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Thugs pin Chicago with old rep

Chicago is a great town, but it looks like the gangster tag could be making a comeback.

Maybe it rightfully should.

Maybe the Michael Jordan years and the attempt at the Windy City makeover were just a House of Mirrors.



Or House of Cards.

Two idiots. One baseball game.




One brawl, one frightening brawl.

I don’t know about you, but when I watched a replay of Thursday’s melee at Comiskey Park, I found myself rooting for the Kansas City Royals.

It wasn’t hard, mind you, rooting for the Royals as they poured onto the field in a wave to protect Kansas City’s first base coach, Tom Gamboa, as he was senselessly attacked from behind by a father and teen-age son in the ninth inning.

Baseball has its tit for tat rules, which fans of other sports find downright dumb. In this case, the Royals’ swift retaliation was not only in line with the sport, but wholly welcome. Somebody had to stop the violence. Once order was restored on the field, a pocket knife was found near the scene of the attack.

Maybe this is an isolated incident that merits as much bureaucratic restraint as it does legal justice. Fiddling with whether to serve beer or not sounds like important stuff, but would a dry venue stop the next thug on who-knows-what from taking matters into his own hands?

Still, one has to wonder just why these things keep happening in Chicago.

For decades, Chicagoans who traveled abroad were asked about Al Capone and gangsters, as if by merely living there one somehow must be connected to underworld crime.

Then Jordan graced Chicago with his presence, and along with the championships, Jordan serves as a goodwill ambassador for a city that was steeped with a violent past.

Geraldo found nothing in Capone’s vault. The memory of the 1968 riots of the Democratic national convention faded as one Mayor Daley took over the legacy of another.

Things were looking up.

In the last seven years, however, Chicago sports fans have now been involved in three incidents that are black marks, to put it mildly.

In the first instance, a fan jumps from the stands at Wrigley Field and attacks a pitcher during a game because apparently the pitcher, Randy Myers, was not living up to this idiot’s idea of a closer.

Two years ago, a brawl breaks out in the stands at Wrigley after a fan reached over and stole a cap from a Los Angeles Dodger. The Dodgers pour into the box seats, and others joined in the fun.

Now this.

The father and son of this embarrassment insist Gamboa had it coming, that he had flipped them off.

Apparently, they felt disrespected.

It makes one wonder what their definition of respect is, and exactly what these two ever did to deserve it.

Write Vince Vosti at


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