Clearly, I have been highly neglectful of my blog. Why? Because of being busy at work doing stuff and watching baseball. In any event, I have to talk about a few things that bugged me this past season in baseball and there were a few. Sorry if the next few posts will be about old things, but once I get those out of the way, I hope to have new opinions and perspectives on things. So much has gone in the world of sports, so I need to get caught up so I can stay on top of the sports happenings.
The week of August 9th was interesting. My White Sox began a 6 day home stand against our biggest division rivals: the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers. These series were both huge in terms of standings. The White Sox had gone on a tear in early June and by the All-Star break were in first place. After the break, they continued playing relatively well and winning games. At the start of the current home stand however, they had fallen into a tie for 1st place with the Twins because of the Twins having a hot streak and the White Sox losing 3 of 4 to the Baltimore Orioles, the WORST team in baseball. The O’s however, had gotten a new manager, Buck Showalter and had been playing their best ball of the entire season.
In any event, during the 3 game set against the Twins, a curious thing happened. Instead of people talking about how 2 teams were battling it out for first place and focusing on the baseball, were more into discussing the lousy attendance at the games. Truth be told, the sad attendance we had at those games was appalling to me, especially since I attend most games and the more fans that are there, the more fun games CAN be at times. In listening to sports talk radio (which probably is not good for my sanity), I heard lots of interesting excuses for why fans were not going to the games. These ranged from: the only seats available are in the upper deck and those seats are horrible, the tickets cost too much, the team is bad, food and drink costs too much, there is nothing to do around the park after the game, etc. I will be the first person to NOT argue with a person who does not feel a need to spend the extra income they may have on a baseball game. In this economy, the money spent for a ticket and food / drink could easily pay for a meal for a family. Not to mention, there are many who don’t even have a job to think about going to a game.
To the fans who complain about the bad seats, I would guess those are people who have not been to US Cellular field since the renovations in 2003. Before the renovations and the ball park was a pitcher’s park, the upper deck was not a great place to see a game. The area was very steep (although, not steep like Soldier Field where the Chicago Bears play) and you felt very far away from the game. Now, however, it is not nearly as steep, unless you are in the very top rows, and that only happens for sold out games. I have heard some complain about the price that is charged for tickets in the upper deck. When people complain about that who say they would go, except for the amount of those tickets and they can’t sit in the lower deck, I don’t feel bad. Make no mistake that I am complaining of how people are spending money. This irritation is directed at those who would go, but for inability to sit in the lower deck. First of all, there are no bad seats in the upper deck. In fact, I think you have a BETTER view of the game because you can see everything happening on the field. You also get a better read on balls hit so you know whether it will be a home run or not. I’ve sat all over the ball park and really the only bad seats are in the LOWER DECK near the foul poles because you have an obstructed view there. I know some like sitting there because you are “closer to the action” and I don’t begrudge that, but don’t say you won’t go to games because you think the upper deck is so bad, especially if you haven’t sat there since before 2002.
As for ticket prices keeping you away, well, the cubs actually cost more. I recently went to a cubs game (because I am an awesome friend) and purchasing tickets for the 400 level was nearly $55 dollars going through the cubs website. Luckily I saved a lot of money because I went on stubhub to get the tickets for at least $25 less. In any event, I do think it is ok for people to say “i prefer to watch the game at a bar or in my living room than going to the ball park” rather than coming up with some excuse that when really examined is just lame. Own up to real reason for not going to the games. If the sox can only draw 20,000 fans regularly, so be it. Eventually they will find a way to draw more fans and sell out when there are huge series against a division rival when the division lead is on the line. Maybe not while things are bad, but eventually. at least i can hope.