View Full Version : ESPN absolutely loves Gallas

05-10-2002, 06:32 PM
For years now, we've watched thousands of normal-looking baseball fans stream for the exits in the eighth inning of tie games. We're sure they had good reasons, too.

They had to go to work. Their kids had to go to school. The bars were about to close -- in four hours. They couldn't bear to watch that xgff!#gg*#!ing (pick your favorite team) bullpen blow another one.

Whatever. We don't question why they had to leave. But we've often wondered if there was something baseball could do to persuade these folks to stay till the end -- short of handcuffs, restraining orders or 3 p.m. start times for all night games, that is.

Well, finally, one of baseball's most innovative thinkers has come up with the answer:

Why leave at all? Why not let fans (zzzz) sleep at the ballpark?

It's about to happen next month at Chicago's Comiskey Park, where White Sox marketing genius Rob Gallas will unveil the major leagues' first official Sleepover Night (subtitled: How We Can Convince People to Come to Two Expos-White Sox Games in a Row When They Might Otherwise Come to None).

All right, we made up that subtitle ourselves. But here's how this works:

You go to the game on Saturday night, June 8. You stay till the end. You stay for a postgame movie. You get to sleep on the same outfield grass where Bob Zupcic once roamed. You get breakfast. And you get to hang around for the Sunday afternoon game.

"I always meant to go to Woodstock," Gallas told Week in Review. "Guess I'm compensating with this promotion.

"Think of the possibilities. It will be the first opportunity in baseball history to get a shutout and shuteye in the same ballpark on the same night. You can hit the hay right after Frank Thomas hits the fastball.

It's a chance for Stuart Scott to use that "cool as the other side of the pillow" line and really sell it. And Jerry Manuel can rest his bullpen and rest his spectators on the same night. It's a beautiful thing.

But that doesn't mean the White Sox don't have a few worries about how both the small details and the sleeping bags will unfold.

For one thing, the sleepout will be limited to 250 people who will be donating their fees to charity. That should keep crowd control manageable. But there will be several other stipulations and limitations, Gallas said.

"Sleeping in the nude will be prohibited at Sleepover Night," he said. "Snoring will be discouraged, and so will campfires. And so will campfire scenes like the one in Blazing Saddles. That could kill the grass.

"And come morning, he said, "if they want to use our 'Bill Veeck memorial shower' in left field to freshen up, they'll have to bring a swimsuit. Kind of like the Three Stooges taking a bath.

"Mo, Larry and Curly won't be there, however. But we can think of a few people who ought to be, if Gallas has any sense of drama -- or, at least, puns:

Ray Knight seems like a must. Thomas (Sleeper) Sullivan won't be able to make it, since he dozed off for good 103 years ago. But the old basketball star, Sleepy Floyd, probably would stop by, if Gallas promised to sing him a lullaby.

Steve Bed-rosian shouldn't miss this one. And Rick Camp is probably already looking for his tent. Harold Baines could use the occasion to officially retire, in more ways than one. But whatever he does, Gallas shouldn't invite Tim Wake-field, at least until morning.

And let's send out one very special invitation to Claudell Washington -- who, as Gallas recalls, once took three days to report to the White Sox after being traded there by the Mets, and then offered the following immortal excuse: "I overslept."

If you have other people you think belong at Sleepover Night, let us know. The possibilities are endless.

In the meantime, Rob Gallas says he still has a bunch of last-minute details to iron out (once he's finished ironing out his pajamas).

"I have to go see if Moose Skowron will wear a nightshirt and night hat to the event," he said. "And do you know anybody with a bugle who can blow revelry?"

05-10-2002, 06:38 PM
Please post a link instead of the whole article in the future Kark.

Thank you.