Cubs

Bears surprise some with McClellin pick

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Bears surprise some with McClellin pick

The Bears had been projected by most analysts to be leaning toward either Chandler Jones from Syracuse or Whitney Mercilus from Illinois in their quest for more pass rush.

But Shea McClellin was more consistently productive over his career than Mercilus, whose only big season (16 sacks) was last year, and Jones was consistent but did not have more than 4.5 sacks in any of his three seasons.

We felt he was one of the better rushers and obviously that his pass-rush ability was very high, Emery said. And our fit was very good for him.

The Bears were looking for speed and saw fast feet and hands as well as instincts reacting to a developing play, rather than simply flying upfield.

We all scouts, coaches came away looking at him as having a very high level of football instincts, Emery said. He is relentless in his motor.

Offensive linemen like Iowa tackle Reilly Reiff and Stanford guard David DeCastro were available. The Bears were clear that they did not view OL as a need area, however.

Emery had been aware of McClellin while at Kansas City last year when the Chiefs were looking at him potentially as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

At the Senior Bowl McClellin played more linebacker and did not attract attention as a pass rusher, which was to the Bears benefit.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 49th homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 49th homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 49th homer of the season came with a runner on 1st and one out, when Oriel Hershiser served up a high fastball that Sammy belted 415 feet into the last few rows in left-center field. 

Sosa would later start the game-winning rally in the bottom of the ninth, scoring the game-tying run on a Henry Rodriguez single through the right side of the infield. Jose Hernandez would step in the next at-bat and walk it off with a base hit that scored Mark Grace, as Sammy and the Cubs bested the Giants 6-5. 

Fun Fact: A 33-year-old Barry Bonds would hit home run No. 25, finishing the season with 37 homers. He would finish the next season with 34 dingers but would string five consecutive seasons with at least 45 home runs, of course hitting a record 73 home runs in 2001. 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Michael Kopech prepares for The Show

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Michael Kopech prepares for The Show

Pete McMurray, David Haugh and Ben Finfer join David Kaplan on the panel and discuss the long-awaited arrival of Michael Kopech for the White Sox, Yu Darvish's short rehab start and Mitch Trubisky's second preseason game.

Plus, they discuss new NFL rules and when Eloy Jimenez could get his call up.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: