The Good Guys sweep of the Cubs this weekend was worth more than can really be explained. It was everything.
Like many Sox Fans, I have spent years listening to Northsiders and if you aren’t sure, trust me, this weekend helped the Good Guys a lot.
But the sweep of the Northsiders also masks my very favorite thing about Sox fans. Sox fans know their baseball. We really do. When you go to a game, ask the people around you where you are. Find the person who answers "Comiskey" and buy them a beer (or Coke, its a known fact that Comiskey has the very best Coke on Earth). They will know the game better than anyone. They will say things like "Mark Buehrle is one of the greatest southpaws of all time." Or maybe, "Of course I know the guy in the yellow M&Ms jacket, I watched 150 games last year."
This may seem strange, but it's important after the sweep of the Cubs. It is a known fact (like the Coke thing) that few Cubs fans even enjoy baseball these days. I made a lot of friends over this fact in the last few decades.
I even found a trick you yourself might find useful: When you find yourself in a group of Cubs "fans" ask them to name 5 players on the team. Just 5.
In my experience, about one in four Cubs fans could name some combination of Bryant, Rizzo and Javy (sorry/not sorry about that). Almost three in four laughed off my question and changed the subject, or better yet asked "Well name 5 players from the White Sox." :)
Certainly you will find Cubs fans that can (or could) answer the question with ease. Like the hero that says they are currently sitting in Comiskey, make those fine folks your friends. I am sorry that it might have to be an Old Style, but it will be a great conversation and worth a crappy beer.
But I don’t write this to attack Cubs fans. Frankly that would be kicking people when they are down in a way I do not love. I write this for those that can tell you, for a fact, that the Good Guys were surging in 1994 and had a very real chance to catch the "best team in baseball" when the season was halted.
Team, we can’t stop now. We can’t even slow down now. We have to catch up. It is vitally important that we are the number one (or two) seed in the American League going into the Playoffs. The AL is good. Really good. Whatever team comes out of the AL will only be a slight underdog to the National League All-Star Team playing in Chavez Ravine.
So let us play out the realistic options. Thanks to our awesome friends at PlayoffStatus.com we know that if the season were to end today, the Rays are the 1, the Astros the 2 and the Good Guys are the 3.
With the Red Sox and A’s playing for a very real chance to beat the Rays in the first round. So that means the Astros and the Good Guys play a tough series while the fear of another trip to the AL West for the ALCS sets in. That is not to say that we can’t win in Oakland, we absolutely can. But I do still have nightmares…
Another alternative is Sir Chris Sale comes back and the Rays and the Red Sox battle to death. The Astros get the 1, the Good Guys the 2, the Rays the 3, Chris Sale the 4 and A’s the 5. That means the Astros get Chris Sale’s teammates while the Good Guys get the depleted Rays and then the Astros in the ALCS. Better. Not great.
Of the dozens of options that are possible, here is the one I am trying to sell. Luis Robert comes back and performs well. We finally start to score runs like was always the plan. We are able to go into a 6 man rotation for September while also giving the bullpen some real days off. Guys like Zach Collins start to push guys like Zavala. August and September are the best two months of the season. The Good Guys finish 100-62, one game ahead of the Astros. We get the Red Sox the day after Chris Sale starts (not again until G4) and then the Astros have to start the ALCS on the Southside against Lucas and Lance. ALCS goes 6. We are set up against the NL All Star Team to go: Carlos, Lucas, Lance, Dylan, Carlos. Kopech wins the WS MVP after throwing a scoreless 7th in every game played.
Go find that guy that still calls it Comiskey. Maybe even find the guy who knows who the other shortstop in Chicago is. Ask them both. What do we need to do now? Trust me when I say neither one will answer, "We have the biggest lead in the AL, lets give the guys a break."
Don’t ever forget the sweep in August of 2021. It felt great.