It’s time for an annual tradition: The Cubs-Sox Wagers! This is our fifth year doing it, which I believe has gone two for the White Sox, one for the Cubs, and one undecided (see below for reason).
So here’s the setup. To make the season a little more interesting, my friend Tim and I choose seven categories where we each pick the team or players from either the Cubs (Tim) or the Sox (Steve) for those categories. Whoever wins a majority of the categories wins. We do have a small prize but its more for the bragging rights.
Tim and I have had a discussion and here is a summary of what transpired.
Steve: Alright, let’s do the easy one first. Season Series with runs as the tie-breaker.
Tim: Yup just like always.
CATEGORY 1: HEAD TO HEAD GAMES (RUNS AS TIEBREAKER)
STEVE HAS: WHITE SOX
TIM HAS: CUBS
T: Home Runs. 2 Players.
S: This is a little bit of a tough one. I know I want Carlos Quentin, but the question is who I want going with him. I don’t trust Jermaine Dye even though he was pretty good last year. So it’s got to be Paulee or Thome.
T: Thome seems to be a solid pick despite his age, but you know he is slated for at least one DL trip. Once he has a back injury we all know that it never goes away.
S: Yeah, Just ask Mr. Joe Crede. But Thome is the DH, which I think helps his chances of avoiding injury. Plus Paulee’s thumb might give him trouble. Alright, I am going with Carlos and Thome.
T: I will choose Aramis Ramirez.
S: No surprise there.
T: The next one is kind of tough.
S: I was thinking you were going Soriano
T: Bradley has some power and Soriano’s a frontrunner.
S: Plus Bradley will have a little more protection then Soriano in the 1 hole.
T: D-Lee is out, and Soto won’t put up HR hitter numbers.
S: What, the 12 HRs he hit from June to the end of the year doesn’t impress you?
T: Not really, the 4 HR after the All-Star break is bad for a hitter like him. I am going to go with Soriano.
CATEGORY 2: MOST HOME RUNS BETWEEN 2 PLAYER
STEVE HAS: CARLOS QUENTIN & JIM THOME
TIM HAS: ARAMIS RAMIEREZ & ALFONSO SORIANO
S: Three Pitchers. Wins.
T: Yup sounds good.
S: Mine are easy. Danks, Floyd, and Buehrle.
T: No hesitations there.
S: Nope put it in the books.
T: I think I’m going to go with Zambrano, Dempster, and Lilly.
S: Worried about Harden’s health?
T: I can’t count on Harden even though he has ace stuff. Marshall is still a 5th starter. Lilly has been solid for the Cubs and pitches well in big games. He went 9-0 two season ago after a loss. He also won 17 last year.
CATEGORY 3: MOST WINS BETWEEN 3 PITCHERS
STEVE HAS: JOHN DANKS, GAVIN FLOYD AND MARK BUEHRLE
TIM HAS: CARLOS ZAMBRANO, RYAN DEMPSTER AND TED LILLY
S: Now that the staples are out of the way, what should the next ones be?
T: Saves, holds, errors, assists, steals: any of those tickle your fancy? (yes he actually said that)
S: Neither of us picked our 1B for home runs, so how about 1B triple crown stats?
T: I like that one.
S: Looking at this I would say Paulee has an advantage in home runs, but D. Lee has an advantage in Avg. So RBI’s will be key.
T: Yeah, done.
CATEGORY 4: 1B TRIPLE CROWN STATS (BEST 2 OF 3)
STEVE HAS: PAUL KONERKO
TIM HAS: DERREK LEE
T: That’s fine.
S: Gregg vs Jenks or something else?
T: Up to you.
S: I'll take it straight up, I’m not the team with the closer battle during spring training. Saying that, Jenks missed like 2-3 months last summer.
T: I think it will stay with Gregg, Lou likes to use Marmol in tight situations in the 7th and 8th.
S: Sounds good putting it in the books.
CATEGORY 5: SAVES (CHOOSE 1 PLAYER)
STEVE HAS: BOBBY JENKS
TIM HAS: KEVIN GREGG
S: I'd like a defensive one. How about Brian Anderson vs Fukudome putouts?
T: Fukudome won’t play everyday.
S: BA probably won’t either, so probably not a good one.
T: Yeah. Do they keep track of double plays turned?
S: I am sure they do, they keep track of everything. Would we know where to find it?
S: How about putouts by SS?
T: That’s Fine. The Riot vs Alexei.
CATEGORY 6: PUTOUTS BY SHORTSTOP
STEVE HAS: ALEXEI RAMIREZ
TIM HAS: RYAN THERIOT
S: How about we do manager suspensions and ejections?
T: Sounds good.
S: In the spirit of the category, whoever’s team’s manager has more suspension or ejections wins.
CATEGORY 7: TOTAL NUMBER OF EJECTIONS AND DAYS SUSPENDED FOR EACH TEAM’S MANAGER
STEVE HAS: OZZIE GUILLEN
TIM HAS: LOU PINELLA
Now, these bets are not finalized until the first pitch of opening day. So if anybody out there has a better idea for a category please leave a comment below. If it’s a good one, we are willing to call the audible to change or add one.
Also, if you don’t agree with any of our player choices for the categories, let’s hear about them.
So, I am sure you have been waiting through the entire article to hear why we were undecided in our Cubs-Sox bets.
Well, the first reason is because we forgot to write down our bets. We couldn’t remember who Tim selected last year in our category that was highest total of holds and saves for three bullpen pitchers. Depending on who he picked, he would have won or he would have lost.
Also, we had a minor controversy around Jim Thome’s home run against the Twins in the one game playoff for the division crown. MLB tracks the stat as part of the regular season, but Tim and I couldn’t agree upon if it should count for the bet. That home run would have pushed the category from a Tim win to a tie—that’s how close we were.