Polling place

Chicago Sun-Times - - CUBS BEAT - with steve greenberg sgreen­berg@sun­times.com @slgreen­berg

It was just a mean­ing­less ex­hi­bi­tion game, wasn’t it? Yet some­thing about White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez’s first-in­ning grand slam against Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish a few days ago at Guar­an­teed Rate Field felt big­ger than that.

To some, it might even have sig­ni­fied a shift of base­ball power in this city from North Side to South Side. When you add Jimenez’s ex­cit­ing rise, Darvish’s on­go­ing strug­gles and fel­low Cubs pitcher Jose Quin­tana’s ridicu­lous dish­wash­ing in­jury, it cer­tainly plays into a cou­ple of early-sea­son sto­ry­lines:

One, the Sox, with Jimenez — the jewel of their 2017 trade of Quin­tana — and so many more young, talented, en­tic­ing pieces, are ready to win.

Two, the Cubs, four years re­moved from their World Se­ries tri­umph — and in their first sea­son with­out man­ager Joe Mad­don — are try­ing to hang on to their magic of the last half-decade.

‘‘Polling Place’’ — your weekly home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twit­ter — asked which team will be bet­ter in 2020, and the vot­ing wasn’t close.

‘‘Cubs, of course!’’ com­mented @IVYandICE2, who surely would have had the ma­jor­ity on her side head­ing into 2019, let alone in sea­sons be­fore that.

But, no, not this time. Not even close. ‘‘Peo­ple love prospects and youth,’’ @PitRom­ney wrote. ‘‘The Cubs core is still one of the most talented in base­ball. The pitch­ing staff will de­cide whether this team is elite or slightly above av­er­age.’’

What ‘‘elite’’ means in a 60-game reg­u­lar sea­son, we’ll see. But it’s the Sox who have all the mojo in the world head­ing in. They have loads of tal­ent, an un­de­ni­able fresh­ness sur­round­ing them and, for what it’s worth, two-thirds of the vote over the Cubs.

On to the polls:

GETTY IM­AGES

Yu Darvish Eloy Jimenez Dal­las Keuchel

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