Originally Posted by Milw
But I haven't felt this much apathy in the fanbase and the city towards the Sox since 1999. Thankfully we don't have nearly the attendance woes we had back then--20,000 was considered a great crowd--but the malaise and general disinterest is palpable and comparable.
I think people might be exaggerating a bit about the disinterest being on par with the late 90s teams. The Sox results in the paper would sometimes be back by the horse racing section in those days. As you pointed out, the crowds are larger now and I'm willing to bet that the TV ratings are better than they were back in the 90s too. Now, that's not to say the Sox don't have some issues.
Besides the mediocre start by the team, I think there is a general lack of interest in baseball right now in Chicago that is hurting both teams. (Yes, even the mighty Cubs have taken a hit on attendance and ratings) Both Chicago teams are doing poorly on the field and are struggling to grab any sort of buzz or headlines with the Blackhawks making their run to the cup and the Bulls having a high profile playoff run. Bears practices get more coverage lately than baseball. The biggest baseball story of 2013 in Chicago has been the political battle over Wrigley renovations. Just five years ago in 2008, baseball was king in this town. Both teams were in first place and the buzz for both clubs was at the highest I could remember. I guess everything goes in cycles and is often tied to success on the field.