This has been a magical year in baseball but no magic is greater than the
Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox
both being in the post-season in the same year. The last time this happened was 1906 when they met in the World Series. And this is the first time the modern Cubs have made the post-season two years in a row. It is a season of many firsts in Chicago. If the two teams met in the World Series I am not sure how the city would deal with it. A crosstown series would be the epitome of Chicago sports.
The White Sox dramatic collapse, and then their even more dramatic recovery, was pretty exciting. They had to win three games in a row against three different teams just to get in. Winning 1-0 last night against Minnesota, in a game where their starting pitcher went eight innings in a masterpiece, was unbelievable. The celebration was a blast. I could have gone to the game but chose to avoid the crush.
The Cubs clinched their spot many days ago. They are the odds-on favorite to win the National League. Many Cubs fans, who normally worry at this time of the year since their team has not won the National League since 1945 or a World Series since 1908, are acting like they have already won it all. I will say very little about this Cubbie bravado, which I have made known turns me off, but I find it tacky. My advice: win something first and then let that winning speak for itself. The Dodgers present a challenge to the confident Cubs with manager Joe Torre and a solid pitching staff.
The Sox seem overmatched against Tampa Bay but then they got hot at the right time and have three pitchers who are throwing very well right now. Expectations are not as high on the South Side since they were not even sure they would get in until last night. Plus they won it all in 2005.
One thing is certain. The next few days, and maybe weeks, will be exciting around here with two teams in the big dance. For a baseball fan this is what the long season is all about. It should be fun. Our newspapers today feature the baseball news over the economic news. That in itself made for much better breakfast reading for me.