> Obama Regime Report < Obama Regime Report: Tonight Chicago Baseball's Civil War Begins / The Annual Crosstown Classic Series

Today's world headlines

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tonight Chicago Baseball's Civil War Begins / The Annual Crosstown Classic Series

Since regular season interleague play began in Major League Baseball on June 12 when the Texas Rangers hosted the San Francisco Giants at The Ballpark in Arlington, the Chicago Crosstown Classic, which of coarse pits the National perennial basement dwelling Chicago Cubs against the city leader in World Series wins in the last 100 years, The crosstown Southside Hitmen of the Chicago White Sox.

They play a few of these series' each year in both parks, and they are obviously a big draw as the Chicago baseball fandom is cut pretty much right down the middle for the North and South siders making the rivalry a fun and sometimes heated affair even amongst many sports enjoying families in the Windy City and across the nation.

So if the rain we are presently experiencing this afternoon subsides, the two teams will play ball, starting the series this year at Northside baseball shrine Wrigley Field at 7pm cdt.

Game two in this years series will be tomorrow at 1:20 pm also at Wrigley. After a third game the Classic will then switch to the South Side U.S.Cellular Field after the all star break which in some past seasons has had interesting playoff implications.

So here's a little logo I worked up which I'll use for each game as I blog about the game's results as they're played throughout the summer.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Chris De Luca: "Clutch hitting, solid pitching and thrilling victories before a long-awaited day off. Life is good for the White Sox and Cubs as they open Round 1 of the city showdown tonight at Wrigley Field.

Life is good, that is, as long as your memory stretches only to the weekend."

The annual civic war is missing the requisite talk of a potential Sox-Cubs World Series rematch 103 years in the making. At this point -- surprisingly -- simply being .500 has been the key concern for both teams. The Sox are still four wins shy of the mediocre point. The Cubs just returned there Sunday and celebrated as if they had actually won a game in October.

Expectations were so high entering the season with both teams coming off matching postseason appearances for the first time since that magical 1906 World Series. You can blame injuries -- both clubs have suffered significant blows, with the Cubs missing All-Star third baseman Aramis Ramirez and the White Sox losing MVP candidate Carlos Quentin. You can blame the cold weather that has seeped into June.

Or you can blame the managers -- Ozzie Guillen of the White Sox and Lou Piniella of the Cubs -- two high-profile bosses known as much for their fiery personalities as for their glitzy World Series rings.
Bleep's only a blip

Here we are more than a third of the way into the season and we're still waiting for a classic snap on either side of town.

Guillen's bleeps have barely been blips on the radar with a team that can only be called one thing at this point: boring.

The Cubs can't be called boring, not with Milton Bradley on the payroll. Bradley knows exactly how many millions of dollars he is owed over the next three years, but has a tough time keeping track of all those outs in an inning.

A Sox-Cubs series usually brings out the emotion in both clubs as the players can be trusted to dial it up a notch. We have seen Michael Barrett slug A.J. Pierzynski and Jose Valentin mock Sammy Sosa. Now it's time for the managers to show a pulse.

There is no way Guillen or Piniella can honestly say they are satisfied where their clubs sit today. And all you need to know -- unlike last season's crosstown meeting of division leaders -- is that neither team is in first place.

''It's true we haven't had the consistency that we would like, and that even I have been confused by some of what I have seen, but overall we have won and lost as a team, as a group,'' Guillen wrote on his blog posted Monday. ''I will repeat what I have said many times: we have the talent to win, but we have to be more consistent. We have to do the small things that are required to win, get the big hits, make the routine outs, and get the pressure outs.

''We have the players here who can do that and other that are learning to do that quickly. If we can stay healthy, free from injuries, and we play the baseball we know how to play, we will be battling until the very end. I still very much like the team that I have.''

Sounds nice. Too nice for Guillen's standards.

For whatever reason, the Sox seem to respond best when Guillen bares his teeth and growls. Take last season. The Sox extended their losing streak to seven with a 1-0 loss May 5 to the Blue Jays in Toronto. Seizing the moment, Guillen lashed out at his club's critics in the only way he bleeping knows.

''We won it a couple years ago, and we're horse[bleep],'' Guillen said. ''The Cubs haven't won in [100] years, and they're the [bleeping] best. [Bleep] it, we're good. [Bleep] everybody. We're horse[bleep], and we're going to be horse[bleep] the rest of our lives, no matter how many World Series we win.

''We have the worst owner [Jerry Reinsdorf]. The guy's got seven [bleeping] rings, and he's the [bleeping] horse[bleep] owner. ... We have to deal with it. [Bleep] it.''


The Sox won 12 of their next 16 games to move into first place -- staying there until Aug. 15 on their way to a division title.

Rewind to last season's Cubs-Sox series at U.S. Cellular Field. The Cub were on their way to being swept when Piniella sprang out of the dugout to question a checked-swing call and was quickly tossed by plate umpire Rob Drake before he could even open his argument. That sent Piniella into a rage.

It was also his first ejection since his signature snap as Cubs manager on June 3, 2007, when he kicked dirt on umpire Mark Wegner -- a meltdown credited with the Cubs' remarkable turnaround that season.

Last season's tirade was followed by the Cub winning eight of their next 12 games -- extending their lead over the second-place St. Louis Cardinals from 2½ to 5½ games.

Coincidence? Maybe. But you can make a strong case that it woke up a Cubs team in need of a nudge.
Calm before the storm?

The Cubs seem to operate best when Piniella is on edge. In the last two seasons, that meant all the time. Now, Piniella is purposefully keeping his cool. All around his clubhouse, players are marveling at the fact they are just 2½ games out of first place -- seeming to be fine with their mediocre showing. That kind of talk would have set Piniella off in the past.

These days, he's asking the media to focus on the positives instead of all those negatives.

A quiet Ozzie Guillen and a calm Lou Piniella collide this week at Wrigley Field. What is this world coming to?

This is not to say it's time to fire either manager. But it would be ni


The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. H. L. Mencken

No comments:

Post a Comment

Some rules: No leftwing attacks nor Obama supporters so don't waste you're time & especially mine. All 99% others welcome to have your say.

Web chicagoray.com

One last thing...Fair Use, Photoshop Usage, Legal

Statement on Fair Use

This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner or may be authorized or licensed for publication at this site only. Permission to copy, republish or reproduce such material must be obtained from the original copyright owner PHOTOSHOP STUFF.....When the photoshops appear on this site they either have my name on them becuase I made them or tweaked an original in which case I link to the original by clicking the pic. Please take all you want, that's why they're here, just leave the name as is like I do, and I would be eternally grateful. Ask and I'll tweak it for your site if you need it... More here

Back To The Page Top