During the Q&A seminar with Rick Hahn and Robin Ventura, a White Sox fan asked about the impact of adding new second baseman, Brett Lawrie, elaborating how he enjoyed watching Lawrie because of how he plays with high energy and can be a "red ass." While noting this ability on the field, Hahn agreed that Lawrie's personality is a benefit to the current clubhouse and gives the Sox an edge to them.
Of course, Hawk Harrelson chimed in with his two cents, which thanks to Ventura, inadvertently launched the White Sox slogan in 2016.
Hawk: I've never met Brett Lawrie. As a matter of fact if he were to walk into this room, I might recognize him. If you got back and check on some of the tapes from the first time I saw him in Toronto, you can see the energy he brings to a telecast. I mean, he is just a fun guy to watch play. Does he have issues? Sure, everybody's got issues...
Ventura: That's going to be our new slogan: Everybody's got issues.
The slogan quickly became a running gag throughout the presentation. Sure, the Sox would prefer that it ended with the seminar, but it does lend itself quite nicely self-deprecating jab if things don't go well in 2016. Maybe if this managerial gig doesn't work out, Ventura can be a team ambassador working hosting gigs at future SoxFests and helping out the marketing team.
Speaking of marketing:
Hangin and bangin in the ballroom. There is a real lack of buzz. Neither excitement nor disgust at this years #SoxFest2016 in my opinion.— KenWo (@KenWo4LiFe) January 30, 2016
Larry even mentioned that lack of enthusiasm from Sox fans in the comments yesterday, which are spot on. It didn't feel like a fan festival, instead more like a business conference. Droves of people going up and down escalators to catch the next seminar or get in line for autographs. Fans going through the motions like they have done many times before. I expected fire-breathing fans spewing their frustrations at Hahn during the Q&A seminar, but instead it was rather very tame. The only topics I saw fans get fired up for were lack of bunting and why so many hitters have an uppercut swing. And here I thought Sox fans loved dingers.
No, the days of fans openly arguing with Kenny Williams are ancient history. I would recommend for SoxFest 2017 to treat the Q&A seminar as an investor relations call and require Sox fans dial into a conference line. Maybe that fits more into Hahn's wheelhouse treating it as reporting the quarterly earnings, rather than rallying the troops. But Hahn doesn't do that. Therefore, we are left with scripted answers that give little to no insight, and fans are left wondering how this team is going to win with Garcia and Adam LaRoche in the everyday lineup. That's how, despite adding an All-Star third baseman, you generate no buzz at a fan convention.
Yes, the White Sox got issues, and I'm not entirely sure how they are going to fix them. Or, if they will even attempt to before the regular season.
- Spoke with White Sox Chief Marketing Officer, Brooks Boyer, about the new uniform for Spring Training. The team has no plan on wearing them during the regular season, as all alternate uniforms have to be submitted and approved by Major League Baseball a year in advance.
- Bo Jackson was the best speaker during the seminars, and also the winner for attendance shaming. When asked, "What would be the one thing he would change about baseball today?" Jackson replied that he would like to see more fans at White Sox games. It's a stretch and nowhere to the level of Don Cooper last year, but it was the only mention during the Saturday seminars.
- If baseball doesn't work out, Avisail Garcia has a possible future being a Family Feud contestant. He lead all participants with five correct guesses.