Time does funny things to baseball players and the intertwining fate of franchises, with Jake Peavy set to serve as Exhibit A on Wednesday night.
Peavy will pitch for the White Sox in the rubber game of the City Series against the Cubs, the team that was this-close to trading for him three years ago.
Peavy has had a star-crossed calendar year with the Sox, while the Cubs have had to scramble to replace pieces in their rotation, going with Doug Davis on Wednesday.
Davis has his own interesting tale to tell, sitting almost for almost one full season with heart and arm problems before taking one more chance at a career afterspring training.
But Peavy is the story because of his relationship with both franchises. He is 5-2 with a 2.40 ERA lifetime against the Cubs, most of that coming with the Padres. He is making his first start since his latest trip to the disabled list with a strained right groin muscle.
"I'm excited," he said. "Obviously, pitching in this series is always fun but getting back out there for me is the most important thing."
But pitching against the Cubs, especially in a City Series, makes this even more special.
"Always. What's not to look forward to?" Peavy said. "You see how the crowd gets excited. It's just fun pitching when there is a little more [energy].
"When you go to Fenway, when you go to Yankee Stadium, when you play in this type of series there is always a little more adrenaline and that gets you through some tough innings. With some experience you can take that adrenaline and channel it.
"That's what athletes live to do: to play on a bigger stage than you've played before. I would say this is but it's a nice stage to play on."
It's an important stage for both teams, but especially the White Sox, who could win their 17th straight interleague series with a victory. They also have won 12 of their last 17 games against the Cubs.