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Old 04-16-2013, 02:59 PM
KingXerxes KingXerxes is offline
WSI Church Elder
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,887

SI1020 - I think you and I overlap in agreement on many things. First and foremost though is the strange loyalty which ownership has toward certain people.

I agree in trying to please everyone, you'll just end up in a big mess, so I would suggest they try and please the largest segment of the population - the casual fan.

For years people screamed at Bill Wirtz for not televising Blackhawk home games. They told him over and over how a television broadcast is basically a three hour free commercial for the product you're selling - but his loyalty to ticket buyers trumped all. A week after his passing, the Blackhawks announced they would start televising home games, and the rest is history. While their good fortunes were a combination of a great team and a new approach, their tickets are now a very hot commodity. The same can happen with the White Sox.

Most people's exposure to the White Sox is via television and the radio. You turn it on and have to listen to palaber about how Adam Dunn's right shoulder flew open at that last pitch, and he couldn't reach the outside corner with his swing and not since Ol' Ted Williams has Harrelson seen a hitter who could keep that shoulder in line and put a hurtin' on a lefthander throwing an Uncle Charlie.

The clicking sound your hear in the background are televisions turning off all over your neighborhood. Don't get me wrong, there is a role for an analyst during a broadcast - and that role is when something needs to be explained or expanded upon to a casual fan.......not every single pitch.

People call many announcers these days "vanilla", but almost every announcer - with exceptions - has been vanilla since they started broadcasting baseball, and the reason for the vanilla announcer is so the game can speak for itself. Again please note I completely understand announcers such as Caray, Dean, Uecker and a few others had personalities which were woven into their broadcasts, but most of the others (Harwell, Buck, Scully, Brickhouse, Rooney etc.) kept their own personalities out of the broadcasts. They had a certain style, but they didn't want to become the show - they allowed the game to be the show. Here we've been stuck with announcers who, for far too long, are intent on being the story themselves to a large extent. Just announce the game.

The ballpark experience is great, but it isn't incorporated into the marketing well enough. Instead of constantly beating the drum about kiosks where you can throw a baseball, or learn to hit - how about simply setting the scene of a beautiful sunny day, a hot dog and game? Win or lose a great time is practically guaranteed! Nope - we got to identify with the third baseman as he talks about winning it all this year.

They have simply got to get away from tying the team's wins to the teams fortunes at the gate. Other franchises have done it (Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals) and so can the White Sox. Granted they've dug themselves a big hole, but they've got to lose this "win or go home" attitude and start appealing to a wider audience.

This all may come at a cost of the die hard fans, but those die hards will not leave. They will simply have company at the ballpark.
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