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Good morning, frents!
Seems like a good day to hide behind a loved one or co-worker and whisper things like "ease his pain" or "go the distance" every 15 minutes.
Enjoy tonight's game.
Twins 1, Sox 0
Brewers 10, Cubs 0
Sox vs. Yankees (6:15, Fox)
Brewers at Cubs (1:20, Marquee)
All the farm's a stage
Can the Sox write their own happy ending?
Their homestretch attempt starts tonight in an Iowa cornfield. They couldn't have picked a more picturesque launching point. It's been two years since the Field of Dreams game was announced and it's been a long road to get here with one pandemic, two opponents and one postponement.
But despite all the pitfalls, the Sox have transformed themselves into a team worthy of the big stage and showcase.
Is that and being the team of Shoeless Joe Jackson enough to take top billing from the Yankees? Well, this is Joe Buck and Fox we're talking about. I don't think the movie or the fact Major League Baseball carved a baseball field out of a famous movie set will cede much ground, either.
Also, god forbid baseball upstage tonight's game by announcing a sequel with the Cubs — a possibility the Des Moines Register reported on Wednesday after David Ross almost spilled the beans.
It's still going to be a great night for the franchise and we know that's such a rarity that we need to savor it. When's the last time the Sox dominated headlines for such a good story? Mark Buehrle's perfect game in 2009? The history-making night in Houston four years earlier?
You don't need me to tell you that most of the last decade was a forgettable mess. If the Sox weren't finishing in the bottom of the half of the AL Central in obscurity, they were creating punchline-worthy storylines. The team's ace took shears to uniforms he didn't like just before game time. A veteran ended his career because the team was tired of his 14-year-old son acting like he was a full-fledged member of the squad.
Even this memorable year didn't get off to the best start with an unpopular managerial hiring quickly followed with news of his second drunk driving offense. If we know anything about a Jerry Reinsdorf-owned team, it's that they never make it easy.
This year's Sox have persevered through it all, though.
And they're deserving all of the accolades that Buck will throw their way.
GM Rick Hahn performed a controlled demolition and rebuild that has gone as well so far as Theo Epstein's did a few years earlier on the North Side. The poorly built teams of the prior era have been replaced by a young, exciting and personable core that should be a dream for MLB's marketing department.
Tonight's game at the Field of Dreams seems like it can be such a good launching point for what's next, too. The Sox are 67-48, near the top of the American League and have as good a claim on World Series dreams as anyone.
That's not to say that reality won't intrude on some of tonight's fantasy. The Sox are coming off two straight losses to a Minnesota team they'd previously owned. They're heading into a tough 14-game stretch against four contenders in the Yankees, A's, Rays and Blue Jays.
There's also the concerning news about Carlos Rodon. Just as the team thought it'd put its injury troubles behind it, this year's co-ace hits the 10-day IL with left arm soreness.
Rodon had been scheduled to start tonight's game, which would've been a great spot to showcase his remarkable redemption story. Lance Lynn will instead get the ball and if there's any Sox player who looks like he should be wearing a 1919 throwback uni while hurling fastballs, it's him.
So sit back, relax and enjoy strapping it down for this one, tonight. The next 2.5 months will be among the most anticipated in Sox history and they're going to go quick. There will be plenty of opportunities to doubt and worry and hopefully plenty of chances to exult and cheer.
But a game like tonight has literally never happened before and the Sox are the team atop the bill. Oh, they also get to face a lefthander.
So enjoy this moment in the spotlight while it's here. It may not ease the pain of the past 16 years, but it'll hopefully be a good start to getting there.
Tonight's matchup: Lynn (10-3, 2.04) vs. Andrew Heaney (7-8, 5.45)
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The Cubs will lose a lot of games between now and the first week of October. The only question is how many truly terrible defeats they'll post.
Wednesday's loss was one for the trash. The team's seventh straight defeat started with Jake Arrieta giving up seven runs and eight hits to the Brewers before his team even had a chance to bat.
It ended with Brewers starter Corbin Burnes striking out 15 batters over eight innings. Burnes struck out 10 consecutive Cubs at one point, tying a record held by Tom Seaver and Aaron Nola.
The early rash of whiffs gave us reason to wonder if Kerry Wood's 20K game at Wrigley would have company — or even be surpassed.
Thank goodness for small favors that it didn't happen, but Wednesday's game was as close to rock bottom as you can get The Cubs are 10-31 since their combined no-hitter in Los Angeles at the end of June.
Want one piece of good news? Outfielder prospect Alexander Canario, who came from the Giants in the Kris Bryant trade, homered in his fourth straight game for South Bend.
Next: Kyle Hendricks (13-4, 3.68) vs. Brandon Woodruff (7-6, 2.23)
"The Chicago Cubs, it's going to be good in 2022. I think the team's going to be not as bad as everyone thinks." — Cubs pitcher Rowan Wick
- Alyssa Barbieri gives us eight takeaways from the Bears' joint practice with the Dolphins on Wednesday. BearsWire
- Brad Biggs on when Justin Fields might be able to start. Tribune
- The great Tyler Kepner on the enduring power of Field of Dreams. NYT
- A 1971 Sports Illustrated cover story on the Esposito brothers. SI Vault
- Bridgeport's Antique Taco is offering a Field of Dreams-themed meal that's heavy on corn and comes in a pretty sweet lunchbox. (Want) MLB.com
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