Bulls

Intensifies the effects?

Intensifies the effects?

By Frankie O
CSNChicago.com

Once again the big fella is out of commission with back woes, but no worries, it only gives me more time to lie around and think. Of course Im doing the thinking in the haze induced by my doctor prescribed pain medication (Is there any other kind?!) so no worries there either, right? On second thought, yikes!

One thing the meds do though is limit the attention span quite a bit. Double yikes!!

So hop on board as I share a few things and scuse me while I kiss the sky.

Fantasy football is the root of all evil. I say this while Im 0-8. Are you freaking kidding me? I couldnt be this bad if I tried. And the scary part is, IM TRYING. I have no shot at all and Im still scouring the waiver wire for the one guy that can make the difference. Whatever! And dont think for one second youre getting off easy here. I can feel about 2000 words in your future to explain the sheer misery Im living with!

As the mess at Penn State approaches the official one-year mark, Im still dealing with the waves of emotions that it has caused. With anger still being the prevalent one, I was relieved to hear that former president Graham Spanier was finally charged. I of course say this knowing the upcoming trials (CurleySchultz) are only going to make me feel worse. Im also left wondering if Joe would have been arrested also if he was still alive. I guess the trials will give us that answer.

In the testament of all-time greatness, I have always thought that it is the second title that bestows that honor. And they dont have to be consecutive, although that helps greatly. Its always something that I wrestle with concerning the 85 Bears. One-hit wonders? That was a great team, no doubt, but only 1 title? And now, in less than a year, Im left to contemplate the football and baseball Giants. The New York football Giants won titles following the 2007 and 2011 seasons. Are they an all-time great team? How many teams have done that? Are they as good as the Giants team that won following the 1987 and 1990 seasons? Those were great teams. And with the San Francisco Giants now having won 2 World Series in 3 years, how will they be measured? Better than the Red Sox of 04 and 07? Why or why not? The Braves were demeaned for years because the only won one. Two in three years is hard to deny, but this team? Really

I have a hard time understanding running a marathon in New York this weekend. I understand the get back up your feet thing, but doesnt this feel awkward and forced? I know there will be basketball and football games played in the NY metro area this weekend, but those are in controlled environs without there being the amount of outside (read: taxpayer provided) support that Im sure a 26 mile race through five boroughs requires. I would love to know Gov. Chris Christie thinks about it. Im sure we know what he would do. Speaking of Christie, say what you want about his politics, but you cant help but be impressed by his passion for what he does. This is not the last we hear of him Im sure.

I know the bubble has already burst for this seasons Bulls due to D-Roses injury, but Im not ready to go completely negative on them as I felt my fellow panelists on CTL were last Friday. I agree that this years squad is suffering from a talent deficit, relatively, but during the regular season talent isnt the only reason teams win. Watch any Knicks games lately? As I look at the east, its the Heat then there is everybody else. Indiana has nice balance, but can you name me three guys on the team without looking? Two? The thing I like about the Bulls is because of their coach, they show up every night. During the regular season over the last two years they own the leagues best record. Last year, when Rose missed 27 games, they were 18-9 in those games. Can their two veteran starting guards stay healthy? Good question. Will their 2nd-five evolve to the level of the last two? Even better question. But two things Ive learned about a Tom Thibodeau coached team is that: They are going to show up every night. And he is going to get the most out of every player on his roster. In a mediocre eastern conference, that should be good enough to be very competitive even if it is a tough watch.

Dont know about you, but Im convinced there wont be hockey until January at the earliest. This is a one-sided battle but the ones on the wrong end dont seem to get that. I agree with them that any contract that is currently in effect should be honored. That seems fair. But life isnt always fair. Life is about knowing when to cut your losses. In this case, it whether or not you want to give up a year of salary to make a point that wont be made. The owners hold the cards and are intent on playing them. It appears to me that the players might be getting some bad advice from the guy steering their ship. This isnt baseball and in case you havent noticed there doesnt seem to be any public outcry that games arent being played. In fact I havent heard anything at all. Your move Donald.
But fans need to fill the void, especially the deranged, bartending ones. So for the very first time, Im doing something Ive mocked forever and never dreamed Id ever do. Im almost ashamed to admit it. Almost. For I, Frankie O (Drink!) am now participating in a fantasy basketball league. I have no clue what Im doing and half way through the draft, had no idea who I, or anyone else for that matter, was selecting. But it was kind of cool doing something new. And, its actually made me excited, for once, about the start of the NBA season. Best yet, I cant do any worse than in football, can I? (I heard that!) For now, its my shiny, new, sports passion. This is going to be fun. Well, at least until the pain meds wear off, or the Eagles win another game, whichever comes first. Ugh. The Eagles. Talk about pain inducing. Time for another dose! It will be back to reality soon enough.

PS. I must be on some good ones. I didnt mention Jay Cutler once.

Thumb injury leaves Wendell Carter Jr. on the outside looking in at NBA All-Rookie teams

Thumb injury leaves Wendell Carter Jr. on the outside looking in at NBA All-Rookie teams

Wendell Carter Jr. was on his way to becoming the second consecutive Bulls player to make an All-Rookie Team, but a thumb injury that required surgery in January ultimately proved to be the deciding factor in his omission.

The All-Rookie Teams were announced on Tuesday afternoon and, as expected, Carter was not on either. The seventh overall pick had a promising rookie campaign in which he averaged 10.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Those marks ranked 10th, 4th and 2nd, respectively, among first-year players.

But Carter's thumb injury limited him to just 44 games. Of the 10 players who made the first and second teams, Memphis' Jaren Jackson Jr. played the fewest games (58) while the group averaged 72.8 games played.

Carter's thumb injury was initially diagnosed as a jam, but further testing revealed that surgery was the best course of action for the then-19-year-old (he turned 20 in April). The Bulls opted not to rush Carter back at the end of the season - a wise decision on multiple levels - and Carter, when he spoke with media members for the first time after undergoing surgery, said his goals had moved to the long-term.

“So many people have had this injury and they don’t get it taken care of and bones are coming out of their socket very easily,” Carter said. “I just wanted to eliminate all that. If I was to get in a cast and come back and the tendon didn’t come back out, then I’d have to wait another eight weeks and get the surgery. So I just went ahead and knocked it out to get it out of the way.

"It's all good. I'm just looking at the long-term now."

He was one of the league's youngest rookies but hardly played like it. He moved into the starting lineup for good just a few days into the preseason and wore multiple hats for the Bulls. Injuries to Kris Dunn, Bobby Portis and Denzel Valentine thrust Carter into a significant scoring role for the Bulls, sometimes acting as the No. 2 option behind Zach LaVine early in the season.

He took on more of a traditional post-up role - with solid footwork making him a serviceable roll man - when those players returned and Jim Boylen took over, slowing down the offense. He shot a respectable 48.5% from the field and his 79.5% mark from the foul line showed a nice touch. But he also went 6 of 32 from beyond the arc in his rookie season. He'll need to find some more versatility on the offensive end, though there will be more floor spacing in his sophomore season after the Bulls added Otto Porter Jr. at the trade deadline.

He is one of five rookies over the last seven seasons to average at least 7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, joining Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, Nerlens Noel, Kristaps Porzingis, Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid in that category. That's not to suggest that Carter will have the same career arc as those All-Stars plus Noel - he's got plenty to do on the defensive end - but in Carter the Bulls have found a defensive anchor and someone to complement Lauri Markkanen on that end of the floor.

He's a raw talent who showed promise as a rookie. And while it didn't result in an All-Rookie bid, the future is bright in the middle for the Bulls. Like many of his teammates, expectations will increase for Carter as they enter Year 3 of their rebuild.

Check out the All-Rookie Teams below.

Jake Arrieta full of appreciation in return to Wrigley mound: ‘I’ll never forget this city’

Jake Arrieta full of appreciation in return to Wrigley mound: ‘I’ll never forget this city’

The last time Jake Arrieta pitched at Wrigley Field, his night ended with Cubs fans giving him a rousing standing ovation. The former Cubs right hander tossed 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball, leading the Cubs to victory in Game 4 of the 2017 NLCS—their only win against the Los Angeles Dodgers that series.

Arrieta returned to Wrigley Field as a visitor on Monday night, making his first start against the Cubs since joining the Philadelphia Phillies last season. Ironically, Arrieta’s counterpart for the night was Yu Darvish, who ultimately replaced Arrieta in the Cubs starting rotation.

Despite now donning Phillies red, Cubs fans once again showed their love for Arrieta, giving him a lengthy standing ovation ahead of his first plate appearance. Darvish even stepped off the mound in respect for the moment.

“I loved it, absolutely loved it,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said to reporters postgame. “[I’m] very happy that our fans would acknowledge him like that. Yu stepped away from the mound nicely. Jake deserved it.”

Arrieta tipped his helmet in appreciation for the crowd, taking in the moment for more than 30 seconds before stepping into the batter’s box. After the game, he told reporters that moment brought back memories of his time with the Cubs.

“That was something that really brought back great memories of getting that same sort of ovation pretty much on a nightly basis,” Arrieta said. “[I’m] very appreciative of that. I can’t say thank you enough to the city of Chicago, I really can’t.”

Arrieta took fans back to his Cubs tenure on Monday, throwing six innings of one run ball in the Phillies’ 5-4 10-inning win. Although the 33-year-old didn’t pick up the victory, he matched Darvish—who threw six innings of three-run ball—pitch by-pitch.

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler noted how well Arrieta handled his emotions throughout the night.

“I thought he handled the emotions really well. I thought he was in control of the game even when we were down,” Kapler said to reporters. “He always maintained his poise and he just got stronger as the outing went on and that’s why we were able to have him take down the sixth inning for us.”

It’s well-documented how Arrieta’s career improved for the better after the Cubs acquired him in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles in July 2013. When the Cubs acquired him, Arrieta held a career 5.46 ERA in 69 games (63 starts). He finished his Cubs career with a 2.73 ERA in 128 regular season starts. He also won five postseason games with the Cubs, including Games 2 and 6 of the 2016 World Series.

Despite moving on in free agency, Arrieta spoke highly of his time with the Cubs, their fans and the city of Chicago.

“Cubs fans all across the country, all across the world, they really respect and appreciate what guys are able to do here for them,” he said. “It means a lot, it really does.

"I’ll never forget this city, the fan base, the organization, everything that they did for me. It was 4 1/2 incredible years of my career.”

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