White Sox

For some franchise tag holdouts, it's just business


For some franchise tag holdouts, it's just business

Matt Forte still isnt hearing what he wants in the way of contract numbers from the Bears. Same for Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints or Ray Rice from the Baltimore Ravens.

And same for defensive end Cliff Avril over in Detroit, hoping the Lions will come through with a multi-year deal that will net him in the range of 10 million per season.

All are in the enviable (or unenviable, depending on what slant you choose on guaranteed one-year deals vs. long-term ones with up-front guarantees) position of being under their teams franchise tags. They dont like it. No player really does.

But where Brees and Forte in particular have been scratchy about their situations, as was Wes Welker before signing his tender, Avril is taking a very measured this-is-just-business tone in his perspectives.

That wont really matter in the end, because Avril is right: It is strictly business. Avril has not treated the tag or lack of long-term deal as an insult, which Forte has and Brees is seeming to, meaning that there is less chance of divisive rancor, which does neither Forte nor the Bears any good, in their case.

Indeed, the clear sentiment among Bears players that Forte will eventually be with the team says that any strident public comments, which Forte has stayed away from more lately, perhaps dont reflect anything more than attitude. Thats important, because if one player is genuinely angered or feeling disrespected, he has friends who will feel the same.

But we all expect to have Matt at some point, Jay Cutler said this week. I dont think anybody in this building is really worried about Matt coming in here and doing what we expect him to do.

Avrils situation is complicated by the realities that the Lions opened their vault for wide receiver Calvin Johnson and will have to do the same before long for quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Theres only so much money to go around (collusion lawsuits notwithstanding).

The Bears will be addressing a Cutler extension perhaps as early as this preseason or season. Brian Urlacher is in his last contract year. The Bears would like to see Brandon Marshall play his way into an extension, although he is not up for two more seasons.

The Bears would like more friction over in Detroit between Avril and the Lions. Isnt happening.

The baseball world reacts to the Yasmani Grandal signing

The baseball world reacts to the Yasmani Grandal signing

The White Sox signing Yasmani Grandal broke suddenly and unexpectedly.

It wasn’t a big surprise that the White Sox would go after him, but the timing and the fact that the White Sox broke the news on their own (a la the Jose Quintana trade) caught people off guard.

Once the dust settled, the White Sox were in the national spotlight as far as the baseball world was concerned.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan got Ken Williams on the record before the White Sox had conference calls on the signing. Williams makes it sound like it’s go-time for the South Siders.

Passan also gave a look at a potential White Sox lineup for 2020 once prospects Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal eventually join. We also made our own.

The Athletic’s Jayson Stark was impressed with how early the signing was. White Sox fans will enjoy that after going through the long, drawn out Manny Machado/Bryce Harper sagas last offseason.

Here are some Grandal stats that should get White Sox fans fired up about his addition (if they weren’t already).

Finally, is it time to talk playoffs? Long way to go, but the White Sox offseason is off to a notable start.

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Bears to don throwback helmets Sunday against Giants


Bears to don throwback helmets Sunday against Giants

The Bears are throwing it back to the past this weekend at Soldier Field.

The Bears will rock 1960s throwback helmets Sunday when they take on the New York Giants. The helmet is navy blue and features a white "C" logo and gray facemask, whereas the current helmet has an orange "C" and white facemask.

A look at the throwback lid:

The Bears donned those helmets from 1962-72 during the playing days of  Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers, now Hall of Famers. They won the 1963 NFL Championship along the way.

“I think a lot of Bears fans remember the ‘60s, especially the ’63 championship team winning at Wrigley against the Giants with those ‘Cs’ on our helmet,” Bears chairman George H. McCaskey said. “And of course Butkus and Sayers and all the great memories they provided. That small change I think means a lot to people.”

As 2019 is the Bears' 100th season as a franchise, they've been honoring a different decade at each home game. The Bears have also installed seven-foot tall bobbleheads around Chicago each week featuring players from that week's celebratory decade.

Unsurprisingly, this week's game will celebrate the 1960s, with Butkus and Sayers represented in life-size bobblehead form:

The Bears will give out bobbleheads of Butkus and Sayers to the first 20,000 fans who arrive at Sunday's game.

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