In what has become an annual exercise since 2007, when the attendance started declining, the White Sox are getting bashed from all sides thanks to thousands of empty seats at U.S. Cellular Field during day games against the Twins on Wednesday and Thursday.
A "paid" crowd of 10,625 was announced Wednesday and 11,056 Thursday, although only a few thousand fans seemed to be in the seats for each game.
"I have no idea," catcher Tyler Flowers said. "I really don't notice it. Just stay focused on the job you have and do the best you can that day. I'm sure you can ask (sales and marketing director) Brooks (Boyer). He probably has some good responses on that."
Last week, Boyer said that Sox have a lot to prove to their fans after losing 99 games last season. And in fairness, the weather was cold Wednesday and rainy and cold Thursday.
To make amends for the latter game, the White Sox are offering a complimentary ticket to any April game at that Cell to any fan who held a ticket. The offer is good whether the fan attended Thursday's game or was kept away by the weather.
Thursday's ticket can be redeemed for a lower box, lower corner, outfield reserved, bleacher, upper box, upper reserved or upper corner game ticket in April at the U.S. Cellular Field ticket office.
Upon further review:
Major-league baseball has expanded instant replay this season, and it's clearly been an unpopular move during opening week.
Across the major leagues, the reviews have dragged on to the dismay of the fans in the stands, and the final calls on some reviews have screamed out for additional review.
There is going to be an adjustment period, as evidenced by Wednesday's White Sox-Twins game. In the seventh inning, Sox center fielder Adam Eaton appeared to catch a routine fly off the bat of Minnesota's Oswaldo Arcia, but he dropped the ball after taking it out of his glove.
Arcia was awarded first base on Eaton's error, and Trevor Plouffe was awarded second even though he headed back to first base when Eaton camped under Arcia's flyball.
Had Eaton simply thrown to second base after "dropping" the ball, Plouffe would have been out.
"You're always going to have to finish the play and that's going to be new for a lot of players on how they react when something like that happens," manager Robin Ventura said. "You just have to finish it, you have to act like you didn't catch it, which is unusual, and it will be different for the players from here on out. Your natural reaction is you go with how the call is because that's how everybody grew up. It's just changed.
"You have to get used to it and they have to change their mindset on how they react to those situations. We talked about it, but it's like telling your kids something. They might not believe it until they actually see it or go through it."
Around the horn:
Second baseman Gordon Beckham (left oblique strain) started a rehab assignment with Class AA Birmingham on Thursday night. ... Tyler Flowers established a career-high with 4 hits Thursday. ... Paul Konerko pinch-hit again Thursday and grounded out on the first pitch he saw. On Wednesday, Konerko swung at the first pitch and singled.