Sunday, September 11, 2011
Home games continue to haunt White Sox
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- At least the Chicago White Sox have eight more road games to feel right at home.
When it comes to playing in their own ballpark, the White Sox look like complete strangers. There is no luck, little success and a whole lot of disappointment.
The latest home defeat for the White Sox came Sunday in a 7-3 decision that got away from them late. It dropped them to 33-39 at U.S. Cellular Field.
“We’re a very bad team with the white uniform,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I don’t know why. I don’t know the differential in runs scored.”
Sox manager Ozzie Guillen hands a young fan a baseball during the third inning on Sunday.
The home/road difference is noticeable but isn’t that drastic, actually. The White Sox have scored 286 runs in 74 home games and 301 runs in 73 road games. But in a ballpark that plays small in the summer, and with a lineup that was expected to hit for power, those numbers should have been drastically different.
“This supposed to be a pretty good hitting ballpark and we’re not taking advantage of that,” Guillen said. “The weather has been good here. We can’t say it’s the weather. It’s been a struggle at home.”
The only reason the White Sox aren’t side-by-side with the Twins for worst record in the American League was because they had won six of their last eight at home heading into play Sunday and nine of their last 14.
The White Sox do have nine more home games to attempt to forge a winning record in their own ballpark. Only once since 2000 have the White Sox finished with a losing record at home and that was in 2007 when they went 38-43.
This was a season in which home success was key. The White Sox were counting on big crowds to support a $127 million payroll. They have only drawn 1,798,553 fans this season for an average of 24,305, which means they will barely squeak past the two-million mark.
In spring training, chairman Jerry Reinsdorf targeted an average attendance of 33,000 in order for the White Sox to not lose money this season.