All for one

Ryne Sandberg

There may be some Chicago Cubs fans on the North Side who will lose their minds from reading this, but I'm happy for Ozzie Guillen and the Chicago White Sox.

Sorry Northsiders, but I will be rooting for the White Sox in the World Series. And I'm telling all Cubs fans that it is OK to root for them. Here are three good reasons why you should:

1. They play the game right.

If you haven't noticed, the White Sox play hard and they do many things well. First of all, their lineup doesn't have many holes, so Ozzie is able to bunt and hit-and-run at any point in the batting order.

The White Sox play an NL-type of ball that I love. They pitch well, they have recently played good defense and they're playing with a lot of passion. They're also fun to watch right now. Give them a chance.

2. It's good for the city of Chicago.

Whether you live on 35th Street or in Wrigleyville, the White Sox reaching the World Series is a great accomplishment for the city. How long have the White Sox and Cubs been mired together in baseball mediocrity? Now, the White Sox are going to the Fall Classic and I believe the Cubs aren't far from getting there themselves.

Cubs fans, be patient. Give it some time and your team will be there, too. Chicago should rally around the White Sox and understand that a White Sox win is a win for the entire city, not just below the river.

3. If you root for them, next year they'll root for you.

How many times have Cubs fans said, "Wait 'til next year"? Well, this phrase might actually be true. The pieces are in place for a winning Cubs season in 2006.

Jim Hendry will finally have a good amount of money to spend on free agents, and the questions the Cubs general manager has had in the past (bullpen and leadoff batter) can be answered with a few small moves. So, if you root for the White Sox this October, they'll be on your side next October.

I'm not saying that Cubs fans have to go out and buy Paul Konerko jerseys. However, we should have no reason to "hate" the White Sox.

I know Cubs fans are knowledgeable and they should be able to appreciate good baseball when they see it. The White Sox are playing good baseball and it should be appreciated by the entire city of Chicago.

The Cubs should be able to learn something from the White Sox, who changed their team around in one year. They went from a team of bombers (Konerko, Carlos Lee, Magglio Ordonez) to a team with more speed that can beat you in several ways. Adding Scott Podsednik and Tadahito Iguchi gave them more variety in their lineup.

So it's OK to be a White Sox fan for one series, Cubs Nation. Really, it is.

This Cub certainly will.