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Jonathan Hood: Christopher Morel energizes the Cubs;  the White Sox will win their division “by leaving”


CHICAGO (CBS) – Despite a rocky season, the White Sox are only one game away from a wildcard spot in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the rebuilding Cubs are still showing glimmers of hope.

CBS 2’s Marshall Harris sat down with ESPN 1000’s Jonathan Hood to talk about both the White Sox and the Cubs – including which Cubs rookie has been the most impressive this season.

Without further suspense, this Cubs rookie is Christopher Morel.

“I’m going to lean on Morel because he’s a bundle of energy. It’s something the North Siders have needed for a long time,” Hood said. “You know, you remember when Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo and others were there – they were Energizer bunnies for the Cubs. I think Morel is along the same lines – and someone who needs to take care of this team of the Cubs.”

On the other side of town, the White Sox are coming off a 2-4 road trip, despite taking the series from the Tampa Bay Rays. Are the White Sox set in their ways at this point, or could there still be a surge to come?

To answer that question, Hood advised rewinding 39 years to a White Sox team that played in the old Comiskey Park and included Carlton Fisk, Harold Baines and LaMarr Hoyt – and as it happened, also had Tony La Russa as manager.

“The story – the story of the White Sox from 1983, when they were American League West Division champions. Do you realize they had the same win-loss record at that time in 1983 what they have right now? It’s just a lot of injuries and Tim Anderson out. You can take a look at a number of other players that have been in and out of the lineup,” Hood said. “I just think the Sox have to be healthy. Once the Sox are healthy, there’s no doubt in my mind that this team will win the division. It’s just a deal breaker right now. “It’s hard for me to determine what White Sox baseball is when they’re in and out of the lineup. So I really believe the White Sox will be able to win the division by leaving.”

So what about La Russa? Is he in the hot seat, and should he be? Hood said La Russa isn’t going anywhere unless he decides to.

“He should be in the hot seat, but as long as White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has a heartbeat, for sure, Tony La Russa will be in this job. In fact, when Tony is ready to walk away, it’s is when there will be a new manager in place for the White Sox. You must know the story of Tony La Russa and Jerry Reinsdorf. They have known each other for a long time. They have been friends since So it was clearly about the hiring from Jerry Reinsdorf – not from Rick Hahn, the general manager – that was what Jerry wanted,” Hood said. “So either the Sox are going to win the World Series with him or without him, but either way Tony is going to be in place. Tony is going to go before he lets go. That’s for sure.”

On Tuesday, the Sox will look for three straight wins as they host the Los Angeles Dodgers in town – while the Cubs take on the Baltimore Orioles as they begin a five-game road trip to Baltimore and then the Bronx.


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