In recent weeks, the decades-long cold war between batters and pitchers—a tenuous diplomatic ceasefire tested off and on over the years—has bloomed into a full-fledged firestorm. Walker Buehler is shouting at fools to "sit the f—k down" after strikeouts, Max Muncy is telling MadBum to put on his water wings, and, on Wednesday night, the Cubs' Wilson Contreras launched a contraband ICBM (Inter-Chicago Ballistic Missile), throwing up the horns to the White Sox dugout after smacking his second homer in three innings (the first of which, we should probably mention, was a grand slam).
The armistice is well and truly over, America. Seek shelter wherever you can.
Despite being a veritable declaration of war, Chicago baseball, quite frankly, could use exactly that. Like Yankees-Mets, Chicago's interleague rivalry has long been overshadowed by its divisional brethren (Yanks-Sox, Cubs-Cards), but perhaps Contreras' complete and total annihilation of Lucas Giolito—and the White Sox organization as a whole—is just the spark this crosstown series needs. There's virtually no scenario in this, the twilight of baseball's beanball era, that Contreras doesn't get plunked for Ronnie James Dio-ing all over the White Sox, and when he does the benches will clear, and suddenly three years of super-unleaded angst will be bottled the span of a single night. It's a win-win for everyone, and lord knows the White Sox could use a few of those.
The baseball purists, however, are going to shout this down from atop their bow-legged high horses, teetering soap boxes, and crumbling ivory towers. This is behavior for rock n' roll concerts (as they probably call it) not baseball, they will bellow with every ounce of misplaced sanctimony left on earth. But what they don't realize is that if you want peace, you must first prepare for war.