Monday, May 14, 2007

A Look Ahead To The Cross-Town Classic

Thankfully, Finals Week is over and I am home sweet home for the summer and I have some things to look forward to.

First, I need a job. I want a job. I want money. Lots of money. I need ca$h money a.s.a.p. so I can pay for my expensive college life style. But another thing I need money for is baseball--Cubs baseball.

Cubs tix aren't cheap, not by a long shot....and it's very UN-likely that I can get some Cubs/Sox tix for this weekend because I don't have much money in my name.

So I'll take a look at a preview from a far.

The Cubs will have a few distinct advantages. As the home team, the White Sox will be without the designated hitter. I am not a fan of the designated hitter. The idea of someone hitting for the pitcher is like having someone on the bench coming in to shoot Shaq's free throws.

Not only will the Sox not have a designated hitter, the guy who is their designated hitter won't be off the DL until after the series. Jim Thome, even at this age and being injury prone this year, is still a dangerous left handed bat off the bench.

The Sox will have their advantages too. They're at home for this week---their road games will be eight miles north of U.S. Cellular Field. And of course they have the master motivator Ozzie Guillen, who loves to play the underdog card and Sox fans eat it up.

Oh, and the Cubs kinda have sucked at home, record wise.

The Cubs will be out in Flushing, N.Y. playing one of the best offenses in baseball when they play the NY Mets in a four game series in the midst of their 13 consecutive games.

With all that said, I'm still looking forward to Cubs/Sox this weekend at Wrigley, specifically these pitching match-ups.

FRIDAY: Mark Buehrle (CWS) vs. Ted Lilly (CHC)
SATURDAY: Javier Vazquez (CWS) vs. Jason Marquis (CHC)
SUNDAY: John Danks (CWS) vs. Carlos Zambrano (CHC)

Those should be fun games, though I wish that the Cubs could have lined up their pitching staff to where "Triple-A piece of sh*t" (as referred to as by Guillen) Rich Hill could have pitched this weekend with the majority support of Cubdom and the Friendly Confines.

Here's hoping the Cubs can split against the Mets, which would be a major success. Though I'd prefer that they picked up 3 of 4 and take 4 of 7 from the road trip. Then take 2 of 3 from the White Sox.

Seems like I"m asking a lot, but all three Sox starters are beatable. Yes, even Buerhle, he of the April no-hitter.


  • The Cubs will face two lefties---meaning two games w/o Jacques Jones and Cliff Floyd---though Jones should start on Friday---he has a high career average against the White Sox.
  • Hopefully Zambrano will be motivated to the point where he knows a possible future employer will be watching carefully in the visiting dug out with Guillen, a fellow Venezuelan.
  • The Cubs will have their two big free agent acquisitions going back-to-back on Friday and Saturday. Lilly and Marquis have been impressive so far, but could really earn their keep in the eyes of Cubs fans with a pair of quality starts against the cross-town rivals.
  • We could see which team won this off-season's cross-town trade. Neal Cotts has been the best lefty out of the pen and arguably the Cubs best reliever. David Aardsma is one of the league leaders in strikeouts, WHIP & ERA out of the bullpen. His 100 MPH fastball would be quite nice---looks like Don Cooper straightened out his mechanics and his control problems.
  • Lou Piniella gets his first taste of the cross-town classic as a manager. Piniella vs. Guillen: need I say more?
This could/should be fun!

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