Opening Day Approaches

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sweet Home Chicago

Flew back to Chicago last night after six weeks in Glendale.  Nice to be home, see my family, sit on my own couch watching my own TV, sleep in my own bed and actually drive my own car this morning.

Thanks to all for making my transition back easier by arranging for these 80-degree temps in Chicago for today and tomorrow.  Forecast for Monday keeps getting better, too (65 degrees, 20 pct chance of rain).

Final Roster Moves

KW, Rick Hahn and Ozzie made the final roster moves on Wednesday to get us down to 25 guys (I’m sure by now you’ve seen them).  The final decisions really revolved around Sergio Santos making the team (what a story!) and Jayson Nix making the club over Brent Lillibridge.

The last seven guys were told Wednesday … never an easy morning, but the last two conversations were special.

With MLBNetwork cameras running, Santos was told he had made the club.  The crew followed him out to the field and then filmed as he passed the good news along to his friends and family.

The last conversation was with Randy Williams.  After years of not making a Major League Opening Day roster — in fact, on several occasions being the last guy cut — Williams was told he had earned a spot.

Of course, this is the White Sox, so it is never that easy.  First, we had to scare the poor guy by calling him in and telling him that we had received an offer for him from another team and that he had been traded!  The joke was quickly over and everyone congratulated the veteran reliever.

Preparations

Back at the ballpark today in beautiful weather, it was great to see all the work underway getting ready for Opening Day.  Workmen were all over both dugouts, the grass looks amazingly green (Roger is the best), and the outside of the ballpark was getting sprayed down with power hoses.  Can’t wait for Monday.

Best Memories

This will be White Sox Opening Day No. 20 for me.  I’d love to hear all of your favorite moments (on the field or off).  Take a minute to share them with me, and with other fans, by posting on this entry.

Opening Day Details

Opening Day ceremonies at U.S. Cellular Field will feature a special tribute and ceremonial first pitch by the four members of the Chicago Blackhawks who competed in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, along with a pregame acoustic and National Anthem performance by The BoDeans, one of America’s premier rock bands.

Patrick Kane (United States), Duncan Keith (Canada), Brent Seabrook (Canada) and Jonathan Toews (Canada) all participated in the Winter Olympics. Keith, Seabrook and Toews won Gold for host Canada and Kane took home Silver as a member of America’s team. Toews also was voted best forward of the Games.

Prior to the first pitch Kurt Neumann and Sam Llanas of the BoDeans will play a special acoustic set on the field. Hailing from Waukesha, Wis., the BoDeans are promoting the release of MR. SAD CLOWN, their debut collection of fifteen original songs, which will be released on Tuesday, April 6.

Opening Day Sox Shots

I think this could be pretty cool …

WHITE SOX CALL ON FANS TO CAPTURE THEIR ‘SOX SHOTS’ ON OPENING DAY
Fans Asked to Photograph Mark Buehrle’s Record-Setting First Pitch and Post on whitesox.com

CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox are asking fans attending Opening Day at U.S. Cellular Field to photograph Mark Buehrle’s record-setting first pitch and post their image on whitesox.com.  Fan images of the Buehrle’s first pitch will be posted in a special gallery, ‘Sox Shots:  Opening Day,’ on the White Sox website.

Mark Buehrle’s start vs. Cleveland on Monday, April 5 (1:05 p.m.) will be his eighth Opening Day start as a member of the team, breaking White Sox legend Billy Pierce’s club-record of seven starts on Opening Day.

The Sox Shots page will stream in real-time as fans send in their images.  White Sox fans should email or MMS their personal photo or video (up to 3MB in file size) of the first pitch to soxshots@mobilebullpen.com, along with their Opening Day message (150 characters or less) as the subject line.  After the first pitch, fans also are encouraged to submit other photos from their Opening Day experience at U.S. Cellular Field.

“We hope White Sox fans from all over the ballpark will capture the first pitch of the 2010 season on their mobile phones,” said Scott Reifert, White Sox vice president of communications.  “By immediately uploading the images to whitesox.com, fans can create a 360-degree virtual image of the historic first pitch.”

White Sox Opening Day also will feature a special tribute and ceremonial first pitch by four members of the Chicago Blackhawks who competed in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and a National Anthem performance by The BoDeans.

So basically, snap a photo of the first pitch on your phone and send it to us.  We’ll post them all on a gallery and when you get home that night, you can check them out.  Feel free to send any/all of your images from Monday.  But we really want as many different angles of the first pitch as we can get.

What It Means to Be A White Sox

White Sox fans of all ages must watch “What It Means to Be A White Sox” on Sunday night at 7 pm on WGN-TV.

I had the chance today to get a sneak peek at the show, and it features great footage and personal commentary from the greatest White Sox stars about the championship teams and moments that make this franchise so great.  The companion book is terrific as well.  I gave a copy to my dad in spring training and each day he would tell me about what he read the night before.

“The one thing that comes through on each interview with a former player,” he said, “is how much respect they have for Jerry Reinsdorf.”

“I know, dad, I know.”

To get more information about the show, expertly done by WGN’s Bob Vorwald, Click here.

4 Comments

Welcome “home” Scott, but before opening day at the old ball park, Happy Easter to one and all. j.k.

Scott,
Welcome home. I have an experience I’d like to share but it isn’t from Opening Day. For a number of reasons (work, price, etc) I am not able to make opening day so i always try to go to the 2nd game of the year. I think it was 2008 when we showed up to the 2nd game in our winter hats and boots. We bought bleacher seats at the gate but when we walked in, we realized that there wasn’t a big crowd because of the weather. We decided to sit behind the visitors on deck circle about 5 rows up. About the 4th inning, it started to snow. As we were laughing at the fact that we were watching the White Sox in the snow, we heard a man screaming in some kind of language we couldn’t understand. It sounded like it was from behind us but we soon realized that it was Ozzie giving directions to the players on the field. With the lack of fans, acoustics of the stadium, and Ozzie’s distinctively loud voice, we were able to hear his instructions to his players. The White Sox won that day and i got to have my ceremonial first hot dog of the year but the coolest part was listening to our manager talk to his players. It really made us feel like part of the White Sox family.
Best of luck this year.

Welcome home Scott, looking FW to both Opening Day (I’ll be there of course) and the preseason specials on WGN on “What It Means To Be A White Sox” and I guess I’ll watch the other team’s too. :)

Ready for an awesome tailgate on Opening Day and watch Mark Buehrle make team history. Mark has always reminded me of Billy Pierce. A quality left handed pitcher, who has a quiet humble unassuming attitude and always praises the team defense behind him as a reason for his success. What a couple of class guys, Buehrle and Pierce forever linked in White Sox history.

Play Ball!

Is opening day supposed to be another black out? Someone sent the email below to me. I haven’t seen or heard anything yet.

Ken Williams has a special request or, better yet, a challenge for White Sox fans to be carried out on April 5, and it involves their choice of clothing worn to the game against the Indians at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.

The White Sox general manager would like to see the return of the Blackout.

“No better time to start than Opening Day,” Williams said.

This ‘back in black’ solidarity first was shown on the South Side during the one-game American League Central home tiebreaker against the Twins on Sept. 30, 2008. The 1-0 White Sox victory, behind Jim Thome’s solo home run and John Danks’ eight scoreless innings, sent Ozzie Guillen’s crew to the playoffs against the Rays and was deemed by many in attendance to be every bit as exciting as the 2005 playoff victories.

To this day, the contest was known as the “Blackout Game.” Fans all wore black shirts and waved black towels, followed by black shirts and white towels at the Rolling Blackout first game against the Rays.

Williams would like to set the tone for what could be a special 2010 campaign with the help of the White Sox support system.

And with the forecast calling for 62 degrees and partly sunny on Monday, the weather shouldn’t preclude black from being worn.

“Opening Day is always electric and I don’t know how these things happen,” Williams said. “But if our fans really want to turn up the heat on our opponents and fire up our guys, they will rally together and pick certain dates or against certain opponents and black it out.”

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