not sure how this is going to work out. Perhaps we can swap a guy like Briggs for multiple picks and some depth but I'm not sure that's a good move. Hey, maybe we can send Cutler to the Skins for Campbell and 45 top draft picks...

3) Why do we suck so much?
3 reasons:
1) Our offensive line is built for bruising and rushing. It takes a lot more energy to pass protect then to run block and out line is old/bad. We changed our profile overnight with the Cutler deal and it's going to take some time to build around him. In the meantime, we cant pass protect and our running game is non-existent.
2) Cutler is essentially a rookie again and playing like it. With far weaker weapons than he had in Denver (and a worse O-coordinator), it will take time to fix. This wont be an ongoing issue, just this season (hopefully).
3) Our pass defense is bad. We need Gaines Adams to start to play a bigger role. We need Tommie Harris to play like the monster we drafted and we need another DB that can create plays (Afalava has been playing well and Jamar Williams played well subbing for Briggs yesterday but we're still short on talent).

We've got 1-2 more seasons to make a run with the current roster talent. Let's hope we can finish the season strong (no reason to tank without picks) and build for next season. 9-7 isn't out of the question...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Speaking of things that make no sense...