Wait, what?

Wait, what?

By Frankie O
CSNChicago.com

One of the occupational requirements of standing behind a bar is that people are going to unload everything thats on their mind to you. Im not an alcoholic counselor so much as a counselor whose patients have been affected by the amount of alcohol, or sometimes not, in their system. One of my favorite comments meant to uplift, or at least to make someone feel a little better, is that no matter what they did, in the scheme of things, it just didnt matter. And if they wait just a little bit, someone would do something worse to make what they did yesterdays news. How cool is that? Really, its as old as time and as short as the next news cycle. For the most part were a world of observers and its fascinating to watch what people will do next.

This week, obviously, depending on your perspective, has not disappointed. Hall of Fame voting controversy? What Hall of Fame? Somewhere, Bud is saying thank you.
Now while Lance nor Manti have stopped in to pull up a chair, that doesnt mean that there hasnt been a lot of advice imparted on their behalf, or judgements being made in the court of public opinion.

As far as Armstrongs revelation, now that was..stunning!!! That he used PEDs? No! Who didnt suspect that? He was the most dominant and successful rider ever in the dirtiest sport ever. The smoke has been raging around him for as long as we can remember. That he finally admitted it, now that is something. Roger Clemens he aint. So the simple reaction isnt surprise, its why? I mean even with all of the findings against him he always remained obstinate, to the point of being delusional. But in this world we live in, even in spite of any mounting evidence, if you remain steadfast and win the press conference (Chicago term) there will be those who remain with you. The thinking then, as always, was that he was doing it for the cash. By admitting his transgressions, he would be on the hook for all kinds of civil litigations, so the admission stands to lose him millions. So again, why?

Well your guess is as good as mine. I think he is as defiant as ever.

(Side note: Does anyone, even your partner, do the look of righteous indignation better than Oprah? I mean really?)

I dont feel an ounce of contrition by Armstrong in any clip of the interview that Ive watched. He seems devoid of any human emotion. The irony here being how emotional so many people are by the seeming virtues he espoused in the face of the ultimate battle. To fight disease in a life and death battle and win is as inspirational as anything well witness. Defiance in that battle is a tremendous asset. But from my small sample size, that hard edge is usually softened on the other side. Staring ones mortality in the face, you would think, tends to do that. Armstrong just got more adamant in his stance. It seemed like almost every guy that raced with him was admitting abuse, in courts of law-this is no small matter- and it just seemed to make him angry. That those guys, broke the code.

I guess admission is the first step on the road to recovery, but if its not sincere
Its hard to imagine a larger fall from grace. Sad.

And now for something completely different, the Manti Teo hoax.

Another example that real life is stranger than anything someone can make up. Um, wait a minute, maybe a bad choice of words. Lets just say that Ive been so desensitized that nothing can surprise me anymore. Well almost anything. When I heard about the Deadspin article on the way to work on Wednesday night, I was like, wait,what?

In this age of the internet I guess we better get used to stuff like this. I thought this kind of thing was done with the Tom Hanks movie, Youve Got Mail. Call me old fashioned.

I just found the article amazing. The reaction being: How could this happen? The next question: Whos lying? Its hard to refute the timeline of the story since just about every part of it is documented in print or on videotape. Crazy.

I was reminded of a scene in one of my all-time favorite movies, North Dallas Forty. In the scene Mac Davis, as Seth, (Why he never got more acting gigs off that role is beyond me.) is describing to Nick Nolte, as Phil, about the previous nights debauchery in great detail. At one point Phil is like whoa and Seth says, Wait, I didnt get to the weird part yet. And Phil responds, The weird part? The weird part?!! To which, Seth replies, Yeah, it got weird. Classic. And prescient.

The thing that gets you is that even with all of the information put right in front of your face, it makes your head spin. (A Deadspin head spin?) Even better yet, there is a term for what allegedly happened to Teo: Catfishing. Thats based on the alleged documentary Catfish. I tried reading the plotline to the movie and it gave me a headache. But it must have struck a nerve since there is now a TV show by the same, MTV, but still. This is definitely not Kansas anymore.

What it has taught us is that on-line romance trickery is pretty complicated. That is, if thats what truly happened here.

But its so hard to connect the dots without looking first at Teo.

Again with the larger-than-life hero not being who we think he is, or should I say who we want him to be.

I know that Notre Dame came out last night with a statement and press conference, but who knows? What do they really know?

There are so many unanswered questions from beginning to end, its hard to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, no matter how admired.

All I know is that this story is going to be the topic of the bar for the foreseeable future.
And in another weird part, my inner cynic is not ready to pounce, yet.

Maybe Im just too confused, or its just my logical side telling me it might be a little early to drop the hammer.

For most of us to decide, Teo is going to have to come clean and explain a lot of things.
For all of our sakes, lets hope its not with Oprah. As weve seen before, and again now, that usually doesnt have a fairy-tale ending.

Blackhawks sign goaltender Jeff Glass to two-year deal

Blackhawks sign goaltender Jeff Glass to two-year deal

The Blackhawks added organizational depth to their goaltending position by inking Jeff Glass to a two-year deal that runs through the 2017-18 season, the team announced Thursday. His deal carries a $612,500 cap hit, according to CapFriendly.com.

Glass, 31, signed a contract with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League in January, and played well enough to earn himself a deal at the professional level.

He owns a 5-4-1 record with a 2.38 goals against average, .917 save percentage and two shutouts in 10 games since joining the IceHogs, and has earned victories in four of his last five games.

A third round selection by Ottawa in 2004, Glass has yet to make his National Hockey League debut, but he's making strides in the right direction by jumping Mac Carruth on Rockford's depth chart and rotating with Lars Johansson.

The move provides insurance for a Blackhawks team that is relatively thin at the goaltending position outside of Corey Crawford and Scott Darling, the latter of whom will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. 

And given the uncertainty of Darling's status heading into the summer, Glass could compete for the backup job next year. He also fills the expansion draft requirements if Chicago chooses to go that direction, although it's unlikely he'll be claimed by Las Vegas.

Braves Way: How Cubs are still focused on next wave of young talent

Braves Way: How Cubs are still focused on next wave of young talent

MESA, Ariz. – Chairman Tom Ricketts wants the Cubs to be known someday as one of the greatest sports franchises in the world, right up there with global brands like the New England Patriots, Manchester United and Real Madrid.

But the most relevant blueprint for baseball operations right now might be the Atlanta Braves model that won 14 consecutive division titles between 1991 and 2005, an unbelievable run that still only resulted in one World Series title.

In a "Chicks Dig The Long Ball" era, the Braves had 60 percent of a Hall of Fame rotation (Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz) and a manager (Bobby Cox) who would get his own Cooperstown plaque.

The Braves Way still didn't only revolve around baseball immortals. The churn of young talent and under-the-radar contributors makes big-time prospects Eloy Jimenez and Ian Happ — and somehow finding a next wave of pitching — so important to The Plan.

"The Braves did such a great job during their run of always breaking in a guy or two," general manager Jed Hoyer said this week. "There's a lot of benefits to always trying to break in a guy every year, trying to add new blood every single year. Young guys are great even for a veteran team, because they provide the spark. They provide new energy.

"I thought Willson (Contreras) was a big part of that last year. Coming up in the middle of the season, it was like a great spark for our guys. Maybe one of these guys can provide that spark."

During that 15-year window, the Braves had 14 different players show up in the National League Rookie of the Year voting:  

1991: Brian Hunter, Mike Stanton
1992: Mark Wohlers
1993: Greg McMichael 
1994: Ryan Klesko, Javy Lopez
1995: Chipper Jones
1996: Jermaine Dye 
1997: Andruw Jones 
1998: Kerry Ligtenberg 
1999: Kevin McGlinchy
2000: Rafael Furcal 
2001: –
2002: Damian Moss
2003: –
2004: –
2005: Jeff Francoeur

The Braves produced Rookie of the Year winners in 1990 (David Justice), 2000 (Furcal) and 2011 (Craig Kimbrel). That gap in the early 2000s foreshadowed a relative down cycle where the Braves averaged almost 82 losses losses between 2006 and 2009 and made zero playoff appearances.

Jason Heyward's big-league debut in 2010 coincided with a run of four straight seasons where the Braves averaged 90-plus wins and made the playoffs three times.

[MORE: Why Joe Maddon sees Kyle Schwarber as the leadoff guy in Cubs lineup]

Baseball America put Jimenez (No. 14) and Happ (No. 63) on its preseason top-100 list of prospects. Whether it's making an impression on Joe Maddon's coaching staff, being showcased for a future trade or getting more comfortable in the spotlight, Jimenez and Happ will be two players to watch when the Cubs begin their Cactus League schedule on Saturday.

"Everyone thinks our future is here," Hoyer said. "It's really important to never get caught in that. You always want to have guys in the minor leagues ready to come up. Having organizational depth is really important. Those guys are good players and they're going to help us at some point."

Jimenez is a dynamic 6-foot-4 corner outfielder from the Dominican Republic who figures to begin his age-20 season at advanced Class-A Myrtle Beach. Happ, a 2015 first-round pick, finished last season at Double-A Tennessee and can switch-hit and move between the infield and the outfield.

Contreras is trying to make the leap from energizer to everyday frontline catcher. Albert Almora Jr. — who also contributed to a championship team as a rookie — is trying to earn the center-field job. The Cubs already trusted Carl Edwards Jr. in the 10th inning of a World Series Game 7 and now hope he can keep evolving into an Andrew Miller-type reliever.

The Cubs need the assembly line that's rolled out Anthony Rizzo (June 2012), Kyle Hendricks (July 2014), Javier Baez (August 2014), Kris Bryant and Addison Russell (April 2015) and Kyle Schwarber (June 2015) to keep delivering talent.

"It's something that we have to be really mindful of," Hoyer said, "to make sure that we continue to put a lot of focus on player development, the same kind of focus that we put on it when we were rebuilding, because those guys are going to have a huge impact on us."