Fields of dream: Cubs-White Sox World Series isn’t as far-fetched as in recent years
A 2021 Fall Classic held at Wrigley and Guaranteed Rate would be amazing.
Stop me if you’ve heard this fantasy before, but . . .
White Sox vs. Cubs in the World Series.
I’ve lived my whole life — as have you — dreaming of such a thing.
The last time it happened was in 1906. You weren’t alive, and neither was even a wizened old sports scribe like, say, Rick Morrissey.
But 115 years later? We’re all here, salivating.
And it could happen. OK, maybe it’s like imagining Jeff Bezos paying more than 1% in taxes on his billions, but it’s possible.
Consider both of Chicago’s teams were in first place (Sox) or tied for first (Cubs) in their respective divisions going into Monday. And the logical progression of such success is winning the playoffs and moving on to the 2021 World Series.
Call it wrong even to fantasize about such a thing. Call me light-headed, spring crazy.
But would you have canceled the ludicrous thoughts of Johannes Gutenberg, Charles Darwin, the Wright brothers?
I think not.
Back in 1906, the Sox — a k a the ‘‘Hitless Wonders’’ — beat the heavily favored Cubs in six games. The crafty, anemic Pale Hose batted only .198. But the mighty Cubs (winners of 116 regular-season games) hit only .196.
I’m not sure how the celebration went on the South Side after that, or the despair on the North Side, but the city is still standing.
Think of a crosstown matchup happening again. Think of unicorns and cotton candy and puffy clouds with cherubs lounging. Dream the impossible dream.
After all, much is already ludicrous about both Chicago teams and their winning.
The Sox built a young, strong squad, true, but they lost star outfielders Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert to injuries early on.
Since then, right-hander Michael Kopech and second baseman Nick Madrigal also have gone out with injuries.
Yet the Sox rage on unimpeded. Replacements have picked up where the stars left off, and the Sox had a 41-24 record, better than any team in the rival National League.
Oh, and there’s Sox manager Tony La Russa, a fellow the critics might as well call the Sleepy Joe Biden of the American League. From all the nasty noise out there, you’d think La Russa, 76, were Methuselah with a Model T Ford parked in his space.
Maybe the hair dye he chose isn’t the greatest, but La Russa once led his old Athletics and Cardinals teams to a lot of postseason success, and the game hasn’t changed so much that he can’t lead the young Sox to the promised land.
Yes, the guy will turn 77 during this year’s World Series, but, remember, according to the Bible, Methuselah stayed sharp and lived to 969. Seventy-seven, I’m thinking, is the new 800.
The Cubs, on the other hand, were shocked to see their allegedly fading team doing so well. In a dogfight with the Brewers for the NL Central lead, the Cubs now have to wonder how far they can go.
Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javy Baez, Willson Contreras and Kyle Hendricks are performing as well as ever. Closer Craig Kimbrel is back to being the door-slammer he was with the Braves, Padres and Red Sox.
Team president Jed Hoyer actually has to marvel at this magical team and soon make the decision to buy or sell talent. Fans obviously want him to buy, to go all in. Such are fans.
They also can dream of a showdown with the Sox. And they should.
A little more magic? Take the ridiculous and heroic efforts — no matter how brief — of the previously unknown Yermin Mercedes and Patrick Wisdom. Both are fill-ins getting close to 30, and both hit the tar out of the ball.
Mercedes is the 28-year-old rookie who got eight hits in his first eight at-bats to start the season. And Wisdom, 29, is the wise old man (78 at-bats before joining the Cubs) who hit eight homers in his first 10 starts.
That’s the kind of rare, nutty stuff you don’t want to waste, that you want to ride to the prize.
Imagine Chicago in the midst of an internecine baseball war. Well, not a war. A friendly — if intense — ‘‘Red Line Royale,’’ from Wrigley Field to Guaranteed Rate Field, Addison Street to 35th Street.
Wouldn’t we love that?
Didn’t your mother tell you to dream big?
I know she did.