Reminiscing on the time the Cubs traded Angel Pagan


Reminiscing on the time the Cubs traded Angel Pagan

As the Cubs almost pulled off a shocking trade Friday night, it got me thinking about another trade the organization probably wishes to have back.

Angel Pagan's name has been everywhere the past few weeks -- even in Taco Bell -- as the starting centerfielder and leadoff hitter for the World Champion Giants.

Cubs fans remember him when he was just a kid making his MLB debut in the 2006 season. He played 77 games that year for the Cubs and appeared in 71 the following season, getting time at all three outfield spots.

He only totaled 348 plate appearances in those two years, and the Cubs wound up trading Pagan to the Mets, the organization that drafted him in 1999.

Dealing a young outfielder with a career .716 minor-league OPS isn't exactly groundbreaking. But the Cubs did not come out on top in this one particular deal.

In January 2008, the Cubs sent Pagan to the Mets for outfielder Corey Coles and right-hander Ryan Meyers. Both guys spent just a year in the Cubs' minor-league system and then that was that. They were out of baseball after the 2008 season.

Pagan, meanwhile, has turned into a pretty good major-leaguer, having racked up a .281.334.415 line with 98 steals and 243 runs over the past three seasons, two of which were in New York before he was dealt to San Francisco prior to the start of 2012.

It's no Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio by any means, but it's still interesting to look back at. Good for Pagan for getting a ring, though.

ESPN ranks Derrick Rose No. 36 in its World Fame 100 list


ESPN ranks Derrick Rose No. 36 in its World Fame 100 list

Yes, Derrick Rose Stans. Your boy still has plenty of relevance in the sports world.

ESPN released its third annual ranking of "the biggest names in sports," and the Timberwolves point guard ranked No. 36 on the list. ESPN formed the list based on a formula that took three factors into account:

1. Search score, "which measures how often a name is searched"

2. Endorsement dollars, with sources using ranging from Forbes to ESPN contributors

3. Social media followers, with ESPN taking only the platform in which the player had his or her most followers into account.

Rose's search score wasn't all that impressive, ranking 15 - the average on the top 100 list had a score of 35. But with Bulls fans, NBA fans and now of course Timberwolves fans chiming in on his game, Rose's name came across plenty of timelines and search engines.

Rose's $14 million in endorsements - primarily from that massive Adidas deal - was better than the average $12.6 million of the top 100 athletes.

Rose's top social media page is on Facebook, where he currently has more than 10.7 million likes. This, as ESPN notes, is largely due to the international following Rose and so many other NBA athletes have built up over the years.

In 2016, Rose ranked No. 30 on the list. In 2017 he was No. 33 on the list, so while he isn't trending in the right direction there's no denying his presence in the sports landscape. Love him or hate him, Derrick Rose still matters.

The only NBA players above Rose on the list were LeBron James (No. 2), Kevin Durant (No. 7), Stephen Curry (No. 9), James Harden (No. 24), Kyrie Irving (No. 27), Dwyane Wade (No. 31) and Russell Westbrook (No. 34). NBA players below Rose included Carmelo Anthony, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Isaiah Thomas, and Cameron Payne.

OK, not Cameron Payne. He must have been No. 101.

Tarik Cohen was NFL's best big-play RB in 2017

Tarik Cohen was NFL's best big-play RB in 2017

Tarik Cohen's rookie season with the Chicago Bears was an impressive blend of running, receiving and special teams play. He quickly became a household name. The combination of his diminutive frame and oversized personality made him a fan favorite, especially when he started gaining yards in chunks.

In fact, of all running backs with a minimum of 80 carries last season, Cohen had the highest percentage of runs that were 15 or more yards, according to Pro Football Focus.

Cohen will have a big role in new coach Matt Nagy's offense this season because of everything he offers a play-caller. He's a weapon as a receiver out of the backfield and can chew up yards on the ground like any traditional running back. He's a hold-your-breath talent who can turn a bad play into a touchdown in the blink of an eye.

Cohen had 370 rushing yards, 353 receiving yards and three offensive touchdowns in what can be described as a limited role last year. John Fox and Dowell Loggains didn't seem to ever figure out how to best use Cohen's skill set. That should be no issue for Nagy and Mark Helfrich, the team's new offensive coordinator, who both bring a creative offensive approach to Chicago.

Jordan Howard will be the starter and will do most of the heavy lifting. But Cohen is going to have a much bigger role than he had as a rookie, and that should result in more big plays and points on the board.