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RKMeibalane
06-12-2002, 10:48 PM
In what is fast becoming a "Windy City" tradition, the Cubs and White Sox meet for the sixth straight season as the part their respective interleague schedules. The teams will face each other a total of six times, with each team getting the opportunity to host three games in its home stadium.

The Sox and Cubs have developed arguably the best rivalry in baseball today. Perhaps no crosstown series generates as much excitment and interest, not only in the city of Chicago, but also across the country. Fans everywhere flock to Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field each season in the hopes that their team, be it the Sox or Cubs, will emerge victorious and claim citywide bragging rights- until the two teams face off again the following season.

If one were to describe the relationship between Sox and Cubs fans, the word animosity would be appropriate. One would hard-pressed to find two groups of fans who despise each other more than those who follow Chicago's two Major League baseball teams. Sox-Cubs games are characterized by agressive, hard-nosed baseball on the field, and sometimes, physical brawls in the bleachers. The fights start innocently enough. A typical Cubs fan, in between talking on his cell-phone and finishing his tenth beer of the evening, starts boasting about his team's two-game winning streak, to which a die-hard Sox fan responds by decking the poor soul with a right to the jaw.

Of course, the ongoing battle between good and evil is not decided by a few angry fans. It is decided between the two chalk-colored lines by eighteen men in uniforms. This season, as in past years, the two teams are far from evenly matched. The White Sox are defined by the men who comprise the "heart" of their batting order: Frank Thomas, Magglio Ordonez, and Paul Konerko- a threesome that ranks among the best in baseball.

Cubs fans believed that their team possessed a similar group of players (Sosa, McGriff, Alou), but their dreams of a power-packed offense have been replaced by nightmares of Alou taking his rightful place on the dissabled list and Todd Hundley returning to the bench after yet another strikeout.

On the other side of the ball, the Cubs feature Jon Lieber, hard-throwing Kerry Wood, and the newest "savior" of Chicago Cubs baseball, Mark Prior. The Sox counter with staff-ace Mark Buehrle and the up-and-comming Jon Garland, a man the Cubs traded four years ago in exchange for some guy named Karchner. Strange, indeed.

Get ready, Sox fans! The best rivalry in baseball is about to take center stage. The coming weekend brings with it exciting baseball, fired-up fans, and that blundering idiot, Joe Carter. For the Sox and their fans, this series could be stepping stone to bigger things. For the Cubs and their fans, this represents the closest thing to a World Series they will ever see. So "sit back, relax, and strap it down," as the White Sox and Cubs give rise to the greatest show on Earth.

-Ravi Meibalane