Monday wasn’t a great day for Chicago sports fans. Doug Buffone, a Chicago Bears icon who was one of the more popular sports personalities in this town over the last 40+ years, passed away. Less than two weeks away from Chicago hosting the NFL Draft, this was a somber note across every channel of sports conversation in Chicago yesterday.
Tuesday, however, is a new day. And there is a lot to be excited about as a Chicago sports fan today.
The Cubs won in Pittsburgh last night, and then called up super-prospect (and now second baseman) Addison Russell. He joins a Cubs team that improved to 7-5 last night, and sits in second place in the Central Division. After an underwhelming debut, Kris Bryant has been fantastic and fans have also enjoyed watching Jorge Soler destroy baseballs this season. Adding those three youngsters to Starlin Castro (whose 16 hits are tied for the best among National League shorstops) and Anthony Rizzo and the future is very clearly right frickin’ now at Wrigley Field.
But Cubs fans aren’t alone in having eternal optimism on this fine Tuesday morning.
On Sunday, the White Sox recalled their top prospect, pitcher Carlos Rodon. Also considered one of the very best prospects in all of baseball, Rodon joined the Sox bullpen last night with plans of him eventually matriculating his way into the starting rotation. With Chris Sale back after a spring injury, the Sox pitching staff stacks up as potentially one of, if not the best in the American League.
Why only be thrilled about baseball? It’s mid-April in Chicago. We’re talking about playoffs.
And what a performance last night by the Bulls! Jimmy Butler lit up the Milwaukee Bucks to lead the Bulls to a 2-0 series lead in their first round playoff series. What’s most exciting about the first two games has been the health of Derrick Rose, who appears to be ready, willing and able to be a superstar once again. This time, however, he has Butler on his wing and the Bulls have their fans feeling pretty good about their chances this year.
Speaking of superstars getting healthy at the right time, the Blackhawks and Patrick Kane will look to take control of their first round playoff series with the Nashville Predators tonight at the United Center. Scott Darling has taken over between the pipes and has been spectacular in his two appearances in the series. A win tonight would give the Hawks a 3-1 lead in the series, heading back to Nashville with a chance to end the series on Thursday night.
Is today, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, the most exciting sports day in Chicago over the last 30 years? Four teams have given fans great cause for optimism. Here’s hoping we have two more months of all four exciting us.