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Fenway
08-13-2011, 10:01 AM
Gammons just finished a tirade on the White Sox on WEEI's Real Baseball Show....

How can you explain that the White Sox now have the WORST home record in the AL (24-33) and have the second best road record? (34-27) - He can not recall anything like this in the 40 years he has covered baseball.

He then says his thinks a major problem is the general stadium atmosphere at The Cell which he thinks is one of the worst in MLB. He goes on that the WS game presentation staff is heavily influenced by what is done at Bulls games and seem clueless that the two fan bases are not the same. He says he has talked to many older fans who simply can not stand the music selection at the park.

He went on to say he can not put a finger on the team playing so badly at home. Chicago is not a pressure cooker media town like the Northeast and fans have been tolerent. (perhaps too much so)

PKalltheway
08-13-2011, 10:08 AM
While this isn't a good comparison, the strangest home/away splits I've seen came from last year's Pirates. 40-41 at home, 17-64 on the road.:o:

balke
08-13-2011, 10:09 AM
I doubt he's been to very many Sox games and this is probably not the time to be going - when you have a bust like Adam Dunn and the team can't beat loser teams at home.

Also - this isn't Peter Pan. Clapping our hands won't make this team come to life.

Milw
08-13-2011, 10:12 AM
When the team is going right, there's no better atmosphere in all of baseball, for my money. (At least out of the 15 stadiums I've been to live.)

But there's no question it's a miserable place to be this year. That is 98% attributable to the product on the field, however.

Fenway
08-13-2011, 10:26 AM
I doubt he's been to very many Sox games and this is probably not the time to be going - when you have a bust like Adam Dunn and the team can't beat loser teams at home.

Also - this isn't Peter Pan. Clapping our hands won't make this team come to life.

He went to a couple of the Boston and NYY games in the past 2 weeks.

Bob Ryan added that he doesn't understand why the stadium was set up where you enter - then go up an escalator, then a ramp before you see the field. It reminds him of entering Oakland.

(Ryan makes it a habit of going as a fan at least one game of any road series he covers...doesn't tell the team, he just buys a ticket and mingles with fans)

doublem23
08-13-2011, 10:28 AM
Yawn, this is the same old tired BS and cliches I hear all the time from old timers. I doubt Peter Gammons has spent more than 10 minutes inside the Cell since it was built. Perhaps if he were to offer some actual insight, maybe rethink the stereotype that the Cell is a hitter's park when it certainly is not and how the construction of this team is not built for its home park, I might be willing to deem his opinion worthwhile. All this sounds like it some ****ing homer from Boston talking down to people (paint me shocked). Oh no, they don't model their in-game experience after Fenway Park and what baseball was like in the 40s, THAT MUST BE WHY THEY'RE LOSING.

jdm2662
08-13-2011, 10:32 AM
I've been to six games this year. This is by far the least amount of fun I've had at the ball park in quite some time (and my record is 4-2). This includes 2007. And I thought 2009 was bad, but at least I got to see them on two road trips. In that year, my home record was 2-5 and my road record was 3-1.

And, he is right, the atmosphere is worse than ever. This is 100% blame on the team and nothing else. There is nothing worse than watching a vet heavy team doing the same thing over and over again. I went to 11 games in 2008, all home games. It was by far the best time I had at the ball park. Why? The Sox won 54 games at home in 2008. Obviously, I had my moments in 2005 and 2006, but I didn't go to as many games.

doublem23
08-13-2011, 10:35 AM
I've been to six games this year. This is by far the least amount of fun I've had at the ball park in quite some time (and my record is 4-2). This includes 2007. And I thought 2009 was bad, but at least I got to see them on two road trips. And, he is right, the atmosphere is worse than ever. In that year, my home record was 2-5 and my road record was 3-1. This is 100% blame on the team and nothing else. I went to 11 games in 2008, all home games. It was by far the best time I had at the ball park. Why? The Sox won 54 games at home in 2008. Obviously, I had my moments in 2005 and 2006, but I didn't go to as many games.

Yeah, that 2008 team was every bit as frustrating and up and down as this bunch, but at least they had some fight in them. As soon as Butler hit the homer to make it 2-0 in the 6th, I pretty much zoned out of the game. Didn't think there was any way the Sox were going to come back from that insurmountable lead.

dickallen15
08-13-2011, 10:39 AM
While it is the same atmosphere as it is at Bulls games, its also the same canned music they play at every stadium in the league. The Sox have no one cheering for them on the road and they do fine. I don't think music or the 90 year olds not liking AC/DC is making the players play poorly at home. In fact, going back, Nancy Faust's role was originally reduced due to player requests. They have their intro music when they come to bat. I think Gammons is probably right on about the Bulls comparison and the park atmosphere, in fact I was at the game last night with my 73 year old father who sarcastically praised the music a few times. IMO, I think Gammons way off if it thinks that is a major contributor to the poor play. I do think the poor play is a contributor to the poor atmosphere.

balke
08-13-2011, 10:41 AM
He went to a couple of the Boston and NYY games in the past 2 weeks.

Bob Ryan added that he doesn't understand why the stadium was set up where you enter - then go up an escalator, then a ramp before you see the field. It reminds him of entering Oakland.

(Ryan makes it a habit of going as a fan at least one game of any road series he covers...doesn't tell the team, he just buys a ticket and mingles with fans)


If I go to one Yankee game and I don't like the atmosphere I'm not going to pretend that game represents the season and that the music is the same everytime I go.

Also - those games specifically were bad examples. Noone went to see the Yankees and Red Sox because the tickets are overpriced - the stadium will be filled with the oppositions fans - and this team is a terrible horrible disappointment who get swept at home by the twins.

Fenway
08-13-2011, 10:42 AM
How exactly do you build a team for a 'symmetrical park'?

Baseball has the most obvious home field advantage of any sport because of last at-bat.

To have a worse road record then Baltimore is astonishing. Of course 18 Baltimore home dates are 'home' games for NY and Boston.


Yawn, this is the same old tired BS and cliches I hear all the time from old timers. I doubt Peter Gammons has spent more than 10 minutes inside the Cell since it was built. Perhaps if he were to offer some actual insight, maybe rethink the stereotype that the Cell is a hitter's park when it certainly is not and how the construction of this team is not built for its home park, I might be willing to deem his opinion worthwhile. All this sounds like it some ****ing homer from Boston talking down to people (paint me shocked). Oh no, they don't model their in-game experience after Fenway Park and what baseball was like in the 40s, THAT MUST BE WHY THEY'RE LOSING.

shes
08-13-2011, 10:46 AM
Well, we play in a hitter's park and have a **** offense. Generally, that means you struggle at home. You build a team to some extent based on park factors; when your team's strengths misalign with where you play 81 games, things like this can happen.

CHISOXFAN13
08-13-2011, 10:48 AM
If I go to one Yankee game and I don't like the atmosphere I'm not going to pretend that game represents the season and that the music is the same everytime I go.

Also - those games specifically were bad examples. Noone went to see the Yankees and Red Sox because the tickets are overpriced - the stadium will be filled with the oppositions fans - and this team is a terrible horrible disappointment who get swept at home by the twins.

The Cell has been a stale atmosphere the whole season, outside of maybe a handful of games.

I've seen the Sox in Minneapolis and in Anaheim this year and enjoyed my experience immensely. I can't say that about the Cell. It's the worst atmosphere in a park to me since the Sox were bringing up the rear at Old Comiskey in the mid to late 80s.

jdm2662
08-13-2011, 10:49 AM
Yeah, that 2008 team was every bit as frustrating and up and down as this bunch, but at least they had some fight in them. As soon as Butler hit the homer to make it 2-0 in the 6th, I pretty much zoned out of the game. Didn't think there was any way the Sox were going to come back from that insurmountable lead.

The 2008 team had its blunders, but for the most part, they did what you are supposed to do. They beat the crappy teams in their division and they won at home. When you do this, you can afford a bad week or two against the good teams (ala the Sox this year when BOS and NYY destroyed them). And, even after the blunder in the dome, they still fought back to the very end.

SI1020
08-13-2011, 10:50 AM
I'd like to hear exactly what he said, but based on Fenway's post I'd say Gammons is at least a little bit accurate. As for the disparity in home and away records I think the Sox are so much looser on the road. They really seem to get tight as a drum at home. Like so many others have said, you can't play baseball that way. In football once you start hitting the butterflies usually disappear. In basketball and hockey the game is faster, you are doing more reacting than thinking. Baseball must be approached in a relaxed and confident manner, and the Sox are anything but that at home this year.

TaylorStSox
08-13-2011, 11:03 AM
I went to the Peavy/Cheeseburger Sabathia game and must admit it was pretty bad. Honestly, it was the most apathetic, listless crowd I've seen at any sporting event. I left the park depressed. I understand that we're boring and mediocre, but it's okay to still have some fun at the ballpark guys. The Yankees fans in our section were trying to get everyone riled up and everyone just sat there and pouted.

I went to last night's game and it was similar. Granted, we got dominated by Bruce ****ing Chen.:angry: It was so bad last night that I swear I heard people boo the fireworks.

The culture of this team is tired. The core players are vanilla. The manager's a caricature. I'm not sure what the front office can do to change the atmosphere, but something has to give.

ChiSoxGal85
08-13-2011, 11:04 AM
I've been to six games this year. This is by far the least amount of fun I've had at the ball park in quite some time (and my record is 4-2). This includes 2007. And I thought 2009 was bad, but at least I got to see them on two road trips. In that year, my home record was 2-5 and my road record was 3-1.

And, he is right, the atmosphere is worse than ever. This is 100% blame on the team and nothing else. There is nothing worse than watching a vet heavy team doing the same thing over and over again. I went to 11 games in 2008, all home games. It was by far the best time I had at the ball park. Why? The Sox won 54 games at home in 2008. Obviously, I had my moments in 2005 and 2006, but I didn't go to as many games.

This. And I don't care what kind of crappy music or promos or whatever is going on in the stadium. The team is playing like ****. The atmosphere sucks because they are playing like ****, in their own stadium. What are fans supposed to do, stand up and cheer that kind of play (derisive cheering, like when the Sox actually get on base or Dunn doesn't strike out, does not count)??

BainesHOF
08-13-2011, 11:06 AM
The Cell has developed into a great ballpark. Unfortunately, the organization's game production is terrible. I haven't been to many ballparks, but when you're at Wrigley, Fenway and Busch you feel like you're at a baseball game. The ridiculous Bulls production at a Sox game is awful with the frequency, selection and volume of the music. It makes it hard to talk with people during the game. Nobody can like that.

Crestani
08-13-2011, 11:10 AM
Wow..If it came from Peter Gammon's it must be Gospel..!!

Fenway
08-13-2011, 11:12 AM
While it is the same atmosphere as it is at Bulls games, its also the same canned music they play at every stadium in the league.

You couldn't be more wrong....and the only park that plays music louder then USCF is Citi Field.

You would be amazed at how many shun the park because of the music. I know several and these people are in their late 30's and early 40's.

southside rocks
08-13-2011, 11:18 AM
This. And I don't care what kind of crappy music or promos or whatever is going on in the stadium. The team is playing like ****. The atmosphere sucks because they are playing like ****, in their own stadium. What are fans supposed to do, stand up and cheer that kind of play (derisive cheering, like when the Sox actually get on base or Dunn doesn't strike out, does not count)??

Ditto. Last night was a perfect example. Sox come home from a 6-1 road trip that included a sweep of the Twins, it's gorgeous summer weather, I'm up for going to a game at the Cell this weekend -- and then they play worse than a Rookie League team last night and look so awful that I turn off the game on TV. And tonight I'm going to a Windy City Thunderbolts game, because the odds are that I'll see better baseball -- in the Frontier League. Seriously.

The Sox are a completely lost and losing team this year. I don't know why, but they are. And that just might have a little bit to do with the atmosphere at their games!

Fenway
08-13-2011, 11:27 AM
“I wish I had something to say about why we play so poorly here, Maybe it’s too much pressure. Maybe we try to do too much. This club is more relaxed on the road, there’s no doubt about that.’’ - Ozzie

BTW - I really can not believe a true fan would say that they were not going to a game because the other team's fans are there....

MeteorsSox4367
08-13-2011, 11:30 AM
You couldn't be more wrong....and the only park that plays music louder then USCF is Citi Field.

You would be amazed at how many shun the park because of the music. I know several and these people are in their late 30's and early 40's.

I'm in my early 40s and I could give a rat's ass about the music in the ballpark. If the Sox want to play rap or some blow-dried teenager's music between innings, I don't care.

The Sox think its fun to throw t-shirts into the crowd or have people dance on the dugouts between innings, God bless 'em. It doesn't matter to me.

All I care about is what goes on on the field. I want my favorite bleeping team to hit the cutoff man, bunt the runners over, throw strikes, hit to the opposite field on occasion and not treat a two-run deficit against a horsebleep pitcher like it's 10-0.

I'm a diehard Sox fan and baseball fan. All the peripheral stuff means nothing. You want a better atmosphere at the Cell? Win games.

SaltyPretzel
08-13-2011, 11:36 AM
The Sox should make the team stay in a hotel for home games.

Brian26
08-13-2011, 11:39 AM
You couldn't be more wrong....and the only park that plays music louder then USCF is Citi Field.

You would be amazed at how many shun the park because of the music. I know several and these people are in their late 30's and early 40's.

A LOT of truth in what Fenway is saying here. I've been to 10 games this year and pretty much have sat in the same spot every time. Two games ago (I believe it was the Nats Sunday game) the music in the upper deck loudspeakers was cranked as loud as I've ever heard it, like noticeably different than any other game this year, like someone in the control booth thought it would be funny or cute to **** with the speakers to see if anyone would take the time to complain. I sent a text to the number posted on the back of the seats. Someone responded and asked what section I was in, and it eventually got turned down to an acceptable level. But, yeah, if the sox are hairbrained enough to think cranking up the sound creates excitement in the park, they bigger fools than I thought.

Boondock Saint
08-13-2011, 11:40 AM
I'm in my early 40s and I could give a rat's ass about the music in the ballpark. If the Sox want to play rap or some blow-dried teenager's music between innings, I don't care.

The Sox thinks its fun to throw t-shirts into the crowd or have people dance on the dugouts between innings, God bless 'em. It doesn't matter to me.

All I care about is what goes on on the field. I want my favorite bleeping team to hit the cutoff man, bunt the runners over, throw strikes, hit to the opposite field on occasion and not treat a two-run deficit against a horsebleep pitcher like it's 10-0.

I'm a diehard Sox fan and baseball fan. All the peripheral stuff means nothing. You want a better atmosphere at the Cell? Win games.

That's it, exactly. I stopped going to games in May, and I'll probably catch one more game, not to see the team, but rather to get a couple pics of the Frank statue. Whether Ozzie and Walker are back next season will determine whether I go to any games at all next season.

TomBradley72
08-13-2011, 11:45 AM
The Cell has been a stale atmosphere the whole season, outside of maybe a handful of games.

I've seen the Sox in Minneapolis and in Anaheim this year and enjoyed my experience immensely. I can't say that about the Cell. It's the worst atmosphere in a park to me since the Sox were bringing up the rear at Old Comiskey in the mid to late 80s.

I think there's some truth to what Gammons says- I think the biggest influencers of the atmosphere are the team's performance- which has been bad at home since early April- but all the stuff that is influenced by stadium operations (i.e. music, customer service, videos, promotions, etc.) is pretty mediocre vs. the other ballparks I've visited. It's extremely noticable to me- especially if I've visited another ballpark while traveling for work- then go to a game shortly after. In recent memory- the Cell is only better than Rogers Centre/Toronto and whatever they're calling Oakland's park these days.

Add that to high prices linked to low overall attendance- and as other posters have said- nothing more lifeless than an underperforming veteran team.

The White Sox have been very "stable" since 2004- Guillen/Williams/Boyer/coaching staff is virtually unchanged for 8 years now- a very long tenure for any of these roles individually- but for the whole structure to be unchanged for so long- it's become very "stale".

I don't really think the players respond to Ozzie any more. KW has become a checkbook GM who still shows no ability to develop a farm system, and Brooks seems to have run out of any new/innovative ideas- Elvis Night/Mullett Night/Halfway to St. Pats Day, etc were kind of interesting 7-8 years ago- but trotting them out every season now is boring- and most (if not all) of the marketing campaigns/themes since "Grinder Rules" have been very forgettable. Is anyone else tired of watching the same "All In" commercials with AJ and Paulie after 4-5 months?

I'll add to that a subpar radio crew- DJ does not belong on the radio team in a major market.

I think an overhaul akin to Tanner/Hemond joining the organization in the early 70's + a new marketing/stadium operations approach + replacing DJ is what the Sox need.

robertks61
08-13-2011, 11:58 AM
If the product on the field were producing this would be a moot point.

soltrain21
08-13-2011, 12:07 PM
Hey, whadda know, Fenway is telling us how our fanbase acts again.

sox1970
08-13-2011, 12:08 PM
If the product on the field were producing this would be a mute point.

Moot. There, you learned something today.

tstrike2000
08-13-2011, 12:13 PM
If the product on the field were producing this would be a mute point.

The Sox need to step up to the plate and silence their critics. :smile:

amsteel
08-13-2011, 12:13 PM
If the team was in first place they could play Adam Dunn's farts over the PA system at 150 decibels and they would sell out every night.

These are all 3rd place problems.

Maybe Gammons can write an e-mail to Brooks

Brian26
08-13-2011, 12:24 PM
Hey, whadda know, Fenway is telling us how our fanbase acts again.

I haven't been to another MLB park in years. Sometimes its nice to get a different viewpoint. Fenway has seen every park in the league.

downstairs
08-13-2011, 12:25 PM
I respect Gammons, but that's about the dumbest thing I've heard coming out of his mouth.

Home field advantage exists because of a few things- the actual fans are not one of those things.

1. You're back home close to your family and in the surroundings you're used to.

2. The actual park is the one you've played in for 81 games the past X number of years.

Why do the Sox have such a strange record? Its because the team is streaky. And just by coincidence the winning streaks have occured more on the road and vice versa. That's it. Has nothing to do with fans, escalators, or churros. It just doesn't.

kittle42
08-13-2011, 12:29 PM
I'm going tonight because I couldn't dump my tickets (shocker) and am considering bringing a book.

Johnny Mostil
08-13-2011, 12:30 PM
I respect Gammons, but that's about the dumbest thing I've heard coming out of his mouth.

Home field advantage exists because of a few things- the actual fans are not one of those things.

1. You're back home close to your family and in the surroundings you're used to.

2. The actual park is the one you've played in for 81 games the past X number of years.

Why do the Sox have such a strange record? Its because the team is streaky. And just by coincidence the winning streaks have occured more on the road and vice versa. That's it. Has nothing to do with fans, escalators, or churros. It just doesn't.

I agree with much of this. If the Sox were swept instead of sweeping at Minnesota, I'm guessing we'd be carping about that (still), rather than asking why their 31-30 road record is better than their 24-33 home record.

downstairs
08-13-2011, 12:32 PM
How exactly do you build a team for a 'symmetrical park'?

Baseball has the most obvious home field advantage of any sport because of last at-bat.

To have a worse road record then Baltimore is astonishing. Of course 18 Baltimore home dates are 'home' games for NY and Boston.

Not sure what you're getting at with the middle sentence. Baseball has- I believe- the least home field/court advantage of the 4 major sports. Basketball- by far- has the most. The numbers show this to a staggering level. The greatest teams have gone almost undefeated at home.

Batting last isn't (that much of) an advantage. It just seems like it is. Whatever happens in the top of the 9th has little to do with what you do in the bottom of the 9th.

robertks61
08-13-2011, 12:34 PM
Moot. There, you learned something today.

Correct, thanks!

captain54
08-13-2011, 12:52 PM
Gammons is right. The whole organization is tired and needs a facelift. 2005 was six years ago. JR is a wealthy man and I seriously doubt that what the fans think fazes him at all. The Sox have a bad offensive fundamental approach with a bunch of hitters who would be reserves on most teams

Every game I have gone to this year the fans have been sitting there dead quiet. Once the Sox are down a run or two everyone feels like the game is over. Ozzies a great motivator when things are going well, but when things are not going well it all falls apart for him and he looks clueless. Time for a change

Zakath
08-13-2011, 01:00 PM
We're not the only team in baseball under .500 at home and over .500 on the road.

The Mets, Marlins, and Pirates are all "upside-down" so to speak, and the Padres are within a game of .500 on the road, while 13 under at home.

We're just the only AL team that is upside down.

Kind of weird, but the Blue Jays are .500 overall - .500 at home and .500 on the road. Doesn't matter where they play, they're average.

pudge
08-13-2011, 01:07 PM
I haven't been to another MLB park in years. Sometimes its nice to get a different viewpoint. Fenway has seen every park in the league.

You really do have to spend a significant amount of time somewhere else to gain some perspective. Every time I knock the cell, I get blasted, so I don't even bother anymore, but despite the valiant efforts at upgrading, it's just a downright mediocre place to watch a game, particularly when the play is bad. The modern parks that have been built amongst the skylines of major cities at least have the redeeming quality of cool views. There is a feeling of "openness" that is hard to describe, whereas I feel "trapped" at the cell. When I'm bored at a Mariners game, I like going to watch the trains rumble beside the stadium, or go to the rooftop and watch the ships pulling into the pier, or go down to the bullpens and watch guys warming up, or hang over the scoreboard in left with the livelier folks. Most of this has nothing to do with baseball, but when the game is a bust at the cell, you are stuck in a remote area south of the city with nothing to look at, and very little to do once you've checked out the statues in the outfield. It's just a different vibe. If the baseball is bad, the cell is just not a good place to be.

Foulke You
08-13-2011, 01:07 PM
Every game I have gone to this year the fans have been sitting there dead quiet. Once the Sox are down a run or two everyone feels like the game is over.
Exactly. The dead ass offense this team has produced at home this year is a big reason that the fans haven't been into the games. When you strand runners left and right or simply get dominated by crap pitchers like Bruce Chen, it is pretty tough to get into the game. I was at the rain shortened crapfest against the Yankees a couple weeks ago. 6-0 game with not ONE baserunner getting into scoring position against Hughes who had been struggling mightily coming into the game. I paid $50+ for my ticket and felt ripped off at that sorry ass effort. You fall behind a paltry 2 or 3 runs at home and you feel like it is over. The Sox had some mediocre teams in the past but at least you felt that a rally in the late innings could be within reach especially at home.

Lip Man 1
08-13-2011, 01:08 PM
Ozzie and Walker on the home issues. Says it might be the "pressure." :rolleyes:

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/7037937-452/white-sox-have-been-teasing--and-torturing--everyone-all-season.html

Sounds like an excuse to me but so be it.

And like I wrote Brooks, you want more fans? Simple. Win more games. Period. It doesn't take a PHD to understand this.

Lip

OldRomanPizza
08-13-2011, 01:15 PM
--Too many people are eating the nacho helmets before the games and are food coma-ing before first pitch

LITTLE NELL
08-13-2011, 01:23 PM
As one of the oldsters I will put my 2 cents worth in. Since I don't live up there anymore and have only been to maybe 20 games since the new park opened it's doors I may not be the best judge. 16 of those were before I moved to Florida in late 1993. The last game was on the 27th of July against the Tigers and for me the noise level was way too high, if I want that much loud terrible music I'll go to a rock concert. Give me the old days and old Comiskey with Nancy at the organ and during the good times, fans singing and dancing in the aisles. 1977 comes to mind for the ultimate in a baseball park experience. The loudest noise should come from the cheering from the fans, not loud canned music.

cards press box
08-13-2011, 01:30 PM
Gammons just finished a tirade on the White Sox on WEEI's Real Baseball Show....

How can you explain that the White Sox now have the WORST home record in the AL (24-33) and have the second best road record? (34-27)

This is a lot of baloney. The park and the music have nothing to do with the Sox' struggles at home. It was the same park and pretty much the same music in 2005 and the atmosphere was just tremendous that year.

So why the struggles this year? How about this: the Cell is a power hitters' park and too many of the Sox' power hitters (Dunn, Rios, Beckham) are having poor offensive seasons. Morel has the potential to hit for power but it just hasn't happened this year. What the Sox have is a lineup with only two consistent power hitters: Konerko and Quentin. And that just isn't enough to compete in the Cell.

The 2005 Sox were not a great offensive team but look at that lineup. There was power everywhere. The '05 Sox got a lot of power from Konerko, Dye, Everett, Thomas and Crede and good power from Uribe, AJ, Iguchi and Rowand. In other words, everybody but Podsednik was a power threat. You can't come close to saying that about the 2011 White Sox and that's why they struggle to compete at the Cell.

Gammons is using tired, old complaints about the Cell -- many of which haven't been true for many years -- as a scapegoat. It's silly and something that a Hall of Famer shouldn't be doing. How about this: when analyzing a team's performance, perhaps Gammons should stick to the play on the field.

Chicago is not a pressure cooker media town like the Northeast and fans have been tolerent. (perhaps too much so)

Once again, Gammons' focus is off. If the Sox have a collective psychological problem, it is not with pressure from fan expectations. If anything, the team might be worn out from the KW/Guillen feud from 2010. But I doubt that's the case, too. I just think the Sox' absence of power in 2011 is not a good fit for the ballpark.

CLUBHOUSE KID
08-13-2011, 02:06 PM
While it is the same atmosphere as it is at Bulls games, its also the same canned music they play at every stadium in the league. The Sox have no one cheering for them on the road and they do fine. I don't think music or the 90 year olds not liking AC/DC is making the players play poorly at home. In fact, going back, Nancy Faust's role was originally reduced due to player requests. They have their intro music when they come to bat. I think Gammons is probably right on about the Bulls comparison and the park atmosphere, in fact I was at the game last night with my 73 year old father who sarcastically praised the music a few times. IMO, I think Gammons way off if it thinks that is a major contributor to the poor play. I do think the poor play is a contributor to the poor atmosphere.

100% agreed. I mean CC at Yankee Stadium has "Big Poppa" play for him when he comes out to pitch and he is doing great...

chisoxfanatic
08-13-2011, 02:10 PM
That's it, exactly. I stopped going to games in May, and I'll probably catch one more game, not to see the team, but rather to get a couple pics of the Frank statue. Whether Ozzie and Walker are back next season will determine whether I go to any games at all next season.
I've only been to 1 game this season, but I didn't even pay for that ticket (field trip with school). I'll be going to Tuesday's game with a group of friends, but we didn't pay for our tickets (used vouchers). I wouldn't expect the atmosphere to be great when we go.

I will have to agree with you that I am highly considering not even going to a game next year if Walker is still here. This team needs a huge shake-up, and our hitting's been dismal for years! It's about time Walker's head rolls, but that's been discussed a lot here, so I'm going to leave it at that.
Is anyone else tired of watching the same "All In" commercials with AJ and Paulie after 4-5 months?
I am! It's like they took just an hour out of their time one day during spring training to shoot their two commercials. It seems AJ and Paulie have been two of the only players who have bought into this whole "All In" theme. The Blackhawks get many more than just a couple players involved in their "One Goal" ads. The Sox should do the same!

Hitmen77
08-13-2011, 02:14 PM
Gammons just finished a tirade on the White Sox on WEEI's Real Baseball Show....

How can you explain that the White Sox now have the WORST home record in the AL (24-33) and have the second best road record? (34-27) - He can not recall anything like this in the 40 years he has covered baseball.

He then says his thinks a major problem is the general stadium atmosphere at The Cell which he thinks is one of the worst in MLB. He goes on that the WS game presentation staff is heavily influenced by what is done at Bulls games and seem clueless that the two fan bases are not the same. He says he has talked to many older fans who simply can not stand the music selection at the park.

He went on to say he can not put a finger on the team playing so badly at home. Chicago is not a pressure cooker media town like the Northeast and fans have been tolerent. (perhaps too much so)

He has a point about the canned music, but it really comes down to the on-the-field performance. Fans are fed up with the game being "over" once the Sox trail early in the game. They're also fed up with "more of the same". The team has underachieved for 5 years now and Kenny, Ozzie, and Walker are doing a heckuva job. People are sick of this crap.

He went to a couple of the Boston and NYY games in the past 2 weeks.

Bob Ryan added that he doesn't understand why the stadium was set up where you enter - then go up an escalator, then a ramp before you see the field. It reminds him of entering Oakland.

(Ryan makes it a habit of going as a fan at least one game of any road series he covers...doesn't tell the team, he just buys a ticket and mingles with fans)

First of all, he's wrong. You don't go up an escalator and then a ramp to see the field. All you need to get up to the 100 level is go up one escalator and you're at the entrance to the concourse. Was he even paying attention when he entered the park?:scratch:

Second, why was the park built this way? Because it was built in 1991. It's easy to say in hindsight "why oh why wasn't the 100 level built at street level", but in 1989 when ground was broken at the park, people weren't clamoring for a "sunken" playing field to make the lower concourse at street level. Also, and perhaps someone can correct me on this, but I thought there was some logistical issue of why they couldn't simply dig down and build New Comiskey below street level.

Seriously, this issue has been beaten to death over the last 20 years. For all the reasons for attendance to be weak or for the atmosphere to be dead, I seriously doubt it's because people had to take a freaking escalator to get to their seats.

tebman
08-13-2011, 02:35 PM
He has a point about the canned music, but it really comes down to the on-the-field performance. Fans are fed up with the game being "over" once the Sox trail early in the game. They're also fed up with "more of the same". The team has underachieved for 5 years now and Kenny, Ozzie, and Walker are doing a heckuva job. People are sick of this crap.

Second, why was the park built this way? Because it was built in 1991. It's easy to say in hindsight "why oh why wasn't the 100 level built at street level", but in 1989 when ground was broken at the park, people weren't clamoring for a "sunken" playing field to make the lower concourse at street level. Also, and perhaps someone can correct me on this, but I thought there was some logistical issue of why they couldn't simply dig down and build New Comiskey below street level.

Seriously, this issue has been beaten to death over the last 20 years. For all the reasons for attendance to be weak or for the atmosphere to be dead, I seriously doubt it's because people had to take a freaking escalator to get to their seats.

The team is bad. A good team wouldn't routinely leave runners in scoring position, wouldn't routinely swing at bad pitches, wouldn't routinely screw up bunts, and wouldn't routinely forget to go in hard to break up double plays. I've got an Ozzie Plan package that gets me to 13 games, and I go mostly because I've already paid for the tickets and because I like going to a ball game.

Note that I said I like going to a ball game. I do, but I haven't liked it nearly as much this year and that has everything to do with this team's limp performance. The music is too loud, but it's been too loud for the last ten years; the between-innings commercials are annoying, but they've been that way for at least ten years as well. When the team plays well and with energy, I don't care if they have dancing bears between innings, I just want the Sox to compete.

I hoped Dunn would be an exciting spark. I hoped Beckham would prove to be a bright face with energy and brisk play. I hoped Rios' slump was an aberration and that he'd be the line-drive difference-maker. I hoped they all would learn how to bunt. I hoped a lot of things and they not only haven't happened, it too often looks like these guys don't even try to make them happen.

Gammons is generally correct, but the problem begins and ends with the team.

Boondock Saint
08-13-2011, 02:39 PM
He has a point about the canned music, but it really comes down to the on-the-field performance. Fans are fed up with the game being "over" once the Sox trail early in the game. They're also fed up with "more of the same". The team has underachieved for 5 years now and Kenny, Ozzie, and Walker are doing a heckuva job. People are sick of this crap.



First of all, he's wrong. You don't go up an escalator and then a ramp to see the field. All you need to get up to the 100 level is go up one escalator and you're at the entrance to the concourse. Was he even paying attention when he entered the park?:scratch:

Second, why was the park built this way? Because it was built in 1991. It's easy to say in hindsight "why oh why wasn't the 100 level built at street level", but in 1989 when ground was broken at the park, people weren't clamoring for a "sunken" playing field to make the lower concourse at street level. Also, and perhaps someone can correct me on this, but I thought there was some logistical issue of why they couldn't simply dig down and build New Comiskey below street level.

Seriously, this issue has been beaten to death over the last 20 years. For all the reasons for attendance to be weak or for the atmosphere to be dead, I seriously doubt it's because people had to take a freaking escalator to get to their seats.

Well, I think he's right. I went to a ballgame earlier this year, and I wasn't even excited to be at a game by the time I got to my seat because it took me an extra 3 minutes to see the field. Such a buzzkill.

Hitmen77
08-13-2011, 02:42 PM
I've been to six games this year. This is by far the least amount of fun I've had at the ball park in quite some time (and my record is 4-2). This includes 2007. And I thought 2009 was bad, but at least I got to see them on two road trips. In that year, my home record was 2-5 and my road record was 3-1.

And, he is right, the atmosphere is worse than ever. This is 100% blame on the team and nothing else. There is nothing worse than watching a vet heavy team doing the same thing over and over again. I went to 11 games in 2008, all home games. It was by far the best time I had at the ball park. Why? The Sox won 54 games at home in 2008. Obviously, I had my moments in 2005 and 2006, but I didn't go to as many games.

I went to the Peavy/Cheeseburger Sabathia game and must admit it was pretty bad. Honestly, it was the most apathetic, listless crowd I've seen at any sporting event. I left the park depressed. I understand that we're boring and mediocre, but it's okay to still have some fun at the ballpark guys. The Yankees fans in our section were trying to get everyone riled up and everyone just sat there and pouted.

I went to last night's game and it was similar. Granted, we got dominated by Bruce ****ing Chen.:angry: It was so bad last night that I swear I heard people boo the fireworks.

The culture of this team is tired. The core players are vanilla. The manager's a caricature. I'm not sure what the front office can do to change the atmosphere, but something has to give.

Agreed. This team is just not very likeable. They have no life and seem to be perpetually in "3 games below .500" mode. How many times have the Sox really slaughtered the opposing team this year? Even many victories seem to bring more a sigh of relief instead of cheers.

The Cell has developed into a great ballpark. Unfortunately, the organization's game production is terrible. I haven't been to many ballparks, but when you're at Wrigley, Fenway and Busch you feel like you're at a baseball game. The ridiculous Bulls production at a Sox game is awful with the frequency, selection and volume of the music. It makes it hard to talk with people during the game. Nobody can like that.

Bingo. It's not just "90 year olds". I really hate it when I have to shout to talk to my friends in between innings. Part of having a good time at the ballpark is having a good time with your friends/family. We certainly don't want to talk during an inning and miss what' going on on the field, but it sucks that conversation time is drowned out in between innings.

A LOT of truth in what Fenway is saying here. I've been to 10 games this year and pretty much have sat in the same spot every time. Two games ago (I believe it was the Nats Sunday game) the music in the upper deck loudspeakers was cranked as loud as I've ever heard it, like noticeably different than any other game this year, like someone in the control booth thought it would be funny or cute to **** with the speakers to see if anyone would take the time to complain. I sent a text to the number posted on the back of the seats. Someone responded and asked what section I was in, and it eventually got turned down to an acceptable level. But, yeah, if the sox are hairbrained enough to think cranking up the sound creates excitement in the park, they bigger fools than I thought.

I thought the loudspeaker volume issue had been getting better in recent years. I haven't been to too many games this year...not enough to notice the volume issue. But I'm disappointed to hear that it's still a problem.

When my kids were smaller (around age 5 or so), we didn't go to as many games because the over-the-top booming loudspeakers made one of my kids cry. Nice family atmosphere!

comiskey2000
08-13-2011, 02:44 PM
I'm sure there are a lot of reasons for the atmosphere and lack of attendance, but I know the price of lower deck seats has kept me away this year. Not that I'm upset about it either...

Lip Man 1
08-13-2011, 02:54 PM
If the Sox were coming off four consecutive divisional titles or had been to the playoffs say five times in six years, none of the things being brought up in this thread would be an issue.

It's about winning and losing for the most part with most Sox fans. Winning solves a lot of problems.

Lip

SCCWS
08-13-2011, 03:00 PM
I think the size of a crowd has as much impact as anything on the fan experience. Since I don't live in Chicago, I cannot comment on the Cell. But I do attend games in other places:

1. Tampa-- They have had pretty good teams the last 4-5 years. I admit I attend as a neutral fan except when I watch the White Sox. They usually have small crowds and I always feel like I am in a minor league crowd. Plenty of space because there are empty seats everywhere. They do all kinds of promos before and during the game. But the place has zero atmosphere.

2. Fenway--- Always has atmosphere because fans are always into the game. Always large crowds. Very limited promos. Now large crowds in Boston result in expected delays getting there and leaving, long lines for bathrooms and concessions but the fans show up in droves. Standing room just about every game. I wish they would have a lousy team for a few years and see if the crowd appeal would drop. Boston also has 6-7 players with "personality" which adds to their fan frenzy.

I also attend a good amount of college hoops. There is no question that a large crowd adds so much more atmosphere regardless of the opponents.

C-Dawg
08-13-2011, 03:00 PM
You couldn't be more wrong....and the only park that plays music louder then USCF is Citi Field.



I used to think that also until visiting Jacobs Field. I've been nearly deafened every time I've been there, and it doesn't seem to matter where I sit. Its too loud there. And this was a few years ago when they drew 45,000 to every game; I shudder to think what the music is like now when they have 6,000.

C-Dawg
08-13-2011, 03:10 PM
Because it was built in 1991. It's easy to say in hindsight "why oh why wasn't the 100 level built at street level", but in 1989 when ground was broken at the park, people weren't clamoring for a "sunken" playing field to make the lower concourse at street level. Also, and perhaps someone can correct me on this, but I thought there was some logistical issue of why they couldn't simply dig down and build New Comiskey below street level.

I've theorized here on the forum a couple times about that; I think there were soil issues that would need to be dealt with had they dug down to "sink" the field below street level. Typically, much of the city has a relatively stiff "crust" of soil overlying a lot of very soft muck - like 70 feet in some places. Sure, they could have remediated the soil at the lower "sunken" elevation but it would have cost more money. Would it cost more than building what is essentially an extra level of ramps and columns? I don't know.

I should look up the original soil borings we drilled for the new park. We were the geotechnical and construction material QC firm during its construction. Somewhere in our old offices are boxes and boxes of stuff from those days, including complete sets of the original construction drawings.

SI1020
08-13-2011, 03:16 PM
Moot. There, you learned something today. We all would be kind of mute about it I suppose if the team were winning big at home.

kittle42
08-13-2011, 03:24 PM
Hey, hey! Sold my tickets and don't have to watch the Sox in (I agree with most posters here) the worst atmosphere at the stadium I can remember.

LongLiveFisk
08-13-2011, 03:31 PM
The ridiculous Bulls production at a Sox game is awful with the frequency, selection and volume of the music. It makes it hard to talk with people during the game. Nobody can like that.

Bingo. It's not just "90 year olds". I really hate it when I have to shout to talk to my friends in between innings. Part of having a good time at the ballpark is having a good time with your friends/family. We certainly don't want to talk during an inning and miss what' going on on the field, but it sucks that conversation time is drowned out in between innings.


Unfortunately, this problem in general seems to extend beyond the ballpark to bars and restaurants, carnivals, and many other public events and gathering places. If I am going to a rock concert, I expect to hear loud music and that's fine. Every other place needs to tone it down. I want to be able to communicate with people around me and not have to shout at the top of my lungs either.

That said, I would still point to an overall weak product on the field. Underachieving, dogging it or just not good to begin with, Sox fans want to see quality baseball. And for the vast majority of this season, that has simply not been happening.

slavko
08-13-2011, 03:39 PM
A LOT of truth in what Fenway is saying here. I've been to 10 games this year and pretty much have sat in the same spot every time. Two games ago (I believe it was the Nats Sunday game) the music in the upper deck loudspeakers was cranked as loud as I've ever heard it, like noticeably different than any other game this year, like someone in the control booth thought it would be funny or cute to **** with the speakers to see if anyone would take the time to complain. I sent a text to the number posted on the back of the seats. Someone responded and asked what section I was in, and it eventually got turned down to an acceptable level. But, yeah, if the sox are hairbrained enough to think cranking up the sound creates excitement in the park, they bigger fools than I thought.

The Bulls comparison is apt, as I've posted numerous times when they are in season. Their music is cranked so loud you can't have a chat about basketball. The crowd comparison is apt too. Except some of you blame the Bulls silent crowds on corporate types in ugly sweaters. Want to try that for the Sox? The truth lies elsewhere in both cases.

Fact is, very little that's exciting is happening with this wet noodle of a team, at least on offense, and that's what should produce some excitement.

Thanks for calling me a 90 year old to whoever thinks that's the reason I don't like the music, about 20% of which I can identify. Congratulations to those of us who can associate obscure songs with baseball players.

Bruizer
08-13-2011, 03:43 PM
I've been to 21 games so far this year, and the one thing I noticed was the volume of the speakers was turned way up about a month or so ago. Way too loud. I suspect someone complained it was too low earlier in the year and now they've overcompensated for that. Other than that and the performance on the field (see my attendance record below), we have a good time at the ballpark. And I've never heard anyone boo the fireworks! :?:

chisoxfanatic
08-13-2011, 03:46 PM
Hey, hey! Sold my tickets and don't have to watch the Sox in (I agree with most posters here) the worst atmosphere at the stadium I can remember.
Isn't that a great feeling when you receive the email saying that your tickets have sold? My last year with season tickets was 2009, and I pretty much put my entire season on sale after May. There were a couple times where I was ready to fix a meal then get ready for the game, then I checked my email and saw the ticket sold for the face value + fees I always charged!

I can't imagine what it's like to have to eat a ticket. Not once did I ever eat a ticket, because I always went if I didn't sell the ticket. Have you ever had to eat tickets? And are you going to renew your season tickets next year?

chisoxfanatic
08-13-2011, 03:51 PM
I've been to 21 games so far this year, and the one thing I noticed was the volume of the speakers was turned way up about a month or so ago. Way too loud. I suspect someone complained it was too low earlier in the year and now they've overcompensated for that. Other than that and the performance on the field (see my attendance record below), we have a good time at the ballpark. And I've never heard anyone boo the fireworks! :?:
I am thinking they're trying to compensate for the low-energy crowds by pumping up the volume even more. If that's the case, it's a bad idea.

SOXSINCE'70
08-13-2011, 04:01 PM
The Sox should make the team stay in a hotel for home games.

Wear road gray pants and black tops. Anything!!

I'm having dinner with my 9 year old niece tonight.
We're then going to see "The Smurfs".
I bet that'll be more entertaining than watching
the South Side 9.At least this year.

Brian26
08-13-2011, 04:48 PM
I've theorized here on the forum a couple times about that; I think there were soil issues that would need to be dealt with had they dug down to "sink" the field below street level. Typically, much of the city has a relatively stiff "crust" of soil overlying a lot of very soft muck - like 70 feet in some places. Sure, they could have remediated the soil at the lower "sunken" elevation but it would have cost more money. Would it cost more than building what is essentially an extra level of ramps and columns? I don't know.

I should look up the original soil borings we drilled for the new park. We were the geotechnical and construction material QC firm during its construction. Somewhere in our old offices are boxes and boxes of stuff from those days, including complete sets of the original construction drawings.

I think the issue had to do moreso with plumbing issues. Lowering the park significantly below street level would have placed the field low enough such that Bossard's drainage system couldn't drain by gravity out to the city sewers in the street. They would have had to design a pump system with capacity to handle drainage for the entire field or work with the city to replace the existing infrastructure in 35th street at a lower depth. Either way, huge cost, which just wasnt in the budget for a park that was built for a bare minimum $150 million at the time.

Brian26
08-13-2011, 05:17 PM
If the Sox were coming off four consecutive divisional titles or had been to the playoffs say five times in six years, none of the things being brought up in this thread would be an issue.

It's about winning and losing for the most part with most Sox fans. Winning solves a lot of problems.

Lip

I agree, it's ultimately about winning.

However, the team that's been constructed is very unlikable right now. There's no connection between the fans and many of the players on the team. Some of that blame falls on the Sox marketing (radio and tv ads, and even some of the work in the booth).

I have a lot of theories on this topic. I think it's possible to have a marketable, likeable team that the fans will spend money on even when they're losing, if there's an emotional connection. I think you're in a dangerously bad situation though if you have an unlikeable team that is losing.

Kenny has a lot of mercenaries on this team that are never going to be cult heroes in Chicago. Fans can't get emotionally invested in guys like Juan Pierre, Edwin Jackson (gone now) or Vizquel since they've been around the horn with so many teams, so you just have to hope they perform up to their capabilities. It's on the Sox to market their young guys through the print and broadcast media. They've failed disastrously on that.

A lot of this falls on the marketing department now. Compare Aaron Rowand and Alexei Ramirez. Rowand was a cult hero because we knew about him personally, he was featured in every commercial on tv, we knew about his dirt biking in the offseason, he was personable, etc. People loved Rowand. Now look at Alexei. There's a language barrier there, nobody knows anything about his personal life, he's never been in a commercial, you hardly ever hear him interviewed, so there's not a strong emotional attachment.

Compare Jermaine Dye and Alex Rios. Aside from the numbers, look at the guys marketability. Rios seems like a ****ing recluse compared to Dye. The only time I've heard him talk was when I watched the Youtube video three years ago after the Sox acquired him.

Carlos Lee was El Caballo. Gordon Beckham is what? Bobby Jenks had knockout theme music for his entrance. Sergio Santos is doing a pretty decent job in Jenks' old role with an excellent story to boot, but the Sox haven't capitalized on that either. Carlos Quentin is the biggest enigma on the team right now. The dude should be a superstar, yet he's nowhere near O-E-O, Magglio!. I still remember the Pepsi commercial where Mags got the best of Sosa, or when the grandfather talked about Nellie and Luis, and the dad talked about Fisk and Harold, and the granddaughter sang the OEO song.

Winning cures all, but the Sox have dropped the ball figuratively and literally over the past few years. Konerko, Buehrle and AJ will always be popular, but they've completed rested on their laurels in establishing the new guys on the team. So when the team isn't playing well, there's no attachment there. More free advice for Boyer. It's pathetic that people on the payroll can't see things that fans can see.

dickallen15
08-13-2011, 05:22 PM
If the Sox were coming off four consecutive divisional titles or had been to the playoffs say five times in six years, none of the things being brought up in this thread would be an issue.

It's about winning and losing for the most part with most Sox fans. Winning solves a lot of problems.

Lip
Exactly. People are pissed off at the product on the field. That is why the "atmosphere" isn't ideal. Not because the music is too loud. While I do think it is loud, there are times I cannot here Gene Honda and times when it feels like he's screaming in my ear. Either the wind is wreaking havoc, or its time for a new sound system.

SBSoxFan
08-13-2011, 05:22 PM
I'm in my early 40s and I could give a rat's ass about the music in the ballpark. If the Sox want to play rap or some blow-dried teenager's music between innings, I don't care.

The Sox think its fun to throw t-shirts into the crowd or have people dance on the dugouts between innings, God bless 'em. It doesn't matter to me.

All I care about is what goes on on the field. I want my favorite bleeping team to hit the cutoff man, bunt the runners over, throw strikes, hit to the opposite field on occasion and not treat a two-run deficit against a horsebleep pitcher like it's 10-0.

I'm a diehard Sox fan and baseball fan. All the peripheral stuff means nothing. You want a better atmosphere at the Cell? Win games.

I'm in my early 40s as well, and I feel the same way as you do about baseball and the White Sox. However, all the peripheral stuff affects me differently. All the peripheral stuff means nothing; that makes it superfluous and detracts from the experience of attending a baseball game.

Basketball has to be the most egocentric team sport in existence. Brooks Boyer, a former basketball player, has tried to turn White Sox baseball into an individual event. It doesn't fit. They really need to stop the post-game interviews. Of course, so do the Hawks.

russ99
08-13-2011, 05:26 PM
The comparisons between Wrigley/Fenway and the Cell are valid, when the product on the field sucks, it's still cool to be at the stadium.

The Cell's a blast when the Sox are doing well, and a morgue when we have a stinker like last night.

I do think fans may have raised their expectations too high with that "All In" nonsense, especially considering that this is primarily a similar team to last year's roster, with Dunn taking over for Manny. That letdown that this club isn't a World Series contender is a harsh one, hence the hard sell to take anything positive from this club at times.

As for the home/road disparity, I'm surprised Ozzie hasn't tried putting the team up in a hotel at home yet.

amsteel
08-13-2011, 05:26 PM
I'd rather have a team full of players with talent than a team full of players full of personality.

I don't need more Facebook friends, I need more AL Champion t-shirts.

TomBradley72
08-13-2011, 06:28 PM
I think the main thing coming out in 2011 is how "unlikeable" this franchise is when the team on the field is not winning.

The manager says we're drunks that piss on statues- and I think he called us "idiots" if we disagreed with his line ups a few weeks ago, the GM is combative/defensive and arrogant and has focused on swinging wildly for a pennant for the past 4-5 years- going for overpriced veterans vs. the mix/chemistry that was successful in 2005 and/or developing a high quality farm system.

The radio broadcasts are not enjoyable thanks to DJ.

The promotions and marketing a very stale.

US Cellular Field is greatly improved from the 1991-2004 version- but still falls short of just about every other ballpark, excluding Rogers Centre, Tropicana Field, Marlins stadium, and the Oakland ballpark.

Bacardi at the Park is a great addition- but there's very little within walking distance after that.

None of this stuff really matters when you're winning- but when the White Sox are losing- this stuff really stands out(especially when you've experienced the other ballparks around the league)- and hurts their overall attendance, revenue, etc.

Dan H
08-13-2011, 06:48 PM
I think the music is way too loud and way over the top. It doesn't keep me rom the park, but it doesn't help. You can't manufacture emotion. Sometimes I think this organization decides what is good for fans, and thinks we fans will fall in line. It is not good to run everything from the top down.

The other factor is the team's disappointing play and its constant flirting with the .500 mark. Fans want to believe but that is hard when the team can't beat Kansas City and the offense looks totally uninspired. I can remember some bad White Sox teams but nothing this frustrating. Hey, let's hope they keep running Adam Dunn out there so he can hit his way out of this slump!

SI1020
08-13-2011, 06:51 PM
Sometimes I think this organization decides what is good for fans, and thinks we fans will fall in line. It is not good to run everything from the top down.
That seems to be a core attitude of Sox management under this ownership group and unlikely to substantially change.

Dan H
08-13-2011, 07:02 PM
Brian26: Yours was a great post. Of course winning is the main thing, but there are other factors that make a team attractive to a fan base. There are many reasons people come to a ball park.

The White Sox have been losing this battle to the Cubs. Before 2005, I remember going to the bookstore and seeing 12-15 Cub books to maybe 2-3 White Sox books. Books alone will alone will not change the dynamics of what brings fans to the ball park. But it was symptom of a larger problem. The Cubs were relentlessly getting their message out. They told people so many times how the great the experience was at Wrigley that I started believing it. Chicago is a Cubs town. The Cubs will gladly tell you that. And they will tell you that over and over.

Fenway
08-13-2011, 07:14 PM
Obviously winning cures most ills and Gammo pointed out the atmosphere at the Blackout game in 2008 was as good as it gets.

Suzyn Waldman told me what struck her was how dead the park was before all 4 of the NYY games. Usually the Yankees create a buzz on the road but she said that was not the case in Chicago.

I have always considered the Phillies fanbase to be the closest to the White Sox. Their ballpark is also in an isolated area of the city and since the move to Citizens Bank Park they have worked hard on the fan experience that The Vet lacked.

Boston has not had an awful team since 1992-4 but back then fans stopped going.

TommyJohn
08-13-2011, 08:00 PM
If the Sox were coming off four consecutive divisional titles or had been to the playoffs say five times in six years, none of the things being brought up in this thread would be an issue.

It's about winning and losing for the most part with most Sox fans. Winning solves a lot of problems.

Lip

I have to disagree with you here, Lip. If the Sox were coming off four straight division titles, people here would be raging and foaming that the team always bombs out in the playoffs and can't get to the World Series and what are those morons Kenny, Ozzie and Walker going to DO about it?

BainesHOF
08-13-2011, 10:36 PM
Two games ago (I believe it was the Nats Sunday game) the music in the upper deck loudspeakers was cranked as loud as I've ever heard it, like noticeably different than any other game this year, like someone in the control booth thought it would be funny or cute to **** with the speakers to see if anyone would take the time to complain. I sent a text to the number posted on the back of the seats. Someone responded and asked what section I was in, and it eventually got turned down to an acceptable level.

It was be funny to text the number when you have a complaint about Guillen, Dunn, etc.

By the way, I've also detected a weird, muted response at some great concerts lately. Not that there's been a lot to cheer at the Cell this season, but I do think people in general are becoming more passive. I'll speculate that it's due in part to technological sedation as well as a malaise in the country.

DumpJerry
08-13-2011, 11:26 PM
Did not want to waste my time reading the whole thread, but would like to say Gammons needs to talk about that which he knows-the Red Sox. The atmosphere at Comiskey as far a music and "game presentation" is concerned is pretty much the same it has been for several years, including those when the Sox made the post-season.

thomas35forever
08-13-2011, 11:35 PM
Game presentation should not be a factor in how the home team performs. If it is, well, I'm speechless right there.

skobabe8
08-14-2011, 12:18 AM
It's a combination of things, but #1 is winning.

This is the first year since 2004 I haven't had season tickets and I have very little desire to be at USCF this summer.

Bobby Thigpen
08-14-2011, 12:19 AM
I don't think Gammons said anything incorrect. I've been to one game this season and it was the first game I'd been to in a couple years and it was easily the most depressing, horrible, boring game I've ever been to. A lot of that had to do with the on field product, but I also agree that there is a "dark cloud" over the stadium. No one was enjoying themselves. No one. I know the team stinks, but you're at a baseball game. I've seen plenty of terrible Sox teams play and I've never left a game with such a negative overview of not only the team, but of the entire experience. It just sucked.

The Sox also present the product annoyingly (the music, etc). This has also changed a bit since my last visit. I don't think that the two things combine together to effect the play on the field, but it certainly doesn't help it. It's gotta suck going to work in a place where everyone acts like they'd rather be anywhere else than watching you play.

TheOldRoman
08-14-2011, 12:23 AM
I think the issue had to do moreso with plumbing issues. Lowering the park significantly below street level would have placed the field low enough such that Bossard's drainage system couldn't drain by gravity out to the city sewers in the street. They would have had to design a pump system with capacity to handle drainage for the entire field or work with the city to replace the existing infrastructure in 35th street at a lower depth. Either way, huge cost, which just wasnt in the budget for a park that was built for a bare minimum $150 million at the time.I believe Daver said that Bridgeport is below the level of the lake and if the Sox dug into the ground, they would need super-powered pumps to keep the water out of the field (like what the Bears have, and we see how their field looks).

As for the atmosphere, I think a lot of good points were made in this thread. The only other ballpark I have been to is the Urinal, so I can't really compare the Cell to other parks. I haven't been to a game this year, but I empathize with people saying the park has a bad atmosphere this year. My living room is a bad atmosphere when I'm watching this team. It's just an enraging, depressing team. I still try to watch every game I can, but I don't really mind missing games this year. Too many of my nights have been wasted watching this listless bunch of clowns under-perform against trash like Bruce Chen. It's not just that the team isn't winning, because I have seen losing teams before. It's that the team has under-performed so much, it's that Greg Walker is still here and Ozzie is still here, and both are making the same mistakes. I can see the shoulders slump when the Sox are trailing and I am sick of feeling like a 2 run deficit is insurmountable. Whatever fundamental problems exist with the park and the game experience, if the team was playing anywhere near its capabilities, the game atmosphere would be a lot better.

Lip Man 1
08-14-2011, 12:28 AM
Bobby:

I don't know if Gammons used the term "dark cloud". That may have been Fenway again with his choice of provocative words.

Lip

DumpJerry
08-14-2011, 12:36 AM
With the exception of the Cubs who are hell-bent on keeping their monthly Com Ed bill at $50.00, there is nothing noticeably different in how the Sox present their team as far a music, lights, etc. when compared to the rest of the MLB that I've seen. They all use loud music, flashy graphics, etc to create the "rock concert" atmosphere. Why single out the White Sox for criticism?

Bobby Thigpen
08-14-2011, 01:08 AM
Bobby:

I don't know if Gammons used the term "dark cloud". That may have been Fenway again with his choice of provocative words.

Lip
Whether it is a quote from Gammons or not, it is certainly useful in describing a trip to US Cellular this season.

Fenway
08-14-2011, 01:40 AM
Bobby:

I don't know if Gammons used the term "dark cloud". That may have been Fenway again with his choice of provocative words.

Lip

Lip - why don't you explain to the WSI folks why you blew off a Walt Hirniak interview?

Bill Buckner has made a major effort this summer to the Boston media that he is happy to be away from Idaho. He is now the manager of the Brockton Rox and he is selling off his Boise interests.

FoulTerritory
08-14-2011, 02:38 AM
I said this in a different thread a couple weeks ago, but I don't understand why some of our basic traditions are dwindling. For example, why doesn't the new organist ever play Kiss Hiim Goodbye after homers and wins? There was a tradition of communal joy (even if cheesy), in everyone singing along and hearing the organ pump out this, our traditional anthem of celebration . . .

To me, things do seem different there -- less communal maybe. The change into a Bulls game type atmosphere has been gradual and not entirely noticeable from one month to the next, but I think the atmosphere is actually quite different now than it was a few years ago. This has been a gradual shift, and not one for the better.

A. Cavatica
08-14-2011, 06:21 AM
I said this in a different thread a couple weeks ago, but I don't understand why some of our basic traditions are dwindling. For example, why doesn't the new organist ever play Kiss Hiim Goodbye after homers and wins?

And why did we stop with the homers and wins? Those were good traditions too.

TomBradley72
08-14-2011, 07:07 AM
Even in bad seasons with a bad economy- the WSox would draw 30,000+ for Saturday night Fireworks or games vs. Yankees. This season that isn't happening-something is different is going on.

cards press box
08-14-2011, 07:50 AM
And why did we stop with the homers and wins? Those were good traditions too.

Bingo.

In 2011, U.S. Cellular ranks as the second best park for home runs in MLB (http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor/_/sort/HRFactor), trailing only the Rangers' ballpark. To put this in perspective, the Cell is 11th in runs/game scored in MLB but the Sox are 19th in runs scored in MLB.

To compete in the AL, a team playing at US Cellular has to hit the ball out of the park. Period. A team without power will struggle at the Cell. And that's what has happened.

The Sox won 5-4 last night but did so with a lineup whose only power threats were a hobbled Paul Konerko, Carlos Quentin, Alexei Ramirez and arguably Tyler Flowers (who batted 9th). Yes, Brent Lillibridge has 9 homers this year but he isn't really a power threat. Understand, I'm not criticizing Ozzie: this probably was the best offensive lineup he could put out there, given the down offensive years of Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham this year.

The Sox have great starting, an excellent bullpen and excellent defense. But to make a run in the last six weeks of the 2011 season, the Sox need more power. That would mean either bringing Dayan Viciedo up from Charlotte or making a waiver deal for some pop.

I'll say this: if the Sox can display some more power in the stretch run and compete with Detroit and Cleveland for the division title down to the last week, Peter Gammons will hear a lot of cheers at the Cell.

dickallen15
08-14-2011, 07:57 AM
Obviously winning cures most ills and Gammo pointed out the atmosphere at the Blackout game in 2008 was as good as it gets.

Suzyn Waldman told me what struck her was how dead the park was before all 4 of the NYY games. Usually the Yankees create a buzz on the road but she said that was not the case in Chicago.

I have always considered the Phillies fanbase to be the closest to the White Sox. Their ballpark is also in an isolated area of the city and since the move to Citizens Bank Park they have worked hard on the fan experience that The Vet lacked.

Boston has not had an awful team since 1992-4 but back then fans stopped going.

Its because the team has been lousy. That's the only reason. The music they play is the same they have played for years. The volume is the same it has been for years. People aren't excited to watch something that isn't so interesting to watch. It would be like a test audience for Final Destination 4 or 5. Probably not so much excitement before, during or after watching it. The 2011 White Sox have been boring. Opening day was a lot of fun and a great atmosphere even if the weather didn't cooperate. I think people from New York and Boston are taken aback when their teams play games in front of 15,000 empty seats. I applaud White Sox fans for not being the sheep we see on the other side of town.

cards press box
08-14-2011, 08:01 AM
I don't think Gammons said anything incorrect.

Yeah, he did.

http://allgrownsup.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/gammons.jpg?w=450 (http://allgrownsup.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/gammons.jpg)

Why analyze the play on the field when it is so much more fun to engage in pop psychology about ballpark music, fan atmosphere and how much other ballparks compare to Fenway Park and Wrigley Field?

Obviously winning cures most ills and Gammo pointed out the atmosphere at the Blackout game in 2008 was as good as it gets.

Yeah, it was.

http://sportsdvds4u.com/images/Blackout2008.jpg

asindc
08-14-2011, 08:54 AM
Winning cures all.

Jerko
08-14-2011, 09:48 AM
I enjoy going no matter what, but there have been a few times this year that I really didn't want to be there. it's because the game was boring beyond belief. Its not the music, the escalators, the lack of a skyline view, etc. it's being bored out of your mind and seeing the same **** on the field for 4 months. Most of the games I've been to were over by the 3rd inning.

SCCWS
08-14-2011, 09:48 AM
Winning cures all.

Winning has not helped Tampa's attendance

doublem23
08-14-2011, 09:55 AM
Winning has not helped Tampa's attendance

Its obvious the comment was about the Sox

Bobby Thigpen
08-14-2011, 09:55 AM
Yeah, he did.
No, I really don't think he did. There is something noticeably different about the stadium experience this year. Past the lousy ballclub playing there. I just don't know that he hit what it is correctly.

Like I said, I've been going to games since 95 and I've seen some really, really bad teams and bad games, but nothing has been as horrible an experience as the game I went to last week. The play is terrible, but the stadium experience has changed too. And not for the better IMO.

CallMeNuts
08-14-2011, 10:44 AM
This season is the worst because of the disparity between expectations and the actual results obtained. The record payroll set expectations very high. All of the "all in" marketing set expectations very high. A sub-500, 3rd place team was not what we were expecting. A young team, with a future, performing at this level would be more fun. With most of our top young prospects dealt away to other teams, there is not much to look forward to. Dunn and Rios are on are team for years to come. This is what happens when you go "all in" and you get dealt a pair of deuces.

Brian26
08-14-2011, 10:59 AM
The volume is the same it has been for years.

Well, no, that's not correct. See examples earlier in the thread. The volume most definitely is being "tweaked" lately.

Golden Sox
08-14-2011, 11:22 AM
The 2011 White Sox have bored me to death. But being a long time season ticket holder and being THE WORLDS BIGGEST WHITE SOX FAN, I will be there the rest of the year and next year. All they have to do is sign Jose Reyes and put him at shortstop and have him bat leadoff, and then put Alexi Ramirez back at second base, where he played his rookie year. Put Carlos Quentin in left field and put Viciedo in right field. Do not sign Pierre and trade Beckham. I will take my chances with this team and I guarantee you the dark cloud over the Cell will improve dramatically and attendance will increase in 2012.

balke
08-14-2011, 11:59 AM
The 2011 White Sox have bored me to death. But being a long time season ticket holder and being THE WORLDS BIGGEST WHITE SOX FAN, I will be there the rest of the year and next year. All they have to do is sign Jose Reyes and put him at shortstop and have him bat leadoff, and then put Alexi Ramirez back at second base, where he played his rookie year. Put Carlos Quentin in left field and put Viciedo in right field. Do not sign Pierre and trade Beckham. I will take my chances with this team and I guarantee you the dark cloud over the Cell will imrove dramatically and attendance will increase in 2012.


Neither Alexei or Reyes would go for that. They are shortstops.

doublem23
08-14-2011, 12:02 PM
Neither Alexei or Reyes would go for that. They are shortstops.

Plus I can't imagine JR is going to allow KW to do any more lavish spending this off-season unless he can find a way to unload some of the Sox's crap contracts.

FoulTerritory
08-14-2011, 12:07 PM
Its because the team has been lousy. That's the only reason. The music they play is the same they have played for years. The volume is the same it has been for years. People aren't excited to watch something that isn't so interesting to watch. It would be like a test audience for Final Destination 4 or 5. Probably not so much excitement before, during or after watching it. The 2011 White Sox have been boring. Opening day was a lot of fun and a great atmosphere even if the weather didn't cooperate. I think people from New York and Boston are taken aback when their teams play games in front of 15,000 empty seats. I applaud White Sox fans for not being the sheep we see on the other side of town.

I completely disagree with this. First of all, the canned music has definitely been getting louder and more constant and even though we have an organist she's barely allowed to play.

Second, the point many in this thread that many are trying to discuss is the change in atmosphere regardless of wins/losses -- we are discussing the aspect of the atmosphere that transcends how the team is playing. And myself and my friends generally agree that we used to better enjoy just BEING at the park in the past. Some of what we are talking about is difficult to put into words or precisely put your finger on, but I remember being at the park when the Sox were falling out of it in 2004 and still just being happy to be there in the ball park. But now I get irritated by things. To name a few: no Best Kosher dogs, more constant scoreboard games than ever, the most constant loud canned music we've ever experienced, cheerleaders (are we the Rays?). And I'm not that old either. I'm in my thirties, not some aged curmudgeon.

To say that its the same as always is just not true. The shift to the Bulls game atmosphere has been incremental . . . gradual, starting with, basically, when Boyer took over.

Hitmen77
08-14-2011, 12:09 PM
I don't think Gammons said anything incorrect. I've been to one game this season and it was the first game I'd been to in a couple years and it was easily the most depressing, horrible, boring game I've ever been to. A lot of that had to do with the on field product, but I also agree that there is a "dark cloud" over the stadium. No one was enjoying themselves. No one. I know the team stinks, but you're at a baseball game. I've seen plenty of terrible Sox teams play and I've never left a game with such a negative overview of not only the team, but of the entire experience. It just sucked.

The Sox also present the product annoyingly (the music, etc). This has also changed a bit since my last visit. I don't think that the two things combine together to effect the play on the field, but it certainly doesn't help it. It's gotta suck going to work in a place where everyone acts like they'd rather be anywhere else than watching you play.

There have been plenty of Sox teams with records hovering around or just below .500 in the past. It's not like this team is buried in last place, but it's just the way this team plays. I can't remember a less likeable .500-ish Sox team. They have no fight in them most games. The few games I went to this year, they fell behind by about 2 or 3 runs early in the game and everyone felt like it was "over"....and it was. Even bases loaded and 1 out situations were hard to get excited for because we've seen the Sox fail to score over and over again in those situations. In the games I attended, this turned out to be true. Bases loaded and no out and SURPRISE! No runs scored.

Add to this totally uninspired play the fact that this is a high payroll team that is totally underperforming. Other .500 teams just seemed more scrappy, weren't there because they were under achieving, and didn't have a lineup riddled with "automatic" outs.

And let's not forget the Sox lousy W-L record at home. I think Gammons has it backwards. The Sox aren't playing poorly at home because of the dead atmosphere at the Cell. Rather, the atmosphere at the Cell is dead because the Sox are so dreadful at home.

....and most infuriating to me is that the management team seems to be firmly in place.

Finally, you are correct that the way the Sox present their product is not that great. It's not as big a factor as winning, but when the team sucks at home, the annoying things they do at the Cell start to stand out.

Where's the "hall of fame" memorabilia? Oh yeah, whatever is left of it is on display in the Scout section where 99% of the fans never get to go. Where's that 2005 Trophy for us to see? Oh yeah, it's in the skybox section where 99% of the fans never get to go. Plus, every time I see them flash "All In" or "Passion, Pride, Tradition" on the board, I don't know whether to laugh or cringe. Seeing the Sox say those things this year is a ****ing joke. What tradition anyway? The tradition of getting shut down by garbage pitchers? The tradition of Ozzie ripping on fans? Or is it the tradition of the Sox cranking up music so that I can't talk to my friends in between innings? :angry:


Even in bad seasons with a bad economy- the WSox would draw 30,000+ for Saturday night Fireworks or games vs. Yankees. This season that isn't happening-something is different is going on.

Higher ticket prices might be a factor for some of these "premier" (or whatever they call it) series.

Milw
08-14-2011, 12:22 PM
Finally, you are correct that the way the Sox present their product is not that great. It's not as big a factor as winning, but when the team sucks at home, the annoying things they do at the Cell start to stand out.

Where's the "hall of fame" memorabilia? Oh yeah, whatever is left of it is on display in the Scout section where 99% of the fans never get to go. Where's that 2005 Trophy for us to see? Oh yeah, it's in the skybox section where 99% of the fans never get to go. Plus, every time I see them flash "All In" or "Passion, Pride, Tradition" on the board, I don't know whether to laugh or cringe. Seeing the Sox say those things this year is a ****ing joke. What tradition anyway? The tradition of getting shut down by garbage pitchers? The tradition of Ozzie ripping on fans? Or is it the tradition of the Sox cranking up music so that I can't talk to my friends in between innings? :angry:

:clap:

cards press box
08-14-2011, 12:23 PM
No, I really don't think he did. There is something noticeably different about the stadium experience this year. Past the lousy ballclub playing there. I just don't know that he hit what it is correctly.

Like I said, I've been going to games since 95 and I've seen some really, really bad teams and bad games, but nothing has been as horrible an experience as the game I went to last week. The play is terrible, but the stadium experience has changed too. And not for the better IMO.

I did not listen to Gammons' comments on Boston radio so I don't know exactly what he said. Based on what was relayed in this thread, Gammons noted that the White Sox have the second best road record and the worst home record in the AL and that Gammons had not seen anything like it in his 40 years as a reporter. Gammons then went on to say that a major problem is the atmosphere at home games. Gammons, therefore, is at least implying (if not stating outright) that the atmosphere at the Cell has had a causal effect on the home team's struggles on the field.

In saying that, Gammons is wrong.

I enjoy going no matter what, but there have been a few times this year that I really didn't want to be there. it's because the game was boring beyond belief. Its not the music, the escalators, the lack of a skyline view, etc. it's being bored out of your mind and seeing the same **** on the field for 4 months. Most of the games I've been to were over by the 3rd inning.

Right on the money. Blaming the canned music and the escalators (as Bob Ryan seems to do) is silly. If anything, it's the poor play on the field that is effecting the atmosphere in the stands. It's not, as Gammons seems to imply, the other way around.

FoulTerritory
08-14-2011, 12:36 PM
I did not listen to Gammons' comments on Boston radio so I don't know exactly what he said. Based on what was relayed in this thread, Gammons noted that the White Sox have the second best road record and the worst home record in the AL and that Gammons had not seen anything like it in his 40 years as a reporter. Gammons then went on to say that a major problem is the atmosphere at home games. Gammons, therefore, is at least implying (if not stating outright) that the atmosphere at the Cell has had a causal effect on the home team's struggles on the field.

In saying that, Gammons is wrong.



Right on the money. Blaming the canned music and the escalators (as Bob Ryan seems to do) is silly. If anything, it's the poor play on the field that is effecting the atmosphere in the stands. It's not, as Gammons seems to imply, the other way around.

It seems we have two separate conversations going on here: Blaming the atmosphere for wins and losses is dumb. However, the part of the crappy atmosphere that is conceived and controlled by the marketing department contributes to me and others wanting to go to less games.

asindc
08-14-2011, 12:42 PM
It seems we have two separate conversations going on here: Blaming the atmosphere for wins and losses is dumb. However, the part of the crappy atmosphere that is conceived and controlled by the marketing department contributes to me and others wanting to go to less games.

If the Sox were leading the division by at least 5 games, I seriously doubt that fans would stay away because of the marketing dept.

LITTLE NELL
08-14-2011, 12:44 PM
Bottom line; winning cures all ills but USCF does have some ills.

FoulTerritory
08-14-2011, 12:46 PM
If the Sox were leading the division by at least 5 games, I seriously doubt that fans would stay away because of the marketing dept.

I completely agree. But my point is that the ballpark used to be more appealing even when the team was sucky and annoying. The ballpark was enjoyable in and of itself. Now, it is less so. That is a problem with marketing and product presentation.

ChicagoG19
08-14-2011, 12:54 PM
It seems to me that the Sox are just trying to squeeze more more money out of the die-hards of the die-hards rather than try to attract new fans to the ballpark.

Danryan
08-14-2011, 12:55 PM
Personally, I believe these criticisms of the cell are valid. I can't stand the loud music played at the cell. I only go to a game or two a year, because it is irritating to me. I also hate the canned music; the let's get loud cheers regardless if it is a basketball game, or any other baseball stadium.
Go Sox

Bobby Thigpen
08-14-2011, 12:56 PM
I completely agree. But my point is that the ballpark used to be more appealing even when the team was sucky and annoying. The ballpark was enjoyable in and of itself. Now, it is less so. That is a problem with marketing and product presentation.
This sums up the thing I took away from the game too.

I mean, I went to a game back in late September 2003 just to see Koch and Manuel royally screw up again. I remember being so ticked I left before the fireworks because of the play on the field. I still had fun with the ball park. This year I left in the 6th not only because the team was terrible, but so was the atmosphere and park.

Heck, the only positive of the night was the nacho helmet and the Rowdy Roddy Piper cup I got at 7-11 across from my hotel.

dickallen15
08-14-2011, 08:14 PM
Well, no, that's not correct. See examples earlier in the thread. The volume most definitely is being "tweaked" lately.
Well, no, that's not correct. I've been going to 50+ games for 20 years. Its the same. The team has been bad and was supposed to be good. If it was supposed to be bad and was bad, that was one thing. When its bad when its supposed to be good and you are paying a lot of money to watch it, every little thing bothers you. You mentioned earlier how much you loved Bobby Jenks' entry music. That wasn't exactly on volume number 2.

balke
08-14-2011, 08:16 PM
Well, no, that's not correct. I've been going to 50+ games for 20 years. Its the same. The team has been bad and was supposed to be good. If it was supposed to be bad and was bad, that was one thing. When its bad when its supposed to be good and you are paying a lot of money to watch it, every little thing bothers you. You mentioned earlier how much you loved Bobby Jenks' entry music. That wasn't exactly on volume number 2.


Maybe the accoustics change when the seats are empty and the crowd is dead silent.

dickallen15
08-14-2011, 08:20 PM
I completely disagree with this. First of all, the canned music has definitely been getting louder and more constant and even though we have an organist she's barely allowed to play.

Second, the point many in this thread that many are trying to discuss is the change in atmosphere regardless of wins/losses -- we are discussing the aspect of the atmosphere that transcends how the team is playing. And myself and my friends generally agree that we used to better enjoy just BEING at the park in the past. Some of what we are talking about is difficult to put into words or precisely put your finger on, but I remember being at the park when the Sox were falling out of it in 2004 and still just being happy to be there in the ball park. But now I get irritated by things. To name a few: no Best Kosher dogs, more constant scoreboard games than ever, the most constant loud canned music we've ever experienced, cheerleaders (are we the Rays?). And I'm not that old either. I'm in my thirties, not some aged curmudgeon.

To say that its the same as always is just not true. The shift to the Bulls game atmosphere has been incremental . . . gradual, starting with, basically, when Boyer took over.

I will agree with you on the organist. The fact that she also only plays weekends makes one really wonder how much Nancy's reduced schedule was all her idea as the Sox made it out to be. If Sox management was really pro organ like they make themselves out to be, wouldn't they have hired a full time organist? I will say the new organist who was there today, is definitely not in Nancy's class. The Chevy Pride Crew as been there for more than a couple of years. Everybody Clap Your Hands is played at just about every MLB park. Best Kosher dogs aren't available anywhere. Vienna Beef is a pretty good substitute. It IS the same. The difference in result vs. expectatation of the team has been about as wide as its ever been in a tough economy. The people behind me were talking about how bored they have been this year and they have had tickets 7 years.

dickallen15
08-14-2011, 08:36 PM
Maybe the accoustics change when the seats are empty and the crowd is dead silent.

I think what it is, when you watch a crappy game, you can live with it, when you get nothing but crappy games, everything starts to bother you. The music is too loud when you lose, but fine or even a little too soft when you win.

Dan H
08-14-2011, 08:44 PM
I would just like to say that I disagree with the simple notion that "winning cures all." Naturally, attendance improves with a better record, but the approach to expanding the fan base has to go beyond having some good or even great years.

Besides, in 2000 winning didn't cure all. The team's attendance improved greatly over 1999, but the crowds in September as the team closed in on a divisional championship were not good. The players were more than disappointed. 2000 remains the only the year the White Sox won a division and didn't draw 2,000,000. And there were many reasons for that.

We know that exciting years will bring out more people. The key for the White Sox is to hold their own during the disappointing years. But truly expanding the fan base takes time and the White Sox still aren't there yet.

LITTLE NELL
08-14-2011, 09:49 PM
My take on why we didn't draw 2,000,000 in 2000 despite winning the division was that the fans were still upset about the 1994 strike and the 1997 White Flag trade.
My take on why we probably won't draw 2,000,000 this year is that up until now this is one of the most under-achieving and un-exciting teams ever to wear the Sox uniform. That coupled with high ticket prices especially the B.S. premier games, high parking fees and too much loud noise has kept the fans away in droves. Who wants to pay $50.00 to see Adam Dunn strike out 3 times and leave a bunch RISP stranded on the bases and then have to watch Rios dog it in centerfield.

Lip Man 1
08-14-2011, 11:17 PM
My thoughts on this, from my WSI article "Sox and the Media - Part II"

"The new century started with some of the same old problems dogging the Sox via the media, namely, attendance. A young White Sox team surprised everybody by winning 95 games on their way to a divisional title yet many were fixated on the fact the Sox weren’t drawing the way a top team should.

Mark Giangreco, the sports anchor at WLS-TV became the target of a lot of Sox fans who ripped him for showing practically every time he had home highlights, a shot of empty blue seats.

It’s strange that every five years or so the Chicago media needed to be reminded of certain truths about Sox fans.

Namely they won’t support mediocrity, they don’t think losing is cute and they reserve judgment on a team until it has proven themselves to them.

How do these truths apply to the 2000 White Sox and attendance?

The Sox had four losing seasons out of the previous five years. The 2000 club was a shock and many fans were sure ultimately they wouldn’t succeed (and they were right.) The infamous ‘White Flag Trade’ was three seasons removed and the labor impasse of which Jerry Reinsdorf played such a large part was only six years removed.

White Sox fans have long memories.

One other factor often overlooked by the media when they discuss attendance, that badly hurts the Sox is this. Of all the original 16 pre expansion major league clubs, the White Sox are the only one to have never made the postseason in consecutive seasons.

Many times they come literally out of nowhere to have a good season and when they are expected to win in the future, in order to build trust with the fan base and keep the momentum going, they fail. Many times badly."

Lip

Bruizer
08-15-2011, 12:08 AM
Its because the team has been lousy. That's the only reason. The music they play is the same they have played for years. The volume is the same it has been for years. People aren't excited to watch something that isn't so interesting to watch. It would be like a test audience for Final Destination 4 or 5. Probably not so much excitement before, during or after watching it. The 2011 White Sox have been boring. Opening day was a lot of fun and a great atmosphere even if the weather didn't cooperate. I think people from New York and Boston are taken aback when their teams play games in front of 15,000 empty seats. I applaud White Sox fans for not being the sheep we see on the other side of town.

I was just referring to this year. At the beginning of the year the volume was pretty low in our section. But lately it's been much louder to the point where we can't carry on a conversation until the music's over. They have changed the volume in our section.

NLaloosh
08-15-2011, 06:17 PM
Yeah, it must be the music that's the problem.

Did someone drop Gammons on his head?


It's pretty simple. When you tell your fan base that you are "all in", trade a bunch of prospects and give up a first round draft pick to give huge sums of money to 3 "stars" who are either injured, shockingly bad or uncaring and the rest of the team is so flat that even staying at .500 in the weakest division in baseball is a huge struggle you won't excite many fans.

Oh yeah, and the GM has made about 15 bad deals out of his last 20. The fan base might be getting mighty frustrated when they've been promised so much more for years.

kittle42
08-15-2011, 06:41 PM
Yeah, it must be the music that's the problem.

Did someone drop Gammons on his head?


It's pretty simple. When you tell your fan base that you are "all in", trade a bunch of prospects and give up a first round draft pick to give huge sums of money to 3 "stars" who are either injured, shockingly bad or uncaring and the rest of the team is so flat that even staying at .500 in the weakest division in baseball is a huge struggle you won't excite many fans.

Oh yeah, and the GM has made about 15 bad deals out of his last 20. The fan base might be getting mighty frustrated when they've been promised so much more for years.

Amen. This management team is as bad as Adam Dunn's 2011 season.

Crooked Number
08-15-2011, 09:56 PM
Yeah, it must be the music that's the problem.

Did someone drop Gammons on his head?


It's pretty simple. When you tell your fan base that you are "all in", trade a bunch of prospects and give up a first round draft pick to give huge sums of money to 3 "stars" who are either injured, shockingly bad or uncaring and the rest of the team is so flat that even staying at .500 in the weakest division in baseball is a huge struggle you won't excite many fans.

Oh yeah, and the GM has made about 15 bad deals out of his last 20. The fan base might be getting mighty frustrated when they've been promised so much more for years.

The truth hurts, but it also sets you free. This quoted message is as far as you have to look if you are searching for the answer to the age old "attendance" issue. As stated, it's pretty simple.

Ranger
08-16-2011, 02:11 AM
I respect Gammons, but that's about the dumbest thing I've heard coming out of his mouth.

Home field advantage exists because of a few things- the actual fans are not one of those things.

1. You're back home close to your family and in the surroundings you're used to.

2. The actual park is the one you've played in for 81 games the past X number of years.

Why do the Sox have such a strange record? Its because the team is streaky. And just by coincidence the winning streaks have occured more on the road and vice versa. That's it. Has nothing to do with fans, escalators, or churros. It just doesn't.

Players don't agree with that.

LITTLE NELL
08-16-2011, 06:28 AM
My thoughts on this, from my WSI article "Sox and the Media - Part II"

"The new century started with some of the same old problems dogging the Sox via the media, namely, attendance. A young White Sox team surprised everybody by winning 95 games on their way to a divisional title yet many were fixated on the fact the Sox weren’t drawing the way a top team should.

Mark Giangreco, the sports anchor at WLS-TV became the target of a lot of Sox fans who ripped him for showing practically every time he had home highlights, a shot of empty blue seats.

It’s strange that every five years or so the Chicago media needed to be reminded of certain truths about Sox fans.

Namely they won’t support mediocrity, they don’t think losing is cute and they reserve judgment on a team until it has proven themselves to them.

How do these truths apply to the 2000 White Sox and attendance?

The Sox had four losing seasons out of the previous five years. The 2000 club was a shock and many fans were sure ultimately they wouldn’t succeed (and they were right.) The infamous ‘White Flag Trade’ was three seasons removed and the labor impasse of which Jerry Reinsdorf played such a large part was only six years removed.

White Sox fans have long memories.

One other factor often overlooked by the media when they discuss attendance, that badly hurts the Sox is this. Of all the original 16 pre expansion major league clubs, the White Sox are the only one to have never made the postseason in consecutive seasons.

Many times they come literally out of nowhere to have a good season and when they are expected to win in the future, in order to build trust with the fan base and keep the momentum going, they fail. Many times badly."

Lip

Bottom line, there are just not a huge number of White Sox fans. Of all the big market clubs we are the only one never to have hit the 3,000,000 mark in attendance for the year. We came close in 1991, the first year of the new park and I was disapointed that we we did not hit the 3 million mark in 2006, usually a team gets a big bump after a WS championship and we again came close but no cigar.
Off the top of my head the only other teams not to hit the 3 million mark are the Red, Rays, A's, Nats, Pirates and Royals.

dickallen15
08-16-2011, 08:23 AM
Players don't agree with that.
If the booing is bothering the players and causing them not to perform, how come Adam Dunn and Rios aren't hitting like guys making the kind of money they are making on the road?

Besides, the booing didn't start until the poor performance was well underway. Adam Dunn still does not get booed until after his first pathetic AB.

bridgeportcopper
08-16-2011, 10:33 AM
Players don't agree with that.

Well, I think we all know and it well documented that baseball players are not rocket scientists. If you put the Yankees on the diamond at Armour Park with zero fans in attendance they are still gonna win 65% of their games. Our players are mentally weaker than I thought if they are relaying such sentiments to the media.

Fenway
08-16-2011, 10:41 AM
Bottom line, there are just not a huge number of White Sox fans. Of all the big market clubs we are the only one never to have hit the 3,000,000 mark in attendance for the year. We came close in 1991, the first year of the new park and I was disapointed that we we did not hit the 3 million mark in 2006, usually a team gets a big bump after a WS championship and we again came close but no cigar.
Off the top of my head the only other teams not to hit the 3 million mark are the Red, Rays, A's, Nats, Pirates and Royals.

It would be next to impossible for the White Sox to ever hit 3,000,000 a season now - Over 81 games they would need to average 37,037 a game. With the reduced capacity they can't get the 45,000 crowds to offset smaller crowds in April.

Dan H
08-16-2011, 10:45 AM
My take on why we didn't draw 2,000,000 in 2000 despite winning the division was that the fans were still upset about the 1994 strike and the 1997 White Flag trade.
My take on why we probably won't draw 2,000,000 this year is that up until now this is one of the most under-achieving and un-exciting teams ever to wear the Sox uniform. That coupled with high ticket prices especially the B.S. premier games, high parking fees and too much loud noise has kept the fans away in droves. Who wants to pay $50.00 to see Adam Dunn strike out 3 times and leave a bunch RISP stranded on the bases and then have to watch Rios dog it in centerfield.

I agree with you on the 2000 situation. The '90's did a great deal of damage to the franchise and I would hate to see where the team would be without the 2005 World Series. That was why I thought the White Flag Trade was such a mistake. Short term, it made sense, long term it didn't.

Regardless, I think rebuilding the fan base is a long term solution, not a short term one.

asindc
08-16-2011, 11:09 AM
Well, I think we all know and it well documented that baseball players are not rocket scientists. If you put the Yankees on the diamond at Armour Park with zero fans in attendance they are still gonna win 65% of their games. Our players are mentally weaker than I thought if they are relaying such sentiments to the media.

That sentiment has been expressed by many players on many teams in all sports for as long as the media has had access to players.

Fenway
08-16-2011, 11:18 AM
Been talking to a couple of long time White Sox fans who are not message board people and they had some thoughts.

One points out that even since The Cell opened in 1991, the teams core fanbase has moved further away from the park ( people leaving the city for the burbs..etc )

People are working longer hours...money is tighter. One who owns a bar points out he sells PBR cheap not because he wants to but people can't afford 312 or goose Island anymore.

One fan who has been going to Comiskey since the late 50's grumbles that there are few options to meet up with friends before the game that are not controlled by the team. He misses dumps like
http://www.chibarproject.com/Memoriam/McCuddys/McCuddysStreetShotTG.jpg

Trying to get White Sox TV numbers....but it looks like they are in the middle of the pack

The TV numbers in Southern California are alarming. Yes they are hurt by many TV game starting at 4 and 5 in the afternoon but it isn't hurting San Francisco.

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2011/07/11/Media/~/media/AAA21133BD454329BDAB60E57C518553.ashx?h=406&w=350

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2011/07/11/Media/~/media/36FD609754D447FD8ADF1E8925E6C05E.ashx?h=419&w=350

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2011/07/11/Media/~/media/B8DA6F10CE8D4B2190C5B2119EA5A1B4.ashx

TomBradley72
08-16-2011, 11:36 AM
One fan who has been going to Comiskey since the late 50's grumbles that there are few options to meet up with friends before the game that are not controlled by the team. He misses dumps like
http://www.chibarproject.com/Memoriam/McCuddys/McCuddysStreetShotTG.jpg




McCuddy's was a GREAT place- describing it as a "dump" is ****ing blasphemy. It was a living/breathing museum of White Sox history- and an example of JR not realizing the "value" of a traditional asset to the franchise and finding a collaborative way to have a version of McCuddy's incorporated into the ballpark or the neighborhood.

(It DID have dump like characteristics- like a few rats that would scamper around the outside tables in the back- but it was still a great place)

doublem23
08-16-2011, 11:36 AM
Your friend complaining about the lack of places to meet up around the park is a full fledged idiot and sounds like one of the suburban transplant Trixies in Lincoln Park. There's 2 good divey neighborhood bars within a block of the park, there are several more options on Halsted, about 15 minutes walking, and if you want more options, there are plenty of places in the South Loop or Chinatown that offer free shuttles to and from games.

jdm2662
08-16-2011, 11:44 AM
Your friend complaining about the lack of places to meet up around the park is a full fledged idiot and sounds like one of the suburban transplant Trixies in Lincoln Park. There's 2 good divey neighborhood bars within a block of the park, there are several more options on Halsted, about 15 minutes walking, and if you want more options, there are plenty of places in the South Loop or Chinatown that offer free shuttles to and from games.

There was a decent place on Perishing, that the name escapes me. I ate there once with my wife and mom. We got to park there for free and walk to the park.

SSrep
08-16-2011, 12:08 PM
Your friend complaining about the lack of places to meet up around the park is a full fledged idiot and sounds like one of the suburban transplant Trixies in Lincoln Park. There's 2 good divey neighborhood bars within a block of the park, there are several more options on Halsted, about 15 minutes walking, and if you want more options, there are plenty of places in the South Loop or Chinatown that offer free shuttles to and from games.

I don't know if him being unaware makes him a full fledged idiot.

Hitmen77
08-16-2011, 12:23 PM
It would be next to impossible for the White Sox to ever hit 3,000,000 a season now - Over 81 games they would need to average 37,037 a game. With the reduced capacity they can't get the 45,000 crowds to offset smaller crowds in April.

This is true.

In 2006, as reigning World Champs, many of the sellout games had official attendance of 38,000 or so. I'm not sure what the current capacity of the park is, but when you factor in some complimentary tickets, the sell out total seems to drop below 39,000.

That means they'd need a pack house just about every night, including as you suggest, those weeknight April games to reach 3,000,000.

bridgeportcopper
08-16-2011, 12:34 PM
There was a decent place on Perishing, that the name escapes me. I ate there once with my wife and mom. We got to park there for free and walk to the park.

Cobblestone's?

dickallen15
08-16-2011, 12:54 PM
Your friend complaining about the lack of places to meet up around the park is a full fledged idiot and sounds like one of the suburban transplant Trixies in Lincoln Park. There's 2 good divey neighborhood bars within a block of the park, there are several more options on Halsted, about 15 minutes walking, and if you want more options, there are plenty of places in the South Loop or Chinatown that offer free shuttles to and from games.

Its funny how all the complaining about bars for years and then the praise that the Sox actually build one, which is a lot nicer than I thought it would be, Cork and Kerry is a lot nicer than Jimbo's, the other one on Wells and 33rd is decent, now there are more complaints about bars. Its team controlled. Its more than 100 feet away......... Apparently what they really want is Wrigley Field

jdm2662
08-16-2011, 12:59 PM
Cobblestone's?

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/2/11644/restaurant/Bridgeport/Cobblestones-Bar-and-Grill-Chicago

That must be it. The address sounds about right. It was a decent place, but being on Perishing, I can see it not getting that much pub.

Nellie_Fox
08-16-2011, 03:03 PM
McCuddy's was a GREAT place- describing it as a "dump" is ****ing blasphemy. It was a living/breathing museum of White Sox history- and an example of JR not realizing the "value" of a traditional asset to the franchise and finding a collaborative way to have a version of McCuddy's incorporated into the ballpark or the neighborhood.

(It DID have dump like characteristics- like a few rats that would scamper around the outside tables in the back- but it was still a great place)It was a dump by almost any standard. Any beer you want, as long as it's Old Style in a can. In a can for cryin' out loud. Ever have canned beer in any other even remotely non-dumpy bar?

jdm2662
08-16-2011, 03:04 PM
It was a dump by almost any standard. Any beer you want, as long as it's Old Style in a can. In a can for cryin' out loud. Ever have canned beer in any other even remotely non-dumpy bar?

I was only at Jimbo's once, and I think I was served a can... That's the only time I remember being served a can.

Fenway
08-16-2011, 03:17 PM
This is true.

In 2006, as reigning World Champs, many of the sellout games had official attendance of 38,000 or so. I'm not sure what the current capacity of the park is, but when you factor in some complimentary tickets, the sell out total seems to drop below 39,000.

That means they'd need a pack house just about every night, including as you suggest, those weeknight April games to reach 3,000,000.

The Red Sox play games to get to 3,000,000 - The Boston Globe asked the Fire Department what the official capacity of Fenway is.. they replied 'we don't know anymore'. :?:

TheOldRoman
08-16-2011, 03:29 PM
I was only at Jimbo's once, and I think I was served a can... That's the only time I remember being served a can.Same here. And it was $4 or $5.

jdm2662
08-16-2011, 03:34 PM
Same here. And it was $4 or $5.

I don't even remember how much. I just remember following friends to it. It was the split double header in 2007 against DET. I scored front row tickets along the first base side. The game was to be in early April, but got moved to July. By then, the Sox were out of it, so I was just enjoying the moment. I also remember eating at an Italian Restaurant on 31st st., which I think is closed now. I almost stayed for the nightcap, but left. Probably a good idea. I won't get into what happened around 7:30...

chisoxfanatic
08-16-2011, 03:37 PM
I don't even remember how much. I just remember following friends to it. It was the split double header in 2007 against DET. I scored front row tickets along the first base side. The game was to be in early April, but got moved to July. By then, the Sox were out of it, so I was just enjoying the moment. I also remember eating at an Italian Restaurant on 31st st., which I think is closed now. I almost stayed for the nightcap, but left.
Trattoria 31? I loved that place. I'd walk to that place for dinner and never was disappointed.

doublem23
08-16-2011, 03:51 PM
I was only at Jimbo's once, and I think I was served a can... That's the only time I remember being served a can.

I've been to a few places that serve cans and, yes, they are all dumps.

skobabe8
08-16-2011, 03:57 PM
Trattoria 31? I loved that place. I'd walk to that place for dinner and never was disappointed.

Is that the place that closed? Because as far as I know Franco's is still open.

I think its safe to say by most accounts that McCuddys was a dump, but it was a beloved dump. (It's OK sometimes to call a place a dump)

chisoxfanatic
08-16-2011, 04:06 PM
Is that the place that closed? Because as far as I know Franco's is still open.

I think its safe to say by most accounts that McCuddys was a dump, but it was a beloved dump. (It's OK sometimes to call a place a dump)
Yep. I am almost positive. It was at 31st and Wallace, right next to Marquette Bank, which is literally blocks away from both here and the ballpark. I'd sometimes go for dinner there, then hop across the street to go to Scoops for a dessert. Bridgeport does have enough good restaurant choices. But, now the spot is a Chinese place.

seventyseven
08-16-2011, 04:15 PM
He goes on that the WS game presentation staff is heavily influenced by what is done at Bulls games and seem clueless that the two fan bases are not the same.

I don't know if this is the case, but I think the atmosphere at Bulls' games largely sucks, whether they're winning or losing.

Brian26
08-16-2011, 08:39 PM
Yep. I am almost positive. It was at 31st and Wallace, right next to Marquette Bank, which is literally blocks away from both here and the ballpark. I'd sometimes go for dinner there, then hop across the street to go to Scoops for a dessert. Bridgeport does have enough good restaurant choices. But, now the spot is a Chinese place.

Food or Massage?

Mohoney
08-16-2011, 09:00 PM
BTW - I really can not believe a true fan would say that they were not going to a game because the other team's fans are there....

Why bother paying premium prices and having to deal with that level of obnoxiousness when I can just go next Monday, pay half price, and avoid the headache altogether?

Ranger
08-17-2011, 04:24 AM
If the booing is bothering the players and causing them not to perform, how come Adam Dunn and Rios aren't hitting like guys making the kind of money they are making on the road?

Besides, the booing didn't start until the poor performance was well underway. Adam Dunn still does not get booed until after his first pathetic AB.

Well, I think we all know and it well documented that baseball players are not rocket scientists. If you put the Yankees on the diamond at Armour Park with zero fans in attendance they are still gonna win 65% of their games. Our players are mentally weaker than I thought if they are relaying such sentiments to the media.

That sentiment has been expressed by many players on many teams in all sports for as long as the media has had access to players.

Yeah, this isn't anything new. Regardless of how much money a person makes, they're human. They hear it and it affects them. And if they believe it affects them, it affects them. Basic psychology.

And it isn't exclusive to Sox players. Everywhere you go, you'll find players that are dramatically affected by fan reaction. But, believe me, the players feel it, and the opposing players notice it, too.

Dunn's numbers for the season have been bad both home and away, but he's been less bad on the road (avg about 40 pts better, OPS almost 80 pts better) . The only thing he's really done better at home, is hit more HRs. For Rios, he hasn't quite suffered the same sort of fan reaction all year that Dunn has. The booing of Rios has really only been a recent development going back to the last homestand. Prior to the severely misplayed flyballs a few weeks back, Dunn has been taking almost all of the heat.

LITTLE NELL
08-17-2011, 07:22 AM
Yeah, this isn't anything new. Regardless of how much money a person makes, they're human. They hear it and it affects them. And if they believe it affects them, it affects them. Basic psychology.

And it isn't exclusive to Sox players. Everywhere you go, you'll find players that are dramatically affected by fan reaction. But, believe me, the players feel it, and the opposing players notice it, too.

Dunn's numbers for the season have been bad both home and away, but he's been less bad on the road (avg about 40 pts better, OPS almost 80 pts better) . The only thing he's really done better at home, is hit more HRs. For Rios, he hasn't quite suffered the same sort of fan reaction all year that Dunn has. The booing of Rios has really only been a recent development going back to the last homestand. Prior to the severely misplayed flyballs a few weeks back, Dunn has been taking almost all of the heat.

Yeah, Dunn and Rios are crying all the way the bank.

LITTLE NELL
08-17-2011, 07:34 AM
Why bother paying premium prices and having to deal with that level of obnoxiousness when I can just go next Monday, pay half price, and avoid the headache altogether?

When you think about it why pay these Premium prices anyway. The Red Sox and Yankees are good teams but when you look at the rosters I don't see any Mickey Mantles, no Whitey Fords, no Yogi, no Ruths or Gehrigs, no Ted Williams or an Yaz.
They will go to the HOF but A Rod and Jeter are past their prime so why pay extra bucks to see them. I don't see any future Hall of Famers on the BoSox, some real good players but thats it.

doublem23
08-17-2011, 09:32 AM
They will go to the HOF but A Rod and Jeter are past their prime so why pay extra bucks to see them. I don't see any future Hall of Famers on the BoSox, some real good players but thats it.

I do not understand what part of this concept you don't get, it's not about the players on the field, the Sox aren't charging more because it's a "premium" opponent, it's only because the demand for those tickets is much higher than normal games because the Red Sox and Yankees have large fan bases that travel very well. If you note, this upcoming series with the Rangers are split over different price levels not because they're expecting the Rangers to play their best players Friday and then scrubs Saturday and Sunday, but because Friday is Elvis Night, traditionally one of the bigger draws during the year. The Sox can't add and subtract seats based on the demand for the ticket, so all they can do is manipulate how much those tickets cost.

SI1020
08-17-2011, 09:37 AM
I do not understand what part of this concept you don't get, it's not about the players on the field, the Sox aren't charging more because it's a "premium" opponent, it's only because the demand for those tickets is much higher than normal games because the Red Sox and Yankees have large fan bases that travel very well. If you note, this upcoming series with the Rangers are split over different price levels not because they're expecting the Rangers to play their best players Friday and then scrubs Saturday and Sunday, but because Friday is Elvis Night, traditionally one of the bigger draws during the year. The Sox can't add and subtract seats based on the demand for the ticket, so all they can do is manipulate how much those tickets cost. I think we all understand that point but it appears to me that demand, at least among Sox fans appears to be going down. Perhaps the exorbitant premiums charged for those games has something to do with it. Or am I just another dumb old fart?

LITTLE NELL
08-17-2011, 09:41 AM
I do not understand what part of this concept you don't get, it's not about the players on the field, the Sox aren't charging more because it's a "premium" opponent, it's only because the demand for those tickets is much higher than normal games because the Red Sox and Yankees have large fan bases that travel very well. If you note, this upcoming series with the Rangers are split over different price levels not because they're expecting the Rangers to play their best players Friday and then scrubs Saturday and Sunday, but because Friday is Elvis Night, traditionally one of the bigger draws during the year. The Sox can't add and subtract seats based on the demand for the ticket, so all they can do is manipulate how much those tickets cost.

Where was the demand this year?
Sox fans came to their senses this year.
The largest crowd this year after opening day was that Monday night game against the Tigers when it was half price night.
I know your'e going to show me a list of the games against the Cubs, Yankees and Red Sox but none of them sold out, why? The NY and Boston games did not come close to a sellout. We are not going to draw 2,000,000 this year in the 3rd largest market, why?
I will make you a small wager that the Sox rethink their policy next year on premium pricing and the steep parking fees.

doublem23
08-17-2011, 09:52 AM
I will make you a small wager that the Sox rethink their policy next year on premium pricing and the steep parking fees.

I hope they do, but I'm not expecting a huge change. You gotta remember that in a ledger book, it's not really the number of butts in the seats that matter, it's the amount of money taken in at the gate. I'm sure in 1927 or something when every team charged a nickel, you could get a pretty good read on a team's bottom line just by looking at the attendance in the box score, but remember, the Sox have one of the highest average ticket prices in all of baseball, and alternatively, if you multiply their average draw by their average price, the Sox are actually doing real well compared to the rest of the league, the last time I checked they were something like 7th in all the league. Second, you gotta remember that the Sox pay no rent on the stadium they play in unless they hit certain attendance figure so really, it might be to their benefit to keep prices high and only draw 25,000/night instead of lowering them and drawing 30,000 or whatever.

Regardless, I know everyone likes to think they'd do 10x better or whatever if they were running the team, but Jerry Reinsdorf is a self-made millionaire. The Sox front office is staffed with professional businesspeople. I don't always agree with everything they do, but I'm certain there is ultimately a method to their madness. There's a reason people flock to try and buy sports teams from all the major leagues, it's because it's a super good investment.

LITTLE NELL
08-17-2011, 09:56 AM
I hope they do, but I'm not expecting a huge change. You gotta remember that in a ledger book, it's not really the number of butts in the seats that matter, it's the amount of money taken in at the gate. I'm sure in 1927 or something when every team charged a nickel, you could get a pretty good read on a team's bottom line just by looking at the attendance in the box score, but remember, the Sox have one of the highest average ticket prices in all of baseball, and alternatively, if you multiply their average draw by their average price, the Sox are actually doing real well compared to the rest of the league, the last time I checked they were something like 7th in all the league. Second, you gotta remember that the Sox pay no rent on the stadium they play in unless they hit certain attendance figure so really, it might be to their benefit to keep prices high and only draw 25,000/night instead of lowering them and drawing 30,000 or whatever.

Regardless, I know everyone likes to think they'd do 10x better or whatever if they were running the team, but Jerry Reinsdorf is a self-made millionaire. The Sox front office is staffed with professional businesspeople. I don't always agree with everything they do, but I'm certain there is ultimately a method to their madness. There's a reason people flock to try and buy sports teams from all the major leagues, it's because it's a super good investment.

Very good points there, JR bought the team in 1981 for a little over $20 million. and the team I think according to Forbes is now worth over $500 million. Nice work if you can get it.

Quentin08
08-17-2011, 11:20 AM
I hope they do, but I'm not expecting a huge change. You gotta remember that in a ledger book, it's not really the number of butts in the seats that matter, it's the amount of money taken in at the gate. I'm sure in 1927 or something when every team charged a nickel, you could get a pretty good read on a team's bottom line just by looking at the attendance in the box score, but remember, the Sox have one of the highest average ticket prices in all of baseball, and alternatively, if you multiply their average draw by their average price, the Sox are actually doing real well compared to the rest of the league, the last time I checked they were something like 7th in all the league. Second, you gotta remember that the Sox pay no rent on the stadium they play in unless they hit certain attendance figure so really, it might be to their benefit to keep prices high and only draw 25,000/night instead of lowering them and drawing 30,000 or whatever.

Regardless, I know everyone likes to think they'd do 10x better or whatever if they were running the team, but Jerry Reinsdorf is a self-made millionaire. The Sox front office is staffed with professional businesspeople. I don't always agree with everything they do, but I'm certain there is ultimately a method to their madness. There's a reason people flock to try and buy sports teams from all the major leagues, it's because it's a super good investment.

doublem23: Where can I find this info? I guess the Sox aren't doing too bad if they're around 7th in the league.

I was just looking at the numbers this morning, and the Sox have one of the biggest drops in attendance this year. Down 144,267 from last season after 60 games. http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/current_attendance.shtml

Comparing the last 21 games with last season, it's just going to get worse. At the end of Aug last season, the Sox drew over 38, 38, and 39K for the Yankees series and over 30K for 3 other games. I think if we stay in the race, we'll barely draw over 2 million this season. Hopefully the front office will make some changes in the off season, regardless of how the rest of this year goes.

kittle42
08-17-2011, 11:28 AM
I honestly don't expect anything other than an increase in ticket prices next season and a continuation of premier pricing.

SI1020
08-17-2011, 11:55 AM
I honestly don't expect anything other than an increase in ticket prices next season and a continuation of premier pricing. I expect that you're correct. The business model that doub outlined will help insure profitability, but will not always endear itself to the fan base, nor will it help the Sox stay perennial contenders. It will as pointed out help keep the team in the black.

doublem23
08-17-2011, 12:00 PM
I expect that you're correct. The business model that doub outlined will help insure profitability, but will not always endear itself to the fan base, nor will it help the Sox stay perennial contenders. It will as pointed out help keep the team in the black.

Whatever maximizes profitability for the team also maximizes their ability to compete.

Lip Man 1
08-17-2011, 12:59 PM
Unless the trend dramatically changes this will mark the 5th straight year with an attendence drop from the season before.

Lip

Quentin08
08-17-2011, 05:26 PM
Well, a winning streak in the next 5 weeks and a divisional title would certainly remove all the dark clouds over 35th.

If we do make the playoffs, is it possible the games won't sell out right away? Dating back to 1993, every time playoff tickets went on sale, every game sold out in less than an hour. Could it be different this year, since we haven't seen too much enthusiasm from the fans? (Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs series didn't even sell out.) Or will all the bad feelings disappear if we make the playoffs?

TheOldRoman
08-17-2011, 05:42 PM
Well, a winning streak in the next 5 weeks and a divisional title would certainly remove all the dark clouds over 35th.

If we do make the playoffs, is it possible the games won't sell out right away? Dating back to 1993, every time playoff tickets went on sale, every game sold out in less than an hour. Could it be different this year, since we haven't seen too much enthusiasm from the fans? (Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs series didn't even sell out.) Or will all the bad feelings disappear if we make the playoffs?The playoffs would surely sell out right away, despite what Mark Giangrecco might say.

doublem23
08-17-2011, 06:29 PM
The playoffs would surely sell out right away, despite what Mark Giangrecco might say.

Yeah, no question those games would be completely sold out in a matter of minutes.

Teams that don't sell out playoff games are like the Braves, whose fans become accustomed to reaching the postseason and start to take it for granted.

Even if the Sox only win 87 games to make the postseason, I'll probably still celebrate with some champagne and cigars. The playoffs are the playoffs.

Milw
08-17-2011, 07:36 PM
Yeah, no question those games would be completely sold out in a matter of minutes.

Teams that don't sell out playoff games are like the Braves, whose fans become accustomed to reaching the postseason and start to take it for granted.

Even if the Sox only win 87 games to make the postseason, I'll probably still celebrate with some champagne and cigars. The playoffs are the playoffs.
Crazy stuff can happen in a short sample size. The Sox are probably only the sixth or seventh best team in the AL, but they are good enough to beat any team 4 out of 7 if they catch them at the right time.

Get to the postseason and go from there.

doublem23
08-18-2011, 04:45 PM
doublem23: Where can I find this info? I guess the Sox aren't doing too bad if they're around 7th in the league.

Average MLB ticket prices are here: https://www.teammarketing.com/public/files/2011_mlb_fci.pdf

Attendance you know is available in a lot of places, but here's the updated numbers as of last night: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/current_attendance.shtml

I ran my spreadsheet again and yes, the Sox are still doing all right relative to the league, currently 9th overall. Obviously this is very rudimentary, but I think it offers a better representation of how a team's doing financially. We can talk about how the Sox are going to be "ruined" and "unable to compete for years" because ticket sales are slower this year than before, but really, when compared to 2/3 of the league, the Sox seem to be doing all right.

Here's the top 10:


TIX ATND AVE. DRAW
NYY 51.83 44,836 2,323,849.88
BOS 53.38 37,961 2,026,358.18
CHC 46.90 37,220 1,745,168.00
PHI 36.29 45,512 1,651,630.48
MIN 33.04 39,413 1,302,205.52
STL 31.17 38,041 1,185,737.97
LAD 30.59 36,876 1,128,036.84
SFG 25.04 41,900 1,049,176.00
CHW 40.67 24,987 1,016,221.29
NYM 31.81 30,394 965,401.69

LITTLE NELL
08-18-2011, 04:52 PM
Average MLB ticket prices are here: https://www.teammarketing.com/public/files/2011_mlb_fci.pdf

Attendance you know is available in a lot of places, but here's the updated numbers as of last night: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/current_attendance.shtml

I ran my spreadsheet again and yes, the Sox are still doing all right relative to the league, currently 9th overall. Obviously this is very rudimentary, but I think it offers a better representation of how a team's doing financially. We can talk about how the Sox are going to be "ruined" and "unable to compete for years" because ticket sales are slower this year than before, but really, when compared to 2/3 of the league, the Sox seem to be doing all right.

Here's the top 10:


TIX ATND AVE. DRAW
NYY 51.83 44,836 2,323,849.88
BOS 53.38 37,961 2,026,358.18
CHC 46.90 37,220 1,745,168.00
PHI 36.29 45,512 1,651,630.48
MIN 33.04 39,413 1,302,205.52
STL 31.17 38,041 1,185,737.97
LAD 30.59 36,876 1,128,036.84
SFG 25.04 41,900 1,049,176.00
CHW 40.67 24,987 1,016,221.29
NYM 31.81 30,394 965,401.69

I'm not sure what AVE. DRAW is.
If we are doing so well, why did we have to dump Edwin Jackson and his salary?
At this point I'd rather have him as our #5 starter than Humber who seems to be running out of gas.

doublem23
08-18-2011, 04:54 PM
I'm not sure what AVE. DRAW is.
If we are doing so well, why did we have to dump Edwin Jackson and his salary?

Average ticket price X Average Attendance = Simple figure for how much money each team makes every game.

Oh yeah, Edwin Jackson sucks.

kittle42
08-18-2011, 05:10 PM
Average ticket price X Average Attendance = Simple figure for how much money each team makes every game.

Oh yeah, Edwin Jackson sucks.

Booyah!

amsteel
08-18-2011, 05:25 PM
Average ticket price X Average Attendance = Simple figure for how much money each team makes every game.

Oh yeah, Edwin Jackson sucks.

He's still the team leader in WAR among starters, and is 1 or 2 in a bunch of other categories. His walks are high and so is his BABIP, but he certainly does not suck.

http://www.fangraphs.com/winss.aspx?team=White%20Sox&pos=all&stats=sta&qual=0&type=1&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011

kittle42
08-18-2011, 05:42 PM
He's still the team leader in WAR among starters, and is 1 or 2 in a bunch of other categories. His walks are high and so is his BABIP, but he certainly does not suck.

Actually, he is the perfect fit for the 2011 White Sox - a career .500 pitcher who is almost always really on or really off, just like this team!

doublem23
08-18-2011, 06:17 PM
He's still the team leader in WAR among starters, and is 1 or 2 in a bunch of other categories. His walks are high and so is his BABIP, but he certainly does not suck.

http://www.fangraphs.com/winss.aspx?team=White%20Sox&pos=all&stats=sta&qual=0&type=1&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011

A) No he is not, SP WAR to date:
(http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHW/2011.shtml#players_value_pitching::9)
Mark Buehrle - 3.5
Philip Humber - 2.6
John Danks - 2.1
Edwin Jackson - 2.1
Gavin Floyd - 1.3
Jake Peavy - 1.1
Zach Stewart - 0.6

B) Until someone can actually tell me how WAR is determined, I don't know how much stock I can put in it.

C) Edwin Jackson... Eh, not very good

BainesHOF
08-19-2011, 01:45 AM
Unless the trend dramatically changes this will mark the 5th straight year with an attendence drop from the season before.

Lip

That's pretty damning.

Dan H
08-19-2011, 03:07 AM
The playoffs would surely sell out right away, despite what Mark Giangrecco might say.

I really don't care what Mark Giangrecco might say. And that goes for every loud mouthed Chicago sports pundit who kisses up to the baseball establishment by ripping fans.

amsteel
08-19-2011, 09:59 AM
A) No he is not, SP WAR to date:
(http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHW/2011.shtml#players_value_pitching::9)
Mark Buehrle - 3.5
Philip Humber - 2.6
John Danks - 2.1
Edwin Jackson - 2.1
Gavin Floyd - 1.3
Jake Peavy - 1.1
Zach Stewart - 0.6

B) Until someone can actually tell me how WAR is determined, I don't know how much stock I can put in it.

C) Edwin Jackson... Eh, not very good

FanGraphs and BR must use different formulas since he is listed as #1 on there. Fangraphs calculation:
http://www.fangraphs.com/library/index.php/misc/war/

It looks like BR's WAR includes defensive performance, accounting the difference. Using either metric, he's (slightly) above average.

FarmerAndy
08-19-2011, 12:36 PM
I think it's silly for Gammons to imply that the stadium atmosphere has anything to do with the Sox play on the field. These are professional ballplayers here. I'm pretty sure Adam Dunn isn't going to blame his poor season on hearing "Who Let The Dogs Out" too many times.

That being said, his comparing the atmosphere to that of a Bulls game is dead on.

There are many things I love about the Cell experience. It's comfortable, the sight lines are great, and I love that there are multiple screens and boards with filled with stats/info. The out-of-town scoreboard is killer. Most of all, my favorite team plays there. However, some of the overall presentation/production during the games has become increasingly annoying. It really does resemble the kind of show you see at a basketball game.

At 35, I'm not exactly an old timer. But I still feel that the baseball experience should have more of a classic feel to it. (Again, I'm refering to event production, not the ballpark itself. I prefer modern amenities to the old parks.) But the ballpark is a special place to me. And when "EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!" is blasting into my ears, I just find it borderline obnoxious.

It might not bother everybody, but I think it's fair critisism. Even coming from Gammons, who has only been there a handful of times. You only need to attend one game to get a feel for that kind of thing. But the notion that it has anything to do with the Sox play on the field is ridiculous.

doublem23
08-19-2011, 12:45 PM
I'm pretty sure Adam Dunn isn't going to blame his poor season on hearing "Who Let The Dogs Out" too many times.


Hey now, as bad as the Sox marketing department may or may not be, they're not bad enough to play that song any more. :cool:

Jerko
08-19-2011, 01:03 PM
Come on, who DOESN'T like "R O W D I E that is how we spell rowdie" or "every body clap your hands"?

shes
08-19-2011, 02:08 PM
Gammons is wrong about the atmosphere contributing to the team's poor play, BUT in a roundabout way he's right insofar as the atmosphere isn't contributing to the elevation of the team's play (part of what is supposed to constitute home field advantage). It's a bit unfair, though, because there are really only a handful of parks that provide that kind of true home field advantage, anyway.

Nellie_Fox
08-19-2011, 02:29 PM
I'm pretty sure Adam Dunn isn't going to blame his poor season on hearing "Who Let The Dogs Out" too many times. Oh, I don't know, I think that might drive me over the edge. That's like "Welcome to the Jungle" at college hockey games.

doublem23
08-19-2011, 02:35 PM
Oh, I don't know, I think that might drive me over the edge. That's like "Welcome to the Jungle" at college hockey games.

I will not stand for any Axl Rose bashing or comparisons of Guns N Roses to the Baja Men. SOMETHINGS CAN'T BE UNSAID.

FarmerAndy
08-19-2011, 03:13 PM
Oh, I don't know, I think that might drive me over the edge.

:lol: The more I think about it, you might be right.

FoulTerritory
08-19-2011, 04:20 PM
I think it's silly for Gammons to imply that the stadium atmosphere has anything to do with the Sox play on the field. These are professional ballplayers here. I'm pretty sure Adam Dunn isn't going to blame his poor season on hearing "Who Let The Dogs Out" too many times.

That being said, his comparing the atmosphere to that of a Bulls game is dead on.

There are many things I love about the Cell experience. It's comfortable, the sight lines are great, and I love that there are multiple screens and boards with filled with stats/info. The out-of-town scoreboard is killer. Most of all, my favorite team plays there. However, some of the overall presentation/production during the games has become increasingly annoying. It really does resemble the kind of show you see at a basketball game.

At 35, I'm not exactly an old timer. But I still feel that the baseball experience should have more of a classic feel to it. (Again, I'm refering to event production, not the ballpark itself. I prefer modern amenities to the old parks.) But the ballpark is a special place to me. And when "EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!" is blasting into my ears, I just find it borderline obnoxious.

It might not bother everybody, but I think it's fair critisism. Even coming from Gammons, who has only been there a handful of times. You only need to attend one game to get a feel for that kind of thing. But the notion that it has anything to do with the Sox play on the field is ridiculous.

It's ironic that the Sox went through all that trouble to renovate the look of the ballpark into more of a "classic" feel while at the same time ultimately undermining that classic feel with the bulls game style experience/atmosphere.

What are they thinking?

captain54
08-19-2011, 05:20 PM
It's ironic that the Sox went through all that trouble to renovate the look of the ballpark into more of a "classic" feel while at the same time ultimately undermining that classic feel with the bulls game style experience/atmosphere.

What are they thinking?

Even more ironic is tearing down a classic stadium, building a new one while ignoring fans requests to give is a "classic" feel, then spending millions of $$$ yrs later to give it the same classic feel that the fans asked for in the first place.

Of course we're only fans and we don't know any better and have no riight to question JR and his crew, because really, they're the professionals and they know best

Lip Man 1
08-19-2011, 06:10 PM
Captain:

I'm fairly sure that if U.S. Cellular didn't step up and spend all that money for the naming rights, they weren't going to take money out of the franchise's pocket to do it themselves.

Lip