These are lean times for baseball in Chicago. Sure, there are people who think the Cubs are in it still…clinging to the moronic idea that this team can be the Cardinals of last season and win the World Series if the manage to fight off the awful Brewers and win the worst division in the history of professional sports.
Those people are morons. The Cubs are done. They have been for a long time.
Luckily, for Sox fans, they do not have to experiences the gut-wrenching horror that is a meaningless playoff “run.” Their team ran the white flag up the flag pole about 3 or 4 months ago and the fans don’t have to make any emotional investment as October draws near only to have their hearts stomped upon by a real team from a real division.
Also luckily for Sox fans, they got to see a Mark Buehrle no hitter early in the season. US Cellular Field was the setting for another baseball milestone tonight, as it hosted the dramatic 500th home run of one of baseball’s good guys, Jim Thome.
Thome has an undisputed reputation of being a big, cuddly, philanthropic teddy bear who respects everyone and who everyone respects. His 500th home run tonight came off Dustin Moseley – the latest hurler to go down in history as the answer to a home run trivia question – in the bottom of the 9th inning and sealed a victory for the floundering White Sox who were down by six runs at one point in the game. It also so happened to be Jim Thome bobblehead night at the stadium, and all of the fans in attendance were given a commemorative plaque afterwards featuring a picture of Thome and a quote thanking all the fans for their support and for helping him celebrate his special moment. Also in attendance to help him celebrate was his family, including his Dad who was very proud and emotional after the game. He was very happy that it happened in front of his hometown fans here in Chicago. The Anaheim Angels lined the top of their dugout to show their appreciation and respect for the slugger.
500 has long been the home run watermark that earned a player enshrinement into the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. Thome did not need number 500 to enter the hall of fame in my book, but in a sport that is so statistic and numbers obsessed, it is always nice when a good guy from a team in my town can enter one of the more exclusive clubs in professional sports.