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.
Ken Williams on having the temerity to give a really interesting quote about Yasmani Grandal and what him signing this early in the offseason means and not realizing that it's six characters too long to fit into a tweet so that I have to attach a screenshot of it. pic.twitter.com/sqh5YOaoFd— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 21, 2019
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.
Here's what the Chicago White Sox's lineup could look like by this May:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 21, 2019
Nick Madrigal 4
Tim Anderson 6
Jose Abreu 3
Yoan Moncada 5
Yasmani Grandal 2
Eloy Jimenez 7
Luis Robert 8
James McCann DH
Leury Garcia 9
Pretty good. And let's not forget: Andrew Vaughn is coming fast.
Ight... let's see your potential (and incomplete) 2020 lineup right now pic.twitter.com/vGDwykUFLT— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) November 21, 2019
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.
The best part of the Yasmani Grandal signing? It actually happened in November!— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) November 21, 2019
Josh Donaldson signed his one-year, $23M deal with the Braves in November last year. But...
Last FA contract this large in years/$ signed before Dec. 1? Yoenis Cespedes - 3 years ago (11/30/16)!
Here are some Grandal stats that should get White Sox fans fired up about his addition (if they weren’t already).
Yasmani Grandal leads MLB in fWAR by catchers since 2015 (24.9).— Jason Benetti (@jasonbenetti) November 21, 2019
Part of that: Grandal leads all catchers in HR since 2015 (117).
Yasmani Grandal was tied for 2nd-most Runs Extra Strikes from framing in 2019 among qualified catchers, at +13.— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) November 21, 2019
The White Sox primary catcher James McCann was -16, the worst mark among qualified catchers -- by a lot.
So the White Sox just went from worst to T-2nd-best there...
Finally, is it time to talk playoffs? Long way to go, but the White Sox offseason is off to a notable start.
The #Whitesox say this is just the start of an aggressive winter in hopes of making a playoff push— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 21, 2019
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.