Sunday, October 1, 2017

’17 baseball season is ‘ovah,’ yet fan excitement strong on both sides of town

The Chicago White Sox season for this year stumbled to its end Sunday in Cleveland, with the White Sox being able to say they didn’t lose 100 games and are far from the worst team in baseball (they didn’t even finish last place in their own division).
As for the Chicago Cubs, they managed to pull off a third-straight year of appearing in the playoffs (which begin this year on Tuesday). It’s also the second-straight year of finishing a regular season in first place (something they hadn’t been able to do since 2007-08).

YET FOR THOSE fans of the cutesy Cubbies who are inclined to gloat, I say “Stuff it!”

Because the most disappointing aspect of baseball ending Sunday is that it means we have to wait some five months before we can see more progress in the great rebuild that White Sox management hopes will result in championship ballclubs sometime about 2019 or 2020.

While I’m sure that Cubs fans seriously believe the whole world is rooting for them to achieve a second-straight World Series title this year, there are those White Sox fans who will be anxious to see the rebuild progress. To see the youthful star Luis Robert progress up the minor league route (he may begin next year in Winston-Salem, N.C.) to get closer to Chicago.

Where he could pair up with established Cuban star Jose Abreu (a batting average of .305, slugging percentage of .554, 33 home runs and 102 runs batted in) and rising star Yoan Moncada to create that Cuban baseball revolution that could be the core of bringing a championship to the South Side in the name of the Cuban Comet himself – Minnie Miñoso.

OF COURSE, THERE are no guarantees in baseball. There are a lot of quirks that could come up that thwart a championship season. The “Damn Yankees” could resurrect themselves to a role of dominance during the next few seasons.

But White Sox fans are overly anxious, not wanting to see the on-field action stop because it means they’ll have to wait a little while longer for the title they’re hoping for.

And yes, there are elements of wanting to produce so as to “shut up” Cubs fans and their obnoxious streak of thinking that a lone World Series title now puts them in the same status as the New York Yankees (who have 27 such titles and are going for number 28 starting Tuesday).

In short, April 5 and Opening Day against the Detroit Tigers (the ball club that managed to bottom out and be worse than the White Sox this season) can’t some soon enough.

AS FOR THE Cubs, they now advance to the first round of playoffs against the Washington Nationals in the District of Columbia.
Their spirits would watch over ...

It will be interesting to see how Cubs fans react to not being the team of sympathy and underdog status. Don’t forget that Washington is now the city with baseball teams that have lengthy losing status – no D.C. ball club has won a World Series since 1924 or has even been in a World Series since 1933.

And the current Washington ball club has never won a thing (not even back in their days of being the Montreal Expos).

Yet the Cubs would like to think that their own losing ways still linger – and it would be of some historic significance if a Cubs’ team were to win a second consecutive World Series. Since the only two they ever had won before came in consecutive (1907 and 1908) years.
... any all-Chicago World Series of future

SO IT WILL be of some interest to see if a Chicago ball club can advance past Washington and Los Angeles (that’s what playoffs are for) to make it to the World Series.

Even if not as much interest as watching the rebuild taking place on the South Side that is now on hold for five months.

Because it would put us Chicago baseball fans a step closer to what would be the ultimate experience – an all-Chicago World Series. An experience we haven’t had in 111 years – and counting.

That would be the experience worth getting all worked up over!


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