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THE WINDY CITY WEEKLY

Posted By Kevin Scholla On Aug 31 2010 @ 3:23 am In Chicago White Sox | No Comments

Here comes the Manny bounce.  We’ve seen it in politics, where presidential candidates often rise in the polls during and right after their party’s convention.  Well, this week and throughout September, South Siders are hoping Manuel Aristides Ramírez Onelcida, a.k.a. ManRam, can provide just enough pop to help the Pale Hose catch those formidable Twins. It could happen.  Yes, he’s older and certainly not the same bopper he was back in Boston, but the extra protection for Konerko and Quentin alone justifies bringing Manny to town. A change of scenery may just jumpstart the most clutch right-handed hitter I’ve ever seen.   The wonderful quotes that are sure to come from Ramirez are just an added bonus.  Manny and Ozzie in the same clubhouse!  A fun month is ahead of us.  Will Manny be able to help provide that big bounce in the standings?  Enough of a boost to pass Thome and those pesky Twinkies?  Stay tuned.  We know one thing for sure.  If the Sox want to qualify for the postseason it’ll have to be as AL Central champs.  The wild card isn’t in play. So don’t stop now boys!  Make your move. That would certainly be Minnesota nice.  

Gordon Beckham had to leave the Sox game in Cleveland Monday night after getting beaned by a pitch on the right hand.  X-Rays were negative.

A wonderful ceremony honoring Frank Thomas took place this past weekend.  “The Big Hurt” is the White Sox all-time leader in homers and RBIs.  Next stop, Cooperstown.  Thank you, #35!

With Sweet Lou officially out on the North Side, speculation continues to swirl around who will take the Cubs skipper gig in 2011.  Ryne Sandburg is on the short list and now the intriguing possibility of luring Joe Girardi back to his roots keeps popping up.  Bad news for the lowly Cubbies…they’re getting it all wrong again. Bobby Valentine is the man they should pursue.  The master of disguise is beloved in New York and Japan.  Surely, he’d win over this toddlin’ town.  Plus, he is a much better manager than the rest of the field.  Unfortunately for Cubs fans who really want to break the curse, he’ll probably end up in Queens or Miami.    

So far, so bad for the Bears.  It’s just preseason and the wins and losses don’t mean a thing, but there are problems that need some swift correcting.  The offensive line looks weak.  Jay Cutler makes plenty of mistakes with protection.  Without help from the front five it could be a long year.  The receivers look very ordinary again.  The worst part is, this corps could have been vastly bolstered if Angelo made a run at T.O.  Meantime, the defense continues to drop like flies.  The Bears are just like most of the NFL.  Their spectrum is very, very wide.  Depending on injuries and other variables this club could go anywhere from 5-11 to 11-5.  I believe Lovie will get them going when the games count.  Look for a big opening day win after a pretty ugly exhibition slate. 

Donovan McNabb is banged up and he may miss the Redskins opener against Dallas.  If he can’t go, former Bears signal caller Rex Grossman will get the nod under center for Washington.  Grossman has looked solid this preseason for Mike Shanahan and company. 

College football is fast approaching.  Northwestern looks to punch their ticket to a bowl game for a third straight season.  The Wildcats have never pulled that off in their history.

The Illini secondary continues to fall. Terry Hawthorne suffered a stress fracture in his foot.  He’s gone for 4-6 weeks. 

Pip, Pip, Hooray!  The Bulls announced they will honor Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen with a bronze statue inside the United Center. The same artists who created MJ’s statue will make the Pippen version as well.  The man who should have been NBA MVP in 1994 was inducted in Springfield, Massachusetts earlier this summer. 

New DePaul hoops head coach Oliver Purnell tossed out the first pitch at the Cell on Saturday.  Now let’s see if the Demons leader can keep some of the Chicago talent in Chicago.  A new on-campus arena would help.  DePaul opened up the purse strings to tab Purnell.  It’s time to spend some coin on new digs and give the former Clemson boss a fighting chance. 

There’s going to be a Hawks sighting in Manhattan.  Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are scheduled to be on hand for an event recognizing EA Sports and unveiling NHL 11.  It all goes down at the NHL Powered By Reebok store in New York City on September 8.

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