is me, Z.
Taking sides in annual North vs. South baseball battle
By Jimmy Greenfield
Published June 20, 2003
With the year's first city series taking place at Wrigley Field
this weekend, RedEye teamed up with CLTV "Sports Page" host Lou Canellis and WGN-AM's
Dave Eanet to lead a lively debate earlier this week between Cubs
fans and White Sox fans. Let the arguing begin.
Do the Sox or Cubs have better fans?
ADAM: Do Sox fans even know
how to get to the park? It's empty all the time! How can there be knowledgeable
fans when no one goes?
MARIO: I think [based on] the percentage of fans in each park, the Sox
do beat out the Cubs. When you have 30-35,000 fans in any park you're going to
have your die-hard fans, but you're also going to have the casual fans who are
just going there to have a good time.
RICK: It's not just that the fans who go to see the Sox are that much smarter,
it's that the fans who go to see the Cubs are there for ambience, for the neighborhood;
they're there because Wrigley Field has become a centerpiece for that neighborhood.
CRAIG:: When did going to the park and supporting
your team become a bad thing? At least they're there. It's somewhat of Americana
to have the community rallying around something.
Is U.S. Cellular Field really that bad?
ADAM: Comiskey Park, or whatever you call it,
sucks. [Owner Jerry] Reinsdorf made a horrible decision. You can't tell me he
didn't make a mistake when [Baltimore's] Camden Yards was built right after it
as a beautiful park.
RICK: I'll tell you the one mistake with Sox park is that it's facing the
wrong way. If you compare it to virtually every other new park, it's no higher.
You're comparing to Wrigley, which is a very low park.
CRAIG:: They'll support their fans in secret
chat rooms. Apparently, they won't go to the park.
ANDREW:: I don't like [U.S. Cellular Field].
The only seats I can get for the Cubs series are in the upper deck and I'm scared
to be in the upper deck. It's steep, it's scary.
Who's had a better career: Frank Thomas or Sammy Sosa?
RICK: It's amazing to me in conversations like these how often Thomas gets
discounted. You're talking about one of the best hitters that ever played the
game. It really would be interesting to see how Thomas would be viewed if he had
spent his entire career with the Cubs.
MARIO: Frank in the media is hated. Sosa's been this lovable little guy
for the last how many years and he is phony. Obviously, you can look at the whole
cork incident. He gets caught with a corked bat. What happens the next day? He
gets a standing ovation. I'd rather see a player who's a jerk publicly than a
jerk behind the scenes.
ADAM: [Thomas] doesn't want to be a leader!
He said, 'I don't want to lead, I just want to play.' What matters to me is nobody
won the World Series with either one of these guys.
ANDREW:: I think without the cork incident
this argument would have been a lot easier two weeks ago. It's been hard to stand
up for Sammy.
What does the other team have that you want?
CRAIG:: I tell you what, I like the bratwurst
there. I like the food.
MIKE: About the only thing at Wrigley Field I really like is Old Style.
I must be a glutton for punishment because I really love Old Style.
ADAM: I wouldn't mind the White Sox's ability
to produce position players. We've come up with some guys lately and it's been
a while. But the Aaron Rowands of the world and Borchard and Crede. I wouldn't
mind one of those guys. Maybe a nice third baseman would be good. You've had a
better ability to do that, although can we please give you Ronnie "Woo Woo?"
MARIO: I think we would love the fans. Reinsdorf has been saying for so
many years that if the fans come out we're going spend money. Who knows if that
would actually happen? But if we had your park and had your fan base to come support
this team ... I mean, in 2001 the second home game of the season I think we had
like 15,000 fans in the seats after winning 95 games.
Would you cheer for the other team in the World Series?
MIKE: If they were against the Twins, absolutely.
RICK: Part of the fun of the whole experience, at least for me, is not
just pulling for your team. It's pulling against the other team ... I would get
a lot of pleasure out of watching the Cubs blow Game 7 of the World Series.
CRAIG:: If the Sox went to the World Series
I'd be more than happy to cheer for them.
ADAM: A World Series for anybody in Chicago,
any championship for any team, would be beautiful right now considering the state
of Chicago sports.
ANDREW:: I consider myself a die-hard Cub fan
and a Chicago sports fan. I'm not going to cheer against the White Sox, I'm going
to cheer for the Cubs, and if the Cubs don't win the World Series then hopefully
the White Sox have a chance.
Is there a media bias in town?
RICK: One of the biggest media outlets [Tribune Co.] owns the Cubs. How
could there not be a bias?
ADAM: There's a Cubs beat writer, there's a
Sox beat writer. Reporters in the paper continually rip the Tribune, so it's not
like they're glorifying the team 24-7.
MARIO: Considering the season, I think it's pretty even. Past seasons,
the Sox would always have a better record than the Cubs. This year it seems a
little more even.
RICK: Sox are going to sweep all six.
MARIO: It's going to be 3-3. I really think these crosstown things have
nothing to do with who's the better team. The energy of the fans makes crazy things
happen. One year Mike Caruso hit a homer, so anything can happen.
MIKE: The Cubs will take 2 out of 3 at Wrigley. The Sox will take 2 out
of 3 at U.S. Cellular.
ADAM: The Sox aren't going to see the Cubs'
best. I think they'll split.
ANDREW:: I think the Cubs are going to win
3 or 4. I'd love to see them sweep both, but [Mark] Prior and [Kerry] Wood aren't
going to be pitching in both series.
CRAIG:: I'd say [the Cubs] can possibly win
4 of the 6. We just have a better team, so that will help us.
Best zinger (Cubs fan)
RICK: Every time the Sox pull off a season like 1993 or 2000, Cubs fans
suddenly find their way down to the South Side and become Sox fans. I think that's
what really separates Cub fans from Sox fans.
ADAM: That and charging the field.
Best zinger (Sox fan)
ANDREW:: I wouldn't take Thomas just because
he's a whiner but I think Hee Seop is going to be great. He's my buddy, he's my
guy. He's going to be here for 15 years.
MIKE: Just like Greg Maddux was?
Copyright © 2003, Chicago Tribune