“My rackets are run on strictly American lines and they’re going to stay that way.“
— Al Capone (1899-1947)
Dear readers, whilst the baseball mavericks in New York, Boston and New York haggle and jockey for the mightiest and heftiest of major league players (the Sabathias, the Burnetts, the Mannys, the Teixeiras, the K-Rods, the Putzes, blah blah blah) both Chicago teams — the ugly step-sisters of large market franchises — have been busy making equally impressive moves that not only represent the unattested clout of the City of Big Shoulders but also prove that no matter how much money the Northeast Axis of Evil throws at free agents, Chicago still has that good ‘ole familiar, untouchable charm.
“You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.“
— Al Capone
Perhaps this was the motivation for Joey Gathright to become a Cub. Now that’s clout! When I first heard the news, I thought to myself: Wow, the Cubs really showed ’em who’s boss with that move. Take that Jake Peavy and Kevin Towers. Yeah, take that. The Cubs got Gathright. Whoowee, watch out world!
But the Chicago melee of off-season moves didn’t just stop there! No, the White Sox kept ’em comin’ with that miraculous acquisition of Wilson Betemit and mind-blowing one-year signing of DeWayne Wise!
And wait! There’s more…
New York, you think you had a crooked governor? Ha!
You hear that? He’s “dying” to talk to we citizens of Illinois. Dying! See, our seedy politicians don’t just quit when the heat starts coming down on them. No. They stick around, hire expensive, slick-talkin’ lawyers and go for winter jogs in Ravenswood! BOO-YEAH!
Of course, New York (and you too, Boston), it should be known that Chicago isn’t just a harbor for back-alley gangsters and pay-to-play nepotists; no, we also breed crooked wife-killin’ cops who not only get away with murder but crooked wife-killin’ cops who get away with murder TWICE! Then we celebrate when said crooked wife-killin’ cop gets engaged… again! Duh, my friends. Everyone knows that happiness comes in threes. The Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times are already preparing for the inevitable, mysterious disappearance of Drew Peterson’s latest (and perhaps craziest?) fiancé — what normal people call “murder” — but this is Chicago! We do things our way — the US American way!
“Now I know why tigers eat their young.”
— Al Capone
Me too, dear readers.
Look, it’s true. I love Chicago. I really do. It has character, it has heart, it has Oprah.
And yes, when it comes to dueling with the New Yorks (and subsequent Bostons) of the world, certainly, we have an inferiority complex bigger than Rush Limbaugh’s mouth at an all-you-can-eat Ponderosa buffet; but the fact remains:
Wilson Betemit will prove it in 2009.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.