A sentimental type can imagine a world in which first baseman Anthony Rizzo, left fielder Kyle Schwarber and ace starting pitcher Yu Darvish all are still teammates on the North Side.
Of Chicago, in case that wasn’t clear.
It’s more of a stretch to try to imagine Dusty Baker as their manager, but the ol’ Dusteroo spent a stint of his own with the Cubs, as any fan should remember.
Anyway, they’re all off to greener pastures now — and all still alive in the 2022 quest for the World Series championship. In this week’s “Polling Place,” your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter, we asked which ex-Cub you’d be happiest to see win the title.
“I hope Dusty never wins a World Series,” @cubsaccount commented.
“It’s Yu Darvish for me,” @SamNeher24 wrote.
We also asked voters for their Big Ten West title pick, with Illinois and Purdue currently tied for the division lead at 3-1. Finally, we asked about Lonzo Ball’s and Zach LaVine’s troublesome left knees. On to the polls:
Poll No. 1: Which ex-Cub would you be happiest to see win the World Series?
Upshot: Darvish? Nice. He deserves a better Fall Classic memory than his disastrous outing for the Dodgers in Game 7 in 2017. We’ll be honest: We were thinking Schwarber would be the top vote-getter, but what the heck do we know? And Rizzo, well, people love to root against the Yankees, so he probably shouldn’t take this too personally.
Poll No. 2: Which team will win the Big Ten West (current conference records in parentheses)?
Upshot: Some home cooking here, right? It’s understandable, though, because the Illini have been nothing less than spectacular on defense, very solid on offense and utterly convincing in lopsided wins as underdogs against Wisconsin and Minnesota. Good team. Maybe a very good team. But also a second-place team if Purdue wins Saturday at Wisconsin while the Illini have a bye.
Poll No. 3: Which Bulls guard’s left knee concerns you more?
Upshot: “This is the most Bulls poll in the world,” @freshhegemony commented, and, man, do we ever know what he means. Ball will be out for quite some time. LaVine’s knee limitations remain to be better understood. Wouldn’t it be such a joy to be able to see what this Bulls roster is truly capable of at full strength? Alas, maybe we never will.