Good morning, frents!
Let's get right to it today.
Cubs 6, Padres 1
Sox at Indians, PPD
Tigers at Sox (7:10, NBCSCH)
Cubs at Giants (8:45, Marquee)
Sky at Mercury (9, The U)
Have you ever talked with someone only to realize they were looking over your shoulder for someone better to speak with?
Anyway, that's the unfortunate predicament I think Andy Dalton finds himself in this season with the Bears.
The Red Rifle seems like a nice enough guy, a happy and polite Texan who's had a better career than most are willing to give him credit for.
He's also raised a lot of money for pediatric patients and hospitals so Dalton will be a credit to the Bears franchise.
Off the field, at least.
And yet there's really nothing he can do to help the fact that all of us are already watching the countdown toward the Justin Fields era.
Case in point: Dalton's news conference during Wednesday's OTAs, his first availability since the Bears traded up to get Fields in April's draft.
Here's a sampling of how Dalton addressed the situation:
- "I knew the situation I was going into regardless of if they drafted somebody or they didn't. I was on a one-year deal and I was going to be the starter. So, my mindset didn't have to change. I already knew that I'm going to do everything I can to be the best player I can for this team and to help us win a lot of football games. And that's been my goal since the very beginning."
- "Whatever happens after this year, happens. My mindset didn't change just because they drafted Justin."
- "I know there was a possibility of (another quarterback being drafted). When it happened, it is what it is. Justin's a great guy, getting to know him in the last couple of weeks, getting to be around him. He's gonna make the quarterback room better."
- "I'm trying to give him any advice that I can on certain things. How I view certain plays. What I do with my eyes on certain things. Just different things that come with experience. Obviously, going into Year 11, I've had a lot of ball. I think for me, I'm just trying to help him out as much as I can."
Pro answers from a guy who's made a good career by being a pro.
A report on ESPN earlier this week said Fields would have a chance to compete for the Week 1 job in training camp, but Matt Nagy laid out the preseason depth chart on Wednesday as Dalton, Fields and the memory of Nick Foles. (Yes, he's still here, though he's currently absent due to personal reasons.)
Additionally, the reporters closest to the team seem convinced that not much will get in the way of Dalton starting Week 1 against the Rams.
But no matter what happens, nothing changes the fact that Dalton is set to go down as the most expensive opening act in Chicago sports history. Dalton will be getting $10 million to answer questions from Fields, answer questions about Fields and start at least a handful games for the 2021 Bears.
It might be the best temp job in the history of temp jobs.
Other Bears OTA news:
• Rookie WR and Waffle House aficionado Dazz Newsome broke his collarbone in Tuesday's practice but will be back by the start of training camp. Best-timed injury ever.
• New defensive coordinator Sean Desai had to find a way to look busy. Roquan Smith was the only first-teamer to show up at the voluntary workouts.
• Allen Robinson was the only absence on first-team offense. With just over a month to reach a long-term extension with the Bears, there's no way A-Rob will risk injury before July 15.
News and results
Cubs 6, Padres 1: Sweeeeeeeeep!
OK, this is getting fun. The Cubs finished off San Diego on Wednesday afternoon for their 15th win in the last 19 games.
- Javy Baez hit his 14th homer of the year, Anthony Rizzo doubled twice and Adbert Alzolay struck out seven and allowed only one run in five innings.
- The Padres had injury added to insult as Tommy Pham and Ha-Seong Kim had a scary collision that led to a dugout disagreement. San Diego has lost four straight.
- The Cubs have responded well to a Wrigley Field filled with fans, starting the season 21-10. They're 14-9 against teams over .500 and own a 1.5 game lead over St. Louis after the Cardinals' 14-3 loss to the Dodgers.
There's still a long ways to go, but the Cubs clubhouse has overcome a lot to completely change the narrative of the season in just three weeks.
Next: Seven days in California, starting with a four-game set in San Francisco and another three-game series against the Padres. Zach Davies (2-2, 4.65) starts tonight against Anthony DeSclafani (4-2, 3.56).
Wednesday's rainout was rescheduled for a doubleheader on September 23, which means the Sox could be playing seven-inning games to decide a pennant race if they can't put it away before then. Blech.
Next: A four-game set against the lowly Tigers at Sox Park. Lance Lynn (6-1, 1.20) faces Casey Mize (3-3, 3.28) tonight.
They'll pick 11th in the NHL draft on July 23. Buffalo, Seattle and Anaheim took the top three spots.
19-year-old Aussie guard Shyla Heal was traded to Dallas, who immediately cut her. Heal played only 31 minutes with the Sky and coach James Wade told the Sun-Times' Annie Costabile that the team doesn't have time to develop Heal as it plans to win now. Tough business.
- Colleen Kane on the Bears fan who knew before every other Bears fan that Justin Fields was on his way. Tribune
- The Blackhawks are facing a second lawsuit concerning the alleged sexual abuse by a former coach. TSN
- Today's the fifth anniversary of Muhammad Ali's death. Here's Neil Steinberg on Ali's days in Chicago. Sun-Times
- Both the Cubs and Sox are reportedly upset they haven't been cleared for 100 percent capacity. ESPN
- Mark Lazerus with an interesting look at the journalism behind covering Jonathan Toews this season. The Athletic
Finally ... whatever happened to these guys?
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Trivia answer: Cam Newton (1), Jake Locker (8), Blaine Gabbert (10) and Christian Ponder (12)