Monday, October 16, 2017

Cubbies create nothing but a yawn from me, but White Sox offer no guarantees

I am a life-long Chicagoan interested in baseball who must confess that the presence of the Chicago Cubs in the 2017 baseball playoffs trying to get themselves a second-consecutive World Series berth leaves me emotionally flat.

Chicago baseball fans debate ...
I honestly could care less what the Cubs do this year. And not just because my interest in the local baseball scene focuses on the chances that the Chicago White Sox’ rebuild, with an intense “Cubano revolution,” will result in success.

BECAUSE OF THE White Sox interest, I’m an American League fan – one whom I must admit as a kid enjoyed the New York Yankees ballclubs of the mid-1970s and still remembers that two of their preeminent ballplayers were former White Sox Bucky Dent and Rich Gossage.

... which World Series relevant
I went into this year’s baseball playoffs focusing attention on the Cleveland/New York matchup, figuring that I’d wind up rooting for whichever team prevailed in that early round to go all the way to win the American League championship – then the World Series.

As for the National League? I check the box scores , but really don’t care which team wins. I only want them to ultimately lose to the American League champions.
If there is Yankee success in '17,...

I only saw the last two innings of that final Chicago/Washington playoff game – and will always believe the Cubs were downright lucky to get that 8th inning pickoff play ruled in their favor because it put to rest the rally that WOULD HAVE resulted in a Washington victory (and the Cubbie faithful crying in their beers).

BUT REALLY, I’M not rooting against the Cubs at this stage of the playoffs Eventually I’ll root for either New York or Houston to beat up on either Los Angeles or the baby blue Bruins of the North Side – whichever prevails this week.
... it could be due to a trio ...

The part of me that roots for the White Sox during the regular season almost wouldn’t mind a Houston/Chicago matchup. It would be downright funny if the Astros – who only once in their history ever made it to the World Series; losing to the White Sox of 2005 before transferring leagues in 2013 – beat up on the Cubs!

White Sox fans mostly are apathetic about the playoffs (even though Cubbie faithful is deluded enough to think the whole world is obligated to root for their ball club), but would get a kick out of history recording the Houston Astros losing to their team, while beating the Cubs.
... of ballplayers with Chicago ties

Not all of Chicago is getting all worked up over Cubbie-mania. There are those of us with real lives, and those of us who are still living off the memories of that aforementioned ’05 World Series victory that was the first for a Chicago ball club in this century

JUST AS REGARDLESS of what happens with the Cubs against the Dodgers this week, Cubs fans will still have their memories of 2016 how they nearly blew a Game 7 lead to the Cleveland Indians, but managed to win in extra innings.
If Jose Lobaton hadn't been picked off ...

It’s the inherent character of Chicago baseball that fans have their team to root for – and the other might as well not exist.

The only way we’d ever get Chicago united over a post-season round of baseball playoffs is if we were to ever get the proper circumstances for an all-Chicago World Series.

Which is the goal of the White Sox re-build, to put their ball club in contention for a World Series berth at the same time that the Cubs may still have ballclubs in contention. That would be a circumstance that would create memories Chicagoans would talk about for the rest of their lives. Which when you consider how young some baseball fans are these days could easily stretch to the final days of the 21st Century.
... it's likely the 'L' flag would be flying in the minds of Cubs fans
OF COURSE, THERE’S there’s always the problem that there are no guarantees in baseball – just like there’s no crying (remember the film "A League of their Own?"). Nobody knows just how the baseball season will play out until the ballgames are actually played.

It was just a couple of years ago the Pittsburgh Pirates had contending teams that were supposedly going to end decades of losing. Yet they haven’t won a thing – and their window of opportunity may now be over. Similar to those Seattle Mariners teams of the late 1990s to early 2000s – including the 2001 team that still has a record for the most wins in a season, but no league championship or World Series title to show for it. There also are many American League teams throughout the years that represented Boston, Chicago or Cleveland -- to name just a few examples of teams that came so close to winning it all.
A revival in Chicago?

Or maybe the story of coming years will be the resurgence of the Yankees (who haven’t won a World Series since 2009). What if the Yankees were to beat the Cubs in this year’s World Series, and have continued success that prevented the White Sox from winning a World Series birth in the near future?

Could the “Damned Yankees” be the uniting factor for both sides of Chicago baseball in years to come!


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