Nadel's Best of the Baldest.
“Cute” and “coy” usually aren’t words one associates with NFL coaches - macho men who tend to use military terms even when wishing happy birthday to their mothers.
But hey, his name isn’t Lovie for nothing.
“Will Rex Grossman start Sunday?” Smith said Monday, repeating the question all Bear Country has been asking ever since Rex wet the bed on national TV the previous night. “Well, our evaluation process is going on right now. If you go out to practice Wednesday, you’ll have a better idea of who will be starting at all positions.”
Nice. If only Grossman had been as elusive against the Cowboys, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
On ESPN, a coach who was far less cute when dealing with Bears quarterbacking issues - Mike Ditka – said he expected Grossman to retain the job but said he’d go with Brian Griese because “you can’t sink the whole ship for one guy.”
I agree with Ditka on both counts:
- Smith should make the change because it would be best for a team that has been offensively sick for most of three games.
- Lovie will stick with Grossman because of the coach’s loyalty to the player and because Smith doesn’t like being badgered into making a change by fans and the media.
In that scenario, Dean Wormer would put Rex on double-secret probation and Griese’s practice time with the first unit would increase. If Rex stinks early on against the Lions, the switch would be made at halftime. Given that the Lions just surrendered 56 points to the Eagles - as well as 381 yards and four touchdowns to Donovan McNabb, who had struggled mightily in Philly’s first two games - it would be a fairer opportunity than Grossman deserves.
Then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Lovie, like the rest of the free world (and many dictatorships), finally has grown tired of Rex’s act.
If so, Grossman might have taken his last snap ever for the Chicago Bears.
I’m getting misty-eyed just thinking about it.
The Bears’ QB quandary is but one of the many issues covered recently in my blog, The Baldest Truth (www.thebaldesttruth.com). Here are excerpts of some other entries.
“Lou doesn’t know about the glove, but he will now. I hope it doesn’t offend him or anything. Honestly, I thought it was funny.” - Cubs reliever Scott Eyre.
Eyre had Rawlings make him a black glove with a red script signature reading: “Stevie Ire.” That’s what the language-mangling Piniella often has called Eyre (whose name is pronounced “Air”) this season.
Here’s a letter from Dean Chilton of Peoria:
“I read your Sept. 17 column about Jim Thome and I speak for all of the Peoria people: We agree that Jim is a GREAT and WONDERFUL person and we are proud that he calls central Illinois his home. Jim does many things for this community. One example is his unselfish dedication to the Children’s Hospital of Illinois. He is truly an angel.”
Also, this from Jed Huston, a former Peorian who now lives in Houston:
“I went to Limestone High School and played baseball with Thome. He actually went with me on a recruiting trip to Lincoln College after our senior year. He went to Illinois Central College and Lincoln got me. Guess who got the short end of the stick in that one. I sincerely believe because of the lack of notoriety nationally, it will make it difficult for Thome to get the Hall of Fame consideration he will deserve. Keep up the cause for Jim.”
For all fans of Jim Thome - a group that should include anybody who loves baseball - I dedicated my entire Sept. 20 edition of The Baldest Truth to the 23rd ballplayer ever to reach the 500-homer plateau.
There are more letters, a link to an interesting magazine article about his Hall of Fame candidacy and my take on all of it. Enjoy.
“The Brewers have a deep bullpen,” Braves announcer Chip Caray said during Sunday’s Milwaukee-Atlanta game. “And a good one, too.”
Way to do your homework, Chip!
Within a few minutes of Caray uttering those sentences, the Brewers blew a 4-1 seventh-inning lead and went on to lose. It was the 16th time this season Milwaukee had squandered a lead of three or more runs - by far the most in the majors. Had the Brewers protected even half of those leads, they’d be well ahead of the Cubs instead of being on the precipice of elimination.
The circumstances of Caray’s departure from the Cubs’ broadcast booth - an avalanche of complaints against him and Steve Stone by Dusty Baker and the players - made Chip a sympathetic figure in Chicago.
But it didn’t cover up the fact that he wasn’t a very good announcer back then. And, obviously, he hasn’t improved.
The Chicago A-Rods
A rumor surfaced that Alex Rodriguez would opt out of his Yankees contract and sign a mega-deal with the Cubs that would include him getting partial ownership of the team.
Although it quickly was shot down by everybody involved, sources tell me it’s true.
Also true: A-Rod will own the Sears Tower, the Magnificent Mile, two-thirds of Skokie, Michael Jordan’s youngest son and exclusive rights to any reference involving Mrs. O’Leary’s cow.
Mike Nadel is the Chicago sports columnist for GateHouse News Service.