Friday, August 22, 2008

Chicago Hardball

I am, what some might call, a Bi-Soxual--I love both teams, north(side) as well as south(side). If a ball, bat and hot dogs are involved then I'm all in. If a cool, summer Chicago night happens to be the setting, all the better. Add a couple dingers over the left field fence and a 7th inning stretch led by Cubbie great, Ron Santo or Drunky Martin offspring, Dina...well, words just can't describe the euphoria. Not fully, anyway. (Only a quick correction from a flat Chicago real estate market could be better. But for now, I'll enjoy the hot dogs and the dingers.)

As of this writing both the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs are perched atop their respective Divisions with 36 games to go. In interleague play back in June, each team swept the other at home. Then there's Lou. And Ozzie. And the fans.

I've heard mutterings of a 'Subway Series' as I go about my day; water cooler talk in the office, passing conversations on the sidewalk, whispers carrying on the lake front breeze over the bike paths and beaches. Toddlers are donned with Cubbie Blue and White Sox Black as the mothers congregate in Starbacks for their morning fixes. W flags are hanging everywhere north of Madison. The radio talk show pundits recalculate the Vegas spread on a daily basis.

And the numbers don't lie:

Theriot is batting 316. Quentin has 35 Homers. Jenks has 25 Saves, Wood 26. Soriano is on fire. The Cubs have the strongest batting line-up in the majors. The Sox may have the best bullpen of all time (according to Joe Morgan and others). October is only weeks away--that's 36 games in baseball years--and Chicago is ready for some cross-town hardball. When the boys of summer are gone (the Brewers, the Twins, the Yanks, et al) that's when the men of autumn suit up and play for all the marbles, several million each in bonus money (split 50 ways), and the Championship flag; the World Series in Chicago...somebody pinch me, please. And just to be clear, the word was Bi-Sox-ual.

Geno Petro

pix: Wrigley Field from the $52.00 nosebleed seats (another story for another day) and a guy (who only looks like me) in a goofy shirt.

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