The Centennial

The baseball season rapidly approaches. Too rapidly, for me; I need a solid month to recover after the Super Bowl every year &#8212 longer, if the Bears made it to the playoffs. But with the Blackhawks and Bulls doing their level best to remain mediocre, the local media is all a-twitter about the upcoming season of America’s Pastime.

Pitchers and catchers reported for spring training yesterday, thus embarking on the 100th season since the Chicago Cubs last won the World Series. If right-hander Ryan Dempster is to be believed, this year we shall commemorate the centennial in style.

“I think we are going to win the World Series. I really do,” Dempster said. Bold words, considering Carlos Zambrano said pretty much the same thing at the beginning of last season, but it’s still just as adorable, don’t you think? At least Dempster, who plans to make the transition from closer to starter this season, didn’t prognosticate a Cy Young Award for himself, as Zambrano did a year ago. That would have been silly.

The White Sox had a fairly active off-season, picking up the likes of outfielder Nick Swisher, shortstop Orlando Cabrera, and outfielder Carlos Quentin. The team this year will look very different from the group that won the World Series in 2005, only to miss the playoffs the next two seasons. The team did manage to set a franchise record with 1,149 strikeouts last year. That’s something, right?

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