Which side of town does the Cubs-White Sox rivalry mean more to? If we’re talking about the fans, there’s a pretty strong indication in this week’s “Polling Place,” your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter.
We asked Cubs fans which opponent they like to beat most. In a runaway, the answer was the Cardinals at 64.8%. The Sox received only 13.1% of the vote, also trailing the Brewers (15.5%).
“That vote is correctly lopsided,” @dpurpura commented.
But we put the same question to Sox fans, and the top vote-getter wasn’t a division rival. It was the Cubs, at 44.4%. Interpret that as you will.
“Cubs fans say the Cardinals because it’s our actually division rival and means more in terms of standings and playoff contention,” @BeSureMan wrote. “White Sox fans say the Cubs because they have an inferiority complex.”
We also asked about interleague rivalries between crosstown (or close) foes: Which one is the best?
On to the polls:
Poll No. 1: Cubs fans, which team is most fun to beat?
Upshot: Anyone else a bit surprised the Brewers haven’t narrowed the gap on the Cardinals in this regard? The rivalry with the Crew has been pretty high-stakes and intense over recent seasons. But Cubs-Cards is special and always has been. And the point here is — clearly — beating the Sox doesn’t touch beating the Birds on the Bat.
Poll No. 2: White Sox fans, which team is most fun to beat?
Upshot: There must ve various factors at play here, perhaps the biggest one being the Sox just plain don’t have a longstanding rivalry that’s considered one of the good ones in baseball. Also, though, don’t Sox fans have more reasons to dislike the Cubs than the other way around? The Cubs have the cooler ballpark, the bigger crowds, the higher national profile, etc. “Inferiority complex,” though, seems a little harsh.
Poll No. 3: Which “crosstown” rivalry is the best?
Upshot: As @JBIRD1268 points out, “Cubs-White Sox isn’t for the national spotlight.” Then again, are any of these “national” rivalries? Mets-Yankees undoubtedly comes closest, which is mostly a media thing. The New York teams clashed in the World Series in 2000 and, as we all know, both are having successful 2022 seasons. Mets-Yankees for all the marbles again? Just imagine what it’ll be like if — when — it happens here.