Mike Nadel: Favre a Bear? What fun!
Chicago’s two years of Rex Grossman silliness pales in comparison with just a few days of Green Bay’s Brett Favre Soap Opera.
The Packers have called unretiring Brett’s bluff and are welcoming him back to the team - but only as Aaron Rodgers’ backup.
Although the record-setting quarterback told Fox News he wouldn’t return under those conditions, if I’m Favre - and we’re often mistaken for each other, given our identical bank-account balances - I’d call the Packers’ bluff.
I mean, are they really going to keep a $12 million-a-year backup QB on the roster?
Here’s what I’d really love to see happen (though it never will):
--The Packers give in to Favre’s demands and release him. He signs with the Bears, sending Green Bay into deep depression and Chicago into total bliss.
--The 38-year-old QB plays badly and gets booed constantly at Soldier Field, leading to speculation that Bears coach Lovie Smith will turn back to Grossman.
--Meanwhile, the Packers crash and burn behind Rodgers, further outraging their fans. Minnesota fans are miffed, too, because they think their struggling Vikings should have signed Favre. And the Lions back into the NFC North title with an 8-8 record.
--And even as the Bears lose game after game with No. 4 stinking up the field, Lovie drawls: “Brett Favre is our quarterback.”
OK, so I’m warped. But wouldn’t that be a hoot?
More on Favre - and lots of baseball, too - at The Baldest Truth (www.thebaldesttruth.com). More excerpts from recent blog entries follow.
NOT PITCHING IN
It figures. Just when the White Sox start hitting the baseball all over the place, starters Javier Vazquez, Jose Contreras and Gavin Floyd go into the tank.
And yet the Sox are still in first place at the break.
Which is more than the once-mighty Tampa Bay Rays can say.
UNLOVED LA RUSSA
Keith Carver of St. Louis writes:
“I’m a Springfield native, 27-year resident of St. Louis and lifelong Cards fan. Tony La Russa surrounds himself with celebrities, colors his hair, wears sunglasses during night games, the list goes on. He’s more insecure than my 5-year-old. And he’s batting the pitcher 8th AGAIN. Follow this guy for a while, you’ll see: It’s ALL about him. Jim Edmonds is getting some love from Cards fans and poor little Tony doesn’t like it. His teams are prepared and play hard, but his double standards and ego are wearing thin here.”
Wow, reader Carver said a lot ... and it’s hard to debate any of it. Then again, La Russa is probably the first-half NL Manager of the Year. And he did deliver a championship less than two years ago. I guess what I’m saying is Redbird rooters could be doing a lot worse in the managerial department. Fans of dozens of MLB teams are.
During the recent Cubs-Cardinals series at Busch Stadium, St. Louis pitchers came to bat five times. On each occasion, it would have been advantageous to have had a “real” player bat eighth.
Not a scientific sampling, but enough to notice.
FANNING THE FANNER
Rich Harden struck out 10 batters Saturday in his Cubs debut.
He also struck out three times as a hitter.
Imagine how well he’d do if he could pitch to himself ... or to Kosuke Fukudome.
FIGURE OF SPEECH
Asked why he chose six games as a prediction for how decisively the White Sox would win their division, Cubs manager Lou Piniella said: “I like their club. Six ... that’s a metaphor.”
A metaphor for what?
“I don’t know for what.”
Nor, I’m guessing, does Lou know what a metaphor is.
But that’s OK. He’s still a good manager.
You can’t help but feel badly for Cardinals lefty Mark Mulder, a good guy with a bum shoulder.
Mulder’s long-anticipated return to the St. Louis rotation after his second surgery lasted only 16 pitches.
This underscores the danger of the Cardinals - or any team - counting on a boost from surgically repaired pitchers.
They were hoping Mulder, Chris Carpenter and Matt Clement could bolster a rotation that has been surprisingly stout but has shown weakness lately. Carpenter and Clement remain out, and Mulder’s back on the DL.
As I often stated during my years covering luckless Cubs righties Kerry Wood and Mark Prior, their injuries were not a sign of “softness.” Pitchers get hurt. Wood and Prior want to compete, as do Mulder, Carpenter and Clement.
I hope the best for Mulder. He has worked so hard and he deserves better than this.
It must be strange being a Cavaliers fan knowing LeBron James plans to escape to New York when his contract expires in TWO years.
Then again, it must be strange being a fan of a team for which the all-time memorable moment is Craig Ehlo getting burned by Michael Jordan.
“We’re all taking a huge hot-air balloon.” – Ryan Dempster, when asked if the Cubs’ eight All-Stars would be traveling together to New York.
“I’m struggling, bro. STRUH-GULL-ING! I’m terrified over the golf ball. I’ve got no idea what’s gonna happen. I just hope I don’t kill anybody.” – Charles Barkley, in a hilarious ESPN interview.
“Any place, any time. You watch his batting practice. He’s got the most pop on the team.” - Cubs catcher Geovany Soto, claiming pitcher Carlos Zambrano could win Home Run Derby.
“Good. Glad we’re adding seats. More income, more good players.” - La Russa, when told the July 5 crowd was the largest ever at new Busch Stadium.
“If he ignores me, I’ll punch him in the mouth.” -Edmonds, joking with the media, amidst his feud with La Russa.