Rain Or Shine, New Things In Store For White Sox On Opening Day

CHICAGO (CBS) — The South Side will come alive today with the sounds of a new baseball season as the White Sox open their season at home against the Tigers.

With rain in the forecast, the big question is whether they’ll get the game in Monday afternoon, although groundskeeper Roger Bossard said the plan is to play.

“We actually think we’re going to be able to get it in,” he said.

Rick Renteria will be making his debut as manager after replacing Robin Ventura.

With the White Sox in rebuilding mode, there will be several new faces on the team, although fans will have to wait a bit longer for the team’s hot prospects to make it to the majors.

Second baseman Yoan Moncada and pitchers Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez – who were just part of the haul from the trades of former White Sox stars Chris Sale and Adam Eaton – will start their seasons in the minors, though most of them could get called up to the majors before the season ends.

Speedy outfielder Charlie Tilson had been expected to compete for the starting center fielder job but suffered a foot injury in spring training and will start the season on the disabled list. Tilson was acquired at the trade deadline last July when the White Sox traded reliever Zach Duke to the Cardinals.

Todd Frazier, Jose Quintana, and Jose Abreu are just a few of the veteran holdovers remaining after the Sox started their rebuild last fall, but all could be dealt by the trade deadline this summer.

Quintana – considered the most likely player to be traded before the year is out – was focused on making the first Opening Day start of his career, rather than worrying about what the future holds.

“It’s special, special for me. Never been on the mound for Opening Day, so I’m excited, man,” he said. “I can’t wait, and it’s cool.”

The team on the field isn’t the only new thing at the ballpark for the White Sox. In addition to a new name for the stadium — Guaranteed Rate Field — there will be some new surprises in store for the fans when they get to the South Side.

“We do have a couple of new things, but I’m not going to tell you what’s what just yet, because it’s a surprise,” Pride Crew captain David Shaw said. “You have to come to the game to find out.”

Guaranteed to be at Guaranteed Rate Field: free swag.

Giveaways this year include a Hawk Harrelson alarm clock, which will wake up fans with the longtime broadcaster’s famous catchphrases. Other promotional items this year include winter hats, sweatshirts, T-shirts, team caps and baseball cards.

Fans also will find plenty of new grub at the concessions stands, including “The Heater,” a Johnsonville jalapeño cheddar sausage, as well as mini doughnuts and Wok Off noodles and rice.

Chicago White Sox Charities also is celebrating its 26th anniversary with vintage game tickets for premium season-ticket holders, along with the usual scoreboard messages and Sox Split 50/50 raffles at each game. Season-ticket holders won’t be the only ones who can get their hands on the vintage tickets.

“The response to it was so amazing when we first talked about how we were creating these, that we decided for White Sox Charities, what we’re going to do is create card stocks for them,” executive director Christine O’Reilly said. “We’ll have three different sets. Each set will have 27 cards. We cover every day of the season, and we’re going to sell them to benefit White Sox Charities. We’re creating them into a card set as an opportunity for people to get all 81. So we’re excited about it. We think fans are going to be excited, and it’s a great way to raise some money for White Sox Charities.”

Details of that sale will be announced during White Sox Serve Week in June.

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