It’s not that the Kenny Williams replacement, Rick Hahn, showed flashes of brilliance during his first year run at rebuilding the Sox by tearing them down first, but Theo Epstein’s plan over on the North Side seems so screwed up that the answer to this question is like picking who’s going to win the race of the slowest turtles.
AUDIENCE CHOICE: White Sox
Best of Chicago 2013
New but not new too. Sale finally broke into the Sox starting rotation and put himself into serious Cy Young conversation quickly this season. Even though they just signed/extended Jake Peavy to a two-year deal, Sale sold himself as the pitcher next year’s “best new Sox” GM Rick Hahn will build the staff around.
Audience choice: Robin Ventura
Best of Chicago 2012
Too cheap for the Cell? This homey dive, a stone’s throw from the ballfield, is the next best thing. With its tin ceiling, year-round Christmas lights and copious knickknacks, plus dirt-cheap Old Style, this is a great pub for watching the Pale Hose. Live roots rock and honkytonk bands also make this a fun place to kill a Friday night. Open since 1965, this is one of the city’s last buzzer bars, where the front door is locked until you’re deemed worthy to enter. But once inside, you’ll find the regulars are a friendly crew–as long as you don’t mention the Cubs.
3238 South Halsted
Cork and Kerry at the Park
3258 South Princeton
Best of Chicago 2011
A boneheaded injury kept the White Sox star outfielder in only 130 games this season, but thirty-six homeruns, a .288 batting average and a hundred RBIs can’t be dismissed. The 25-year-old might be the genuine outfield superstar the Sox have been seeking for a long time. Just don’t hit your bat in anger anymore, okay?
Best of Chicago 2008
It’s more unlikely than the Chicago 2016 Olympics
What would you rather see happen? A Cubs-Sox Series or the whole world infiltrate the South Side for two weeks? Less than two years ago the idea of Chicago hosting a global event as popular as the Olympics seemed absurd; now, as we’ve been instantly catapulted into the Earth’s consciousness with Barack Obama—the most powerful Sox fan in the history of baseball—elected prez, we’ll all be better off if we start studying the rules of water polo right now. Deep down, we don’t want the Cubs-Sox series because we cherish the fantasy so much. What would we do if it all came down to a best-of-seven? The rivalry would change, and we enjoy the rivalry too much to allow it to slip from us. Bragging rights? They’re fun, but not nearly as fun as the family spats, the trading insults with friends, the badgering at the workplace. It’s not the apprehension, it’s the pursuit. And lucky for us, the apprehension always seems too far out of reach.
It’s still a fantasy….
Audience Comments: “All the black and blue shirts will make the stadiums look like big bruises (which is what a lot of fans would end up with during that series)”; “Cubs actually in the world series”; “It will forevermore be untainted by reality”; “At least we’re a city of dreamers.”
Best of Chicago 2008