Sox Return Home (Finally) and Happy Blogaversary
Friday, June 5, 2015
White Sox vs. Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m. CT, CSN+) in the opener of a three-game series and six-game homestand that continues with three vs. the Astros. Probable Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (2-6, 4.33) for the Sox, LHP Kyle Ryan (1-0, 3.00) for Detroit.
Last Night’s Highlights
Carlos Rodon delivered another quality start, giving up a lone run with a career-high 10 strikeouts in six innings of work as the Sox fell to the Rangers, 2-1, in 11 innings (click on the link below) . Rodon allowed just five hits and walked three…Gordon Beckham, whose average is now at .283, drove in the Sox tally with a sac fly and Adam Eaton added a pair of base hits.
Quote of the Day
Robin, after last night’s game, on finishing the grueling road trip at 5-6:
“We wish we would have gotten this one tonight. It would have put us over the edge of being able to survive, but you survive. We’re still going to battle, but it’s a tough trip. We saw it coming up, especially when the doubleheader was put in there. But they battled. I’ll give them that.”
Believe it or Not, Tomorrow is the 10th Anniversary of the “Inside the White Sox” Blog
White Sox Senior Vice President, Communications Scott Reifert (pictured below with Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas) talks about a decade of blogging:
Hard to believe it has been 10 years since I began this blog. Amazing actually, especially when I consider all that has happened since I sat down at my computer at a Denver hotel and tried to figure out what this “blog thing” was all about and how it would take shape. The list goes on…postseason, no-hitters, funny stories, perfect games, All-Star Games, disappointing seasons, 400 home runs, Hall of Fame inductions, retirements (of numbers and players), White House visits–and who knew that I chose to experiment with this new technology during June in a season where our team would go on to win a World Series for the first time in 88 years.
My friend (and digital mentor, really) Mark Newman at MLB.com and MLB.com/blogs tells me this was the first blog by a professional team sports executive entirely about his club (Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban continues to blog about many topics on Blog Maverick). He encouraged me to note the anniversary with today’s post. I owe him a great deal of thanks in nurturing and building this portion of the internet for baseball, not just this simple blog.
Before I began writing the blog, I explained my plan twice. Once, to our entire front office during an all-employees meeting. I asked for a show of hands by anyone who knew what a blog was (remember, this was 2005). No one raised a hand. “This might be doomed,” I thought to myself. I felt even worse when, afterward, one of our media relations interns poked his head into my office and sheepishly admitted that he had a read a blog, once. “But I didn’t want to raise my hand in the meeting because I didn’t want them to think I am a nerd.” Just great.
My second conversation was with Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. I explained the concept, its newness and how I thought it might help our organization by providing our own unique voice, sometimes on issues when we struggled to be heard. To this day, I appreciate his support and blessing (and faith, to be honest) on something he really couldn’t have known a lot about at the time. I’m not sure if he has ever read a post, even to this day, and that is perfectly fine. As I often say to him, “It’s OK, you are not the demographic.”
One of the goals when I started was to give fans access to information and situations that they probably wouldn’t find anywhere else. It might be the thing I am most proud of when I think about 10 years with this blog. It might have been a photo, a special story from the clubhouse or a view of the team or of a game that a paying customer would not normally get. I blogged from our clubhouse before the decisive Game 4 of the World Series, from the bench at the 2006 All-Star Game and I tried to give White Sox fans a sense of what it was like to sit next to Ozzie Guillen as he spent hours with the media and with us, telling stories and jokes.
Mark Buehrle’s perfect game in 2009 is another great example. As we raced down the hallway to reach Jerry’s office in time for a phone call from President Obama, I ran into Marty Maloney, a member of our public relations group. “Do you know how to use a flip cam?” I asked.
“No,” Marty replied.
“Well, you have about 20 seconds to figure it out,” I said.
Marty learned quickly, shot 28 seconds of video of Mark that day (do you even remember flip cams?) and that night his work appeared on the CBS Evening News (and our blog).
Two lessons came out of that. The first was just how powerful social media and content creation could and would be to professional sports teams like the White Sox, and secondly, I couldn’t do this alone.
Originally, with this blog and the twitter account, I generated every single word and all of the content. That just could not last. Now, with a White Sox presence on too many social media platforms to count, I rely on a team of communications experts to generate content each and every day. I can’t be everywhere and I couldn’t generate all of it. Not even close. At first, I would spend the day making notes of stories or things I saw that I thought would be good for the blog. Then, I would take 45 minutes or so to create the entry, usually between 6-7 p.m. that night (i.e. just before game time). But my full-time job kept getting in the way.
Fast forward to 2015 and a team of almost a dozen people – from coast to coast – help provide content each day. I owe all of them a very heartfelt thanks, particularly to Art Berke, noted Sox fan and editor extraordinaire who writes, edits, reads my mind (and interprets my e-mails) and toils over these entries every day. Content gets generated from clubhouses across the big leagues, articles get written by several hands, photos from multiple sources get added to an entry and links from interesting articles from across the internet get added to the mix.
One constant throughout has been our reader–the White Sox fan. Whether it was June 6, 2005 or today, June 6, 2015, our goal has been to inform and entertain you. Judging on your feedback over the years, we have succeeded more often than we have failed (which, in baseball, probably could win you a division title), although I know many readers over the years haven’t always been thrilled with my product (remember, I lived through 2007 and 2013). But as I write this entry, I think about all of the friends and readers I’ve met over the years, many at Blog Night, others randomly at the ballpark, as I look over at a signed baseball in my office from many years ago.
It was given to me by a group of readers at one of our Blog Nights in appreciation of our little digital community. I cherish it to this day because it reminds me of why we do what we do.
It sits on my shelf, along with a signed Paul Konerko ball and a signed baseball from the 2005 World Series. Above it, a signed photo of the final pitch of Buehrle’s perfect game.
Kind of summarizes the last 10 years nicely. Thank you all for reading and for caring.
Chris Sale’s Father & Son Journey
White Sox Pitch, Hit & Run Competition
Tomorrow at U.S. Cellular Field, a group of 24 kids, ages 7-14, will be participating in the White Sox Championship of the 2015 Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run (PHR) program presented by Scotts.
The top three scores in each age and gender group out of all 30 MLB Team Championships will advance to the PHR National Finals held at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, during All-Star Week.
For more info, please go to www.PitchHitRun.com.
White Sox vs. Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field (6:15 p.m. CT, FOX). Probable Starters: LHP John Danks (3-4, 4.81) for the Sox, LHP David Price (4-2, 3.15) for Detroit.
Photo of the Day
Our fans showed their love in Texas.