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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008 - The Sequel At The Cell

Friday, June 27, 2008


The Sequel At The Cell

http://www.thesportsbank.net/2008/06/27/crosstown-classic—the-sequel-at-the-cell/

Crosstown Classic—The Sequel At The Cell

Paul M. Banks vs. Sarah Spain


PB- Given what happened at Wrigley this past weekend…I'm ready to start discussing this weekend. The Sox have the second most home wins in the AL and the Cubs are a less than awe-inspiring 16-20 away from Wrigley. That said, are you worried about heading into The Cell?

What about the fact that your Cubs now have to deal with a U.S. Cellular Field crowd filled with thousands of my SICA people from places like "The Wood" (Crestwood) and "The Port" (Lockport). The wrath of the SICA crowd this weekend frightens you, doesn't it?
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SS- You may be more than ready to forget about the complete and utter thumping your Sox received last weekend, but let me take a moment to mention how wonderful it was to watch the Cubs give the Wrigley faithful—and Northsiders nationwide—such an entertaining, awe-inspiring, belief-reinforcing series. Ozzie Guillen proved himself to be less-than informed about his opponent: "He just had a good day." Guillen said of Jim Edmonds 2 HR performance in the Sox loss on Saturday. "I'm not going to promote [the] guy who's hitting .218." Jim Edmonds was, in fact, batting .238…And, more importantly, OVER .300 as a Cub. Even better, Guillen had to eat his words on Sunday. "Jim is Jim. Jim is not going to scare me," Guillen said Saturday. "I will pitch to him another time." But he didn't. He intentionally walked him.

When it comes to outspoken, opinionated managers, I'll take the usually positive Sweet Lou over an eternally bitter Ozzie. The quickest way to display one's insecurity and jealousy is through catty remarks, like Ozzie's classless ripping of Wrigley. I know you love Ozzie, but do you support his trashing of one of Chicago's most recognizable and beloved landmarks? As for me, I'll take a rat-infested treasure over a heartless, tradition-less, corporate monolith any day.

Speaking of The Cell…I'm more worried about the Cubbies getting shanked than swept in that haven of White Trash debauchery. Provided they're not storming the field to attack D. Lee and the boys, your SICA crew doesn't scare me. Sox fans are more deserving of pity than they are of fear. Cubs fans are always commended for staying faithful to a team that hasn't won the World Series in a century, but what about you Sox fans? You guys stay true to a team that threw the World Series! Cubs fans are like wives who stay faithful to a loving but eternally unemployed husband. Sox fans are more like wives who stay true to an abusive husband.

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PB- The Cell is tradition-less? Are you dismissing the fact that it's overseen more World Series championships than Wrigley Field has? Despite its pig-sized rats, I can't hate Wrigley too much, because it's a big part of why the Cubs are such a national brand, and their appeal on both a national and local level is a big part of my job. Although I understand its attraction, I still think it's a bit overrated. Yes, the scoreboard looks like the one in The Natural and the park overflows in old-school charm, but the constant tourist whoring detracts from it. Like the Cubbie Kool-Aid that's flowing freely all over town these days, the Wrigley experience starts out sugary sweet. However, later it ends up rotting your teeth and giving you nausea. Ok, maybe it's a bit more like candy. Ozzie trashes everything and everyone, sometimes he's right and sometimes he's wrong. In this case, the latter.

The White Sox gave baseball its first exciting and memorable yet utterly criminal and amoral moment in 1919. Therefore, in keeping with the lovely analogy you initiated, all the mentally deranged women walking around with "bad boy complexes" should love this team. Ah yes, the obligatory Sox fans=white trash reference….as Chris Rock would say, "that train's never late!" It doesn't bother me though because the sort you're describing (I call them "Jolieters") only make my sophistication, classiness and material success (I probably could have just said "juice" there) look even bigger by comparison.

There has to be a weakness in this Cubs team somewhere, what is it? How can my boys exploit it? (By the way Turner Broadcasting Service, if you're reading this, we should set up a deal where every time I use the phrase "my boys" it will directly link to the page for your show "My Boys." A Chicago based sports webzine advertising a sitcom about a Chicago sports writer? Just think of all the potential viewers you would reach! TSB and TBS: with abbreviations so close to one another, we were made to synergize!)

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SS- Yeah, yeah, the white trash comments are unoriginal. Kinda like the "Cubs fans are drunk frat guys" bit. Of course, there are always exceptions. I'm a drunk, but not a frat guy. You're white, but not trashy. The Sports Bank: breaking stereotypes on the daily! In all seriousness, the series at The Cell will be much tougher for the boys in blue than last weekend's rout. If you're looking for a weakness, I think you've found it in our less-than-stellar away record. When the 2008 schedule came out I had mixed feelings about the lopsided home vs. away games early in the season. Yes, winning is contagious. Yes, the Cubs' hot start certainly gave them confidence and swagger. On the other hand, it can be difficult to face an overabundance of away games late in the season when the team is tired and injured. Away series' against strong teams like the Rays and White Sox will help prepare the Cubs for all-important postseason play. Speaking of being prepared…Contreras will take the bump in the series opener—do you think his meltdown last weekend was an aberration or are you concerned that he'll self-destruct again?

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PB- I am a bit worried about Contreras as he is (along with John Danks and Gavin Floyd) a crucial factor in this season's success. Last year, Contreras threw a lot of very slow fastballs and sinkers that stayed afloat. For most of this season, he's looked like he put his bitter divorce behind him and his head is back in the game. If he gets rocked again by the Cubs's 1 offense in all of MLB, I won't be too worried. However, if his rocky streak extends a couple starts beyond that, I would have to suspect that something is psychologically troubling him again. I think—and hope—his mechanics and his stuff are still sound.

My favorite White Sox shirt selling on the streets of the Chi parodies the "It's Gonna Happen" slogan beloved by you and your Cubbie brethren this season. These shirts simply state "It's Not Gonna Happen." As Homer J. Simpson would say: "it's funny because it's true! HA HA!" I think you should get one of these shirts or a business card, key chain or something with this slogan, so you can just flash it at the dozens of overzealous men who come on to you every time you attend a sporting event, go to a nightclub, get on a bus…well, pretty much every time you leave your house. It would save you some trouble. Do you find any of the anti White Sox shirts out there to be especially clever?

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SS- Unfortunately, I don't get to see too many anti-White Sox tees out here in LA. There are Cubs fans everywhere, but us transplants are more into reppin' our team in Dodger country than in dogging our rivals. However, if your choice is something as simple as "It's Not Gonna Happen," then mine is the always effective: "Sux".

p.s. – The fact that they cast that "My Boys" show without first inviting me to audition is a travesty, I tell you! A Chicago girl who hangs with the boys and works in sports? It's worse than Joel Silver continually ignoring the future big screen Wonder Woman living just miles away from him!
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PB- What can I say? Simple shirts appease a complicated man like myself. Let's cut the chatter and get to the games. Welcome to the Cell!
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SS- I'm in. Let's get weird.

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