Monday, October 26, 2015

Despite the Cubbie dreams, this year’s World Series will have a White Sox tint

I find it humorous that the World Series this year – beginning Tuesday between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets – has as its Chicago connections players who did their Second City stint with the White Sox.

This was (at least according to the delusions of Cubs fans) the year that Wrigley Field would be the dominant presence and that we’d get a Chicago ball club winning a World Series title on its hallowed ground.

BUT THAT DIDN’T come to pass. After all, the Mets outplayed the Cubs last week. The baby blue overtones that will be on the field will come from the ball club from Kansas City, Mo.

Now since Chicago ball clubs in the World Series are such a rare presence (it has been exactly one decade ago on Monday since the White Sox blessed us with that victory over the Houston Astros), I usually focus some attention on which ballplayers on the league championship teams have Chicago connections.

This year, it means following the activity of Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon and Royals outfielder Alex Rios – both of whom have included the White Sox amongst the major league teams they have played for.

Although if we’re looking for Chicago connections, we’d also have to take into account Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson – who was born in suburban Blue Island, played high school ball in suburban Lansing then played college baseball for the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Curtis Granderson with a former White Sox star in Magglio Ordonez
MAKING GRANDERSON A guy who once played his home games on a ballfield in the shadows of the downtown skyscrapers – and in fact now has his off-season residence in the Near West neighborhood near the campus.

Considering that Granderson and Rios both play right field for their respective ball clubs, it would seem Chicago fans would be focusing their attention on that part of the ball field in searching for something local to observe.

I don’t know how many Chicagoans of the Cubs fan persuasion are going to be inclined to want to back Granderson, since he is a part of the reason it’s not the Cubs in the World Series this week.
Why he couldn't play so well in Chicago?
He had a .385 on-base percentage throughout the playoffs this month, although his batting average during the four games last week against the Cubs was a mere .200.

BUT IT COULD be something from Chicago if Granderson were to finally be on a World Series-winning team following the all-or-parts of 12 seasons he has played in major league ball. Only one of which was with a World Series-bound team – the Detroit Tigers who lost in 2006 to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Or else we could watch Rios, who during his all-or-parts of five seasons with the White Sox was one of the reasons that fans dreamed of having a chance at winning another championship to go with the ’05 pennant that still flies prominently over U.S. Cellular Field.

He finally made it to playoff baseball with Kansas City – and hit .368 with one home run and two doubles during the playoffs thus far. Which I’m sure will infuriate those White Sox fans (and cause Cubs fans to chuckle with glee) as to why the goof couldn’t play so well back then.

Reminiscent of one-time pitcher Wilbur Wood
Then, there’s the 42-year-old Colon, whose pitching for eight teams in both leagues includes two stints with the White Sox (2003 and 2009). The former of which was the year the White Sox nearly won a division title – only to fall to second place in mid-September behind the Minnesota Twins.

PERSONALLY, I’LL HAVE to confess to not realizing until this weekend that Colon was even still pitching in professional baseball. Although the New York Daily News reported recently how Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (who’s 26) considers Colon to be his mentor.

Or there’s also Addison Reed of the Mets, whom the White Sox drafted in 2010 from San Diego State University, where he pitched for the Aztecs and the Sox thought he’d be the star relief pitcher of the future.
Coulda been a Sox star, 'sted of Met reliever
Instead, he did a couple of seasons with the White Sox before being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks, then winding up as a part of the Mets bullpen this year.
Where the World Series will come up this week with Cubs fans wishing they were there and White Sox fans wishing those rummies could have played as well when they wore the Old English “Sox” script on their jerseys.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Am I the only one who thinks it odd that back in 2005, the World Series was complete by now, whereas this year it won't even start until Tuesday and won't be complete until early November?

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