White Sox, Cubs both in playoff chase

Joe Torre has been marvelously adept at coping with one of the most difficult bosses in all of sports.

Updated: September 4, 2003, 11:48 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
The Cubs and White Sox are a combined 12 games over .500 and you'll have to forgive the city of Chicago for getting excited over such a seemingly pedestrian display of baseball accomplishment. Well, the north side is getting excited anyway. Dan Manoyan of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes that while Cubs fans are agog about their team, the reaction to the south has been less than inspired. "I won't say I'm disappointed, but I'm a little bit down about it," Sox second baseman Roberto Alomar told Manoyan "I mean, we're playing winning baseball here -- it's not like we are in third or fourth or fifth place."

Meanwhile, Wrigley fans pumped up the volume for this week's series with the Cardinals, causing Cubs centerfielder Kenny Lofton to marvel at the intensity of the rivalry and the moment. Drew Olson of the Journal-Sentinel reports that Lofton found himself in a conversation with Edgar Renteria of St. Louis and couldn't help but remark on the atmosphere at Wrigley yesterday. 'This is like a playoff game," they both agreed. "It was awesome."

In the century-plus that both Chicago teams have been operating, this is just the 20th time that both of them will have managed to finish over .500 in the same season. While that works out to about one season in five that both have risen above mediocrity in the same year, the picture is actually much dimmer than that for fans that were not born in the 19th Century.
Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at