Well shut my mouth! The Bears definitely proved me wrong yesterday, and did it resounding fashion. As I wrote the other day in my preview, I wasn’t expecting much from the Bears. Atlanta was a top team last season, with improvements all around this season, and the Bears were bringing the same people to the party after lucking out on more than one occasion a year ago. But after a 30-12 beatdown, which featured contributions from both sides of the ball, maybe I have to rethink some things. But first, let’s look at how it happened.
WEEK 1: FALCONS AT BEARS
BEARS: And so it begins. The last we saw of the Bears, they were defeated by hated rival Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game. Quarterback Jay Cutler was put out of action and had his toughness questioned by all kinds of players and pundits alike, as he didn’t look like he was actually in any pain. That was unfair, and no, I don’t question Cutler’s toughness. The guy gets sacked what seems like twenty times a game, so he’s a tough dude. However, the team didn’t bother to really improve in their major areas of weakness, so tomorrow afternoon hosting Atlanta, the 2011-2012 Bears step foot onto the field looking a lot like the 2010-2011 Bears.
In September of a lost season, a baseball team can at least take solace if the younger players they trot out every day show promise. Rosters expand every September 1st, and if a team is floundering and out of the race, they use September as an sneak preview for next season’s Spring Training, and try to get the most out of their top prospects. The White Sox are no exception to this rule, as all month long, the team and the fans will get an extended look at three young players who figure to play prominent roles in 2012: catcher Tyler Flowers, outfielder Alejandro De Aza, and slugger Dayan Viciedo.
With write-ups about Adam Dunn and Alex Rios out of the way, we can now look at Gordon Beckham, the supposed wunderkin from just a couple seasons ago for the Sox. He has never lived up to his hype, though, and this season in particular, has been a big liability for the Sox. He does play a nice second base, but his average has plummeted each of his years with the team. This year has been the worst of all.
I’ve looked at Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, and Gordon Beckham in detail now, and the verdict is that each had terrible 2011 seasons. Each guy has slumped all year, none worse than Dunn. While Sox fans might want to see them either take a backseat next year or just take a hike somewhere else, the reality is that all three probably will be back with the team next year: Dunn and Rios because of their exorbitant contracts and Beckham because he’s still young and it is too early to give up on him. So how will they do?
The Cubs and White Sox both won Monday in close low-scoring ball games that had few hits and strong pitching. It was a good day for Chicago baseball that have had few good days this year, as the teams have been sub-par. The way in which both won was more impressive however and must of had all on the edges of their seats. Especially in game 2 of a double-header that saw a shutout as well as another more rare pitching feat.
Chicago baseball was on display Sunday September 4th both in Chicago and Detroit. The Cubs would manage to avoid a sweep while the Sox got swept in Detroit. Both teams have played poorly this season for the most part and look to just make some positive strides to wrap up the 2011 season.
It is time for part two of the three headed monster that effectively killed the Sox’ season. I already looked at Adam Dunn, and now I look at Alex Rios. The two together make about 22 million dollars, which is a lot of money to pay for such terrible production. There is no use arguing about who is having the worse 2011; both are bad seasons by both players’ standards, but at least Rios has started to come around as of late. However, it is a classic case of too little too late.
As the opening game of the 2011 NFL season moves along tonight, now seems as good a time as any to have a look at our Chicago Bears, and their prospects for this season. The Bears added a plethora of players to their roster, and feel they can replicate, if not improve upon, their showing from a year ago. That showing was a trip to the NFC Championship Game. A game they lost to hated rival Green Bay, who then went on to win the Super Bowl. That defeat should leave a bad taste in their mouths, but can they really get back?
May as well start with the obvious culprit behind the Sox’s horrendous offense this year. That would be Adam Dunn, the prized signing of the offseason, and the man who was labeled as the left-handed power presence that the Sox desperately needed in 2010. Instead, Dunn turned into one of the biggest busts in Sox history. Let’s have a look at what went wrong.
So in the midst of writing about the Sox’ 2011 lost season and what went wrong and how it went wrong and how it might be fixed, the games are still being played. This can’t be entirely ignored, so I will take a break from the analysis and have a look at what the team has been up to lately. There is good news and bad news.