Guaranteed Rate Field via Fox 32 Chicago, screenshot

As a Milwaukee resident, I was immediately annoyed when I learned, like many of you, that the Brewers were looking at moving away unless the city coughed up a huge load of money to help with stadium maintenance. Now, I have to feel slightly bad for Milwaukee’s “big brother” Chicago too, as the White Sox are considering a divorce from their city. It would be funnier if it were the Cubs, but no one is that lucky I guess.

Guaranteed Rate Field via Fox 32 Chicago, screenshot

Much like the Brewers, the White Sox have Nashville on top of their list of possible new locations, in addition to many fine cities with far less murders, burglaries, and sexual assaults than “Chiraq.” You probably won’t be hearing the obvious part out loud however, after all, they’ll just say it was another business decision.

According to CBS News Chicago:

“The White Sox are considering moving from Guaranteed Rate Field when their lease expires in six years. Relocating to the suburbs or a new city was mentioned, but sources say the White Sox are keeping their options open.”

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The White Sox have some of the most dedicated and die-hard fans in the league. Part of that has been because they’ve stayed in Chicago far longer than any other team has in their current city, and have been planted firmly in Chicago since 1900.

The Sox did issue a statement though once rumblings of the potential news began to hit the streets.

“We have not had any conversations about our lease situation, but with six years remaining, it is naturally nearing a time where discussions should begin to take place,” the team said in a statement. “The conversations would be with the city, ISFA and the state and most likely would be about vision, opportunities and the future.”

Guess this goes to show that no fanbase in the league is safe from having their home team yanked away. Yet, what is the big, ugly, commonality all these “conversations” the teams looking to move share?

White Sox vs Rockies via MLB YouTube, screenshot

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Much like the very public outrage thrown at the Oakland A’s, it’s got to do with money, and lots of it. Yes, people will dismiss my assertion that increased crime rates in places like Oakland and Chicago are probably not the “main” reason, and certainly Las Vegas and Nashville have their share of problems, but money can make any problem seem smaller when the zeroes keep adding up.

This is the ultimate rub when it comes to major sports leagues, though. You can have “your team” and you can wear all your jerseys and hats, but at the end of the day, these teams don’t love you back. The players don’t know your names, and the commissioner sure doesn’t seem to care how much money you’ve put into merchandise and tickets over the years.

Much like the Nationals in 2005, they’ll relocate to another city willing to give them more bang for their buck, win a World Series, and life will move on. It hurts, but the truth is it’s not about the love of the game or service to the fans, its about who is willing to keep the stadiums fixed up and full so the cash can keep flowing. Blame cities using taxpayer money to keep them happy, blame the league for whatever, it doesn’t really matter once they pick up and leave.

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