Party platforms for the sports masses

Party platforms for the sports masses

Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010
2:21 PM

By Frankie O
CSNChicago.com

Finally its over! Well, sort of. While we wait for the final votes for governor to be counted, we can be thankful that we dont have to watch any more political commercials! When I think of the amount of money wasted by these ads, it boggles my mind and makes me wonder about a system gone mad. Talking politics is one of those areas that I try to avoid while behind the bar, but especially in the last ten years, it is something that is hard to avoid. The reason why you dont want to go there is that you can have an opinion that someone doesnt agree with and that makes them hot. So whats a bartender to do? Change the subject to the Bears offensive woes to calm them down? Are the conversations any less animated when the topic is Jay Cutler as opposed to Blago? The thing is, in the bar, lively debate is going to happen and the topics of the day are hard to avoid. So if people at the bar want to talk politics, I will, but as always, Ill do so with a decided slant on sports.

TERM LIMITS: Sounds to me thats about a certain elderly quarterback in Minnesota. Enough already!
DONT ASK, DONT TELL: Easy, thats Jay Cutler at any press conference. Has there ever been anyone who so openly shows his disdain for the whole process?
HEALTHCARE REFORM: The NFL has taken the very public lead in combating head injuries and while its very late to be taking that stand, everyone can agree its the right thing to do.

ABSOLUTE POWER: Nothing corrupts like absolute power and nothing corrupts a football mind like working for Daniel Snyder. Schottenheimer. Spurrier. Gibbs. All solid coaches whose reps were driven into the ground while working for Snyder. The latest is Mike Shanahan, and with his handling of Donavan McNabb at the end of the game against the Lions, it looks like its his turn to have a career melt-down.

ALONG PARTY LINES: Thats how I work every shift behind the bar. BOO-YA!

ARE YOU BETTER OFF THAN YOU WERE FOUR YEARS AGO?: Thats the question Bears fans ask every day. And Cubs fans. And Sox fans. (And Philly fans!!)
ITS THE ECONOMY STUPID: The price of taking your family to a game is out of control. I wonder at what point that we just watch every game on TV to save the 500 bucks.
WEDGE ISSUE: What Tiger Woods has after Thanksgiving dinner, during a leisurely drive.

FOUR SCORE, AND SEVEN BEERS AGO: AS all of my customers at the bar know when they hear that phrase, Frankie O is about to go on a rant!
READ MY LIPS: Sounds like Lovie or Angelos press conferences of the last couple of years. Even as the house crumbles, dont dare ask them, why? Just take their word that they know what they are doing.

THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR: Is Jay Cutler taking another seven-step drop.
I SHALL RETURN: More Favre!!

IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THE MEANING OF THE WORD IS IS: Is that like an offense that is offensive? (Insert Bears, Cubs or Sox joke here!)

OH,THE VISION THING: Gotta love W. Is it any wonder that among his accomplishments was being an owner of a professional sports team?
I AM THE DECIDER: Isnt that Scotty Bowmans title with the Hawks?

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: That would be the Stanley Cup in Chicago. See, Im not always a smart aleck! And those of you who know me, know how hard it was to type that!

ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU: After watching what I thought was the most talented Phillies team of my lifetime gag a shot at a second World Series title in three years, I began to question whether my rooting for my teams was good for my health. The Phillies (twice!), Eagles and Flyers have all ripped my heart out in the last year. But, I still come back for more. My sports addiction is an affliction, and Ive come to terms with that. I wont quit. So when a new season begins, Ill be ready for the roller coaster to begin. Or as Ronnie said in my favorite debate quote of all-time: (Read with a Reagan voice in your head.) Well, there you go again!

Wade Davis' impact on Cubs goes far beyond his eye-popping numbers

Wade Davis' impact on Cubs goes far beyond his eye-popping numbers

Wade Davis may not light up the radar gun like Aroldis Chapman, but the veteran closer has still had a similar impact shortening games for the Cubs.

Davis is 10-for-10 in save opportunities in his first year in Chicago, providing Joe Maddon and the Cubs with peace of mind as an anchor in a bullpen that has thrown the eighth-most innings in baseball (and ranks No. 8 in ERA with a 3.45 mark).

Davis just surrendered his first runs of the season Wednesday night on a Mac Williamson homer that snuck into the right-field basket.

Yet Davis still wound up preserving the victory by buckling down and turning away the Giants in the ninth. It was the first homer he's allowed since Sept. 24, 2015 and only the fourth longball he's given up since the start of the 2014 campaign, a span of 201 innings.

Even with Wednesday's outing, Davis boasts a microscopic 0.98 ERA and has allowed just 14 baserunners in 18.1 innings.

With 24 whiffs on the season, Davis is striking out 34.8 percent of the batters he's faced in a Cubs uniform, which would be the second-highest mark of his career (he struck out 39.1 percent of batters in 2014 as the Kansas City Royals setup man).

The 31-year-old nine-year MLB veteran is showing no ill effects from the forearm issue that limited him to only 43.1 innings last season.

[RELATED: How Wade Davis transformed into an elite pitcher by simply not caring]

But his impact isn't restricted to just on-the-field dominance. In spring training, Justin Grimm said he spent as much time as he could around Davis in an attempt to soak up all the knowledge he could.

"It's the stuff that you see — obviously he's really good," Maddon said. "He knows how to pitch, he's a very good closer, he's very successful. But he's a really good mentor to the other guys.

"Oftentimes, I'll walk through the video room and he'll be sitting there with a young relief pitcher or a catcher. There's a lot of respect. A lot of guys come to me and say, 'Listen, Wade's really great to be around.'"

Maddon was the manager with the Tampa Bay Rays when Davis first made his big-league debut in 2009 and the now-Cubs skipper credits the Rays organization with teaching Davis the right habits.

Davis also began his career as a starter before moving to the bullpen full-time in 2014 and reinventing himself as one of the best pitchers on the planet.

"He's grown into this," Maddon said. "He was raised properly. He comes from the organization with the Rays — really good pitching, really good pitching health regarding coaching. And then some of the veteran players that were around him to begin with.

"He's passing it along. The obvious is that he's got a great cutter, slider, fastball, curveball, whatever. He's very good with everybody else around him."

Davis needed 34 pitches to work around a couple jams and get the save Wednesday night. That's his highest pitch count in an outing since June 2, 2015.

Wednesday was also Davis' first time working in a week as the Cubs have not had a save situation in that span.

Maddon said he sees no link between the week off and Davis' struggles in Wednesday's outing and the Cubs manager also has no hesitance going to his closer for more than three outs.

However, Maddon doesn't see a need to extend Davis at this point in the season and would prefer to keep the Cubs' best reliever fresh for the stretch run and what the organization hopes is another shot at a World Series title.

Bears' makeover continues with salsa dancing ex-Giants WR Victor Cruz

Bears' makeover continues with salsa dancing ex-Giants WR Victor Cruz

The 2017 veteran makeover of the Bears’ wide-receiver position group continued on Thursday with the signing of former New York Giants wideout Victor Cruz to a one-year deal, a fourth move this offseason fitting an intriguing pattern in Bears roster construction.

Cruz “announced” the move on his Instagram account, declaring, “The Giants will forever be family,” Cruz wrote. “But for now, Bear down!!!” He becomes the fourth free-agent wide receiver signed by Bears and coming in with no fewer than four seasons of NFL experience.

The Bears have been about the business of shoring up their receiver group virtually since the 2016 season ended, adding depth in addition to filling in the vacancies created by Alshon Jeffery leaving for the Philadelphia Eagles via free agency, and the subsequent release of veteran Eddie Royal.

In their places, the Bears have added Cruz, Rueben Randle (Jan. 10), Markus Wheaton (Mar. 10) and Kendall Wright (Mar. 11), in addition to having Joshua Bellamy, Daniel Braverman, Cameron Meredith, Deonte Thompson and Kevin White in place.

Cruz, whose trademark Salsa dance to celebrate touchdowns has been an NFL staple over his six seasons with the Giants, for whom he started 53 of 70 career games after signing with the Giants as an undrafted free agent out of Massachusetts in 2010. Cruz has caught 303 career passes for 4,549 yards and 25 touchdowns, earning a Super Bowl ring with the Giants and earning selection to the 2012 Pro Bowl.

Cruz has not played a full 16-game season since 2012, when he caught a career-best 86 passes for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns. He missed all of 2015 after rehabbing from a torn patellar tendon in the 2014 season and then suffering a calf injury that eventually required surgery. The Giants released Cruz in early February this year.