Crazy train of thought: How about Crosstown Classic in Fall Classic?
In a season with shifting schedules, seven-inning games and who knows what else, a Cubs-White Sox World Series isn’t so crazy.
Crazy times call for crazy thoughts.
Here’s one, Chicago sports fans:
The Cubs vs. the White Sox in the 2020 World Series.
Crazier than an orange president endorsing the medical rantings of a Houston doctor who believes, among other things, that “demon sperm” is at the root of female gynecological issues?
So how could this happen, this dream meeting for all Chicago baseball fans? It’s something that hasn’t happened, remember, in 114 years.
Well, like this. The Cubs and Sox win their respective leagues. They play in the World Series! Yay!
Sure, one team would have to win — even if it’s a single game or a coin flip or some other contrivance brought on by this infernal virus — but the suffering of the North Side or South Side afterward would be worth the thrill of the meeting itself.
The idea of a ‘‘Crosstown World Series’’ is no crazier than the likelihood nobody would be in the stands for the epic event were it to happen.
Sadly, ironically, what fan needs a subway running from 3600 North (Wrigley Field) to 3500 South (Guaranteed Rate Field) when nobody’s on board for the games?
But I digress. Plagues will do that to you.
Once you ponder the fact that this tiny baseball season is lurching around like a wounded rabbit, hopping all over the place with teams such as the Cardinals and Marlins sprouting COVID positives and games going down like bunnies caught in foot snares, you begin to realize that almost anything could happen.
A game could get called in mid-inning.
A player could infect the infield of an opposing team.
An umpire could bring the virus to the park from a restaurant meal the night before.
Some teams might play a fraction of the games other teams did.
Already there have been more than 20 postponements or changes in scheduling that have affected eight teams and made it obvious this 60-games-in-66-days experiment could blow apart at any moment.
In a sense, each team that has positive virus tests affects every other team, even the ones that don’t immediately have postponements, because a league is only a league when it is whole and complete. And the infected team wreaking havoc might have left a trail of infections in places where it recently played, and nobody knows yet.
Despite the chaos, the Cubs-Sox Series notion is not absurd because the Cubs have the best record in the National League and the Sox are second in their division behind the Twins and loaded with an offense that could overtake almost anything.
If teams don’t play complete schedules — which seems all but guaranteed — something like winning percentage might denote the champion. And maybe the Cubs and Sox might have the best percentages at that critical moment. Maybe there will be tripleheaders, five-inning games, who knows?
Major-league teams normally play 162-game seasons for a reason (other than for money): to let the best, most durable teams surpass the weaker ones. This season, even if played to completion, is about 37 percent of a real season, so get hot, and nobody will know you weren’t the greatest.
A lot of baseball writers are saying it’s time to dropkick the whole thing, fold the tents, call in the dogs, mark this contest COVID 1-MLB 0.
Commissioner Rob Manfred, a feisty sort, disagrees. He has basically told players and attendants to get their (bleep) together and act smart and quit testing positive. (I have to admit, I’ve seen a lot of taboo spitting going on. Tsk, tsk.)
But Manfred is adamant.
‘‘No reason to quit now,’’ he said.
Easy for a guy who doesn’t slide into second to say.
This season was going to start March 26. It started four months later. The Blue Jays were going to play at home in Toronto. They’re playing in a Class AAA stadium in Buffalo.
Stars such as Yoenis Cespedes and Lorenzo Cain have opted out of the season.
The last time baseball games were put on hold was after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
In a sense, this is a war, too, only against a foe nobody can see, hear or figure out where it’s lurking.
Yet baseball staggers on, just as it did during World War I and World War II.
Cubs vs. Sox?
Not that crazy.