|Would Cub fans prefer Yu in Texas?|
Or a year that will amount to little more than a stinkeroo!
MORE THAN ONE-quarter of the season has passed. It’s blatantly obvious that 2018 will be the painful part of the experience in watching the Chicago White Sox do a thorough rebuild of their ball club into something resembling championship quality.
And as for the Chicago Cubs? Their fans are delusional enough to think they’re in the midst of a New York Yankees-style dynasty, although it shouldn’t be a surprise if the Wrigley faithful get a season with barely a winning record, but one that falls short of a playoff appearance.
The year 2016 is as over-and-done with as is 2005. Chicago’s two seasons of World Series-winning ball clubs in this century are a thing of the past.
And as for who’s the sorriest excuse of a ballplayer toiling away in Chicago? I say it’s a split.
THE 80-GAME SUSPENSION that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo got for use of performance-enhancing drugs regarded as steroids brings some shame to the Sox – particularly since he’s the first Chicago ballplayer to get caught in a steroids-related scandal and wind up suspended.
A fact I don’t doubt is giving Cubs fans something to snicker about – particularly since talk about steroids and Chicago baseball usually becomes a rant about the fraudulent ways of one Samuel Peralta Sosa and those '90s-era home runs he hit in Cubbie blue.
But let’s be honest. For all the digs one might want to take at Castillo, no one expected him to be capable of doing much. Castillo was the nine-year baseball veteran whom the White Sox acquired because somebody has to catch the ballgames this season – and the baseball prospects whom the team thinks will be the catcher come the better days of 2020 (they hope) is still lingering in the minor leagues.
Whereas Yu Darvish of the Cubs was the big-name pitching acquisition the team obtained to bolster the ball club. He was supposed to be the piece that would ensure the Cubs would be a legitimate National League pennant contender once again this year.
INSTEAD, DARVISH HAS become a disappointment who can’t last long into ballgames (and certainly doesn’t win them).
He’s also in the midst of his second stint on the disabled list. It’s only been 50 games into a 152-game season, and Darvish has been taken down by the flu and tendinitis.
Certainly not the durable “ace” of old who can be counted on to “take to the mound” every five games and keep his ball club competitive.
Moreso than anything or anyone else, Darvish is having the season that will be most memorable for 2018 being an utter disappointment.
IT’S NO LONGER possible to say that it’s early and things will turn around in coming games. Yet only the most delusional of Cubs fans think that Yu won’t turn out to be the bust of Chicago baseball, if not all of Major League Baseball for the year.
So big a bust that it’s a wonder we’re not getting more jokes about Morgana – the one-time busty “kissing bandit” of baseball who used to charge onto playing fields in mid-game to give a smooch to some unsuspecting ballplayer (and whom some players used to say had extremely greasy lips).
We’re getting close to the point where many of the local sports fans will be focusing more on the Chicago Bears, and the “story” on the South Side will be the brawl with the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals to see which team will finish season ’18 with the American League’s worst record.
And the Second City’s baseball fandom will focus on the possibility of the Cubs holding on to competitiveness long enough to match up with the White Sox’ potential for future greatness that we might actually get a “City Series”-type World Series some time around 2020 or ’21 -- which would be a "first" in about 115 years.