Good morning, frents!
And happy Thursday!
Let's hit some good news from Justin Fields, shall we?
Cubs 3, Padres 1
Blue Jays 6, Sox 2
Sky 92, Fever 76
Blue Jays at Sox (7:10, NBCSCH)
The Justin Fields hype keeps growing
Another day, another round of good reviews for Justin Fields.
The future of the Chicago Bears practiced in front of the media during Wednesday's OTA session and the consensus seemed to be that he's giving reason for all this excitement.
I'm still not sure how much you can really glean from a practice conducted with shorts and no pads, but here's what came out:
- Fields threw a nice deep ball to WR Damiere Byrd for a touchdown.
- Darnell Mooney said he was "smiling mid-route" while Fields was throwing to him. (Playing a rookie season with Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles might cause such a reaction.)
- Matt Nagy said Fields has "that rip-your-heart-out mentality."
- New RB Damien Williams complimented a tight throw that Fields made into Cover 2 coverage.
- Fields was apparently comfortable making changes and correcting teammates at the line, but also fumbled two snaps.
Andy Dalton, meanwhile, threw three interceptions in 7-on-7 drills to a defense that still only has two starters (Roquan Smith and Tashaun Gipson) in attendance.
What does all of this mean?
Well, probably nothing. But it is nice picking up all the bread crumbs that say we might have someone special on our hands in Fields. From his high aptitude test scores to Pro Football Focus grading him college football's most accurate passer since 2014, there are signs that our early hope in Fields is something more than pure hope after a lifetime of waiting.
(We'll ignore Chris Simms' contention that Minnesota's Kellen Mond will be a better pro as easily as we did those two dropped snaps.)
There's still plenty of offseason to go, of course, and Wednesday's tidbits will be forgotten whenever we get another performance to judge.
But it looks like it's going to be a fun summer with what will definitely go down as the most closely-watched Bears training camp in history.
News and results
Cubs 3, Padres 1: Happy flight
Gotta say I didn't see this one coming with Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras and Javy Baez on the bench and Yu Darvish taking the hill for the Padres.
- But Jake Arrieta halted his slump with five strong innings and the Cubs bullpen took it from there with four perfect innings.
- Joc Pederson tagged Darvish for a game-tying homer in the fourth, then did Fernando Tatis Jr's stutter-step as he rounded third. (Fernando was not amused.)
- The victory took the series for the Cubs and sent them home with a 3-4 record on a road trip they started with three straight losses in San Francisco. Nice rebound.
Next: The Cubs get an off-day before returning to a Friday game with the Cardinals at a fully-open Wrigley. Let's go.
Blue Jays 6, Sox 2: Wasted night
Turnabout is fair play. One night after the Sox blew up a great Robbie Ray start, the Jays broke Wednesday's game open after Lance Lynn left the contest.
- Lynn pitched seven innings of one-run ball, but got the hook after just 95 pitches. That led to a disaster of an eighth inning from Aaron Bummer and a bad ninth from Matt Foster. The damage: Five runs
- The loss was bad, but the injury to Nick Madrigal might end up being worse. The second baseman left the game in the seventh with a hamstring injury and it isn't known how much time he'll miss. As if the Sox weren't already trying to fill enough holes caused by injury elsewhere.
Next: Dallas Keuchel (4-1, 4.25) pitches the rubber game against Jays ace Hyun Jin Ryu (5-3, 3.23) in a battle of lefthanders.
Sky 92, Fever 76: Candace Parker returns in win
The seven-game losing streak ended as did Candace Parker's absence from the floor. Parker scored three points and had five boards in her Chicago debut; Courtney Vandersloot led the Sky with 17 points.
- Said Parker: "I rehabbed my ass off for the last three weeks to be back on the court."
- Dan Wiederer reports that many Bears remain indecisive about getting vaccinated. Tribune
- Well, I can't see this going poorly at all. Scottie Pippen has a new book coming out and it's reportedly not going to pull any punches with Michael Jordan. New York Post
- Sam Fels mourns the death of the old Wrigleyville. Deadspin
- Mario Tirabassi on Lukas Reichel, the 2020 first-round draft pick the Hawks just signed to a three-year contract. Bleacher Nation
- A Chicago dad who commutes to work via bike with a great piece on the dangers he faces each day. Bike Lane Uprising
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