By George Ofman-
(CBS) The baseball season is less than a week away.
So why do I get the feeling it’s going to be a long one around here? Is it inbred pessimism? I mean one World Series title in 96 years. This would give pause to the optimist in all of us. That would be Ernie Banks, right? His beloved Cubs haven’t cashed a Series check since the Roosevelt administration – the Teddy Roosevelt administration. And the statute of limitations has now run out on the White Sox. They last won in 2005 when Ozzie Guillen’s mouth was flapping faster A.J.Piersynski was fooling umpires.
Pining for the playoffs has become the standard rather than pushing out your chest and exclaiming “Go ahead, beat us.”
Does anyone really think the Sox will be playing meaningful games in October and the Cubs, meaningful games in June?
I will give both teams some credit. The Sox still possess moxy, talent and a manager with a calming yet positive disposition. But moxy doesn’t produce playoffs, the talent is a bit short and the manager doesn’t win games. The Cubs remain myopic. It’s all about the future, which isn’t in 2013. Probably not 2014 either. Patience is not only a virtue on the north side – it’s a birthright. And while I’m at it, will there be an auction for the center field scoreboard?
Expectations have been muted unless the only one you have is planning for a late June parade celebrating another Stanley Cup. By then Theo Epstein will be planning who parades out of Wrigley Field via trade. Of course, Rick Hahn will be brain storming with Kenny Williams (yes, he’s still around) on how to make the big trade that will make the Sox a bigger tease. Please, no more Roberto Alomars.
“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settle for.”
That’s probably why Cubs fans got Ian Stewart for Ty Colvin. It’s probably why the Sox still employ Gordon Beckham.
I want more from my baseball teams but likely will have to settle for what I get. And here’s what I’ll get: A Sox team that boasts about its pitching that doesn’t have John Danks but still has Gavin Floyd. A Sox team devoid of left-handed hitting and the power needed in a ballpark that demands more power than Tom Tunney should have. A Sox team that lost part of its soul in Pierzynski but also lost a pill almost as poisonous as Ozzie. A Sox team pinning its hopes on an aging Paul Konerko and a replay from Alex Rios and Adam Dunn though please, don’t replay the .204 batting average. At least Hawk and Stoney are a hot couple again.
And then there are the Cubs. A team with a left fielder they want to trade even though he drove in 100 runs and a right fielder that has more than one name. A Cubs team with a starting pitcher they want to trade but can’t because he can’t pitch. Do you think Alfonso Soriano and Matt Garza are conspiring to form the lovable loser’s foundation? A Cubs team that just dispatched to the minors a pitcher whose spring era was zero! Sorry, Casey Coleman. You’re not good enough for a team that lost 101 games. But Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney supply hope and at least, Len and Jim are the newest hot couple.
I’m really an optimist by nature. But living here all my life and covering our teams for over 35 years have given me a sense of realism.
Now forgive me. I have to go to my messy desk and retrieve my rose colored glasses.
George Ofman is a sports anchor and reporter for WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM. Look for him on Facebook and find him on Twitter at @georgeofman.