By Laurence W. Holmes–
(CBS) Earlier this week, I made my last trip of the season to Sox Park. Every year when the South Side Nine aren’t headed toward the postseason, I make one final pilgrimage to 35th and Shields to get all the stuff I need to carry me through winter. It’s been too frequent over the last 10 years.
This trip usually coincides with me thinking about which team I’m going to root for in the postseason, because the White Sox aren’t in it, but I’ve already made that decision this year.
This White Sox fan is rooting for the Cubs.
I might be alone in this (I’m guessing I’m not), but even as a White Sox fan, I’ve admired how the Cubs have built their team. It started with a clear-eyed assessment of organizational needs. The time for feelings and nostalgia was over. Theo Epstein and his crew went through every department and asked a simple question: How can we do it better? Then, Cubs ownership spared no expense in making that happen. From computers to extra bodies in the scouting department to a new clubhouse and even the video board, the Cubs were reborn. They took another step in their journey in clinching the NL Central crown late Thursday.
There are too many great moves for me to rehash all of them. But needless to say, through every level of the organization, there’s strength and foresight. Their ability to formulate and stick to a plan has me hoping that the brain trust will be proved right. Granted, the postseason is a crapshoot and not always indicative of the best team in the game, which the Cubs have been since they left Arizona.
I’m a baseball sinner, and I know it. I covet what my neighbor has. I covet their decisiveness and vision. In the last two seasons, the Cubs’ success has turned up the heat on the White Sox. If they win, my hope is that the byproduct is the White Sox getting their act together, but that’s not the only reason why I’m hoping the North Side has success.
With the one glaring exception of Aroldis Chapman, this is really likable team. How can you not want the cancer survivors in Jon Lester and Anthony Rizzo to win? How can you look at the quiet force that is Kris Bryant and not wish the best for him? Or Kyle Hendricks or Dexter Fowler or Grandpa Rossy. I want to see the Javy Baez swipe tag on the biggest stage, and damn if I don’t look with envy every time manager Joe Maddon steps in front of a microphone. Even John Lackey’s “get off my lawn” act is endearing because of the rest of these dudes.
I’m not looking to jump on your bandwagon. I love my team, even when I’m furious with them. It’s your party, Cubs fans, and I haven’t earned entry. But if your boys pull this off, I’ll tip my White Sox cap as the parade goes by. Can’t believe I’m saying this, but “Go Cubs Go!”
Laurence Holmes hosts the Laurence Holmes Show on 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @LaurenceWHolmes.