Thursday, March 30, 2006 9:22 am
We break camp in Tucson today and head for two exhibition games in Atlanta. The last day in camp is always hectic. The game is moved up an hour to help with flights. You are trying to pack up the office, prepare for a game and usually have your own luggage to worry about. Thankfully, this year, I am in Chicago and our media relations staff, Bob Beghtol and Pat O’Connell, have to deal with the headaches. Pat will travel with the team to Atlanta, while Bob will return to Chicago as we prepare for Opening Night.
It is hard to describe the feeling as the plane lifts off from the runway. Some guys are thrilled to have made the team, some guys are excited that the season is about to begin. It is a mix of emotions that are hard to explain.
As is typical, we will bring a handful of minor league players along with us to Atlanta. They might end up playing quite a bit because you don’t want guys playing all nine innings right before the regular season starts.
In Chicago, we are busy setting up the media facilities and arranging credentials for Sunday Night. Official first pitch will be at 7:13 pm to accommodate national television.
Earlier this spring, ESPN was in camp taping footage with the team for their open Sunday Night. You may want to make sure you turn on the coverage right at 7 pm or that you TiVo the game. You can also subscribe to MLB.TV ($14.95 month/$79.95 season) and watch all season live over the Internet if you are among the many Sox fans who live outside the Chicago area.
Also Comcast Sports Net is going to have a one hour pregame Sunday Night and will show a lot of the festivities. Again, make sure you see it or make sure you TiVo/tape it.
Everyone is giving Chris Widger a hard time for all the media coverage he is getting for attending George Mason. Who knew he was such a college basketball expert.
Both SI and The Sporting News have us beating the Cardinals in the 2006 World Series. While I will certainly take that result, please don’t jinx us.
A poster asked about why we don’t provide giveaways to all fans (as opposed to first 20,000, etc.). I checked with our sponsorship people and their explanation made sense to me. We try — and hopefully you will agree — to have pretty high quality items as our premium giveaways. For example, the replica trophy on Wednesday is apparently very cool (I am told, I haven’t seen). These come with a cost. If we were to try and give away 40,000 items, the cost would just go too high for a potential sponsor, whose willingness to pay for the items on a given day is how we can pull the giveaways off. 10,000 or 20,000 is a more manageable figure. Make sense?
Cleveland and Minnesota Fans
A Tribe fan posted saying they are a frequent reader of the site. We always appreciate anyone who wants to stop by … maybe we will even convert you.
What I really like is that you guys (the readers) have seemed to create a community here that enjoys one another, loves the Sox and doesn’t need to scream at one another or lower the conversation to sharing insults. Thanks, because we all benefit from it.
All I am trying to accomplish is to give you an inside look at the team, provide a live face for the organization, maybe give you our side of the story now and then and try to answer your questions when I can. I try to be funny every now and then, but that is subjective and my three kids would certainly tell you I DEFINITELY am not funny.
Everyone seems to enjoy the mix right now — I thank you for all the compliments — so let’s try to keep this going.