Chicago White Sox vs. Chicago Cubs: Does Chicago Care Anymore?

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Chicago White Sox vs. Chicago Cubs:  Does Chicago Care Anymore?
David Banks/Getty Images
Gordon Beckham turning the double play against the Chicago Cubs.

It’s not supposed to matter what the records of Chicago’s baseball teams are.

When the Chicago White Sox play the Chicago Cubs, on either side of town, records are supposed to be thrown out and the rivalry revealed.

Not anymore.

During the Crosstown Classic, don’t families turn on one another, while co-workers trade defaming  e-mails and instant messages?

Not anymore.

My side of the family is devoted to the White Sox.  Names like Fisk, Aparicio, Baines, Thomas, Melton, Luzinski, Burns, Lemon and Allen are known entities. 

They are quantifiable in memory.

My wife’s side of the family is devoted to the Cubs.  Almost every single one of them.

I’m not really sure who their heroes are.  Don’t really care, honestly.  It is the Cubs after all, and their fond recollections of the past matter about as much as a bag of grass clippings.

The larger point here is that, this year, we are not giving each other a hard time.

I used to take a beating for the beating the Ligue’s put on Royal’s first base coach Tom Gamboa in 2002 and had to put up with ignorant comments regarding the area around the Cell. 

Is the rivalry alive or dead?

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Not anymore.

There was a day when I could argue that the Cubs were the best Triple-A team in baseball, that the fan base consisted of the young and drunk, and that the best player they have had in the last 20 years not named Ryne Sandberg was a cheater.

Not anymore.

It is like the city does not care.

Apathy is contagious, and that is what Chicago is right now.  Apathetic to our baseball teams.

One team is in first and the other is in last.  Paul Konerko and Starlin Castro are their own story lines.  “Big Donkey” Adam Dunn is tied for the most home runs in MLB and Carlos Marmol can’t wait to throw another slider low and outside. 

If those are not reasons, in-and-of themselves to make some noise, then I don’t know what are.

It’s not the field…The Cell is one of the nicest parks around and Wrigley was not full in May.

It’s not the area…Bridgeport has been reinvented and even the Wentworth Gardens have been given a face-lift.

This article is not a complaint about attendance or a call to the Cell.  It’s about the passion missing from a city that has two teams to root for on any given day.

A couple of years ago I would hear casual fans talking about the upcoming series between the Sox and Cubs in the elevator or walking down the street.  Nothing too crazy mind you, but conversations nonetheless on a random Tuesday afternoon about baseball.

That has all changed.

I don’t hear very much anymore…Do you?

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