Breaking News Bar
updated: 1/27/2014 5:35 AM

Cubs vs. White Sox: Which team will be less unbearable?

Success - Article sent! close
  • Jose Abreu, one of the White Sox' promising young stars, attended SoxFest over the weekend.

    Jose Abreu, one of the White Sox' promising young stars, attended SoxFest over the weekend.
    Associated Press


Chicago's baseball-convention season ended Sunday with little conventional wisdom being dispensed.

At this preliminary point of the year only one bit of truthiness could have been uttered by anyone associated with either the White Sox or the Cubs.

"We stinks."

Oh, where have you gone, Carlos Zambrano and Ozzie Guillen, a city turns its bleeding ears to you?

(Half of the answer came Sunday in a report that Zambrano was involved in a bench-clearing brawl during a Venezuelan Winter League game … man, do I ever miss that man.)

OK, I'm being a little harsh about the Sox and Cubs, maybe as a half-joke or maybe as a pre-existing condition.

A fact of life around here is that local baseball fans customarily are reduced to settling for less. Both the Sox and Cubs are promising sustained success, though the estimated time of arrival remains a mystery for each.

It's time, following reunions of the Sox over the weekend and the Cubs last weekend, to assess which team is serving up the better of lesser for 2014.

The vote here goes to the White Sox, though it's nothing they should brag about yet.

The Sox are offering their fans what Cubs fans thought they were signing up for three off-seasons ago.

The Cubs' faithful agreed with then-new baseball president Theo Epstein that it was time to break it down, go young and build for the future. The perceived premise was that the Theocrats would exchange older players for major-league-ready prospects and the future would be on display sooner than later.

Instead, the future still is in the minor leagues or college or grade school or the womb.

A good chunk of patient Cubs fans -- what else can they be called after the franchise hasn't won a World Series in 105 seasons? -- have lost patience.

Meanwhile, the White Sox aren't expected to contend for a division, league or World Series title this summer any more than the Cubs are.

The difference is that something is visible at the end of the Sox' tunnel, though nobody can quite make out what it is yet.

At least Sox fans can visit the South Side to scout for themselves whether the remodeled offense featuring Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, Matt Davidson and Avisail Garcia ever will be any good.

That contrasts with Cubs prospects such as Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and a few others who remain mere rumors.

Abreu might be a Sox-sized bust, Eaton might be a speedy leadoff man who can't steal first base, Davidson might wind up back in the minors, and Garcia might be just another castoff from the Tigers.

But at least Sox fans will be able to judge these players for themselves, whereas for most of this season Cubs fans will have to believe what they're told.

This isn't to say that the Sox have a better rebuilding plan than the Cubs have.

Just because the Sox' future is closer to now doesn't mean it will arrive first, if at all, at the clubs' common goal of sustained success.

It's just a difference in philosophy, difference in timeline and difference in tolerance level.

The Sox think that if they tank a few years they could become an irretrievable franchise that not even Dennis Rodman would pay a visit, much less pay to visit.

The Cubs think that they can afford to take a massive hit in attendance and their fans will reassemble in Wrigley Field at the crack of a bat and hum of a fastball.

The conventional truth is that nobody knows for certain what the next decade holds for either of these teams.

The only logical conclusion today, however, is that this season the White Sox will be less unbearable than the Cubs will be.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.