Friday, August 24, 2012

Kane is able as Cubs' potential affiliate

Posted By on 08.24.12 at 02:35 PM

Josh Beckett: once seen in Kane County.
Word comes from our colleagues downstairs at the Sun-Times that the Cubs might be willing to trade their Class A minor-league affiliate in Peoria for digs closer to home in Kane County.

True, as sports columnist Rick Telander points out, there are arguments to be made not to move. The Cubs would surrender a key downstate battleground to the Saint Louis Cardinals. And, while championing Peoria as a nice place to visit, he doesn't even mention the Hofbrau Restaurant or Davis Bros. Pizza.

Even so, this decision is really a no-brainer. If the Cubs can move their Class A Midwest League affiliate closer to home in Kane County, they should.

Forget downstate. Chicago-area fans would get the chance to bond right away with future prospects—which after all is what the Theo Epstein regime is all about these days.

Not only did I see future stars Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez in Kane County when they were farmhands for the Florida (now Miami) Marlins, I also made the trip to see Corey Patterson there.

I turned out to be a little bit wrong about how much of the future he'd prove to be.

Still, Cubs prospects playing in Chicago's suburban backyard in Geneva at Elfstrom Stadium would be a joy. It bolsters the team's fan base here and now, not downstate.

I still think it was a mistake for the White Sox to surrender the South Bend Silver Hawks, given their natural affinity to South Bend, Indiana, with all the Notre Dame fans they share. I saw Scott Radinsky there, for what remains a fondly remembered 1989 Reader cover piece I did with Neil Tesser.

So make the move, Cubs. And if the Sox can ever get back into South Bend, they should.

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