Bears

Moore explodes in Bloom' victory

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Moore explodes in Bloom' victory

By Michael O'Brien
YourSeason.com
Bloom senior Donald Moore has been tearing up south suburban basketball courts for three seasons now, but the games have taken on some extra meaning.Moore became an academic qualifier in mid-January, and hes trying to get the word out to as many colleges as possible. Fridays 59-52 win over Rich South in Richton Park should help. The 6-foot point guard scored 22 points.I hope some of the Division I schools find out he qualified and he starts to get some offers, Bloom coach Jasper Williams said. Donald has set the tone for us all year. Hes one of the top guards in the state.Moores stable, guiding hand was as important as his 22 points. The No. 7 Blazing Trojans are as disciplined as they have been in years. They only turned the ball over eight times in the game while forcing Rich South into 15 turnovers.Weve been able to do that all year, Moore said. Coach told us were a guard-heavy team and we need to take care of the ball.Bloom was in control throughout the first half, but the Stars made a run in the third quarter, tying the game at 35 after two free throws from John Ruffin. Bloom responded with a 7-1 run to close the quarter.Ruffin scored 12 and grabbed 12 rebounds, but hes usually capable of much more.Our main focus was on Ruffin, Williams said. Hes the best rebounder in the conference and to hold him to that is excellent.LJ Johnson scored 24 for Bloom and Johnny Griffin added 15 points and five rebounds. Marquell Small led the Stars with 14 points and seven rebounds.Bloom (21-3, 7-1 Southland) and Rich South (16-6, 4-2) split two previous games this season, including a Bloom win in the Big Dipper title game.Its real hard to play a team three times, Moore said. They know almost all of our plays and what we do. You just have to try and adjust to it.Moore has an offer from Chicago State, and Cal Poly has shown some interest. Now that Ive qualified the offers should start coming in, Moore said.

Can the Bears make enough plays to beat the Carolina Panthers?

Can the Bears make enough plays to beat the Carolina Panthers?

Everything changed for the Bears after going up 17-3 last week against the Baltimore Ravens. Mitchell Trubisky’s 27-yard touchdown to Dion Sims was immediately followed by Bobby Rainey running a kickoff back 96 yards for a touchdown, then the offense was bogged down with three fumbles (two lost) on three consecutive possessions. 

But Adrian Amos seemed to seal the game with his 90-yard pick six — that is, until Michael Campanaro ran Pat O’Donnell’s punt back 77 yards for what wound up being a game-tying touchdown after a two-point conversion.

The point is the Bears should’ve cruised to a comfortable win last week; a few critical mistakes didn’t allow that to happen. The Bears haven’t led at the end of the fourth quarter this year, a pretty strong indicator they haven’t played a complete game yet despite having two wins. 

The Carolina Panthers have road wins over the Detroit Lions and New England Patriots this year, and only lost to the Philadelphia Eagles by five points last week (despite Cam Newton throwing three interceptions). The bet here is the Bears keep things close on the backs of a strong defense, but either can’t make enough plays or make too many mistakes to win. 

Prediction: Panthers 20, Bears 16

Offseason of change begins with Cubs firing pitching coach Chris Bosio

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USA TODAY

Offseason of change begins with Cubs firing pitching coach Chris Bosio

"Of course," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said in the middle of the National League Championship — he would like his coaches back in 2018. Pitching coach Chris Bosio told the team's flagship radio station this week that the staff expected to return next year. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein didn't go that far during Friday afternoon's end-of-season news conference at Wrigley Field, but he did say: "Rest assured, Joe will have every coach back that he wants back."

That's Cub: USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale first reported Saturday morning that Bosio had been fired, the team declining a club contract option for next year and making a major influence on the Wrigleyville rebuild a free agent. Epstein and Bosio did not immediately respond to text messages and the club has not officially outlined the shape of the 2018 coaching staff.

Those exit meetings on Friday at Wrigley Field are just the beginning of an offseason that could lead to sweeping changes, with the Cubs looking to replace 40 percent of their rotation, identify an established closer (whether or not that's Wade Davis), find another leadoff option and maybe break up their World Series core of hitters to acquire pitching. 

The obvious candidate to replace Bosio is Jim Hickey, Maddon's longtime pitching coach with the Tampa Bay Rays who has Chicago roots and recently parted ways with the small-market franchise that stayed competitive by consistently developing young arms like David Price and Chris Archer.

Of course, Maddon denied that speculation during an NLCS where the Los Angeles Dodgers dominated the Cubs in every phase of the game and the manager's bullpen decisions kept getting second-guessed.

Bosio has a big personality and strong opinions that rocked the boat at times, but he brought instant credibility as an accomplished big-league pitcher who helped implement the team's sophisticated game-planning system.

Originally a Dale Sveum hire for the 2012 season/Epstein regime Year 1 where the Cubs lost 101 games, Bosio helped coach up and market short-term assets like Ryan Dempster, Scott Feldman, Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija. 

Those win-later trades combined with Bosio's expertise led to a 2016 major-league ERA leader (Kyle Hendricks) and a 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner (Jake Arrieta) plus setup guys Pedro Strop and Carl Edwards Jr. and All-Star shortstop Addison Russell.

Bosio helped set the foundation for the group that won last year's World Series and has made three consecutive trips to the NLCS. But as the Cubs are going to find out this winter, there is a shelf life to everything, even for those who made their mark during a golden age of baseball on the North Side.