September 2005

Wednesday In-Game

Wednesday, September 22, 2005, 9:26 pm

Telecast Troubles

Technical problems with the telecast that occurred away from the ballpark tonight caused the game to not air on Comcast Sports Net Chicago until 8:32 pm.  Obviously, this was frustrating to our fans (who were looking forward to this key game), the White Sox and Comcast, who worked on multiple levels to find and fix the problem.

As I sit and write this in the eighth inning, Comcast is still trying to determine exactly what the problem was.

Eventually, they were able to route the HD feed, which worked all evening, to the regular Comcast channel to get fans video of the contest.

The White Sox were in contact with Comcast from 7 pm onward, and we tried to communicate with fans who called our switchboard to ask about the telecast.  We also passed the information along to the media, as well as John and Ed on ESPN radio.  This is the first chance I have had to get to the computer and explain what happened.  Tonight was not a "blackout," but a problem away from the ballpark with the Comcast feed.  Everyone is frustrated, and all parties are sorry to disappoint any fans.

Pregame Wednesday

Wednesday, September 21, 2005, 5:19 pm

White Sox Lineup

Pods, LF … Iguchi, 2B … Everett, DH … PK, 1B … AJ, C … Dye, RF … Rowand, CF … Uribe, SS … Crede, 3B … Gar, RHP.

Cleveland Lineup

Sizemore, CF … Crisp, LF … Peralta, SS … Hafner, DH … Martinez, C … Belliard, 2B … Broussard, 1B … Boone, 3B … Blake, RF … Elarton, RHP.

Oops

Interesting to read some of the early editions of the newspaper this morning.  With the game result still in doubt, you got some very "doom and gloom" analysis about the team’s chances.  Reading the first edition, hard to tell we eventually won the game, lowered our magic number to 9 and took the division lead over the Indians back to 3 1/2.

A Few Items …

Prior to the game, Tim Raines was a guest on Comcast Sport Nets Chicago Tribune Tonight show.  During the live interview, Mark Buehrle (yes, the same guy who was starting the game) snuck out and hit Raines in the face with a shaving cream pie.  Raines then went into the clubhouse and pretended to pummel Buehrle.Ozzieguillenbaseballcard

The clubhouse was in stiches before the game when a video of Ozzie, Harold, Tim, Joey and Walk as players was put on the big screen television.  Guys critiqued their coaches and laughed at the physiques.  Ozzie looked like he was 12 years old and weighed 120 pounds.

Finally, as the team came off the field after Joe Crede’s game-winning home run, Aaron Rowand was heard to say … "I love Joe Crede."  (Note: quote was a little cleaned up for public consumption).

Despite what you may have read or heard, guys seem very loose … and it is not pretend (at least as far as I can tell).  I actually spent five minutes this morning trying to figure out how you can pretend to be loose (or how an observer can determine when guys are pretending) but then I figured that was a waste of time.

Another thing to note:  Prior to yesterday’s game, Ozzie commented that he had received 542 emails after Monday’s game and NEARLY ALL were positive.  He opened one negative one to see if he could learn anything about his team.  In some publications, this was reported that the emails from fans were overwhelmingly negative.  Not true.  Ozzie said just the opposite.

Postgame Interview Room

Tuesday, September 20, 2005, 10:59 pm

Postgame Comments from Ozzie Guillen

"We needed that one."

"I told my kids today … we laughed about it … that I’m not going to lose this division because I have 30,000 people helping me manage."

"I’m worn out (after a game) every day since Opening Day.  It’s been a battle since Day 1."

"How can you be a loser and a choker when you win 91 games?"

From Joe CredeCrede_2

"It was a fastball, inner half.  I was looking fastball and it was up and out a little.  It probably didn’t have the sink he wanted on it.  I was able to put a swing on it and get good wood on it."

"I’ve had other walk-off home runs and game-winning hits, but it was either early in the season or we were out of it.  With us in first place and a week and a half left in the season, this is probably one of the biggest hits of my career."

On his ability to collect game-winning hits:  "I guess situations like that make your concentration level go that much higher.  You’re in a zone, and I try to tell myself, if he makes a mistake, capitalize on it."

"Nothing is clinched yet."

"We’ve won 91 games already, but the bottom line is to make the playoffs.  If we win 95 or 96 games, it’s tough to say you’re choking.  Sometimes, you have to tip your cap to the other guy."

Tuesday Pregame

Tuesday, September 20, 2005, 2:37 pm

White Sox Lineup

Pods, LF … Iguchi, 2B … Everett, DH … PK, 1B … AJ, C … Dye, RF … Rowand, CF … Uribe, SS … Crede, 3B … Buehrle, LHP.

Friday’s Game Time

Remains at 7:05 pm, CT.  Fireworks are scheduled for after the game against the Twins.

We also have fireworks scheduled for Saturday (6:05 pm).  Sunday’s 2:05 pm game against Minnesota, Fan Appreciation Day, is the last regular-season contest at U.S. Cellular Field in 2005.

Final Monday

Monday, September 19, 2005, 10:50 pm

Some of Ozzie Guillen’s Postgame comments:Ozzie_3

"Tonight we battled and played hard.  If we keep battling and playing that way, we’re going to be all right."

"Freddy really struggled early.  His command wasn’t there.  He was behind the hitters too much.  When you are behind in the count, I don’t care how good you are, you’re going to get hit."

"We were one pitch from getting out of that inning." (eighth)

"I don’t like to lose games.  If you play like we did tonight, we didn’t lose the game.  They beat us."

"I told my guys to keep their heads up and come back tomorrow ready to play."

Great Crowd

We drew a very vocal 35,748 fans to tonight’s game.  When Carl Everett homered in the seventh inning, many thought it was the loudest the ballpark has been this season.  Thanks, Sox fans.

Tomorrow’s pre-sale is smaller, so we need a really great walk-up tomorrow night.  Wednesday’s crowd is very strong for the finale of the series.

Everett

More on Monday

Monday, September 19, 2005, 6:23 pm

Clubhouse Mood

In response to a post, someone asked what the mood was like in the clubhouse?  Were our players as nervous as our fans seemed to be right now?

Absolutely not.  The mood is very good.  Guys got to the ballpark early today.  Music was playing.  There was early batting practice for quite a few guys.  Some lifted weights and worked out.  Some played video games or did a crossword puzzle to pass the time.

Closer to game time, different guys go into different routines.  Some watch video of the night’s opposing hitter.  Some grab a bite to eat.  Some listen to music on their walkmans/ipods and work on their bats or rub oil into their gloves preparing.  Some continue to work in the batting cages under the stands.

It is hard to describe, but players seem to approach the game differently than fans.  They are very day-to-day focused.  The have a self confidence that makes everyone in the clubhouse think they can win that day’s game.  I think if you have any self doubt, or negativity, years in the minor leagues quickly select you out from the system … or if you have it in the major leagues, you are not there for very long.  There may be opposing teams or pitchers who you know you will struggle with, but you never (or maybe rarely) think you don’t have a chance in a given game.  I think they see tonight’s game and this series as a challenge and as a chance to prove themselves.

I probably am not describing this very well, but players don’t tend to have the emotional ups and downs that fans, or I, might have.  It is a job that they have done for a very long time.  They show up each day, go through the routine to play, and then win or lose.  They do care a great deal.  That’s not the issue.  Everyone considers themselves "competitive."  I used to as well.  Having been around these guys for so many years, THEY are competitive.  It is a whole different level from what I think the average person experiences. (And I place no value judgement on that … personally, having seen the level of competitiveness up close, there are times I am very happy my wiring is not THAT competitive …)

What I am trying to describe isn’t about commitment or passion.  It’s more of their mindset, and I do think professional baseball players, the manager/coaches/players, succeed (or have succeeded in this sport) because they think in this way.  Just my opinion, and I am not doing it justice in trying to describe it to you …

Postseason Tickets

A few readers responded with personal complaints or stories about purchasing (or trying to) postseason tickets.

I again have checked with our ticket office, TicketMaster and MLBAM folks about Friday’s on-sale.  They said there were no technical issues with the sale, that any issues customers experienced were based on the high demand.

They asked me to solicit specific issues from anyone impacted so they can see if there is anything that can be tracked or learned.  If you can, take a few minutes and email me ("offline" away from this blog) your specific details/circumstances.  I will pass them along to the appropriate people.

Pregame Monday

Monday, September 19, 2005, 3:30 pm

White Sox LineupGarcia_3

Pods, LF … Iguchi, 2B … Everett, DH … PK, 1B … AJ, C … Dye, RF … Rowand, CF … Uribe, SS … Crede, 3B … Garcia, RHP.

Hopefully, more later if I can find the time.

Sunday Pregame

Sunday, September 18, 2005, 11:09 am

White Sox Lineup

Pods, LF … Iguchi, 2B … Everett, DH … PK, 1B … AJ, C … Dye, RF … Rowand, CF … Blum, 3B … Uribe, SS … Contreras, RHP.

Jose is 8-2 since the All-Star Break and enters today’s start with a five-game winning streak.

Friday Pregame

Friday, September 16, 2005, 4:30 pm

White Sox Lineup

Pods, LF … Iguchi, 2B … PK, 1B … Everett, DH … Rowand, CF … Dye, RF … AJ, C … Uribe, SS … Crede, 3B.

Go-Go White Sox.

Clarification

Thursday, September 15, 2005, 10:17 pm

To Clarify

To see the Playoff Odds report, go to baseballprospectus.com, then to statistics, and then to playoff odds report under "team."

I believe entering today, we had about an 80 percent chance of winning the division and 18 of being the wild card for a 98 percent chance of making the playoffs.  The information is updated each day.

Tickets

I read your various comments about the on sale.  I promise to check on your complaints and get back to you all with some type of information, probably early next week.

What I do know is that demand was very high.  Tickets were gone within 27 minutes and several thousand were on sale for each of the three games.

Part of the thinking with on-line/phones only was that this gave everyone an equal opportunity to acquire tickets.  Plus, with a weekday on-sale date, we felt it was asking a great deal of our fans to miss work, travel down to the ballpark and then wait in line to perhaps be disappointed.  If there was some issue with TM phones or on-line, I will do my best to determine and let you know.

I can promise you — because I was in that particular meeting — that we tried to structure this to make it best for our fans, not scalpers.

The Season

I do think this year has been interesting in this way … we were the best team in the American League over the first third (maybe plus) of the year … Oakland was over the middle third … and Cleveland now is certainly playing great baseball.

We all are frustrated in the team not having any momentum right now.  Things will change over the next 17 games.  Hopefully, back in our favor, but none of us really know how.  Only the guys in uniform can do something about it.  The rest of us are stuck with the passion, anger, joy, sleepless nights, punches in the stomach, ulcers, stress … and hopefully, in the end, champagne.

At least we all know from the very strong emotions that we are alive …

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