Chicago White Sox attendance has been a problem for many, many years. Like most sports franchises, they only draw when they win. Unlike the Cubs, who have attendance figures that largely transcend wins and losses. (Of course, even that is starting to change, as Theo Epstein is selling blind faith and really forward looking hope, nothing else to his base in 2014)
There have been no green shoots of growth for the Cubs yet, and Theo will be on the hot seat if he can't show us anything tangible in the next year or so.
The White Sox are always the red-headed step-child of Chicago sports. Even winning the World Series, the first Series winner for Chicago in almost a century, has not changed that inconvenient truth.
The popularity of Major League Baseball itself is in rapid decline, as a recent survey indicated that Major League Soccer is just as popular with American youths as baseball. You obviously know that MLS isn't exactly the NFL when it comes to fanbase size.
Baseball has stone age policies in place regarding internet media, on all sides, with the White Sox being much worse than other clubs when it comes to this. I've been pointing this out since 2011, and now you can see it finally catching up to them at the gate. Baseball moves too slow for the Twitter era of modern life, and MLB has done nothing to even try and catch up. Fans will still keep attending games of the bigger brands (Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox etc.), but White Sox attendance, Tampa Bay Rays attendance, Astros attendance, other overlooked "niche" franchises are really starting to feel the hit now.
And the last two days are a perfect example of this. If you want to know why I stopped writing about the White Sox awhile ago...see today's and yesterday's attendance. I get similar online "attendance" for my Sox content. I've spoken with numerous webmasters who work for the biggest news websites in the city. They all experience the same thing:
online interest for White Sox content matches White Sox attendance. Terrible...
The 2014 Chicago Cubs and the 2014 Chicago White Sox announce their very first commercial telecasts this weekend. Comcast SportsNet Chicago will present the Sox spring training game (Saturday, March 15 vs. LA Dodgers from Camelback Ranch in Glendale, AZ – 9:00 PM CST) and Sunday, March 16 Cubs vs. Cleveland from Cubs Park in Mesa, AZ – 3:00 PM CST
In place of ads, CSN will showcase new one-on-one player interviews with new and veteran players from both sides of town, along with in-depth player profiles, numerous feature stories and much more. All of us are over-inundated with advertising in every aspect of our daily lives; so a relief from that is welcomed. I think we've all seen way too many Nissan commercials in our lives, and that STUPID Wendy's ciabatta burger commercial just never stops. It's a novelty that the spot features Ron Zook's daughter, but it doesn't make the Wendy's add any less annoying. How can you boycott a restaurant that you would never go to in the first place?
Moving on, you know and I know that for both baseball teams, it's more about the young nucleus coming up, and the prospects in the pipeline than it is the veterans. What's more intriguing and relevant are the guys who have just arrived on the team/will arrive soon. Not the guys who have been there for awhile. On both sides of town.
“We wanted to start off our coverage of the 2014 Chicago baseball season in a big way by taking the time we would normally air commercials and provide some very unique content for our viewers,” said CSN Chicago GM Phil Bedella...
Chicago White Sox legend and Comcast SportsNet Chicago analyst Frank Thomas is a first ballot Hall of Famer; as we expected.
CSN Chicago will cover the Frank Thomas H.O.F. story like a glove. Here are the specifics...
The idea of Chicago White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson winning the Ford Frick Award for broadcasting excellence is really frightening. It's akin to posthumously giving notorious Anti-Semite Henry Ford the B'nai Brith Award for outstanding service to the Jewish community.
It's on par to granting Illini backup QB Reilly O'Toole the Heisman Trophy.
It would be parallel to giving Vinny Del Negro the NBA Coach of the Year Award.
I know I said in a previous post I would stop critiquing Hawk Harrelson, because it's gotten old and at this point it really is very low hanging fruit. However, he just won't go away and leave us alone.
Secondly, the main point of this post is showing you how others have critiqued him. And beautifully at that.
Maybe it's not even critique, they're just presenting the 2013 Hawk Harrelson body of work and letting you make up your own mind.
I will say this, Hawk Harrelson is as much to blame for my baseball hiatus as any single human being...
ESPN College Gameday set up shop this morning at Lakeside Field on the Northwestern University campus in Evanston.
Tonight at Ryan Field, not be confused with the Fox Sports 1 anchor named Ryan Field, the #4 Ohio StateBuckeyes, favored by a touchdown, will take on the #16 Wildcats. Kickoff at 7pm on ABC with OSU alum Kirk Herbstreit and NU alum Brent Musburger on the call. Heather Cox will be on the sidelines.
I love College Gameday, but the best part of it, in my opinion, would be the signs.
I’ve led this post with a great sign about Kain Colter. And posted a few in gallery. You can see a few more signs here.
NU will look to upset the Red Menace tonight, and have a much better outing than the last time College Gameday was on site for a NW home game. That was the infamous “we conveniently forgot about the lack of space in Wrigley Field, so we’ll have both teams go one way/the same way the whole time” game.
The Illini shredded NU 48-22 at the Friendly Confines as Mikel Leshoure ran for an Illinois record 330 yards rushing. Here's to hoping the Cats don't have a repeat of that performance tonight; and cut shut down Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde.
-From Crain’s, Northwestern sells the naming rights to their Athletic Director position. They've come such a long way in Evanston. Three decades ago, they were considering abandoning big time sports entirely to join the Ivy League. According to the Wall Street Journal....
WSCR-670 The Score and CBS Radio Chicago will be hosting the First Annual Larry A. Pogofsky Chicago All-Star Softball Challenge on Saturday. The game features Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox legends, including Frank Thomas, Ozzie Guillen, and Derek Lee. MLB All-Star Jamie Moyer will be pitching too. And it’s all for a good cause, as the proceeds will benefit Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox charities.
Prior to the game, which begins at 4pm, young fans will have the chance to take part in an on-field clinic hosted by the Bulls/Sox Academy. Starting at 2:30, kids will have the opportunity to experience the true nature of baseball, consisting of base running, batting, and fielding drills.
The game will be held at Boomers Stadium in Schaumburg, Illinois. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $50 for a VIP admission, which includes priority seating, a premium item, and access into the post event VIP barbeque
This event is the brain child and inspiration of Ben Pogofsky...
(Update: Paul Sullivan is gone from the Chicago Cubs beat, and Vaughn McLure will be covering Illinois for the Tribune)
You know that job posting you saw online for the Chicago Tribune; the open baseball writer position?
It’s been filled internally; sources have told me. With this promotion of Colleen Kane, there will also be a couple of beats being shifted around. At least that’s what insiders tell me. Colleen Kane takes over the White Sox beat as Mark Gonzalez (@MDGonzales) shifts to the Chicago Cubs...
The University of Illinois and the Chicago White Sox will soon share a broadcast partnership. WSCR Chicago is home to radio broadcasts of all White Sox games; WSCR 670 AM will also carryIllini basketball starting in 2013-14 and football in 2014. (STEAKS AND CAKES!)The logo of WSCR 670 The Score is blue and orange for a reason. All CBS owned radio stations adopt the colors of their local NFL team for the station logos. Obviously, WSCR got it’s colors from the Chicago Bears. Papa Bear Halas brought the colors with him to the Bears from the Illini...
Today’s White Sox game with the Seattle Mariners was to baseball what tramp stamps are to Tilted Kilt waitresses. Something potentially passable is just ruined by something unsightly. Obviously, I prefer football and basketball to baseball; and educated brunettes to TK staffers. The 24-32 White Sox visited the 26-33 Seattle Mariners for one game of 162 this season; and it was a double header all by itself.
As the White Sox entered on a seven game losing streak, this contest obviously had HUGE PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS! It went into the 14th inning tied at 0-0. I could’ve sworn somebody had turned on soccer. As much physical torture as watching soccer is, at least the sport has Alex Morgan and Hope Solo to look at. Yes, I know Solo is guano crazy. This White Sox game could be summarized by Darth Helmet in Spaceballs: “no, it’s not what you think. It’s much, much worse!”
The White Sox scored 5 runs in the top of the 14th inning only to…wait for it…see the Mariners tie it with 5 in the bottom half of the 14th. The White Sox eventually ended up winning 7-5 in 16 innings. Time of game: 5 hours, 42 minutes. Or the equivalent of three games pitched by former White Sox ace Mark Buerhle.
This elicited some hysterical reactions on Twitter from White Sox experts and local sports media. Time for one of my tweet fueled stories...
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and ChicagoNow.
He's been a featured guest in dozens of media outlets including The History Channel. His work has been cited in hundreds of publications including the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.