In Cincinnati, the Reds are on a hot streak, winning their last ten games and overtaking the Brewers, who are 4-6 in their last ten games. The Pirates have gone from first to fourth place in the division after losing ten in a row and 13 of their last 15.
Also moving up in the NL Central are the Chicago Cubs, who have won three in a row and are 8-2 in their last ten games. Their archrivals, the Saint Louis Cardinals, visit London Stadium for two games this weekend.
But when Monday arrives in Chicago, when the weekend’s box scores are pored over, when the runs, hits, errors, and wild pitches are discussed and argued about, there will be another, much bleaker set of statistics also discussed: the number of people shot and killed over the weekend. Based on recent history, we can safely predict that between 40 and 50 people will be shot in the Windy City between Friday and Sunday and that between 5 and 10 of them will die.
It’s sad to say, but these numbers have come to be discussed as casually as baseball scores, so routine is the mayhem that grips Chicago, especially in the summer months. Faced with this grim tide of blood in the streets, Chicago’s new mayor, Brandon Johnson, attributes it to “disinvestment” and a lack of jobs. “We have already identified 2,500 additional positions that we can hire young people for,” Johnson said at a press conference on Tuesday. “And there are businesses that are stepping up,” he continued, “to make sure that they’re doubling the amount of young people that they’re hiring.”
Which prompts some questions for the mayor. The invaluable website CWB Chicago recently reported on an attempted carjacking that occurred early Monday morning in the city’s Bucktown neighborhood. In the video included at the linked story, we see two men exit a white car (which itself is believed to have been stolen) and approach the 52-year-old male victim, who is on the sidewalk next to his parked car.
The victim appears to offer little if any resistance, yet one or the other of the suspects (perhaps both) shoots him in the back. The suspects then flee in the car they arrived in, leaving the victim bleeding in the street. The man survived, perhaps finding some measure of comfort in knowing his was not among the 477 vehicles carjacked in Chicago so far this year.
And now those questions, Mayor Johnson. Consider the callousness of the two suspects shown in that video. Consider those who committed the 477 completed carjackings this year and the 1,674 completed last year and the 1,848 the year before that. Consider those responsible for the 293 homicides committed so far this year in Chicago and the 1,113 non-fatal shootings, and don’t forget the 4,085 robberies, an average of more than 23 each and every day.
What magical “investment” will serve to lower these numbers, and which businesses should be expected to hire the people responsible for these crimes? And, assuming such people are willing to accept honest employment, who should be expected to patronize a business that employs them?
No matter what success the Cubs may have this season, it’s going to be a long summer in Chicago. Who could have imagined Chicagoans would come to miss Lori Lightfoot?