Ready for the Crosstown Cup?

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Well, well, well…not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but after an 8-1 run to start the second half, the Chicago Cubs are where we thought they’d be:

On the other side of town, the in-city rival Chicago White Sox are heading in the other direction, having decided to orchestrate a rebuild effort similar to what the Cubs did for a few years before reaching ultimate glory.  They had already sold off their largest trade asset in Chris Sale in the offseason, along with Adam Eaton (who unfortunately got hurt).  Then, the Cubs jumped the market and acquired Jose Quintana with a painful price tag, and the Sox continued to tear down their team by shuttling away Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle.  Now, the White Sox have a less-than-good MLB club, but the envy of all teams with arguably the best farm system in the sport.  This was, of course, a position held by the Cubs not too long ago, but the farm ranking kind of drops when all your top prospects are in the major leagues being awesome.

We enter the four-game Crosstown Cup (hardly a rivalry, but Chicagoans enjoy bragging rights, so here we are) with clubs on opposite ends of baseball philosophy.  On the North Side, the Cubs are obviously looking to make the playoffs and try to get some space between them and the other NL Central underachievers.  On the South Side, the White Sox aim to become the Cubs in a few years, having had many more excellent trade chips to use to rebuild their farm in a hurry.  And additionally, because all baseball players are competitive and baseball by its nature is a fickle sport, the Sox will do their best to be spoilers and potentially retain the Crosstown Cup trophy for another year.

Anyway, this week has the potential to be fun and probably insufferable as well if you’re lucky (or unfortunate) enough to experience the banter.  We’ll see the return of Kyle Hendricks to the Cubs rotation, and a couple of games of Kyle Schwarber doing some designated hitting.  On paper, the Cubs should be able to win this four game set easily, but the players won’t take these games lightly.  Whatever happens, I’m certain that the effort cannot be questioned.  The Cubs are young and want to win as much as possible while they still have plenty of time left.  The Sox are getting younger and will have something to prove as everyone on the roster plays for their next job or a spot on next year’s team as the South Siders rebuild.  The good news is that all the games will be broadcast on local channels if you’re in Chicago, and also allegedly blackout free on Facebook streaming.  And you can always listen to Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer on the radio at AM 670 The Score. Yay!

Monday, July 24 (Sox @ Cubs)
1:20 PM Central
Miguel Gonzalez vs. Kyle Hendricks
Cubs broadcast: ABC 7, MLB Network

Tuesday, July 25 (Sox @ Cubs)
1:20 PM Central
Carlos Rodon vs. John Lackey
Cubs broadcast: CSN Chicago, MLB Network
Sox broadcast: WGN

Wednesday, July 26 (Cubs @ Sox)
7:10 PM Central
Jake Arrieta vs. James Shields
Cubs broadcast: ABC 7, ESPN

Thursday, July 27 (Cubs @ Sox)
7:10 PM Central
Jon Lester vs. Mike Pelfrey
Cubs broadcast: CSN Chicago
Sox broadcast: WGN


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About Rice Cube

Rice Cube is the executive vice president of snark at World Series Dreaming. He loves all things Cubs, with notable exceptions (specifically, the part of Cubs fandom that pisses him off). Follow on Twitter at cubicsnarkonia

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