By: William Farlow
Three words in sports I believe always reign true is to expect the unexpected. The Chicago White Sox made their first offseason free agent signing this afternoon a surprise. The Southsiders agreed to a three year 24 million-dollar-deal with former Houston Astros reliever Kendall Graveman. Graveman spent last season in the bullpen for both the Seattle Mariners and the Houston Astros. I like this move for the Chicago White Sox especially this early in the offseason.
Graveman brings good playoff experience from this past postseason to his new team in Chicago. The right hander has a great slider that has been very effective against hitters. This is a smart signing for the White Sox as rumors of a Craig Kimbrel departure continue. Signing Kendall Graveman gives the White Sox bullpen long term depth with Bummer, Hendriks, Crochet , and Matt Foster still on the roster. Graveman boasted a 0.88 ERA with Seattle, and a 3.13 ERA with Houston last season.
The White Sox lack still another starter, departures of Keuchel and Kimbrel along with filling second base and right field. Rick Hahn made a good early offseason move today bringing a capable right hander reliever to aid a bullpen that lost Kopech, Tepera, Marshall, and Jace Fry. Kopech moving to the rotation next season opens the door for Graveman’s fit in Chicago. Welcome to Chicago Kendall Graveman, and the first of many new players we should see this team add for 2022.
By: Will Farlow
Our first ever podcast coverage on the Sky we get to cover an exciting Chicago Sky playoff win, so get ready sports fans. The Chicago Sky entered the first round of the WNBA Playoffs on their homeport confident in their postseason hopes. Candace Parker going into her first postseason with her hometown team sure added excitement to Sky fans in attendance at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. The first thing I notice is how well in sync this Chicago team is during the game from start to finish.
Dallas came into Chicago with star guard Arike Ogunbowale, and Chicago approached her well in terms of their defensive strategy. The Sky features a great lineup of two-star guards, and Vandersloot with Quigley helped their team in good fashion. Guards that can score and play good defense are a great asset in basketball. Candace Parker in my view played a great first playoff appearance as a member of the Sky.
Chicago started with a great first-half lead over Dallas, and the test is usually how well a team can carry momentum out of the locker room into the second half. The Dallas Wings came out of halftime with the edge in that third quarter as they added 21 points to 11 from Chicago. The final quarter of this one sure kept fans at Wintrust Arena on the edge of their seat. The strong late-game scoring and defense of the Sky helped them to a good win on their home court.
My view of this team is that “Sky is the limit” for them in terms of how they do in the postseason. Keeping up the defense will be important as they move forward into the playoffs. This Chicago team is strong on both sides of the ball but they have a better offense than defense. Best of luck to The Chicago Sky as they move onto the second round of the WNBA Playoffs.
By: Will Farlow
The famous blackout game in 2008 is memorable in the storied history of the Chicago White Sox. Before this afternoon’s game, it was the last time the Southsiders were AL Central Division Champions. Fortunately, this changed late this afternoon as the White Sox won game one of a doubleheader beating the Indians 7-2 to clinch the 2021 division title. White Sox star shortstop Tim Anderson started the game off with a leadoff home run in the first inning. I liked Jason Bennetti's response to the homer during the game, and I agree with his statement ‘that homer helps with good omens for the Sox '.
The Southsiders entrusted the mound with Reynaldo Lopez who has had an interesting 2021 season thus far. Second inning action for Chicago brought excitement for Sox fans with Robert and Eloy back-to-back homers with a Tim Anderson three-run homer. There were eleven total White Sox batters in that inning, and I was sure the Sox had a chance to clinch if they held their lead. Lopez pitched a good four innings only giving up two home runs and keeping the game 7-2.
Tony La Russa brought in Garret Crochet in relief who showed his power arm well retiring the side. The Indians pitched Aaron Civil who has always pitched the White Sox very well the last few years, until today’s game at Progressive Field. The White Sox finished with a Craig Kimbrel and Liam Hendriks final three outs to clinch their first division title in 13 years.
My takes on the impact of this game first are to credit GM Rick Hahn and the front office. Hahn and his staff started the rebuild to build to try to win multiple championships as today's clincher helps that cause. Tony La Russa managed a great game this afternoon, and I support him as our manager since day one due to his passion and experience.
The Chicago White Sox can now look forward to home playoff games with positively helps their postseason goals with a strong regular-season home record. I think star players should be rested a lot in these remaining games to ensure good health and stamina for the postseason. Being a diehard White Sox fan I join other fans in how exciting, and memorable today’s clinch win was at Progressive Field. Congratulations to the 2021 AL Central Champion Chicago White Sox! We can hope this is a sign of a possible World Series postseason run.
By: Will Farlow
The movie Field of Dreams in 1989 showed baseball fans the true love of the game. Tonight, history was made as for the first time in MLB history the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees faced off at the Field of Dreams. The game environment overall was well set up along with the attractions and appearances. Kevin Costner and the players taking the field by walking through the famous corn was a beautiful sight to see. The Chicago White Sox with a Tim Anderson walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth won the game 9 to 8.
I thought Lance Lynn and Andrew Heaney pitched a great game. Both pitchers kept the first few innings interesting. I enjoyed seeing Jose Abreu with his home run to become the first to do it in an Iowa MLB game. Baseball is full of great moments in its history , and tonights game was just that for all. Seeing Costner in the booth telling stories with broadcasters was entertaining for people to hear . The Yankees mounted a good comeback with the Judge home run, but a three run Eloy homer set it for the White Sox.
Baseball teaches us to always to expect the unexpected. If Liam Hendriks told someone before that Judge and Stanton homers happen , they would think he is crazy. Tim Anderson luckily in the bottom of the ninth etched himself once again in baseball history with that walk-off home run into the corn. Baseball is a great game to enjoy , and sons I am sure enjoyed watching it with their fathers. Baseball is always my favorite sport for its beautiful history and the environment of the feeling at the ballpark. Watching tonight’s game is something many people will never forget. Both teams should hold their heads high being a part of baseball history. Congrats to the Chicago White Sox on a historic win.
By: Will Farlow
Sports fans have always been taught to expect the unexpected , and today is that way with the Chicago Bulls . The Bulls have added Lonzo Ball to a four year 85 million-dollar-deal in a sign and trade. The Bulls have been seeking to find a point guard that can be a floor general and key defender. Ball is a young 23 year old player with a lot of potential . The Bulls are sending veteran guard Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple, and a second round pick all to the New Orleans Pelicans. These are my takes on the deal , and my viewpoint of how the move can impact the future of the Chicago Bulls organization.
The former UCLA point guard is in my view a good fit to fill Chicago’s need at the point guard position. The Bulls have consistently shown the need for more defense in their starting five . I think Lonzo is a great shooter, passer , and can improve the Bulls defense. Satoransky, Temple, and a draft pick leave a Bulls team that made a smart subtraction I think in getting Ball. The former number two overall pick is only 23 years old , which gives the Bulls a player to fit alongside Zach Lavine and Nikola Vucevic. AK and this Chicago Bulls front office isn’t playing games similar to the Gar/Pax era just a few years ago. Chicago attempted to trade for Ball back in the Trade Deadline this past season.
The Bulls new point guard now slides into a starting five that can consist of Lavine, Williams , Vucevic, and possibly a new power forward if Markannen does not return. Due to recent tape, Lonzo is someone come day one that will need to mesh well with his new teammates if the Bulls are going to get back into contention mode. The Bulls made a good move here in my opinion as Ball being this young in his career has not yet hit his prime. Aside from Lavar's antic and the Big Baller Brand , I think Lonzo needs to take his own legacy as a Bull. Welcome to Chicago Lonzo Ball, you have shoes to fill in helping take the Bulls to the next level!
By: Will Farlow
The Chicago White Sox entered the final week prior to the trade deadline with an eight game lead in first place in the AL Central. The Southsiders prior to the deadline had key needs at second base and in the bullpen. GM Rick Hahn as usual kept things quiet and surprised the White Sox fanbase with three season changing trades. I feel the special excitement and energy that this White Sox team can show fans for many years to come. These are my views of each trade made at the 2021 MLB Trade Deadline , and the grade I give the White Sox.
Trade #1: Chicago White Sox trade LHP Konnor Pilkington to the Cleveland Indians for 2B Cesar Hernandez
I love this unexpected trade between two division rivals just nine games separated in the standings. The White Sox surprise fans by trading for the power hitting, defensive pro in Cesar Hernandez. It seems like Rick Hahn almost had Nick Madrigal ready in a future trade idea by getting a second baseman with a team option for 2022. This trade gives the White Sox improved defense and power hitting at second base helping their lineup in a big way. The Southsiders send a talented young left hander to the Indians making this a fair swap for both sides. Hernandez brings his bat and positive clubhouse prescense to this already tight knit White Sox squad.
Trade #2: Chicago White Sox trade LHP Bailey Horn to the Chicago Cubs for RHP Ryan Tepera
The Chicago White Sox pull a surprise crosstown trade with rivals from the Northside of town to fill a big need for bullpen help. I think Tepera is a good reliever to bring to a White Sox bullpen in need of more pitchers good in game situations. Tepera did just that for one Chicago team, and GM Rick Hahn hopes the reliever will continue that on the Southside. Good simple swap here for the White Sox as they just give up left hander Bailey Horn to a future rebuilding Cubs team.
Trade #3: Chicago White Sox trade 2B Nick Madrigal and RHP Codi Heuer to the Chicago Cubs for RHP Craig Kimbrel
I don’t think this is a final trade White Sox fans expected when they woke up this morning. The Southsiders make a blockbuster trade with the rival Chicago Cubs for NL All Star closer Craig Kimbrel. I love this move for Chicago as the White Sox now feature one of the best bullpens in all of baseball. The price is steep, however, as they send their 2018 first round pick Nick Madrigal and young Codi Heuer to the Cubs. You have to pay for top talent, and Rick Hahn does that here sending a message to other teams that the White Sox are all in for a possible World Series title.
I definitely have to give the White Sox an A+ here filling their team needs and putting this team in an even better spot to contend for a World Series Championship. The White Sox can feel ensured that Kimbrel and Hernandez can be on the Southside next year in 2022 also. The Southsiders face questions of more offensive consistency, and the return of Luis Robert and Yasmani Grandal. GM Rick Hahn followed his instincts that now can bring this team to future postseason success , and maybe a parade at the end.
By: Will Farlow
The Chicago Cubs fans saw the Northsiders comfortably in first place a few months ago, but little did they know that could change the future in just a week. The Cubs GM Jed Hoyer was faced with many cornerstone players that helped the team win in 2016 in contract years. Hoyer did the unexpected trading nine Cubs key players , and beginning a new rebuild at the Friendly Confines. Cubs fans feel sadness and anger toward the fire sale of the the players that brought their favorite team a world series many years ago. However, this is not 2016 anymore its 2021, and sadly the business end of the game led to the Cubs fire sale. Here are my takes on the 2021 MLB Trade Deadline for the Cubs , and my grade on how well they began this new rebuild.
Trade #1: Chicago Cubs trade OF Joc Pederson to the Atlanta Braves for 1B Bryce Ball
I like this first trade in what would become the Cubs fire sale trade deadline , and in a way a prepared prospect grab. This trade allows the Cubs to get value for a one year outfielder in acquiring a power hitting first base prospect. I like how Bryce Ball now fits as a potential new first baseman of the future at this point for the Cubs. This is a good first move by GM Jed Hoyer.
Trade #2: Chicago Cubs trade LHP Andrew Chafin to the Oakland Athletics for 1B Greg Deichmann and RHP Daniel Palencia
Hoyer makes another good trade here as there are always contenders seeking a bullpen arm. Chafin played great in the Cubs bullpen , and should fit in well with the Athletics talented bullpen. The Cubs acquire two players with experience in the minors , and potential to help the Cubs as plugs in the roster early on in their rebuild. I see Deichmann being a stopgap at first, but I see Palencia needing more time to develop in the minor leagues.
Trade #3: Chicago Cubs trade 1B Anthony Rizzo and cash to the New York Yankees for CF Kevin Alcantara and RHP Alexander Vizcaino
GM Jed Hoyer shocks Cubs fans with this trade sending their team leader to the Bronx in New York. Rizzo was a key leader for the Cubs in many seasons , and heads to a Yankee lineup in need of a first base upgrade. The Yankees send over two top prospects that the Cubs develop in the beginning of their rebuild. The Cubs trade a player that as a free agent at the end of the year may resign in the offseason. Overall, I like this trade for the Cubs maximizing value remaining with Rizzo by sending him to New York.
Trade #4: Chicago Cubs trade RHP Ryan Tepera to the Chicago White Sox for LHP Bailey Horn
The Chicago Cubs continue their fire sale by making a simple pitching swap trade with their crosstown rivals the Chicago White Sox. The Cubs send a reliever that preformed well in his time on the Northside down south to 35th and Shields. The White Sox send the Cubs a talented former 2020 MLB Draft pick left handed pitcher that can be either in the rotation or bullpen. The Cubs make a smart swap with the continued need for bullpen arms , and secure a prospect for the future. This first crosstown trade since the 2017 Eloy, Cease for Quintana trade ends up working out here for both teams.
Trade #5: Chicago Cubs trade star RHP Craig Kimbrel to the Chicago White Sox for 2B Nick Madrigal and RHP Codi Heuer
The Chicago Cubs send a trade deadline day stunner by making a blockbuster trade sending their star closer to their rivals on the Southside. The Cubs in my opinion got the top value they hoped for a closer in Kimbrel that finished his Cubs tenure on a high note. The Cubs acquire from the White Sox two talented young players. Second baseman Nick Madrigal I like as a player, and I think Cubs fans will embrace him as one of their own for many years. Madrigal is joined by his fellow teammate Codi Heuer heading to the Friendly Confines. The Cubs can put Madrigal in a middle infield long term with one of their talented shortstops in the system. Codi fits the Cubs as a future setup man or closer making this trade my favorite for the Cubs in their fire sale.
Trade #6: Chicago Cubs trade SS Javier Baez, RHP Trevor Williams, and cash to the New York Mets for OF Pete Crow-Armstrong
The Northsiders make another trade involving players in contract years , and Jed Hoyer once again finds a good young prospect in return. Javier Baez takes his energy and home run hitting with Trevor Williams to Queens. The Cubs acquire a very young talent in Crow-Armstrong who I think has potential to be a talented outfielder when he reaches the major leagues. Cub fans will enjoy this young man in their future long term outfield catching line drives in the Wrigley Field ivy.
Trade #7: Chicago Cubs trade 3B Kris Bryant to the San Francisco Giants for LF Alexander Canario and RHP Caleb Kilian
Cub fans once again see a key contributor to their 2016 World Series title leave the Friendly Confines for the Golden Gate Bridge near San Francisco. Kris Bryant leaves in a deal that allows the Cubs to acquire good talent for a future Scott Boras free agent. The Giants send over two prospects to Chicago I believe fans will enjoy . The Giants feature many talented outfield prospects from their farm system which in my opinion makes Canario a good grab for Chicago in this trade. You can never have enough good developed pitching, and RHP Caleb Kilian gives the Cubs a chance to try to develop young controllable pitchers. The Cubs say a sad goodbye to the former World Series hero , and prepare for the future.
Trade #8: Chicago Cubs trade OF Jake Marisnick to the San Diego Padres for RHP Anderson Espinoza
The Chicago Cubs finish their trade deadline fire sale by trading a depth outfielder to San Diego. Anderson Espinoza coming to Chicago gives the Cubs another talented contract controllable pitcher. Espinoza had a bit of injury history with the Padres so it’s smart if the Cubs continue his development properly. The young right hander could become a future rotation piece behind Cubs ace Kyle Hendricks. I think this is a good final trade for Chicago as they begin their team rebuild.
Grade : A
I give a nice A grade to the eight trades made by GM Jed Hoyer as the Chicago Cubs close their contention window into a new rebuild beginning . Fans may miss their favorite Cubs , but the Friendly Confines within a few years can feature new fan favorites. Rebuilds are never easy for an MLB to execute properly, but the Cubs learned lessons in their last rebuild that if improved can be a better future for their organization.
By: Will Farlow
The Chicago White Sox came out of last night's 7-1 loss to the Houston Astro’s by giving fans an exciting surprise before tonight’s game. The team extended Lance Lynn to a two-year 38 million dollar deal with a club option in 2024. Lynn is set to be a free agent is now a key piece in this young White Sox rotation. Lynn in his first season with the White Sox has pitched to a 9-3 record and a 1.99 ERA.
Lynn is a pitcher with experience in good consistent pitching, and he has continued to do that with Chicago. I think that trade back in the off-season with Texas for Lynn was the best move by Rick Hahn before the season. Lynn is a key veteran mentor to Sox starters like Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease. The Indiana native is now staying with his former Cardinals manager in Tony La Russa.
When it comes to striving for a solid, dependable rotation extending Lynn is huge for the Southsiders. Lynn slides in with Giolito, Cease, Keuchel, and Kopech next year. I think Lance Lynn is a great pitcher Sox fans can back each start. The White Sox are shooting for continued success in October this next decade, and Lynn signed the extension with excitement in being a part of it. Lynn showed White Sox fans his fit here with a complete-game win back the April home opener against Kansas City. Congratulations to a pitcher in Lance Lynn getting a well-deserved contract extension. Chicago White Sox fans and GM Rick Hahn can rest well tonight knowing Lynn is in Chicago the next few seasons.
By: Will Farlow
The special moment no major league baseball player forgets is their debut game in the major leagues. Whether it is a pitcher getting his first MLB strikeout, or a batter getting his first at-bat with a walk or hit. These are moments each rookie within the MLB’s storied history that stays with them forever. That is the case tonight for White Sox prospect Gavin Sheets as he made his major league debut tonight in right field against the visiting Minnesota Twins.
Gavin Sheets went up for his first at-bat in the bottom of the second inning with a 1-0 count hitting the ball into left field for a single. Sheets followed in his father Larry Sheets’ footsteps who also hit a single back on his MLB debut at-bat back in 1984. The White Sox rookie right fielder hit 2-4 in his major league debut totaling two hits, two RBIs, and solid defense in right field for the Southsiders.
I like this prospect for Chicago as a player that moved to a different position for the opportunity to make it to the big leagues along with helping his team. The White Sox should have brought him up sooner in my opinion given the hole in the right field due to both injuries and inconsistency. Sheets hit very well throughout the White Sox farm system and were due to come up to the majors. This development should bring excitement to this White Sox fanbase with hopes for a possible World Series championship. I admire how this young man is another infielder converting to an outfield position, and playing better than some other skilled outfielders in the league.
Baseball throughout history has shown us that strong play, and passion for it contributes to good play on the field. Gavin Sheets the 2017 second-round White Sox Draft pick has shown his new teammates they can depend on him in-game situations. As Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert are long-term plugs for left and center field, Sheets has an opportunity to play for the long-term open right-field position. Congratulations to Gavin Sheets for a great major league debut with his first career hits, and a bright future in his White Sox career.
By: Will Farlow
The Chicago Bears finished the 2020 NFL Season with an exit loss in the Wild Card Game against the New Orleans Saints. The Monsters of the Midway to the surprise of Bears fans retained General Manager Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy. The Bears saw former first-round pick Mitchell Trubisky leave, Kyle Fuller to Denver, and Allen Robinson returning on a one-year franchise tag. The Bears have team needs at QB, WR, CB, and the offensive line. GM Ryan Pace is rumored to be considering a round 1 trade up for a QB or standing pat at 20 taking the best player available. The 2021 NFL Draft is a make-or-break draft for a Bears team needing results with NFL prospects that can help this team to better success moving forward. These are my takes on what Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears should do in this year's draft in Cleveland.
Round 1: Pick 20
Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota
I like this first pick by Bears GM Ryan Pace solidifying a young receiving core by selecting the Minnesota Gopher Rashod Bateman. The junior played solid football as a lead wide receiver for Minnesota for three seasons. He has an average receiver size of 6'0 with good hands when catching the football. The trait that stands out to me is how Bateman combines great speed to get down the field catching the ball either deep or in between defenders. Bateman adds talent alongside Darnell Mooney, Marquise Goodwin, and star franchise-tagged receiver Allen Robinson. This is a great best player available first-round pick for Chicago.
Trade with Atlanta: Chicago trades 2021 second rounder (52) , a 2021 sixth round pick (221) , and a 2022 fourth-round pick. Atlanta sends their 2021 second round pick (35) to Chicago.
Round 2: Pick 35
Kellen Mond QB Texas A&M
This is a pick by Bears GM Ryan Pace some Bears fans will question, while others see the potential of Kellen Mond. Mond played four seasons for the Aggies with a total of over 9,000 passing yards, The Aggie QB brings in both the ability to be a consistent pocket passer and has good mobility on the run. Comparison to Mond and where he is picked by Chicago reminds me of the Lamar Jackson picked by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2018 NFL Draft. I see Mond as a QB that can sit under Andy Dalton for a year, and then becoming the Chicago Bears starting QB in 2022.
Round 3: Pick 83
Spencer Brown OT Northern Iowa
Ryan Pace fills a very important role in the Bears offensive line by picking Spencer Brown. Brown has amazed NFL scouts with his size and good consistent play he displayed during his time as a UNI Panther. The UNI Panther is great at combining good speed into his blocks against any defensive opponent. I think Brown is a good addition to a Bears offensive line facing a need for a long-term upgrade to both tackle positions. The Chicago Bears had a great interest in Brown before the draft making this a smart addition alongside Cody Whitehair, James Daniels, and Sam Mustipher.
Trade with Philadelphia: Chicago trades QB Nick Foles, and two 2021 sixth-round picks (208,221) to Philadelphia . Chicago receives a 2021 fourth-round pick (123) from Philadelphia.
Round 4: Pick 123
Michael Carter RB North Carolina
The Bears send Nick Foles back to his former team in Philadelphia to acquire a fourth-rounder to fill another need on their offense. Chicago continues its trend of taking a running back each NFL Draft it had under GM Ryan Pace. I like this pick of Carter here in the fourth round as a good depth running back for Matt Nagy's talented Bears offense. Carter played seasons for the Tarheels with good speed getting down the field. This is a smart pick in my opinion as Carter can be a good backup to starter David Montgomery. The pick here in Round 4 By Chicago allows for Tarik Cohen to replace the return man role left by former Bear Cordarrelle Patterson. Smart trade up to pick here by Ryan Pace in the middle rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Round 5: Pick 164
Darren Hall CB San Diego State
The Bears fill the hole left by the departure of CB Kyle Fuller by taking Hall here in the middle rounds. The Aztec cornerback brings to Chicago good skills at coverage and interceptions are one of his specialties on defense. Hall is great in terms of awareness on the field, and getting the ball out of a receiver's hands forcing a turnover. Hall also brings good physicality to run support which the Bears need on defense. This is a smart pick for a Bears secondary with many cornerbacks behind Jaylon Johnson, however, there is not yet a clear-cut CB 2 for Chicago. Hall is great in terms of awareness on the field, and getting the ball out of a receiver's hands forcing a turnover.
Round 6: Pick 204
Christian Uphoff S Illinois State
Following the resigning of Safety Tashuan Gipson to a one-year deal, Ryan Pace adds a talented safety to the Bears secondary here by taking Uphoff. The Redbird safety brings good size and strength to this young Bears secondary. I like the consistent coverage Uphoff puts on the opposing offense which should fit in well alongside Eddie Jackson and Jaylon Johnson in the Chicago secondary. Smart pick by Chicago taking the Illinois native that Bears fans should enjoy watching for years to come.
Trade with Arizona: Chicago trades WR Javon Wims to the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona sends a 2021 seventh-round pick (243) to Chicago.
Round 7: Pick 243
Brady Davis QB Illinois State
Wims runs out of time in his short Bears career as Chicago sends him to Arizona to get a seventh-rounder to select more depth in their quarterback room. This is a smart trade-down move by Bears GM Ryan Pace finding another QB with upside in Redbird QB Brady Davis. Davis played seasons for Illinois State with his strong throwing arm and consistent completion rates. Davis has upside and gives Chicago another young piece to develop behind Andy Dalton and new second-round pick QB Kellen Mond. I think this also works well for Chicago as they traded quarterback Nick Foles earlier in Round 4.
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