Lou threw his hat, the Sox are on a tear and Ben Gordon's gone
July 2, 2009, 10:48 PM
By: Tom Waddle
Some random thoughts heading into the July 4th weekend, and I apologize in advance for the lame "stuff" to follow. I started vacation during the 11 o'clock hour of our show Thursday morning.
On the South Side, we're being told that Ozzie is now pushing all the right buttons, hence the six-game winning streak. Look, I'm an Ozzie fan, and the hit-and-run clinic at The Cell last weekend was masterful, but this team is winning 'cause they're getting lights-out starting pitching and the bats are alive! Chris Getz and Gordon Beckham are quickly proving themselves as reliable contributors for this Sox team. I'm with Oz, though, no need to get caught up with pennant fever just yet. There are still question marks in the rotation, the bullpen has been predictably inconsistent and the young guys will make mistakes. With that said, I'm more convinced than ever that they will be in contention when September rolls around.
Lou Piniella threw a fit -- and his hat. Happy now, Cubs fans?
Hope you Cubs-fan meatheads are happy with Lou's recent hat-tossing escapade that resulted in his first ejection of the season. Was that the "fire" you were looking for? Know what I'm looking for? I'm looking for that $50 million outfield to finally start hitting its weight.
In another obvious sign that Phil Jackson will be back in search of an 11th NBA title, the hoops buzz is that Ron Artest is set to sign with the defending champs. The lone knock against the Lakers this season was that they weren't always motivated and took days off. Artest will help jack up the intensity and keep the champs interested. Phil obviously knew something we didn't, suggesting he would only coach home games. Honestly, who can handle Wacky Ron for all 82 games?
Ben Gordon waved goodbye to the Bulls as expected, and he COMPORTED himself on the way out as expected. Ben was a true pro here in Chicago and I wish him well. (As if he really cares what I think.) Be patient, Bulls fans; the 2009-10 season will look a lot like last year, if not a few clicks worse. This team is now poised to make a splash in the 2010 free-agency period.
Martin Havlat is out, Marian Hossa is in. Since I know nothing about hockey, I consulted my "hockey people" and they seem very happy about the move. Hossa is more durable, more reliable and more explosive. Or so my hockey pals say.
I read that Saints linebacker Calvin Pace just got pinched and will serve a four-game suspension for violating the NFL drug policy. He says the positive result is due to an over-the-counter supplement. I'm just wondering, where's the outcry? I know Pace isn't to the NFL what Manny is to MLB, but why do we constantly give NFLers a pass for taking banned substances? Love me some Shawne Merriman, but the whole sporting world turned the other way when he was nabbed. Just saying.
Finally, happy Fourth of July to all of you ESPN 1000 fans out there. I love this holiday for a number of reasons. First of all, the true meaning is quite deep and moving as we recognize how precious our freedom is. It's also a great day for a barbecue and a good reason to get your drink on, in a responsible manner, of course. It signifies the midpoint of the baseball season and gets the football juices flowing! We are now less than a month away from our guys reporting to Bourbonnais. Happy Jay Cutler Day, by the way. As a player, the Fourth always signified the last day of the carefree offseason. It was always a bittersweet holiday for me as I knew it was time to get back to work. Now, as a sports talker, or knucklehead, it's just another reason to get away from Silvio! Enjoy the break and be safe.
Tom Waddle is a co-host of "Waddle & Silvy," mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on ESPN Radio 1000. Send comments, questions and feedback by clicking here.