My feelings on Chicago’s minor-league baseball club have been made known in this space before, so we’ll skip on the whole self-loathing/visible outward contempt/unjustifiable false hope rants for now. But I found myself driving home yesterday afternoon and, for the first time this year, was rewarded with the sweet sweet dueling sounds of Ed Farmer’s fresh-out-of-hibernation grizzle and Ron Santo’s two hours of whatever and non sequitirs just up the dial.
Yes, they were a pair of hollow victories, as both of those National League teams will be terrible if all goes according to profit margin-maximizing plan. Yes, Ron Santo’s predictions quickly went from endearing (“I think Ryan Theriot is going to be a solid ballplayer for a long time”) to just flat-out ridiculous (“I have to think Aramis Ramirez will go into the Hall of Fame as a Cub”). Yes, Farmer sure got a jump on complaining about the umpires this year and yes, there was all kinds of laughable non-baseball happening as the B-team and JV backup squads hit the diamond.
But at the core, what was really happening?
- Ron Santo revealed Pat Hughes as the most underpaid man in baseball.
- Ed Farmer couldn’t rage on enough.
- The Cubs, despite the addition of Carlos “Unhittable” Silva, are still a lousy team.
- The Sox, even if only in a way that doesn’t really count, were playing winning baseball.
Many miles from here, the sun shone and the Sox won. Carlos Quentin was a home run hero and Greg Aquino was the greatest pitcher alive, while the Cubs went home in non-binding shame and the voices of the everyman raged on. Baseball was back, even if baseball wasn’t really happening.