Sox vs. Cubs, Part 2
Saturday, June 28, 2008
OC, SS; AJ, C; Q, LF; Dye, RF; Thome, DH; Crede, 3B; Swish, 1B; ARam, 2B; Wise, CF. Vazquez pitching.
Saw Alexei and congratulated he and his wife, Mildred, on the birth of his son, Alexi. It’s the couple’s third child, second son.
Tune in to WSCR 670 AM from 10 am to noon Monday to hear Matt Thornton’s in-studio take on the weekend series. Thornton will be appearing with host Lawrence Holmes.
How The Sausage In Made
OK, maybe it’s me, but here are actual conversations I had with media representatives yesterday …
On my way into the press box in the top of the fourth, I run into a radio host, who is exiting …
“This one should be called on the slaughter rule,” he said.
“I don’t know, ” I demurred. “They pounded us last week.”
“Listen,” he said, “when Nick Swisher hits a grand slam, you know it is your day.”
Huh? In his last three years, Nick has 21, 35 and 22 home runs. It’s not like an Ozzie Guillen homered.
Then I sit down …
A reporter comes over and laughs, “Do you know how many writers right now are crying into their keyboard? Let me see, 1, 2, 3 … 4,5,6 … 7. I count seven Cubs fans right here,” the reporter said, indicating the sections closest to where we were sitting.
So maybe it’s not just Sox fans who feel this way about the rooting interests in the media.
Then I am sitting in a suite when a television producer calls.
“We’ve got a reporter outside the ballpark. He just interviewed a fan who claims he was ejected for cursing. He dropped a beer and said to his friend, what the (blank)? Can you comment?”
As he’s saying this, I’m thinking, what’s the point …
So I ask him if he knows a name so I can check incident reports. In the meantime, I check with security.
They know who I am talking about immediately, since it is no surprise to them that this particular fan found a television camera as soon as they were ejected.
“It was the second instance,” I am told. “They were warned once and then ejected the second time the same thing happened” apparently uttering the profanities in front of fans who complained or our security (or directly in front of our security), who took action.
So what’s the big deal? You can be ejected for profanity — it is a warning we have in writing at each gate to the ballpark. And as a father of three who had to listen to an amazing amount of profanity last Friday as literally countless (they actually tried to count and couldn’t) Mai Ti’s were downed behind me, I’m glad we do. How about the idea of going and standing outside a ballpark to interview fans who have been ejected? Let’s go stand outside a police station on a given Friday night and interview people who were arrested and have just been released? I’m sure you’ll get unbiased, accurate stories of their plight …
Then, at dinner, I get a call from a newspaper reporter, who asks if I have any comment on the record number of incidents at today’s game.
After each game, I get an update from our security staff about how things went, so I know that not only weren’t there a record number of incidents at Friday’s game, but there actually were very, very few. The limited number of ejections were for smoking and profanity (see above).
So I explain all of this and ask, “Who said there were a lot of incidents?”
“Oh, we got a phone call saying there were …”
To their credit, both organizations contacted me and asked for our information before running stories (or choosing not to). I offer these stories only as examples of how people try to manipulate media and how, so often, everyone’s assumptions are based on often-inaccurate stereotypes.
So then I open today’s Sun-Times (I know, I know, it’s almost impossible to find a Saturday Sun-Times, but I swung it).
Page 51 is titled, “Crosstown Showdown” and sub-headed, “Savoring the Sights at the Cell.”
Of the five photos, one is of Derrick Rose in Sox garb with John Paxson (OK, makes sense), one is of two tailgating spreads, one Sox and one Cubs (OK, makes sense), one is of a Cubs fan looking at our misnamed (in the caption) ”Championship Moments Wall” (OK, maybe the Cubs fan looking at a Sox monument angle works, but what about all of the other options you could shoot out there on that day … we had to pick a Cubs fan in Cubs jersey?) … and then the two kickers, for me, one an eight-year-old Cubs kid and another of Derrek Lee signing autographs. I am sure that it was tough, if not impossible, to find an eight-year-old, jersey wearing Sox fan at yesterday’s game, and of course, of all the players signing autographs yesterday and U.S. Cellular Field, where the newspaper wants to provide you with “Savoring the Sights at the Cell,” we get a Cubs player …
Look at the page, I know very few of you actually read the hard copy of this paper anymore, and tell me it is an equal representation of the fans at yesterday’s game. Someone picked those photos and made conscious decisions what to run, didn’t they? Was that person neutral, a Sox fan or a Cubs fan?
But maybe I’m too sensitive to this stuff …
And this is absolutely true … last Friday, I took my family to Wrigley Field for the game. My kids can handle the profanity (see above), but the threesome behind us (and we were in row 1 just past our dugout), literally lost count of the number of drinks they had during the game. They tried to remember and tried to count, but it was beyond their capacity. Then, the very best part, one guy fell asleep. Sox vs. Cubs. 40,000-plus crowd. Great seats. Great game, going down to the final pitch, and the guy FALLS ASLEEP!!!
“Dad,” my 11-year-old son whispers, “that guy’s asleep at the game.”
“Cubs fan,” we both say in unison.
Have fun today, Sox fans, and do your best to stay awake.