Chicago Sports Depot (photo: mrs. e-gus)
With all the hubbub, ado and carrying-on over the opening of the Chicago Sports Depot, it did make me wonder how Grandstand, the store on the corner of 35th and Wallace, would fare in the future.
Fortunately, the Southtown Star's Phil Arvia also had that question in mind. He talks to the Pete Powers, Grandstand's owner, and Brooks Boyer, and the result is a pretty interesting column that sheds some light on how the Sports Depot came to be.
There seems to be plenty of mutual respect between the two parties, even though they're running similar operations five blocks away from each other. In fact, Powers says the White Sox asked him to run their new store -- except Grandstand would've had to close to make it happen.
I can see Grandstand taking a bit of a hit, but given that Grandstand sits away from The Cell -- where a lot of casual fans or out-of-area visitors wouldn't walk by regardless -- it seems like the two can coexist. Especially if the Depot's prices have the same markup as the other stadium/street souvenir areas.
Broadcasting live from the Depot on Saturday, Chris Rongey talks with Rick Hahn during the second hour of White Sox Weekly. Hahn, of course, can't get into specifics, but there are a few things to glean from it:
*Early trade talks seem more serious than in years past, perhaps due to a rather uninspiring free agent market.
*The Sox don't know exactly which direction they'll take, and it might take at least another week to 10 days.
*If the Sox choose to rebuild, Hahn thinks it would be more like the '07-08 rebuilding, rather than a drastic, multi-year process.
*Also at this point, they're planning on using Jose Quintana and Donnie Veal as starters at Double-A and Triple-A, respectively. Quintana will try to refine a "slurvy curveball," and they want to see what Veal will have 18 months off Tommy John Surgery.
*Robin Ventura's name was on the list of possible future managers when they were compiling a dossier for the previous manager search in 2003. That list also included Bud Black, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Dave Martinez, among others.
The [Illinois Sports Facilities Authority] has come under scrutiny lately for a series of issues related to its management agreement, including paying $7 million in taxpayer money for a new restaurant across the street from the stadium that sends all profits to the baseball team. Experts have said stadium authorities should steer clear of economic development.
J.J. tries to figure out where Philip Humber's 2012 numbers will fall on the spectrum between his 2011 performance (still seems optimistic) and ZIPS (quite pessimistic).
Fornelli makes a pretty good point about the 15-team leagues with interleague every day -- it would kind of suck for an contending American League team to be playing without its DH in a much-needed late-season series. Then again, this would probably still benefit the White Sox.