Frankie O: Shots Anyone?

Frankie O: Shots Anyone?

By Frankie O
CSNChicago.com

As we all well know, shots are great because they get to the point. What that point is, however, can be debated. But always, and theres no debate, they should be served by your friendly bar professional!

Tic-Tac-Toe? While that game for kids is very predictable, well for some, so too should be the Bulls handling of Derrick Rose and his injured Sgt. Hulka. While there might be some animated discussions over what the injury is and how it was handled last weekend, he needs to sit until its healed. End of story. We all knew that players would get hurt and rushed back during this compressed NBA torture-test, I mean shortened season, but the Franchise cannot be put at long-term risk. I know Kobes getting shot-up to play, but not in his feet. (Ironic. Hes taking more shots, so he can take many more shots!) If the Bulls truly do have depth, they will be able to weather the storm for a while. Besides, arent the backup point guards averaging like 28 points a game in his absence?

Put up, or for the love of all that is good, SHUT UP! I think a lot of us have a strange fascination with Rex Ryan. (No, Im not talking to those good little foot soldiers out there!) Hard Knocks was a lot of fun, and humanized, through F-bombs, the guy who was perceived to be a blow-hard who didnt fall too far from the tree. At first, I thought his father was funny too, in a very twisted way- a no-nonsense leader of men that would not take crap from anyone. As his teams repeatedly under-achieved in the playoffs though, the act wore thin. Win or go home! Same with Rex. He seemed the perfect fit for New Yorks other team. The little doggie with the big bark. Well, the kennel has turned on the master. As always with the Ryans, it will be great theater and at least for me it wont be my team imploding this time!

ILL-ANNOYED Good thing the Illini had time to come back down to earth after the thrilling Brandon Paul Show against Ohio State . His 43 point effort in a 79-74 win on January 10th was a signature moment. As usual though, I take any Illinois success -didnt the football team start 6-0?- with a grain of salt before I can commit. But even I thought a trip to Penn State would not present much of a challenge for the 1st place squad. Think again! The only thing Illinois teams lack as they drive me crazy is the word PHILADELPHIA printed on the front of their jerseys!

PENN STATE SHAME Even a Penn State victory cant make me feel any better. I still feel a sense of loss, then a sense of guilt whenever I see anything about the university. The road show put on by University President Rodney Erickson has only added to that. I dont know that much about him, other than it takes a lot of guts to go in front of angry masses without answers they want to hear, but his lack of vision towards what has to be done is unsettling. Also unsettling was reading The New York Times interviews with 12 trustees, including board chairman Steve A. Garban, as they tried to explain their actions in the wake of the crisis. I still cant get past that no one knew anything. This whole episode is a blind-side hit, even as the local paper was reporting about the grand jury in MAY, and, by law, former president Graham Spanier was allowed to notify them of his own testimony before that grand jury previous to that. The trustees admitted that, according to the Times article, they had received a briefing on the grand jury from university council Cynthia Baldwin in May. What? Thats not exactly stuff you hear every day, or is it? Again, there were four different investigations into another accusation in 1998. Whos paying attention? Heres a quote from the article I find particularly disturbing: After finally reading the grand jury report almost 36 hours AFTER Sanduskys arrest chairman Garban regretted not reading it sooner according to the Times. It was like, Oh my God Steve, whereve you been? It floored me. Whereve you been, indeed?

OH NO YU DIINT! While baseball is better with one vision, that vision better include a lot of pitching, and I mean a lot! (A little defense and plate discipline make it better too!!) With that in mind I was a little surprised that the Cubs didnt make a play for Yu Darvish. I mean, he is 26 and all he would cost is cash. But that was the Boston way, not the Chicago one. Besides, what did Boston get for their 100 million spent on Dice-K? He was part of the 2007 title team in his first season, he won 15 games as the 3rd starter, and went 1-1 in the playoffs, albeit averaging 4.2 innings a start and just around 5 earned runs a game. That was an investment that you made when you were going all-in. Looked good in 2008 when he went 18-3, but since then his win totals have been 4-9-3 per season, leading to a public outcry about money misspent. I dont think Theo wants to go down that road again even if this kid is supposed to be better. Where have we heard that before?! Oh, thats right, with Koske Fukudome! Wasnt he supposed to be a cross between Ichiro and Matsui? Howd that work out? 48 million worth of disappointment, thats how. And to think Kenny Williams offered him 40! I still think he laughs about how lucky he was not to win that bidding war, at least when hes not thinking about Alex Rios or Adam Dunn. Kenny is better with the Cubans. And I wonder if well see the two sides of town bidding against each other once again. Cuban defectors Yoennis Cespedes and Jorge Soler are in the Dominican awaiting citizenship so they can be promptly bid on by MLB teams. Embargo? What embargo? If only we could do the same with cigars! Although, I swear Ive been sold Cubans in Dominican wrappers! (Kramer!) You know Kenny would love to have these guys, but can he afford to spend for them? And what better way to announce your arrival here, Theo, than with a signature move towards the future? This would be the type of move we should expect to be made on the Northside: Big-time investment in big-time young talent. (According to Fausto Carmona theyre 25 and 19 respectively. Oops, wait a minute.) Plus, if you can beat the White Sox while doing it, all the better. And since the draft door is closing due to the slotting system, this is an opportunity they cant pass up.

A COUPLE OF QUICKIES FOR THE ROAD

Is it me or should Rob Lowe stay away from social media?

Ryan Braun is getting the worst advice ever if he accepts his MVP award before being exonerated.

Its still tough to watch golf without Tiger.

A real Bears fan can NEVER root for the Packers. NEVER!

Is it me, or is there NO reaction to the changes being made at Wrigley?

No offense, but my approval at the exit of Jerry Angelo is gone if they did this just to promote Tim Ruskell. Seems to me that would be more of the same. To do something bold, you need to do something bold. Go the distance! Ease our pain!

In picks surely to be wrong: New England minus the 7 and San Fran minus the 2 .

Brady is locked in and I dont think that Baltimore has an answer for Gronk and Welker.

And I find it hard to believe that EVERYONE THAT I TALK TO is right about the Giants. I havent believed in the Niners all year, but I do now. (K.O.D.!!)

And finally, for the last time this season: TEBOW!!!!!

Fast Break Morning Update: Scott Darling leads Blackhawks to win over Blues

Fast Break Morning Update: Scott Darling leads Blackhawks to win over Blues

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Sunday:

Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

White Sox pitchers headed for World Baseball Classic look sharp in win over Rockies

What if… Cubs GM Jed Hoyer’s takeaways from epic World Series Game 7

Quick hits: Blackhawks start strong in win over Blues

Illini keep NCAA tournament hopes afloat with dominant win over Nebraska

White Sox: Happy with progress, Brett Lawrie tries to clear final hurdles

How Indians regrouped and reloaded after losing unforgettable Game 7 to Cubs

Jim Thome: Getting into baseball Hall of Fame would be indescribable

Kurt Busch steals a monster of a win in Daytona 500

Michigan State gets big win to boost tourney hopes, while Wisconsin loses for fourth time in five games

 

 

 

Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

Scott Darling found out at 8 o'clock this morning that he was starting for an ailing Corey Crawford. Considering he did this back in December for a few weeks, adjusting quick for one game was fine.

"It's kind of my job," Darling said.

And Darling, once again, did his job.

Darling stopped 30 of 32 shots and Patrick Kane scored his 24th goal of the season as the Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday night. The Blackhawks have won nine of their last 10 games. They're one point behind the Minnesota Wild, who made their splashy trade-deadline move in acquiring Martin Hanzal on Sunday. But the Blackhawks, thanks to veterans regaining their form, a top line finding its rhythm and youth consistently improving, are just rolling right along.

"We had a great start to the game. I thought Darls was excellent all night, great stretch there in the last 10 minutes where we fight through some tough shifts, particularly in the last couple of minutes in our end. But good win," coach Joel Quenneville said. "You look at the nice plays on the goals, it was kind of a comparable ending to the outdoor game: tied and about the same time they scored, we scored (tonight). Big two points for us."

Jonathan Toews scored his 16th of the season and Artem Anisimov scored the game-winning goal with 5:20 remaining in regulation. Tanner Kero added an empty-net goal with 2.6 seconds remaining in the game.

The Blackhawks already knew they'd be without Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body) for at least a day or two when they found out Crawford couldn't go this morning. As Quenneville said Darling was strong once again, denying the Blues all but twice (a 2-on-1 goal from Magnus Paajarvi and a power-play goal from Alex Pietrangelo).

Toews and Kane (power-play goal) staked the Blackhawks to a 2-0 lead early before the Blues tied it in the second. But late in the third period Anisimov took the feed from Artemi Panarin to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead.

"I saw the puck all the way. It was easy to pick up," Anisimov said. "When you don't see the puck at the last moment and it comes, it's hard to receive and prepare for the next move. But I saw it all the way. Easy to prepare for the next move."

Speaking of next moves, do the Blackhawks make any more before the trade deadline. General manager Stan Bowman said on Friday, following the acquisition of Tomas Jurco, that he'll keep talking and listening but likes the group he has right now. If Bowman's made moves it's for what the Blackhawks have needed, not because of another team's trades. The Blackhawks like what they have right now. Winning nine of 10 and continuing to trend in the right direction, they should be careful not to disrupt what they've got going.

"I think we're, as we've said lately, trending the right way. We're playing solid. I think all four lines are contributing in every which way," Toews said. "I love our group right now. Everyone is getting better individually, contributing more and more and it's a lot of fun to see the way we're playing right now. We know that the ceiling is way higher and we can keep getting better too."