O'Donnell: Sox-Cubs finale in Texas would be 'Snubway Series'
PRESUMPTIVENESS IN 2020 would simply seem to be part of The Expanding American Charade.
But, with both the White Sox and Cubs knockin' on heaven's door, thoughts of an all-Chicago World Series in Arlington, Texas, are about as magical as yet another update on the state of the budding romance between Katie Holmes and Emilio Vitolo Jr.
In other words, it wouldn't be a "Subway Series."
It would be a "Snubway Series."
And the center snubbed would clearly be the much trod-upon fans of Chicago baseball.
A remote World Series appearance deep in the heart of Texas by either team would be hollow victory enough.
But to deny a battered city the chance to host a once-in-a-century diamond extravaganza would appear to be craftwork that only a Lindsey Graham type or Dr. Evil himself could concoct.
So, let's speculate:
Imagine a tasked conference call involving Jerry Reinsdorf, Tom Ricketts, Dick Durbin, Tammy Duckworth, J.B. Pritzker and Lori Lightfoot.
Maybe not a sextet you'd want to have on ice in the Stanley Cup Finals, but one deeply versed in both plotting big things and influencing high corridors of power.
Their charge: Convince commissioner Rob Manfred and all other MLB owners that a 2020 World Series involving teams that have home ballparks within 50 miles of each other should be played in those home ballparks.
Players get to sleep in their own beds. Cardboard cutouts wouldn't have to be shipped to the DFW metroplex. A timid autumn in COVID-19 Chicago gets four to seven windows of uber-energized respite.
Think Joe Buck and Fox Sports could care less?
As for Manfred and Co., what's another ad-libbed asterisk when you've already generated enough to sparkle up every kindergarten wall in the land?
Anthony Rizzo and Yu Darvish would undoubtedly concur.
Jose Abreu would probably say, "If it can't be Havana or Cienfuegos, why not Chicago?"
So a Cubs-Sox World Series in Chicago -- what a novel idea.
And please, commissioner, no chicken-fried "Snubway Series."
WITH THE KNOWLEDGEABLE Tom McCauley resigned and departed, a profoundly diminished Illinois Racing Board awarded Arlington Park 68 dates to race next year.
Churchill Downs Inc. boss "Bunker Bill" Carstanjen had already made it clear the track will operate in 2021 if CDI "elects to do so."
CDI will continue to signal every "intention" of electing to do so for the time being for three primary reasons:
• Dick Duchossois will celebrate his 99th birthday Oct. 7 and hopefully will be positioned to participate in the presentation of the Million trophy next August;
• The corporation has seen its chances of landing the Waukegan casino license increase with the downfall of scandal-laced former state Sen. Terry Link; and,
• Carstanjen and crew are not yet prepared to announce the sale of Arlington and their possible future involvement in live horse racing in Illinois.
So, once again, the precision driven at CDI will do what they want when they want.
What a surprise.
STREET-BEATIN': Sharply intriguing number with the Bears holding at minus-5½ over the visiting Giants Sunday (CBS, noon). New York ran oddball three tight end sets vs. Pittsburgh Monday night that helped bottle up Saquon Barkley; if Khalil Mack and the defense de-ice for 60 minutes and the offense doesn't implode, it should be nothing but Bear shakalaka. ...
With Ian Eagle and Charles Davis on the call, the Bears-NYG will play to a surprising 45 percent of the Fisheye's nation. That makes it the No. 1 game of CBS's early bank, to be followed by the varsity Chiefs-Chargers (Jim Nantz and Tony Romo, 3:25 p.m.) ...
Fabulous observation by Troy Aikman during the NFL Network's presentation of Cleveland over Joe Burrow and the cashing Bengals Thursday night. Aikman noted that Otto Graham should be in any conversation about the greatest QB of all time. (Ten seasons, 10 championship games and Graham's mother was Tim Weigel's first piano teacher up in North suburban Gages Lake.) ...
Switching levers, impossible not to lob a bob on Jamal Murray and the Nuggets at 5-1 to upset the Lakers in the WC Finals (Game 2, Sunday, TNT, 6:30 p.m.). That's an organic overlay of 400 percent; Denver may be the most artistically fluid NBA ensemble since Bill Walton choreographed some unknowns like Bob Gross and Dave Twardzik to a Portland title back in 1977. ...
Lord Stanley probably never envisioned an all American Confederacy battle for his Cup, but that's what's happening with Dallas-Tampa Bay (-180). (G2, Monday, NBCSN, 7 p.m.). "South" in Canada normally ends with Joel Quenneville's old Windsor Spitfires ...
Veteran college basketball referee George Demos had a front-row seat when that private airplane made an emergency landing near the corner of Quentin and Colfax in Palatine. (Demos was prominent on the also-eligible list for "The Last Dance"; Jerry Krause frequently used him to officiate intense backstage Bulls scrimmages in Deerfield.) ...
And the great Taylor Bell -- expressing abject disgust at knock-kneed Big Ten leadership -- deadpanned, "Why don't they just move the conference headquarters to Ohio State?"
• Jim O'Donnell's Sports & Media column appears Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.