I went to the White Sox game against Tampa Bay last Thursday night with the three Daily Herald readers who won our email contest -- Jim Bowe, Mark Baumbach and Debbie Kaminski.
It wasn't a huge crowd at U.S. Cellular Field, but the fans there were enthusiastic and really into the action.
We left Park Ridge at 5:30 and got to the park easily by 6:15. The light crowd made traffic a non-issue, which for us was pretty nice.
Jim suggested we go to the Bacardi Club located across the street from the stadium and he says it has been a great addition to the park. Mark loved the amenities and was impressed the ballpark was so clean. Debbie, a die-hard Sox fan, said she had as much fun with our crew and commented it was the best night-game experience she had in years.
The expansive food selections and beer are all conveniently available, and the prices seemed reasonable except a beer at $7.75 seemed a bit steep. And while it might sound a little gross, the nachos served in a batting helmet could probably feed 12 people.
Jim doesn't see the White Sox selling out consistently (barring a championship run again) because of the location and surroundings. Mark thought there wasn't enough electricity in the park, but felt the camaraderie developed during the game made everyone friends by the end.
And even though the crowd was small, Debbie felt the excitement of "Sox Pride" and loved the fireworks.
Once some of the fans knew I was there I heard some gripes, everything from letting A.J. Pierzynski go, to how poorly Adam Dunn was playing, to criticism of the broadcast teams.
But really, those are just opinions. Personally, I had a gas and it was smooth from beginning to end.
Thanks to my buddy Cory Torf, who snapped our picture, and to the three readers, Jim, Mark and Debbie, once again. Our assessment: just go out to the ballpark, and have some fun.
Love Da Bulls:
The current Chicago Bulls team reminds me a little of the Detroit Pistons, who won the NBA championship in 2004 with good players but no real superstars.
Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince got it done in the motor city, and this Bulls team has the same type of personality and heart with grinders such as Joakim Noah, Kirk Hinrich, and Taj Gibson.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau has done an amazing job of coaching this injury-riddled squad through the turbulent waters of the Derrick Rose situation. Almost any other team would be airing their dirty laundry in public, but the Bulls players and organization have managed to keep it everything in house.
Kudos to them, because that isn't easy to sustain.
No matter what happens to the Bulls in the playoffs, they have given us our money's worth this season, and Nate Robinson is a beast.
You just have to love this team. Go Bulls!
• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.