It's been more than 6 years since the words "the Chicago Bears are on top of the division!" have been uttered. But at 5-3, you can say it today. The team hasn't been spectacular, but they-and their QB Mitch Trubisky-are making steady progress under first-year head coach Matt Nagy. The Bears head into a 3-games-in-12-days run against division opponents Detroit and Minnesota that could determine if they return to the playoffs this season.
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks dismissed coach Joel Quenneville this week. Known as "Coach Q", Quenneville is second on the all-time list for wins as an NHL coach, and took the Blackhawks to Stanley Cup glory 3 times in the last 10 years. But the team has been on a downward trajectory, losing in the first round in 2015 and 2016, and missing the playoffs entirely last year. After a terrible start to the season, the team parted ways with "Q"
It's being reported that the Cubs are about to fire their second pitching coach in 2 years. And that would go along with the recent exit of hitting coach Chili Davis. When team president Theo Epstein did an extended "post mortem" on the season with media, he talked about how it was time for players who were brought in for their potential to start turning that potential into actual positive numbers. So if the onus is on the players to perform, why are coaches getting fired? Speaking of coaches, manager Joe Maddon's contract has not been extended, essentially rendering him a lame duck. Do Epstein and Maddon no longer see eye to eye, or is this a "you get us back to the World Series, I'll get you a nice extension"? Expect interesting things to happen at baseball's winter meetings next month
The White Sox believe that Rick Renteria just signed a contract extension, which means the team still believes he's the guy to stay in charge of their long-term rebuild.
Finally, the Bulls are waiting for several key players to come back from long-term injuries before they determine the future of head coach Fred Hoiberg. Hard to judge the guy when so many players are hurt. But the current team hitting the floor treats defense like a disease-they're staying as far away from it as possible! And if you don't play defense, you don't win in the NBA.