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BACK TO REALITY

July 22, 2009
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After the Cubs disposed of Washington, they headed over to Philadelphia to take on the defending champion Phillies. Heading into the series, the Phillies have been one of the hottest teams in the league winning 8 straight games. The Cubs, who were really swinging the bats well, came out flat with a 10-1 loss. Ted Lilly, the clubs most consistent pitcher just did not have it. He lasted only 4 innings giving up 9 runs (7 earned). He had been given a couple of extra days off after the all-star break due to inflammation in the knee and that might have had an affect on his performance.

Game2 looked alot more promising with Rich Harden taking the hill and only allowing 1 run, but once again the Cubs offense looked anemic putting up 1 run in 13 innings. That gave the Cubs a total of 2 runs scored in the 22 innings played against Philadelphia. That is not gonna get it done. The bright spot, other than Harden, was the performance of the bullpen. They pitched 5.1 scorless innings before allowing a game-ending 3 run homer in the 13th.

The final game saw Carlos Zambrano, winner of his last 2, on the mound. Zambrano did not have his best stuff, but managed to hang on long enough to pick up the victory 10-5. The victory gave Zambrano a 7-4 record and his third straight win. He gave up 5 runs(4 earned), and ten hits in 6 innings. The Cubs were able to salvage the final game of the series and they now have Thursday off before heading to Cincinnati

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CHICAGO CUBS SECOND HALF PREVIEW

July 20, 2009

Well, here we are entering the second half of the baseball season. The first half of the season was pretty disappointing, when you consider that the Cubs were picked by many to run away with the division. They finished the first half with a .500 record and in a third place tie in one of the weakest divisions in baseball. They started the second half of the season strong by sweeping the Washington Nationals. Although the Nationals are one of the worst teams in the game, you have to beat the teams you are suppose to beat. They currently sit in second place with a 47 -43 record just 2 games behind the Cardinals. There are several reasons I believe the Cubs will have a much better second half and win their division.

They played most of the first half without their best hitter Aramis Ramirez. Aramis Ramirez should give the Cubs the shot in the arm that the need. They’ve had a ton of injuries that have slowed them down including Geovany Soto, Ryan Dempster, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano and Milton Bradley, but they expect to have Dempster back around late July and Soto should be back by early August.

Another reason for the Cubs slow start has been the play of Derrek Lee. Lee got off to a terrible start, but has really been producing lately. With Lee hitting like the all-star he is, the offense will continue to produce like they did against the Nationals.

A recent line-up change has really paid off for the club as well. Soriano was moved from the lead-off spot to the sixth hole and Fukudome has been moved to lead-off. Since the move Fukudome has batted .321 and in his last 10 games Soriano has batted .371 with 6 rbi’s.

Milton bradley has been a complete bust since coming over from Texas. It’s hard to believe he’ll have as bad a second half as his first half. This is a guy that batted .321 with 22 homeruns last year , and batted over .300 in 2007. He’s a proven hitter and should come around.

I’m looking forward to seeing who the Cubs might go after before the trading deadline. They’ve made some bold moves in recent years by adding some big names, and there are many teams who are out of the race that are looking to cut payroll. some of the names that have been floating around are, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Matt Holliday and Freddie Sanchez. Whether they make a move or not, they have the neccesary pieces to make a strong playoff push.

Chicago Bears Pre-Camp Preview

July 18, 2009

Hey gang, can you believe it’s already that time again?  That’s right!  The Bears will be reporting for camp before month’s end and thus starting the football season…at least for me!  So what are we looking at this year?  Where are our strengths, where are our weaknesses, and an overall forecast for the season.  You know, the usual suspects sort of stuff.

Let’s “kick-off” with Offense:

In an unprecedented move, like no other in Bears’ history, our beloved has gone out and secured a Top 5 quarterback in the likes of Jay Cutler. cutler I think that no matter what this guy does, he’ll be under a definite microscope called the Chicago media.  However, here at this blog, I’m deciding not to scrutinize Cutler as much as everyone else wants to.  He’s a crybaby, he’s a prima-donna, he’s all about the money, and garbage like that will not be used in this discussion.  Let everyone else be skeptical or unsure or just plain ignorant.  This guy’s a bonafide All-Pro quarterback with a serious pedigree.  I want to forget about the Jim Millers and Rex Grossmans of Chicago Bears past and focus on the future with a young, very talented quarterback.  The big question surrounding the Bears’ Offense is in Wide Receiver.  Rashied Davis is coming back this year as our top guy.  Is he the big play, deep-ball kind of guy?  Not sure yet, we’ll see this season.  Do I think he has the talent and the potential: YES!  I like the idea that the Bears may just have another ace up their sleeve by getting a decent free agent receiver, so we’ll see.  I’d love to see Marhsall or Burress in Bears uniforms by September, but hey, I’m not holding my breath.  Chicago football is all about the running game anyhow, which brings me to the backfield.  matt-forte1Forte showed he can do it and be a decent, consistent back.  A little bit of flash, but not much, just consisten carries and consistent yards.  I like that.  Teams get a back like Barry Sanders or Walter Payton and the next thing you know, every other area gets neglected on the offense and the focus becomes the running back.  The Bears need to build on an above average, consistent backfield and set up the passing game from there.  The Offensive Line for the Bears is looking better and better.  Talk of rookies has never been anything that’s bothered me.  We’ve had quite a few years of aging vets taking the reps and it’s time to build the line for the future.  I’m excited about what’s to come.

Urlacher_inside101507(8)Ok, let’s talk about what we’re known for: DEFENSE!

The most obvious thing about the Bears defense is that they have one of the best, if not THE best linebacking corps of any team in the new millenium.  Hillenmeyer, Briggs, and of course, Urlacher are strong, quick, and fundamentally sound.  They have struggled in the middle due to a defensive line that is pretty similar to pudding.  Probably the biggest criticism the Bears will face this pre-season is the performance of the D-Line last year.  From All-Pro to All-Schmo in a matter of a couple of years.  I was pretty sad to see, what I believed to be, the toughest line I’ve seen in a long time become nothing more than a big ole bunch of patsys.

Harris_inside091107I’m not hatin’ over here, but honestly, where’s the pass rush?  Where’s the penetration?  As exciting as Jay Cutler will most likely be, one fact will always remain here in Chicago:

DEFENSE WINS GAMES & CHANGES MOMENTUM–FANS LOVE IT!!

I’m not asking for a miracle, but I’d love to see the best defense in the world return to its old ways.  I’m not even going to touch the Secondary right now.  We have solid corners that get burned once in a while rolling the dice and playing with some balls–I’m OK with that kind of play.  Let’s see how the safety positions shape up soon.

As far as Special Teams, my philosophy is, If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.  Case in point.  Great return men, great blocking, great tackling–we’re most complete here so we can just SKIP IT!

Well, that’s just a small sample of what’s to come.  More Bears News to come as camp starts.  Stay tuned!!!

What’s Coming Up

July 14, 2009

Here are some things we’re working on for publication:

  • A review of UFC 100
  • MLB All Star Game highlights
  • College & Pro football Previews
  • 2nd Half of MLB Season, What’s in Store for Cubs & Sox

We’re hoping to get these articles posted as soon as possible!  Stay tuned and feel free to subscribe to The Best Chicago Sports Blog via RSS!

–Brad

Opening Day

July 7, 2009

Well, it’s not what you think.  Opening day for Baseball has passed, football is yet to come and hockey & basketball are now done and over with.  What we’re talking about is opening day for Chicago’s premiere sports blog written by 2 of Chicago’s biggest fans, Brad & Abe.  We’re going to be talking about everything from Baseball to MMA in the greater Chicago area.

Let’s face it, Chicago is a 1st class city that deserves the best sports coverage out there!

Brad & Abe