Sports

A Very Big Sports Post

Well I haven’t posted any sports thoughts in a while, but I have had them. So I’m going to just give my thoughts for all the major sports right now.

Baseball

Cubs:

Overall

Well at this point it goes without saying that the Cubs suck. My Braves fan friend said “It’s a good thing the Cubs are around, or we’d be looking REALLY bad.” Yeah, sad time to be a Cubs fan right now.

Good Things

Pierre is finally coming around, but he is not the long term solution for the Cubs leadoff position. With Pie coming up (even with his struggles in AAA) and with Pierre declining every year for the past 3 seasons, I just don’t see why we would keep him. He would need to have an amazing second half to make it seem worth it. In the meantime, since we’re already out of it, I really hope they call up Pie soon.

I do feel that there are a couple bright spots, however, in an otherwise dark season. Sean Marshall and Ronny Cedeno. Marshall is probably our #2 pitcher right now, and this is the first season he’s been in the rotation. He’s only going to get better, but we have to make sure he doesn’t hang out at all with Prior or Wood, as we’ve had enough young potential go bad already. And with Cedeno, even though he has struggled at the plate recently and has had his fair share of errors (that’s a fan statement “fair share of errors”. Say it fast), he still hits for pretty good average and has amazing range in the field. In my opinion, he’s also only going to get better.

And for one more bright spot, even though he hasn’t done much, I like Angel Pagan and think he could develop really well too. But there isn’t a ton there yet.

Bad Things

Where to start? I know where, the whole coaching staff. Now I’m not blaming Dusty for this whole season, but it’s time for him to go. I’m tired of the excuses, I’m tired of the whining, and I’m tired of the amazing lack of fundamentals that the Cubs have had ever since he’s been here, despite us fans hearing that “we’re going to focus on the fundamentals…” every year. That I can blame him for, but the lack of moves by Jim Hendry is obviously something I can’t blame him for. Oh, and if you didn’t notice from previous posts, I’m tired of the Neifi Perez love affair. I have a feeling they’ll dump him at the end of the season, but the sooner the better as far as I’m concerned.

Also, even though I like him, Ramirez has really shown that he can’t be the leader of a team. His fielding for the most part has been solid, but once the pressure is on him, he can’t come through. It doesn’t mean we should dump him, but it does mean that we need D Lee healthy for Ram to do much of anything.

Dempster. Amazingly creative ways to blow saves. That’s about all I have to say on that.

Prior/Wood. Trade them both. I don’t even care anymore. If Hendry does not make some major pitching moves this coming offseason, he’s a moron. However, the rumors of Prior being dangled for Tejada seem like a brilliant move, so I trust that Hendry knows what’s going on and will do something about it.

To be honest, the only real untouchables on the team that I see are Lee and Zambrano. You could trade the rest of the team (though I’d save Ramirez and Barrett for last if you were trading everyone).

So bottoms up for a pathetic first half, and cheers for a hopefully eye opening second half at the young talent we may or may not have.

The Rest

Man the White Sox and Tigers are good. Who would have thought we’d be talking about them this year? I can only pray that we’ll be saying the same thing about the Cubs and Pirates in a few years (but I doubt it).

Not to mention the Red Sox. It’s really quite astounding how much better the AL is than the NL. The only teams in the NL that really stand a chance are probably the Cardinals and the Mets, and the Cards have been terrible lately. That’s another reason why the Cubs season is so disappointing, because they really didn’t need to be that great to make a run in the NL. Oh well.

Football

Well the Bears have continued to have an incredibly disappointing offseason, but if the same players perform up to their capabilities like last year, then we should still be fine. However, we’re banking on way to many unknowns on the offensive side. Will Desmond Clark do anything? Will Mark Bradley or Bernard Berrian really take over as the #2 receiver? Will Rex Grossman stay healthy (the perennial Bears question)?

The fear that I have is that Jerry Angelo didn’t make any moves this offseason because he just assumes that we’ll be as good as we were last year (even with the 31st ranked offense), so we don’t need to make any improvements. That would be classic Angelo, and I’m hoping that he’s right. But I have my doubts. The main thing that frustrates me with this coaching staff is that players are rewarded with starting positions rather than having to actually earn them. For example, it seems clear that Cedric Benson might be the starter, despite the fact that he really didn’t show much last year. I also keep hearing about Airese Currie, who’s supposedly this great slot receiver (I believe I’ve even heard the phrase “He’s our slot receiver”), even though he has actually never even practiced with the team.

Why do they do this? Why not actually let the athletes compete, and start the best player. Seems obvious, but they have not gotten the hang of that yet. Either way our defense will be very good once again, and our offense will be the difference between us being a questionable good team that wins a weak division and gets knocked out of the playoffs quickly and a legitimately great team.

Despite my doubts, I am incredibly excited about football to start up again. I’ve already been plotting fantasy moves, and even popped in Madden for Gamecube again earlier today.

Basketball

Bulls

What a fabulous draft! Quite the difference from the Bears draft. Not only did they get the player they wanted the whole time, but they traded down and got another player with the trade (Khryapa) while still getting Tyrus Thomas. Great draft. I don’t know much about Sefalosha (or some spelling like that), but what I’ve heard has been good.And then they go get Ben Wallace. I’m slightly torn on that pickup, but I’m feeling better and better about it the more I think about it. The pros of having Ben is that we needed a dominant center, one who can defend and rebound, preferably one with experience. So why not get the best in the league? However, the cons are that he basically makes us much better at something we were already pretty good at. He doesn’t really address our offensive needs, other than rebounding, and he’s basically the worst free throw shooter in the league. But overall I like the signing, and it allows us to get rid of Chandler, which Paxson wasted no time doing.

So the Bulls offseason has made up for the Bears lack of an offseason, so I was able to get excited about something.

Knicks

Wow the Knicks are amazingly stupid. Not to mention drafting a guy who may not have been drafted at all, or at least deep in the second round. Man it just blows my mind. However, since they release Larry Brown (a man who is known for turning around bad teams in more than one year) after one year and sign the most incompetent GM to now be the most incompetent GM AND Coach. Brilliant. And then they say “you have one year to turn this around.” This is going to be an immensely entertaining season in regards to the Knicks.

Hockey

I don’t have much to say about hockey. It’s nice that Carolina won because they haven’t before, but it is Carolina, who shouldn’t have a hockey team. Oh, and the Hawks suck.

Soccer

I love watching the World Cup, and I always root for Argentina. Why you ask? It’s a long story, but let’s just say that World Cup 98 for Nintendo 64 played a key role. And go figure the one game I watched was when they played Germany and lost. I’ve noticed that I’m a very bad omen when I root for a team in the world cup.

However, I get frustrated watching soccer. First of all, I get so tired of the whining that happens and the faking of injuries. And it makes me feel bad because then when someone actually is injured, I just think they’re faking. I wish the refs would come down a little harder on the faking.

Also, I honestly do love the strategy and sheer athleticism of soccer, but it gets so boring at times, especially when every single game is 1-1, or 1-0, or if you’re lucky 2-1. I just wish that there was slightly more scoring. Just slightly. I know soccer purists will yell at me, but it just gets so uninteresting toward the end of the game when a team has a 2-0 lead and you think there is absolutely no way in hell that the other team can come back. Two goals is WAY too much to overcome.

However, I am currently watching the final in HD, which does look pretty amazing. France and Italy, 1-1 in extra time. Go Italy I guess? I don’t really care, but it is beautiful in HD.

Whew. Okay so that’s all my sports thoughts for now. Just needed to get those out.

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