Sep 2, 2021 5 min read

Ryan Pace is talking, but is anyone buying?

Ryan Pace is talking, but is anyone buying?

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Good morning, frents!

Did I think there was a chance Rodney Adams would get cut a few games into the season? Yes.

Did I think he'd get cut less than 24 hours after making the Bears' 53-man roster because Breshad Perriman was available? Well ... no.

I apologize to Mr. Adams for making him the victim of the first Midway Minute jinx in this newsletter's history.

Wednesday's resuts
Sox 6, Pirates 3
Cubs 3, Twins 0

Today's schedule
Pirates at Cubs (7:05, Marquee)
Sky at Aces (9, The U)
Sox off

Ryan Pace did some explaining

(USA Today Sports)


Ryan Pace held his preseason news conference on Wednesday.

He's still as good at holding them as he is building an NFL roster and one suspects that both are related. It's a lot easier to hobnob when you're not struggling to explain away your team's issues.

Here's what Pace had to say about three of them:

1. The health of Teven Jenkins

Pace said he's confident that surgery has "fixed the problem" for the back injury that landed the second-round pick on the IL and has caused him to miss the entirety of training camp.

Jenkins' back issue wasn't the one that "everybody' knew about during the draft, but rather a new one that popped up between the draft and camp.

And exactly what was that? Pace didn't want to go into "specifics."

"As soon as we did [the surgery], those symptoms went away. So we feel good about it. … And the good thing is, guys — just because he had a back surgery doesn’t mean he’s not going to have a good NFL career. We’re excited about the player, excited about where he’s heading."

Look, if I know anything in sports to be 100 percent true, it's that back issues never truly go away. And that you probably shouldn't give up draft picks to move up to pick a guy who has them.

2. Jason Peters as the starting left tackle

Pace's miscalculation with Jenkins caused a ripple effect of problems and now the Bears are setting sail with a left tackle just five years Pace's junior and who was most recently spending his days on a fishing boat.

"He's working back into football shape," Pace said. "He knows that, so we're being smart with that. But if you just watch his foot quickness and how he moves, his technique, his experience, he's just a savvy vet that's still moving very well."

Make you feel better? Me neither.

3. Andy Dalton starting over Justin Fields

Hopefully one day we'll look back and have a good chuckle on how the Bears' former leadership actually got up with a straight face and tried to sell us on a veteran with limited mobility playing behind that o-line over the potential of a possible game-breaking talent like Justin Fields.

For now, it's just weird and impossible for anyone who's been paying attention to actually buy.

"I just feel like we're just in a good position with Andy. It starts with how we feel about Andy, and we're very confident in him and where he's at. So, there's no need for us to rush Justin."

The Jags aren't waiting with Trevor Lawrence. The Jets are starting Zach Wilson. Bill Belichick is OK casting his lot with Mac Jones.

But Pace and the Bears are selling us on the need for Dalton to keep Fields' seat warm for ... reasons.

None of this gets into some of the other problems that would put Pace's job in jeopardy if he hadn't somehow become an honorary member of the McCaskey family over the past six years.

The cornerback situation is going to be an issue with Kindle Vildor still learning and the numbers not on the Bears' side,

Robert Quinn is threatening to become the worst free-agent signing in Chicago sports history

And Pace's habit of trading away draft picks and not getting serious about the cap has destroyed any shot this team had at depth the past few seasons (and probably a few going forward).

Pace making the move to draft Fields may have finally been the right one and it did buy him a few months of relief when it came to fan criticism.

Wednesday's press conference, though, was a sign that he'll only be able to hold it off for so long.

News and results

Gavin Sheets White Sox
(USA Today Sports)

Gavin Sheets has himself a night after callup

The rookie hit a three-run homer and a solo shot in the 6-3 win over Pittsburgh. Sheets spent his previous three weeks biding his time at Triple-A Charlotte, but didn't waste any time making his case for a playoff roster spot. Think a left-handed bat with that power might have some application in October? Baseball doesn't have the "black aces" like hockey, but Sheets could be a gamechanger if he keeps hitting like that the rest of the month.

  • The Sox are now 78-56 and 22 games over .500 for the first time since Sept. 13, 2006. (Don't ask what happened after that.)

Next: Off today before a three-game set in KC

The Cubs sweep the Twins

Only a two-game series, but fly those Ws where you can, right? The team's last three-game sweep came in early June against the Cardinals.

The Cubs got all three of their runs from another Frank Schwindel homer while Justin Steele and Adbert Alzolay combined for a two-hit shutout in the 3-0 win.

  • Fun fact: The Cubs' saves leaders list is Craig Kimbrel with 23 and 10 other pitchers with exactly one save each. Alzolay joined the list on Wednesday.

Next: Keegan Thompson (3-3, 3.09) vs. Randy Dobnak (1-6, 7.83 ERA)

  1. The Hawks resolved a lawsuit over what a fan alleged was illegal use of facial recognition technology. TSN
  2. The Athletic named Walter Payton the eighth-best player in NFL history. To which all of say: "Not high enough." The Athletic
  3. Tommy Edwards tells the story on how he picked "Sirius" to introduce Michael Jordan and the rest of the Bulls. Chicago Bulls
  4. Eloy Jimenez and a young Sox fan battling brain cancer have formed a memorable friendship. WGN News
  5. The Chicago egg thrower was caught and poached from his job with Value Furniture. CBS Chicago

Thanks for reading today's Midway Minute!


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

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