Jun 15, 2020

Mitch Trubisky talks + MLB balks

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Good morning, frents …

Wow, tough crowd. Maybe my expectations for 30 for 30s are much lower than those of you who were apparently expecting “Hoop Dreams,” but I was surprised at how much vitriol for “Long Gone Summer” there was on Twitter last night.

I know it wasn’t a good documentary and wrote as much on Friday. But in terms of it being what the 30 for 30 series has turned into — nostalgia trips heavy on highlights you haven’t seen in a quarter-century with some interviews laced in— I thought it was … fine? Certainly nothing worth the grievances I saw being aired on social media.

But onward and upward. We’re not here to talk about the past.

The Mitch In The Arena

The Bears thought they could bury Mitch Trubisky’s news conference on a Friday?

Well, yes. But I’m not about to let a weekend keep me from recapping the first words  we’ve heard in five months from No. 10 in your programs, No. 1 in your hearts.

The three big takeaways from Trubes’ Zoom call:

  • Trubisky said he was “pissed off in a good way” about the Bears trading for Nick Foles and that he’s been motivated all offseason long.
  • He “wasn’t all that surprised” the Bears didn’t exercise his fifth-year option and that he “kind of felt like I had it coming.”
  • Trubisky said he believes the Bears are “still my team” and that being the incumbent gives him an advantage if an abbreviated or canceled training camp prevents the Bears from making an educated pick for the Game 1 starter.

So what to make of it all?

I thought Trubisky handled himself well and said the right things. I want everything he said about being motivated and earning a new contract in Chicago to turn out to be true because 1) it would mean the Bears did well in 2020 and 2) I still think Trubisky is a good kid and one I would like to continue rooting for.

But I also think talk is extremely cheap at this point in Trubisky’s career.

No one has ever questioned his leadership, work ethic or conditioning in his three years here. It’s been his decision-making skills that have held him back.

So either he makes the jump or he doesn’t when he’s finally able to get back into a real huddle. But it’s hard to imagine how Trubisky walks his walk after three months of quarantine and no OTAs.

Does anyone really know what time it is? (Does anyone really care?)

The weekend’s other big story was the sobering realization that we’re likely headed for the gimmick of a ~50-game baseball season followed by an expanded playoff between teams of players who won’t even want to be there.

To recap:

  • After turning down separate offers of two quarters, five dimes and 10 nickels, the MLBPA issued a statement on Saturday night saying it would no longer negotiate and that the owners should schedule whatever length of season it wants at the fully prorated salaries it agreed to in March. “It's time to get back to work. Tell us when and where," the letter read.

The league said it would get back to them, but not before trying to score points of their own by patting themselves on the back for their own benevolence.

“The MLBPA's position that players are entitled to virtually all the revenue from a 2020 season played without fans is not fair to the thousands of other baseball employees that clubs and our office are supporting financially during this very difficult 2020 season.”

So that’s where we’re at right now.

While literally every other sports organization tries to make the best of this unprecedented situation, baseball is hellbent on making the worst of it.

We should be analyzing schedules and health protocols by this point. Instead we’re watching a pissing match that likely won’t end for another couple of years and preparing ourselves for the inevitability of the Marlins getting hot for a few weeks and somehow winning a third World Series title.

2020 remains the worst.

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Lori Lightfoot made her pitch for Chicago to be one of the NHL’s two host cities. Vegas is reported to be a lock for one of the two spots and it’s believed the league wants a Canadian city if the country eases its mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. The league reportedly didn’t want any teams playing in their home city, so not sure how they’d handle both the Hawks and Golden Knights if Vegas and Chicago were the two hosts.  (The Athletic)

Scott Powers on being a Wrigley Field usher during the summer of ‘98. (The Athletic)

Teddy Greenstein’s five favorite run-ins with Sammy. (Tribune)

I joined Sarah Spain and Jordan Cornette on Friday afternoon to talk about the battle over Sammy Sosa’s 62nd home run. (ESPN Radio)

If you still need a Father’s Day gift, Midway Minute partner BreakingT has a great collection of Chicago sports t-shirts (BreakingT)

Is the restart of sports in empty stadiums a good time to stop playing the national anthem before sporting events? (NY Daily News)

• Batting Stance Guy remains the best.

That’s it for today. Let’s have ourselves a week. As always, thank you for being a #frentofthenewsletter.

Kevin Kaduk
Kevin Kaduk
Kevin is the founder of Midway Minute.

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