Some good, some bad in a State of the Union report on Chicago’s sports teams

Cubs are up, White Sox are down and, hey, Connor Bedard is coming!

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Cubs pitcher Jameson Taillon throwing against the Orioles.

After a June 2 victory over the Padres, Cubs pitcher Jameson Taillon told manager David Ross, “Now we go.’’ He was right, eventually.

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Here’s a State of the Union report on assorted Chicago sports teams. Feel free to consider it a well-being check for some of them:


Our town’s drowsy NBA franchise did nothing to shake things up on draft night Thursday, unless you consider acquiring a second-round pick something that can be measured with a seismometer.

The Bulls didn’t have a first-round pick. That was given up in the deal that brought Nikola Vucevic to Chicago in 2021. Those were heady days. Remember? The Bulls were putting together their Big Three of Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine. The big idea never worked, and it’s never going to work. I know it, you know it and the Bulls know it, yet they refuse to act. The franchise has had multiple chances to change direction by trading one or more of their stars but appears to be comfortable with the idea of a mediocre team that leads the league in attendance.

The true believers say that Lonzo Ball’s faulty knee ruined what would have been a very good thing for the Bulls. It’s a what-if discussion that wastes a lot of breath. The more pressing concern is why vice president Arturas Karnisovas hasn’t made a move to fill Ball’s spot.


If pitcher Jameson Taillon knew something about an impending Cubs resurgence, his intel was on some sort of delay. After picking up the victory against the Padres on June 2, he told manager David Ross, “Now we go.’’ He was talking about himself and his inconsistent pitching, but some believed his thoughts might extend to the team. Then they lost five of their next six to fall to a season-high 10 games under .500. Oh, well.

Amid all the cries that Ross be fired immediately, if not sooner, the Cubs did something unexpected. They started winning, a lot. Heading into their two-game series against the Cardinals in London this weekend, they had won 10 of their previous 12 games. And they beat some teams not named “the Pirates’’ during that stretch. Baseball is a funny game, but it’s not usually this funny. The Cubs started out surprisingly well this season, going 12-7. Very few people thought that success would continue, and when it didn’t, they turned on Ross, this being America.

The Cubs are a sometimes-entertaining team with enough talent and enough thin spots to ensure that the rest of the season will be a rollercoaster ride. Make sure your seatbelt is securely fastened.

White Sox

What can one say about the Sox that hasn’t been belched out already? This has been a 1½-season disappointment that shows no sign of letting up. Heading into their three-game series against the Red Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field this weekend, the Sox were 32-44. That’s a lot better than their 14-28 record on May 14, but don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re going places. The current stretch of mediocrity proves that there’s some talent on the roster and that it helps to play in the weak American League Central.

As predicted here and anywhere else where trace brain cells have been detected, chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has stood still as usual, unwilling to fire tenured, unsuccessful employees. I’d say the intransigence has gotten old, but we passed old several eons ago.


The glory days of the 2021 WNBA championship are in the rearview mirror, replaced by a team that coach James Wade says has a “virus.’’ Not the physical kind of virus but one of the soul, apparently. The result is a current five-game losing streak.

The best thing for a struggling team and an antsy fan base is a diversion. In this case, it’s former NBA standout Dwyane Wade, who has interest in joining the Sky’s ownership group. It never hurts for a franchise to have more star power and more money. The Sky earlier added six businesswomen as investors, including Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts. It means name recognition and a financial infusion at a time when the team could use both.

So pay no attention to that 5-8 record!


The franchise’s sole focus these days is on getting a new stadium. Arlington Heights still seems like the leading candidate, but Naperville and Waukegan have expressed interest in bending over backward, too. Good, old Soldier Field remains a possibility, much like a modeling career remains a possibility for me.

So pay no attention to last season’s 3-14 record!


The Hawks won the right to take Connor Bedard with the first overall pick of the NHL Draft, which takes place Wednesday. He’s supposed to be the best hockey prospect of the past 20 years. So what’s the state of the Hawks these days? Euphoric.

It used to be that you’d say, “It’s nice when all the hard work pays off.’’ Now you say, “It’s nice when all the losing pays off.’’ And everybody applauds.

Everybody’s applauding the Hawks’ crazy luck during a relatively short though painful rebuild. What a world.

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