Cubs-White Sox Exchange Part Deux: Weather Will Be Better!

Share

By The Soxman and Paul Schmidt

cubslogo2untitled
(Paul Schmidt) – It’s time for round two! The Red Line series shifts south to U.S. Cellular Field, where this Friday, Saturday and Sunday the Cubs and Sox will once again take each other on in a battle for city supremacy.

Now, that really sounds like I’m fired up about these games, doesn’t it? However I’ve always, as a Cub fan, felt like these games are nothing more than games against, say, the N. L. East in terms of importance – Sure, they are baseball games and they are obviously important to win, but nothing like games against your division-mates.

Just because we’re both in the same city doesn’t add any more drama to these games for me.

Is it the same for most White Sox fans, or am I barking up the wrong tree by bringing this up?

(Soxman) I think the rivalry means a great deal to most Sox fans because if it didn’t, the White Sox would not have a special Meeeemmmorieeees...sniff...ticket pricing bracket for this series only. Personally, I believe the depth of the energy and passion is relative to the season both teams are having. In 2006, the Cubs were playing with a chip on their shoulder. So I wonder why Michael Barrett threw that punch at AJ? This season the weather in Chicago has been about as extreme as both of our teams play, so I think fans are stoked, but not as stoked.

Honestly, neither team is exactly dominating in their division, so for me personally, I wish you guys would just do you your job and beat up the Tigers for us like we beat up the Brewers for you.

(PS)
– In all seriousness, we wish we could have beaten the Tigers a couple of times for you, too…

Let’s dish a little on your team. Jose Contreras is one of those guys that Sox fans love to hate. His relationship with the team and their fans reminds me a little of the Red Sox and Derek Lowe, a guy that Red Sox fans quit on roughly 250,000 times in his career there. Is everyone back on board the bandwagon of the Sox’s Friday starter, and can he keep up his absolutely torrid run since coming off the DL?

(SM) Jose came back to reality a little bit in his third start since being re-called from AAA, although it seems like he was on the disabled list or at least was limited to pitching batting practice for the first two months of the season. Despite a more human start last week, he still has posted a 1.23 ERA in three starts and appears to be throwing pitches with more confidence. While Sox fans are excited, I believe that he was never going to be counted on as more than a 4th or 5th starter this season anyway. More encouraging is Gavin Floyd’s 1.25 ERA over his last three starts.

Now it’s time for our hitting to come off the DL. We are hitting an appalling .217 at home this season, second worst in major league baseball only to the San Diego Padres. See, there was a reason Jake Peavy turned that trade down.

(PS) – Floyd is finally looking like the starter I envisioned him to be when I drafted him as an end-game starter in most of my fantasy leagues. Too bad I dropped him prior to the good run.

You also bring up something interesting – the White Sox’s struggles to hit the ball at US Cellular. Couple that with the Cubs’ road struggles (after being swept by the Tigers, they have one of MLB’s worst road records at 13-22), and we may have a series no one can win!

Moving on, since sometimes it’s difficult to diagnose problems with your own team without rose-colored glasses, I’d like to get your opinion on ’09 Cubs issues. If you were Jim Hendry, what’s the move you make at this point? Do you stand pat? Is this just a season where bad luck with injuries (after two extremely injury-free, division-title seasons) is going to derail things?

(SM) Jim Hendry really only has himself to blame for his team’s troubles. First, they have minimal payroll flexibility (the Cubs have the 3rd highest team payroll in MLB). They have large sums of money tied up in players with either minimal trade value (Fukudome, Bradley), or to players who are injury prone or attitude prone (Big Z, Soriano, Harden, etc.).

Soto has had a massive sophomore slump and Kevin Gregg was never the most stable closer in the game. He wanted a left-handed bat who could get on-base, which is why he brought in Bradley, and in essence took away a team sparkplug in Mark DeRosa. While he really has no choice but to stand pat, I’d dismantle and try again.

The fun thing about the Cubs has always been the heart they play with. While I truly like guys like Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot, who is the true leader on this team? Where is that heart and passion? Big Z water cooler episodes aside? You have more egos to manage than ball players. The only hope they really have is to not be passive. Play whoever performs and ignore the dollar signs next to their names. How about you, what would you do with the White Sox?

(PS) I agree with most of your assessments, although today we learned that Geovany Soto is so fat this season because he’s got the munchies and is getting high. Awesome. Have I mentioned how much I love this Cub team?
For the White Sox, get out your dynamite. There are a lot of pieces that could be valuable come trade-deadline time,

One Cub fan has a little "man-crush" on Becks...

One Cub fan has a little "man-crush" on Becks...

and the Sox could go a long way towards building for the future if they’d just eat some salaries. Send Thome and Konerko out to any teams needing a DH (Seattle, or perhaps even someplace like Kansas City). Send Jermaine Dye to, well, anyone needing a perennial, fringe-MVP candidate. Send Mark Buerhle (yeah, I said it) to the Cardinals. Last but not least…see what Carlos Quentin can get you, assuming he can return to the field 100 percent. I get that he was a revelation last season, but his trade value will NEVER be higher than it is now, and the more he gets hurt the less he’ll be worth to the rest of the league. Again, I’m not saying they will do it, but they should. The future of this team rests with Alexei Ramirez and Gordon Beckham (who may have one of the strongest arms I have ever seen).

(SM) Ok let’s play Maybe or Mirage, where we hit 5 quick points on the White Sox (and Cubs) and offer our opinion whether it is a sign of things to come or something likely to fade quickly? Remember, no answer can be longer than 20 words! Let’s play ball…

The Cubs need this series more than the Sox.

(SM) Mirage, The White Sox are hiding their white socks in fear of a white flag.

(PS) Maybe. This answer was different prior to being swept by the Tigers.

The Cubs are in 1st place with Mark DeRosa on the team.

(SM) Maybe, a true sub for A-Ram, and a spark plug.

(PS) Mirage. I love DeRo, but he had an awful start to the season, only coming on of late.

Alfonso Soriano will turn it around in the 2nd half.

(SM) Mirage. Even if he boosts his numbers the 2006 player appears gone forever.

(PS) Mirage. Coughcough PEDs Coughcough

The Sox bats will come alive at the Cell this weekend.


(SM) Maybe.
They better or the only player who walks might be Greg Walker.

(PS) Mirage. The only thing the Cubs have going for them is their rotation right now.

Scott Podsednik patrols CF when Quentin returns.

(SM) Maybe. Unless Brian Anderson suddenly becomes the true reason we traded Aaron Rowand.

(PS) Mirage. Unless Ozzie wants to attempt to field one of the worst fielding outfields in history…

Powered by

Comments

  1. paulmbanks says

    I’ll be at the game tomorrow…but I still don’t feel any buzz for this series at all. Even though its on a weekend this time and warmer- it still lacks the oomph of years past.

  2. paulmbanks says

    I agree with you that we should skeptical about Soriano and PEDs, so far he’s shown all the signs and where there’s smoke, there’s a lying and fradulent slugger

  3. Paul Schmidt says

    Well, as we all now know, it is irresponsible to speculate who may and may not have used PEDs…and far be it from me to be irresponsible.

    The crowd at game 1 currently seems lame. Sister Hazel before the game looked cool though.

  4. Sox gal holla says

    Have to agree on the popof this series. But to be honest, the magical intensity has been missing at the cell all year.

    Soxman I loved your Red Eye Article as always. Great stuff.

    At least we will have you. XO

  5. Sox it 2 Me says

    Great Red Eye work on watching games at the cell.

    Soxman are u actually going to the game on Sunday in costume? Are you nuts? You will melt in that thing!

  6. Great work Soxman. Loved the link from Facebook to this sotry and Red Eye. Awesome.

  7. Ko’d Konerko says

    Great work Soxman! Nice Red Eye stuff all week!

  8. paulmbanks says

    Sox Gal Holla and Sox it 2 Me may just be two of the cooler commenting handles on this site

  9. Live for Lee says

    I have to say, the soxman called it right about our team. Speaking of heart, how on earth could you have sat in the sun in that suit on Sunday? You are a trooper and a very gracious celeb. Yes to all Cubs fans on this site. He was nice enough 2 take a picture with my kids even though they were in FULL Cubs gear. Several other Cubs fans wanted their photo taken as well with you. Very cool.

    Also the new sidekick…Soxgirl? Hot girl… i’ll give a good ole “Woo woo” to her.

  10. Sweet Lou says

    Another Cubs Fan who must admit…that I give you a ton of cred for baking in the sun and cheering your team onto victory Sunday. Shook my hand and made me smile even after I told you you suck (all in good fun) 2 your face. Great man.

  11. Sweet Lou says

    Your new sidekick was pretty fine as well.. :)

  12. Sexman? I mean Soxman. You were hotter than the weather on Sunday! It was great to see you at park doing your thing. Great new edition to the american League of Justice in Sox Girl! Very beautiful and represents us Sox girls well! Thanks for your dedication!

    E

  13. Soxman! We are Facebook buds. The “secret weapon” you were promising to bring with you worked! Welcome Batgirl to the sox nation! Now the question begs who to bring to games…Batboy or Soxgirl? I say go with the hot hand. Great addition to the American League of Justice. I actually agree with the Cubs fans on one thing. You were a trooper to spend the whole game in that heat to ensure we got a victory.

  14. My fellow Americans…let it be known…Soxman is the true first fan for the FIRST team in baseball. Like the economy of this country, where you are in the standings does not always reflect how great you are.

    Soxman I love the first lady Soxgirl as well.

    BO

  15. The Little Flirt says

    Soxman- Good exchange, nice to see you on Facebook again, the Red Eye all week and back at the Cell!

    Must admit when seeing you yesterday I wanted a hug but did not want to tick off Sox Girl. He’s she your Soxy squeeze?

    A little jealous as a Sox fan but have to admit…she’s representin us sox gals well!

    Holla Sox Girl!

  16. Tommy Tutone says

    Anyone who EVER questions Soxman’s dedication or the reasons he does the character for attention etc…just try sitting in a steaming hot Chicago sun for hours in a black latex costume. Amazing man.

    Wanted to give you props! High five to Sox Girl! The perfect compliment to Batboy!

  17. Mullet Kelly says

    A little jealous of Soxgirl as well because I wanted the job! LOL. Seriously, not to sound like I play for the other team but she’s got beautiful eyes and a great, healthy body! Muscular but not masculine. The city is proud of you Soxman for being an equal opportunity employer of sidekicks. LOL

  18. Mullet Kelly says

    PS Soxman why on earth does no one give you credit. Can’t find it on thsi site but you called that Scotty Hotty Pods would balance the line-up and solve the lead-off situation!

    Give him a raise Mr. Banks or get him on with Ranger. LOL.

  19. Myspace mike says

    Great Red Eye article on Friday and awesome work in the fives this morning. The Bradley answer was amazingly creative.

    You are as approachable as you said in the Red Eye. High five!

  20. Disney Mom says

    Cutest scene outside the Cell. Soxman takes time to high five a young Cubs fan. You are a great person and truw steward to the game of sportsmanship.

    I really like the new sidekick as well although her skirt was a little short for my taste.

    Welcome Sox Girl.

  21. Monica All night Long says

    Soxman I love you and agree its cool to see Soxgirl on your superfan team. What can you tell us about her?

    One HUGE complaint about you. I know you are all about being a model fan but why the hell do you shake Cubs fans hands and pose for pictures with them like they are Sox fans? They have their homeless superfan in that Woo Woo idiot. Being a nice guy should only go so far.

  22. Grinder Guy says

    The secret weapon you promised worked!!! Soxgirl is a model SOXY sox citizen. Very cute. I agree she’s got the softball fitness model look without being manly or one of those stick figure I only eat salads and throw up my dinner boitchs.

    Soxman you are the greatest ever! Thanks for bringing us a win. Give Soxgirl a hug from me.

  23. Ya Ya Sox Sisterhood says

    Soxman =’s god

    Any questions?

    Soxgirl makes me feel like I need to go to the gym and run 100 miles on the treadmill. Is she a true Sox fan though? Does she drink beer and eat kosher dogs with grilled onions and have nachos?

    Or does she count calories and eat nothing/

    She was nice and very beautiful rep for Sox girls I agree.

    What happened to Batboy?

  24. Nikki Sixx says

    Is sox girl the one Soxman brought 2 the games a couple weeks back? How she can keep up with soxman’s energy I’ll never know. Saw her at the game yesterday. From the looks of her she’s in good enough shape to do it.

    Loved the Red Eye stuff Soxman! Awesome answer on Bradely this morning.

  25. I’m a size 3 and sitting next to Sox Girl I felt huge! Excellent choice for a Soxy Sidekick. Petite and in shape. Ends the sterotype of female Sox fans being fat for sure. My BF could not stop looking. Go Soxgirl!

    Thanks Soxman for bringing a female Sox fan along to show we exist as well!

  26. Great Red Eye stuff today Soxman!

  27. paulmbanks says

    Monica, live and let live. let the Cub fans get to know all that is great about Soxman. They’re people too. The bitterness is over- we won! We have the title and they had the most devastating disapointment possible last fall; and another similarly tragic experience in ’03. There’s no reason to hate them (And SM could or would never hate anybody) I feel sorry for them.

    SM is all about spreading the love to ALL sides of Chicago

  28. paulmbanks says

    A lot of talk about Soxgirl here…the special exclusive with all the info you want/expect will be coming to The Sports Bank very soon! Keep checking the site every day, as the Soxgirl interview/profile will be up soon.

  29. paulmbanks says

    SM was right on pt. about Scotty Po. I have to hand it to him for calling that one…I said POdsednik was finished and the signing would have about as meaning as Loaiza last season. I admit I was way wrong. It remains to be seen if Scotty can stay healthy and/or keep it up all season, but right now his addition has kept us from the division basement

  30. Great comments everyone. I truly appreciate the love you have shown me and the newest edition to the American League of Justice, SoxGirl. I’d also like to offer props to my battery mate on this exchange, Paul Schmidt. We talked baseball pure and simple and demonstrated our knowledge of both teams. High Five to All! SM

  31. paulmbanks says

    BTW, I helped create a Twitter acct for Soxman last night..you can follow him here http://twitter.com/thesoxman72

Speak Your Mind