Orioles

With Cutler sidelined, Bears fall short again

201211192218803360328-p2.jpeg

With Cutler sidelined, Bears fall short again

CHICAGO (AP) Jay Cutler was back home, nursing his concussion and watching as the Chicago Bears got pounded by the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.

Whether he'll be back behind center this weekend remains to be seen.

``That's the goal, and that's what we're hoping for,'' Cutler said Tuesday on ESPN Radio's ``Waddle & Silvy'' show.

He said he's feeling ``as normal as can be'' and will play again this season. He said he ``can't say that for sure'' when asked if he'll be ready to play against Minnesota.

Having their starting quarterback certainly would help the Bears, who are suddenly reeling after back-to-back losses to two of the league's top teams in Houston and San Francisco. What happened against the 49ers was particularly ugly and gave more fuel to skeptics who believe the Bears' record was fattened by lackluster opponents over the first half of the season.

Chicago, after all, is 0-3 against the top teams on their schedule when you add the loss at Green Bay in Week 2.

The Bears (7-3) are still in first place, tied with Green Bay for the NFC North lead, and that's something they pointed out afterward.

``That is the upside coming off of this loss,'' receiver Devin Hester said.

Coach Lovie Smith said, ``We have to take 7-3 into it. And I'm not disappointed in us being at the top of our division with the best record, tied for the best record in our division. That's the football team that we are.''

They won't be for long if this keeps up.

A defense that had been dominant got picked apart, with backup Colin Kaepernick throwing for 243 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start while Alex Smith sat out to heal from a concussion of his own. The 49ers scored on each of their first four possessions, and the Bears never recovered.

Their offense struggled again, and things were particularly bad in the trenches, with Aldon Smith terrorizing Jason Campbell for 5 1/2 sacks.

They got little from their run game, with Matt Forte managing just 63 yards, and Campbell, the experienced backup the Bears brought in during the offseason after crumbling with Caleb Hanie last year, couldn't do much. He threw for just 107 yards and got picked off twice.

Then again, the way the line was blocking, it might not have mattered if Cutler was playing.

Either way, it's not hard to see why Campbell used phrases such as ``worst nightmare'' and ``wakeup call'' afterward.

The Bears had a chance to show they could beat an elite team, and got flattened instead.

``I have never been on a team that works harder, coaches and players,'' said Brandon Marshall, who was swarmed all night and finished with two catches for 21 yards. ``We really are excited about this opportunity we have, as far as the entirety of the season. There is no complacency. It seems like every time we win a game we work a little bit harder. I love that about this team. We just have to get better, especially on the offensive side of the ball, and that starts with the leaders. Me being one of the guys, I have to be better.''

Beating the Vikings (6-4) is no sure thing.

League rushing leader Adrian Peterson has averaged just under 103 yards in eight games against them and went off for 224 in a game in 2007, the most ever by a Bears opponent. On the other side, Jared Allen tends to give them fits with 13 sacks in eight games against Chicago, and that doesn't bode well, whether it's Campbell or Cutler at quarterback.

And, of course, Cutler hopes it's him.

Asked if it's safe to say he did not pass all the tests he needed to and therefore was held out, Cutler said, ``It's not safe to say. Before I even took a test, I met with Lovie and our trainers. Me and (defensive end) Shea (McClellin) - pass or not pass the test, everyone was leaning toward us not playing.''

Cutler said he hopes to take all the reps with the starters in practice this week. He has doctors' appointments on Wednesday and Friday.

``We have to take everything into account and see how I feel,'' Cutler said.

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Baseball Hall of Fame results 2019: Oriole great Mike Mussina gets long overdue call to the Hall

mussina.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Baseball Hall of Fame results 2019: Oriole great Mike Mussina gets long overdue call to the Hall

Mike Mussina was already recognized as one of the greatest pitchers in Orioles history. Now, he’s been enshrined as one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history.

In his sixth year of eligibility, Mussina received 76.7% of the vote, barely surpassing the necessary 75% mark by just seven votes. He’ll be inducted this summer along with Mariano Rivera, Edgar Martinez, Lee Smith, Harold Baines, and the late Roy Halladay.

Over the course of his 18-year career, Mussina compiled 270 wins to go against just 153 losses. He had a 3.68 ERA and struck out 2,813 hitters, the 20th most in baseball history. He also was an American League All-Star five times and won seven Gold Gloves.

Mussina’s career in many ways can be described as “close, but no cigar.” He threw multiple one-hit, no-walk shutouts with the Orioles, including against the Indians when he threw 8⅓ perfect innings before allowing a single. He also was one pitch away with the Yankees against the Red Sox before Carl Everett singled with two outs and two strikes in the ninth inning.

He reached two World Series, both in New York, but lost both times. He finished 2nd in Cy Young voting in 1999, and would have been deserving if Pedro Martinez hadn’t had an all-time historically great season. He finished just 30 wins shy of 300 for his career, and it took him nearly two decades to reach 20 wins in a season, finally hitting the milestone in 2008.

Finally, with only four years remaining on the ballot, he made the Hall of Fame. This time, he didn’t fall short.

Mussina’s Hall of Fame case has been boosted by the rise of sabermetrics, By WAR, he was an obvious selection.

His numbers likely would have looked even better with more favorable circumstances. Mussina spent his entire career in the vaunted American League East, a division full of big bats and hitter-friendly ballparks.

He all spent the bulk of his career pitching in what has since become known as the Steroid Era, an obvious detriment to his overall pitching stats.

Former players have congratulated Mussina and praised both his raw stuff and his off-the-charts baseball IQ. Stuff, plus smarts, plus durability meant he was the total package.

Mussina was always destined to be an Oriole as Baltimore drafted him twice. In 1987, they took him in the eleventh round before the pitcher elected to go to college. In 1990, after his junior season, they took him in the first round.

The starting pitcher affectionately referred to as “Moose” spent a decade in Baltimore before playing the final eight seasons of his career in New York. Because of this, a debate has raged on for years about which cap he would wear should he ever be elected into the Hall of Fame.

Previously, the player himself was able to choose. Nowadays, the Hall makes the call. For some, however, the answer is obvious.

Mussina finally became a 20-game winner with the Yankees, and was obviously much more visible playing for the biggest franchise in the sport. That said, he made a much larger impact in Baltimore, both in statistics, and in stature.

When Orioles fans point to the team’s miserable track record trying to develop homegrown starting pitchers, they often point to Mussina as the last success story. The fact that their most recent win in pitcher development is now in the Hall of Fame is a tough look for a franchise that once started four 20-game winners in the same rotation.

If he does go in as an Oriole, Mussina will become the seventh member to wear the Baltimore cap, joining Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, Jr. and manager Earl Weaver.

Mussina is in a unique spot in Orioles history, as many of the Hall of Famers from Baltimore are thought of as Orioles through and through. None of Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken, Jr., Jim Palmer and Earl Weaver ever wore another uniform.

“Moose” famously spurned the Orioles to join their bitter rivals when he signed with the Yankees, though it’s hard to blame him for taking the most money offered. When asked on MLB Network after the election announcement, Mussina was very appreciative towards both ballclubs and credits both organizations for getting him to this point.

It’s a slightly complicated history, but one that has largely been forgiven with time. When the announcement was made, the consensus reaction on Twitter in Birdland was that of joy for Mussina.

MORE BASEBALL NEWS:

St. Joseph's vs. Richmond Basketball: TV Channel, Live Stream How to Watch

richmond-stjoes1.png
USA Today Sports images

St. Joseph's vs. Richmond Basketball: TV Channel, Live Stream How to Watch

After a disappointing 7-11 start to the 2018-19 men's college basketball season, the Richmond Spiders hope to snap a two-game losing streak when they travel to the City of Brotherly Love on Wednesday night to take on the St. Joseph's Hawks at Hagan Arena.

The Spiders hope to start off their Three-Saint-Strech on the right foot against St. Joseph's prior to heading back home to host St. Bonaventure (1/23) before their road trip to take on Saint Louis (1/30). Richmond Head Coach Chris Mooney is aiming to lead his club to their third straight victory at Hagan Arena.

St. Joseph's vs. Richmond will tip off at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington Plus.

St. Joseph's Hawks vs. Richmond Spiders How to Watch

What: St. Joseph's Hawks vs. Richmond Spiders
Where: Hagan Arena, St. Joseph's University. Philadelphia, PA.
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington Plus (Channel Finder, Daily TV listings)
Radio: (99.5 FM; 950 AM)


St. Joseph's Hawks vs. Richmond Spiders Preview

Conference: Atlantic-10
Record: St. Joseph's (8-10, 1-5), Richmond (7-11,1-4)
Last Game: 68-57 Loss vs. Saint Louis, 1/18 (St. Joseph's), 75-62 Loss at Davidson, 1/19 (Richmond)
Leading Scorers: Charlie Brown Jr., 18.9 ppg (St. Joseph's), Grant Golden, 17.7ppg (Richmond)