I grew up about a hundred miles away from St. Louis, Missouri. Chicago was 200 miles away, and seemingly in a different world. So when I came to Chicago, as people from all over the midwest do, I had an adjustment to make. I was a Cubs fan already, but I had to recalibrate my baseball animosity away from the Cardinals and onto the White Sox instead.
There’s no good reason why the White Sox should occupy a larger place in the Cubs’ fans thought processes than the Cardinals. The Cardinals are in the National League, as the Cubs are, and more often than not, the Cardinals are the team that the Cubs have to get past in order to win their division. And for every year when the Cubs can beat the Cardinals, there are several more years where they can’t.
Cubs fans like me find it much easier to hate on the White Sox, while ignoring the Cardinals. Sox fans are our neighbors, our colleagues, and the people we generally share this part of the world with. This Chicago-centric view of baseball won’t ever change, but it at least needs to be recognized.
So the world champion Cardinals are coming to town this weekend, with every game important for their playoff chances. The Cubs can only try to play the spoiler, and hope to edge closer to their goal of at least 63 wins for the season. I’m expecting to see a lot of red in Wrigley Field for the game this afternoon.