From the Cubicle: Cubs-Sox

Live play-by-play of today's Cubs-Sox series from a guy who can just feel the hate

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On my ride into work this morning, I saw a car on Ohio Street with the license plate CUBSOX. I was on a bike and tried to catch up to it at a light and conduct my first ever interview of a guy sitting in a convertible at a red light. With that license plate, I wanted to know who the guy was rooting for today, the first game of the Cubs-Sox series. Alas the light changed, he sped off and I was deprived of an actual story to share with everyone. Instead a cabbie honked at me.

Talking to the rare person who likes both teams would have been a nice way to kick off what always sinks into an annual civic hatefest. I've got to be honest; I do not like interleague play or the city series. It just brings out the worst in fans of both teams. So much so that I get an uneasy feeling in my stomcah, like when you witness a street fight or mistakenly turn on ESPN when "Around the Horn" is on. But I know a lot of people like this series and enjoy watching people pummel each other.

Wouldn't it be more fun if this was a cordial affair? If, say, Sox fans gave up their seats to Cubs fans on the Red Line. Or, perhaps, Cubs fans would share an extra blue poncho they had stashed in their Old Navy cargo shorts for a rain-drenched Sox fan? Maybe Sox fans could keep cellphone-using Cubs fans in the adjacent seat apprised of the score. Or Cubs fans could pass a collection cup around for bail for the Sox fan who garroted their friend with his own flip-flops.

No? OK.

One thing Cubs and Sox fans can agree on is that the Rays are good and the Pirates are bad.

The White Sox just scored 37 runs in a three-game sweep of the Pirates. The Cubs, meanwhile, were swept in Tampa-St. Pete, played a night game before a day game and landed at O'Hare at 1:15 a.m. Boo-hoo.

Greetings Chicago baseball fans, from North and South, hot and not-so-hot, fat and skinny, you're all welcome here, no matter your team, shape or facial structure. Do what you gotta do to keep the boss at bay and follow along. For everyone stuck at the office or are just too cheap to buy a TV and are sitting in some public library somewhere, we're here for you on this warm but gray and potentially rainy Friday in Chicago.

Toeing the slab today will be Ted Lilly (7-5, 4.76) for the Cubs and John Danks (4-4, 2.90) for the Sox. It's all right here in the lineups.

Swinging of bats and possible fists to follow.

1:12 p.m. Weather update: It's really coming down now at Wrigley. Len Kasper on Comcast says they're hoping for a 1:40 start time. Hawk and DJ are on WGN today and they're got a wet tarp behind them. Hawk says he's "Amped up" about this series.

I see the board is off to a rip-roaring start. And no offense to loyal reader Joseph J. Finn, but isn't the Sox fan argument about the conditions of the barthrooms at Wrigley is right down there with Cubs fans argument about attendance? Pardon the pun, but who gives a crap?

1:23 weather update: The grounds crew is about to remove the tarp and Len says this game will start at 1:50, so hang tight everyone. There goes the tarp. Love it when someone gets trapped underneath. And the refresh link at the top of the page should work now. Sorry about that. Thanks for pointing that out.

Also someone on the board points out that because of this series there will be no drinking on Metra trains after 7 p.m. tonight, so drink up. My boss, who commutes on the Metra, confirms he heard this announcement today. I love that you can drink on that train in the first place.

1:49 p.m. weather update: Wayne Messmer is singing away, the sun is shining, we're close to baseball, everything is right in the world.

First inning

OK, so Ozzie and Lou have handed in their lineup cards, shook hands with each other and probably exchanged a few profanity-peppered pleasantries. The Cubs take the field, Ted Lilly takes a few warmup tosses and Orlando Cabrera digs in for the Sox. It's 73 degrees under sunny skies with a slight wind blowing out to left and we're off after a 31 minute rain delay. Cabrera fouls off the first pitch then takes a ball to even the count. Cabrera fouls off a couple more pitches before flying out to Kosuke Fukudome, who's playing center today. A.J. Pierzynski hears some boos as he steps in. In the midst of a 13-game hitting streak, he bloops one to shortstop for the second out. Carlos Quentin drives one deep to right-center where Mark DeRosa makes a running catch at the edge of the warning track to end the top of the first.

I flip over to WGN for Hawk and DJ as the Cubs bat and am greeted by that "There's one thing, we're nudists" commercial. John Danks is ready to go. Fukudome is ready. We're ready. Foul ball. Fukudome takes a strike and quickly is behind 0-2. He squibs a swinging bunt towards third. Danks fields it and fires an ill-advised throw to first. Nick Swisher makes a nice play to keep that ball from going to the bullpen. Fukudome reaches on the infield single. Ryan Theriot singles to right-center; Fukudome takes third. Derrek Lee, with runners on the corners and no one out, takes a 1-2 pitch that looks like a strike but is called a ball. "That's a good pitch," quoth the Hawk. On a full count, Lee hits it hard but into a 6-4-3 double play that drives home Fukudome with the game's first run. Danks fans Aramis Ramirez to end the first.

Cubs 1, Sox 0





Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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