Here it is, already April 16th! We're a couple weeks into the baseball season, the NHL playoffs have started, the NBA playoffs start tomorrow, and the NFL draft is coming up. We have representative teams in both of these playoffs, though the expectations for the Hawks and the Bulls are polar opposites - the Hawks are expected to go deep and compete for the Stanley Cup, and the Bulls are expected to be one and done versus Lebron and the Cavaliers.
In baseball, so far our mediocrity is showing on both sides of town. The Cubs are 4 and 5 through yesterday, and their middle relief is the problem so far. They are at a payroll point where they cannot add any more veterans, so instead are depending on names like Justin Berg, Esmail Caridad (currently injured), Jeff Gray, and Jeff Samarzidja (spelling?). All young players, all unproven, all potentially inconsistent.
The problems on the South Side look to be their 5th starter and perhaps their offense. Freddy Garcia has been rocked a couple of times now, I believe, and I have my doubts that he can get better. He might just be done. I personally believe that their offense will be okay in the long run. It looks like Andruw Jones has something left in the tank, and if Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez can hit, they should be fine. Juan Pierre made a boneheaded baserunning blunder yesterday against the Blue Jays, but offensively he'll be fine for them. They just need to come together.
I won't expose my ignorance about the Bears any more than I have to, but they do not pick until the third round in the upcoming college draft. There is a slim chance that they are going to deal tight end Greg Olsen and that could produce another pick, maybe even as high as a second rounder. But in this uncapped year, it looks like they've done what they're going to do. We shouldn't be too upset - they did get the best player out there in Julius Peppers, and filled other needs with a blocking tight end and a running back (Chester Taylor).
So here we go. Hold onto your hats, the real action is coming up!