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Chicago Sports Thoughts: Bears and beyond...

Chicago knows how to throw a Championship party.  Which Chicago team will be in on the next one?
Chicago knows how to throw a Championship party. Which Chicago team will be in on the next one?

I thought I'd take my thoughts post in a different direction during the NFL off season.  I'm a fan of many other sports and I'm sure a lot of you are too.  The Chicago market has sports options for everybody, and that's a good a place as any to kick off this post.  Spring Training is under way for the White Sox and the Cubs, the Bulls are up among the NBA elite, and the Blackhawks have rebounded from a mediocre start and once again look like Stanley Cup contenders.

1)  How cool is it that Julius Peppers reworked his deal, saving about 8 million dollars in cap space for the 2011 season...  Now the big question is will Jerry Angelo do something with it?

2)  Even with the savings, the Bears will have their hands tied until an agreement is reached in the ongoing labor negotiations. 

3)  The NFL Draft might have a different look for the Bears and most teams in 2011, with free agency on hold, I'd expect teams to draft more for need this year and then fill in their roster when ever free agency begins.

4)  "Several" Miami Heat players were crying after the Chicago Bulls beat them yesterday...  that makes me smile...  When Lebron James took his talents to South Beach I hope he brought along some crying towels.

5) Derrick Rose should win the NBA MVP.  I'm not saying he's the best player in the league, I'm just saying he is the most valuable to his team.

6)  With eight straight wins, no team is playing better hockey than the Blackhawks.  I figured with so many new faces this team would take a while to gel, but with good pieces still in place from their title team and Coach Q at the helm, they would eventually hit their stride.

7)  The White Sox need to make a call on their closer.  I think players need to know their roll as early as possible so they can settle in to what is expected of them.  I think Ozzie should give the gig to Matt Thornton.

8)  A lot of Cubs fans are wondering why Carlos Silva is still on the roster.  He most likely won't be on the team in 2012 and the general thought is he's taking away innings from the young pitchers in their organization.  It makes perfect sense to me, obviously the Cubs hope he can pitch like he did the early part on 2009, and if he does the Cubs hold onto him for a pennant push or deal him to a contender for some prospects.  But if comes out stinking up the joint, they cut him lose.

9)  Let me go on the record and say the Cubs will get a .350ish on base %, 30+ HRs, and around 100 RBI from new 1st baseman Carlos Pena.  I thought it was a very good signing by the Cubs.

10)  What Chicago Sports team do you think will win the next Championship?  Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, White Sox, or Cubs?