U.S. should have world-class WBC pitching staff

Kaminska will find out this week if the Pirates add him to their 40-man roster or leave him available for the Rule 5 draft, where he might appeal to a pitching-thin team like the Cubs.

Going down: The Wall Street Journal's Jonathan Eig had an interesting column last week in which he wrote how his bill for Cubs season tickets had dropped from $13,315.16 to $13,314.56 after the club's announced decrease in prices. That's 60 cents, although the caveat is that he somehow gets eight more tickets, which led to Eig concluding that the per ticket price actually had dropped by about $2, from $60 to $58.

When Eig met with Colin Faulkner, vice president of ticket sales and service, he was told the team has 115,000 on its waiting list, so he shouldn't drop his tickets just because of a 101-loss season.

"This is not the time to get out,'' Eig quotes Faulkner as saying. "This is the time to double down."

Eig did not order more tickets to be any more in on the ground floor than he already is, but he did renew. The guess here is it was a string of non-renewals that got the White Sox to take a hard look at their ticket pricing. They announced major cuts, with 54 percent of the tickets dropping an average of 26 percent. Outfield reserved seats — in which it's a home run if you catch the ball — dropped 30 percent.

"If you take the so-called good seats, the premier seats, they were the fourth cheapest in all of baseball," White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said last week at the owners meeting near O'Hare. "But then when you got into the lesser-quality seats, they were among the highest in baseball. So what we did was rebalance it. We raised the prices significantly on the inside seats and we've cut the prices substantially on the outside seats just to get where they ought to be."

Don't be surprised if White Sox attendance goes up in 2013 while that of the Cubs continues to decrease.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln … Johnny Damon didn't exactly bring glory to Thailand in the WBC qualifier in Chinese Taipei. He went 3-for-7 in two games representing his mother's heritage, playing first base in one game and designated hitter in the other. Thailand was the first team out, losing 8-2 to the Philippines and 12-2 to New Zealand.

"The experience was amazing. I am glad I get to come represent my mother's country," Damon said. "Hopefully Thailand has a chance to get back (to the WBC). My role is to help out as much as possible."


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