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“This also was a reunion weekend of sorts with the city for other Yankees. Former Cubs such as the sainted Joe Girardi and the perpetually glum Larry Rothschild were feted by the media, and were joined by a passel of ex-White Sox players (Freddy Garcia, Nick Swisher, Andruw Jones, Boone Logan and Jeff Marquez) and Chicago's own Curtis Granderson, who stayed at the Trump Hotel with the team, rather than at his city pad. (Wouldn't you?) Other celebs included the rarely seen Ricketts sibling, Pete, who was on hand to see a bigger waste of family money than his ill-fated 2008 Senate campaign, the 2011 Cubs. Even the most bitter cranks admit the Yankees-Cubs series is a major event in baseball this season, an interleague matchup to actually savor, and more importantly, one for the Cubs to cash in on. The stadium was filled, 42,219 strong, thanks to a preponderance of visiting Yankees fans who bought up some of the 30,000-plus tickets available on the secondary market for this series. Yankees-Cubs at Wrigley Field on a sunny June afternoon; you couldn't mess this up if you tried. And the "getting healthy" Cubs not only won at the gate, but they look legitimately lukewarm as a team after a 3-1 win, which followed their taking three of four against Milwaukee. Lack of offense aside -- there were only three total extra-base hits -- it was an enjoyable game, especially for Cubs fans, somewhat of a rarity during a moribund start to the season. Context aside, if you woke up from your 2008 coma and walked into Wrigley, you'd think nothing had changed. But of course, a lot has changed, and it's tough to celebrate this win for anything more than a sliver in time. Unless, unless, the Cubs are gearing up for a major summer run. After the White Sox's surge last season, you know it's not impossible. "I'm sure a lot of us were disappointed with the way we've been playing," said Reed Johnson, who made a highlight-reel diving catch to start the ninth. "It's never too late to turn it around, and it's a good thing we're doing it here." The change in atmosphere was palpable thanks to the buzz the Yankees pack. "Today it felt like '07, '08, '09," catcher Koyie Hill said. "I think a lot of guys left over from those teams remember that, and we're anxious to get back to that on a consistent basis." One more win over the Yankees this weekend, and two of three against the White Sox next week, and this team officially has some momentum. Don't start printing those fourth-place T-shirts just yet, Pittsburgh.
I'm sure a lot of us were disappointed with the way we've been playing. It's never too late to turn it around, and it's a good thing we're doing it here.” -- Reed Johnson
|Doug Davis picked up the win and was aided by good defense.|