Cubs and the Interleagues: the Gimmick Is Working

The Cubs just beat the White Sox. It wasn’t the most exciting athletic event of my lifetime. It won’t give me sufficient ammunition to make my White Sox fan friends cry in their Monster energy drinks. I was nervous at exactly zero points during the game.

But the game was entertaining.

Okay, so I had to break out the meaningless one-sentence paragraph just to manufacture a sense of drama, but this is the boring hand the Cubs have dealt us this year. Still, these interleague games are fun to watch. I find myself actually wanting to sit down and watch the game. For me, the gimmick is working.

Even without the sideshow factor, this game was enjoyable. It had Starlin Castro hitting his 2nd of 25 homers. It had Carlos Pena being good at baseball again (hard to believe he’s got 12 home runs now). It featured Carlos Marmol scaring the crap out of Carlos Zambrano again. (These multiple-Carlos games aren’t nearly as comfortable as they used to be.) And let’s not forget Ozzie Guillen getting ejected for arguing that a ball may have been foul (still haven’t seen a conclusive replay, and it looked fair to me . . . who cares). It was entertaining on its own.

The gimmick itself, though, makes me more interested. I still watch Cubs games even though I never post here. I’m not even sure this will make it on the Internets or if I’m just dreaming that I’m making a contribution. But I got crap going on, and the Cubs haven’t been a reason for me to drop everything or carve out time in my somewhat nonboring schedule. But for the Yankees? Yeah, I’m making the time to see those games. I’m excited to see them play the Royals. And even the White Sox are making me interested in games again. Because this year? Interest is no guarantee.

So give me the Yankees. Give me the Royals. Give me Ozzie Guillen’s crazy mask-kicking exits. Put it all in a big dopey Crosstown Cup, and I’ll be happy to watch that metaphor go nowhere. My point is, the Cubs aren’t easy on the eyes. They’re a bad baseball team. I’m happy to see games against AL teams to create even the flimsiest illusion that it’s October and these games mean everything.

Actually, when the gimmick is over and the only drama we have left is how large the double-digit NL Central deficit will grow, the illusion of significance will be gone. In a way, these games do mean everything. Even if in another way, a more realistic and accurate one, they’re completely meaningless, I’ll continue to cling to my contrivances just for kicks.