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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Attendance up, chaos too?
by Hal Vickery

Some things never seem to change.† Once again Frank Thomas is injured, and once again someone from Sox management has stuck his foot in his mouth regarding a Thomas injury.†

Last time it was Gen. Disarray (aka former Sox manager Jerry Manuel) who accused Thomas in 1999 of jaking it when in fact he had a bone spur in his ankle the size of a walnut.† This time itís Prof. Chaos (aka Sox GM Kenny Williams), who has reclaimed his nickname after this latest incident.†

The professor shot off his mouth shortly before the All-Star Game.† He was upset with Frank because the slugger refused to sit on the bench while the Sox were playing the Angels, preferring rather to go home and keep his weight off the foot.†

At that time the Sox medical staff had diagnose Thomas with bone chips in the ankle and within twenty-four hours, they had set him up in a brace to keep the weight off the sore foot.† The odd part about the professorís rant is that everyone within a 100-mile radius of Chicago seemed to know how badly Thomasís foot was hurting.† He had already missed several games.† Did he actually believe Thomasís hobbling around the dugout would change anything the Angels might do?†

Prof. Chaos is fond of saying that the White Sox are family.† Most families donít like airing their dirty linen in public.† But the professor has already done it twice, first with his rant about John Rauch leaving the clubhouse early after getting knocked out of the game and now with Thomas.†

Late last week it was revealed that Thomasís injury was far more serious than the Sox medical staff had diagnosed.† It wasnít the bone chips causing the pain after all.† Instead, tests showed that Thomas had a stress fracture in his foot.† This was probably the cause of all of his discomfort.† †

The slugger will now be out for as much as eight weeks as a result of this injury, and Prof. Chaos should apologize to Thomas.† Stress fractures to the foot are extremely painful, especially to a man as big as Thomas.† However, based on the previous record of the folks who run this club, that apology has about as much chance of happening as hell freezing over.† †

And thatís why we say Prof. Chaos is back.†

--------

A number of media outlets have noted the increase in Sox attendance this year over last. Aside from Jay Mariotti, no one is saying anymore that the Sox arenít drawing fans to the ball park.

Readers of this column could have predicted that this would happen. For years now weíve been pointing out that Sox attendance
1.) is low in April and most of May,
2.) picks up at the Memorial Day weekend,
3.) is best from June through August, and
4.) goes up when the team is in contention.

With the Sox running just about neck and neck with the Twins for the AL Central championship, it should be obvious that attendance is up. We do have to give the media types credit for not sounding surprised that it is, but watch out if attendance drops in September, as it often does when kids go back to school.

Weíll hear a replay of their 2000 wailing about how the fans arenít supporting a winning team. The cries in 2000 came after the Sox attendance rose by 45 percent over 1999.

Sometimes you just have to conclude that the so-called experts from the media know less than the average Sox fan about the club. That wouldnít be such a bad thing except that the vast majority of the ignorant or malicious comments they make are flat-out false.


Editor's Note: Hal Vickery has been a White Sox fan since 1955 when he was five years old. For much of that time he also had a secondary rooting interest in the Cubs, which he has shown the good sense to abandon. When not cheering for or writing about the Sox, Hal teachers chemistry and physics at North Boone High School, in Poplar Grove, IL. Hal commutes there daily from Joliet, where he lives with his wife Lee, and their dog, Buster T. Beagle. Hal's opinions are not necessarily those of North Boone High School, his wife, or Buster T. Beagle. You can write Hal at hvickery@svs.com.

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