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As for Chicago, here are the baseball headlines in today's Sun-Times: "Theo, Sori discuss options"; "Gregg another Cub who's likely to go"; "Sox can't wait to showcase reliever Crain".
In other words, the Cubs and Sox are very much in the race—to trade their players. It's the most thrilling week in baseball here this season, because the trade deadline is only seven days away.
"Sori" is Cubs' outfielder Alfonso Soriano, not a misspelled apology from our baseball teams to the fans.
Soriano told a reporter yesterday: "They always make the playoffs, no matter what team they have, no matter what pitching they got. They find a way. It’s one of the best organizations in baseball.”
He didn't mean his present team, but his past and quite possibly future club, the Yankees. The 37-year-old would like to play postseason ball again before he retires, so you can understand why he wouldn't mind a trade. The Yanks and Cubs are in fourth place in their respective divisions, but the Yanks are seven games out, the Cubs 16-1/2. The Yankees are desperate for a capable right-handed hitter, what with Derek Jeter on the disabled list with a strained quad, and Alex Rodriguez probably out for the year, and maybe for good. The Yanks got A-Rod from the Texas Rangers in 2004 for a player to be named later plus a 28-year-old outfielder—Soriano.
The White Sox keep hoping that Alex Rios, Jake Peavy, and, as soon as he's activated, Jesse Crain impress the scouts behind the plate.
On the field, even the Cubs and Sox managers are having trouble watching their clubs for nine innings. Robin Ventura was ejected in the first inning last night for arguing a call in his team's 6-2 loss to the Tigers on the south side. In Arizona, Dale Sveum made it to the third inning before he was tossed in his club's 10-4 loss to the Diamondbacks.
At least a youngster has been offering Cubs fans an illusion of hope. Outfielder Junior Lake, who's 23, went four for five Monday night, with his first career homer, and last night he was three for five with another homer. He was called up five days ago, and already has 12 hits. He's got a pretty cool name, too, but so did Tyler Flowers.
Meantime, the Sox continue working on such fundamentals as dropping and kicking the ball. They had three errors against the Tigers Monday, then improved on that yesterday with four. In the sixth inning last night, 22-year-old Hernan Perez, a Tiger up from the minors to fill in, shot one to left-center. Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo was able to cut it off, though he may as well have let it roll to the wall. Perez was near second when Viciedo began bobbling the ball and crossing home by the time he finished.
"They're trying to make a play and it just falls out of their glove or something," Sox starter Hector Santiago said sympathetically after the game.