By Doug Halberstadt
We haven’t even reached the halfway point of the Major League Baseball season and, barring a major miracle, I don’t think it’s that big of a stretch to say the Chicago Cubs and their fans will once again have to wait until next season.
With about two weeks to go before the All-Star break, the Cubs are 15 games below .500 (31-46) and 12 full games (at press time) behind the Central Division leading Milwaukee Brewers.
Their counterparts across town, the Chicago White Sox, are currently 3 games under .500 (38-41). They are 4.5 games behind the Central Division leading Detroit Tigers. The Sox haven’t dug as deep a hole as the Cubs have, but haven’t managed to live up to their full potential, either.
Friday, July 1, these two Windy City disappointments will square off against one another for the second time this season. Earlier this month, the Sox took two out of three from the North Siders. The Cubs won the first game of the series 6-3 and then dropped the next two 1-run games, 3-2 and 4-3, at U.S. Cellular Field. This weekend, they’ll invade the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.
The thing that never ceases to amaze me is that no matter how poorly either of these two clubs is playing, every seat in the ballpark, and all of those across the street on the rooftops, will be taken and no doubt overpaid for.
I have repeatedly put forth the theory that this is precisely the reason the Cubs will continue to wallow in mediocrity. There is very little, or perhaps absolutely no, economic incentive for this team to win. Regardless of their win-loss record, they still sell out the stadium and rake in the cash.
Until a day comes when the fans quit plopping their butts in the seats and buying the overpriced and watered-down concessions, the Cubs will forever live up to their “lovable losers” moniker.
Now, what about the Sox?
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the June 29-July 5, 2011 issue