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Remember when the BP Crosstown Cup was merely a transparent cash grab, and not a reminder of a horrific, unprecedented environmental distaster?
Those were the days.
Alas, the partnership between the White Sox, Cubs and BP has blown up in their faces beyond anybody’s worst nightmare, and the only resort is for all sides to grudgingly see it through until all contractual obligations are met.
The company is still sponsoring the series, but “we’ve scaled back efforts a little bit” as a result of events in the Gulf, said Kevin Saghy, a Cubs spokesman. He said BP has already started some in-store promotions for the Cup, but has cut back on other planned events, as well as media buys and media outreach. The teams are also considering a more sober presentation of the trophy, Saghy said.
The Cubs are “loyal to their business partners,” he added. “We are standing by (BP) as they go through this tough time.” […] “We’re going to go through tough seasons and BP is going to stick behind us,” (Brooks) Boyer said. He added: “We are going to be loyal to our partner and execute everything we promised them before the accident.”
There are some ways to truly and fittingly commemorate this marriage made in hell.
*You know how they dye the Chicago River green for St. Patrick’s Day? Well, on the morning of the first game, why not send boats out to cover the water with a generous layer of crude?
Hey, it might get rid of the Asian carp and improve Bubbly Creek’s ecosystem. It’s a win-win!
*Jake Peavy can meet with the Chicago media, reiterate his desire to be traded despite his horrible performance because, “I’d like my life back.”
*The ceremonial first pitcher can throw a hardened hermit crab.
*Randy Williams and Bobby Howry are no longer called “mop-up men,” but “containment caps.”
*The winning team avoids getting the trophy.
The White Sox will be without the services of Omar Vizquel, who is heading home to Venezuela to attend to a family matter.
Oddly enough, this does hurt the Sox. Vizquel’s been playing some good ball lately, hitting .321/.394/.500 in June, including his first homer of the season on Thursday.
More importantly, it’s a pretty noticeable difference defensively. It’s weird seeing a chopper hit to the left side without a third baseman backing up. For a 43 year old, he’s a modern marvel.
Whenever the regime change happens, there’s one particular aspect of White Sox culture that I hope doesn’t survive the transition. From a Joe Cowley story on Gordon Beckham’s future:
The biggest problem Guillen is having with Beckham is his amount of strikeouts.
The emphasis on reducing strikeouts shows up in the numbers, as the White Sox are the best team in the American League at putting the play, and by a large margin. In particular, Mark Kotsay has been impressive with more walks (17) than strikeouts (12) so far.
And a fat lot of good that’s done everybody.
Treating strikeouts as the worst kind of out is what led to Kotsay instead of somebody like Jim Thome. It also dragged Tyler Flowers down into the worst month of his professional career. And now Beckham’s being targeted for a problem he’s never had. Great.
There’s no doubt that strikeouts can signify huge issues, as was the case with Josh Fields and fastballs down the middle. But when it’s a byproduct of patient hitters taking healthy cuts, making a concerted effort to cut them down is solving a problem that doesn’t exist, and creating a new one in the process.