April 2007

Freezing Thursday

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Weather

The weather is always beautiful at the ballpark.  Let’s all try to remember that today.

Tom Quaid

I saw Tom Quaid yesterday here at the park (at least I think it was Tom under all the layers of clothing).  He picked up some game notes, visited the new press box and then went to his seats in search of the largest cup of coffee in the place.

Tom, did you make it through the ballgame yesterday?

Big Jim

I walked outside during batting practice yesterday and saw Jim Thome in the dugout.

"This is Peoria weather," I said to him, laughing.

"Right about that," he said.  "This is deer hunting weather."

Jim was one of the bright spots, along with Darin Erstad, Joe Crede’s clutch single and David Aardsma, in yesterday’s disappointing, 8-7 result.

Today’s Lineups

Sizemore, CF; Michals, LF; Hafner, DH; Martinez, C; Blake, RF; Garko, 1B; Peralta, SS; Barfield, 2B; Marte, 3B.  Sowers pitching.

Pods, LF; Erstad, CF; PK, 1B; Thome, DH; Dye, RF; Crede, 3B; Iguchi, 2B; AJ, C; Uribe, SS.  Buehrle pitching (in deer hunting weather).

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?

The Day After

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Tough Day

To roughly quote Paul Konerko, "Good thing this game only counts as one loss because it felt like two."

And to cap my day off, had Ohio State made an outside shot or five, I would have finished second in the clubhouse pool, which scores huge bragging rights.  Tough night all around.

Reader Responses

I asked our in-house website guy to read through your comments from yesterday and see what we could do to help.  According to Dakin, someone from MLB contacted all of the people from the blog who brought up the Gameday Audio issue. In checking on the issue, they most often found that these were user-system issues, which are very common on Opening Day.

BAM recommended that we add a couple of links to the blog page for fans that may be experiencing these problems:

Sox Pride Club Member index:

http://www.mlb.com/cws/fan_forum/spc_member/index.jsp

Gameday Audio:

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/mediacenter/index.jsp?c_id=cws

On the SPC Index page, we put a link up for people to access, but putting both links on the blog should help. 

So here you go.

Opening Days

I should have done this over the weekend, but why don’t readers post their very favorite Opening Day stories (over your career as a fan), and we’ll recognize the very best stories?  Yesterday before the game I saw a Sox fan in his/her dad’s arms at what was obviously a very first Sox game.

Do any of you have Opening Day memories or stories you want to share (remember with a PG audience)?

Yesterday, my kids voted that the best things were: 1. the food (they had been missing that special taste of a kosher dog at the ballpark) and 2. flyover (even made Tucson’s Davis Monthan Air Force Base look tame).

Opening Day

Opening Day, Monday, April 2, 2007

Cathedrals

Nothing beats getting to the ballpark early on Opening Day.  The tarp is off, the grass glistens and the rising sun over the left field wall lights up the ballpark.  There’s something special about being inside a ballpark very early in the morning, and Opening Day makes it extra special.

Today’s Lineups

Indians

Sizemore, CF; Nixon, RF; Hafner, DH; Martinez, C; Blake, 1B; Delucci, LF; Peralta, SS; Barfield, 2B; Marte, 3B; Sabathia, LHP.

White Sox

Ozuna, LF; Erstad, CF; Thome, DH; Konerko, 1B; Dye, RF; Crede, 3B; Iguchi, 2B; Pierzynski, C; Uribe, SS; Contreras, RHP.

Yesterday’s Workout

The White Sox dodged raindrops to work out yesterday afternoon from noon to 2 pm.  The rain forced the Indians inside to the batting cages located just behind the White Sox dugout.

After the workout, Jose Contreras, Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland and Javier Vazquez posed just beyond center field for the cover shot on program edition #2.  Jermain Dye, Paul Konerko and Jim Thome grace the cover of edition #1, which will be on-sale today.

I asked A.J. if he had figured out a way to get to Atlanta for the National Championship game tonight.

"Nah, I can’t get there in time," he answered.  I guess helicopters can’t fly fast enough.

By the way, who did you pick for the National Champion?  I had three of my Final Four correct as well as tonight’s game.  I have OSU beating Florida, 74-69.  We’ll see what I know.

Press Box

Another hot topic yesterday was the re-location of the press box to the 400 level just down the right field line (starts at first base).  The old press box has been turned into the Jim Beam Club, which is a stunning club/restaurant/seating area on the 200 level.

Shanda Farmer

Well wishes for a speedy recovery go out to Shanda Farmer, daughter of White Sox radio voice Ed Farmer.  Shanda, who was in a car accident in LA over the weekend, is home now recovering.  Ed is going to miss today’s game to be with her, but he will fly in tomorrow and be on the air on Wednesday.  We hope Shanda continues to do well.

Steve Stone is filling in for Ed today on WSCR.

Opening Day Notes

Bob Beghtol and Pat O’Connell of our media relations staff do a terrific job each day with notes for the media.  They compiled many pages for Opening Day, so rather than try to pick the best to share with you, just check them out on our website.

Morning Shows

WGN-TV has a hilarious segment today in which Pat Tomasilo interviewed Brett Smalls from The South Side Chicago Board of Tourism.  Classic.

Final Thoughts

There truly is something special about Opening Day.

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