- Bears go 5-11, fire Emery, Trestman, Kromer, and every other coach. They turn around and hire John Fox, fresh off a playoff appearance with the Broncos after being in the Super Bowl last year. Fox has hired good coordinators (a d- coordinator from the 49'ers who's supposed to be great, and the o- coordinator from Denver who seems pretty good too) and a bunch of decent position coaches. Chicagoans are giddy about having a REAL head coach who knows how to run an NFL franchise. Oh, and they hired a young fresh GM named Ryan Pace, who seems to not be threatened by making strong hires like Fox.
- Cubs already had announced Joe Maddon as their field manager, and then they turned around and grabbed Jon Lester, the top free agent pitcher. They made a few other signings as well, including Jason Hamel (who was traded with Samarzidja for the A's top prospects last summer) and a catcher (name escapes me) from the D-backs. Then they traded for Dexter Fowler, a high OBP guy from Houston and a switch-hitting CF.
- The White Sox made headlines by trading for Samarzidja, getting him from the A's for a package of prospects. They also signed Adam LaRoche and a closer named Robertson. They should get significantly better next year.
- The Bulls were doing great but seem to have hit a wall, with injuries slowing Noah and Mike Dunleavy, and with Jimmy Butler coming back down to Earth after a pretty incredible start to the season. Taj, Derek and Hinrich have also missed a few games (as has Butler) due to injuries and illness. The best thing has been Pau Gasol, who has been absolutely outstanding at the PF for the Bulls.
- The Black Hawks look a little inconsistent, but they're coming off their All Star break, and they should look better into the second part of the season. Their rookie, Tavo Taravinin (I know I butchered that spelling) has received some valuable experience, as has rookie goalie Scott Darling. Kane and Toews are doing great, and Sharp is back from an injury. Versteeg is out currently, but should be back sometimes soon.
- Ernie Banks died at age 83. Was there a better person to represent Chicago baseball, indeed, Chicago sports? Incredible player, and as nice a guy as you'd want to meet, by all accounts. He's one of the players I never had a chance to get an autograph. He was never down in Arizona for spring training. (I got Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins and Ron Santo down in Mesa, and got guys like Hundley, Beckert, Kessinger, and many others at my one and only Cubs Convention.)