Why would the White Sox want to stay in Chicago?

Even after leading their division for weeks and months, they still could draw only relatively small crowds.

It's sad, because if the Sox had been able to build its new stadium in northwest suburban Addison as the owners had wanted, the club could have been more a financial success, and more competitive in the search for top talent.

Maybe you have to be an old-timer to remember that in the 1980s the Sox were threatening to move to St. Petersburg, Florida. The owners really wanted to stay here, having purchased land in Addison for the park. But voters in Addison turned it down, some arguing that major league ballpark would overwhelm the suburb with traffic. Others had more nefarious but quieter reasons, such as not wanting to bring a South Side (you know what that means) team with its fans to the suburb.

Here are details of that fight.

Seeing all those empty seats during the run for the division crown could not have impressed the owner, Jerry Reinsdorf, who, after all, can't run a club in the red (even with the state-supported U.S. Cellular Field). I have no idea if he's considering his options, but if it were me, I would. And I'm a White Sox fan. (I admit that I'm a Sox fan who attended no games this year because I live in a northern suburb and have no friends that would want to go with me. They're all hooked on the Cubs, God help them.)

How ironic that the team that knocked the Sox out of the race is a Tampa Bay area team.

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    Dennis Byrne

    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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