Friday, November 30, 2007
Looking for a White Sox gift and a very unique place to buy it? You might want to check out SportsService’s holiday sale this weekend INSIDE the White Sox clubhouse, a place fans rarely see.
I just walked in from the clubhouse and was stunned by the crowd of fans and customers buying early Xmas gifts. The visiting clubhouse (CWS Charities items) and home clubhouse are both open.
Discounted merchandise and unique access at U.S. Cellular Field are on tap during the team’s first ever "Clubhouse Sale." New, officially licensed team merchandise will be marked down 20 to 50 percent and sold in the White Sox home clubhouse, an area of the ballpark rarely visited by fans.
Among the items you can purchase is the brand new 2008 White Sox team jacket, which MLB debuted during the World Series with the Red Sox and Rockies.
The Clubhouse Sale takes place on: Friday, November 30, 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, December 1, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and Sunday, December 2, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On Saturday, White Sox Weekly – The Score Radio (670 AM) show dedicated to White Sox topics – will broadcast live from the visiting clubhouse from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Fans planning to attend the Clubhouse Sale should park their vehicles in Lot E and enter U.S. Cellular Field through the Stadium Club entrance, located between Gates 2 and 3. The cost of admission is $5, which is then good towards a purchase at the Clubhouse Sale. A portion of the weekend’s proceeds go to Chicago White Sox Charities, the organization’s philanthropic arm.
Legacy Bricks, benefitting White Sox Charities, will be available for purchase during the Friday and Saturday hours of the Clubhouse Sale – with the deadline to purchase bricks set for 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Chicago White Sox Charities provides annual financial, in-kind and emotional support to hundreds of Chicago-based organizations, including those leading the fight against cancer or dedicated to improving the lives of Chicago’s youth through education and athletics.
Hot Stove League
Some random biased thoughts on happenings to date:
Somewhat surprised that we have obtained the AL’s Gold Glove shortstop (replacing the much-criticized Juan Uribe) and the best middle reliever on the free agent market (Scott Linebrink) and some people are disappointed.
It’s only November 30, the Winter Meetings are next week, so please, it’s a little early to draw conclusions of any type. I have a hard time believing our team isn’t better than 2007, right now. Judge teams on Feb. 15.
On Torii Hunter … we certainly were surprised and disappointed that he signed with the Angels. The surprise is more that the Angels became involved at the last moment at dollars well beyond the next best offer. Rather than wait through the holiday to make a decision, Torii made the call late that Wednesday night. That was surprising. But whenever you are dealing with free agents, you never know for certain that you have a player until he is signed. (Remember with Jermaine Dye that even while he was in the doctor’s office having a physical, other teams were trying to top our offer. To JD’s credit, he stuck to his word and his handshake).
Scott Merkin’s last mailbag does a great job of responding to a question about Hunter.
Which leads to Linebrink. We always wait until after a free agent player has signed and passed his physical before we announce anything official. This sometimes leads to cases where rumors and speculation last a few days. But we are always going to be safe. I have several old, old press releases in my computer — one for Mark Grace — that never saw the light to day because a signing that seemed imminent eventually fell apart.
And on Aaron Rowand … check out Merkin’s interview with Aaron about his love of Chicago and plans as a free agent. Critics always like to point out former players who are critical of their last organization (whether ours or others). Here’s yet another guy who still loves Chicago, Sox fans and the Sox.
It’s time for my annual reminder, especially heading into the winter meetings, to take the hourly rumors and speculation for what it is.
Remember the he’s-staying, he’s-going Mark Buehrle saga? Remember the Torii Hunter articles recently?
Rumors will fly around the lobby in Nashville. Some have a hint of truth. Some are intentionally complete fabrications to misled, misinform other teams or make a team appear to be more aggressive/active than it really is. Media reps do their jobs trying to track down and report the truth, but often, reports and rumors are only half-true, are dated by the time they see the light of day or again, are just plan wrong.
Don’t allow yourself to get too high or too low over the coming weeks based on reports.
To former Cubs President John McDonough of the Blackhawks on his new post as club President. Maybe now he can root for his childhood team, the White Sox.
Congrats too on White Sox fans, who in a recent poll by Turnkey Sports (right) and reported in Sports Business Journal, voted the White Sox 55th among all sports franchises for "Strongest Brand." The Chicago teams ranked 13th (Bears), 48th (Bulls), 55th (Sox), 67th (Cubs) and 115th (Blackhawks).
"The Bears are a legacy brand — traditional, respected," said Turnkey President & CEO Len Perna. "But the White Sox are the real brand story here. The Sox are perceived as better managed than the Cubs, hungrier, more aggressive and more attuned to fans. They beat the Cubs in team popularity, fan loyalty, grade of ownership, sponsor loyalty and almost every other measure. Wow!"
There were some terrific memorials in the media to Rudie Schaffer, Bill Veeck’s longtime right-hand man, who passed away on Tuesday at age 96. See the release on whitesox.com for some wonderful comments by Mary Frances Veeck, who was gracious to offer her thoughts about Schaffer.
Rudie’s son, David, has been our Senior Director of Ballpark Operations for 32 years. He shares his dad’s passion for baseball and for the fans.
Heading to Nashville on Sunday for a week of meetings, briefings, hours in KW’s suite waiting for scouts and other club’s to call back on trade talks and Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft. Exciting stuff. I’ll try to keep you posted as best I can.
Ozzie calls the winter meetings, "A big high school reunion," where everyone hugs you and says hello, how ya doing, but doesn’t really care.
I call it Roland Hemond’s annual party (since everyone there loves Roland and has one degree of separation from the man).
You know when your Friday starts with a 7:45 am car accident (kids were OK), your day can only get better …
Then you hear a radio commercial for insurance where the announcer says, "We can insure anyone. We even insured a 40-year-old man with high blood pressure."
Great, thanks. Must be some other baseball PR guy.