Well, the calendar says November. So that must mean one thing – the Ringling Bros. Circus is arriving in Chicago and banishing the Chicago Bulls to their annual “Circus Road Trip”.
The Bulls had a decent 5-5 record heading into Tuesday night’s first of back-to-back showdowns with the Los Angeles Lakers. But Pau Gasol scored 34 points as Phil Jackson’s Lakers beat his former team 116-109.
It was the start of a seven-game West Coast road trip, which also includes games in Portland, Golden State, Denver, Utah and San Antonio before one more game in Philadelphia and returning back home to the Windy City on December 2.
And Bulls fans expect little else other than plenty of losses, as has been the case for years as Chicago have amassed a horrific 6-53 record on Circus trips since Michael Jordan left the team.
Sorry to all Bulls fans.
Sticking with the NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers fans got a mixed message on Tuesday in LeBron James’s interview with ESPN’s Chris Sheridan. The headline – James Clarifies ‘I Ain’t Going Nowhere’ And Leaves Door Ajar – enough says it all.
So, the Chicago Cubs have re-signed right-handed starter Ryan Dempster to a four-year deal worth 52 million dollars. Sure, plenty of people out there are saying Dempster was a crucial guy to bring back for 2009. And of course, a 17-6 record and a 2.96 ERA were outstanding with Dempster playing a huge role in getting the Cubs to the playoffs. But
But Dempster got paid for one good season.
Many have said Dempster was a decent starter before last year, when he made the transition from closer to starter. But the last time he had an ERA below 4.00 as a starter was 2000 with the Florida Marlins when he went 14-10 with a 3.66 ERA. And that was his only sub-4.00 ERA season as a starter.
And in his three seasons anchoring Chicago’s bullpen (and often getting called “Dumpster”) he had ERAs of 3.13 (with 33 saves), 4.80 (24) and 4.73 (28). Not exactly the stuff of champions.
Granted his is only 31 years old and he will be only 35 at the end of the deal. But it’s one season.
With this move and the trade of Jose Ceda for Kevin Gregg, one may have to start wondering if the Cubs management is making the right moves. The next move is a big one – a left-handed bat. Talks are floating about Rafael Furcal from the Dodgers coming over. But a better get would be Raul Ibanez from the Mariners.
And to finish it off today – Stephen Curry scored 44 points and hit six three-pointers and brought Davidson from 18 down to three back late but it was not enough as Davidson lost 82-78 to Oklahoma, who got 25 points and a career-high 21 rebounds from Blake Griffin. A great stat of this game: preseason All-Americans Curry and Griffin combined to make 25 of 26 free throws. Good job guys.