Boston Reax

Monday, July 25, 2005, 12:18 pm

Boston Reaction

Please check out Tony Massarotti’s article in today’s Boston Herald, titled "Who are top Sox?  Chicago’s Not Scaring Boston."

I am not with the team in Kansas City today, but my guess is it will be discussed and posted on the clubhouse wall.  Thanks, Red Sox, for the motivation.

The Boston Globe also advanced last weekend’s series by sending a writer to our series with the Devil Rays earlier in the month.  The result?  Same old stereotypes about attendance, the ballpark, the neighborhood and Sox fans.  Check it out if you want to, but if you are a White Sox fan, you’ve read this all before.  Old perceptions make for a better story than today’s reality.

I did send a letter to the sports editor in response, but received no reply.  That happens quite a lot — my being ignored — so if you don’t mind, I will re-print my response here:

To the Editor,

We were disappointed to read Stan Grossfeld’s perspective of the White Sox and the neighborhood around U.S. Cellular Field in The Boston Globe (July 21).

During his visit to Chicago in advance of the Red Sox, Mr. Grossfeld focused on club attendance, the lack of team merchandise in a downtown store and the recovering neighborhood surrounding the ballpark to the east and south.  His story was accompanied by a photo of empty seats and train tracks.  In our opinion, Mr. Grossfeld’s report took the easy way out, relying on some very dated stereotypes (i.e. Jim Croce’s “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown) and myths. Reading these stereotypes from non-Chicago media is not a surprise to White Sox fans, but the reliance on such a subjective view is disappointing coming from The Boston Globe.

As for attendance, the White Sox currently are on pace to enjoy the fourth-largest attendance total in franchise history, have experienced a club record 10 sellouts in 2005 and boast the third-largest attendance increase in the American League, just ahead of the Red Sox.  Instead, Mr. Grossfeld chose to visit the ballpark for a midweek series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and take pictures of empty seats.  In our most recent homestand, all seven games against the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox attracted over 31,000 fans and six of the seven crowds over 36,000.

Despite what Mr. Grossfeld’s afternoon walk up Michigan Avenue taught him, the White Sox annually rank among the top performers in baseball for merchandise sales, in large part because of our popular logo and color scheme.

Finally, had Mr. Grossfeld chosen to walk in two different directions near the ballpark, his article could have introduced Globe readers to one of the biggest boom real estate markets in Chicago – the Bridgeport neighborhood that surrounds the ballpark to the north and west.  He could have visited restaurants, bars and new construction sites for multimillion dollar homes and condos within minutes of downtown Chicago.

The next time Mr. Grossfeld visits Chicago, please have him contact us in advance.  We would be happy to provide him with the most knowledgeable of tour guides … White Sox fans.

Sincerely,

Scott Reifert

8 Comments

Perception again. I agree – we Sox fans are tired of it. Solid reply.

These Boston writers have no clue what is going on here on the South Side. Their heads are still SO swollen after the Series last year. I hope everyone continues to overlook the White Sox and call them mediocre.

Perhaps you should copy in our own Tribune.

Excellent letter. I suspect you’ll be sending one into New York City sometime soon after a similar hatchet job.

Scott, your letter is great and is no doubt worthy of print.

As a college student in Boston who was born and raised in Chicago, I’ve had the opportunity to experience Red Sox nation for the last 3 years. Unfortunately, however, I have to constantly work to debunk the myths surrounding our fans, our ballpark, and the love we have for our team.

Honestly, most Boston fans are great and I respect them. Nevertheless, they are fed these unfortunate stereotypes about us White Sox fans, and it is really unfortunate. Unlike those in Chicago who have knowingly turned a blind eye to our recent attendance surge and successful team, it is harder for me to become frustrated at those Boston fans who, from many miles away, are spoonfed the same drivel from their local writers.

I look forward to reading many more of your posts.

I really do hope this article pumps the team up and motivates them to go on a minimum 10-game winning streak. They look a lot better on paper then they really are? So having the best record in baseball looks better than what? The Carmines pretty much caught the Pale Hose at the wrong time. The southsiders could have easily taken 3 out of 4. Jermaine was out for the series, Big Frank put on the DL, and a couple of miscues on the field (not to mention a few horrible calls by a particular ump at 2nd base), and through all of this, a series split with the World Champions. But they look better on paper? This guy is right, the White Sox do not have any “superstars” as one would call them. The biggest superstar on the Sox ironically is probably Tadahito Iguchi, and he has even taken a backseat from his stardom in Japan to find his role on a championship ballclub. As for the neighborhood on the southside, I feel pretty insulted. I have never been to Boston (nor would I really ever want to), but it seems to me these people are all snobs and their town really isn’t all that impressive. As for Chicago, I wouldn’t rather live anywhere else in the world than the Southside. Seriously…where else can you live 10 minutes from the most beautiful downtown in the world, 10 minutes from the most beautiful stadium (U.S. Cellular of course), and 10 minutes from casinos that aren’t even in the state. Scott, if you need a tour guide for this bum, I know a few places on the southside where the people will make him respect us all.
Great response to him as well. This year when the REAL Sox are crowned the World Champions, I hope the organization gets the respect that they have earned. Bring on the Royals!

well said, Scott. I’m sick and tired of hearing this from other people who don’t live in chicago. If someone ever does reply to this, post it and let us know what kind of lame excuse they had!

Thanks for defending the great city of Chicago. What they apparently fail to realize, is…it doesn’t matter how many empty seats there are, or what the surrounding area looks like. Best record in baseball is the best record in baseball. Let’s see how much they have to say about us when we kick their *** in the playoffs!

Fine – stay small never let them see you coming.

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