Ozzie out after one year as Marlins manager


Ozzie out after one year as Marlins manager

All the money, glitz and glamor of Miami's 2012 season wound up with the Marlins going 69-93, good for last place in the NL East. On Tuesday, Miami fired Ozzie Guillen after just one season with the Marlins.

Miami signed Guillen to a four-year, 10 million contract after "trading" for him in September of 2011, dealing minor leaguers Ozzie Martinez and Jhan Marinez to the White Sox during the final series of the season. Martinez was outrighted off the White Sox 40-man roster in June, but Marinez made a handful appearances out of the White Sox bullpen and had a 2.86 ERA in 63 innings with Triple-A Charlotte.

Despite signing Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell (who was traded to Arizona last week) to expensive offseason deals, the Marlins didn't even break the 70-win mark and wound up being sellers at the deadline, dealing away Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante before the end of July. Miami was tied atop the NL East on June 3, but sunk to 7 12 games back by the end of the month and wasn't a serious playoff contender.

The firing of Guillen evoked this reaction from Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco:

In eight years managing the White Sox, Guillen won two division titles and the team's first World Series since 1917. Guillen's Sox teams went 678-617.

Three Bears necessities toward going 3-0 in Jerry's house

Three Bears necessities toward going 3-0 in Jerry's house

The Bears have won both times they've played in Jerry Jones' gargantuan pigskin palace. But that was in 2010 and 2012, the last two times this franchise finished with a winning record. The home team has lost eight straight times there. This matchup actually provides some hope for the offense (despite Jay Cutler's absence), but uncomfortable thoughts defensively, considering Danny Trevathan and Eddie Goldman will be sidelined, with safety Adrian Amos and nickel back Bryce Callahan (concussions) potentially joining them.

1. Tag Hoyer

...with a red non-contact jersey. Not possible, you say? Okay, well this scuffling offensive line needs to get in synch. And quickly. Like the Bears, the Cowboys have just four sacks so far this season. But they did deliver nine hits last week in D.C. on an already-rattled Kirk Cousins. Rod Marinelli's no-name, suspension-thinned defense has allowed fewer points than the Bears. The added concern is Hoyer's lack of work with the only player opponents must game-plan for: Alshon Jeffery, who worked primarily with Cutler throughout training camp. And who knows how much Jeffery (knee) worked at full-speed in practice this week, being held out of Thursday's workout completely. So....

2. Hand off, dump off

There is no time like now to establish the running game. There's Hoyer trying to get comfortable. There's the 4.75 yards per rush the Cowboys defense is allowing. There's the need to keep the Cowboys' offensive weapons off the field against the Bears' banged-up D. Between Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Cole Beasley, Ezekiel Elliott, and the best offensive line in the NFL, no matter Dak Prescott looks so comfortable. And when the Bears need to mix up their attempt to pound on the ground, get Zach Miller and Eddie Royal involved with quick-hits through the air.

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3. Fill up the half-empty glass

Whether this is Dowell Loggains being unable to adjust and be creative enough to the opposition's counter moves, or a coincidental breakdown in execution, the Bears' offense has scored zero points after halftime. We signed off on Houston's talented defense two weeks ago. Three turnovers on the first four possessions lost momentum Monday night. Loggains and company need to find a way to anticipate, execute, and dictate at a much higher level over the final 30 minutes.

**Join Alex Brown, Lance Briggs, Jim Miller and Chris at 6:30 p.m. Sunday night on Comcast SportsNet for "Bears Pregame Live," leading you right up to the 7:30 kickoff on NBC. Then as soon as the second quarter ends, log on to CSNChicago.com for "Bears Halftime Live," as Jim and Chris break down the first 30 minutes and go over adjustments. And immediately after the game ends, switch back to CSN as the four guys are joined by former Bears coach Dave Wannstedt for 90 minutes of reaction, analysis, live press conferences and locker room interviews from Dallas on "Bears Postgame Live."**

Unable to capitalize on Huskers' goal-line fumbles, Northwestern falls


Unable to capitalize on Huskers' goal-line fumbles, Northwestern falls

EVANSTON — Given two huge breaks, Northwestern couldn't do anything with them.

Nebraska fumbled not once but twice on the goal line in the first half Saturday, taking 14 points off the board and giving the ball to Northwestern. But the Wildcats punted away on both drives as an again ineffective offense couldn't muster enough to keep up with the Huskers for four quarters in a 24-13 loss.

Northwestern's defense did a decent job early on Nebraska's potent offense — one that was averaging more than 43 points a game coming in — but when Tommy Armstrong & Co. stopped fumbling on the goal line, they struck with expected potency. The Cats' offense did not.

The game started in wacky fashion, typical whenever these two teams get together. Nebraska running back Terrell Newby broke away with a 49-yard run on the game-opening drive, but diving for the end zone he dropped the ball, fumbling out of the back of the end zone for a touchback that gave the ball to Northwestern. The Cats couldn't do anything with it, though, and kicker Jack Mitchell missed a short field goal on the offense's second drive.

The Huskers broke the seal on the scoring with a second-quarter field goal, a win for the Cats' defense considering it came with goal to go. Later in the quarter, Northwestern took a 7-3 lead thanks to a short field when Clayton Thorson went 42 yards untouched to score his first rushing touchdown of the season.

A 37-yard run by Armstrong set the Huskers up at the Northwestern two-yard line, but Devine Ozigbo fumbled at the goal line, again into the end zone where the Cats recovered for another touchback, a stunning second time that happened on the night. But once more, the Northwestern offense couldn't do anything with the gift, and after a punt a 59-yard pass from Armstrong to Alonzo Moore put the Huskers at the Cats' four-yard line, Newby rushing in for the go-ahead touchdown to give Nebraska a 10-7 lead. With Mitchell struggling, Northwestern tried a wacky fake field goal in the second quarter's final minute, but it went nowhere, ending another promising drive.

Thorson had the Cats marching to open the second half, but he fired an interception into the end zone to halt a promising drive. Armstrong then led the Huskers downfield, completing a 35-yard pass to Brandon Reilly (a play that also featured a 15-yard penalty on Northwestern) and capping an 80-yard drive with a short touchdown pass to Cethan Carter. Thorson and Northwestern answered quickly, though. A Nebraska penalty on the kickoff put the Cats near midfield, and Thorson fired back to the end zone, this time hitting Austin Carr for a touchdown to make it a 17-13 game (Mitchell clanked the extra-point attempt off the upright).

But the Nebraska offense raced right back down the field, putting the Northwestern defense on skates with a 79-yard touchdown drive that ended in a Jordan Westerkamp scoring rush to make it 24-13.

The Huskers held a big edge in offensive numbers, racking up 556 yards, a balanced attack that featured 310 on the ground and 246 through the air. The Cats accumulated 388 total yards, 137 rushing and 251 passing.

Thorson finished 24-for-37 for 249 yards and a touchdown plus a pair of interceptions. Armstrong was 18-for-29 for 246 yards and a touchdown.

The loss dropped Northwestern to 1-3, and the Cats take on Iowa next weekend.

Nebraska improved to 4-0 with the win and plays Illinois next weekend.