White Sox

Why MLB should schedule White Sox-Cubs to end 2020 season

Why MLB should schedule White Sox-Cubs to end 2020 season

Picture this: It’s Friday, Sept. 25 at Guaranteed Rate Field. We’ve somehow made it to the final weekend of the abbreviated 2020 MLB season without further interruption. The White Sox and Cubs both can clinch a playoff spot if the weekend goes well.

And they’re playing each other.

At this point, the logistics of the still unannounced schedule are unclear. We learned Wednesday that the White Sox will play the Cardinals in the Field of Dreams Game in Dyersville, Iowa. Otherwise, we just know that the White Sox are only playing teams from the two Central divisions – 40 against the A.L. Central and 20 against the N.L. Central. Conventional math would tell you that means the White Sox will play four games each against the five N.L. Central opponents, but USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that the White Sox and Cubs will play six games against each other.

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There is some logic to this, as it reduces some time spent on the road. Instead of playing home-and-home series against all five cross-divisional opponents, it could (hypothetically) look something like this:

4 home games vs N.L. Central Opponent 1
3 home games vs N.L. Central Opponent 2
3 home games vs N.L. Central Rival
4 road games at N.L. Central Opponent 3
3 road games at N.L. Central Opponent 4
3 road games at N.L. Central Rival

If each team didn’t have at least one home-and-home against a cross-divisional opponent, then the home/road games wouldn’t be even. And by making it two three-game series instead of two-game series, it chops off at least one day spent in a hotel for the eight teams located in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and the Bay Area that can play each other with players commuting from their own homes. Plus, it creates two more intriguing games on the schedule for all teams.

I’ll admit, this is all a little confusing – scheduling always is – but what’s not confusing is this: the White Sox and Cubs should play each other to end the season.

Because there’s an odd number of teams in each division, there are going to have to be six interleague series played on the final weekend of the season. One A.L. Central team is going to have to be playing one N.L. Central team. The guess here is that MLB is going to want traditional three-game series on the final weekend, which means we’re likely going to see one of the following series in the final weekend:

White Sox-Cubs
Royals-Cardinals
Indians-Reds
Twins-Brewers
Tigers-Pirates

Which one would you pick?

Yes, the White Sox-Cubs rivalry has been pretty dull as of late, but Eloy Jimenez did his part to stoke the flames a little bit with his game-winning two-run home run against his former team at Wrigley Field in 2019. For the White Sox, it was the highlight of another rebuilding season, but all signs point to them being more competitive in this 60-game sprint. It is completely conceivable that both the White Sox and Cubs will be playing for a playoff spot in late September.

Plus, now that we know the White Sox are facing the Cardinals, and not the Cubs, in the Field of Dreams Game, ending the season with a Sox-Cubs series is a way to give the rivalry a little more juice.

Schedule-making is always a guessing game and in baseball, the schedule usually comes out a full year in advance. In this case, MLB gets to play with a 60-game schedule on short notice and they better be making it as intriguing as possible.

So what’s better than White Sox-Cubs to close the year? Even if one of the two teams falls out of contention, that series would still get eyeballs and mean something in Chicago.

It seems like a no-brainer.

 

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Ozzie Guillen rips Nick Swisher again while telling story from 2008

Ozzie Guillen rips Nick Swisher again while telling story from 2008

Ozzie Guillen isn’t done ragging on Nick Swisher. Guillen took another shot at the former White Sox outfielder while telling a story on White Sox Postgame Live Tuesday night.

When giving an example of why he loves Juan Uribe so much, Guillen decided to tell a story of an interaction between Swisher and Uribe on “Nick Swisher bobblehead night” at U.S. Cellular Field.

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“(Swisher) comes to Uribe and says, ‘Hey Juan, look at what I got!’” Guillen said while pretending to hold a bobblehead. “And Juan said, ‘Ya, you seen outside? I’ve got a statue. I’ve got it hitting, catching the ball when we won the World Series. You don’t.’ How about that one?”

Uribe was critical in the White Sox World Series championship, including recording the final two outs of Game 4. One of those outs-- his grab made while falling into the stands-- is the catch that has been enshrined outside Guaranteed Rate Field.

Nick Swisher only played one season in Chicago, and slashed .219/.332/.410 with a -1.4 dWAR.

Apparently that one season made quite the impression on Guillen, as he declared last week, “I hate Nick Swisher with my heart.”


RELATED: White Sox hitters rough up Carson Fulmer in first game against former team

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Day after Keuchel calls out team, White Sox offense erupts in win over Tigers

Day after Keuchel calls out team, White Sox offense erupts in win over Tigers

Whatever Dallas Keuchel said after Monday night’s uninspiring loss to the Tigers really worked. Or maybe the return of Tim Anderson and Edwin Encarnacion to the lineup gave the Sox the spark they needed? Or maybe it was a little bit of both?

Whatever the reason, the White Sox offense finally broke out of its collective slump in Tuesday’s 8-4 win against Detroit.

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Leading the charge was Eloy Jiménez, who busted out of a slump of his own by going 2-4 with a homer and four RBI. He had previously been 1-23 dating back to Aug. 5, and used a simple approach to break through.

“I was in a slump, and I feel like I was seeing the ball good, but I wasn’t hitting it to the right spot,” Jiménez said through interpreter Billy Russo. “(I was) swinging at some balls a little bit out of the zone. Now I’m just trying to see the ball and hit it where there’s no people.”

That’s always a good idea.

But when asked for his thoughts on Jiménez’s day, Rick Renteria provided a bit more of a nuanced assessment.

“Consistency, there’s no secret to it,” Renteria said. “Solid approaches working both lefties and righties… faced some righties today and was able to stay in on them. The two-strike ball down the right field line to tack on another run, I mean he had some really good at-bats today.”

Zooming back out, this is the type of offensive output the White Sox envisioned when they built this team last winter. Tim Anderson setting the table, Jiménez and Encarnacion hitting bombs, and Abreu and Moncada driving in more runs with timely hitting.

“The entire lineup looked great,” said starter Gio Gonzalez. “Everyone looked aggressive going out there. Plays were being made around the horn, guys were doing their job hitting the ball, moving runners over. It just looked like a White Sox win today.”

“Today we felt really good,” Jiménez said. “We took care of business and you see what happened.”

RELATED: White Sox hitters rough up Carson Fulmer in first game against former team

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