Saturday, April 2, 2016

Cubs do Vegas, Sox see San Diego

Let’s be honest. If it were up to the minds of the individual Chicago Cubs ballplayers, they wouldn’t even bother to show up for the beginning of the season.

Once a Padres prospect who played ball in Las Vegas
For they were in Las Vegas on Thursday and Friday – playing a pair of exhibition games against the New York Mets that bring to an end this year’s spring training session.

BOTH THE CUBS and Chicago White Sox begin playing games that matter in the standings come Monday. I suspect this is the high point of 2016 for the Cubs – everybody goes about talking about how wonderful a ball club they are without them having to do anything to prove it.

And they got what many people would consider to be a fantasy vacation – a two-day trip to Vegas. They had to play ballgames Thursday night and Friday afternoon.

But surely they were able to spend some of their time in the casinos during the rest of their stay. Let’s only hope they didn’t bust themselves financially.

Or then again, maybe it’s better if they do. Because that could make them eager to receive the next paycheck that they will get for playing baseball for the first of 162 games,

WE’RE ON THE verge of the regular season, the games don’t count yet. But spring training proper is ovah (as The Hawk would say)!

The Cubs broke camp in Mesa, Ariz,, while the White Sox said so long to Glendale Heights (as in suburban Phoenix). They’re in that part of the schedule where historically ball clubs headed back to their home cities would play a few exhibitions in places that usually don’t get to see major league teams in action.

Hence, the Cubs are in Las Vegas for a couple of days and also will play one game Sunday in Anaheim, Calif., before beginning the regular season schedule – oddly enough, in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels.

While the White Sox will get to play their just-before-the-season-starts exhibitions in San Diego against the Padres. Once, that would have been a novelty, playing a National League ball club.

YET NOW, THAT is just another team they get to play every few years through Interleague play. I have to wonder how many San Diegans think this a boring way to kick off their season.

It certainly isn’t the type of pre-season jolt the White Sox would like to have prior to their Monday first game in Oakland against the Athletics.

Of course, the key to comprehending 2016 is the home Openers – this Friday for the White Sox against the Cleveland Indians and April 11 for the Cubs against the Cincinnati Reds. Our first dose of baseball in months that hasn’t been seen on television will come from the Ohio ball clubs.

This has the potential to be an intriguing year for Chicago baseball – particularly if the Cubs actually live up to all the pre-season hype (which is never a safe bet for the Cubs).

ALTHOUGH SOME POINT out that even the White Sox managed to have a winning record during their spring training exhibitions. Though people with sense realize that winning and losing in the Arizona sunshine doesn’t mean a thing about how the ball club will do during the regular season.

It certainly isn’t something that ought to make us think Chicago will get its first all-city series as a World Series in 110 years.

Which probably would be the ultimate nightmare for Cubs fans-types – going through all the hassle of winning a National League championship (the first since 1945) only to know it could be undermined by a loss to the Sox in the World Series!

110 years (and counting) since last all-Chicago World Series
But that’s probably a long-shot scenario anyways. It’s enough to make the Cubs wish things could remain as they are now – all the potential in the world, and a trip to Las Vegas.


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