Chat with Wayne Drehs
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Friday, ESPNChicago.com's Wayne Drehs will host a farewell chat before he heads off to Ann Arbor, where he will spend the next nine months as a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan.
Wayne will be here to talk Chicago sports with you and talk about his predictions for his time away. When he returns in May, we'll see how he did.
Send your questions now and join Wayne this Friday at Noon CT!
More Wayne Drehs: Search
Wayne Drehs (1:02 PM)
What's going on everybody? This is my unofficial last activity at ESPN until next May so let's make sure everyone gets their moneys worth. Let's talk some Chicago sports and I also want to hear your tips/suggestions for places to see, things to do and must-eats in Ann Arbor.
Wayne, in my estimation, Jim Hendry needs to be held accountable for the Cubs' continued failure, relatively speaking. He's had the luxury of a top-5 payroll, during which the farm system hasn't improved, and he's made some very questionable deals. At present, they're a mediocre team with the bulk of their talent on the wrong side of 30. Should he be shown the door at the end of this season?
Wayne Drehs (1:04 PM)
One second, folks. Having a wee bit of technical difficulties. Bear with me.
Wayne Drehs (1:06 PM)
Give me one second here folks.
Wayne Drehs (1:08 PM)
Sorry about that ... on to Dan's question.
Wayne Drehs (1:09 PM)
Anyway, I think a lot of what happens with Jim Hendry will depend on how the Cubs finish the season. Not necessarily whether or not they make the playoffs but how the team plays and they are received by the fans. If the new owner sees an apathetic team on the field and wants to make a splash right away, he could start by getting rid of Hendry. I like Jim a lot as a person and at the time, I've agreed with a lot of his moves including bringing on Milton Bradley. But at the end of the day, the results speak for themselves.
Would you rather be Lou Piniella's stress ball or Carlos Zambrano's belt? Each carries quite a burden.
Wayne Drehs (1:11 PM)
That's a good one. I'm going to take the stress ball, only because my gut tells me that at his advanced age Lou can't quite squeeze a stress ball like perhaps he once could. And I want no part of being anywhere near Carlos Zambrano's midsection.
Drew (St. Louis)
Wayne, do you see the White Sox catching the Tigers in the AL Central? With the upcoming road trip to Boston, NY and Minnesota (without Peavy), I could realistically see them 5-6 games out by mid-September. Please tell me I'm wrong!
Wayne Drehs (1:12 PM)
Actually, I don't Drew. But you know what? I think Kenny Williams has done an incredibly job not only helping his team this year but setting it up for success in the future. Although it's a big risk, I love the Peavy and Rios deals. I think Rios could really blossom next season and be the catalyst for the (soon to be) young White Sox.
Wayne Drehs (1:14 PM)
I think we're still having a few glitches here folks. Just keep hitting refresh and it should catch up.
Carrot Top (Las Vegas)
Boy!! You are some kinda ugly. You have a face for radio, just like me!!
Wayne Drehs (1:15 PM)
Appreciate that, especially coming from you.
Chris (Des Moines)
Is there any chance you will put on an article of Michigan clothing in the nine months you live there?
Wayne Drehs (1:16 PM)
I just mowed the lawn in and old sweaty Detroit Tigers hat. Does that count? Or do you mean actual Michigan Wolverines clothing? I don't know about that one. The line in Vegas is 6-5 no.
Jason (Iowa City, IA)
Fan etiquette question... What's your take on fans wearing jerseys with their own names on the back? My buddy and I were at the cell last month and must have seen 37 random "Your Name" jerseys. They need to be left in the closet, or not made in the first place... your thoughts?
Wayne Drehs (1:18 PM)
Always love when the folks from Iowa City check in. Personally, I think any jersey with a personal name on the back is grounds for a Ghoul-of-the-Day award. Just my personal opinion. If I'm at a stadium (in a non-working capacity of course) and see somebody wearing a Cubs No. 23 jersey with Porter on the back, I'm probably going to yell, "HEY PORTER!!!"
What exactly will you be doing as a Knight-Wallce Fellow?
Wayne Drehs (1:21 PM)
Take classes, attend seminars, travel internationally. I am one of (I think) 12 U.S. journalists in the program this year. The goal is to learn from each other, learn from other journalists outside the program and then return to our jobs a year later with newer, bigger, better and fancier journalism toolkits. I can't believe I just typed the word journalism toolkit.
GWallace (Anderson, SC)
Was Jim Hendry's offseason the worst by a MLB GM in recent memory? None of his additions have contributed anything of value to the Cubs and have made them worse. In the words of the game show host from the final scene in "Billy Madison," I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Wayne Drehs (1:23 PM)
I disagree. Tom Gorzelanny had a great start two weeks ago.
Bryan Bath (Edinburgh, Scotland)
what's your prediction for the US open tennis and in particular Andy Murray's chances?
Wayne Drehs (1:24 PM)
Clearly this guy stumbled into the wrong chat. I think US Open tennis is at 2 p.m., my man.
What are you going to miss most about being away from Chicago sports?
Wayne Drehs (1:26 PM)
You make it sound like I'm moving to Alaska. It's just the state on the other side of the lake, a few hours away. I dunno -- I'll miss the excitement that surrounds Bears season and certainly the Spring Training countdown to Opening Day. Few things make me happier in March than watching meaningless Spring Training games from Arizona when it's like 30 and snowing here.
Ken (Shawnee, KS)
Any chance that you could make any predictions that don't involve Chicago?
Wayne Drehs (1:26 PM)
Michigan will not win the Big Ten.
hey wayne how do u feel about the cubs this year
Wayne Drehs (1:28 PM)
Sort of the way I feel about Hooters carry-out. It seems so promising in the restaurant. You watch them dump the wings into the container, you see the steam and you can't wait to get home and eat. And then you get home and it's utter disappointment. The wings are cold, the fries soggy. You want a redo.
Zach Lassiter (Winston-Salem NC)
Do you think there is any chance the Cubs can get it together and get to the playoffs? And if not, do you think there will be huge moves made in the off-season if the Cubs fail this year?
Wayne Drehs (1:32 PM)
I swear I don't have a Cubs bias. It's just that all the question are Cubs questions. Zach, I think they're done. I personally put a fork in them after Kevin Gregg's implosion the other night. As for huge moves, not sure what you're looking for. They're tied to Soriano for 5 more years, Bradley and Fukudome for I think 2 more. Not a whole lot of options with what they can do.
IU football vs. Hooters carryout - which one is less satisfying?
Wayne Drehs (1:33 PM)
Hooters carryout. At least with IU football you don't have any expectations.
Ryan Dempster is bad. Another terrible contract for the cubs
Wayne Drehs (1:34 PM)
I don't know about that. He's had a down year, but I cut him some slack for everything he's been dealing with off the field with his daughter. Then the freak toe injury. Look, his norm is not last year but it isn't this year either. I think it's somewhere in the middle. I don't mind that contract.
Kyle the Ghoul (Favrepolis, MN)
Would love to hear your predictions on the NFC North - Can Jay "comb-over" Cutler take the bears to the top? Will the Packers make it to .500? Can the Lions...oh, nevermind. Can a 40 year old QB wearing purple take a well-positioned team to the division and conference title?
Wayne Drehs (1:36 PM)
I think we have our Ghoul of the Day right here. Sounds like the kind of guy who might wear a purple No. 4 jersey to a Vikings game and put something like "CHRISTIANSEN" on the back. Mr. Ghoul, I think the Packers are going to win the division, the Vikings the Wild Card and the Bears will stay home. I think.
Bryan D (Crown Point, IN)
What are your thoughts on Forte. I feel he is a good back, but not a special back!
Wayne Drehs (1:37 PM)
That pretty much says it all right there, Bryan. Good but not great. Sort of Neal Anderson-like in that way.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Wayne, I wish you luck on your travels and fellowship. Ozzie is my favorite sports personality. Where does he rank on your list?
Wayne Drehs (1:39 PM)
The guy is pure entertainment. I love him. I wish there were more people in sports like him. He's a gold mine for the media. And yet we go out there half the time and criticize the guy for being too outspoken. Forget that. I'll take outspoken over cliche-ridden any day.
You lost we when you said you agreed with Jim Hendry's signing of Milton Bradley. Other than last year, what made you think a guy made fo the DH could make it in RF over 150 games? His attitude is worse than his injury history.
Wayne Drehs (1:41 PM)
Ask my friends. I was driving the Milton Bradley fan club bus all spring and early season. I saw him absolutely snap in a meaningless Spring Training game against the Giants and I thought that spark, that fire, was exactly what this team needed. Apparently not. And you know the craziest thing? The handful of times I've spoken to the guy in the clubhouse, he's intelligent, soft-spoken, respectful. Not what you'd expect.
SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)
Keep saying the Vikings will win the WC when Favre is throwing INT's and Peterson is fumbling in games that matter most.
You seem really positive about Chicago sports, good riddence.
Wayne Drehs (1:42 PM)
LOL ... I've got this Chicago complex for some reason. I hate the fact that I expect the teams that I cheer for to fail. It's like I prepare myself for the pain so I can either be magically surprised when things come together or not devastated when they fall apart.
Why is Angelo so resistant to bring in a veteran WR?
Wayne Drehs (1:45 PM)
For one, he tried that last year with Brandon Lloyd and the other guy who's name is escaping me right now. And it didn't work out that well. And I think he's banking on another year of development for Hester and Bennett clicking with his old college quarterback. I'm actually not worried about the Bears receivers, as crazy as that sounds.
The Bears can't rely so heavily on Forte this year, right? Do you expect more production out of Kevin Jones, assuming he's healthy?
Wayne Drehs (1:46 PM)
I do ... and I don't remember who was saying it, either Jeff Dickerson or David Haugh, but one of them was mentioning a week or two back how Jones was in great shape and looked good.
SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)
If you were Angelo would you bring in Marvin Harrison for a veteran receiver and hopefully bring some perspective to Hester on route running? I think it's worth a 1 year deal.
Wayne Drehs (1:47 PM)
It depends on Harrison's commitment and desire to play. And the fact that he's still out there might give you some clues as to where he stands.
You didn't predict anything. That article could have been written by an 8th grader.
Wayne Drehs (1:49 PM)
Something I've definitely been accused of before. The wife wanted to know if the fellowship started BEFORE I filed that last column. She didn't find it all that funny herself. Some actual predictions, huh? Cubs and Bears won't make the playoffs. Blackhawks, Bulls and Sox will. Blackhawks will underachieve in the regular season but click before the playoffs and go on quite a run.
Rod Blagojevich (awaiting trial)
I've beautiful, thick hair. And oh, with the Cubs' sale imminent, what do you think the Ricketts' ownership will mean for the franchise, compared to the Tribsters?
Wayne Drehs (1:51 PM)
That hair is gorgeous if I do say so myself. I don't really know what to expect from the Ricketts. Cubs fans can only hope that time spent in the bleachers and living in Wrigleyville means Tom is committed to winning. But even then, what does that mean? Spending money? The Cubs have the third highest payroll in baseball. Spending isn't the issue. It's spending wisely. And I think building from the ground up.
I think the 2016 Olympics for Chicago is a truly horrific idea. Don't mean to go all political on you, but is there any city less deserving, considering our reputation for graft, corruption, and bad government?
Wayne Drehs (1:53 PM)
If the main qualification was having a corrupt-free government, I agree. We'd be in trouble. But lucky for us, there's more to it than that. I'm not saying it's a good or bad idea. I'm just taking the idiot-at-the-bar approach that it would be cool.
Patrick Kane (holding cell)
Wayne Drehs (1:55 PM)
I'm with you, Patrick. Now what? No byline for nine months. No more videos or radio spots or chats. Kind of crazy. Everybody enjoy the next nine months. See you in May.
Wayne Drehs (1:55 PM)
One last thing ...
Wayne Drehs (1:56 PM)
ESPN Chicago colleague Jon Greenburg is going to chat at 1:00 CT. If you haven't read Jon's stuff he's incredibly talented and a funny, funny dude. Go give him a hard time. Here's the link: http://espn.go.com/chicago/chat?id=27951. Be well.