White Sox bringing back the good kind of blackouts for postseason

The Blackout Game was objectively cool. That the Blackout Game remains the last real late-season triumph the White Sox have experienced in 15 years is lame.

That’s what makes me just a little bit itchy about the White Sox bringing back the call for all black when the White Sox host Game 3 of the ALDS. Maybe that, and the press release failing to conjure up the spontaneous feel of the last one.

CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox invite fans to wear black throughout all October at Guaranteed Rate Field, showing their support for the team during the postseason and joining in the “Change the Game October” fun.

“One hit, pitch, play – any moment – can literally ‘Change the Game’ on the field, and we know the energy of our fans can be a game changer. That’s why we are calling on White Sox fans everywhere to show their Sox pride by wearing black throughout the postseason,” said Brooks Boyer, White Sox chief revenue and marketing officer. “Just as we saw with the ‘Blackout game’ in 2008, 40,000 White Sox fans standing strong in our team’s color is a sight to behold. We’re ready to show the 26 guys in our dugout that Chicago is for them.”

As part of “Change the Game October,” the White Sox will distribute 40,000 black “Change the Game” rally towels, presented by Beggars Pizza and Xfinity, at the first American League Division Series (ALDS) game at Guaranteed Rate Field.

While everybody remembers Game 163, the White Sox went back to the well in the 2008 ALDS, which featured a scrappy Game 3 win and a sleepy Game 4 loss. The unremarkability of the series despite what was a remarkable look from the crowd gives me a reflexive “nothing gold can stay” feel about dusting off the blackout scheme. It’s a rave when the team shows up. When it doesn’t, it casts a funereal pall over the proceedings.

That said, I went back to revisit the blackout aspect of the 2008 ALDS, particularly the White Sox’s Game 3 victory, and watch the three-run fourth inning that gave the Sox all the runs they needed in the lone victory. There are slow-developing innings, and then there are innings where the White Sox load the bases with Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Ken Griffey Jr., but it pays off.

After the game, Evan Longoria made a special note of the environment.

With the capacity crowd of 40,142 yelling and waving towels, Jenks struck out Carlos Peña looking for the final out.

“I loved it,” left fielder DeWayne Wise said of the crowd. “It gave me a lot of energy. I fed off the energy, and a lot of the guys did, too.”

Even Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria said he found the scene compelling.

“I’ve never been part of anything like that,” he said, “and it definitely is a little bit tougher to focus when you’ve got 35,000 fans, or however many they’ve got here, waving those towels. It was fun.”

Also, Longoria said: “I’m sure Ozzie, once he sensed a little bit of that crowd’s energy and the guys hitting the ball in certain situations, he put the pedal to the metal and kind of put the pressure on us. I expected it.”

I’d note that Longoria was a rookie two days away from his 23rd birthday and playing in his first-ever postseason game on the road, so he didn’t have a voluminous catalog of experiences for purposes of comparison. The Rays jumped on Gavin Floyd for a 4-0 lead through 3½ innings in Game 4, so it seems like they recovered well enough from the aura.

Lest I sound like the fun police, it’s more that I have an aversion to easy nostalgia, especially when it comes to a 120-year-old entity without a golden age. The White Sox have had a glory day here and there, but the subsequent lack of momentum-building experiences makes it too easy to milk those rare triumphs dry.

That said, an entire generation of fans wasn’t around, aware or locked in to the White Sox enough to really enjoy the couple times they did it 13 years ago, and when everybody’s wearing dark clothing and throwing around towels that make it look like a bat infestation was disturbed, it creates a scene that’s utterly unfamiliar in baseball. If the Sox can somehow make a deep run, it’d be a signature that other properties would want to emulate, just like they do with the standard Sox logo and the Batterman doubleknits.

There are more important reasons why the Sox need to capitalize on this opportunity with at least one series victory, but the Sox have aced most of their style decisions over the last decade and change. Now’s the time for some substance to make everything play up.

(Photo by Jeff Dahl)

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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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Right Size Wrong Shape

I’m all in for this. It looks cool and it’s unique to the White Sox (at least this particular color, as far as I know).

spacemanbob

I think the blackout worked best for game 163 partially because it was at night. Doing a blackout at 3PM doesn’t have the same effect for me…

joe blow

Blackout seems like high school junk to me, manufactured excitement….

Root Cause

Bring back the Southside jerseys for the playoffs.

As Cirensica

THIS. I really like those. They carry the “this is the end of tanking” spirit. The Blackout thing evoques a past when we are building a new brighter future.

texag10

Seems pretty presumptuous to say “Game 3 of the ALDS”. Nothing has been settled yet.

joewho112

Huh?

As Cirensica

A nuclear war can happen.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

I hope if one does, that it comes after the playoffs. If the timing is bad, that would really suck!

texag10

That’s what makes me just a little bit itchy about the White Sox bringing back the call for all black when the White Sox host Game 3 of the ALDS

This implies that we are going to host Game 3 of the ALDS when seeding hasn’t even been determined yet outside of Tampa being the 1 and us being either 2 or 3.

Last edited 10 months ago by texag10
jhomeslice

Houston’s magic number to clinch the 2 seed is 2. They have 5 games left and the Sox 4. I’ll go out on a limb and say they will get it to zero.

They won 5 of 7 against us, that’s the difference right there.

HallofFrank

To be fair to , if the Sox lead over Cleveland was 3.5 games with 5 to play we’d all be nervous as hell.

texag10

Not dead yet.

burning-phoneix

They have 4 games and the number is still 2. They face the Rays and the Athletics (who swept them last series). There’s an outside shot at the 2 seed here.

dat gummit

Huh?

Josh Nelson

National League postseason is off to a wild start.

Willardmarshall
GrinnellSteve

How would you like to be Williams facing his teammates today?

In 1982 I think the Brewers would have beaten the Cardinals if Fingers hadn’t gotten hurt.

As Cirensica

I just can’t believe how pitchers (and players) keep punching walls. Walls always win. Stop it. Huge blow for the Brewers

Last edited 10 months ago by As Cirensica
As Cirensica

Josh beat me by 1 minute

jhomeslice

Walls always seem to win in tennis also.

CaptainEuphemism
jhomeslice

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a huge fan of Mitch and remembered his bit. Such a funny dude, some of the most inventive one liners ever.

As Cirensica

“Every book is a children’s book if the kid can read.”

Love that one

Joliet Orange Sox

It’s a bit disheartening how much of my life I’ve spent following “a 120-year-old entity without a golden age.”

As Cirensica

You are currently living in it.

Joliet Orange Sox

I really really hope you are right. I have clear memories of all the years starting with the switch to the red pinstripes and murky memories from a few years before that. I’ve seen the Sox seem to be ready for a sustained run of success before without it happening. Even if this is not a golden age, I’ve enjoyed watching two winning seasons in a row.

Root Cause

Following Frank Thomas at Auburn (Football) and Robin’s hitting streak in Oklahoma? led me to becoming a Whitesox fan. They showed up at roughly the same time. Pitching was decent (Black Jack McDowell) and it looked like a good trend was taking place in the early 90’s. Then the short season due to a strike just killed it. I am sure I am missing some details but that is a rough overview as to how I remember being so close only to watch it fall apart. A dozen years later, 2005 magically happened. I refused to believe it when as it happened. I hope people are smarter on both sides of the table and play continues next season.

#3 for HOF

The teams from 2000 to 2006 probably had the best run of any Sox team of our generation. They did not have a lot of playoff success outside of 2005, but they were generally competitive each year.

asinwreck

These Sox will rise…..again?

CaptainEuphemism

I just saw that Anderson received a 3 game suspension, but is appealing it. Not sure what timing will be, but it would suck if he misses any of the playoffs.
https://www.mlb.com/news/tim-anderson-suspended-3-regular-season-games

snoopy369

He won’t be suspended any part of the playoffs, they’ll hear the appeal before the last series of the season. I believe even if it did go past that, it wouldn’t be assessed during the playoffs – they (rightly) don’t consider the playoffs the same as regular season games.

soxexile

Now that you mention it, the fact that this team hasn’t found a slogan or a theme song seems odd.

phillyd

Desastre Personal?

MrTopaz

I was at game 163. I can’t remember the towels, though. I know I had one (since lost), but I don’t have any memories of them waving around, or anything. I do remember how spontaneous it felt. One of the few times in my life I was ever swept up in a word of mouth campaign, and then the team did a press release. I stopped off at the sports gear section in the section of the downtown Marshall Fields and got the sort of fleecy zip-up I usually associated with goombas, but I rolled with it. If this post season’s black outs have half the energy of game 163, I’ll be very excited.