Ok, I will say it. I will speak out loud the thing that many are just whispering under their breath. The baseball season in Chicago is over. The Cubs have been out of things for quite some time, long before Lou took his early leave of absence. But those pesky little Sox kept us hanging on for a while. Winning steaks followed by bad loses had us holding our stomachs like we just ate some bad meatloaf before a ride on a rollercoaster. Then there was Handy Manny. I can’t say I like the acquisition, but I really can’t say it was a bad move. He is a rent-a-player at best, and I would doubt he has any chance of remaining with the team beyond this month of September. And it gave the radio mouths something to talk about for a couple of weeks.
My son has a definite double standard as far as this goes. He is ready to declare the Cardinals all washed up because they trail Cincinnati by six games going into the last three weekends of the season, but when asked about the Sox also being six games behind the Minnesota Twins, and he is ready with excuses and scenarios that still have the Sox coming on at the last-minute to win the division. Which is there only chance. There is no Wild Card for us, the Yankees and Tampa Bay are just trading punches to see who will win the American League East and who will have to travel as the Wild Card.
I don’t consider this opinion to be negative, I am just being a realist. The Sox have been playing some pretty good baseball this year. Minnesota has just been playing better. We had the lead once in the division, but we gave it away. We just haven’t been consistent enough, and in these last few weeks we would almost have to be perfect to come out on top. And it just ain’t gonna happen. Oh, they will make it exciting. They will lead us on like a prom date on a trip to Great America, but in the end they will be leave us on the side line all puckered up while they take off with a couple of sailors from the Great Lakes Navel Academy. Not that something like that ever happened to anyone I know.
Very often it is said that a baseball season is more like a marathon than a sprint, but even in a long race you still have to sprint at the end. There are many runners who choose to lag behind and save their energy for that final sprint. But the secret is to still keep close enough to make up that distance in the end. We are just too far behind. Even if we sweep Minnesota in our last three games against them next week here in Chicago, we still need to make up three more games in less than two weeks. Oh, and by the way, Minnesota has not lost three games in a row since May. That is the kind of consistency that wins.
So I have turned the page on this years baseball season. Mark Buehrle and Paul Konerko have mounted their horses and are getting ready to ride off into the sunset. There is no happy ending this year, although I can’t say the story was a disappointment. Exciting at some points, frustrating at others, but satisfying none the less. Really all that’s left is to clean up, and remember the good times we had this season. Because even if my son is trying to hang on like that guest who doesn’t know when to leave, the party is indeed over. It is time to put baseball to bed.
Sunday we wake up to Football!