All of the platitudes we send, and pictures we all post on Father’s Day are great, except most Fathers aren’t on social media.  That said, I’m glad for this “Hallmark” holiday, along with Mother’s day, because at least the mothers and fathers feel appreciated for one day a year… hopefully.

I’m just afraid that our dependence on social media is taking away our need to be civil, decent and respectful of one another.  Remember to show love and kindness and to grant each other, the emotional contact we all need in our lives.  We take for granted the human contact we have when we are younger, that as we grow older and more unhealthy, we are also bound to feel lonelier and unloved.

Remember that being respectful and loving, won’t necessarily be reciprocated, it’s just the right thing to do.  Nobody is keeping score either, so have faith that your goodness will spread and have an impact down the line, and out of sight.

The U.S. Open:

On this Father’s Day, Phil Mickelson is making headlines for hitting a golf ball that was still moving during his 3rd round at the U.S. Open.  A 2 stroke penalty was assessed, but golf writers and pundits aren’t satisfied.  They have been heavily criticizing the major champion for his childish and immature action.  Sorry, but I can’t fault Mickleson for showing the human side of his frustration.  He’s been a great competitor for over 2 decades, and has been one of the most likable players as well.  I forgive him for not being a golf robot like so many others on tour.  If it means he signs more autographs out of guilt, as penance, I’m sure the golf community will forgive a player who is one of the most generous of money and heart on tour.

Brooks Koepka repeated as champion.  It is only the seventh time someone has repeated as the National Championship of Golf.  If only he would play that well when I pick him for my Draft Kings teams!  2 U.S. Open titles, all other tour victories: 1.

If we have a tournament representing the American National Champion, can we please do it on a course that has trees?  Otherwise it’s the British Open in America.

Cubs: 

Will be trying to reach their high water mark of the season against St. Louis tonight on ESPN’s Sunday Night game.  After a little bit of a slow start, the Cubs are right where we thought they would be in the middle of world series discussions.  By ranking 1st in most National League offensive categories, and having the league’s best bullpen for most of the first half of the season, the Cubs are in the position of being the National League favorites in spite of being 2nd to the Milwaukee Brewers for most of the first half.  As of this writing they are in a virtual dead heat.

As I wrote weeks ago, It was just a matter of time before the Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs would right their slow starts and resume their rightful places atop their divisions.  It has happened with Chicago having gained a share of the lead, the Dodgers 1.5 games out and Washington 3.5 games out after getting swept this weekend.

It’s just a matter of time before the Dodgers shoot past Arizona out west.  But Milwaukee looks like they are a playoff team and will battle the Cubs deep into the season, as well as Atlanta, who will duel the Nationals.  Cub fans make your playoff plans, they will be in, regardless of the Yu Darvish situation, a topic for another Touch ‘Em All.

White Sox:

After their abysmal start, the Sox have actually played near .500 ball the last 5 weeks.  They have climbed out of the basement, where Kansas City has moved in, due to better starting and relief pitching.  This spurred talk on an edition of Sports Talk Live this week where they asked if the audience thought the White Sox were beyond the low point of their rebuild.  I would like to say yes, but Rick Renteria hasn’t proven he can come out of spring training with his team ready to play.  We may be in exactly this same situation again next year, since general manager Rick Hahn is clearly embracing the tank to get another top 5 draft pick next year.

Anyone notice that the Sox recent surge came with Leury Garcia on the disabled list?  Just sayin’.

The Sox general manager did manage to screw something up this week that has flown under the radar.  The Sox designated pitcher Chris Beck for assignment on the same day the Sox recalled starting pitcher Carlos Rodon from his re-hab assignment and signed a player named Robbie Ross Jr. and added him to the 40 man roster.  Which means that Beck was released from the 40 man and had to clear waivers to go back to AAA Charlotte.  Beck of course, did not clear waivers and was claimed by the N.Y. Mets for the low, low price of NOTHING!  After being one of the steadiest pitchers in the Sox system for years, Hahn gambled he could sneak Beck through waivers, and lost!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Rick Hahn is a dumbass!

Of the 20 pitchers used so far this year, Chris Beck as a long reliever was statistically right in the middle with a 4.18 era and a WHIP of 1.48.  He was a trade-able asset.

Robbie Ross Jr. stats are 7.00 era, WHIP (walk and hits against per inning pitched) 1.89 and batting average against of .324 for Boston.

To make matters worse, the Sox sent Gregory Infante, another reliever, down to AAA Charlotte 2 days later.  Infante’s numbers: 8.00 era, WHIP 2.22 and a BAA of .364.

Seems to me Hahn could’ve given the Mets a 2-fer in a trade for a single-A prospect.

Bulls Draft:

In just a few days the Bulls will draft another key part or two for their rebuild.  Having two first round picks at a time when LeBron James is considering leaving the Eastern Conference is a very good thing.

After acquiring Laurri Markkanen, Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine in the Jimmy Butler trade, adding to Denzel Valentine, Robin Lopez and Bobby Portis, the Bulls will hopefully emerge from this draft with enough talent to eventually rise to the heights of the Boston Celtics from a year ago.  Maybe next year or the year after, the Bulls become an attractive enough landing spot for one of the the top free agents in basketball, and make a run at the Eastern conference title 2 or 3 years from now.

The Bulls have a obvious need for a forward with an all -around game, since Jimmy Butler and Nicola Mirotic haven’t really been replaced.  Basically a stretch 4 power forward who is tall, long-armed and quick enough to defend the league’s best small forwards.  Mikal Bridges from National Champion Villanova would be a great fit, as he could easily rise to the ceiling of Butler or Kahwi Leonard.

This years top players are all traditional center or power forward types like; Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Wendell Carter.   There are also traditional small forwards like European sensation Luka Doncic, Mikal Bridges, Miles Bridges and Micheal Porter, who is too great an injury risk to be drafted by the conservative Bulls.  Two undersized point guards like Trae Young and Colin Sexton will be easy to pass, since the Bulls Kris Dunn has emerged as their floor general, despite what people say behind the scenes about Dunn’s work ethic.  The wildcard to the whole draft is where does Mohamed Bamba fall.

Mo Bamba is the guy that I really want for the Bulls.  There isn’t a lot of offense to his game, which is fine, because the Bulls have enough firepower to start to resemble Golden State 2.0.  Bamba is a once in a generation, shot-blocking center.  Guys with his length, a wingspan of nearly 8 feet, don’t come along too often.  In the Eastern Conference he would be a dominating defensive force.  He is new to basketball and has a strong enough body and enough athleticism to improve his offensive game.  He could make the Bulls contenders and really interesting to watch for the next 10-15 years.  Because he doesn’t need the ball, he is ideally suited to the Bulls, playing next to Markkanen and the other outside scorers they are loading up with.  He would also be a great defensive complement to LaVine who can let a quicker guard go by him to meet Bamba’s shot blocking ability, and get out in transition.

I would trade Bobby Portis, the #7 overall pick this year and the Bulls 1st round pick in 2020 to move into the Memphis Grizzlies 4th spot to take him. 

If the Bulls don’t make that trade, I would take the kids from Villanova, Mikal Bridges at #7 and shooting guard Donte DiVincenzo at #22, if Donte is already gone, I would draft Villanova point guard Jalen Brunson to backup Dunn and push him for a starting role.

Blackhawks draft:

The Hawks haven’t drafted this high in over a decade, and with 4 picks in the first 87, they are poised to select the next generation of stars for a final Stanley Cup push for the careers of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith.

The last time the Hawks selected in the top 10 was when they drafted Patrick Kane #1 in 2007.  Everyone knows the Hawks are looking for a defenseman they can plug in right away.  Drafting at #8, I believe the temptation to go for scoring will be too great.  The Hawks need scorers too and I think they will select from forwards Brady Tkachuk, Oliver Wahlstrom and fast rising Finnish center Jasperi Kotkaniemi.

By picking at #27 in the first round, and 69th and 87th in the 3rd round, the Hawks have the type of draft capital necessary to move up or down to get the defenseman, goalie and extra winger they want.  This years draft is considered the one of the deepest in years and could pay immediate dividends for a team with a fast closing Cup window.  Help is on the way Hawks fans, help is on the way!

 

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