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Home Run Derby 2010: 15 Ways That Would Make The Event More Interesting

Unless you’re keeping tabs on the 2010 NBA Free Agency, there’s no other sport in America going on in July besides baseball.

For many, summer is baseball season, and the Home Run Derby is one of it’s must-watched events.

The country loves the Home Run Derby the way it is, so why make it “better?”

Just for kicks.

Just to make it a little more fun and exciting to watch than it already is.

Just to add a little story here and there.

Just to spark a little imagination.

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Helpful Distractions at Wrigley Field after Cubs’ Terrible Loss To A’s

Right after the Wrigley Field Grounds Crew prepared the field after nearly a two-hour rain delay, the Chicago Cubs managed to mess up the field again.

The Cubs were sloppy from the get-go.

And as much as I love the Cubs dearly, I began thinking, ‘this is our hometown professional baseball team?’

The Cubs’ defense made themselves look anything but a major-league team Tuesday night against the Oakland A’s.

Derreck Lee–the least you’d expect to make any errors–committed two that night.

He summed the Cubs’ performance the best: “We played like a Single-A team.”

From the get-go, fans at Wrigley covered their eyes in embarrassment.

From Carlos Zambrano’s first inning bases-loaded jam, to a double-steal attempt turned rundown, back to Zambrano’s wild pitch that scored a run for the A’s, then to simple routine plays and throws turned errors (or close to errors), the Cubs had a little bit of everything.

It wasn’t a pretty sight at Wrigley.

I was at the game, but oddly I found fell upon a list of distractions at the ballpark that were more interesting than Cubs’ poor performance.

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Chicago Cubs Giving Up Air Space for Blackhawks Brings City Together

Pure acts of kindness in this world are hard to believe.

So was it just a friendly gesture by the Chicago Cubs when they agreed to give up their radio slot to air the Chicago Blackhawks’ finals?

The Chicago Tribune reported that the Cubs agreed to let WGN-AM 720 air all of the Hawks’ Stanley Cup finals series . That includes three of the series games that overlap with scheduled Cubs games.

Now, I can’t think of any nitty-gritty, hidden motive the Cubs would have for giving up their airtime. Or maybe I just can’t accept the fact that there is a heart deep inside the business of sports.

What a brilliant idea and display of sportsmanship by WGN-AM’s vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer, who pitched the idea to the Cubs of allowing the station to air the finals series.

But don’t be fooled yet. The Cubs agreement is not really that big of a sacrifice. Let’s analyze Langmyer’s possible real motive: ratings.

The Blackhawks are hot. The Cubs are not.

The Hawks are looking to end the NHL’s longest Stanley Cup title drought. The Cubs are riding a slow start at 22-25, sitting in third place in the National League Central division. They too know what it feels like to wait and wait. Cubs fans might even have to wait another year with how this season is going.

You can bet that Blackhawks fans (and hockey fans in general) from all over and beyond Chicago and throughout the nation will be watching the Hawks vs. Philadelphia Flyers finals. That means big ratings and big bucks for the radio station.

Money definitely does suck the heart out of sports. But overall, that agreement with the Cubs and WGN-AM exemplifies the greater purities of Chicago sports.

Even if Chicago has many different sports teams, Chicago itself is like one whole team. While it compiles many different sports teams, those teams act as one.

It makes me smile when one sports team supports another.

On May 25 for the Dodgers vs. Cubs game, Hawks Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Brian Campbell, and Adam Burish were sitting front row behind the Citibank advertisement at Wrigley Field. I was watching the next day’s ballgame against the Dodgers on TV, and the camera caught two other Hawks players at the game too, but I couldn’t tell who they were.

Right after the White Soxs won the 2005 World Series, then-Sox center-fielder Aaron Rowand was chatting it up with a couple of Chicago Bears players on the sidelines before one of the Bears games (then Rowand was traded the next day to the Philadelphia Phillies).

I doubt you’ll see a Cubs or Sox player supporting each others’ ballgames, but there’s always a warm fuzzy feeling when one town’s sports team supports another.

Forget the dirty business.

Chicago can thank Langmyer for expanding the Blackhawks’ audience base. Let Chicago celebrate what their hockey team has been fighting for. It’s been a long wait for Blackhawks fans. Cubs fans would want the same support too. Heck, the Cubs have had a longer wait in winning a title. The Cubs have been in the Hawks’ skates before, and now the Cubs can play big brother and help build up the hockey team, not knock its teeth out. 

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