The White Sox can heal your broken hearts, Cubs fans
On Valentine's Day, Burt Constable, our venerable storytelling columnist, announced he is falling out of love with the Cubs.
As so often is the case in talk of divorce, Burt's grievances center around allegations of immorality and irreconcilable differences.
Burt's last straw: The team is climbing into bed with the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group to launch its new regional sports network.
Burt's not alone in this. There's been similar grumbling from other left-leaning Cubs fans.
As a lifelong White Sox fan, I don't try to soothe their heartache.
If you're looking for alternatives, we welcome you to the South Side.
Not only are the White Sox on the precipice of a long World Series run with young phenoms Michael Kopech, Renaldo Lopez, Nick Madrigal, Luis Robert and Blake Rutherford, but you also might be familiar with the names of Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease.
You've complained about Jose Quintana and what you had to give up for him; well, here's your chance to cheer what you were afraid you'd miss: The rise of Eloy and Dylan to certain Hall of Fame careers.
Baseball Prospectus says the party's over for the Cubs. But the White Sox? I figure they've got five, maybe six World Series flags coming in a row with this group. Easy.
We haven't given up yet on Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito (so far, one strikes out too much, the other strikes out too little).
This also would be your chance to join us in talking incessantly, if nothing else, about Manny Machado.
Best of all, Rick Hahn promises never to trade for James Shields again. (Although he hasn't ruled out starting Dylan Covey.)
Daniel Palka is a nice story, and he's got a sweet swing. And you've no doubt heard Jose Abreu is good in the clubhouse. Yolmer Sanchez occupies a sweet spot in my heart, and you'll fall for him too. Adam Engel takes your breath away in the field while providing a good break to get a beer when he comes to bat.
Be friends again with Jon Jay and Welington Castillo. Admit it: You miss them, don't you?
And we don't need to introduce you to Rick Renteria either.
In case you haven't heard, Jerry Reinsdorf is famous for his loyalty. Unlike some team operators, he won't push Rick over a cliff when a charming new face comes along.
Heck, this guy retires the numbers of players when he trades them!
We've got flavor in our heritage -- a wide assortment of jerseys and logos over the years, so many that we frequently switch into them even now.
For a change, you'll get bragging rights every time the 1906 World Series comes up in conversation.
Historic names played for the Sox -- Nellie Fox, Frank Thomas, Luke Appling, Charles Comiskey and Joe Jackson.
Well, maybe you want to forget about Jackson. Unless you like anniversaries. This is the centennial remembrance of the 1919 Black Sox and you can arrive just in time for the celebration.
Some of your favorites are part of our history too. Ron Santo? A solid little second baseman for the Sox in 1974. There were Bobby Bonds and Zeke Bonura, Phil Cavarretta and Johnny Callison, Smoky Burgess and George Bell too. Don Kessinger? We loved him so much, we had him manage the team.
Speaking of managers, among the Hall of Famers we White Sox fans claim is Johnny Evers, who managed the team to a .415 clip in 1924. And Frank Chance, who the Sox originally hired to skipper that 1924 squad but came down with a fatal case of tuberculosis before he could ever manage a game. Then there's Sammy Sosa. We had him before he was tempted to juice. You think he was trouble in the Cubs clubhouse? Nothing compared to the relationship he had with Walt Hriniak.
There's flavor in our ballpark too: the food gets raves around MLB. You'll love the parking. There's a great exploding scoreboard. The blue-collar fan base includes some who still even keep score.
And always: Plenty of good seats still available!
It's tough to make the change, I know. But it can be done.
My brother Joe once had been a Cubs fan too. He's been where you are. But he saw that it wasn't working. He owned it then. You can own it now. Like all good guys, today Joe wears black.
"After 40-some years of disappointment and heartache as a Cubs fan from birth," he says, "I was rewarded, a mere two seasons after cutting emotional ties to the Cubs following their collapse in the 2003 NLCS, when the Sox tore up the postseason en route to a World Series championship in 2005. YMMV."
Yes, the 2005 World Series. Did I mention that Sox team owns the best postseason record in the history of the three-division format? Better than the 2016 Cubs?
How did Joe make the break? How could he switch devotions?
You'll be interested in his analogy, Burt:
"Never looked back," Joe says. "Sort of like breaking up with a girlfriend that you were once attracted to, but finally grew to realize was not right for you and had been treating you badly."
Come on in, Cubs fans. On the South Side, the water is fine.