Um, wow? The White Sox have been quite the story lately, right? Amazing baseball, lots of media attention, overflowing crowds on hand to see an important series against the division leaders? The only thing that isn’t up for debate is the amazing baseball. For the past two weeks or so the White Sox could basically do no wrong, if the pitching was subpar the offense was more than making up for it. In their last five home games the White Sox scored 50 runs, even though the pitching was crapping the bed with regularity. Completing the sweep of the Indians was a wonderful way to finish up the home stand and they pulled to within a half a game of first place. So why isn’t this team drawing more?
I have to admit, I pretty much hate this discussion. The White Sox are not a big draw and there isn’t a great reason for it, or there are a lot of reasons for it but none of them explain it all that well. I was going to go over some of those reasons, but why? It is the same points that are brought up year after year after year. In the end I think the simplest explanation is the best. The Cubs have the built in draw of Wrigley, both Field and Neighborhood and the Sox are at the mercy market forces, namely winning draws. A bad or mediocre team or even a sorta good team, aren’t enough to get people down to the South Side. For me the bar is pretty low; I love baseball, especially the American League variety, and I pretty much want my team within 3 games come September. In the American League Central those standards aren’t tough to match. I have done the Wrigley experience and I don’t particularly like it. Yes, it is a nice place to see a game, but there are better and I don’t particularly like the “Jimmy Buffett” atmosphere. That’s just me, not saying it’s wrong, but I would rather spend my time in other ways. And yes, there is plenty I don’t care for at the Cell, but at the Cell I can usually find another seat if I’m annoyed.
Regardless of the crowds, or lack thereof, the White Sox have been fun to watch over the last few weeks and if you haven’t been watching, you should take a look. Paul Konerko is playing out of his mind right now and Adam Dunn is what the Sox wanted all along. It has been awhile for me to make it a point to watch a player’s at bats. Dunn is in that category right now because when he hits a home run it tends to go a long, long way. I want to be at the Cell when he launches one to the concourse in the outfield. Hawk may fall out of booth. As much as I miss Juan Pierre, it is hard to argue that Viceido is an upgrade. It also shows that, at the very least Robin Ventura is willing to play young guys far more than Ozzie did, especially in the last two years. On top of that the pitching has been solid with sprinkles of awesomeness, like Chris Sale and his 15 strikeouts. I must admit the last two outings by Jake Peavy have me getting a bit itchy, but truly he had to come back to Earth a little bit anyway. On top of all of that, the White Sox have broken out the 1972 uniforms and they are quite simply, fantastic. I would highly recommend going to the Cell on a Sunday afternoon and cheer on the boys in red and white. They might not be this much fun come July so get them while their hot. Go Sox.