Alright ladies, sovaldi this Monday at 3:10 pm the south siders return to action. The Chicago White Sox open the 2014 season at US Cellular Field against the Minnesota Twins. This year can be considered The Year of Redemption, The Paulie Farewell Tour, Let’s Make a Deal or The Youth Takeover; but none of those subplots matter to this team.
The White Sox are only worried about winning baseball games, clinching their division and making noise in the playoffs. That may be wishful thinking but the fans can’t get much lower than last year’s 99 losses, so they want to see a competitive team that will develop talent, win games, make the smart play and give them something to cheer about all summer long.
As I said there are some fresh faces mixed in with some of our returning favorites. Let’s meet the team:
Starting Pitchers: Chris Sale-Opening Day Starter, Felipe Paulino, Jose Quintana, Erik Johnson and John Danks
Bullpen: Matt Lindstrom, Scott Downs, Ronald Bellisario, Nate Jones, Daniel Webb, Maikel Cleto and Donnie Veal
Infielders: Paul Konerko-1B/DH, Jose Abreu-1B, Marcus Semien-2B, Alexei Raqmirez-SS, Conor Gillaspie-3B, Leury Garcia-IF, Tyler Flowers-C and Adrian Nieto-C
Outfielders: Adam Eaton-CF, Avisail Garcia-RF, Dayan Viciedo-LF and Alejandro De Aza-OF
DH: Adam Dunn
*Gordon Beckham and Jeff Keppinger will start the season on the disabled list.*
The White Sox are going through a semi-rebuilding period with 17 players on their 40-man roster the age of 25 or younger and five of their players starting on opening day for the first time.
The veteran and undisputed leader of the team Paul Konerko declined to start opening day because as he said it goes against the plan. He will be a part-time player and full-time mentor to Jose Abreu and the other young players. The White Sox will look to get back to winning consistently by infusing youth on the team.
The young players are not the only thing new at the Cell; there is also new food, beer and attractions to enhance the fan experience.
Food: The 100/500 Levels will serve pork chop sandwiches, adobe mango chicken sausages, Beggars pizza and bacon on a stick. The 300 Club Level/Diamond Suite and Stadium Club will serve bacon macaroni and cheeseburger, chicken and waffle sandwich, cinnamon bites and 3 pound banana split sundae in a helmet. The Xfinity Zone will serve made to order sandwiches.
Beer: New premium craft beer like: Revolution Anti-Hero IPA, Lagunitas IPA, MillerCoors Smith & Forge Hard Cider, Miller Fortune Veteran Beer Company, Blonde Bomber Ale and Bell’s Two Hearted Ale will be served.
At The Park: Oversized Foam Heads of the White Sox TV and radio announcers will race at every Sunday home game. Section 154 is now the K-Zone for Chris Sale; every fan will be equipped with a K-card and can pick up a t-shirt. The Technology center will feature flat screen monitors playing other sporting events, social media center and charging station
There are still tickets available and it looks like the weather will cooperate to make for a great day of baseball celebration. Gina Glockson from American Idol will sing the national anthem and US Olympic bobsled bronze medalist and native south sider Aja Evans will throw out the first pitch. So, take a day off from work and get to the Cell to see the new and improved 2014 Chicago White Sox.