Who Wore it Best? 79-70

Photo: Dr. Odd

We continue our fashion countdown of who wore each number best. In this edition, we’re hopping into the 70’s. Will we get more NFL lineman? Will some random hockey or basketball players sneak in? Let’s dive in and find out.

79 – José Abreu

José Abreu has to be up there in the greatest players with the weirdest numbers category. According to Abreu, his mother picked his number so he would stand out. Stand out he has; Abreu was last year’s MVP, has garnered three All-Star selections, and even hit for the cycle in 2017.

Honorable Mention: N/A

78 – Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith is the all-time leader in sacks with an outlandish 200. His resume is long and silly; we won’t waste too much time here, but just know he was named to two different All-Decade teams in the 80’s and 90’s.

Honorable Mention: N/A

77 – Ray Bourque

Bouruqe was one of the best defensemen in NHL history. His offensive numbers are pretty impressive for a defensemen, scoring 1,506 points in 1,518 games played.

Honorable Mention: Vladimir Radmanović

76 – Orlando Pace

Photo: USA Today

Pace was about all you could ask for in a left tackle during his career. In college, he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 1996, which is wild enough for a lineman. In the NFL, he earned seven trips to the Pro Bowl, was a three time first team All-Pro, and a member of the 2000’s All-Decade team.

Honorable Mention: PK Subban

75 – Joe Greene

“Mean” Joe Greene was one of the most dominant nose tackles in NFL history. He was a part of the “Steel Curtain” defense that won four Super Bowls in six years for the Steelers in the 70’s. Mean Joe was also named to the 1970’s All-Decade team on top of the 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time teams.

Honorable Mentions: Barry Zito, Howie Long

74 – Kenley Jansen

Jansen has been absolutely lights out since entering the Majors in 2010. He’s recorded 312 saves, a 2.39 ERA, and a 0.91 WHIP in 636 innings in his career.

Honorable Mention: TJ Oshie

73 – John Hannah

Hannah was a dominant guard for the Patriots from 1973-1985. Over that time, he went to nine Pro Bowls, was a 10 time All-Pro, is a member of the 70’s and 80’s All-Decade teams as well as the 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time teams.

Honorable Mention: N/A

72 – Sergei Bobrovsky

Bobrovsky has had an impressive run since coming into the NHL with the Flyers in 2010. Since then, he has an impressive .921 save percentage and a 2.41 goals against average.

Honorable Mentions: Carlton Fisk, Dan Dierdorf

71 – Walter Jones

We’ve gushed over Walter Jones before, and we’re here to gush again. A bonafide Hall of Fame left tackle, nine Pro Bowls, four first team All-Pros, and never missed a start in 180 career games.

Honorable Mention: Evgeni Malkin

70 – Dennis Rodman

Photo: ESPN

Who remembers this weird shit? Rodman played 12 games for the Mavs in the 1999-2000 season. Honestly, this is an awful number for this list and we’re obviously stretching here.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Have to be honest, I thought this edition was going to rely heavy on NFL offensive/defensive lineman. Pleasantly surprised with the baseball, hockey, and basketball representation here. On to the 60’s!

Dear Baseball: Welcome Back, We Love You

Dear Baseball,

You made it. You’re back. Every year, Spring rolls around and you reappear in our lives just when we’re all at our wit’s end with Winter.

Your debut is upon us, and league-wide hope is at a premium. Spring Training has wrapped, and all thirty teams have traveled back home to start the long, arduous road to a pennant. The weather is starting to turn; summer is creeping around the corner, and with it, thoughts of cold beer and hot dogs dance in our heads.

Opening Day is a time and feeling unlike any other. It’s like waking up in the middle of the night thinking your alarm’s about to go off, to find you’ve only been asleep for an hour. It’s like taking out your contacts after a long day, or hitting every green light when you’re running late. It’s hard to exactly describe it, but have you ever found a $20 bill in your pants that you forgot about? That’s what it feels like having you back.

From Wrigley to Fenway, Yankee Stadium to Petco Park, let the hum of fastballs and pop of catcher’s mitts fill the air for the next seven months. Let the home runs fly out of Coors Field, pop ups die in the acres of foul territory at RingCentral Coliseum, and Bernie Brewer take all of the home run slides his heart desires.

Who cares if the pace of play is a little slow? Who doesn’t want to to piss in a urinal trough, pay $12 for a mini helmet full of ice cream that melts in five minutes, or step in dropped neon yellow nacho cheese while awkwardly scootching past eight of your fellow attendees all while squeezing into undersized seats in 98 degree weather?

We definitely don’t get embarrassed when our favorite players get injured in hilarious ways while playing a noncontact sport. We don’t care that you make a bunch of old men squeeze into baseball uniforms, or that your Hall of Fame voting is incredibly flawed, or that your fields of play aren’t equal in size like every other legitimate professional sport. No reason to complain about the fact that the DH rule isn’t universal, unwritten rules are dumb, and that hitting at this point is either home runs or strikeouts.

Baseball, we could not be happier that you are back.

Love,

Baseball Fans Everywhere

Sunday State of Mind: December 1-December 6th

Sunday is here, and so is another week of SSM.

Baker Mayfield had himself a day
Four touchdowns, 334 yards, to the Titans’ dismay
The Browns moved to 9-3 on the year
Once in a blue moon the Dawg Pound can cheer

A few big name changes, on Chicago’s North Side
Kyle Schwarber is gone, and Len Kasper has gone for a ride
To The White Sox radio both, Cubs fans were surprised
What’s going on with the Cubs? It’s hard to surmise

A big name trade in the NBA
John Wall for Russell Westbrook, what the hey?!
A few bad contracts, who both wanted to change teams
This trade will only change things in Wizards & Rockets fan’s dreams

Alabama football rolled their rival LSU
The Crimson Tide won by 38, Tigers didn’t have a clue
In this weird COVID season, one thing remains the same
Alabama is good, and they’ll probably win every game

The White Sox Hired Tony La Russa and…Yikes.

Woof.

The Chicago White Sox are one of the most young, exciting teams in baseball. They have a treasure trove of young talent not only on the major league roster, but still coming up through their farm system. The South Siders made the playoffs this year for the first time since 2008, but were eliminated in the first round by the Athletics.

Due to “differences of opinion” regarding analytics and strategy in general, the team relieved manager Rick Rentería of his duties after the season. In doing so, the Sox created for themselves a great opportunity to sign a dynamic, exciting manager to take this young group with an enormous skillset and lead them to a championship, right?

WRONG.

Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for your new manager of The Chicago White Sox….

This guy.

Tony La Russa: seventy-six year old, hasn’t managed since 2011, Tony La Russa.

As you’ll notice in the picture above, the man is a Hall of Famer, a fact you can’t deny. However, isn’t that a reason not to hire him? His last managing gig with the Cardinals ended when he retired nine years ago. Per Baseball Reference, La Russa holds a career record of 2,728-2,365 in 35 years of managing the White Sox (for the first time), Athletics, and Cardinals. He last managed the White Sox in 1986. One of the White Sox’s best players, Luis Robert, was born 11 years after, in 1997.

The White Sox roster is full of young, lively talent. Tony La Russa is a baseball dinosaur who has been in the sport since 1963, when he made his playing debut with Oakland. This enormous age gap can cause major issues. How does a man capture the attention and respect of a group of studs 50 years his minor? I just don’t see it.

Now, with as loaded of a roster as the White Sox have put together, this could very well work out. At some point, the manager of a baseball team simply cannot lose if he’s given the right combination and talent and potential. If you’re a White Sox fan, you can only hope your new geriatric leader lets his guys be themselves and take the next step that they clearly have enough talent to take.

Sunday State of Mind: September 28th-October 4th

Sunday evening: a time to sit back, reflect on your weekend, and read this week’s SSM.

The NBA Finals is in full swing
The Heat are decimated, The Lakers are getting the ring
It probably was always going to end this way
With only Jimmy Butler for Miami, and LeBron and AD for LA

The MLB playoffs have advanced a round
Only half of the playoff teams are left and still taking the mound
It is a bit sad, that we won’t have a chance
For a Cubs/White Sox World Series, since neither advanced

Russell Wilson continues to be
In this blogger’s opinion, NFL MVP
He balled out again today, carved Miami with a knife and fork
Don’t think we forgot though, he’s still a dork

The big NFL story, another COVID outbreak
Cam Newton tested positive, a sad truth to take
The cases are clearly rising in the NFL
I think we all wish this virus would just go to hell

Sunday State of Mind: August 17th-August 23rd

Photo: Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Happy Sunday, all. Please enjoy this week’s SSM…

Earl Thomas, in trouble a bunch
Sketchy activity with his brother, now a teammate punch
The Baltimore Ravens lost their defensive toy
Don’t be surprised if Earl is the next Dallas Cowboy

One of my new favorite teams, the San Diego Padres
They’ve hit five grand slams in the last six days
Hosmer, Machado, Fernando Tatis
Pitchers serving it up, and the Padres feast

No more Brooks Kopeka in 2020
The 2019 patella injury, still bugging him plenty
This week he withdrew from the Northern Trust
Ending his season, a total bust

This is a stanza I don’t want to write
The White Sox have taken it to the Cubs the last two nights
Jose Abreu is on an absolute tear
Sox beating up on the Cubs, a sight too sad to bare

Sunday State of Mind: August 10th-August 16th

Photo: Shifaaz shamoon on Unsplash

Hello, and welcome to this week’s SSM.

The NBA playoffs are ready to go
The postseason tournament starts tomorrow
The champions will pop some champagne bottles
Big loss for the players though, no Instagram models

We already know The Masters have been pushed back
But come November, golf fans will be jacked
Unfortunately, Augusta announced this week
No fans due to COVID this year, not one in-person peek

The COVID ravaged Cardinals actually played a game!
Their first since July 29th, what a shame
They swept the White Sox in a double header
Hopefully lesson learned, and the players will be better

Ohio State QB Justin Fields, not a quitter
Started a MoveOn.org petition, asking the B1G to reconsider
A continued push of the #WeWantToPlay movement
If this petition goes anywhere, we could see some college football improvement

The Chicago White Sox are Your 2020 Exhibition Crosstown Classic Champions

Photo: WGN Radio

To quote one of the greatest broadcasters to ever do it, Mr. Al Michaels: “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”

The White Sox have dethroned the Cubs, folks. The peak has been reached, the mountain has been scaled, and any of the other sports clichés you can insert here have been accomplished. After taking it to the Cubs in Game One by 7-3 final on Sunday, they came back last night and continued on their exhibition season tear by again defeating The North Siders 5-3.

The Sox used a six-run fifth inning in Game One to take a lead they would never relinquish. The barrage started with an Adam Engel home run off of Cubs Opening Day starter Kyle Hendricks, and continued with two singles by Tim Anderson and José Abreu, three doubles by Yasmani Grandal, Edwin Encarnación, and Luis Robert, and capped off by a triple by Leury García. This built the lead out to 6-2, and The Cubs would only add one more run via a David Bote RBI single in the seventh inning.

Yu Darvish took the bump in Game Two, only to be rudely greeted by a first inning grand slam by Eloy Jiménez. One of the Cubs’ former top prospects, who was dealt to The Sox in the 2017 trade for José Quintana, Jiménez showed his power surge by taking the first pitch he saw to straight away center. Dallas Keuchel started for the White Sox, and threw five innings of one hit, scoreless baseball. The Cubs got the offense moving a bit in the seventh, with Hernan Perez scoring on a fielder’s choice, Kyle Schwarber driving in Bote, and finally Javy Baez scoring on a double play ball from Steven Souza Jr.

This is The White Sox’s first Crosstown Classic victory since 2014, when they beat the Cubs in their annual season series 3-1. After ties in 2015 and 2016, The North Siders took the illustrious trophy back home to Wrigley in 2017 and 2018. As for 2019, we can all remember that unbeleivable 2-2 series tie that kept the trophy with The Cubs.

This feat is something that might not ever be topped, and White Sox fans should be immensely proud. So pop that champagne, order your tee shirts and caps, and enjoy this victory. No one can take this away from you, South Side.