Crosstown clash? - Tucson Local Media: Sports

Crosstown clash?

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Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 11:00 pm

Lately, it’s grown Windy around the sports desk.

Nearly midway into baseball season, both the Chicago White Sox and Cubs sit atop their divisions for the first time since Nintendo shipped its seminal Pong console, back in 1977.

This is huge for us Chi-Town expatriates.  Massive.

Yes, I know. Our paper focuses on issues 2,000 miles removed from the People's Republic of King Daley.  Really, I should be writing about Risky Business’ air hockey league.

But to baseball fans, cosmic alignments like a potential Crosstown World Series hop the Mississippi River like sun-starved snowbirds.

Full disclosure: A South Sider, my father lugged me to Old Comiskey Park right as I was old enough to be exposed to hot dogs and viruses.  

And while I certainly don’t loathe the Cubs, I still sting over Harry Caray’s 1981 defection to the North Side’s announcing booth.

Surely, you sympathize. Tucson’s a town filled with sports refugees.  Look around — you don’t find as many D-Backs-themed sports bars as watering holes awash in East Coast teams’ regalia.  

My fantasy, a culmination of the Redline Rivalry, isn’t unprecedented. The Cubs and Sox slugged out a World Series 102 years ago, with the Southsiders winning in six.  

That series was a major upset. The “Hitless Wonder” Sox, owners of the AL’s worst team batting average at .230, rocked 26 hits in the final two games off a Cubs squad that won 116 games.

Three years ago, little had changed. When the Sox won the 2005 title, they were still known for smallball. Only recently have they begun warming this season’s tepid hickory.

Meanwhile, the Cubs are Teflon at home — though their 14-16 road record is far from stellar.

Nationwide, much ink’s being spilt by sportscribes, over a potential duel of Ozzie Guillen’s managerial meltdowns and Lou Pinella’s steadfast glare. With a goat-borne curse tacked to the Cubbies, the ticket’s hotter than 2000’s Subway Series between the New York Yankees and Mets.  

Even Vegas is aboard.

On opening day, the Sox’ odds of a World Series take was 55-to-1, with their Northside counterparts at 10-to-1. Yesterday, Sin City bumped the teams’ odds to 30-to-1 and 13-to-2, respectively.

I hope this screed doesn’t blow the magic. When bookies come to collect the Daley Political Machine’s farm, ninjas shall surely be dispatched westward.  

But I’ll understand. Good journalists are often the first assassinated.

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