Most Chicagoans will agree that it is a little early in the season for the Crosstown Series, thumb but many of us will still attempt to watch two less than stellar teams battle it out for the sake of their fans. It’s Sox vs Cubs, here South side vs North side, ’05 Champs vs Loveable Losers, etc. and our let’s be honest, the annual Chicago subway series isn’t what it used to be.
Gone are the days of punching A.J., Ozzie talking about rats and Carlos Zambrano threatening to hit anyone and everyone. Now the teams are counting on their young stars to bring the excitement back to the series. In a very classy move the Chicago Cubs honored Paul Konerko before playing his final game at Wrigley Field. If there’s one thing Sox and Cubs fans can agree on is that Paulie has been great for Chicago baseball.
The Sox (17-17) are in 2nd place, five games behind the Detroit Tigers. They can continue to chip away in the division this weekend against sub-500 teams..
Quick Week In Review: The south siders swept the 2-game series at Wrigley. Winning game one in 12 innings after great pitching performances by Jose Quintana and Jeff Samardzia along with Marcus Semien driving in the winning run with a double in the 12th. The star of game two was Gordon Beckham who had 4 hits including a home run in the 8th. The series will shift to US Cellular and the fellas will go for four straight against the Cubbies.
Earlier last week, the Sox avoided being swept and snapped a 4-game losing streak against the Cleveland Indians thanks to a 9th inning Dayan Viciedo 3-run home run. The series also featured Jose Abreu’s 12th home run and a nice defensive play by him. He couldn’t get the ball out of his glove, so he threw it to Scott Carroll to get the out. They were swept in the quick two game series against the Detroit Tigers. This series had great pitching from Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer as well as a 9th inning RBI bunt. Over this stretch of games the bullpen has greatly improved, which is a good sign for the team.
News: Jose Abreu won American League Rookie and Player of the Month honors and is leading the major league in home runs with 12. Cubs pitchers are very impressed with Jose Abreu; in fact Edwin Jackson repeatedly mentioned that he is a big dude. Adam Eaton was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring. There is still no timetable set for Chris Sale to return, but he felt good after throwing recently. Conor Gillaspie could return Wednesday after hitting a home run during his rehab stint. Pitcher Nate Jones was moved to the 60 day DL and will have surgery to remove lower back herniated disc material.
What’s Next: The Cubs head over to the Cell for a 2-game series on May 7 & 8th. Arizona Diamondbacks will come to town May 9-11th. Promotions: May 9th-Miller de Mayo and Fireworks, May 10th-Pink Out Night, Pink White Sox Scarf, Mother-Son Night and Fireworks, May 11th-Mother’s Day, Family Sunday
My Thoughts: This crosstown series has lost its fire. There aren’t any characters on either side of town. The closest to a character would have been Adam Eaton but he is on the DL. The managers and players are nice and complimentary, so no one will be punched or have a ball thrown at him. Yes, all of that is a reason for the lack of interest in the classic, but in my opinion the problem is that the teams just aren’t good enough to get the fans fired up. Sure you want bragging rights but so what if at the end of the year both teams have lost 90+ games. This series should never mean as much as a series against the Tigers or Twins, but it should provide entertainment and a chance for fans to watch good baseball. So, until each side of town has a product worthy of the series in the past they will remain ho-hum and played in May!