Bears

Random News of the Day: A collection of thoughts

Random News of the Day: A collection of thoughts

Thursday, July 22, 2010
12:02 PM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

Random thoughts and observations, in no particular order...
You may run like Hayes, but you hit like ... I always thought that a good choice for the next manager of the Chicago Cubs would be someone who didn't tolerate a lot of egos, poor fundamentals and bad attitudes. You know, someone like Lou Brown from "Major League." I was really sad last Friday when I found out that James Gammon, who played the dour, blunt, cactus-voiced and amusing manager from that classic 1989 movie, had died at the age of 70. I only wish that all professional coaches and managers were as cold-heartedly honest as "Lou Brown." If only, right? Funny ... did you know that James Gammon has Illinois connections? He was born and raised in the town of Newman -- just south of Champaign. Heres an idea: somebody needs to erect a statue in Newman's downtown area with the inscription, "We're contenders now." Oooh. Chills.

Place your bets? A sports betting Web site has compiled a list of potential candidates to succeed Lou Piniella as Cubs manager. I have a few sources who have given me some late additions to the list:

Ryne Sandberg: 72

Joe Girardi: 51

Alan Trammell: 112

Bob Brenly: 61

Joe Torre: 61

Bobby Valentine: 132

Tony La Russa: 152

Field: 21

Montgomery Burns: 2001

Terry Bevington: 5001

Jimmy Dugan: 7501

Manny Trillo, Doug Dascenzo, Hector Villanueva: 8001 (each)

Bruce Kimm: 10001
Don't I Know You? So I'm watching this Rod Blagojevich nonsense on TV and I get the feeling that, for some strange reason, Patti Blagojevich looks a little like Yo Adrian! from the "Rocky" movies (Talia Shire).

Don't I Know You? (Part 2): While we're on the subject, San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum is a combination of these five people:

1. Mitch Kramer (Wiley Wiggins) from "Dazed And Confused"

2. Haley Joel I See Dead People Osment

3. Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick) from the movie "Kids"

4. Michael Phelps

5. Ferris Bueller's Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck)

Just trust me on those.

And finally: A tip of the cap is in order for the athletes, supporters and organizers of the National Junior Disability Championships this week in the northern suburbs. More than 300 athletes from across the country, who have significant physical and visual disabilities, are competing for medals in such areas as swimming, track & field, basketball, rock climbing, archery and many others. These athletes aspire to make it to a future US Paralympics and it was truly amazing to see the effort and determination firsthand during Tuesday's pentathlon. If you're looking to cheer on some real heroes this Friday and Saturday, check out their Web site.

One more week until Bears training camp, folks. The plot on another 8-8 season is about to thicken.

Or something like that.

Joe Collins is an assignment desk editor for Comcast SportsNet and contributor to CSNChicago.com.

Bears Season in Review: Roquan Smith

Bears Season in Review: Roquan Smith

Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith was supposed to ascend into superstar status in 2019, and while he certainly had some flashes of elite play, his year will best be remembered for a strange deactivation in Week 4 and a torn pec muscle that ended his season in Week 14.

We still don't know the exact reason why Smith didn't play against the Vikings. The team called it a personal issue and refused to expand on why one of their most important defensive pieces didn't suit up. We've been left to speculate, which is never a good thing. We may never know what exactly went wrong that week, which naturally creates worry and concern about how much the team can actually rely on Smith on a week-to-week basis. 

Smith's season ended after 12 starts, 100 tackles, two starts, and one interception. He was inconsistent on the field; when he played well, he was lights out. But he had more than his fair share of missed tackles and head-scratching moments that looked nothing like the player the Bears drafted eighth overall in 2018.

Smith ended the year as one of the lowest-graded Bears on defense (24th). His 52.4 ranked 124th among qualifying linebackers on Pro Football Focus. Not good.

But analytics don't always tell the full story. Smith's sideline-to-sideline speed and missile-like penetrating skill set is and will remain an asset for the Bears defense. On pure talent alone, Smith has few peers in the NFL. He just needs to become a more consistent football player, both on and off the field.

We'll chalk up 2019 as an odd blip on Smith's career trajectory. Assuming he makes a full offseason recovery from is pec injury, he'll begin 2020 as one of the cornerstone pieces of a defense that remains one of the NFL's best.

Could baseball's sign-stealing scandal lead to a manager's job for Ozzie Guillen?

Could baseball's sign-stealing scandal lead to a manager's job for Ozzie Guillen?

Will baseball's sign-stealing scandal have a silver lining for a South Side legend?

Three teams whose managers were caught up in the scandal are suddenly without skippers just a month away from the start of spring training: the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox and New York Mets. The Astros' practice of stealing signs and relaying them to players on the field during their championship season in 2017 led to the firings of A.J. Hinch, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran, creating three high-profile job openings.

January managerial searches aren't common, for obvious reasons, and while any or all of the teams in the market for a new manager could go about it as a regular search — potentially sticking with baseball's trend of young, inexperienced guys at the helm — there's a good argument to be made that an experienced skipper would be best to slide into that position this late in the offseason calendar.

There has been no shortage of suggested candidates, but one was conspicuously absent from an extensive list discussed on MLB Network, an experienced manager with a World Series championship on his resume. And that former manager was happy to point out the omission.

Guillen hasn't managed since 2012, after his one-year tenure leading the Miami Marlins came to an end. But he obviously turned in a legendary managerial career on the South Side, guiding the White Sox to a World Series win in 2005 and winning nearly 700 regular-season games during his eight seasons as skipper.

While the always outspoken Guillen does not exactly fit the trendy mold of an inexperienced manager with a close relationship to the front office, he's undoubtedly been successful running a major league team. That experience could prove valuable for any of the three teams that have seen their cultures get blown up in recent days.

Swooping in at the last minute to provide a steady hand for an organization in crisis isn't the typical way to land a long-term gig, and people with personalities like Guillen's are disappearing from managerial roles and the game, in general.

But the Astros, especially, as well as the Red Sox and Mets, to lesser degrees, are capable of winning. Guillen knows a thing or two about winning, and these front offices might want to keep that in mind as they're looking to fill these surprise vacancies.

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