Open Thread: Cubs vs. White Sox, Friday 5/19, 3:05 CT

I don't usually do this, because the hype from this series generally overwhelms the importance of the baseball for both teams.

But in today's Tribune, unabashed Sox fan and columnist John Kass spewed out this nonsense:

The Sox won the World Series. I guess I forgot to mention that.

Did the Cubs win the World Series? No.

Hence, no rivalry.

And that's the alpha and omega of the thing. The Sox won the Series. The Cubs didn't. So let's play three. If the Cubs sweep the Sox, the Cubs fans will be giddy with joy. Their season will be complete. How very sad.

I guess what Kass was trying to say was that the Cubs have become the underdogs, second bananas that the Sox fans have always felt their team was. But his claim is ridiculous. Yes, if the Cubs sweep the Sox, I would indeed be joyful.

Why? Because if that happens, the Cubs will have swept a good team, the defending World Champions, and maybe that would give an indication that they can still make something of this season.

It would "complete" my season? Absurd. It would have no more meaning than, say, a sweep of the Cardinals. Oh, right. That's already happened this year.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Greg Maddux
G. Maddux
Cubs
vs. Mark Buehrle
M. Buehrle
White Sox
5-2 W-L 4-2
3.10 ERA 3.42
36 SO 22
9 BB 12
3 HR 7
vs. Sox -- vs. Cubs
I've mentioned this a couple of times in the last couple of days, but it bears repeating. Jacque Jones should be anchored to the bench today, that is, until and unless the Sox put in a right-handed reliever. He is 1-for-27 lifetime vs. Buehrle with 12 strikeouts. In fact, Ron Gardenhire figured this out. Buehrle pitched against the Twins four times last year. Know how many AB's Jones had against him in 2005? ZERO. Jones was benched for all four of those games. The last time Jones faced Buehrle was May 21, 2004, when he got his one and only hit off Buehrle. And then -- oh, man, you're gonna die -- Buehrle picked him off:
TWINS 1ST: Ford grounded out (shortstop to first); Guzman grounded out (shortstop to first); Jones singled to center; Jones was picked off and caught stealing second (pitcher to first to shortstop); 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. White Sox 0, Twins 0.
On the other hand, Henry Blanco has hit two homers off Buehrle. That would be five percent of all his career HR. In 12 at-bats. Buehrle's also walked Blanco three times.

So, logically -- Blanco ought to start behind the plate today, and Michael Barrett could DH against the lefty, with Jerry Hairston in RF.

Don't expect this to happen. It makes too much sense.

Maddux, for his part, is trying once again to tie Don Sutton and Nolan Ryan (324) on the all-time win list. He is the winningest pitcher all-time in interleague games -- nineteen of them.

And with these two pitchers going, the game could be over before rush hour.

I'm going to give Mike the last word today:

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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