The Baseball Desert

Thursday, July 03, 2003

If you're a baseball fan - I mean a fan of the game, like me, rather than a fan of any one particular team - the best city to be in right now seems to be Chicago. The Dusty-Baker-inspired, Sosa / Clement / Wood-driven Cubs are in a three-way tie for first place in the NL Central, along with Houston and St. Louis (and not forgetting the Reds, who are only 2 1/2 games behind the three league leaders...). Meanwhile, on the South Side, the White Sox have a nice three-game winning streak going, and are only three games behind the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central, having beaten division rivals the Minnesota Twins last night on Frank Thomas' twelfth-inning, two-out walk-off home run. Not only that, but the Sox also seem to be making trades that indicate how serious they are about trying to win their division: on Tuesday, they acquired OF Carl Everett from Texas, and 2B Roberto Alomar from the Mets. Overnight, both players moved from last place in their divisions (22 and 16 1/2 games out of first place, respectively) to find themselves slap bang in the middle of a pennant race. Alomar failed to deliver the goods in New York, but this could give him a new lease of life. Don't be surprised if he has a great second half of the season...

Chicago fever has even grabbed me, 4,000 miles away. It's too late to worry about the interleague games between the two clubs this year, but it's not too late to take a close look at the schedules and see if I couldn't fit in a long weekend of baseball at Wrigley Field / U.S. Cellular Field before the season is out. OK, so maybe I'm dreaming, but that kind of dream is enough to get me right through to the weekend - what more could you want?