As a Cardinal fan in Chicago, I spend a great deal of time listening to the constant complaining of area baseball fans throughout the year. Both sides have their issues, but it breaks down like this-Cub fans complain about every other fan in the world while White Sox fans actually complain about their team. Yes friends, that’s what happens in Chicago each and every year. The fun part of this is part of the complaint Cub fans annually rant about is how they receive no respect as baseball fans. And when it comes to listening to White Sox fans, their annual issue is we get no respect for being the great fans we are. How do the fans of these teams compensate for these feelings of being wronged? They make stupid best with each other about who will have the better record or more successful year? Then they spend the offseason fighting over who actually won the bet. This offseason I think the Cubs regressed, but so did the entire NL Central while the White Sox certainly didn’t make a major splash, they made improvements to their club overall. I expect the Cubs to win the NL Central, with somewhere around 85-90 wins. I expect to the White Sox to finish in the middle of the AL Central with somewhere around 85-90 to wins. So I ask you, who will have the better and more impressive season? They both will have about the same number of wins and the Cubs will have a much higher attendance figure. But if they fizzle out in the first round again can you really make the case for them being the better team?
While I am nothing more than a typically 30-something Midwesterner, I have a bit of understanding regarding other cultures. And while I have never been to Japan, it is clear the Japanese cherish-among other things-respect. Respect-it has to be the reason Fukudome was included on the initial 34 man roster for the the Classic. Yes, that Fukudome…the same Fukudome who was a celebrity in Chicago before he hit his Opening Day Shot…the same Fukudome who was ultimately benched and rightfully should have been left off the post-season roster (although that wasn’t going to matter much).
Anyone who knows me understands I am certainly no Cub fan, so being party to their repeated failures makes me happy. However I am a fan of the Classic (although I wasn’t at first…I came around to it) and would like the most balanced and competitve rosters possible. I guess it’s hard to question their management-after all they are the defending Classic champions. Still, with such depth in their baseball is Fukudome really worthy of a roster spot?