How will we remember this year in sports?
Let’s let Chicago White Sox President Jerry Reinsdorf do the honors:
“This was absolutely the worst season I’ve ever had. It was a nightmare. It’s still a nightmare. It’s embarrassing. It’s disgusting. Every bad word you can think of is how I feel about the 2023 season. It was absolutely terrible.”
Still, we watched, we listened, we grumbled, we groaned, and sometimes we managed to laugh, because that’s what being a fan is like.
As the year draws to a close, here are some of the best and worst things we’ve seen and heard in 2023.
Nothing would work better after the White Sox loss than to wash it down with some defeat. Harsh criticism from analyst Ozzie Guillen in the post-game program of NBC Chicago Sports, The movie starring Chuck Garfien. Guillen’s take on the team and his manager, Pedro Grifol, was like the man sitting on the next bar stool.
“This is my job,” he told me. “Do I have an easy job? No. But the reason I have it, the reason they chose me to do this job, is because the fans know I’m going to tell the truth. If someone (from the White Sox) doesn’t like what I say, I’m here. I hope they (say something). I’m looking forward to them.”
Honorable mention goes to Will Perdue and Kendall Gill, who are always on target with their harsh comments on the Chicago Bulls’ postgame shows.
Following Marquee Network analyst Rick Sutcliffe’s extremely glowing review of the Cubs’ play during their West Coast trip in April, we invented the Sut Scale to evaluate the team’s postseason aspirations.
Five Suts: “I’m telling you, this team has a championship feeling.”
Four Suts: “Oh my god, they look like they’re going to play in October.”
Three Suts: “Never underestimate a team managed by David Ross.”
Two Suts: “This won’t happen overnight, but everyone, watch out for the 2024 Cubbies.”
One Sut: “These guys really care.”
At the end of an up-and-down season that saw Ross fired, the final verdict for 2023: Two Suts.
During the Cubs’ trip to London, ESPN inexplicably brought on Michael Kay, known for his work with the New York Yankees. Key mispronounced Cubs closer Adbert Alzolay’s name multiple times and appeared to be watching his first Cubs game.
At least do some homework before taking on the task.
WMVP-AM 1000 host Peggy Kusinski appears to have solved the biggest mystery of the summer when is that reported in the air One of the two victims of the shooting in the stands at White Sox Park reportedly “sneaked his gun past metal detectors and hid it in folds of belly fat.” No sources were cited and the Sox’s flagship radio station never followed up on his report.
“Based on the information we have, I see almost no possibility that the gunshots came from the ballpark,” Reinsdorf said in September. He did not specify his source.
Months later, the Chicago Police Department has yet to solve the mystery of the gunshots, so the “belly fat” theory has yet to be debunked.
Watching Swift watch football The most overrated sports media story of the year. God forbid the Kansas City Chiefs make it to the Super Bowl again.
Lip readers even noted that Swift uttered a profanity during the Chiefs-Patriots game on Sunday. Can you imagine someone swearing at a sporting event?
The viral clip of the year was of Cleveland Guardians third baseman José Ramirez striking out Sox shortstop Tim Anderson.
Guardian radio voice Tom Hamilton proved he was ready for the moment: “José and Anderson face off. They fight, swing, Anderson falls to the ground. Down Anderson!
Following the season, the Sox unceremoniously cut ties with Anderson, who had previously been called “the face of baseball” by the Sox.
Heavyset Sox starter Lance Lynn lasted just six innings in his first five starts and appeared flummoxed by the new pitch clock rules.
“Maybe a few salads would help,” Sox analyst Steve Stone told WSCR-AM 670 about Lynn. Stone later apologized to Lynn.
But Lynn’s decline continued, eventually leading to a trade deadline move to the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he continued to hit home runs without eating enough salads.
When Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokić was ejected just before halftime of the Dec. 12 game against the Chicago Bulls, radio announcer Chuck Swirsky said there was “no excuse” for the Bulls to lose without Jokic and Jamal Murray.
“It kind of occurred to me,” Bulls analyst Bill Wennington replied sarcastically. The Bulls lost 114-106.
Marquee miked Cody Bellinger for a game in September and faced criticism when he failed to catch a shot that hit the base of the outfield wall.
Bellinger was talking to Jon Sciambi just before the ball was hit to him. He probably wouldn’t have noticed it anyway, but some fans were upset that he had to multitask during an important game in a pennant race.
Marquee’s general manager Mike McCarthy said it was an “experiment” this would not be repeated for the remainder of the season. “We’re trying to understand some of the ramifications of this and we’re not going to pursue this again,” he said.
Look for more in 2024, but perhaps without Bellinger, who has yet to sign a contract.
It was another big year for flashy yakkers on TV and radio.
The departure of Fox Sports’ Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharp as their disagreements became personal was TV at its best. Pat McAfee continued to attack our intelligence at ESPN, where he made a career as Aaron Rodger’s lackey.
But the honor of Mr. Bombastic 2023 goes to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.“If enough people came to me and said, ‘Stephen A., you have a legitimate shot to win the presidency of the United States,’ I would very, very strongly consider running,” Paul said on Finebaum’s radio show. ”
President Stephen A.? Remember, no matter how bad 2023 looks right now, it can always get worse.