Did I miss it? I missed it, didn’t I? The it in this case is Soxfest. Somewhere in the blogging pages I’ve commented that fests, cons, and geek-specific shows are a bridge too far when it comes to my fandom, especially after my experiences working the Cubs convention for a couple of years. Even so, every January I’m tempted to go for a day to Soxfest and get a little baseball fix. This year, however, I barely got that itch before I had something better to do.
Let’s face it, there wasn’t much to bring folks in this year; no new players of note, no new manager and perhaps only for the die-hards, a new general manager to grill during the town hall meeting. After listening to a couple of interviews from Soxfest, the overall impression I’m getting from the organization is one of complacency. The "much needed" marketing slogan seems to be, “White Sox Baseball: Here’s Hoping Everything Falls Into Place Like Last Year.” Not exactly an attention grabber is it?
I don’t mean to disrespect the current crop of players, but other than one maybe two of them I wouldn’t wait five minutes for their autograph let alone close to an hour. Same goes for the former players that they trotted in for the event. I already have Frank Thomas’s signature and I’ll take a pass on Aaron Rowand. I have a whole summer to be caught up on Hawk Harrelson’s stories of years gone by, so going to a presentation with him seems like too much of a mediocre thing. Admittedly I would go if my son or daughter really wanted to go, but when I mentioned what it was, they both looked at me with the blankest expressions they could muster.
When it comes to fests I think the overall sales pitch is one of hope and expectation. On both sides of town, those two emotions seemed to be in short supply for 2013 baseball. No one thinks the Cubs will contend and by standing pat, the White Sox are saying, “we’ll see.” Either way, the lack of media focus on the fests was appropriate. If the teams themselves aren’t going to really care, why should we?