Cubs

Reinsdorf thinking multiple titles possible

Reinsdorf thinking multiple titles possible

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Reinsdorf: Bulls have chance to win at least four championships

The Bulls will honor the 1990-91 championship team during halftime of Saturday's home game against the Jazz.

Its a great thing to bring these players back, Reinsdorf said. Im sure the fans will enjoy seeing them, and they will be extremely well-received.

Speaking of this year's team, Reinsdorf believes they have a bright future ahead of them.

If you dont see something special in Derrick Rose, then youreblind, Reinsdorf said. We have an outstanding coach, an outstandingbunch of players, the team is deep, and if we stay healthy, we have anawfully good chance of winning at least four championships. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Obama watching CSN tonight?

President Barack Obama has not been shy about rooting for his hometown team. In the latest event Obama is dedicating to his Chicago sports teams, the commander in chief is hosting a Bulls-Bobcats viewing party at the White House. He better not be watching the Bobcats feed!

On Friday, Obama will honor the Blackhawks for their Stanley Cup victory at the White House. After the ceremony, the team will volunteer at a children's street hockey clinic on the South Lawn. (NBCChicago.com)

Thibodeau comes highly recommended - from the highest of places

Current Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has a heck of a list of references. In fact, he has some of the top players in Washington, D.C. singing his praises.

Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf told the Chicago Sun-Times that Thibs was first recommended to him by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (who played for Thibodeau at Harvard). When the position became available and Thibs was hired, David Axelrod thanked Reinsdorf for hiring his old assistant coach.

President Barack Obama approved of the deal as well. He told Reinsdorf, "Great hire." (Chicago Sun-Times)

No disciplinary action from NHL for Chara

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will not be fined of suspended for Tuesday night's hit on Canadiens Max Pacioretty.

By now, you've probably seen Chara's terrifying hit on Pacioretty along the boards that saw Pacioretty slam his head into the stanchion separating the benches. After laying motionless on the ice for minutes, he was taken off the ice on a stretcher and moved to the hospital for observation.

Chara was kicked out of the game and given a five-minute major for interference for the hit. (CSN New England)

Braves minor league manager regains consciousness

After being hit in the face by a foul ball during Atlanta's 6-1 Grapefruit League loss to St. Louis, Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar regained consciousness and was breathing on his own.

Brian McCann's line drive hit Salazar while he was standing in the dugout in the first inning of the game at Champion Stadium. He was unconscious for at least 20 minutes, but came to during the helicopter ride to the hospital. (Blogs.AJC.com)

Suh says Bears' O-line needs youth

Ndamukong Suh has plenty to say about the Bears' O-line, and it's not all too flattering. In an interview on NFL Network, Suh called the offensive line on the Chicago Bears "over the hill."

Suh said that the Bears' key to getting better has to do with the O-line.

"I think they have a good offensive line, but it's a matter that they're definitely trying to get over the hill, and they're getting there," Suh said. (National Football Post)

MLB Source: Cubs 'got fat and happy' after World Series, culture must change

MLB Source: Cubs 'got fat and happy' after World Series, culture must change

Fact: The 2019 Chicago Cubs wildly underachieved, finishing with an 84-78 record and finishing third in the NL’s Central division. Fact: The Chicago Cubs didn’t fail because they didn’t spend enough money. The Cubs were 2nd in all of baseball in payroll finishing behind only the Boston Red Sox. Both of those teams failed to make baseball’s postseason.
 
Fact: The Cubs front office has done a lousy job acquiring players since winning the 2016 World Series and they have done a poor job in developing quality, big league caliber pitching through their minor league system.

But, it is also a fact that former manager Joe Maddon allowed his comfort level with players interfere with how much he held them accountable and the result was a team that paid little attention to detail and spiraled out of contention. That's the mess Maddon left the Cubs.
 
The reasons the Cubs are struggling are not mutually exclusive. There is no singular reason why they have seen their window of contending for another World Series start to close. But, for people to blame everything on either a lack of spending by ownership or a lousy job by the front office misses a main factor in the Cubs decline.

Multiple sources told me the Cubs have had a lack of attention to detail over the past three years. One person in the organization said, “on the field we got fat and happy and that cannot be allowed to continue.”

When I asked the front office about this perception, Theo Epstein and other members of the Cubs' front office praised Maddon. They have not taken any shots at their World Series winning manager, a first class move when it would be easy to make him the scapegoat.

"Sometimes it's just time. We're going through some transitions in various levels of the organization and think change will be good for this group," Epstein said at the end of the 2019 season.
 
So what does a lack of accountability mean? How does that get fixed?

It starts with every player coming into camp in better physical condition than they ever have been before. The vibe at the recent Cubs Convention is that players are working exceptionally hard and it happened in concert with the player development, strength and conditioning staff that the Cubs have spent the past six months upgrading. Anthony Rizzo for one looked like he is in the best shape I remember him being in since he came to the Cubs.
 
Yes, the Epstein and Jed Hoyer led front office have to be much better in upgrading the roster. Epstein can walk into any room and set his three World Series championship rings on the table and lay out his vision for the future and every owner in baseball would sign up for his plan.

But there is no short cut to fixing what ails the current edition of the Cubs. They have very little payroll flexibility and until the service time grievance of Kris Bryant is settled the Cubs cannot engage in substantive trade talks for him because they don’t know if they are trading one year or two years of team control.
 
And ownership has made a philosophical decision to reset the team’s luxury tax, so there is no magic pot of money Epstein and Hoyer can dip into to fix the multiple holes currently plaguing the roster.

New manager David Ross has to find a way to get more out of the roster than Joe Maddon did and that starts with holding his players far more accountable than Maddon did. When I questioned Maddon at the recent Winter Meetings about about dealing with his critics (most notably me) he said: “I am so self confident in what I do and how I do it, just because guys like you are wrong, I’m not gonna respond to that stuff when it happens.”
 
I neglected to tell Maddon during that interview that while I may have been hard on him at times, my primary criticism was that he did not hold his players accountable far too often. Maddon says I was wrong.

The Cubs effectively fired him and now he's the manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Maybe I wasn’t wrong. It sure seems like his bosses felt the same way.

Thank you for 2016 Joe. It was the thrill of a lifetime for all of Cubs Nation. It was time for a change too and that’s okay to admit.

Now it’s on Epstein, Hoyer and Ross to fix the Cubs without a bottomless pit of money. I hope they’re up to the task.

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Eric Ebron interacts with Akiem Hicks AFC Championship tweet, causing free agency speculation

Eric Ebron interacts with Akiem Hicks AFC Championship tweet, causing free agency speculation

Just as Bears fans were finally coming to terms with their disappointing 8-8 season, Akiem Hicks decided to pour some salt on the wound and take to Twitter, imagining what it would’ve been like if the Bears had made it to the NFC Championship game.

While we were all imagining how indeed “lit” it would’ve been to see the Bears play in the post-season at Soldier Field, Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron decided to quote tweet hicks with a thinking face emoji. Curious behavior.

Ebron has played for the Colts since 2018, having a stellar first season in Indianapolis, scoring 14 touchdowns. In 2019, Ebron’s season ended after 11 games due to an ankle injury. He scored three touchdowns, logging 31 catches for 375 yards. Colts GM Chris Ballad has said that the organization is likely to move on from Ebron in 2020, meaning he would be available in free agency. Tight end is one of the positions on the Bears long off-season do to list and Ebron seems he could be a potential fit. Judging by their Twitter interactions, Akiem Hicks and Tarik Cohen seem to think so.

Hicks replied to Ebron telling him he could hear Bears fans calling his name. Cohen echoed this sentiment in his own, albeit more cryptic tweet.

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