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Chicago Cubs: How to win an argument with a Cardinals fan

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Oct 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez (9) hits a three run home run during the second inning in game four of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez (9) hits a three run home run during the second inning in game four of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez (9) hits a three run home run during the second inning in game four of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez (9) hits a three run home run during the second inning in game four of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s no secret that the St. Louis Cardinals have dominated their rivalry series with the Chicago Cubs statistically. But, as any baseball statistician will tell you, numbers only tell half the story.

Hopefully, you’ve been to at least one game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals by now. If so, you’ve probably had the pleasure of interacting with some obnoxiously drunken Redbird fan spouting off nonsense about how great his team is.

Unfortunately, that’s just how the self-labeled “greatest fans in baseball” act.  At home or away, it doesn’t matter. However, that shouldn’t detract you from watching the series take a different shape. Your best defense against this short-sighted behavior is factual knowledge of rivalry history. 2017 is going to be a defining year in this rivalry. That said, here are a few things to remember:

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Why are they here in the first place?

Chicago poet Carl Sandburg once described the city as the “city of big shoulders”.

Since its inception, Chicago’s shoulders have carried incredible weight to stabilize our nation’s trade economy.

Sandberg never shied away from talking about the Windy City, like in his poem, ‘Chicago.’

"Hog Butcher for the World,Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;Stormy, husky, brawling,City of the Big Shoulders:"

Chicago rapidly became one of the most important cities in the Union in regards to trade and transportation. It’s out of the city’s success the St. Louis Cardinals were born.

Even with access to the Mississippi River and Route 66, St. Louis has never been able to hold a candle to Chicago in trade. Thus, the St. Louis Browns were created in 1875 to compete with the Chicago White Stockings. Without Chicago’s economic and athletic successes, the Cardinals might not have come into the league until much later.

Who’s winning what?

A closer look at the Cubs-Cardinals all-time series shows the Cubs have more regular season wins only if we begin counting at the turn of the 20th century. This points out the essential flaw in this claim. On the other hand, this argument does well to show the short-sightedness of most Cardinal-fan arguments.

Yes, the Cardinals have eight more championships than the Cubs, but what has that winning brought to the team – or the fanbase for that matter?

Recent allegations of racism, including recent attacks on newly-acquired center fielder Dexter Fowler, it seems this winning has only brought hubris. Since the turn of the century, St. Louis won more than 100 games three times – failing to win it all on each try.

Chicago, although winning in excess of 100 games just one time (last season), is a perfect 1.000 in leading the league in wins and finishing the job. And, in the postseason, these two teams met in the Division Series in 2015 – and we all know how that wound up.

Next: Ricketts working towards 2020 All-Star Game

Knowledge is power

So what do 11 championships look like monetarily?

A rough value of $1.6 billion on the Forbes Team Valuations List. That’s not bad for a team with a 14 percent debt/value ratio, and only $56 million in operating expenses. According to Forbes, the Redbirds are the seventh-most valuable team in the league. That’s respectable.

But, the Cubs are worth far more.

In fact, $600 million more. Not to mention Chicago’s value has doubled since 2013. Currently, the Cubs are worth approximately $2.2 billion, or fifth on the Forbes’ Valuations List. Chicago is also experiencing a 17 percent annual growth rate, highest among the top-10 teams listed.  Essentially, the Cardinals accrued $145 million in value per championship while Chicago earned $733 million.

There’s an old adage: Knowledge is power. As a sworn Cub fan, you have a duty to know as much about the team as you can. This is the best defense against an ignoramus crowd or jesters.  There is nothing that can stop a fan who cheers with their heart and their head combined.

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