Major League Baseball insisted three times when it came to scheduling the annual City Series between the Chicago Cubs and the White Sox.
MLB not only neglected to schedule Friday’s game at Sox Park, it also placed both rounds too early in the 2022 schedule and only three weeks apart.
For that, schedule-makers deserve the Golden Sombrero.
Still, games will be played, so here are 10 things to watch for this weekend.
1. The Cubs and Sox conceded 36 off 39 hits on Thursday. But both teams used a position player in relief – even on Fridays and with nine-man bullpens. So managers Tony La Russa and David Ross should have a full complement of rest relievers on Saturday.
2. Cubs rookie Christopher Morrell is expected to make his City Series debut. In the nine games since being called up from Double A, Morrell has two home runs, a .313 average and a .968 OPS. He has also played flawlessly in short, second, third and center field and could be the best starting option for the Cubs in all four positions.
General Manager Carter Hawkins was at Triple-A Iowa last week and told the Des Moines Register that the farm system was “up and over.” Okay, so let’s see them at Wrigley this summer. If Morell’s brief success proved anything, it’s that Cubs fans would rather watch the kids develop than itinerant travelers like Jonathan Villar, as he did on Thursday. Sending the wrong message, Villar reached a wrong throw as he was jogging on the grounder first.
3. If the rivalry was as heated as it used to be, the Cubs would have started Marcus Strowman at their usual rest on Sunday. The Sox ranks 24th among the majors with an average of .228 against right-handers pitching at .258 and fourth against left-handed players. Instead of throwing two right-handers, the Cubs would start Keegan Thompson on Saturday and lefty Wade Miley on Sunday. Ross has a 1-7 record versus La Russa.
4. The marquee sports network’s spin on censoring criticism of team president Jed Hoyer on “The Reporters” has worked. Sunday’s episode will be hosted by WSCR-AM 670 personality Danny Parkins, who said he will discuss the network’s decision to halt tapings of this week’s episode because of a bogus “technical problem” that has kept reporters back on Hoyers’ topic. Was told not to come. Perceived lack of “transparency” when reusing clauses.
Will Markie admit to censoring journalists after initially lying about the reason for stopping the tapes?
When former Tribune media columnist Phil Rosenthalo Tweeted “reporters” was a “sham” And that any media outlet looking for credibility should avoid become a journalist appearancesParkinson responded on Twitter Calling it “laughingly funny” Adding: “Great to know that you’ve gone through your entire career without making a mistake.”
Censoring criticism of team management at any team-run station is troubling in any media market and bad for baseball. But Marquee pays the panelists $500 and won’t have trouble finding guests. money Talks. Get your journalism ethics checked at the door.
5. Louis Robert’s tenure on the COVID-19 injured list was a bad time for the Sox. Robert has scored four home runs in nine matches against the Cubs with an average of .412 and OPS of 1.311. La Russa said Tuesday that he jumped into Lake Michigan after hearing Robert was out.
“If I survived it, I thought, well, we can survive (without) Robert,” he said. “We barely did.”
One reporter told La Russa that the lake was “kind of cold” for the jump.
“I’m a wuss,” he replied.
6. The first rule of Fight Club is that there is no Fight Club. The Sox once avoided Saturday night games in the City Series to avoid fan incidents.
During the first round at Wrigley Field, Sox analyst Frank Thomas said word surrounding baseball had led MLB to decide to reduce the heated interleague rivalry from six games to four in order to reduce fighting and ugly incidents. We will find out on Saturday if there was any cause for concern.
7. “If people want to text me, that’s fine.” Those were the words of Sox starter Dallas Ketchell on Thursday after he was shot from the get-go in a 16-7 loss to the Boston Red Sox. consider it done. If Keschel isn’t transferred to mop-up-man duties by the end of this weekend, La Russa has some explanation to do.
8. The White Sox this week unveiled billboards describing Tim Anderson as the “face of baseball.” He is shown calming New York Yankees fans after Sunday’s ninth-innings home run at Yankee Stadium. Another billboard simply read: “Baseball needs more Tim Anderson.” Basically baseball couldn’t handle an open player like Anderson. Sox fans should be glad they have the real deal.
9. Anderson and Ozzy Guillen shake hands on TuesdayAnderson ended his beef after the former Sox manager and NBC Sports Chicago analyst referred to “STFU” in a tweet.
Guillen didn’t really have a beef with Anderson and was in fact criticizing La Russa for sitting the team’s best hitter in the second game of the doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals. Anderson took it as a personal shot. The incident was forgotten when Josh Donaldson disrespected Anderson by calling him Jackie Robinson.
10. Ross’ streak of two straight game exits will be on the line. Has any Cubs manager been kicked out of three games straight? This is where we really remember Les Grobstein.