Monday, June 17, 2019

Will packed ballpark become a more common site on Sout' Side?

It was a cloudy, overcast, all-around-crummy Saturday in Chicago. Most definitely not the stereotypical image of a beautiful day for a ballgame.
No crummy attendance jokes on Sout' Side -- not Saturday, at least. Photos by Gregory Tejeda
Yet the stands at Guaranteed Rate Field were packed.

I WENT TO that particular ballgame, where the Chicago White Sox managed to get beat up upon by the New York Yankees. Yet the ballpark was packed with people -- officially just over 36,000 people bought tickets.

And even accounting for people who got discouraged from showing up because of the rain (who wants to get drenched, or have to wear a crude poncho to try to keep dry), there were still 30,000 plus people actually in attendance.

Which is significant because Chicago Cubbies fanatics would have us think that the White Sox are the ball club nobody cares about and nobody ever goes to see -- because EVERYBODY feels the need to go out to Beautiful Wrigley Field instead!

Because everybody loves the Cubs. It's only natural. Or so they'd have us think.

PERSONALLY, I'VE ALWAYS felt that the Cubs were the ballclub that managed to draw a solid number of tourists -- thereby inflating their overall attendance figures. If you take actual interest in the two teams, I'd say they come out about even.
A loaded parking lot made me thankful I took the 'el'
Except to the Cubbie fanatics, who want to believe they're the only ones who count. Almost like how Donald Trump's political backers explain away their guy's constant decline in poll ratings. Their people are the only ones who matter, and who should be paid attention to.
Not intimidated by Yanks -- this year, at least

To which I give the giant raspberry. As in ptbthhhhhb!

Or should we call it the Bronx cheer? Which might actually be appropriate because of the way the White Sox this weekend managed to produce what might well be the highlight of 2019 by beating up on the Yankees.

THE BRONX BOMBERS are the ball club who are in first place in their division, despite the injuries to so many key ballplayers, although on Saturday shortstop (and star) Didi Gregorius was back in the lineup.
Real 'South Side Hit Men'

But the White Sox have managed to hold their own, wining two of three games the teams played back in April, then managing to win a majority of games they played this week.

Technically, the White Sox won their "series" this year against the Yanks. Not bad, considering the team started out this season awful -- and it has taken this massive stretch of winning ways (including against the Yankees) just to get back to a .500 (half) winning record.

Is this going to be the beginning of the so-called rebuild White Sox management keeps insisting will turn the South Side Hit Men into a championship calibre ballclub by about 2021 or 2022?

WAS THE WELL-PACKED ballpark on Saturday (all of last week actually) a sign of what we're likely to see in coming years.
Can Sox keep winning Tue. and Wed. at Wrigley?

Or was this just a fluke and likely the highlight of the upcoming decade we're likely to get out of the Guaranteed Rate Field crew.

I did notice one significant change from recent years -- the number of people arriving at the ballpark wearing No. 7 jerseys (for Mickey Mantle) or No. 2 (for Derek Jeter) were on the decline. In fact, the most popular bit of garb Saturday night was worn by the fans who got the freebie promotional Hawaiian shirt -- covered with White Sox logos instead of tropical floral patterns.

And I have to admit to one plus brought about by being forced to buy a seat in the outer reaches of the upper deck -- my seat was sheltered by the upper deck roof. Meaning I remained dry all the way through the Saturday night rainfall that caused a rain delay.


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