Why not the Bears?

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Why not the Bears?

If you really do want Lovie Smith to lose his job, then you really dont want the Bears to reach the playoffs. Because if they do, Smith might not be leaving anytime soon. (Even if they dont, that may be the case as well.)
 
The reason lies in the realm of the possible, because once a team is in the playoffs, the clich of anything is possible is indeed the case. In fact, the unusual arguably becomes the norm.
 
For critics who argue that the Bears do not remotely deserve to be in the postseason, consider:
 
Three of the last five Super Bowl champions were 10-6 or 9-7 in their regular seasons (2011 and 2007 New York Giants and 2010 Green Bay Packers) and had no business being in the playoffs.
 
How they came to that end is the real point. The Giants last year beat the 15-1 Packers in Green Bay and the 13-3 49ers in San Francisco to reach the Super Bowl.
 
The 2010 Packers defeated the 13-3 Falcons in Atlanta before coming through Chicago. The Bears reached the NFC Championship game by getting by the Seattle Seahawks, the 7-9 champion of the NFC West that had no business in the playoffs, as their win over defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans the round previous certainly showed, right?
 
And the other recent wild-card Super Bowl winner was the 2007 Giants, who beat the 13-3 Packers in Green Bay in the NFC Championship game, then finished off the trophy win by downing the New England Patriots, who had come into their Super Bowl 18-0.
 
A number of Bears during training camp voiced a team sentiment, Why not us? It is one that they rightly can still be invoking.
 
And the winner is
 
The Bears were going to come out of Game 16 in Detroit with the NFC North title in hand and being 11-5. The division crown and the record were lost in the 1-5 games stretch from Houston to Green Bay but the Bears simply need to get past one of the true whole-season flop stories in Detroit and they will have their 10-win season and the playoffs, with a little help from Green Bay.
 
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White Sox infielder Tyler Saladino sidelined by herniated disc

White Sox infielder Tyler Saladino sidelined by herniated disc

Tyler Saladino has reached the point where it’s significantly easier for him to find comfortable positions for his herniated disc.

The White Sox infielder joked on Friday that his dugout seat was cozy enough that he might just idle for a few days. But before he returned home earlier this week and received an epidural, the second-year player experienced several days of excruciating pain.

Saladino — who won’t play again this season — said he received the shot on Monday and it has helped immensely with a problem he has experienced occasionally this season, this instance being the most painful.

“It was kind of crippling for a little bit,” Saladino said. “Those first few days, I really was out of commission. I kind of was just trying to find a comfortable spot and stay there. Standing up, it would catch. It was pretty painful. That’s how I know it was a little bit more. That’s why I went and got that shot to try to let the medicine get there right away. It has been working and helping a lot.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Saladino’s stay in Chicago is open-ended until he feels good enough to fly back to San Diego for the offseason. He’s set for another doctor appointment soon and is optimistic based on this week’s improvement. Saladino, who is hitting .282/.315/.409 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs, hasn’t played since Sept. 21. He injured himself two days later in Cleveland before the Sept. 23 contest and hasn’t been right since.

The injury has provided a disappointing end to an enjoyable season in which Saladino showed improvement at the plate (his OPS is up 122 points from 2015).

“It was a lot of fun to be out there with the guys,” Saladino said. “The whole season was a roller coaster for everybody around here. The whole approach we’ve had all year of grinding every game was its own. They’re still doing a really good job right now. Kind of stinks to not, I don’t care, as long as I can play and even pinch run I would be stoked to be with the guys. But at this point, the back thing, you have to take care of it.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should White Sox risk starting Chris Sale in season finale?

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should White Sox risk starting Chris Sale in season finale?

The Score’s Jordan Bernfield, The Tribune’s KC Johnson and ESPN 1000’s Ben Finfer join David Kaplan. The panel discusses Cubs confidence levels heading into the postseason, whether or not Chris Sale should start the season finale. Plus will the Bears beat the Lions without Jay Cutler and can the Bulls be a Top 4 team in the East?

Listen to the SportsTalk Live Podcast below: