Wednesday Morning

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Early Start to the Day

My phone starting ringing around 5 am today.  Strong winds in and around Chicago had loosened a panel on the side of the building.  The panel started to bang around 1 am, and we called out a welder to repair the piece.  The panel itself isn’t structural (more decorative/keep wind and rain off the upper deck concourse) but it needed to be repaired.  The images of a welder at work at 4 am were too good to pass up for the early morning news crews.  The police shut down 35th street for a time as a precautionary measure as the work was being done.  Inspectors are out checking the work and none of this will impact our playing the game at 1 pm.

In an "all publicity is good publicity" side-note, it seems the early morning news coverage reminded people that we are playing a day game today.  With Chicago Public Schools on spring break this week, we received several calls for tickets.

Today’s Lineups

(Bring the long underwear)

Pods, LF; Erstad, CF; Thome, DH; Konerko, 1B; Dye, RF; Crede, 3B; AJ, C; Iguchi, 2B; Uribe, SS.  Garland pitching.

Sizemore, CF; Nixon, RF; Hafner, DH; Martinez, C; Blake, RF; Dellucci, LF; Peralta, SS; Barfield, 2B; Marte, 3B.  Westbrook pitching.

Sox Pride Club

One poster yesterday took some pretty strong swipes at the Sox Pride Club.  While I have asked him/her to contact me separately, I do think it’s worth explaining what we believe to be the case with the SPC.

Belonging to the SPC does indeed give you a chance to purchase tickets to Opening Day and the Sox/Cubs series (to come).  Each game, a set number of lower deck tickets are set aside only for members of the club.

We also are working on announcing another special offer just for SPC members that would give you access to a limited number of tickets that are not necessarily available for purchase by the general public.  Stay tuned for that.

Separate from these offers is the issue of our special pre-sale offer to SPC members in February before tickets went on sale to the general public.  Like many concerts, sporting events, etc., we have started to offer special groups (season ticket holders, Sox Pride Club members, registered users, etc) the chance to purchase tickets a few days in advance of them going on-sale to the general public.  This was not in place last year, so this year was the first time we offered the pre-sale opportunity to SPC members.  Obviously, inventory of tickets for Opening Day and Sox/Cubs is very limited.  By the time the pre-sale process reached the SPC (and other groups), OD and Sox/Cubs tickets were all sold out.  We were very careful not to guarantee in any of the promotional materials that any of these groups (SPC included) would have access to OD or Sox/Cubs tickets.  We just didn’t know exactly how many tickets we would have or how long they would last.  Best I can tell, not being guaranteed the chance to purchase OD or Sox/Cubs tickets as part of this pre-sale is the cause for this anger.  But we also could have sold out of Boston or Yankees games just the same.

Make sense, or just confuse (or anger) people more?

I’m sure you will let me know (and I appreciate the dialogue).

Oh, By The Way

It didn’t get a lot of attention or notice, but the Associated Press released its annual calculations of Opening Day MLB payrolls for 2007 (I make no claim on the veracity of their figures).

The Top 10:

NYY, $195,229,045

Boston, $143,526,214

NY Mets, $117,915,819

White Sox, $109,680,167

Angels, $109,251,333

Dodgers, $108,704,524

Seattle, $106,516,833

Cubs, $99,937,000

Detroit, $95,180,369

Baltimore, $95,107,807

Kinda makes you wonder about all those critics who claimed our trading of Freddy Garcia this winter was a payroll cutting move, doesn’t it?

28 Comments

Bring the long underwear is right!
I was having trouble deciding which jersey to wear (the one that saw me through 2005 or the one I got for Christmas) but now I figure I’ll just wear both! That way, the whole past/present balance isn’t upsetted and I’m that much warmer!

Despite the cold, today should be fun.

Go Sox.

Scott–
Regarding the anger on SPC–we were disappointed in joining because when we checked on tix availability on whitesox.com registered users first day, we actually would have gotten better seats than the ones we got the day before for SPC members. I emailed Sox regarding this and never received a response. We also still have not received our SPC card, free t-shirt or anything else. Seems like 29.95 not well spent.

Hey Scott, its sooo cold at WIU its not even funny. Anyway I was wondering if we are doing that blog day thing again because it was really fun and cool. I loved the experience. Also I was wondering…and this kind of sounds far fetched but if you could contact me that would be great. I’m looking for a summer job, would I be able to do anything with the organization..I know its probably a no but its just a thought….thanks
Evan

For the sake of my sanity, the Sox must win today. I hope every stays warm at the game today:)

Is anyone else’s Gameday Audio given with teh Sox Pride Club still asking for you to pay again? Maybe they are jsut slammed with people trying to use this for the beginning of the season.

Kris

Beautiful swing by Thome!

Tom:

Continuing from yesterday.

1. Rich Morales scored the opening day winning run in 1971 vs. Minnesota. Richard struck out for the 2nd out in the 9th inning. Morales singled to center to open the inning and came home on McKinney’s single.

2. Westbrook beat the Sox 8-2 on April 4, 2006, beat the Sox 5-0 on May 31st and beat the Sox 10-8 on June 11th. Don’t take my word for it, look for yourself. I checked the Sox individual box scores for 2006 and that’s what they saw. I can give you his innings pitched, runs, hits allowed, walks, strikeouts and so forth if you want more details.

Mark Liptak

Scott,
I just wanted to say thank you for your personal response to the problems i have had accessing gameday audio…I can’t speak for anyone else but my problem has been resolved and I couldn’t be happier!!! What a great organization! to care so much about the comfort and happiness of their fans! I feel so special! It is in instances such as these that truly make me so proud to be a Sox fan!!! Thanks again!

Lisa

Pitching, Pitching, Pitching

I’m glad to know that Buehrle’s up tomorrow. I have complete faith in him.

Better outing overall today. Erstad had himself a good game as did Aarsdmsa. We walked too many batters today, gotta get a grip on that.

Someone from MLB needs to send Larry Vanover an email and let him know what exactly the strike zone is, and that he should not move it around all game. Pitchers on both teams had no choice but to throw right down the middle to get strikes. In the 8th he is giving Aardsma the corner and then in the 9th that corner was gone. He bounced around all game.

You would think as cold as it was the umpires would be looking for a quicker game.

Aah, yes. Be prepared to see a performance like today’s about 80 more times this season. The ’07 White Sox experience is shaping up to be even more maddening than ’06. Twenty runs allowed in the first two games. They’re picking up right where they left off last year. Is anybody else sick of Hawk and DJ already? Count how many times they (especially DJ) make excuses for the players. Tomorrow’s only the third game of the season and it already feels like a “must-win.” I’m gonna go throw up now.

Good timing by Mr. Reifert, too, to point out that the team that finished 3rd in its own division last year and is already stinking up the joint this year has the 4th-highest payroll in baseball. I’m gonna go throw up again.

What bothered me most about today beyond the fact about the starting pitching being shaky again, was the “improved” bullpen.

That’s blown game #1 in my book. (To me a “Blown” game is a game where the Sox take a lead into the 7th inning or later and lose…like today.)

If memory serves last year the Sox had either 12 or 14 of those, I’ll have to check.

Well we’ll see what tomorrow brings. So far it looks like a continuation of the spring pitching follies.

And finally, Tom FYI, this is the last line from the AP recap of today’s game which should have never been played:

“Westbrook was 3-0 in three starts against the White Sox last season.”

Mark Liptak

Sorry, but I didn’t see much evidence of grinder ball today. Looks like we were hitting for the fences more often than not. Perhaps a result of Vanover’s interesting strike zone? Hats off to Aardsma, though. He looked brilliant. Sad to see AJ’s lead-off double go to waste. I thought for sure we’d tie it up at least. I’m too emotionally wrapped up in this and it’s only our 2nd game. Will the sun come out tomorrow?

howdy group/gang….
now, how is it possible for anyone to go from 90 degrees to 30 with snow and expect to play let alone win a game. this looked like perfect football weather to me. i was shivering all game long along with those of you in the stands today. my thought is this…. we have 160 games left to play and we will not lose all 160… trust me on that prediction! what WILL happen is that we will win 60, lose 60 and fight the other 42 down to the wire. it’s those 42 games that make ANY team a winner or loser for the year. so far, not so good and our pitching has mirrored what we saw in the spring here in tucson, but there is time to turn things around, and it’s way way way too early to throw up…… thanks for the personal attention to folk’s problems Scott. could you let me know if my mlb.tv picture is as good as it’s going to get? the signal quality is the same as last year, but was touted to be TV quality…. talk to you all again,, j.k…..

Just a few discussion points after reviewing the game tape and Ozzie’s post-game.

Now this isn’t just me at least if you go on the comments from Ozzie and a somewhat strange one from Kenny.

Overall I’m wondering where this team is at right now, mentally.

Here’s what I mean:

1. Ozzie was quoted as saying he “didn’t think Jose’s head was in the game” on Monday (Excuse me…this isn’t some meaningless game against Tampa Bay in September right? We’re talking Opening Day correct??)

2. Today (Wednesday) 2nd inning. JD has to run a long way to get to a ball hit down the line but he’s there and has a good shot at catching it. The ball glaces off his glove. (If he grabs it the entire complexion of that four run second inning changes doesn’t it?)

3. Today in a key spot Tad Iguchi is called on to bunt. He can’t get it down. (Excuse me…wasn’t “fundamentals” what this team was working on every single day in Tuscon? And in the first time it’s needed this season, the team can’t execute. Didn’t the club go through this last year? Which is why Ozzie swore the club was going back to Ozzie-Ball this season…which I still haven’t seen yet.)

4. The “new and improved” bullpen gave up six hits, six walks and the lead today. In a close game, that’s the “kiss of death.”

5. To those saying ‘spring training doesn’t mean anything…’ Well it must to Ozzie. From his post-game press conference. QUOTE “This is the same thing I’ve seen since March 1st and I’m tired of it.”

6. Finally twice this week I’ve read this bizarre comment from Kenny. It goes along the lines of ‘if we don’t start out well, we still have enough talent to compete.’ I just found it odd that Kenny would make a statement like this. Now I don’t know what the reporters question was that prompted this but it just seemed so out of place that I start to wonder ‘what does Kenny see or know that he’s not ready to talk about?’ It was just strange. The season has barely begin and the G.M. is talking about maybe not starting out well.

We’ll see what happens tomorrow, remember the Twins come to town this weekend. Santana’s pitching which is a guaranteed loss. Minnesota’s up to their old tricks already. Tuesday night it was Jason Bartlett’s BROKEN BAT single that drove in the eventual winning run in a 3-2 win over Baltimore. The Sox are right now two behind them, could be 2 ½ games after tonight and we haven’t even played the first week.

Mark Liptak

Two things:

-Ridiculous end and bad game.

-Maybe you can help me with this Scott because I do not have the time or patience to wait on the phone for MLB Support for over an hour and a half. For some reason my MLB.TV White Sox games are getting blacked out and I live in Columbia, MO. I do not understand this at all and I need some help. I love Farmio and Singleton but I didn’t pay $20 a month for radio I want to see the game too. If you could help or direct me to help that doesnt take two horus to get a hold of I would greatly appreciate it.

We need Burlymon to be the stopper he was two years ago.

So do I get some kind of extra special bonus points for staying for the whole game?
No? That’s ok. I had a good time! (Not being sarcastic. I honestly did. Even if nothing real interesting had been going on on the field- which it was!- I was just having fun watching everyone in the digout trying to keep warm. Tell Joe Crede you could see his breath all the way up in section 530.)

Oh and I rewrote a few things to better suit the weather…

-Win. Or freeze to death trying.

-Good enough, isn’t.

Cold ’nuff for ya? Never.

-If you can’t take the heat, get out of the batter’s box.

If the batter’s box isn’t heated, file a redress with the union!

Go White Sox Baseball… we’ll get ‘em tomorrow.

For those of you that are tired of Hawk and Dj.. don’t listen, for those of you that are tired of losing, don’t watch or listen. For the constant cripers that haven’t shut up since Spring Training, why do you bother watching at all. They could win the rest of the ******* season and you’d find somebody to fault besides constantly negative selves. You folks know who you are…

Sox 1966:

Does that go for Ozzie or haven’t you seen or read his comments today about the pitching staff?

How about Bill Melton? Did you bother watching the post game show today? I’ll save you some time QUOTE: “This is the same thing we saw the second half of last season and all through spring training.”

Feel free to tell Ozzie and Bill to shut up. LOL.

When the team isn’t playing well and HASN’T been playing well since right after the All Star Break last July, issues need to be raised and comments need to be aired. There is nothing wrong with that.

If you think everything’s great, that’s fine. I have no issues with that and respect your opinions. Do me the same courtesy, or if that’s to much to ask, don’t read Scott’s blog.

Mark Liptak

More ‘negativism’ from Ozzie Guillen. From Mark Gonzales’ story in the Chicago Tribune:

“I know it’s early in the season, but it’s old, what I see every day. It’s not easy to bring the relievers in in the second inning, the fifth inning.

“If we continue to do that, it’s going to be a long season. It’s just two games in, and it doesn’t mean anything, but I’ve been seeing this since the beginning of spring training. You don’t want to put doubts in your pitching staff, but seeing this every day, well, it’s my job to doubt these people.”

Ozzie be careful….telling the ‘truth’ may upset some folks!

Seriously I understand it’s ‘early’ but we’ve seen these issues before and you know what, as in 2003 and 2004 when we were bombarded with ‘but it’s early…’ before you know it, it’s not ‘early’ anymore, it June and you’re six and eight and ten games behind.

Mark Liptak

i dont care if they play ozzie ball, home run derby, or tee ball just win a game already. maybe my fathers prediction of 1-8 to start the year isnt all that crazy.

Mark,
Going back to the bizarre comments by Kenny Williams. What he is saying just smells bad. It smells of dumping big names before the deadline and trying to compete with our younger talent.

I could just be speculating, but the way he has been talking it almost sounds like there could be another white flag trade. I know we have to play the games and see what happens, but if we are 10 back by mid-season they can pretty much mail it in with the competition in this division. Kenny is a smart man, and he knows that as well. You know he is also dying to see what guys like Fields, Owens and Sweeney can do if given an every day shot.

As far as “Ozzie ball” Iguchi made a stupid fundamental mistake. The pitcher knew he was bunting so he threw it at him so he had to back away and stab at it. He should have pulled back and let it hit him, or of course just taking a pitch that is a foot off the plate would make sense too!

People always bring up the 60-60-42 rule for records. Well this ones falls under the 42 category, the games that make or break your season. You lose games like this with bad execution and bad relief pitching (6 walks and 6 hits in 3.2 IP for the pen, that’s 3.33 runners per inning).

White Sox pitchers walked 10 batters today overall, fortunately only 1 scored or this could have looked more like Monday. Hafner was walked 4 times. If he is instilling that much fear drill him and save 3 extra pitches.

My Gameday Audio is finally fixed. I got an email from someone at MLBAM named Scott (not this Scott) who said if anyone needs their Gameday Audio fixed to call his direct line at 212-485-8990. It is still my contention that MLBAM is extremely poorly run in that customers who have paid for items frequently can’t access them without having to do something like venting on a public blog in order to get it fixed. If they really cared about their customers, they’d get it right the first time.

Brother Liptak… Oh,learned one,I humbly apologize to you and the folks at Retrosheet…
I just double checked the Tribe game notes on Press Pass for Monday… and THEY were wrong… Also, thanks for correcting my memory on OD of ’71 … but I have a ready made excuse…it’s been 36 years…and I’m 35 years older than I was then…(Yeh,that’s the ticket…)

As to yesterday…31 degrees, with a wind chill(wind chill??? There’s no wind chill in baseball…how’s that one, adinadi?)of 19…I have never been colder in my life at a ball park…and i have been in Jurassic Park at Neverland,with the wind blowing in off that big pond(Lake Michigan, for the uninitiated…)in April…also Soldier Field in December…another fun venue…

Needless to say,Larry Vanover’s strike zone(???)made for a looooooong afternoon, and a frustrating one…but that is standard for the “chumpires” in MLB nowadays…There is a specific drawing in the rule book concerning the strike zone… As far as these clowns are concerned,the publisher and the rules committee might as well just take that page,tear it out of the damned book and use it for confetti next New Year’s Eve…for the good it does…

Anyone going to the Cell today,you have my sympathies…but those of you going out Friday NIGHT versus Team Rah-Rah…well, just imagine Siberia without the ice caps…

Finally, Scott… thanks again for your kindness towards me yesterday…you know what I’m referring to…

If I ahd a vote, you would win the Bob Fishel Award, HANDS DOWN…

bmf526: “Ridiculous end and bad game.”? Seriously? It was like 25 degrees out there, man, it’s amazing anyone’s fingers were thawed enough to catch anything smaller than a Mack truck. And If it had been warmer, Crede’s hit would’ve been out of there… I’m looking forward to seeing Aardsma again, too.

I was in sec. 123 and got nailed in the hip by one of JD’s fouls in the ninth. Someone pushed me out of the way trying to grab it, or it would have smacked into my head. I don’t know whether to thank him for pushing me or curse him for grabbing the ball. Some days it pays to bring your sunglasses, I guess. At least I had a blanket and “hot” chocolate.

Oh, and tomquaid73… thanks for filling in the mystery of who the ^&*( that *idiot* umpire was. All I can say about him is life must be really interesting in his universe since apparently the laws of physics and logic do not exist there.

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