The Braves payroll for the last fifteen years has been higher then the league average and has at times topped 95 million.
The Cardinals payroll has averaged in the 90 million dollar range.
The Astros have had a sizable payroll for years above the 85 million dollar mark.
Until the past two years what was the Sox payroll again???
You are looking at the definition of 'big market' only in terms of population size. There's a lot more to it then how many folks live in your area, (and by that definition San Francisco - Oakland is a huge market!).
Attitude is a large factor is how you are perceived as an organization.
For the White Sox, as Williams had said and hoped 'winning' something of substance has changed EVERYTHING. Welcome to the 'big leagues' White Sox and God love ya for it.