Intensifies the effects?

Intensifies the effects?

By Frankie O
CSNChicago.com

Once again the big fella is out of commission with back woes, but no worries, it only gives me more time to lie around and think. Of course Im doing the thinking in the haze induced by my doctor prescribed pain medication (Is there any other kind?!) so no worries there either, right? On second thought, yikes!

One thing the meds do though is limit the attention span quite a bit. Double yikes!!

So hop on board as I share a few things and scuse me while I kiss the sky.

Fantasy football is the root of all evil. I say this while Im 0-8. Are you freaking kidding me? I couldnt be this bad if I tried. And the scary part is, IM TRYING. I have no shot at all and Im still scouring the waiver wire for the one guy that can make the difference. Whatever! And dont think for one second youre getting off easy here. I can feel about 2000 words in your future to explain the sheer misery Im living with!

As the mess at Penn State approaches the official one-year mark, Im still dealing with the waves of emotions that it has caused. With anger still being the prevalent one, I was relieved to hear that former president Graham Spanier was finally charged. I of course say this knowing the upcoming trials (CurleySchultz) are only going to make me feel worse. Im also left wondering if Joe would have been arrested also if he was still alive. I guess the trials will give us that answer.

In the testament of all-time greatness, I have always thought that it is the second title that bestows that honor. And they dont have to be consecutive, although that helps greatly. Its always something that I wrestle with concerning the 85 Bears. One-hit wonders? That was a great team, no doubt, but only 1 title? And now, in less than a year, Im left to contemplate the football and baseball Giants. The New York football Giants won titles following the 2007 and 2011 seasons. Are they an all-time great team? How many teams have done that? Are they as good as the Giants team that won following the 1987 and 1990 seasons? Those were great teams. And with the San Francisco Giants now having won 2 World Series in 3 years, how will they be measured? Better than the Red Sox of 04 and 07? Why or why not? The Braves were demeaned for years because the only won one. Two in three years is hard to deny, but this team? Really

I have a hard time understanding running a marathon in New York this weekend. I understand the get back up your feet thing, but doesnt this feel awkward and forced? I know there will be basketball and football games played in the NY metro area this weekend, but those are in controlled environs without there being the amount of outside (read: taxpayer provided) support that Im sure a 26 mile race through five boroughs requires. I would love to know Gov. Chris Christie thinks about it. Im sure we know what he would do. Speaking of Christie, say what you want about his politics, but you cant help but be impressed by his passion for what he does. This is not the last we hear of him Im sure.

I know the bubble has already burst for this seasons Bulls due to D-Roses injury, but Im not ready to go completely negative on them as I felt my fellow panelists on CTL were last Friday. I agree that this years squad is suffering from a talent deficit, relatively, but during the regular season talent isnt the only reason teams win. Watch any Knicks games lately? As I look at the east, its the Heat then there is everybody else. Indiana has nice balance, but can you name me three guys on the team without looking? Two? The thing I like about the Bulls is because of their coach, they show up every night. During the regular season over the last two years they own the leagues best record. Last year, when Rose missed 27 games, they were 18-9 in those games. Can their two veteran starting guards stay healthy? Good question. Will their 2nd-five evolve to the level of the last two? Even better question. But two things Ive learned about a Tom Thibodeau coached team is that: They are going to show up every night. And he is going to get the most out of every player on his roster. In a mediocre eastern conference, that should be good enough to be very competitive even if it is a tough watch.

Dont know about you, but Im convinced there wont be hockey until January at the earliest. This is a one-sided battle but the ones on the wrong end dont seem to get that. I agree with them that any contract that is currently in effect should be honored. That seems fair. But life isnt always fair. Life is about knowing when to cut your losses. In this case, it whether or not you want to give up a year of salary to make a point that wont be made. The owners hold the cards and are intent on playing them. It appears to me that the players might be getting some bad advice from the guy steering their ship. This isnt baseball and in case you havent noticed there doesnt seem to be any public outcry that games arent being played. In fact I havent heard anything at all. Your move Donald.
But fans need to fill the void, especially the deranged, bartending ones. So for the very first time, Im doing something Ive mocked forever and never dreamed Id ever do. Im almost ashamed to admit it. Almost. For I, Frankie O (Drink!) am now participating in a fantasy basketball league. I have no clue what Im doing and half way through the draft, had no idea who I, or anyone else for that matter, was selecting. But it was kind of cool doing something new. And, its actually made me excited, for once, about the start of the NBA season. Best yet, I cant do any worse than in football, can I? (I heard that!) For now, its my shiny, new, sports passion. This is going to be fun. Well, at least until the pain meds wear off, or the Eagles win another game, whichever comes first. Ugh. The Eagles. Talk about pain inducing. Time for another dose! It will be back to reality soon enough.

PS. I must be on some good ones. I didnt mention Jay Cutler once.

Cubs reportedly trade Jorge Soler to Royals for Wade Davis

Cubs reportedly trade Jorge Soler to Royals for Wade Davis

It appears as if the Cubs have answered two big questions surrounding Joe Maddon's team this winter.

With so many solid options in the fold to play everyday in the lineup, the Cubs now reportedly have one less guy to worry about in the outfield and one more pitcher to add into the late-inning mix.

USAToday's Bob Nightengale reported late Tuesday night the Cubs and Kansas City Royals had a deal in place with pitcher Wade Davis coming to Chicago and Jorge Soler acting as the return piece.

[RELATED - Wade Davis trade would give Cubs a proven October closer]

As Nightengale also said, the Cubs gave up a lot for Davis, who will become a free agent after the 2017 season and was limited to only 43.1 innings in 2016 due to forearm issues:

Before the deal can become official, both players would have to be examined by medical staff for each team to make sure Davis' forearm is fine.

Soler has struggled to stay healthy and cash in on his enormous potential during his two-plus years in the big leagues with the Cubs, but he is still young (he'll turn 25 in February) and won't become a free agent until after the 2020 season.

The main question with Soler entering 2017 was going to be where he would play — and how often — given Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, Jon Jay and Albert Almora were already in the outfield mix and the anticipation Ben Zobrist would also see some time in the outfield with Javy Baez locking down second base.

It's no surprise to see Soler dealt this winter, but as David Kaplan said on Tuesday's CubsTalk podcast, Theo Epstein's front office is all about years of control, but if the deal goes through, they will have traded four years of control of a guy who was their top trade chip for only a year of control on a relief pitcher who has averaged only 61 innings per season the last three years.

However, if the 31-year-old Davis is truly the only return, he helps give the Cubs a boost in 2017.

[SHOP CUBS: Get your Cubs gear right here]

Davis — who spent the first four years of his big-league career pitching for Maddon in Tampa Bay — has emerged as one of the premier relief pitchers in baseball over the last three years.

In that span, Davis tallied a 19-4 record with 47 saves in 54 chances, a 1.18 ERA and sparkling 0.892 WHIP. He also struck out 234 batters in 182.2 innings while giving up just three homers. 

As the Cubs look to defend their first World Series title in more than a century, Davis would help shore up the bullpen and given his past experience, would figure to be able to pitch more than just the ninth inning come playoff time (if healthy). Davis would add another elite option alongside Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop and Carl Edwards Jr. in Maddon's remodeled bullpen.

Soler should benefit from a clear path to consistent playing time with the Royals, especially moving to the American League where he can slot in at designated hitter which may ultimately be his best position.
 

Hawks Talk Podcast: Marian Hossa keeps producing as Blackhawks find chemistry

marian-hossa-hawks-again-1206.jpg
USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Marian Hossa keeps producing as Blackhawks find chemistry

In the latest episode of the Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle is joined by Steve Konroyd and Tracey Myers following the Blackhawks 4-0 shutout win over the Coyotes.

The crew breaks down how the Blackhawks keep finding ways to win, how Marian Hossa has remained a top-six forward and how the team seems to have finally found some chemistry without Jonathan Toews and Corey Crawford.

Listen to the latest episode below: