In Chicago, the White Sox and Cubs both possess an ample war chest for the 2015 campaign season. However, to date, the two foes have built decidedly different units. The Cubs opted to use the draft to provide the backbone of their forces. The White Sox prefer to employ Cubans and other famed mercenaries.
Mercenaries are notoriously expensive and fickle. A company of mercenaries should be leveraged quickly, lest they switch allegiances at an inopportune time. The Sox are particularly eager to get the most out of Cuban defector Jose Abreu, presumably before he defects again. Another Cuban, Alexei Ramirez, has become a trusted regular with the White Sox, although his contract is due to expire after the 2015 campaign. We could see more so-called “free agents” hired by the Sox in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the draft is useful for generating a high quantity of personnel, but it takes a lot of time and resources to prepare them for action. The Cubs have done just that, quietly hiding in Wrigley Keep for years while developing their forces. Analysts believe the Cubbies are poised for a breakout, but they could delay their ambitions until 2016 depending on conditions.
The Cubs are not without their own mercenaries. Perhaps the most notable is famed field marshal Joe Maddon, who they wooed from Tampa Bay earlier this fall. It is the signing of Maddon and the perceived readiness of young berserkers like Javier Baez that has everybody watching Wrigleyland.
It is against this backdrop that we learn of Kenny Williams heroic sortie against the besieging Cubs. A contingent of Cubs performing small scale operations near La Castella della U.S. Cellularios were caught unaware by the sortie led by Williams, Abreu, and new acquisition Adam LaRoche* – known to Chicagoans as “The Heavy Horses.”
*LaRoche was brought in to replace former Heavy Horse Adam Dunn, who has retired from active duty.
The Cubs sustained four casualties in the skirmish – veterans Justin Ruggiano, Tsuyoshi Wada, and new hire Tommy La Stella. All three are expected to recover from their injuries, although they may start the season on the disable list. Tsuyoshi Shinjo was slain in the dust up.
The White Sox are expected to receive the allegiance of Jeff Samardzija as a result of the tactical victory. Samardzija, loaned to Oakland by the Cubs last season, has a bone to pick with his former owners. While technically still under the Athletics demesne, a swap is expected to materialize any moment now…