Since their red-hot start on the road, the White Sox have returned to level with a less than stellar opening homestand. It took a late Matt Davidson home run to avoid back-to-back sweeps at the hands of the woeful Tigers and Rays.
With all of the energy and excitement surrounding this team to open the season, the last few weeks have been a reality check. They still has a long way to go.
Regardless, we’re not paying attention to games right now. They’re pretty much meaningless compared to individual development and results at the minor league level.
During these past few series a lot has been made locally and nationally about the sparse crowds showing up to Guaranteed Rate Field. Of course, the Sox have often been targets for attendance jokes. This is nothing new or original. It’s the first place Cubs fans go when they’re looking to make a cheap dig at the White Sox and their fans.
An article from Bleacher Report said that only 974 fans attended the Sox second game against the Rays. The screenshot above shows how thin the crowd was that day. So of course people grab onto that image and hideously low number, and then swoop in for quick drive-by jokes.
The problem with all of this is that context matters. It’s easy to sit back and laugh at 974 fans showing up to a game when you leave out the key factor: that it was a Tuesday afternoon and was roughly 30 degrees outside.
It’s absurd to think that fans would pay hard earned money to sit in the bitter cold for three hours to watch a bad baseball team play another really bad baseball team.
This isn’t that hard to comprehend.
But of course you have people like Cubs fan “DOM Frederic” and other Twitter trolls come in with jokes that hold absolutely no water just to get Sox fans riled up.
We get it, the Cubs are the cool kids right now. We get it, Sox fans don’t show up when the team isn’t perenially competitive.
It’s a tired and overused argument that continues to wear itself thin.
But I think we as Sox fans also need to take some ownership of it ourselves. Go to as many games as possible, support this team, support the franchise, support this rebuild through your voice and your physical decision to show up and take part in White Sox baseball. It’s on us to build a culture.
As dumb and baseless as they are, the easiest way to end these jokes? Show up.
Despite their irrelevance in the grand scheme of things, as a Sox fan those jokes do get under my skin. I’ll admit it. I don’t like seeing my team and fellow fans get slandered over and over again. Because I know the true passion that resides in this fanbase. I know that fans are going to show up in droves once this team is fun and winning.
I just also know that there’s no reason to expect them to show up during a game in April that’s below freezing.