Heard over the bar

Heard over the bar

Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010
2:09 PM

By Frankie OCSNChicago.com

Hello again everybody! Frankie O here from behind the bar at Harry Carays! What are we talking about this week? Well as much as we would like to get excited about the Cubs manager, Im not quite feeling it here. No offense, but for the fans I talk to, there were only two choices, Girardi or Ryno, and Girardi seemed like a pipe dream, so once again, Im getting some Cub fan disappointment, buy hey, IM USED TO IT!

Part of the reason is that people dont know Mike Quade like they do the others. Hes a great story: Local guy, baseball lifer and honest as the day is long. He also has a compelling presence. His problem is hes not the other two. My feeling all along was that it was going to be Sandberg. Since his Hall of Fame acceptance speech, I know I, and many others, have looked at him differently. Who knew he had that passion? Also, who knew he wanted to manage? That took the Cubs off guard four years ago and they told him that he needed to work his way up from the bottom.

To the surprise of most, he did it and he did it well. He had an obvious impact on the kids and his status as a Cub icon was a boost to the turnstiles at every level. And very importantly, his teams won and last year he was the manager of the year in the International League. My favorite part was that it seemed that every time I heard about his managerial exploits, he was getting thrown out of a game. Where did that come from? I love the passion. So in my humble opinion, riding buses, teaching kids and honing his craft was exactly what he needed to do to get the big chair once Lou left.

So I was a little surprised when owner Tom Ricketts talked about his three criteria for the new manager: 1) A good teacher and coach. 2) Understanding of being a Cub. 3) Commitment to the organization. HELLO! What he should have said is that he was going to choose whoever Jim Hendry told him to. Now as any of you who know me understand, Im a big fan of Jim Hendry, especially as a person. But, its more than obvious that a) This was his call and b) Hes not a Sandberg guy or more importantly, Sandberg is not his guy. As in almost every facet of life, it gets down to politics and in this case it is no different. Ive been hearing about Hendrys indifference towards Sandberg for a long time, but my feeling was that Jim gave him the opportunity to sink or swim and a decision would be made on the merits of that opportunity. Well, Im WRONG AGAIN!

So as we move forward, Im willing, as should all Cub fans, to give Mike Quade a chance. Hes definitely earned it. But I will do it wondering, what if? And if Tom Ricketts wants to have everyone understand everything Cub, wouldnt it be so Cub, to groom one of the faces of your organizational Mount Rushmore, then turn your back on him so that he could achieve greatness somewhere else? I have a feeling, that there are some rooting for that very thing today.

Jimmy Butler acknowledges 'huge accomplishment' but stays nonchalant about All-Star starter nod

Jimmy Butler acknowledges 'huge accomplishment' but stays nonchalant about All-Star starter nod

ATLANTA — Jimmy Butler insisted being a starter in the All-Star Game means next to nothing, but it seems to go against his never-ending battle for credibility and validation as a legit superstar.

Moments after it was revealed he would be an All-Star starter for the first time and make his third overall trip to All-Star weekend, he sang the same nonchalant tune.

"It hasn't changed at all," Butler said on a conference call Thursday evening. "Obviously, it's a huge accomplishment and honor to be named a starter. But it's All-Star weekend. There are going to be a lot of good players there. I guess it's just another name thrown in with some decent players."

The NBA's format for selecting the All-Star starters changed this season, with fans no longer being the sole group that gets to vote for starters. If it was still a fans-only vote, Philadelphia's Joel Embiid would've started in Butler's place.

But with the new formula that allows the media and the players to take part in the vote, the fan vote accounts for just 50 percent of the formula. So Butler joined Cleveland's LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Milwaukee's Giannis Antekounmpo and Toronto's DeMar DeRozan in the starting five for the Eastern Conference.

Butler's is averaging 24.8 points with 6.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists, career-highs across the board, and had he not been selected as a starter, the Bulls' 20-21 record would not have prevented coaches from selecting him as a reserve as they had the last two seasons.

[SHOP BULLS: Get a Jimmy Butler jersey right here]

He won't be joined in the starting lineup by Dwyane Wade, who finished second in backcourt voting behind Irving, but cast his vote for his teammate anyway and hopes Wade will be selected as a reserve.

"Of course. He's been a huge part of what we're doing here, and I think he has played extremely well the first part of the season," Butler said. "He got my vote. I will tell you that."

Golden State's Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant will start for the West, along with Houston's James Harden, San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard and New Orleans' Anthony Davis, a Chicago native.

The fun-filled and busy weekend in New Orleans begins Feb. 17, from the league events to the parties to the festivities and then finally the All-Star Game on Sunday night.

Butler likely views it as more of an accomplishment for his team of trainers and confidants then himself.

"It's fun, man. You get to know the other really good players in the league, and you get to know a little bit about them," Butler said. "And the experience that you get to be a part of, whether it be the Jordan party or taking your guys with you everywhere. That's the most fun part for me, my trainers, my brothers, everybody that's behind the scenes helping me gets to experience it too."

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bulls build around All-Star Jimmy Butler?

jimmy_butler_bulls_all-star.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bulls build around All-Star Jimmy Butler?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune) and Ben Finfer (ESPN 1000) join Kap on the panel. Jimmy Butler is an All-Star starter. Is he a superstar now meaning the Bulls have to build around him? The guys pose that question to Bulls great Horace Grant.

The Raiders want to move to Las Vegas. If your NFL team moved, should you keep rooting for them? Plus should the Cubs help Sammy Sosa out as his Hall of Fame chances get smaller?

Check out the SportsTalk Live Podcast below.