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Ruminations on White Sox Elevation and Cubs Stagnation

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  • Ruminations on White Sox Elevation and Cubs Stagnation

    O, what a tangled web we weave,
    When first we practice to deceive!


    Sir Walter Scott penned those lines more than two hundred years ago. If I hadn’t learned that already, I would’ve thought he was writing about Tom Ricketts and his courtiers in the office tower looming over Clark Street. You know the place: 125,000 square feet of corporate glitz at Waveland and Clark on the former site of a coal yard. And it faces the $200 million hotel across the street that was previously a McDonald’s parking lot.

    Add to that the new commercial building on Addison that replaced a string of locally owned storefronts. And don’t forget the acquisition of most of those three-flats behind the outfield that serve now as party rooms. If Chuck E. Cheese adopted a baseball theme, you’d have the model for “Wrigleyville.” Quotation marks are appropriate because there’s no neighborhood by that name – it’s more like Brigadoon or Camelot: not a place, but a state of mind.

    All this avarice brought to mind those lines from Scott’s poem. The Cubs aren’t a ballclub as much as they are an ATM for the owners. The team pulled off a World Series win, boasted of a dynasty, and when the team’s fortunes waned the owners focused on their other fortunes. Instead of putting money on the field, they’re fielding money in a sportsbook building while cutting the team payroll in a series of disemboweling trades.

    I have to admit it’s fun to watch air leak out of the Cubs’ hubris balloon. We’re Sox fans and we lived through several years of a rebuild, which to Rick Hahn’s credit he never tried to deny, unlike Jed Hoyer’s double-talk about it being different now. Yeah, it’s different, all right.

    As I write this, the White Sox are decisively winning the interleague series against the Cubs. Steve Greenberg wrote in the Sun-Times, “There are ships passing in the night, and then there are the Sox and Cubs. One team an ocean liner steaming for the deep waters of playoff baseball. The other an unrecognizable bucket of bolts.

    I’ll avoid the cheap metaphor about the Titanic. I’d rather compare the North Side poseurs to the S.S. Minnow from Gilligan’s Island.


    I used to dread the Sox-Cubs series. There was always an aroma of entitlement coming off Cub fans, regardless of the score or the win-loss record. But now the White Sox are good – really good -- and nobody can deny that. Not the barstool blowhards or the ESPN savants. Mark Twain said it best: “Never have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.”

    While the North Side nabobs fleece their customers as they deceive them, we can watch them struggle in their tangled web. Enjoy the view as the Sox march forward. I sure am.


    - tebman
    Last edited by tebman; 08-08-2021, 07:19 PM.

    • Mohoney
      #1
      Mohoney commented
      Editing a comment
      Absolutely.

      Tom Ricketts makes Jerry Reinsdorf look like Old Fezziwig.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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