Showing posts with label Ed Farmer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ed Farmer. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The White Sox have a new radio home: WGN

It is always a good day when pitchers and catchers report to spring training, but there was additional good news Wednesday for the White Sox and their fans.

WGN-AM 720 has been named the new radio flagship of the Sox. Financial terms were not disclosed, but it is a multiyear deal, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson will remain as the team's radio broadcast pairing. WGN will carry a weekly year-round program showcasing the team, in addition to all Sox regular-season and postseason games, a pregame and postgame show and some spring training games, the Tribune report said.

This is delightful news. The Sox were about to enter into the third year of a six-year agreement with WLS-AM 890, and that deal was not working out.

A U.S. bankruptcy judge put the Sox's rights up for grabs earlier this month at the request of WLS's parent company, Cumulus Media. Cumulus asked the judge to nullify several "extremely unprofitable contracts," including those with both the Chicago Bulls and the Sox.

The judge's decision led the Bulls to jump to WSCR-AM 670, and now the Sox are on the move as well.

The South Siders will be on a much more powerful station, a station with a wider audience, and it's my belief WGN will do its part to grow fan interest in White Sox baseball.

Most people who know me are aware the Sox are my favorite pro sports team, but the Chicago Blackhawks are a close second. And I can tell you that WGN's coverage of the Hawks is quite good and far more extensive than anything WLS was doing for the Sox.

Case in point: I attended a Hawks game last month at the United Center. After the game, I tuned into WGN for the postgame, and the postgame show still was on when we arrived at my girlfriend's house in Arlington Heights, about an hour's drive later. The coverage was thorough and extensive.

In contrast, when I turn on the Sox postgame after leaving Guaranteed Rate Field, the coverage lasts maybe 15 minutes. Sometimes, the Sox coverage on WLS is over before I even get out of the Bridgeport neighborhood. There's no postgame reaction, no calls, no highlights from around the league, nothing. It's like WLS can't wait to get back to the political talk, and when that stuff comes on, it's a cue for me to change the station.

I'm very happy to hear of this change. I think it's a good move for the Sox organization over the long haul, and I look forward to listening to the postgame coverage on WGN when driving home from Guaranteed Rate Field this season.

Monday, May 4, 2015

It may be early May, but it's getting late for the White Sox

The White Sox embarrassed themselves over the weekend.

The Minnesota Twins, who were picked to finish last in the AL Central by everyone, outscored the Sox 31-8 over four games and swept the series.

The Sox committed four errors in Sunday's 13-3 loss, and there could have easily been five or six errors charged had it not been for some hometown-friendly scorekeeping in Minnesota.

Let's credit Sox radio broadcaster Ed Farmer, who said on air Sunday, "This has been the worse exhibition of people playing baseball that I've seen in my 20 years in the booth."

I'm not a big fan of Farmer's work, but I applaud him for being the only person associated with the White Sox willing to tell it like it is. The team is in disarray, and they deserved to be criticized.

Contrast that with the TV booth, where Ken Harrelson continues to insist the Sox "are a good team playing bad baseball."

Hearing such nonsense only adds to the frustration of fans, who have seen no evidence the Sox are "a good team." The South Siders lost 99 games in 2013; they lost 89 games in 2014; and this season has looked like an extension of that misery to this point. Sorry, Hawk, but there is no track record of success here for the organization or the fans to fall back upon.

The Sox have stunk for more than two years, and they will be considered a bad team until they prove otherwise. There comes a point where you cross the line from being "in a slump" to just being a bad team doing the things that bad teams do. Right now, I'd say the Sox are getting very close to being written off as another bad team.

After Monday's off day, they welcome the first-place Detroit Tigers for a three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Tigers are seven games ahead of the last-place Sox entering Monday's play, so a Detroit sweep would leave Chicago 10 games out and gasping for air. The Sox have to respond right now, and believe it or not, they are catching a break with the pitching matchups for this series:

Tuesday: Jeff Samardzija vs. Shane Greene
Wednesday: Chris Sale vs. Alfredo Simon
Thursday: Jose Quintana vs. Kyle Lobstein

The Sox are sending their three best starters to the mound, while the Tigers will pitch the back end of their rotation. The Sox will not see Detroit ace David Price, nor will they see No. 2 starter Anibal Sanchez. Justin Verlander remains on the DL.

This is set up for the Sox to right the ship and get a series win. They better, or the fan base might jump off the wagon entirely. There isn't much time left for excuses. Results need to improve immediately.