Daily Archives: May 18, 2012
For as long as there has been two professional baseball teams playing in Chicago the two sides have despised each other that would make the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s proud.
As the City of broad shoulders prepares for another Civil War between the Cubs and Sox, I have already grown tired of the sophomoric and ignorant stereotypes that both fan bases throw back and forth at each other.
I have often found it humorous for one to be a fan of both teams, and I have yet to wrap my brain around having two favorite teams in any sports. However, is it possible to be a Cubs or Sox fan and not have the urge to throw the same tired insults at the other team, their fans, and their ballpark?
Denigrating one team does not make your team superior, it makes you look foolish.
I am a Cubs fan and support them through good times and bad. In many ways it is a marriage and as many times as I get disappointed or angry with the team, I always come back to them and believe that next year is right around the corner.
I am as loyal as they come concerning the supporting of my team. This is something that many Chicagoans pride themselves on. This trait is what makes Chicago fans the greatest in the world. This is not a biased opinion.
This fact is backed by my viewing Yankee fans boo Derek Jeter, Philadelphia fans boo Santa Claus, Los Angeles fans lose a football franchise on more than one occasion, and countless other cities struggle to fill their stadiums and arenas. Have you seen the empty seats in Miami during Heat games and the thousands of empty seats in Atlanta during the Braves decade of dominance in the ‘90’s?
This series brings out the worst in Chicago fans and a sample of what you will hear in any bar this weekend will go like this:
Cub fan: “The White Sox fans don’t care about their team and that’s why they can’t sell out their stadium.”
Sox fan: “Sox fans are just smarter and we don’t support a bad team unlike Cub fans who just go to Wrigley to get drunk. They don’t even pay attention to the game.”
Cubs fan: “At least our park is a historical monument and full of history and beauty unlike that monstrosity named after a phone company.”
Sox fan: “Well our park is clean and you don’t have to worry about concrete falling on your head or walking a mile to use the bathroom.”
Cubs fan: “No but the umpires and first base coaches need to worry about being assaulted.”
Sox fan: “Well your announcers are awful. All Ron Santo did was moan and groan. He was just a fan in the booth.”
Cubs fan: “Have you heard Hawk Harrelson?!”
Sox fan: “At least we won a World Series.”
Cubs fan: “That’s right; you have now won as many as you’ve thrown in the last 100 years.”
Tell me how many times you have heard this exact conversation?
I am willing to bet the answer is far too many.
My plea for Cubs and Sox fans this weekend is that we all get along. I pray no fights break in or around the stadium. The past few years have seen an increase in hostility, aggression, and drunken belligerence. Let us remember this is the city that brought us affable and players who personified class in guys like Ernie Banks, Luke Appling, Ron Santo, Minnie Minoso, Ryne Sandberg, and the man in the White Sox dugout this weekend, Robin Ventura among many others.
For three days I urge the fans of both sides to represent the best the city has to offer and not act like Albert Belle and Milton Bradley.
I am rooting for three well played competitive games and if the Cubs lose Friday afternoon, you better believe I will have my Cubs gear on for Saturday night’s game under the lights.
You will not see me bashing the White Sox if they beat the Cubs in every game this year, sure I will be disappointed, but more than if the Cardinals came into town and swept the series. That is the team’s real rival. I would think the best White Sox fans would agree in the same vein agree that they are more concerned with gaining ground on Detroit and Cleveland in the standings.
I am concerned about the fans on both allegiances that do not recognize this fact and have a distorted sense of reality. These are the fans that participate in conversations like the one I wrote about earlier and get tossed out of games and bars for engaging in buffoonery.
Both have great fans but it is the clowns to the left and jokers to the right who ruin it for the true fans.
Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt
Patrick is a diehard sports fan and former football player from Chicago. Patrick has been a fan of the Cubs, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks from birth and is an avid college football fan, particularly the SEC. Patrick is the host of “The Wake Up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com every Wednesday morning from 8-10. View his show’s website here.
This year’s first edition of the Cross-town Classic between the Cubs and White Sox finds both teams battling inconsistency as the Cubs find themselves in last place and the Sox looking up at the Tigers and surprising Indians in the American League Central.
Each team has had their fair share of surprises and disappointments six weeks into the season while trying to establish an identity under their rookie managers all the while facing the pressure from a rabid fan base desperate for a winner.
I’ll take a look at the roster of both teams and form the ultimate “All- City” roster. No doubt some fan favorites will be left off the list and with the games in Wrigley Field this weekend, a designated hitter will be absent from the roster.
This will be a two-part series with the lineup unveiled today and the pitching rotation to be announced Saturday. In addition, the decision who will be managing the roster will be announced Saturday.
With both teams struggling to varying degrees at the back end of the bullpen, the toughest decision may be who gets the ball in the ninth inning.
First Base: Bryan LaHair
The 29-year-old is finally getting a chance to show what he can do in the Major League level after dominating in the minor leagues. His numbers are strikingly similar to Paul Konerko who is having a fine season himself hitting .362, but LaHair gets the nod due to a higher on base and slugging percentage.
Second Base: Darwin Barney
Barney gets the start even though he isn’t lighting the world on fire hitting .264, but Gordon Beckham is hitting below the Mendoza Line and not hitting for any sort of power.
Shortstop: Starlin Castro
A slam-dunk choice to be the city’s shortstop and should be on the “All- City” roster for years to come, but how many more at shortstop? His defense has been an issue, where his counterpart Alexei Ramirez excels. However, Castro’s 49 hits, 12 stolen bases, and a .322 batting average vault him ahead of Ramirez.
Third Base: Ian Stewart
Much like second base, this position is a weakness on both sides of town. After the departure of Aramis Ramirez to Milwaukee via free agency, the Cubs traded for Stewart who is hitting only .200, but has shown some pop in the last week. The Sox Brent Morel has essentially been an automatic out at the bottom of the Sox lineup hitting to the tune of .177 with a paltry .195 slugging percentage.
Left Field: Dayan Viciedo
If you told me that Viciedo would get the nod over Soriano in March, I likely would have told you Viciedo would be having a great start as a first year starter in Chicago. However, he gets the call due to Soriano’s rapid decline more than outstanding offensive statistics. Viciedo is hitting with more authority than Soriano, six homeruns to only two, even though the RBI’s aren’t there for “Tank” quite yet. He will not be a colossal defensive liability either that Soriano presents.
Center Field: Alejandro De Aza
Tough call here over Tony Campana. After taking over for the traded Marlon Byrd, Campana brought the speed element to the top of the Cubs lineup and his nine stolen bases and presence on the base paths has added a dimension lacking in the Cubs lineup for years. His energy sparks his teammates, but De Aza gets the start for his larger body of work and ability to drive in a run with a little more pop in his bat. Toughest call yet in the “All- City” lineup and one sure to generate some outcry from Cubs fans.
Right Field: David DeJesus
The free agent signee leads the Cubs in runs scored with 22 more than double the output of Sox right fielder Alex Rios who still hasn’t shown the ability to hit for power with one home run on the year. DeJesus has one as well, a pinch hit grand slam, but as a leadoff hitter he is paid to get on base, not hit for power, but he has done both better than Rios with an OPS nearly 50 points higher.
Catcher: AJ Pierzynski
Much like the shortstop position, picking Pierzynski over Geovany Soto is a no brainer. He is hitting .299 compared to Soto and his .161 avg and has 26 RBI to Soto’s six. Case closed.
Final tally has five Cubs and three White Sox on the eight man lineup. The toughest calls were De Aza over Campana and LaHair over Konerko. No designated hitter means Adam Dunn is left out of the “All-City” lineup despite his strong comeback year,
What do you think? How does your lineup look?
Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt
Patrick is a diehard sports fan and former football player from Chicago. Patrick has been a fan of the Cubs, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks from birth and is an avid college football fan, particularly the SEC. Patrick is the host of “The Wake Up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com every Wednesday morning from 8-10. View his show’s website here. And read more of Patrick’s blogs here.