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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Compared With Cubs, White Sox Can’t Win for Winning

With both of Chicago’s major league teams home over the weekend, a season-long — decades-long, for that matter — trend was on full display: at the box office, the White Sox, despite being a contending team, are no match for even a cellar-dwelling Cubs squad.

madvillain Posted: August 26, 2012 at 11:20 PM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, white sox

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   1. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:19 AM (#4218906)
Maybe if they had some sort of promotion where they demonstrated their disgust with a style of dance music by exploding, or demolishing in some way, the media on which the offending music is recorded...
   2. JoeC Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:35 AM (#4218912)
Dubstep Destruction Day! It's genius!
   3. BurlyBuehrle Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:36 AM (#4218928)
This MSM meme seriously needs to go away.
   4. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:04 AM (#4218996)
People aren't showing up on the south side because they're staying inside trying not to get gunned down in the streets by the raging gang-bangers.
   5. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4218998)
I remember last year the Cubs were advertising single-game tickets on sale (for the first time in my memory) and the ticket brokers were selling them below face on StubHub. Is that no longer the case this year?
   6. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4219002)
Is that no longer the case this year?

No it is still the case.
   7. Dangerous Dean Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4219012)
Well the President likes the White Sox, so clearly they are the people's choice. Congress will be voting at midnight tonight to force us all to be White Sox fans or face a huge fine. Then all the major media outlets will tell us how much better our lives will be as White Sox fans.
   8. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4219033)
That makes sense, Dean. Because Congress has been so anxious over the past two years to make us all do what President Obama wants.
   9. DL from MN Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4219067)
People aren't showing up on the south side because they're staying inside trying not to get gunned down in the streets by the raging gang-bangers.


They should move the White Sox somewhere safer - like Monterrey.
   10. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4219089)
Next May the CTA is going to close the Red Line from Cermak/Chinatown all the way to the southern end of the line, including Sox/35th, the station right by US Cellular. They say it'll take 5 months. IOW, the Sox are going to be without their transit stop for almost all of the 2013 season. This is going to absolutely murder their attendance. Pun intended.

You can get to the stadium from the Green Line, but it's further away from the park and the line is less convenient for most people, and the line is going to be wildly overburdened next year. The Red Line issue means that there's no way in hell I'll be going to a Sox game after April. Coming home on the Green Line for me would mean waiting for a bus at night in the Washington Park neighborhood, which has a 51% poverty rate -- the Green Line station on 55th is in an area that's mainly deserted store fronts and vacant lots, and right by the bus stop there's a liquor store where the clerks sit behind bullet proof glass. So that's not happening. Maybe I'll go see them play in Detroit.
   11. zonk Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4219093)
The closest homicide to US Cell is a good 10 blocks away -- there area around the park isn't really a problem. You can see a Chicago homicide map here -- zero on US Cell (35th & Dan Ryan) -- and you'll see it's a relatively safe area. You'd have to get yourself pretty lost (and lost by car) to end up in a crossfire area. I'm not saying it makes things any better - but Chicago's problems with people getting shot are extremely concentrated in the West and extreme south/southwest areas. The clusters are unmistakable.

Personally, I lay a lot of the blame on aldermen who have fought tooth and nail against CPD's manpower redeployment plans... Of course, the alderman are simply protecting their own turf - and sure, I suppose it's inevitable that we'd see a rise in crime in otherwise 'safe' neighborhoods if more police are pulled from those districts to help out in other areas... but personally - as someone living in a (knock on wood) 'safe' area, I'm OK with that. We've got an epidemic in certain neighborhoods, and if it means I'm more likely to be mugged because patrols are being concentrated in areas that are all but warzones, then I'm willing to make that sacrifice.
   12. squatto Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4219103)
Nice try, Joey B., but most of the shootings aren't taking place near the Cell. Whoops, zonk beat me to it.

Fernigal's got it right about the red line closing being a major factor for the White Sox attendance next year. From close reading of his post I think I might live close to Fernigal (howdy neighbor!). For me the green line is convenient and fine. I take it every day to/from work, leaving my car near the 43rd St. stop and getting back at all hours of the night if I'm doing something after work. I've had no problems despite seeing the occasional deal being made, as well as the occasional police sweep to move the dealers off of the blocks nearby. For the record, I've also seen deals being made right on some of Hyde Park's main drags. Oddly, I've yet to have anyone mutter an offer to me.

Chicago's a pretty segregated city. The violence is confined, as zonk says, to those areas where the drug economy is pretty much the only one going and the news gets out only when the innocent get caught in the crossfire. If I remember right back in the first decade of this century there was a serial killer preying on crack whores in Englewood. It merited very little media attention.
   13. zonk Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4219121)
I'd likewise agree with squatto on the power of the drug economy... On a very few occasions, I've been through some of the areas in question - and that's exactly right. The neighborhoods most acutely impacted - you see absolutely nothing in the way of commerce beyond the illegal sort. Blocks at a time where the 'commercial' sections are nothing but boarded up storefronts, maybe a bodega here or there, but there's literally no manner of business to be found... It would also be nice if the city powers that be would make better use of TIF in areas where it could make a difference. I'm not expecting Englewood to become the next Lincoln Park - but deploy enough police, juice enough business with sweetheart financing, and I refuse to believe that these neighborhoods couldn't be brought up to at least liveable. It's happened in other areas -- west Rogers Park, for example, is tons better than it was just 15 years ago (not that it was ever on the downswing to the extent some of the worst areas are now). It'll take time and a concerted effort by multiple channels, and yes, Chicago has always been a city of neighborhoods - but there really ought to be a level of livability available to everyone. I'm willing to make some sacrifices in the realm of city services and development in my oasis if it means something slightly better elsewhere that needs it more.
   14. Austin Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4219134)
Yeah, the Sox are going to suffer an attendance drop next year, although there aren't nearly as many fans as I thought who take the Red Line every game. It's clear, though, that they weren't really factored into the decision:

The 5-month Red Line shutdown plan is a surprise to the Chicago White Sox. U.S. Cellular Field has its own stop -- Sox-35th -- which will be closed.

"More than 15-percent of our fans use the Red Line from the north every game. We don't have a plan, but look forward to working with the city and CTA to develop a plan," a team spokesperson told ABC7.


Fernigal - are you also a UChicago student?
   15. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4219156)
Fernigal - are you also a UChicago student?


No, but Mrs. McGunnigle is in the final throes of her PhD. I'm just a hanger-on.
   16. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4219161)
Nice try, Joey B., but most of the shootings aren't taking place near the Cell. Whoops, zonk beat me to it.

Just for the sake of anecdote, my brother and his wife just moved out of the area this year (they bought a house in the burbs), and they were in walking distance of the park - west of the park, to be exact. His wife worked part time for the Sox and had no problems walking to and from the games.
   17. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4219162)
It'll take time and a concerted effort by multiple channels, and yes, Chicago has always been a city of neighborhoods - but there really ought to be a level of livability available to everyone. I'm willing to make some sacrifices in the realm of city services and development in my oasis if it means something slightly better elsewhere that needs it more.

Don't worry Mayor Kane has just hired Mona Fredericks to take care of this.
   18. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4219164)
No, but Mrs. McGunnigle is in the final throes of her PhD. I'm just a hanger-on.

That makes three of us in the Hyde Park area? Probably more. (also a uchicago student here, but going to be living in London next year)
   19. squatto Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4219182)
That makes three of us in the Hyde Park area? Probably more. (also a uchicago student here, but going to be living in London next year)

Four, if you count north Kenwood although I have no official affiliation with the UC. The first decade of this century saw a big boom in development along the lakefront north of Hyde Park and encompassing Bronzeville, but it's all east of MLK and the vast majority east of Cottage Grove.

I spent a few years working as a community organizer on the SE side and in the Lawndales back in the 90's. About the only shift that I've seen is that the heroin market has increased dramatically and there's a little less crack available. Woodlawn south and west of UC hegemony, Englewood, Washington Park, Eastside, South Chicago, Roseland, the Pullmans, Austin, the Lawndales, etc. all remain desperate.
   20. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4219197)
I'm not entirely sure why this continues to be confusing. In 2012, winning has very little to do with attendance. Massive swaths of people go to Wrigley Field for reasons having nothing to do with wanting to see the Cubs play baseball; people at the Cell, O.Co, and the Trop go to watch baseball.

The core baseball audience is the people who go to those three parks, and it's not very big. Each city has a different-size core, but it's much smaller than the number reflected by attendance figures, which include people who go for the mall, the bars, and other touristy, foofy reasons featured in mallparks other than those three.

Baseball qua baseball is simply nowhere near as popular as its imagined to be in some parts.
   21. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4219202)
I think I remember a fifth Hyde Parker from a couple of years ago, but I don't remember who. Probably just a hallucination.

That makes three of us in the Hyde Park area? Probably more. (also a uchicago student here, but going to be living in London next year)


Are you an undergrad doing the British History, Lit, & Culture program? Probably not, because you say "next year" and that's just in the fall quarter. I ask because a friend of mine is teaching in it.

Baseball qua baseball is simply nowhere near as popular as its imagined to be in some parts.


This is sadly true. Out-of-town friends who aren't baseball fans always want to go to a game at Wrigley when they come to visit. It has more to do with Ferris Bueller than with anything a Cubs player has ever done. I guess what's surprising isn't that the Cubs are outdrawing the Sox, but that the Sox are drawing so little compared to MLB as a whole. It's a decent park, not hard to get to, not incredibly expensive, in a huge metro area, they're winning, and they're 24th in attendance.

EDIT: Should've been more explicit: I don't think that one should explicitly link the Cell to the Trop. I've seen games in the Kingdome and in Olympic Stadium, and Tropicana Field is the worst ballpark I have ever been to, by a fairly hefty margin. You can go to the Cell and sit in the sun and look at the sky and a nice green field and drink decent beer and eat above-average ballpark food. This doesn't happen at the Trop.
   22. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4219206)
Are you an undergrad doing the British History, Lit, & Culture program? Probably not, because you say "next year" and that's just in the fall quarter. I ask because a friend of mine is teaching in it.

Sadly no, I'm going for the whole year (London School of Economics yearlong program). I *do* think I have a friend in that program (I'm not sure - I'll ask her when I see her next), though.
   23. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4219208)
I guess what's surprising isn't that the Cubs are outdrawing the Sox, but that the Sox are drawing so little compared to MLB as a whole. It's a decent park, not hard to get to, not incredibly expensive, in a huge metro area, they're winning, and they're 24th in attendance.

Unlike practically every other stadium in MLB, their park isn't a destination for people who don't give a fig about baseball. They're not having a great year at the gate, but 1.8 or 1.9M -- roughly their current pace -- certainly isn't terrible. It's a lot better than Oakland or Tampa.
   24. Sonic Youk Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4219210)
Chicago is a great city, but the level of segregation blows away anything ive ever seen. It really is two cities stuck together.

My first week moving here, knowing nothing about the city, i went to check out apartments on the far south side. Pulled over by 3 different cops in the first 20 minutes. Theres just no expectation that white people will be down there unless theyre buying drugs.
   25. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4219213)
not incredibly expensive


This is coming from someone who doesn't really have a lot of $$$ at this point, but I haven't been a fan of the new dynamic pricing system. I mean, I'm OK with it in theory, they just need to fine tune the pricing. It's great that you can get a field-level for $15 against the Royals on a Tuesday in May, but weekend games throughout the warm months are still a bit expensive IMO.

Recent attendance has been fine, they didn't draw anybody during the start of the season when the team was playing mediocre baseball.
   26. Austin Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4219224)
I'm pretty sure there are at least one or two other Hyde Park residents, but they just haven't seen this thread.

My first week moving here, knowing nothing about the city, i went to check out apartments on the far south side. Pulled over by 3 different cops in the first 20 minutes. Theres just no expectation that white people will be down there unless theyre buying drugs.


I once walked through a residential area somewhere between 70th and 80th (I can't remember exactly where). I didn't attract any attention from the police like you did, but there was a car that drove by, slowed down after passing me, and waited at the next stoplight for me to walk by. It turned out to be a middle-aged African-American couple; they rolled down the window and asked me in a concerned voice whether I was lost. I told them I knew exactly where I was going - and I did - but that I appreciated it anyway. That made it pretty clear to me just how out of place I was, and I haven't walked around down there since.
   27. squatto Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4219226)
I once walked through a residential area somewhere between 70th and 80th (I can't remember exactly where). I didn't attract any attention from the police like you did, but there was a car that drove by, slowed down after passing me, and waited at the next stoplight for me to walk by. It turned out to be a middle-aged African-American couple; they rolled down the window and asked me in a concerned voice whether I was lost. I told them I knew exactly where I was going - and I did - but that I appreciated it anyway. That made it pretty clear to me just how out of place I was, and I haven't walked around down there since.

Chatham? Aka the black Copland, white Copland being Beverly. I maintain that Lem's on 75th makes the best ribs in the city. And I pity the north siders who aren't familiar with the glory that is Harold's.
   28. squatto Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4219227)
One nice thing about Chicago is that Boston-area provincialism fits very nicely into Chicago provincialism.
   29. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4219230)
I guess I'm weird in that I like the Cell. I think it's attractive, and it's never a hassle to go there. But, yeah, I go to baseball games wherever there are baseball games being played, so I'm not the one to ask.

Chicago is a great city, but the level of segregation blows away anything ive ever seen. It really is two cities stuck together.


It's just a (spatially) larger version of something that's entirely typical of the Midwest, unfortunately. This claims that the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th most segregated cities in the US are in the Midwest. You can measure it in other ways, but most any measure you come up with will have Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Indianapolis as among the most segregated large places in America.
   30. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4219236)
Baseball qua baseball is simply nowhere near as popular as its imagined to be in some parts.

I know; this website is Exhibit A in the evidentiary record!
   31. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4219237)
One nice thing about Chicago is that Boston-area provincialism fits very nicely into Chicago provincialism.


Boston provincialism feels much more like regional provincialism on top of the local provincialism, while Chicago doesn't have the regional provincialism so much. I mean, New England is a backwater (in a good way), and everyone there knows it. Some hate it, some love it, but it is. Chicago is very much a third wheel in American culture, but it's not a backwater. It's just not New York or Los Angeles.
   32. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4219248)
I'd say white copland is more Mt. Greenwood than Beverly. Beverly's got a ton of white collar.
   33. squatto Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4219252)
I'd say white copland is more Mt. Greenwood than Beverly. Beverly's got a ton of white collar.

True enough, although I know a few cops/firefighters in Beverly proper. I'm guilty of conflating the two neighborhoods, much as everyone calls where I live Hyde Park. It isn't! It's Kenwood, and not the fancy pants Obama part of Kenwood neither!
   34. smileyy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4219255)
Logging in as a former resident of 51st and 52nd and Woodlawn. I miss Hyde Park sometimes.
   35. zonk Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4219269)

Chatham? Aka the black Copland, white Copland being Beverly. I maintain that Lem's on 75th makes the best ribs in the city. And I pity the north siders who aren't familiar with the glory that is Harold's.


Harold's has spread out, though -- there are locations way up north now, too... but yeah - for the longest time, a good 5-7 years after settling on the north side, I was absolutely certain you'd fall off the face of the earth if you ventured south of Division and I was pretty sure you were best off staying north of North Ave, if not Fullerton.

The turning point for me - not that I make the hike south all that often - was a friend teaching at a southside school years back. I accompanied her to a wedding for one of her fellow teachers where I think we were the only two white folks in attendance, but we really hit it off with one of the couples we were sitting with (so much so that we hit the riverboats until dawn immediately after the reception). We did a fair number of 'north-south' exchanges the following summer and used to amuse ourselves (but no one else!) to no end by explaining at both ends of town that we were paired together by a Chicago summer BBQ desegregation pilot program. I'd say the combination of nervous laughter and self-righteous indignation was at about the same ratio on both sides of town, perhaps with a bit more self-righteous indignation on the north, nervous laughter on the south.

Sadly, he and his then-girlfriend/now-wife really did move off the face of the earth -- also known as the 'suburbs'.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4219274)
I went to U of C for a year ('94-'95 academic year) but I lived on the North side (LSD btw Addison and Waveland).
   37. smileyy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4219277)
Harold's tastes better when served from behind bulletproof glass.
   38. TerpNats Posted: August 27, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4219346)
Whose idea was this to shut down the CTA Red line at that time of year, given that Sox-35th is probably an important station? Couldn't this has been done between, say February and July, thus minimizing the problems for Chisox attendance (which one would think brings in quite a bit of revenue for the city)? And might the Sox work with CTA to provide game-day shuttle buses from the station where Red line service will end north of the park, as well as a bus line serving station areas south of the park?
   39. zonk Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4219372)
Whose idea was this to shut down the CTA Red line at that time of year, given that Sox-35th is probably an important station? Couldn't this has been done between, say February and July, thus minimizing the problems for Chisox attendance (which one would think brings in quite a bit of revenue for the city)? And might the Sox work with CTA to provide game-day shuttle buses from the station where Red line service will end north of the park, as well as a bus line serving station areas south of the park?


I can't speak to whether the CTA provides game-day specific shuttles or plans to -- but normally, when they close an El station for an extended period, they do tend to provide bus service that more or less mimics the stops in between closed stations.... I would assume they would plan on the same here, though, I'm less familiar with the surface street situation around these closed stops.

Still - the red line is the primary artery to the entire network, really, so I have to imagine shuttles will be plentiful.
   40. squatto Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4219378)
I'd say the combination of nervous laughter and self-righteous indignation was at about the same ratio on both sides of town, perhaps with a bit more self-righteous indignation on the north, nervous laughter on the south.

Nice story!
   41. Cabbage Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4219436)
And I pity the north siders who aren't familiar with the glory that is Harold's.

Living in Uptown had its up and down moments, but one of the highlights was definitely Harold's.
   42. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4219476)
I can't speak to whether the CTA provides game-day specific shuttles or plans to -- but normally, when they close an El station for an extended period, they do tend to provide bus service that more or less mimics the stops in between closed stations.... I would assume they would plan on the same here, though, I'm less familiar with the surface street situation around these closed stops.



The plan (as I understand it) is that there will be shuttles from all of the closed Red Line stops to the closest Green Line stop, with everyone from 55th Street and points south being bused to the Garfield (55th St) Green Line station. Presumably this will still be the plan on game days; the walk from the 35th Bronzeville/IIT Green Line station to the Cell is half a mile.

The problem is that on an average day there are 37,500 people getting on a Red Line train at one of the stations from 55th on south, while there are 1,300 people getting on the Green Line at Garfield. Some of those 37,500 won't travel or will come up with some other way of getting where they want to go, but they're going to be stuffing a ton of people into a station designed for a fraction of that number. Garfield is my station, so I know -- it's podunk. The other issue is that there is no way to run shuttle buses efficiently and quickly.

There will be ways to get to US Cellular via transit, it's just that it's going to take a lot longer and be a lot less pleasant.
   43. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4219507)
I imagine the newish 35th street Metra stop will be getting a lot more use for weeknight games at least. The Rock Island runs so infrequently during non-rush hour that they won't be as viable for day games and weekend games.

As for non-White Sox travel, I wonder if there will be a lot more people heading over to/from Gresham on a daily basis rather than dealing with the Red Line shuttles.

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