Cubs

Cubs, White Sox on the verge of making Chicago baseball history

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Cubs, White Sox on the verge of making Chicago baseball history

Chicago baseball is booming.

Sure, it's only two games into the 2016 season, but both the Cubs and White Sox are off to great starts, accomplishing something that hasn't happened in more than six decades.

The Cubs and White Sox have not started out the same season 2-0 since 1951, when Nellie Fox was just beginning his career and two seasons before Ernie Banks made his MLB debut. Hawk Harrelson was only nine years old the last time both Chicago baseball squads started out 2-0.

[MORE - Rizzo, Cubs break out the long ball in 6-1 victory over Angels]

Each team took a different path to their 2-0 start this season, with the Cubs dominating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim while the Sox grinded out victories over the Oakland A's.

I mean, Cubs leadoff man Dexter Fowler had as many total bases as the entire Angels team - a roster that includes Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, two of the best hitters of this generation.

That's led to a historic run differential for the Cubs to open a season:

 

 

The Angels scraped out one run in the sixth inning Tuesday night, ensuring another piece of Cubs history would remain intact:

 

 

The White Sox, meanwhile, needed a late homer from Jimmy Rollins to overtake the A's Tuesday night.

[RELATED - Jimmy Rollins' blast lifts White Sox past A's 5-4]

The Sox have received some solid starting pitching, however:

 

Baseball history has never seen the Cubs and Sox jump out to 3-0 records in the same season.

The last time the Cubs were 2-0 was 1995 and the last time they were 3-0 was 1988. The White Sox previously started out 2-0 in 2014, but haven't been 3-0 since 1992.

Due to a weird scheduling quirk, the White Sox are set to play Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon, while the Cubs are off until Thursday night in Arizona. That means the White Sox could conceivably be 4-0 before the Cubs even play their third game.

Either way, barring a weather delay/postponement, the Cubs and White Sox will never be 3-0 at the same point in time, even if they both accomplish that feat.

Is it too early to start thinking about a Cubs-White Sox World Series?

Joe Maddon wants Cubs fans to cheer for Gleyber Torres and Eloy Jimenez

Joe Maddon wants Cubs fans to cheer for Gleyber Torres and Eloy Jimenez

Why can't a trade be looked at as a win-win? 

There doesn't always have to be a clear winner and loser.

Prior to Jose Quintana taking the ball for Saturday's game against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field, Joe Maddon was asked about the players (Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease) the Cubs gave up to acquire Quintana as well as the deal with the Yankees for Aroldis Chapman in July 2016.

Gleyber Torres is absolutely killing it in New York, hitting .323 with a 1.014 OPS, 9 homers and 24 RBI in only 29 games. Six of those homers have come in the last week alone. 

With the White Sox, both Jimenez and Cease have found success in Double-A and Advanced Class-A, respectively.

Jimenez is hitting .331 with a .992 OPS, 9 homers and 35 RBI in 35 games. Cease is 6-2 with a 2.83 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 57 strikeouts in 47.2 innings.

As the Cubs work to get their offense settled into a consistent groove, some Cubs fans have been looking at what might've been with guys like Torres and Jimenez.

"You can't have it both ways, man," Maddon said. "I'm happy for Gleyber. When he left, we talked about it. And we talked about the kids that went to the White Sox. It's good stuff. 

"I'm really disappointed if anybody's disappointed in the fact we won the World Series in 2016 and the fact that the guy we're talking about that we had to give up Gleyber for was so instrumental in that happening. That's bad process if you're gonna get stuck on something like that. Be happy for Gleyber. Be happy for him."

Maddon has been a fan of Torres' since he saw him in spring training in 2015, Maddon's first year in the Cubs organization.

"This kid's 21, with high, high baseball intellect," Maddon said. "He's very similar to Javy on the field. I've had some great conversations with him in the past. 

"The first time I saw him in spring training, I thought this guy's for real. It was like one at-bat, line drive to RF, I said who is this guy? And then you have a conversation with him. He's solid."

Maddon's point is a great one — would Cubs fans prefer to still have Torres and NOT have the 2016 World Series championship? Because that title doesn't happen without Chapman, regardless of how you feel about him as a person or what the Cubs had to give up to acquire him.

"Don't play that game," Maddon said. "Be happy for [Torres]. I'm gonna be happy when Eloy and Dylan make it up here. All these dudes, I want them to get here and be really good. And the guys that we get, I want them to be really good. 

"I don't understand why somebody's gotta lose all the time. This is an absolute classic example of what was good for both teams."

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 12th + 13th homers in 1998

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AP

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 12th + 13th homers in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

An off-day did nothing to slow down the 1998 National League MVP as Sosa collected his second straight 2-homer game May 27 of that season.

He went deep in the eighth and ninth innings of a Cubs' 10-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field, driving in 3 runs. 

The first homer - off Darrin Winston - was an absolute blast, traveling an estimated 460 feet. The second shot was tame in comparison with only 400 feet as a recorded distance.

In a matter of two games, Sosa raised his season OPS from .930 to .988 and his slugging percentage from .521 to .577 thanks to a pair of 2-homer contests.

Fun fact: Doug Glanville - former Cubs outfielder and current NBC Sports Chicago analyst - was the Phillies leadoff hitter that day in 1998, collecting three hits and scoring a pair of runs.