Bringing Soxy back

March 31, 2013|By Soxman | For RedEye

There is something about White Sox opening day each year that leaves me in complete Soxtasy, a made-up word in Soxman's dictionary used to describe the sense of anticipation, elation and renewed proclamation of undying loyalty to the team I love.

Anticipation in knowing that the first snap of Chris Sale's fastball, swing (or swing and miss) by Adam Dunn or put-out by Tyler Flowers forecasts what Sox fans can expect to see over the 161 games that follow.

Anticipation over seeing what's new at U.S. Cellular Field teases my imagination while putting my salivary glands into overdrive. Unlike certain other ballparks that need an act of Congress to add a macaroni noodle at its entrance, the Cell continues to pack on creative changes (and to offer fans options to pack on the pounds).

Numbers of retired players now appear in a manner more traditional to the game, being relocated from the outfield wall to the façade of the Cell's Stadium Club.

The food? The new Comiskey Burger, a hot dog paired into a cheeseburger, Bull's BBQ sweet pulled pork sandwich or my favorite Walking Taco-Fritos, nacho cheese and chili, surely will prove to be kryptonite in maintaining my chiseled (foam rubber) physique.

Elation in seeing the last member of the 2005 World Series champs, Paul Konerko, at first base. Even if 2013 proves to be his farewell tour, the adrenaline that runs through you as a packed house chants "Paulie, Paulie" creates a synergy among fans of all ages.

Elation over additions to the roster. The versatile Jeff Keppinger at the hot corner is sure to be a hit (something he also does a lot) with fans of the grinder, scrappy type of player. 29-year-old utility infielder Angel Sanchez had a sizzling spring and will look to prove he belongs in the big leagues while flamethrower Matt Lindstrom adds another power arm with closing experience to the bullpen.

With elation comes some feeling of deflation over the loss of fan favorite and catcher A.J. Pierzynski. But heartbreak is what defines our passionate romance with the game. Remember, Sox fans, there's no better catharsis or way to pay homage to No. 12 than to come out and cheer against him when the Texas Rangers come to town Aug. 23.

And if the weather is as cold as the forecast predicts? I find it fitting. After all, I've always said that White Sox opening day is the die-hard fan's Christmas morning!

Which brings me to my last point, the renewed battle cry to get out to the park and support your team. With more affordable ticket prices, awesome promotions such as a season-long homage to the 1983 Winning Ugly Sox and a team whose hard play, pitching and defense could translate to October baseball, what more could you ask for? Show your pride. Enjoy the ride.

Soxman is a RedEye special contributor.

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