White Sox

U.S. Cellular Field to become Guaranteed Rate Field after 2016 season

U.S. Cellular Field to become Guaranteed Rate Field after 2016 season

Guarantee you’ve heard about the impending name change for the White Sox’ ballpark.

The White Sox on Wednesday announced a new naming rights deal for the ballpark at 35th and Shields, which starting Nov. 1 will be called Guaranteed Rate Field through at least 2029.

Financial terms of the deal with the Chicago-based retail mortgage lender weren’t disclosed. But the opportunity was good enough for the White Sox to make concessions on their deal with the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority and end a 20-year partnership with U.S. Cellular Field before it had expired. The park has been named U.S. Cellular Field since the club and the regional phone carrier, which no longer services Chicago, reached a 20-year, $68-million accord in 2003.

Noting that revenue beyond expenses goes directly to the roster, White Sox senior vice president of sales and marketing Brooks Boyer was “thrilled” with a 13-year deal that includes a team option for 2030.

“This is a nice step today toward continuing to fulfill the vision of putting the best possible club out on the field that can be out there for our fans,” Boyer said.

While U.S. Cellular has kept its headquarters in Chicago, Boyer said the company hasn’t done local business since 2013. The White Sox hoped to find a business with local roots and “put out some feelers,” Boyer said.

Boyer said one of his first calls was placed to Guaranteed Rate and it immediately felt like a good fit.

“It moved relatively quickly and it moved quietly, which was appreciated, and there were multiple companies that were interested in securing these naming rights,” Boyer said. “The nice part is we didn’t have to cast a long net.”

The name change garnered a lot of attention on social media.

One question prominently asked by fans is what the park’s nickname might be.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Many have shortened U.S. Cellular Field to The Cell over the years.

Manager Robin Ventura said he occasionally still calls it Comiskey Park, the park’s original name from 1991-2002. Boyer and Guaranteed Rate CEO Victor Ciardelli said they’d let fans determine the park’s nickname “organically.”

Ventura is hopeful the deal can benefit the team’s 25-man roster.

“That’s the idea,” Ventura said. “You see stadiums do that a lot. I don’t remember who was the first one to do it. But with that stuff, you’re looking to use it and use it effectively and use it to improve.”

The IFSA, which owns and operates the park, approved the name change at its board meeting on Wednesday afternoon. IFSA chairman Manny Sanchez said the deal could generate up to $6.4 million of revenue for the facility.

Saturday's White Sox-Tigers game postponed due to rain; makeup scheduled for August

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USA TODAY

Saturday's White Sox-Tigers game postponed due to rain; makeup scheduled for August

The White Sox and Tigers were likely to start Saturday's game (12:10 p.m. CT) in a rain delay. Instead, the game has been pushed back altogether.

With rain expected all afternoon in Detroit, Saturday's game has been postponed. A makeup is scheduled for Aug. 6 at 12:10 p.m. as part of a split doubleheader. The originally scheduled game will start at 6:10 p.m. CT.

According to a press release, all paid tickets from Saturday's game will be valid for the first game of the doubleheader.

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A deeper look at why Yoan Moncada is off to a hot start this season

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USA TODAY

A deeper look at why Yoan Moncada is off to a hot start this season

Yoan Moncada continued his hot start to the season with a leadoff home run in Detroit on Friday.

He finished with two hits and a bases-loaded walk in a 7-3 White Sox win.

Moncada’s base numbers are all up this season. He is hitting .325 with a 1.002 OPS and a team-leading six home runs. Beyond that, a deeper look at the numbers show why Moncada’s production is up.

Moncada didn’t show much, if any, improvement in 2018 from 2017. Most of his numbers across the board were similar or slightly worse.

Moncada was patient at the plate, but maybe too patient in his first two seasons with the White Sox. He led the majors with 217 strikeouts last season and 85 of those were strikeouts looking. So far this season, Moncada is yet to strikeout looking.

This season, Moncada is swinging at more pitches both in the strike zone and overall, which is leading to a lower strikeout rate. A look at the advanced stats from FanGraphs shows Moncada swung at 63.9 percent of pitches in the zone in both 2017 and 2018 (these numbers are before Friday's game). That number is up to 69.1 percent this season. On top of that, Moncada is making more contact on those swings on pitches in the zone (up to 86.5 percent this season after 77.5 percent in 2017 and 79.8 percent in 2018).

His strikeout rate (32 percent in 2017, 33.4 percent in 2018) is way down at 24.1 percent. Strikeouts were the biggest red flag for Moncada last year. By being more aggressive this season, Moncada has been able to cut way down on that number.

His power has gone way up as well. He already has 12 extra base hits (in 82 plate appearances) and his home run on Friday was an absolute bomb. Moncada took it deep for 458 feet. That’s the longest White Sox home run of the season and is tied for the eighth longest home run in the majors this season.


He later showed that despite being more aggressive, he still has that plate discipline that was such a big part of what made him a coveted prospect in the first place. He drew a five-pitch bases loaded walk in which he did not swing the bat.

No matter how it's happening, Moncada’s turnaround has been one of the most important things in the young White Sox season.

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