Cubs

Lions behaving like losers three-time losers

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Lions behaving like losers three-time losers

Nothing is ever really won during the offseason and the flag-football of minicamps, which never reveal meaningful things about linemen or about performance under some semblance of pressure.But things can be lost in offseasons and no team this year is doing a better job of that than the Detroit Lions, which holds more than a little significance for the Bears and the rest of the NFC.The Lions have followed their undisciplined and self-destructive conduct on the field last year (Matthew Stafford, Ndamukong Suh vs. the Bears) with an offseason of which the Cincinnati Bengals could be proud.Four of Detroits five picks in the 2011 draft have had issues with the law already, including wide receiver Titus Young, who has been bounced from OTAs for reportedly sucker-punching safety (and teammate) Louis Delmas.Dave Birkett over at the Detroit Free Press does a thorough and pointed roundup of the issues happening under the general auspices of coach and enabler Jim Schwartz.
Without going into the specific incidents (Dave does that), two main points to consider:One is that the Lions could well be without defensive tackle Nick Fairley (two arrests) or running back Mikel Leshoure because of suspensions by the league for conduct-unbecoming.And the other is that at a time when serious teams are about the business of football, the Lions are clearly focused on matters other than football.The Lions were sliding backwards and down last season about the time Jay Cutler was fracturing his wrist, and Detroit only was a wild-card playoff qualifier because of the Bears injuries and Dallas stumbling in the final weeks.For point of reference: In the nine years under Marvin Lewis, the Bengals have raised off-field misconduct to an art form and hold the unofficial record for most players arrested under one head coach.They also have reached the postseason just three times and never won a playoff game.Same as Schwartzs Lions.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 31st homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 31st 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 18th homer of June and 31st of the season came off the Tigers in the Cubs' brief 2-game Interleague series in Detroit. 

Sosa connected in the first inning off Tigers starter Seth Greisinger, going back-to-back with Mickey Morandini. 

The Cubs wound up getting out to a 5-0 start in the game but still lost 7-6 on a Gabe Alvarez single in the bottom of the 11th.

The aforementioned Morandini homer was only the 3rd of the season for the Cubs second baseman. He finished with 8 homers on the year and 224 total bases on 172 hits in what was a very good offensive season. Yet it paled in comparison to Sosa, who had nearly 200 more total bases (416) and a slugging percentage nearly 200 points above Morandini's (.647 to .471), a testament to how truly incredible Sosa's season was.

Fun fact: Tony Clark was the Tigers' cleanup hitter that day. Clark is now the head of the MLB Players Union.

Fun fact No. 2: Paul Bako was the Detroit catcher in the game. He later became the Cubs backup catcher in 2003 and 2004, when he posted a .611 OPS in 119 games over the two years.

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.

According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.

The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.

For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.

Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.