O'Donnell: As the White Sox turn, paying fan making home games must-miss opportunities

  • There have been plenty of empty seats at Guaranteed Rate Field this season. The White Sox have yet to have a sellout crowd.

    There have been plenty of empty seats at Guaranteed Rate Field this season. The White Sox have yet to have a sellout crowd. Associated Press

 
Updated 6/16/2022 6:43 AM

WITH THE 2022 MLB SEASON now in its long run up the backstretch, two words appear to concisely capture the mood of more committed White Sox fans:

Wary and weary.

 

Far too much needless drama has plagued the Slouch Sliders.

They are no fun to watch, not even as a gaper's block on the Dan Ryan.

Much evidence suggests they don't just play dumb -- they are dumb.

They also have more "soft tissue" injuries than a startup stretching class at a weight-loss camp.

A TEAM ADORNED with high hopes two months ago now instead is banking on descents by the Twins and the Guardians and a timely slew of late-summer wins to skulk into the postseason.

Most crushingly, an ego-driven chairman continues to undermine key baseball ops people and unwaveringly support a crust-laden manager. Back in his law school days, that snoozy field boss appears to have focused primarily on "The Art of Terse."

If Nancy Faust could be coaxed out of retirement, the manager's walk-on tune at Guaranteed Rot should be the Rolling Stones' resurrected gem "Out of Time."

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THANKFULLY, A GRAND BIT OF KARMA is reflected in the stay-away attendance figures of the '22 Sox.

Through 30 home dates, the team has yet to sell out.

That includes a Memorial Day weekend twofer vs. the Cubs.

Plus longer 35th Street series against such Grade-A prime as the Yankees and the Dodgers

They are 17th of the 30 big-league teams in attendance, averaging 23,678.

Maybe the Chicago MLB mainstream isn't so seasonally vulnerable after all.

Take a team that should be streaking toward a long autumn run, proactively gum it up from Jerry Reinsdorf on down and suddenly a whole lot of alternatives to daily angst drop into view.

• • •

With the Saudi-backed LIV Devil's Invitationals casting their dark shadows, the PGA and broadcast partners can hope for nothing better than a hyper-memorable finish to the U.S. Open this weekend juiced with some fresh faces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Live from The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., NBC Sports will air the prime hours of the major beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday and concluding with extensive coverage starting at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The USA Network gets much of the early play, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Peacock Network survivors Dan Hicks, Paul Azinger and Notah Begay III will lead coverage.

As far as fresh faces, two who are ready for their first classic close-ups are Will Zalatoris (22-1) and Matt Fitzpatrick (28-1), who won the 2013 U.S. Amateur at the suburban Boston course.

An Insouciant's play would be X on Fitzpatrick to win and 5X -- at 4-1 -- for him to nail a Top 10 finish.

STREET-BEATIN': Gut-splitting phrase from one media poseur in the aftermath of NBC Sports Chicago's decision to "lose" the Tony La Russa/intentional walk inning of a loss last week to the Dodgers while replaying the game: "regional station's editorial integrity" Hah! -- RSNs are propaganda outlets and nothing more. They have the "integrity" of a campaign rally for Georgia ax handle Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. ...

Moment to reach for the ages by Andrew Wiggins in Game 6 of the Warriors-Celtics Thursday (ABC, 8 p.m.). If the explosive sky walker repeats his Game 5 and GS (+4) wins, the son of one-time Bull Mitch Wiggins could leapfrog Steph Curry for Finals MVP. ...

Just when "No-Stick" Bob Sirott was catching rare flak for his role as host of Marquee Sports' discredited roundtable "The Toadies," he drew an offsetting break when DOA WLS-AM (890) hired career medfly Steve Cochran as its morning placeholder. As Chet Coppock once said of Cochran, "He's annoying and he's a death star, but stations keep bringing him back for more." ...

Best racehorse at Belmont Park last Saturday had nothing to do with the third leg of the Triple Crown. Instead it was John Sadler's Flightline, who looked like Dr. Fager in winning the Met Mile. (The otherworldly Dr. Fager set a world record for the mile at Arlington Park on the Saturday before the 1968 Democratic Convention. Phil Georgeff said it was "the most impressive win I ever called.") ...

And Phil Mushnick, on the new relevance of sports to a full and happy American childhood: "Games have become no place to bring a kid unless that kid is in need of some social desensitization."

• Jim O'Donnell's Sports and Media column appears Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at jimodonnelldh@yahoo.com.

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