Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Pods, CF; Fields, LF; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; AJ, C; Uribe, SS; Erstad, RF; Gonzo, 3B; Richar, 2B. Vazquez pitching.
In his reply to my post of last night, Tom Quaid commented about MLB play beginning again post 9/11 and the huge banner displayed by Sox fans when the New York Yankees played here at US Cellular Field.
If you go to the Fan Forum section of whitesox.com, you’ll see a special feature we are running over the next two weeks on White Sox fans. We have compiled a number of interesting, hopefully moving stories about Sox fans and their connection to the team. The first one debuted yesterday — appropriately, we think — and is about the couple who created the memorable sign in the outfield that night … Chicago "hearts" New York.
The idea actually came from the great feedback I received here when I asked for suburban mom fans to submit their experiences here at the ballpark. The response was overwhelming, so we thought there might be something to this connection with fans, and we looked for a way leading up to Fan Appreciation Day to tell some terrific stories. Keep checking the site for additions every day or so.
As for the winning experience story, you can read that (and see the photos, in the last edition of the game program, page 155. The winner was Marie McDowell with a story of taking her daughter, Kelsey, and son, Matt, to Sox games.
If you are interested in submitting a story for the Fan Forum section, email it to email@example.com by Wednesday, September 19.
On the first day of school for our kids, there was Senator Barack Obama proudly sporting his White Sox baseball cap. Given his current pursuit and the way our season has gone, I give the man a lot of credit for loyalty.
You Knew It Was Coming
Usually, I try to ignore the rantings and hysterics of one specific funny-that-he’s-not-featured-as-often-as-he-used-to-be columnist in town, mainly because he truly is irrelevant to Sox fans (you have told us so through the years in mountains of feedback), but you had to laugh at today’s offering.
We all know this column has been written for quite some time, months maybe, and someone was just waiting to hit the send button. The jist of the matter, to save you having to read the same stuff that has been written over and over again in that space, is that the White Sox are irrelevant nobodies, and that the extension of Ozzie just reinforced our status in town.
My guess is that quite a few people would disagree with that opinion.
But a few thoughts to mull around (full disclosure: I do realize that by even writing this I also am guilty — as many of you have pointed out — of making the columnist way more relevant than he truly is) …
Didn’t Ozzie’s extension just guarantee the hater five more years of easily re-written columns? If all politics is local, shouldn’t he be happy about five years worth of re-printing the same drivel? (Someone also did point out to me that this might also be like five more years of job security for PR types, so I may have a personal bias here).
Notice that the columnist always includes Jerry Reinsdorf’s age as an issue? Really, who is obsessed now?
He writes that "They’ve conveniently ignored that a $109 million payroll, without major injuries or calamity, has produced a ghastly 61 wins this season …"
At least he can’t call us cheap anymore. No one here is blaming our season on injuries (we should be good enough to overcome them), but how can you ignore losing Joe Crede, Scott Pods, Darin Erstad and Jim Thome to injuries for large chunks of time and not say it impacted our season? Whatever.
And most of us who have watched Sox games in 2007 would probably categorize our bullpen woes, particularly in May and early June, as a calamity.
Another recurring rhetorical question … if we truly aren’t relevant to Chicago, White Sox fans or his diminishing-daily readership, then why write the column in the first place?
Finally, I am not sure that newspaper columnists of any type, particularly this one, should be challenging the relevancy of professional sports franchises given the way that industry is heading. This might be a column to save. It might be interesting and fun to see in three years who is still relevant as manager of the White Sox and if a certain columnist has been able to keep his relevancy (and job) by printing the same old worn-out rants and day-old information on costly newsprint as technology, new media and a new world of one-on-one, direct communications race past staggering newspapers. How come now, every time you go to a newspaper website, you see and read blogs?
My favorite columnist may not have been rooting for Ozzie to get an extension, but my guess is he better be rooting that the automobile industry and grocery stores don’t quit advertising in newspapers any time soon.
A battle of relevancy to the very end.
(Note: I love newspapers and value them greatly in my life. The problem is my kids and their friends don’t. The newspaper industry is struggling to maintain its relevancy in this era, hence the irony of today’s topic. Humans thrive on information, and I believe there always will be a need for great reporters doing great work … they just might be delivering that information in a wireless, deadline-less, ever-changing world. The dinosaur is the columnist who doesn’t interview anyone, rarely even attends games and sits at home offering only his opinion on the day’s issue. He is in danger because any idiot with a computer can match him in opinion and output and maybe even have more readers. I certainly am proof of that … at least the idiot part. And please, Mr. Columnist, no hateful, curse-filled voicemails. Tomorrow is an off day.)