Saturday smorgasbord: A day after the Green Bay sacked Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler seven times in a 23-10 Packers victory, it was unclear who gave him the most heat: the Packers defense or a variety of voices criticizing his behavior toward his offensive linemen during the game. Not that Cutler is going to be changing his demeanor any time soon.
* Given Cutler’s complaints about Soldier Field fans making too much noise when the Bears offense was in the red zone in their season opener and now his latest outbursts, he might want to limit any audible activity to specific play-calling rather than offering post-play critiques during games.
* Speaking of the Bears, they reportedly are bringing in free-agent running back Steve Slaton for a tryout. Starting RB Matt Forte injured his right ankle against the Packers. A reminder again why players want financial security when they have the chance to negotiate a contract.
* The NHL appears headed to a lockout. Which is a shame — for the people who depend on hockey games to make a living. Not the players or owners. The people who work inside the arenas or areas nearby and are anything but highly paid. This note runs not so much for any interest but for the chance to run a photo featuring a Chicago Blackhawks sweater. Actually, to run a photo of a lovely lady in a Hawks sweater.
* The Chicago White Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-0 Friday (Sept. 14) and remained one game ahead of the Detroit Tigers inthe American League Central. Left-hander Chris Sale (17-6) went six innings and lowered his earned-run average to 2.78. Meaning he is in the conversation regarding the Cy Young Award. So is Detroit’s Justin Verlander (14-8), who went seven innings in a 4-0 victory at Cleveland and lowered his ERA to 2.81. And then there’s Tampa Bay’s David Price, who improved to 18-5 with a 2.54 ERA in the Rays’ 6-4 victory vs. the Yankees in New York. There are other legitimate contenders, but unless Sale wins, look for Sox fans to feel slighted.
* Before the Chicago Cubs defeated the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates 7-4 Friday, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said the Cubs could be similarly unsuccessful next season. The good news: Epstein isn’t lowering the bar — well, from his perspective. The bad news: That bar will remain down longer than most Cubs fans were hoping.
* Rookie outfielder Brett Jackson returned to the Chicago Cubs lineup and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts to lower his batting average to .184. He has struck out 50 times in 98 at-bats to move up (or is it down??) to fifth place on the team in strikeouts. The team leaders in strkeouts are Alfonso Soriano with 137 (500 at-bats), Bryan LaHair 117 (320 at-bats), Starlin Castro 93 (576 at-bats) and David DeJesus 81 (449 at-bats). Meaning — with 18 games left for the Cubs (37-87) — it’s unlikey (though not impossible) Jackson could catch DeJesus.
* Speaking of Cubs shortstop Castro, he committed his 25th error of the season. That number is one more than he has stolen bases. So the main sources of interest for the rest of the season among some Cubs fans will be whether he will end with more steals than errors and how close to .300 first baseman Anthony Rizzo’s final batting average will be. At the moment, it’s .292. Yes, some of us amuse easily.
Speaking of cheerleaders (OK, even if we weren’t), here is actress Sarah Shahi, who once was a member of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
Speaking of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, any excuse to run video of them around here works:
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