I’ll admit, I didn’t see one pitch of the Cubs v. Sox series that wrapped up this weekend. I was on a road trip back to my alma mater, Ohio University. Luckily technology and traffic was my friend and I was able to listen to games one and three while I was driving. All things considered, I enjoy baseball on the radio more than television anyway, so another lucky break. As I was rolling down the highway I honked my horn with each homerun and pounded the roof of the car each time there was an exciting play. No offense to Ed Farmer and Darren Jackson, but they really aren’t great listening. They just don’t have the talent to paint the picture and draw a listener into the game the way the best announcers can. I know everyone can’t be Vin Scully but at the same time having a professional, trained broadcaster call the games doesn’t seem to be too much to ask. When Farmer was teamed with John Rooney and DJ does his thing with Fox they are pretty good color men. Asking them to carry the game, however, just doesn’t work. It took me almost the entire game to get out of range of 670 the Score during Friday’s game and on Sunday I was able to use mlb.tv to get the radio call on my phone, plugged into the car stereo. Saturday was pretty much impossible to listen or watch in Athens, Ohio. I could have tuned in with my phone, but I was there to socialize not walk around with headphones on and keep tabs on a game 450 miles away. Also the concept of a true sports bar hasn’t hit Athens just yet so I couldn’t lead my friends to go and watch a game. Normally a Buffalo Wild Wings would be considered a sports bar, but in Athens it is more like fine dining. No the bars in Athens pretty much cater to drinking and only drinking. The televisions might have cable, but never anything more elaborate than that and with the students of OU pretty evenly divided between Cleveland and Cincinnati loyalties a Cubs/Sox game isn’t going to make it on any of the few T.V.s available.
I can’t really blame the bar tenders for that either. I’m a White Sox fan and I can’t say I really care that much about these games. I don’t have the deep seated inferiority complex so many Sox fans seem to have and the novelty of Interleague play has worn off long ago. Judging from the comments made by Farmio during game one, I’m not the only one who has lost considerable interest in these games. A few people on Twitter also mentioned the patches of empty seats throughout the ballpark. If Wrigley can’t get a sellout from Cubs/Sox I think it’s time to revisit the necessity or even the interest left in Interleague play. It’s nice that the Sox got to beat up on an awful team for the weekend, but in the end it doesn’t mean much, just three wins, not even within the division. I would give the Cubs all three games, hell all six interleague games if it could be traded for six wins against the Tigers. At least when Houston makes the switch we’ll only have to deal with three of these games a year.
As far as what to take from these games? Not much really. After a team gets by the decent starting pitching of the Cubs, it’s pretty much over. They have no real offense to speak of and defensively they look (well sound) pretty average if not below. So the White Sox winning all three isn’t too much to hang one’s hat on, unfortunately. Don’t get me wrong I was flashing my headlights with Gordon Beckham’s home run and hearing Adam Dunn being a world beater, if only for a weekend. I’m glad I didn’t have to be around Chicago sports media and hear the meatheads talk about the “justice” done by Robin Ventura by having Phil Humber throw behind LaHair and how Ozzie never did that. First the whole baseball justice thing is just stupid, right up there with hockey enforcers. Second, it was obvious that Samardzjia wasn’t trying to hit Konerko, so the need for payback seemed pointless. Third, Ozzie participated in plenty of stupid baseball rules. I guess those that were eager to run him out of town forget that he pretty much made a rookie pitcher cry when said pitcher failed to plunk a guy.
Speaking of meatheads, all of the limited afterglow I got from the Cubs sweep pretty much has gone away because of what fast is becoming a White Sox tradition, they had a good road trip only to crap the bed when they played at home. I know getting angry at the Sox for coming home and losing is totally irrational. It just seems like for the last few seasons they keep doing this same scenario; have a good road trip and the first game back, splat! In this case I do think attending the funeral of Kevin Hickey did have an effect on some of the guys, but still the Twins? The Twins!?! Scratch what I said before I’d trade the wins against the Cubs for wins against the Twins.