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The Crosstown Classic Crucible

Our correspondents answer the key questions. Participating: Ricky O'Donnell, of The White Sox Report; Marty Gangler, of The Cub Factor; Rick Kaempfer, The Cubs Answer Man; Eric Emery, of The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report; and Steve Rhodes, who was at this game. Let's take a look.

1. Predict the outcome.

O'DONNELL: Well, I have to say the Sox are going to take two of three right? Let's go with that.

GANGLER: Cubs win two of three and almost sweep. I would predict that against anyone coming in right now. They are hot as hell at home.

KAEMPFER: Cubs win two out of three at Wrigley, Sox win two out of three at the Cell. God will not make a choice here. He's proven it time and time again. The two teams are exactly tied.

EMERY: In 1988, the Crosstown Classic was an exhibition game. Therefore, I predict the Cubs will win one and Mike Ditka will win two, at a combined score of 242 to -5.

RHODES: More Sox fans than Cubs fans will end up in jail.

2. Most likely to get tossed: Lou or Ozzie. Explain.

O'DONNELL: Ozzie, for sure. I think he's less likely to explode in Wrigley, though. That may bring out some heavy racial slurs from the always classy bleacher residents.

GANGLER: Ozzie. He cares more about this series. Lou is getting the hammock ready for the summer.

KAEMPFER: If certain words are "guaranteed" to get you tossed, Ozzie will always be the favorite. He uses those words as nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in two different languages.

EMERY: Ozzie could run out of the dugout and get tossed three times before Lou makes it to the steps. Lou is simply too fat to get tossed. In fact, chances are better that the umpire will be tossed by Lou due to Lou's gravitational pull.

RHODES: Gangler. He cares more about the series than he will ever admit.

3. Explain why this series does/does not mean anything.

O'DONNELL: I suppose it doesn't really mean anything to the Cubs. The Sox have been struggling a tad lately and the Cubs are getting all the media attention. I think taking five of six from the Cubbies could fuel a big White Sox second half.

GANGLER: It means the same as any other three-game series against an opponent not in your division. Which is not too much. Tell the overzealous Sox/Cub fan to get fired up in October - well, provided the Sox get there.

KAEMPFER: It means much more to the Sox. Sox fans hate the Cubs more than they love the Sox.

EMERY: It serves as a built-in excuse for Cubs fans when the Cubs lose their division to the Cards by two games. We get to whine because the Cards get to play a Triple-A team for their interleague rivalry.

RHODES: It means more to the media than the players or fans because it gives them yet another diversion from actually reporting real news.

4. Predict the series MVP.

O'DONNELL: How about A.J.? Cubs fans love that guy.

GANGLER: I'm going with that beer vendor who comes down the aisle at the right time. But if they did have a Crosstown Classic MVP, they should have some sort of trophy, like the Silver Deep Dish Pizza.

KAEMPFER: I predict it will be a Hispanic player.

EMERY: Carlos Lee.

RHODES: The Sun-Times, for telling us whose fans are hotter.

5. Whose fans are hotter?

O'DONNELL: If only a major newspaper would ask such a question, we could finally have a definitive answer.

GANGLER: Cub fans. My wife is a Cub fan so, yeah, definitely Cub fans.

KAEMPFER: I know this is anecdotal, but I ran into Janine Turner at Wrigley once and Marge Schott at the Cell. I'd say that about sums it up.

EMERY: Your mom is hotter.

RHODES: Twins fans.

6. Odds of an All-Chicago World Series?

O'DONNELL: I really think it's going to happen. The Cubs are a pure juggernaut, and the AL lacks a dominant team.

GANGLER: 3 percent. I think there is a 3 percent chance of anything happening.

KAEMPFER: About the same as a Middle East peace accord brokered by George W. Bush.

EMERY: 100 percent. It is destiny. However, the night the Cubs clinch the NLCS, the collective weight of Cub fans will crush the Red Line, forcing the World Series to be played in Milwaukee.

RHODES: You people never learn.


Send us your answers! Please include a real name; it's way funner that way.


1. From our very own Jim Coffman, of SportsMonday fame:

1. Cubs sweep all six. This is the year, baby! They're gonna do it! They're gonna win 100 games, take the top seed into the playoffs and then get beat in a fluky series by the 85-win NL West champion . . . somebodies. Somebody's got to win 85 out there, don't they?

2. A scrumptious (did I use this word in Sports Monday this week? oh well) Caesar Salad at one of the many delightful eateries just a hop, skip and a jump away from Wrigley.

3. It means I smell the meat a-cookin', and I'm about to eat.

4. Micah Hoffpower (when you spell it this way, you can pronounce it without spraining your tongue).

5. At the Cell, of course. Many more seats located in direct sunight.

6. 38-1, i.e., exactly the same as Da'Tara's in the Belmont.

2. From Dave Willems:

1. The Cubs will prevail in all six games and the city's sports sections will have each of the Cubs victories as front page news. The Sox won't be mentioned until page 3.

2. Ozzie. The umpires can't understand a word he says so they assume he's bad-mouthing their mothers and swearing at them.

3. To both team's fans, it means the same thing as if the Bears lost to the Packers. To the players, it's a paycheck.

4. Kerry Wood. He will save all six games while hitting 15 Sox batters in the process.

5. I've been to a Cubs game where the bleacher section was flashed by a hot blonde . . . Wrigley Field wins hands down.

6. 0%. Bartman will sneak into the bleachers for the 7th and deciding game in the NLCS, and after the D-Backs hit a home run in the first inning, he'll throw the ball back onto the field and hit Soriano, Theriot, Ramirez and then Lou in the head, rendering all four of them comatose for days. Cubs lose the game 8-7 when Felix Pie pays tribute to the fallen Soriano by jumping to catch a routine fly ball for the final out . . . and dropping it . . . allowing the bases to clear. Ron Santo then self-combusts and Wrigley Field burns to the ground.

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