Chicago's Cross-Town Baseball Rivalry Lacks The Passion Of Previous Years

By Stephanie Lynn
Jerry Lai- USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum didn’t put much emphasis on the rivalry of today’s Spring Training game against the Chicago White Sox.

“It’s just another Cactus League game,” he told

10 years ago, Sveum’s comment would have been considered ridiculous. Who in their right mind would say a Cubs/White Sox game didn’t matter even if it was preseason baseball?

Today, Chicago’s famous cross-town rivalry doesn’t seem to appeal much anymore to fans, whether it’s preseason baseball or the annual inter league contest between the two teams.

10 years ago, it would be nearly impossible to get a ticket to see the Cubs and White Sox play each other, regardless of whether the game was at Wrigley Field or U.S. Cellular Field. If you paid $50 for a standing room only ticket, you were lucky to even be in the park; it was the series no one wanted to miss. Sure, neither team was a threat to each other considering they’re in different leagues, but you were there to show your support for the North Side or the South Side, taking a part in the never-ending battle of which Chicago baseball team really is the best.

Today, there’s not as much hype surrounding the series. Maybe the games are being blown out of proportion by the media, but the fans don’t seem as interested in the rivalry anymore. Tickets are a lot easier to get at both parks for the series, and the overall atmosphere just isn’t as intense and fierce as it used to be in the stands (well, that last part might be a good thing considering how Cubs and Sox fans notoriously hate each other). The series that used to be the hottest ticket in town is now viewed as just another game. Fans seem to be more interested in their respective teams playing their division rivals; the St. Louis Cardinals for the Cubs and the Minnesota Twins for the White Sox.

And the real reason this city-showdown has become a flop recently? I hate to break it to fans of both teams, but maybe it’s because both organizations haven’t played their best recently. What’s the fun in watching two teams play a poor game of baseball? We want to see action: home runs, arguments, close games, anything to keep our attention on our beloved team. Today, we see two below average teams that make careless mistakes, making for a frustrating game to watch. Where’s the fun in that?

Maybe fans will regain some interest in the cross-town rivalry when both teams start playing some competitive baseball.


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