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Good morning, Chicago!
The Cubs and White Sox return to our lives on Thursday — and not a moment too soon.
That actually sounds kind of strange because they’ve been “back” since mid-February, but it’s been kind of a quiet spring for both of our baseball teams. There wasn’t much news coming out of Arizona the past few weeks — probably a good thing since that means no big injuries or arrests out in the desert.
Meanwhile, most of the recent headlines have gone to the Bears’ offseason, a mercurial Bulls team on an upswing and the rebuilding Blackhawks saying goodbye to franchise legend Patrick Kane.
But baseball will regain its rightful spot in this town later this week when the Cubs host the Brewers at Wrigley on Thursday afternoon.
The White Sox will then play Jose Abreu and the Astros in Houston for a nationally-televised nightcap.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited.
How will both teams do in 2023? Well, you’d be hard-pressed to find a national voice expecting big things from either club this year. Scan any prediction you can find and you’re not going to find an abundance of Cubs and Sox logos.
I’m hopeful, though, that one or both teams can pull off a surprise this season.
That all of the Cubs’ offseason moves will add up to something greater than their Baseball-Reference stat pages and Baseball Prospectus projections.
That the underachieving members of the 2022 White Sox squad will regain their footing and health to seek vengeance in 2023.
It may happen or it may not. But the great thing about baseball’s Opening Day is that you’re allowed to think about any possibility for the season ahead.
And let’s be honest: Chicago sports can use a positive surprise or two.
Why can’t it come from the Sox or Cubs?
Join CHGO and Goose Island on Opening Day!
Both parties are free with RSVP and will include …
⚾️ Live shows from each location!
⚾️ CHGO merch giveaways!
⚾️ Drink and food specials!
⚾️ Hang out with other CHGO Diehards!
Can’t wait to see you there!
The week ahead
• The Bulls are going out like a lion in March. Sunday’s resilient win over the Lakers clinched the first winning month of the season (they’re 9-4) and was the team’s seventh victory in the last nine games. Keep playing like this and we might get an entertaining playoff game or two come April. Bulls get the Clippers tonight in Los Angeles before returning home on Wednesday for a rematch against the Lakers.
• The Blackhawks have conveniently lost five straight, but still trail San Jose and Columbus by a point in the race for the worst record in the NHL. You can watch the tank continue at the UC this week as Dallas (Tuesday), St. Louis (Thursday) and New Jersey (Saturday) all come calling. One thing to actually look forward to? The CHGO Blackhawks crew will have a trio of top prospects on Wednesday’s show.
• You can pull off a Chicago soccer doubleheader on Saturday if you’re so inclined and have the transportation. The Red Stars are holding their home opener on Saturday at 1 after losing a heartbreaker in San Diego on Saturday night. The Fire then host DC United at Soldier Field at 7:30 after getting their first win of the season in Miami on Saturday.
• Nothing big on the Bears schedule this week, but the NFL owners are meeting in Phoenix. Perhaps the biggest rule change they’re considering? Allowing roughing-the-passer penalties to be reviewable. 31 days until the draft, by the way.
Trip of a Lifetime
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