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Cubs and White Sox: How bad we talkin'?

Chicago baseball fans fear the worst, but it's not always reality

By RedEye

RedEye

5:46 PM CDT, June 8, 2014

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For as easy as it is to make fun of Chicago baseball these days, is it possible fans are being too hard on the Cubs and White Sox? Are things really better than they seem, despite Wrigley renovation hang-ups and White Sox injuries grabbing most of the headlines?

Well, maybe. There are reasons to be optimistic—or hibernate until Bears season.

 

IT'S NOT THAT BAD

The White Sox open a seven-game home stand Monday—four games against division-leading Detroit followed by three vs. fellow wild-card contender Kansas City. Perfect time to make up some ground.

IT IS THAT BAD

The Sox are 2-4 against the Tigers and 3-3 vs. the Royals this season. If that's any indication, the best they'll do is tread water and delay the inevitable: another wasted opportunity.

 

IT'S NOT THAT BAD

Adam Dunn's average is up from last year (.234 compared with .219), and he recently belted his 450th career home run. He has 11 this season to go with 38 RBIs.

IT IS THAT BAD

Dunn also has a whopping 64 strikeouts. That total is topped by only a few in the American League, including teammate Tyler Flowers, who leads the AL with 67 whiffs.

 

IT'S NOT THAT BAD

Jeff Samardzija is having a terrific year despite his 2-5 record. His ERA is a sparkling 2.54 and he's struck out 75 hitters, 10th best in the National League.

IT IS THAT BAD

His hot start has only ignited trade rumors. Which wouldn't be too concerning, except for the fact the team isn't rushing to re-sign him. Or shutting down the rumblings whatsoever.

 

IT'S NOT THAT BAD

Pitcher Chris Sale (5-0. 2.06 ERA) and slugger Jose Abreu (17 home runs, 47 RBIs) are two of the most exciting players in baseball. Period. And they're only 25 and 27 years old, respectively.

IT'S NOT THAT BAD

Sale and the Sox blew a five-run lead in a loss Saturday, and both he and Abreu have spent time on the disabled list this season. Can you count on them to stay healthy?

 

IT'S NOT THAT BAD

The Cubs are 10th in Major League Baseball in attendance, averaging 32,126 fans per game.

IT IS THAT BAD

Wrigley's capacity is 41,160, which means the park is only 78.1 percent full on average. Maybe that facelift can't come soon enough.

 

IT'S NOT THAT BAD

The Cubs recently won five straight! They hadn't done that since last May.

IT IS THAT BAD

The Cubs still are firmly cemented in last place in the NL Central.