First South Side Chat: An Early Plea to Fan Up

Stand and applaud, Sox fans. I know it’s only January but the White Sox organization has done what every fan base wants; put their money where their mouth is. Kenny reached deep into Jerry’s pockets and built a lineup that I think we all agree can compete for a championship. We got the big lefty masher, re-signed fan favorites AJ and Paulie, and bolstered the bullpen. In an offseason where the Twins have fallen flat, the Sox are all in. And it ain’t no bluff.

Allow me a brief aside to discuss my favorite move this offseason: trading Scott Linebrink. I look at it as Kenny’s gift to us, the fans. Linebrink was about as reliable as Devin Hester coming across the middle and represented everything that was losing. When Linebrink came in, it was time to turn the game off. Things could (and would) only get worse from that point. Long inning after long inning, fastball after fastball after fastball, I, like the rest of Sox fans, could no longer bear the frustration. He was the weakest (Line)brink, goodbye.  And we now return to scheduled programming…

The risk in this offseason is certainly there. What happens if this year doesn’t pan out? There’s a lot of money invested, lot of players on the downturn, and no farm system to speak of. I think we all know what happens when you go all in and lose, just ask the Titanic (too soon?). It takes awhile to get back on your feet. We could spend next offseason hoping Oney Guillen opens his mouth just so we have something to talk about. Our big move in 2012 could be bringing back Brian Anderson… to pitch.

Yes, very frightening possibilities, but I wouldn’t want it any different and neither should you. With the progress made this winter, the target is on our backs. Sox are now public enemy #1 in the AL Central. My friend, a Twins fan, likes to joke we are becoming the Chicago White Collars (Not at all true, but kinda funny given ticket prices). And not only have we spent a lot, we’ve talked a lot.

I wrote on Twitter that we are instead becoming the New York Jets. We had the reality show, the flamboyant coach stirring the pot, and a team loaded with talent. Both with no shortage of headlines, no shortage of drama, and the popular thought that they could be their own worst enemy. The Jets did just advance in the playoffs, but can a team survive all the distractions over a long 162 game season? That remains to be seen.

But what makes the Sox different than the Jets is our fans. Both fans are very passionate, no question. But while Jets fans are booing every draft pick and doing whatever the hell it is that Fireman Ed does, White Sox fans are smart, calculated, and incredibly stubborn. When the Sox are good, we pack the house. And when they’re bad, well, we don’t.

So here’s my point: the organization delivered, and now we, the fans, need to deliver. We don’t need a new outdoor stadium brilliantly placed in winter’s backyard (Minnesota) to get our fans excited. This team is exciting enough. Ticket prices are what they are, and that is expensive. I’m probably the first person to inform you that it is in fact cheaper to watch the game at home on your nice HD projection flat panel, but keep in mind that you then have to listen to the Hawk for three hours.

For me, there is no better way to spend a summer evening than at a jam packed U.S. Cellular Field cheering on a White Sox victory followed by a long night of fervent sex. And the victories will come this season (No guarantees on the sex). So Sox fans, let’s do it big this year. Let’s show up early and often, loud and proud. Every night we know we’re getting the other teams’ best, so let’s give them ours. The future is uncertain. The time is now. This is going to be a fun year. And one last thing, as this is beginning to sound like a campaign speech, don’t forget to vote!

Sox Fan, Here!,

Pete Fitzgerald

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