The Cubs and White Sox announced today they are cancelling all games against other teams in the second half of the season. For the entire stretch following the All-Star break until October, the Chicago teams will play only each other in what is being called the “Crosstown Marathon.”
The Cubs and Sox will alternate three-game “homestands,” with one day off for every 9 games played. Team owners Tom Ricketts and Jerry Reinsdorf held a rare joint press conference to announce the deal at the symbolic corner of Madison and State Streets, Chicago’s north-south divide.
“It became apparent to us this month that neither of our teams has a snowball’s chance in hell of making the playoffs. Sure, the Sox are only four back, but they’ll screw it up eventually,” Reinsdorf said. “These ‘crosstown’ games fill the stands and distract the fans, and in the end, we are only here to entertain.”
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts echoed Reinsdorf’s sentiments.
“What’s the point of having the rest of the league waste time and money and add to the decay of the ozone layer with charter flights?” asked Ricketts. “We all know how those games are going to end. Let’s cut to the chase and save everyone the hassle.”
This historic deal was met initially with resistance from MLB’s 28 other teams, eager to preserve a cheap opportunity to pad their win columns with visits to Chicago. But in the end, Commissioner Bud Selig brokered an arrangement whereby every team will earn 1/2 game in the standings for each forfeited game against a Chicago team.
“It’s a win-win,” said Ricketts. “The 28 real teams in the league–well, 27 not counting Houston–get to play for the ring, and I get StubHub off my freakin’ back.”
“Yeah,” added Reinsdorf. “It’s all about the bragging rights, and paying down those damn contracts Kenny gave to Dunn and Rios. Play ball!”
By Cary Nathenson