A piece that had been forming inside my head for the past few months came together this weekend, and it appeared on ChicagoSideSports this morning. It combines some of my favorite things: Baseball, history, Chicago, and Halloween. It’s the type of story that I love to tell to anyone who might be interested.
Happy Halloween to all.
I’ve not been writing much in this space lately, as I’m sending off pieces to other websites instead. But I can always link to them here, so here’s a Five Wide piece I wrote, and here’s a TTFB piece. Another piece should run on FiveWide soon, but the Cubs stuff has pretty much come to an end for a while. Or at least I say that now….
The picture above shows a black container and a blue container, sitting side by side in an alley in Chicago. Neither one is any bigger than the other, or newer than the other, and they appear to co-exist with each other pretty well. The Cubs wear blue, and the White Sox wear black (I can’t claim to understand why, but that’s what they do).
But when you consider that their purpose is to collect all of the refuse that builds up inside a house or an apartment, the metaphor of these two receptacles becomes even more fitting.
Both the Cubs and the White Sox were fit for trash collection this year, but nothing more than that. So I’ll put this picture up as my way of saying good riddance to a very trying baseball season on both sides of town.
Image from www.cubby-blue.com
This has been a hard year to be a Cubs fan. The team will be lucky to lose anything less than 90 games, and the sell-off of any talent they have has already begun. But at least they swept the White Sox, which doesn’t mean a whole lot but at least it’s something. wrote a few words about it on ThroughTheFenceBaseball, and it was published today. Have a look, if you’re so inclined.
The season is just about halfway over, and I’d love to say there’s a pennant race that the Cubs will be involved in. But only an optimist or a fool would get too excited about the Cubs’ chances at this point. And I’m certainly neither one of those. There’s always next year, right?
I mentioned in my last post that I went to a White Sox game last night. I briefly discussed the Cubs/Sox fissure in this town here, but I must say that the game last night was thoroughly enjoyable. Great seats right near the visiting team’s dugout, weather that held off on raining too much, two little girls excited to be at a ballgame instead of doing their homework, and seeing lots of good baseball plays and players made for a very fun night.
But there’s one thing that gnawed at me a little bit. It started on our way into the stadium, where the White Sox have put up a wall/sculpture thing along 35th Street near the ticket windows. Incorporated into it is a replica of the World Series trophy that they won back in 2005. It made me even more aware than I already was that the White Sox have won their championship already.
I was reminded of something that the assistant principal/disciplinarian at the school I once taught at would tell the students: “I have my education already. Go get yours!” The White Sox don’t so much care if the Cubs ever win a championship themselves, and I’m sure that their fans enjoy having those bragging rights. But the sculpture/monument makes it clear to all who see it that the Sox have, in fact, actually won a championship.
There is also a “2005 World Champions” banner hanging up high beyond the left field fence, again with the trophy’s image emblazoned upon it. It’s above and to the left the “Stanley” sign above, on the light stanchion. Another reminder of the success they’ve had had, which is completely understandable. The players wear the rings, the fans wear the shirts and hats and whatever else they can buy, and the team puts some proof of their success up high for everyone to see. But for a Cubs fan in the Sox’ park, it’s that much harder to look at.
I felt a bit like Pee Wee Herman in the scene from “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure,” where his bike has just been stolen and everyone going past him is on a bike of some kind or another. It only heightened his awareness that his bike was gone, just like the reminders of the White Sox World Series title made me that much more aware of the Cubs’ shortcomings.
I’m just hoping that the Cubs hire a good General manager, and that one day I won’t have to get worked up about this. But there is only one way to put this feeling to rest, and I hope that I’ll get to see it someday.