Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Baseball Status Report, In Case You Were Wondering

Welp, the stupid Cubs and stupid Sox both won tonight, so I guess I am granted with a double right to feel "good" tonight, or something. Or not.*

I don't really know the terms of my revisionist baseball fascination, to be honest. I say revisionist, because there were a lot of years in the 80s and 90s that I didn't pay much attention to baseball at all, or had at most a middling interest, and sometimes an outright disdaiiiiiiiiin, Mayor Harold Washingtone.

But increasingly for the last I dunno how many years, I have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it and diversionary interest in the meaningless details, which I think is a sort of semi-harmless self-medication, in a way. I mean, I've got a surplus of undifferentiated energy to sink into something .... And they, the Cubs and Sox, play this certain dumb game 162 times a year, each, so that is 162 games times two ... plus whatever out of town teams I get interested in ... which is a sort of bonus.

This year I have some hopes for the Milwaukee Brewers, who, last time I checked, had the best record in MLB so far. Growing up exactly midway between Chicago and Milwaukee, I ended up with a fair amount of identification with that city, and I probably went to more Brewers games as a kid than Cubs or Sox games put together.

The Brewers had a really good year in 1982, and I went to some of their games that season. They made the World Series, even, although they lost it to the Cardinals, in seven games.

That was the first local-ish team in my life to get that far, so I was pretty into them. I remember after one of the games I went to, at the end, after the Brewers had won, we were heading for the exit, and some old man nearby proclaimed, to no one in particular, in a sort of staccato rhythm, "This is the god-damned team to beat!" That really cracked me up at the time, in a sense of it being a frickin funny exclamation point on that whole "you are now authorized to feel happy" thing with sporting events, when "your team" wins.

I was at that game with my best friend from that era, Jeff _____, and we lobbed that phrase back and forth for a long time as a sort of trope thing, like a "Wup wo, we gotta problem" or other example of that sort of bloo. "This is the god-damned team to beat!" in an old man voice.

The Brewers have been really horrible since that year. They've been a huge joke in MLB for quite a while, so I would be very happy to glom onto a successful year for that team.

Anyway, that's kind of tipping my cards away from my vest as far as baseball desires this year, although you of all people (and along with all people, really) don't care, so what the hell? At this point in the season, I stick with my pre-season prediction that the White Sox will finish in 4th place behind the Indians, Tigers, and Twins, in that order, and ahead of the Royals (which happens to be the current order in the standings today).

I also think the Cubs will end up in 4th place, although I forget where they are now. They might be in 2nd. They have an outside chance of finishing in 2nd, behind the Brewers, although no chance of getting the wildcard berth in the playoffs.

I don't think the Cubs are building up a team right now that has a chance of getting to the championships in the near future. Or the far future. I think the White Sox will contend in 2010, but no sooner.

But I'll probably watch most of the games anyway. Even when they're lousy, when they win that day, you get that temporary happiness cookie, just for caring.


* of course, this ambiguity is only because I am not a "true" Sox fan or Cubs fan. I have picked up and dropped loyalties for either at will for my whole life. Which means I am one of those true lepers of Chicago baseball-dom, the non-either nothing. This blog is Sox-fixated, to an extent, because I've always considered them cooler than the Cubs. And, come on, who could consider the Cubs cooler than anything? The Cubs were always your, "well, slow and steady wins the race, you know, and loyalty and true-heartedness wins out, and the Frog Prince, and the gnipgnop-au-go-go-au-rama shaboom." But the Sox were always the "Nah Nah, Hey Hey" beer and a shot, wooden-legged owner, exploding scoreboard, crazed random Vietnam vet giving you drunken incoherent life lectures between innings in the upper deck at Comiskey type of experience. The Sox weren't just bad in the late 70s, they were bad. I know I spent more time paying attention to the goddamn cuddly Cubbies, but the White Sox were sexy ... they were wicked. All the cool older brothers were into the Sox. Nowadays, I just love them both, and if that's wrong, baby, I don't wanna be right.

1 comment:

Feral Mom said...

Why is no one citing this post re: the difference (or not?) between the Sox and the Cubs? B/c they can't fucking type it. what? word verification? BALLS!