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The surging Chicago White Sox are headed to the playoffs with a realistic chance to win the World Series but are still playing in a forever Cubs town according to Frank Thomas.
The Chicago White Sox are the best baseball team in Chicago and it is not close. The White Sox have World Series aspirations while the Cubs hope to get back being competitive as soon as possible.
Ironically, the White Sox are partly in their current position courtesy of the Cubs. Eloy Jimenez hits in the middle of the line-up while Dylan Cease pitches in the White Sox rotation, both former Cubs’ prospects acquired in a deal centered around Jose Quintana who did next to nothing for the Cubs.
Recent bullpen additions Craig Kimbrel and Ryan Tepera also should benefit the White Sox in their quest to win the World Series. The Cubs have been both willing to help jump-start the White Sox rebuild and augment their chances along the way.
Frank Thomas believes the White Sox come second to the Cubs in Chicago
Perhaps the Cubs’ willingness to help the White Sox stems at least partly in a belief they will always be the team in Chicago, that Chicago will always be a Cubs town. White Sox Hall of Fame first baseman/designated hitter Famer Frank Thomas sees it that way.
“It’s always been a Cubs town,” Thomas told FanSided’s Da Windy City podcast. “On that side of town, it has always been fun and giggles and the bar scene, it’s something to watch over there. Wrigley is a beautiful place especially now if you haven’t seen it.”
Fun and giggles are left only for the select few who are still walking through the turnstiles at Wrigley Field. The Cubs announced crowds of just over 24,000 for both games of Wednesday’s split doubleheader, but the eye showed less than half of that number in the ballpark.
Overall, the Cubs are still winning the attendance battle in 2021: 23,378 per game vs 17,950. The numbers are lower on both sides of town because of covid restrictions at the beginning of the season.
The gap though is much closer than it used to be though. In 2019, the Cubs averaged 38,208 fans per game versus 21,442 for the still rebuilding White Sox. The gap in average attendance has shrunk by over 11,000 fans per game. Even in a pandemic-affected year, that number stands out.
“We call ourselves on the South Side real baseball where either you win, or you lose and the fans won’t show up,” Thomas said. “If you win they will show up in droves, if you’re not playing well they are not just coming to hang out. I mean you got to Wrigley win or lose they are going to drink the booze. They are going to be over there at all those bars around Wrigley.”
The White Sox have started what should be an extended run of winning in the next three to five years. Ticket prices for White Sox games are far less than Cubs games. The White Sox players are more known in Chicago and around baseball than what is left of the Cubs.
If there ever was a time for the White Sox to at least begin claiming Chicago as a White Sox town it is now.
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