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Ricketts pokes fun at White Sox attendance

CHICAGO – Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts fired off a hefty volley -- and got the biggest laugh -- in what should be renewed intensity to the Cubs/White Sox rivalry.

During Saturday morning's Ricketts Family Forum at his team's annual fan convention, he was told by a fan that people say that kids “have more fun at U.S. Cellular Field” than at Wrigley Field. After a pause, Ricketts responded:

“Can’t be that many kids having fun at U.S. Cellular,” he said with a smile.

It was an obvious shot at the White Sox's attendance problems, as the Cubs have outdrawn their American League counterpart every year since 1992 -- and that includes 2005, the year the Sox won the World Series, as well as the next season, when a bump in attendance usually follows. In 2014, the Cubs drew 2.6 million fans to 1.6 million for the White Sox.

The Cubs/Sox rivalry has lost some buzz over the years, mostly due to the fact that neither team has been very good. Last season might have seen the least interest, given the faltering fortunes of both squads and their four-game series being played during in early May, when school was still in session and the weather wasn’t exactly ideal. In 2015, the teams will play each other six times, including one weekend each in July and August.

Ricketts’ comments Saturday are sure to be still echoing when the three-day Sox Fest kicks off Friday and the South Siders get a chance to respond. Then the teams can fight it out on the field -- they’ve literally done that in the past -- this summer.

Overall, the White Sox have 52 wins head to head to 46 for the Cubs since interleague play began in 1997.