It’s the first NFL Sunday of the year, and I wonder how much overlap we have at BN in Chicago Bears fandom. That is to say, I wonder how many of you hardcore Cubs fans are also hardcore Bears fans. I don’t really have an NFL team, myself (instead, I do the fantasy thing), but each year I try to get more and more into the Bears.

  • Both Dale Sveum and the Pirates were impressed by Jeff Samardzija’s performance last night. Samardzija, himself, seems pleased with how his season wrapped up. “I knew what I needed to do and I knew I had a lot of question marks around myself coming into the year,” Samardzija said, per Carrie Muskat. “I knew where I was going as a pitcher and the direction I was going and wanted to keep improving and get that experience late in games. You really want the staff and everyone to know they can trust you and keep giving you the ball.” Samardzija will be considered as a pinch runner for the rest of the season, and then will be considered for Opening Day next year. Hopefully he once again has the offseason fire that helped transform him into a dominant starter in the first place.
  • Catcher Steve Clevenger, who was tossed during Rumble No. 2 against the Nats, was suspended for one game, which he served last night against the Pirates. He suggested he would have done everything the same if it all happened again, because he saw himself as protecting his teammates. I like that, but the video looked a lot more like an angry dude running around a little bit out of control. Not really a big deal either way.
  • It appears that others involved in the fracas – bench coach Jamie Quirk, who kind of started things, Manny Corpas, who was also ejected, and Lendy Castillo, whose inside pitch to Bryce Harper ignited the bigger scuffle – will not be suspended.
  • Brett Jackson remains day-to-day with his banged-up knee. Dale Sveum sounds a little torn when it comes to Jackson’s balls-to-the-wall style of play. On the one hand, you love the energy and effort, on the other hand you don’t want to lose your center fielder for two months because he tried to make one, singular spectacular play. “That’s the kind of player you want but there does come the risk factor of injury when you do that,” Sveum said, according to Carrie Muskat. “That’s why, with the last couple years with Carlos Gomez playing like that in Milwaukee, they’re bound to get hurt. The speed they create and the running, whether it’s diving on the bases when they’re running, and the fearlessness they have of walls, sometimes it’s just a matter of time before something happens. You don’t take that away from anybody — it’s a gift and a good thing.”
  • New Cub Jason Berken – he’s taking Jeff Samardzija’s spot in the rotation – is excited to be in Chicago, having grown up in … Green Bay. Yup, he’s a Packers fan. A season ticket holder, even.
  • With Berken, the Cubs’ rotation is now an almost hilarious stew of Berken, Justin Germano, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad, and Chris Rusin. Bet you saw that coming in April, eh?
  • Jackalope

    10 benefits from the Cubs’ season in no particular order
    1) Samardzija breakout
    2) Soler signed
    3) Solid performance MLB performance from Rizzo
    4) Almora drafted
    5) Three promising arms drafted in the first two rounds
    6) Jose Vizcaino acquired
    7) Juan Carlos Paniagua signed
    8) Castro signed longterm
    9) #2 draft pick in 2013 (assuming they can hold off Padres, Rockies, and Twins)
    10) Solid progression of many young prospects
    Bonus: Less than 50 plate appearances from Koyie Hill

    Others you would add? How many of these happen if Hendry is still GM?

    • MXB

      6) – Jose Vizcaino acquired!!!

      crap! the guy is like 45 years old now! Wow, Jedstein picking guys up from the scrap heap 😉

      We know you meant Arodys Vizcaino

      • Jackalope

        Yeah, thanks. That would be pretty sweet if they re-acquired Jose. You can always use an extra middle-infielder, right?

    • Patrick G

      Isn’t MLB draft order go to the worst record in one league then the other? For example it would be Astros, Twins then remaining goes to worst records? Some reason I thought it was this order but could be wrong

      • RoughRiider

        It use to be that way for the first 2 picks. I think it was changed in 2010.

      • Richard Nose

        Interesting. Either way I want this Austin Meadows kid, even though pitching would be the logical way to go.

        • Jim L

          Ditto. I feel the success rate is better for young position players than risk the high pick on a pitcher; I have enough confidence in TheoJedJason to find upside arms in the rounds after the first. Plus with the supplemental picks pretty much gone, that second Cub pick should be in the mid to late 30s.

  • Tim

    This season has to be a success for the FO

  • King Jeff

    I really wanted to give Berken a chance too. To find out he’s a Packers fan and season ticket holder changes things.

    • David

      A ball player with nfl season tix sounds like a guy who doesn’t plan on being busy in October. Dfa him now.

    • Frank

      A case where Theo and Jed certainly did not do their homework . . .

    • Rcleven

      Trade him to Milwaukee. No more room for Pack Fans in Chicago.

  • Timmy

    This is the most successful year in Cubs history, without question.

  • Idaho Razorback

    The Steelers are my favorite NFL team. Maybe I should change my handle to Idaho Steelers after my Hogs non performance last nite. Pathetic is my only non 4 letter word I can use.

  • art


  • Cjdubbya

    Third game i have attended this year. First two were the mets beatdown 16-1 and mid august when houston pulled off that ten run surprise. Seeing the blowout score on friday i figured spellcheck would get shelled. Never been so happy to be wrong. Have an awesome pic of the gatorade shower right at impact. Will share on message board when we get home. Fun game, great result. Go Bears.

  • Patrick G

    Go Bears!

  • Carew

    Samardzija is a stud. I smell Cy Young. Just kidding, but seriously.

    Go Cubs and Go Panthers!

    • fortyonenorth

      IMO, if Shark was on a winning team in 2013, he might be in the CY conversation.

  • RoughRiider

    I’ve been a Bear fan so long that my first favorite player was the first great middle linebacker and HOFer Bill George. It seams like the Bears have always been good at the mike position.

  • Polar Bear

    I predict a win today. Bears: 79 Colts: 6. Da Bears!!!

    • art

      that’s close!

  • Sven-Erik312

    I’m a Chicago fan, period. With this pitching staff though, let’s pretend we’re like 60’s era Mets fans before 1969 and just enjoy the chaos, The Cubs will be good one day, really good. But right now, well:
    put your head back, here comes the drill…

  • fortyonenorth

    I was talking baseball at my kid’s Little League game yesterday and one of the other coaches mentioned hearing that the Cubs were considering a 2013 rotation similar to the Rockies – where we would have, let’s say, 8 starters and would often see two “starters” each game. I hadn’t heard this and I was, at first, dubious. But, given the lack of impact starters, I don’t know that it’s such a crazy idea – that is, until the Cubs develop a bonafide rotation. Any thoughts?

    • Richard Nose

      Scary but believable.

  • clark addison

    I left Chicago over 40 for California years ago, but never got into the local teams. Still bleed Cubbie blue (apologies to the other blog). But my Bears and Blackhawks loyalty didn’t survive the move. Now I couldn’t care less about football and hockey, and was into basketball only during the Jordan era. And instead of watching the games, I just kept my eye on 23’s moves.

    So congrats to Samardzija for making believers out of us. And a nod to Wilken and Hendry for

  • clark addison

    ..drafting him.

    • Richard Nose

      Drafting him is all they did. I’m not hating, but I was just talking to my dad about what the Cubs would look like this year if Hendry was still here: Shark and Cash in the bullpen with Big Z starting and an overpaid Aramis at 3B with no Soler or Vizcaino in the minors.

    • Richard Nose

      No Rizzo either.

  • IndyCubsFan

    I’m a born/raised diehard Cubs fan. But, I’m a homegrown Indiana boy, so I have to stick with my Colts! Still have respect for Bears fans though.

  • Jimmy james

    Always a redskins fan but being in central il kept close tabs on the bears as well….over the last five years or so I’ve kind of fallen out of love NFL…..I am primarily only an MLB fan as I’m not into NBA or NHL either

  • DocPeterWimsey

    I have Shark in a fantasy league that uses FIP stats for the pitchers’ points. (I’d love to use xFIP instead, but they don’t do flyballs, grounders, etc., as stats.) Shark did quite well this year. He was not “carry the week” (it’s a head-to-head league in which you get 7 and only 7 starts, so nobody really is), but he gave me a solid number most weeks.

    I don’t think that Shark will ever be that sort of “well, we win today!” guy that we had in Prior or Wood 10 years ago. However, I think that he’ll be in the 50th-75th best starter range, i.e., as good as or better than the 2nd best starter on an average pitching staff. Add 2 guys better than that (e.g., Garza and somebody else), and the starters will be better than league average.

  • http://bleachernation Dean

    So now that Shark is done pitching for the year, its time for him to dust off those shoulder pads riight?!!
    The man made a wise decision picking baseball. His career in football would probrably be winding down by now, based on the fact that the average career length for an NFL receiver is less than 3 years. He’s just now starting his best years with the Cubs. They teach them well at ND.

  • die hard

    Go Orioles!!..They are what the Cubs could be some day

    • Drew7

      A team playing WAY over their heads?

  • CubsFan4Life

    I predict that Brett will be a Bears fan soon. Bears win 41 – 21 and the Packers lost today. Go Bears !!!