Reading Room: Playoffs, wrap-ups, ticket prices

Mainstream outlets wrap up the season, and I follow up on the not-so-dynamic pricing offer

Look for the pitching half of the South Side Satisfaction Survey around 1 p.m. EST today. We already have 150 responses for the hitters’ portion, which is awesome, and I’ll post the results of those tomorrow.

Ryan and Luke show us the cornerstone of their offseason plan. (Thanks to Jeff Nowak for the photo)
I’ll break it up with a good ol’ fashioned Christian Marrero Reading Room, since there is a lot of time-sensitive stuff to get to.
*The postseason begins today. A brief rundown of the ex-Sox involved:

  • Yankees: Nick Swisher, Boone Logan
  • Twins: Jim Thome
  • Rangers: Nobody
  • Rays: Nobody
  • Reds: Nick Masset, Orlando Cabrera
  • Braves: Nobody
  • Giants: Juan Uribe, Aaron Rowand
  • Phillies: Ross Gload

I’m pulling for Rangers-Giants, as I think the Metroplex can really make a leap as a baseball market with a World Series appearance. We know that isn’t the case for Tampa, and the Twins and Yankees don’t need any more help.
In an ideal world, Jim Thome bats 1.000/1.000/4.000, but the Twins get swept. The feting of Minnesota is already bad enough, and they haven’t won anything under Gardenhire. I’d hate to see how bad it would get after a pennant.
Joe Cowley revisits the Jim Thome decision, and describes him as — you guessed it — a choirboy.
*After a lull, J.J. is examining with a vengeance, with 2010 wrap-ups for A.J. Pierzynski, Ramon Castro, Tyler Flowers and Paul Konerko.
*Oral Sox has its final podcast of the season, and taking an immediately strange turn when discussing Brent Morel’s face. It also has a couple of cuts from Kenny Karaoke Night at Market, and John Danks’ Civil War-style dispatch to Jordan, which are always welcome.
It’s season wrap-up season for the mainstream outlets, starting with…
*Cowley, who maintains his weird, persistent, inclination against Gavin Floyd. On the “Who Needs To Go” list:

The pitcher has seemingly hit the ceiling with the Sox, falling into an all too familiar pattern of poor start, great summer, bad finish. If the Sox can sign Freddy Garcia or Chris Sale emerges, Floyd can help get a bat in a trade.

I wouldn’t say Floyd is untradeable, but given the salary situations in the starting rotation, I’d think John Danks and Edwin Jackson would be the first pitchers to hear trade proposals for. Cost certainty and all that.
That Floyd is on that list isn’t necessarily objectionable. The problem is Scott Linebrink is two spots lower.
*Chuck Garfien’s season wrap-up has this odd quote from Bobby Jenks.

Expect the Sox to either non-tender Jenks, or sign him to a new contract and trade him.
What does Jenks think?
“If I’m here, that’s great. If not, damndest game.”

Between Kenny Williams’ strong suggestion of misdeeds and/or misgivings and Jenks’ spitting on the clubhouse floor (hat tip to Fustercluck), I hope somebody gets to the bottom of this. It sounds like fun.
*Doug Padilla works through the Sox’ backup plan if Paul Konerko goes elsewhere, anchored by the infield defense of Brent Morel, Alexei Ramirez and Gordon Beckham.
A couple of quotes worth noting:

“Look at the infield with Morel, Ramirez and Beckham, and … if you had to go with Viciedo, who is just a tick behind. He could use work in his discipline, but we all see the type of player he can be and the impact he can have,” Williams said. “With Tyler Flowers figuring out some of the mechanical things and us not knowing about A.J., that’s a defensive unit out there that has offensive capabilities.”

That further muddles Flowers’ defensive abilities. From what I saw, I think he catches pitches a little less fluidly than A.J. Pierzynski, and isn’t quite as soft a pitch-blocker, but he moves around the plate better and gets rid of the ball quicker. I think his defensive demise was overstated, tied too closely to his offensive problems.
Meanwhile, Paul Konerko on his future:

“It’s possible, very possible, I could be back. It’s possible I go somewhere else, who knows? I don’t walk out of here today going ‘God, I’m done with that city.’ I’m totally open to anything but it has to be right on all accounts.

That made me laugh.
*Maury Brown at FanGraphs sorts through the MLB attendance figures, and the White Sox were 20th in growth, with nearly a 4 percent drop (hat tip to winningugly).
Remember the dynamic pricing offer? Well, it wasn’t particularly dynamic.
The game I kept an eye on was the last game of the season, because 1) we had a full week to watch it, and 2) it was the kind of game with two non-competitive teams that would supposedly benefit from a price drop.
When I selected the best dynamically priced tickets, I got two in the ninth row of Section 110 for $51 per. Face value, mind you, is $43.
So the night before the game, which most people would figure out if they wanted to get advance tickets for a day game, I once again searched for two of the best available dynamically priced tickets.
You’ll never guess what turned up, gang — Section 110, Row 9, for $51 apiece.
So. Color me underwhelmed.
The Sox are already planning on raising the ticket prices another incremental amount again; now we have the Static Pricing Offer, which is a hidden way to mask further inflation (it won’t show up on the seating chart).
Making matters worse, the Sox only had four half-priced Mondays this year, and here’s what they drew:

  • 21,208 vs. KC, May 3
  • 38,092 vs. LAA, July 5
  • 38,815 vs. SEA, July 26
  • 19,750 vs. BOS, Sept. 27 (the Bears hosted the Packers that night)

When the Sox were playing interesting baseball in warm weather, they nearly sold out the park on the discount ticket nights. The fans are telling the Sox one thing, and the Sox aren’t listening.

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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The dynamic pricing gimic might be a way for the Sox to sell more tickets on Tues-Wed-Thur games. I doubt they will drop half price Mondays or give any discounts for the weekend games (except kids days one Sunday per month).
We will probably have one of the top five average ticket prices in baseball, excluding Yankee Stadium and discount days, of course.


If the White Sox do have one of the top five average ticket prices in baseball, than it’s ironic that Reinsdorf still continues to act like this is a small-market franchise.
As for the playoffs, a Giants-Rangers matchup would be good for on thing: it would piss off the mainstream sports media.


They consistently have one of the higher payrolls, around 100


I would like to see a team by team analysis done on the $’s spent per each fan in attendance. This should be relatively simple to do. Dividing payroll by season attendance figures. This might shed some light on the fan perception of team owners, and their financial commitment to winning. Also, more transparency on the profitability of each team per season would likely clear up a bunch of misinformation, or misperception?


Is it acceptable or discouraged to openly mourn the loss of Juan Uribe around here? He wasn’t an ideal 3B, but we have been searching for one ever since he left. I’ll be rooting for the SFG simply because he is there…and I guess rooting that Rowand stays nailed to the bench. He (AR)does have a WSC, and therefore CAN offer that veteran support and guidance to those who do not, so I guess he does have that value this season?


I always liked Uribe…but of course, I’ve never hung out with him in his own country.


Uribe’s cool. It’s just unfortunate that his production declined each year he was here, while his salary headed in the opposite direction. Overall he was a solid player for the Sox.


What the heck happened to Rowand’s production, anyway?


On the baseball side of things, I can listen to offers on Floyd and Jackson, even Buerhle, but why Danks name would ever come up is beyond me, he is a stud and the sox have shown they will pay to keep good pitching around, heck they typically pay top dollar for just above average pitching.
As far as pricing is concerned, the sox are absolutely ignoring what they should be doing. The two summer half price games, SCREAM lower prices and get butts in the seats. Money is made by having fans at the game spending money on merchandise, concessions, parking, ect let alone the effect that if they have a good time maybe they will come back! Im sick of talking sox attendence it makes less sense to me every single year.


Completely agree on Danks staying put. For me, he’s Buehrle (innings eater, reliable, crafty) with a higher ceiling of potential. Floyd? He can go, but only if Peavy can be made whole again, and/or Sale becomes an option.


I basically never recommend heading into an offseason trying to sell pitching. It typically backfires even when you think your extremely deep.


Seems like Kenny has done OK with it, though. Vazquez is debatable, but Garcia, McCarthy, and Garland were all solid moves.


Too soon to judge the Jackson for Hudson? I am in the “don’t look back/look forward” camp just to try to at least manage shreds of sanity, but also the “looks real good so far” cautiously optimistic camp.


Knoxfire said “heading into the offseason trying to sell pitching,” so I ignored mid-season deals.


Trading Vazquez was a good move. He couldn’t get past the sixth inning without getting shelled. He went on to pitch quite well for Atlanta, but I believe they were out of contention. He excels in low-pressure situations. For about six innings.


If Floyd goes, it has to be for a serious bat, either a DH or someone who can play 3B (and DH so Morel can get some reps). Preferably a left-handed hitter. Agreed?


I’d be all over Floyd for a LH power bat. But, Floyd alone won’t carry the deal (unless it’s a lower-tier LH “power” bat which I don’t want to see. Now Floyd + (give him a name(s)) now that should fetch us a nice player to bang away at that “jet stream” in The Cell. I like Morel enough to see if he can be another Beckham. But I’d like to see them baby him a little bit as a platoon with Vizquel until he can go it alone.


Cowley needs to take a step back sometimes and not let who he likes impact his writing. He obviously likes Guillen and not KW, but the endless “face of the franchise” stuff with Ozzie is silly. Do people here actually go to games more because of Ozzie?
I go to watch good baseball, and the only time Ozzie crosses my mind at a game is when the Sox start an inning with a hit and a walk, and I hear myself muttering, “Don’t *$&#^@* bunt. Make this pitcher earn an out.”
We get it Joe, you like Ozzie and AJ. Just don’t act like it will be some gigantic loss if we lose the catcher with the 5th highest salary among catchers and 20th highest OPS.


Yeah, KW did ok dealing Garcia and McCarthy, but he got pitching back in both deals. Garland for Cabrera was nothing for nothing, since neither was coming back.
It’s heresy to say it, but I’m rooting for Minnesota. 1. I can’t root for the Yankees in the first round. 2. Jim Thome deserves a ring. 3. Maybe it helps inflate the costs of keeping their team together. 4. If the Sox have to lose, better to lose to the champion, and 5. The only real reason a Sox fan has to hate MSP is envy. They build a team and play the game right, and I have to respect that.


On Twins, can’t & won’t agree. I hope they crash and burn again. And the only ring I want to see Thome get while being rented by the Twins, is the plastic spider one that he pulls out of his kid’s Halloween sack. A few more failed AB’s w/RISP for Big Jim, and he’ll be answering the doorbell to dish out the candy at the Thome residence.


Where he fights childhood obesity one full-size candy bar at a time.