When the Sox head up to the Friendly Confines in mid-June, there will be more at stake than mere baseball bragging rights in Chicago. The winner of the series will also take 16th place in Tribune columnist Phil Rogers’ MLB power rankings.

“That’s our spot, no question,” said Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot. “We’re a solid mid-tier team, in the same class as clubs like the Padres and the Royals. The Sox are bottom-tier at best. After we’re through with them, they’ll be lucky to crack the top 25 of these ultimately meaningless rankings.”

While the South Siders want to win the Crosstown Classic too, they didn’t seem quite as enthusiastic about the prospect of making it to 16th place.

“We play this game for the fans, and they don’t really care if we’re 16th, 18th, 20th — just as long as we beat the Cubs,” said Sox first baseman Paul Konerko. “Plus, a lot of our fans can’t count that high, mainly because they’re missing a few fingers and toes.”

From the June 2009 issue by Brian Summerfield