Updated September 8
This week the black and white lines converge as both of baseball's central divisions get the idea that the Second City is no longer funny.
In past years the hopes of Chicago baseball fans had already crashed into a mangled heap by September and a new Bears campaign never failed to bring with it a sunny, Old Style-fueled optimism. Not this time. As Tom Waddle reported for Fox News Sunday night, "Playing from behind is not the strength of this Bears team." The way things look, we'll probably never find out if they're any better playing from ahead. Kaboom.
The White Line. Admittedly, the White Sox were playing a terrible Cleveland team, but fewer than 20,000 fans (19,999 to be exact) showed up at Comiskey on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to watch the south-siders complete a sweep of the Indians. That same day, the Yankees drew 55,000, the Giants 41,000, and even the traveling Cubs attracted 42,000 to Miller Park in Milwaukee. In fact, the only other contending team with fans who seem as indifferent to its success is Minnesota. They had less than 19,000 on hand in the Metrodome for their extra-inning win over the Rangers. If a team clinches the AL Central and no one is there to see it...
The Black Line. Today, for the fifth time in three weeks, the Tribune's "Inside the Cubs" column featured a "Simon Says" headline. To date, Randall Simon's newsworthy lines have included "Keep me for next season," "Play ball and have fun," and "Cubs fans are great." Simon's right about the Cubs fans, however: thousands of them followed Baker's Nine to Milwaukee last weekend. Although Sox fans often disparage them for their poor understanding of the game, at least they're showing up. Apparently Sox fans would rather stay home and watch the worst Bears team in three decades than go to the park to watch the best Sox team in 20 years.