With the Chicago Cubs hoarding most of the baseball headlines this offseason, it may be easy to forget about the city’s other team on the South Side. For Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, the actual existence of the Chicago White Sox was news to him.
Epstein’s oversight may be forgiven this week, as he has been busy cleaning house. First he shipped perennial headcase Carlos Zambrano to Miami and is now reportedly looking to move Alfonso Soriano as well. There is speculation that Epstein tried to get rid of all of Chicago’s albatross contracts, including Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, and Jake Peavy.
“I had to say, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa! What are you doing?'” said owner Tom Ricketts. “I explained to him that those guys play for the Sox. Theo didn’t believe me.”
“I thought he was pulling my leg,” said Epstein. “Where I came from, there was only one Sox team. The Red Sox.”
It had to be explained to Epstein that the White Sox are actually the more accomplished of the two Chicago teams in recent years, having won the World Series in 2005, breaking an 88-year drought.
“Sorry buddy. Check your facts. The Sox won the Series in ’04, and it wasn’t an 88-year curse, it was an 86-year curse. And then they won it again in ’07,” Epstein said.
After a reporter showed Epstein a newspaper clipping of the White Sox winning the World Series, Epstein responded, “Huh. Who knew there was another ball club in Chicago, let alone another Sox team? I just assumed that it was only the Cubs since that’s all anyone ever talks about around here.”