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WSI News - Season Features

May, 2000.  A stupid column by a stupid columnist slighting our Sox and our ballpark earns this angry response at WSI.

What if?

by Scott Armstrong

"Imagine if the White Sox played at Wrigley instead of Comiskey Park. What would things be like?"  That was the question asked by Tribune Staff Writer Rick Morrissey in the Sunday, May 14 edition of the Chicago Tribune sports section. Their big feature story was about what it would be like if the Sox played at Wrigley. It also featured a hilarious picture of the front of Wrigley with the sign altered to say "Wrigley Field home of Chicago White Sox." 

Any Sox fan would laugh at the thought of something that ridiculous. It's like a picture of Adolf Hitler wearing a yalmulka, spinning a dreidel.  Rick says the Sox in Wrigley would be a "real team in a real ballpark." Comiskey isn't a real ballpark? It has three bases, home plate, a pitchers mound, grass, dirt, fences, and dugouts. Sounds like a ballpark to me. Oh yea, that's right! I forgot. There's no obstructed views, ivy, rooftop seats, or wooden scoreboards. There aren't fans riding buses to get to and from their cars, parked miles from the ballpark gates either. There aren't 35,000 idiots there to see a self promoting jerk hit home runs.  

There's no beanie baby and Barbie doll days. There are no celebrities singing during the 7th inning stretch.  To Rick Morrissey's way of thinking, these are the things that make ballparks "real."  Could Morrissey have been  hallucinating?  Maybe he doesn't think Comiskey Park exists.  Maybe he meant Comiskey Park isn't real because it's just a place we all imagine in our minds, sort of like the ballplayers in Field of Dreams. Wow! Good thing the Tribune broke this story.  The more you think about it, the more bizarre it becomes.

Then Morrissey goes on to say how the Sox players would put up better numbers if they played in Wrigley Field.  So I guess his newspaper is finally admitting the Sox are good, and this stupid story would convince Sox players they would be better off playing for the Tribune's Cubs. They say Frank Thomas would be 100 times more popular. They want White Sox players to be ashamed for playing at Comiskey Park?   They use quotes from Ron Santo. He says he could be slumping on a road trip, then come back to Wrigley, and the magical powers of the ivy combined with the drunken fans would make him do good again?  Santo goes on to say when he spent his one year on the south side, it wasn't like that. That's such a Cub thing to blame your .221 batting average on Sox fans. Hey Ron, it was the only season in your entire career you batted over half your games in a ballpark with major league dimensions.  You're confused why your offensive numbers suffered?  No Sox fan is.  

When Santo was here all he did was cry and talk smack about Dick Allen instead of playing baseball. Besides, we had a 3rd baseman in Bill Melton and no Sox fan wanted some stupid washed up Cubs player trying to take his job. It's like Mark Grace coming here and complaining because everyone likes Frank Thomas better than him. But give Santo some credit, he has a pretty awesome toupee!  

Morrissey babbles on how the Sox only draw more on promotional giveaway days. And the Cubs don't?  Then he quotes Sammy Sosa saying the Sox wouldn't be as popular as the Cubs because the don't have the Cubs uniform!  HAHAHAHAHAHA! The Cubs have the GAYEST uniforms in baseball!  If they aren't the sweetest looking team in the majors, tell me who is?  In contrast, the Sox have the best.  Amongst non-fans of either team, I'll even go out on a limb and say that the Sox sell more apparel than the Cubs.  Of course, the Sox hat is popular with the whole gangsta rap clique.  They need to wear something on their heads, too!

While the Trib asks what if the teams switched ballparks, I ask what if the Trib owned the Sox and Reinsdorf owned the Cubs? Old Comiskey Park would be still standing and be called the greatest most magical special ballpark in America.  Fans and non-fans from across the country would go there to see the park, a baseball pilgrimage, if you will.  Frank Thomas would be the one asking people to take the Pepsi challenge and telling everyone that Frank Thomas High Heat Baseball is "SOO REAALLLL!" 

The Tribune would eventually sell the team, perplexed as to why Sox fans don't show up when they have a losing team on the field, despite national coverage and a classic ballpark. Wrigley Field would be torn down because Jerry Reinsdorf didn't have the money to keep renovating it every year. The Cubs would be forced to move to the Wrigley Dome in north suburban Evanston.  All the tourists would stop coming because everybody would hate the park's upper deck.  Sox fan exhibitionists would crash the Cubs' games and sit up in the deepest corner of the empty seats hoping to get on television.  The Cubs popularity would plummet as the Tribune-owned White Sox got most of the nationally-televised games.  The Cubs team would be so poor and the owner so hated, their home games would barely draw 1,000 fans to watch their pathetic losing efforts. 

The spot where Wrigley once stood would be used to open new coffee shops and stores that sell dog collars and other adult toys.  The Sox would get front page coverage while the Cubs would be a side note.  Sox fans would laugh with contempt at every Cubs misadventure -- even more than they do today.

Look at it this way: when the Minnesota Twins were in their prime in the early 90's, the Metrodome was packed every night. Now that they are playing sub .500 baseball or finishing in last place and their attendance is awful. Back then, who was that team that was the joke of the major leagues?  The Cleveland Indians!  They couldn't pay fans to attend games back then, but now they sell out every game.  Now their roles have been reversed.  Do you hear the Tribune comparing the Twins and Cubs attendance?  I know it's two different cities, but how is comparing the Sox and Cubs and the Twins and Cubs any different when the Tribune knows damn well Wrigley Field is 75% filled with tourists and fair weather fans. You take them away, and the Cubs would have worse attendance than the Sox. 

They need to stop talking about attendance. The Sox fans are out there. Walk down the streets, go to a school or public place in Chicago, and ask everyone if they are Sox or Cub fans. Chances are you'll get about half and half. The Sox fans are out there, opening day was proof. Once the Sox really prove that they can compete, they will come in full force. The Tribune Cubs bias has gotten out of hand. This story on the Sox playing in Wrigley Field was just another way to rip on the Sox and praise the Cubs. In all fairness, the Tribune can be useful to Sox fans. Next time you run out of toilet paper, the Tribune will be there for you. Then when you see the picture of Skip Bayless on the front page, you'll know precisely what he is full of!

Back to 2000 Champions!


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