Split On Tuesday
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Today’s Game 1 Lineup
Owens, CF; Cintron, 2B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; AJ, C; Dye, RF; Pods, LF; Fields, 3B; Uribe, SS.
Where to begin …
I enjoyed 2005 so much, I guess I just need to take my medicine in 2007. You take the good with the bad and try to learn something about yourself from each.
The great thing about baseball is there is always a game tomorrow (in some cases two) and your spirit can rise or fall based on the bounce of the baseball. It’s been a while since we found ourselves in this position ("The Dark Side of baseball," one clubhouse observor noted), but now our focus is on seeing how players like Jerry Owens, Josh Fields, Ehren Wasserman and others perform over the coming months. You’d rather be fighting for a playoff spot, but there is some enjoyment from a baseball sense in seeing and learning about new players and their abilities.
KW continues to actively look for ways to make this team better moving forward. You can’t talk to him for five minutes without his phone ringing or pinging with an email message. Best way to describe the industry right now is that there are a lot of conversations and lots of jockeying but little action. That likely will change over the next week.
Talk that we have made Duane Shaffer a "scapegoat" is tough for me to understand. Both KW and Ozzie have repeatedly stepped up over the past weeks to shoulder blame. No one, in my view, is running from responsibility.
Instead, we all are focused on turning this around as quickly as possible.
How great to see Bill and Gloria Pierce, surrounded by friends and family, unveiling the magnificent sculpture before last night’s game. Bill is truly a great guy and certainly seemed to be enjoying the day (although as humble as he is, I think he likely would do without the attention).
This sculpture was the sixth of seven we have planned for now. This was done by Julie Rotblatt-Amrany of the Rotblatt-Amrany Studio at Ft. Sheridan. The resemblance is amazing. Julie did a tremendous job. She is also the artist working on the granite and white bronze sculpture that will be installed at Gate 4 next Opening Day as part of the Legacy Brick Plaza.
Bricks remain available. To order, visit whitesox.com.
Rather than try to pick a "winner" among the submissions to write a story on attending a Sox game, we decided to ask each person who offered a nomination to take a shot at writing about a Sox game. I’ll try to post the stories here or on our site and pick one for the last edition of our program. Thanks to all for the interest and I look forward to reading the results.
Guys in the clubhouse were still talking about Mike Coolbaugh, the minor-league coach who was killed this weekend when hit by a batted ball. The concensus was that coaches should wear batting helmets for protection.
"I was hit twice when I was coaching third," Ozzie Guillen said of his time in Florida. "Once in the ankle and once right in the side, that one hurt.
"We were playing the Expos and Galaragga and Javier Vazquez were on me about rubbing it. I was trying to not rub it, but it hurt. They were hollering at me from the dugout. Finally, there was a foul ball and I quickly reached down and rubbed it, thinking they weren’t watching. But they saw me and were all over me. It really hurt, though."
Finally is set (thanks for the patience) for September 27. Sorry, I know this date late in the year isn’t great for the college students among the group, but it was the only remaining date that worked for the number of tickets we needed and the Conference & Learning Center. So, we’ll have a get together in the Center before the game and then the group can head to the seats for the game (no patio this year, which will keep the cost down some). I will put together a little pregame program for your entertainment.
If interest in tickets, please call Dustin at 312-674-5186. I’ll look forward to seeing you there.
A poster last week seemed to indicate that our best solution to this year’s performance was to spend more money in 2008 but was concerned that lower attendance automatically meant we would have less to spend.
First, it’s certainly a matter of opinion, but I don’t believe spending more automatically makes you better. It is not that simple an equation. I believe the evidence over the past decade shows that you need to spend at a certain level to be competitive, but that after that, many, many other factors come into play.
In 2005, we spent in the mid 70s. This year’s club is well above 100 M which ranks fourth in MLB (according to ESPN.com … please note, everyone seems to factor payrolls differently, so you see variations in numbers from one source to the other). The ESPN website lists us behind the Yankees, Red Sox and Mets in payroll for 2007, just ahead of the Angels, Dodgers and Seattle. I’m not sure spending more is the failsafe solution.
Veteran clubs almost automatically are more expensive, younger teams generally are less expensive.
Also, we have long operated under the philosophy that any revenues we generate are turned back into the team. Certainly ticket sales form a large part of those revenues, but so do broadcasting contracts, corporate sponsorships and even MLBAM (a growing source of revenue for all teams).
Hi To the Kids
Who are spending a few weeks in Connecticut with mom and checked the other night to see if I had written anything on my blog. Miss you guys.