To: The Chicago White Sox
From: Chet Coppock
RE: The Cuban slugger
I’ve been meaning to contact you guys for a couple of weeks, but I’ve been too busy watching Theo Epstein’s managerial frolics.
Really, this letter is meant for the eyes of your brilliant marketing director, Brooks Boyer, and your crack media relations staff.
Who the hell runs your media relations anyways? Richie Incognito?
Why in the name of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson would you announce the arrival of Jose Abreu on the same day the a little known player named Derrick Rose and the Bulls opened up their regular season in South Florida against the James gang? You talk about the wrong pitch on the wrong day. You would have been better off having Abreu pose in his new jersey this past Monday when the Bears played at Green Bay.
Really, I’m not kidding. I’m also not kidding about the following: the 2005 World Series may as well have been a warm up act for the Civil War. It is no longer remotely sexy to attend one of your home games. In fact, and this is murder 1, it’s become cool to say that you don’t go to White Sox games. Last but not least, if you guys aren’t sick of trotting out “Mullet Night” and “Elvis Friday,” then I would suggest you have genuine issues.
Oh, excuse me, I forgot to mention this. You’re in the nation’s third largest market and despite the flaming charisma of Robin “our guys are playing hard” Ventura, you finished the season ranked 24th in the bigs in attendance while playing to 54% capacity.
That isn’t bad. It’s immoral.
I don’t want to kick you when you’re coming off a 99-loss season, a season that reminded my generation of your impossibly bad 1970 club that went 56-106 under the guidance of Don Gutteridge. So, what can you do in advance of the 2014 season to rev up your fan base?
Announce that Chris Sale will star at least 49 home games.
Teach your fans about how easy it is to get to from downtown to 35th Street by taking Canal, the best kept secret in Chicago.
Bust up your radio team. Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson, in case you haven’t noticed, just don’t move tickets.
Don’t go anywhere near Hawk and Steve Stone. Last summer, when you guys were lost at sea and generally out of a ballgame by the fourth inning, Harrleson and Stoney became appointment TV for one reason. They couldn’t talk about the misadventures of Alexi Ramirez or why Dyan Viciedo should really be a D.H., so they just talked in baseball banter.
God, it was great. The two finally meshed liked Lennon and McCartney, Sam and Dave or W and Dick.
Here is your first step (a step you must make).
Your operation has lost virtually all credibility. An unknown from Cuba didn’t thrust you into pennant contention.
At least Theo has a so-called ‘plan’. And I’ll be damned if anybody outside Bridgeport knows what yours is. So, you must dip into the checking account and sign a quality free agent. I don’t care if the guy is a shortstop, a left-fielder or aspiring chef.
Because let’s be honest, your club needs help at about seven positions.
Make a Yankee-move. Tell your fan base that you actually have an interest in fielding a quality product. And, above all else, tell Rick Hahn that what’s left of the south side’s faithful doesn’t want to hear about your “budget.”
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