White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

June 8, 2012

Chris Sale is still working on his changeup

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ June 8, 2012 11:30 pm
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Scott Merkin:

A continuously refined changeup clearly improves Chris Sale’s standing as a starting pitcher, although it’s already a fairly lofty perch for the American League ERA leader and the owner of the third-lowest opponents’ average against entering Saturday’s start.

But the notion that the changeup is a new pitch to Sale is inaccurate. It just was temporarily shelved when he worked in relief during the past two years.

“That was his best pitch when we saw him as an amateur,” said White Sox director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann of the changeup for Sale, who was the 13th pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. “His changeup got better each time. It was his second-best pitch.”

“I didn’t even have a slider in college,” said Sale with a laugh. “So that changeup is something we’ve been working on more than any other pitch in my repertoire.”

Sale’s work takes place with pitching coach Don Cooper and bullpen coach Juan Nieves between starts, and he employed that changeup on 23 pitches during his complete-game effort against the Mariners on Sunday. He recorded one out with the changeup, but just one changeup was put in play safely.

A well-located fastball and a sharp-breaking slider are still Sale’s top two pitches. But the 23-year-old understands the importance of the changeup to his overall well-being as a rotation member.

“Having a third pitch is so big now,” said Sale, who still touches 94 or 95 mph with his fastball but doesn’t get to 97 or 98 as he would as a reliever. “You can’t go out there as a starter and just have two pitches.

“It’s something I’ve been trying to build on and get better. I want to have a third pitch to throw to help me get deeper in games.”

Imagine Sale getting more strikes (called and swinging) on his changeup. It would be awesome!

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November 22, 2011

Sox ticket prices are going down

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 22, 2011 10:30 pm

Nina Falcone:

The White Sox have announced the majority of their season ticket holders will receive an 18 percent reduction on the cost of the seats, depending on their location in the ballpark. The Sox had the fourth highest average on ticket prices last season at $40.67.

… The prices for individual games are yet to be announced, but there’s a good chance they’ll follow the reduced price trend a well.

Now all we need is a few good players. Get it together Gordon!

April 23, 2011

Baseball Attendance is down. Why MLB isn’t worried?

Filed under: MLB — The Wizard @ April 23, 2011 2:00 pm

Dickey @ Deadspin:

The implication is that baseball is somehow struggling, that in a depressed economy people have turned away from the sport. Maybe there’s something to that, but the simple truth is that attendance is no longer the most accurate bellwether for the state of the game. Focusing on the empty seats ignores something vastly more important to baseball’s owners now, something that at least partly explains the league’s famously tight-assed and backward approach to new media: cable TV.

… The blackout’s iron fist protects cable sports networks. Whereas NFL blackouts exist to protect attendance—games with unsold tickets don’t air in the home market—the MLB blackout policy has nothing to do with ticket sales. Rather, it exists to strengthen cable broadcasters (regional sports networks, or RSNs) of baseball games. You have to subscribe to cable or satellite television to watch a baseball game if the team is within, really, a 10-hour drive.

… Moreover, Brown says, RSN revenues fall outside of what MLB considers baseball-related revenues, so their dollars don’t factor into revenue sharing. Why wouldn’t the Yankees or Mets want to do it, then?

March 28, 2011

Spring Training attendance: 91,749

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 28, 2011 9:10 pm
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Merkin @ CWS:

Monday’s crowd of 5,317 at Camelback Ranch gave the White Sox a final home attendance of 91,749, marking the franchise’s fifth-highest Spring Training total.

March 23, 2011

White Sox 2011 Attendance Watch

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ March 23, 2011 11:15 pm

Simmons @ BoB:

In year 9 of US Cellular Field, the White Sox look to rebound after 2 years of declines at the box office. The White Sox raised their season and individual prices minimally this season, but still can’t sellout the way other large market teams do. The White Sox maxed out at 90% capacity after their World Series win in 2005. The team is helped this year by the MLB schedulers this year with light schedule during the cold weather months of April and May. I forsee the White Sox increasing ticket sales this year thanks to a more competitive team in September and the Dodgers for interleague.

October 5, 2010

White Sox attendance down 4%, Minnesota up 36%. MLB revenues up.

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ October 5, 2010 2:34 pm
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Maury Brown (BoB) @ FG:

# Gms
2009 Attend
2009 Avg
# Gms
2010 Attend
2010 Avg
Dif Per Gm
White Sox

However, MLB is projected to pull in a record $7 billion in revenues:

Major League Baseball is projecting gross revenues of $7 billion for 2010, continuing a run of record-breaking years, and bucking the chilly economy. … In 2009, final revenues were $6.6 billion up from $6.5 billion in 2008. The increase from 2009 to the projected 2010 figure is a remarkable 6.06 percent increase, an incredible jump in an economy that continues to run chilly.

How were the increases reached? Sources at Major League Baseball say one big component is local television deals that have annual escalators. The other is for expiring TV deals in the very competitive market where regional sports networks (RSNs) are clamoring for more live content, there are significant increases.

September 9, 2010

White Sox attendance: 50,000 less through 65 games

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ September 9, 2010 2:18 pm
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BoB (via B-R):

Club 2009
2009 2009
2010 2010
Indians 68 1,483,789 21,820 68 1,174,888 17,278 -308,901 -4,543
Royals 68 1,546,703 22,746 68 1,359,118 19,987 -187,585 -2,759
Tigers 70 2,224,031 31,772 70 2,152,892 30,756 -71,139 -1,016
White Sox 65 1,828,375 28,129 65 1,777,911 27,352 -50,464 -776
Twins 70 2,007,032 28,672 70 2,783,388 39,763 776,356 11,091

Look at the Twinkies. Last year both the Sox and the Twinkies were drawing around 28,000 per game. This year the Twinkies, at new target field, are drawing nearly 40,000 per game while the Sox dropped to a little more than 27,000 per game.

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