From the Saturday, Dec. 10, editions of The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Ill.) and The Times (Ottawa, Ill.) …
The WISCH LIST
This past spring, when both the Cubs and the White Sox were flying high atop their divisions with first-place records, I established myself in this column as Chicago’s official party pooper.
“Excuse me if I’m not rooting for a Cubs-Sox World Series this season,” I wrote on May 21. “Why? Well, as you might have heard, the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in a while. And if ever they’re to do so – this season, or some day – the team will have to overcome enormous pressure.
“I’d rather not add the drama of playing the Sox on top of that. Nor do I wish to see Cubs fans suffer the humiliation of being denied a championship by the Sox, or Sox fans suffer the indignation of handing the Cubs their first crown in 108 years. I don’t think either would be great for Chicago.”
I then added, however, “What would be [great] is a Cubs-White Sox clash after both franchises have a recent title under their belt.”
Now that the Cubs did win their first championship in 108 years, I couldn’t agree more with, well, myself. Having seen both the North Side and South Side having enjoy titles in this century, I’m all for enjoying a future all-Chicago Fall Classic.
If the White Sox’s freshly launched youth movement pans out at all like the Cubs’ plan, who knows, we may end up seeing one in the not-too-distant future.
Hand it to Hahn
There’s only one Theo Epstein (big kudos on the Wade Davis deal). But this week, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn did an awfully nice impression of the Cubs’ president of baseball operations during Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings in Maryland.
By dealing pitching ace Chris Sale and Adam Eaton for a boatload of elite prospects from the Red Sox and Nationals, Hahn gave White Sox fans something that they haven’t seen (a plan) or felt (true hope) in quite some time.
That’s great for White Sox Nation, which has suffered through a rough year in which their team collapsed, the Cubs won it all and an awful corporate name was slapped on their ballpark.
But by acquiring four of the top 38 prospects in baseball according to MLB.com – including Nos. 1 and 3 overall in infield Yoan Moncada and pitcher Lucas Giolito – Hahn flipped that script this month. He looks like he’s the best thing that the White Sox organization has going for it, even if his big league product will likely suffer greatly in the near future.
To show their appreciation, Sox fans should Hahn back with patience. That transaction certainly paid off big with Theo and the fans on the North Side.
It’s kinda Maddon–ing
I think Joe Maddon is a great manager. But he also was an awful one late in the World Series with his overuse of Aroldis Chapman in Game 6 and his underuse of Kyle Hendricks in Game 7, which the Cubs won in spite of his puzzling decisions, not because of them.
I wish that Maddon could simply acknowledge that he over-managed and credit his players for picking him up. But instead, the Cubs skipper continues to scoff at such questions, most recently saying, “It’s fascinating to me regarding the second guessing because the only reality I know is that we won … We have often times talked about the outcome. If you had done something differently would it have turned out better? But better than winning, I don’t know what that is.”
The issue, however, isn’t whether it would have turned out better, but if it could have been done easier. I think so. And, after all, it’s do simple better – not do better better – isn’t it, Joe?