Here we all are, waiting on pins and needles for the new manager announcement, and instead, we get poked in the rear. Yesterday afternoon, Scott Merkin broke the news that the Sox had pulled the plug on SoxFest for 2023.
From the White Sox: "Due to several factors, SoxFest 2023 will not be held this January. We recognize our fans may be disappointed the event will not take place. Please check back throughout the 2023 baseball season for updates regarding future plans."— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) October 21, 2022
Canceling SoxFest fueled the fire for many fans, and an immediate firestorm on Twitter ensued. Here are some of my favorites:
props to the White Sox for canceling SoxFest because I too, cancel plans when I suspect my friends hate me— janice (@scuriiosa) October 21, 2022
The White Sox cancelling SoxFest due to the fact that nobody in this organization has the balls to handle accountability is objectively funny.— Courtney Finnicum (@courtney883) October 21, 2022
The Chicago White Sox hate children. pic.twitter.com/wAIRjIVvt0— Matt Crawford (@Mattheius2783) October 21, 2022
The vagueness of the announcement was also a specific target of the fury at a time when fans already felt screwed over by the franchise. What are those “several factors?” The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the previous two Fests, which was understandable, but now what’s the excuse? What are those mysterious factors?
Our north side neighbors don’t seem to have ambiguous circumstances prohibiting them from hosting their convention this coming January, a week before the White Sox would have held theirs. Did someone on the Sox forget to reserve the McCormick Center? Does new manager A.J Pierzynski have plans for the entire offseason? Are they afraid after this abysmal season, fans won’t show up at all?
Or, the real question: Does this embarrassing team’s ownership and front office not want to face the music and answer to fans for the circus they have made out of this franchise?
So many questions that don’t, and won’t, have answers. Except ... maybe I will email my questions over to email@example.com. I’m sure the unfortunate intern monitoring that inbox will have satisfactory answers for me.
There are so many things about this organization that I don’t know and understand, and probably never will. However, the one thing I do know for sure is that they are entirely out of touch with fans. If ever there was a year we needed a fan festival, this was it. I would argue it was needed more after a season like 2022 then after postseason runs in 2020 or 2021.
We need it, to voice our frustrations and feel heard. We have the right to seek some accountability from the management, front office, and players. With the ability to do this, we can achieve some homeostasis and put the past year behind us. Then, move forward with the mutual understanding and respect that we deserve.
Instead, the fanbase will continue to let our anger and frustration brew and spill over into another season. We’ll carry our resentment with us into 2023, and for many of us, we’ll be re-examining how much of our pocketbook we’re willing to invest in this sideshow.