The 'U.S. Cellular' Field name stays for now

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The 'U.S. Cellular' Field name stays for now

The news that broke early Wednesday morning that U.S. Cellular was selling some of its business units to SprintNextel, and exiting the Chicago market could have a major impact on the Chicago sports landscape as the company has been a significant advertising presence with some of Chicago's professional sports teams.
Their most visible sponsorship and advertising deal is the naming rights deal that they signed in 2003 to rename the new Comiskey Park "U.S. Cellular Field" for 68 million over 20 years. The agreement pays the White Sox 3.4 million per season for the stadium's name, and also includes an agreement to purchase significant advertising with the White Sox each season as a corporate sponsor.
U.S. Cellular released a statement this morning that the White Sox posted on their official Twitter account saying naming rights will not be changed for now.
"At @USCellular, we are proud of our partnership w the WhiteSox and the experience fans have at U.S. Cellular Field. Our naming rights to the ballpark are not part of this deal with Sprint...The WhiteSox are a great partner & we look forward to continuing our relationship with them."
Sources in the telecom industry told me this morning that they expect to see some or all of the U.S. Cellular phone stores gone from the market and a major push to further establish the SprintNextel name in the Chicago area.
"They already have customers here and they already have a brand here, so by expanding their name here they will greatly increase their footprint in the market. They already have an arena naming rights deal in Kansas City with the Sprint Center Arena so this would make sense to increase their brand awareness in the Chicago area," said Jon Greenberg, the editor of the well-respected Team Marketing Report.
While news of the U.S. Cellular sale to Sprint for 480 million broke this morning, it is not expected to be officially completed until the middle of 2013 and does not include naming rights for the ballpark for now.

Last-place White Sox ready to trade, but only if the right offer arises

Last-place White Sox ready to trade, but only if the right offer arises

That the White Sox lost their fourth consecutive game doesn’t change the big picture plans of the franchise, which probably — but not definitely — will involve making at least one trade before the end of July.

Before the White Sox lost, 6-5, to the New York Yankees Monday at Guaranteed Rate Field, general manager Rick Hahn met with the media and delivered the same message he’s had since trading away Chris Sale and Adam Eaton in December. The White Sox are open for business, and would like to make a number of moves to further bolster their farm system, but won’t make a trade if they don’t receive what they view to be a fair return.

“Would I be surprised (if we didn’t make a trade)? No, because I try not to be surprised by the dynamics of this market,” Hahn said. “Would I be mildly disappointed? Sure. We are here to try to improve this club.

“We feel we have certain first and desirable players that would help other clubs and may fit better on their competitive windows then they do on ours right now. And we intend to be active each day in trying to further accomplish what we set out to do a year ago at this time.

“But do we have to do it? No. That would be using an artificial spot on the calendar to force decision-making. That would be the last thing we need to do. We need to take a long term view of what we are trying to accomplish.”

Hahn didn’t name names, but Todd Frazier, Melky Cabrera, David Robertson could be short-term fixes for contending clubs. Jose Quintana, who will start Tuesday against the Yankees, remains the team’s most valuable trade chip despite a 4.69 ERA that sits over run higher than his career average.

Frazier homered Monday and entered the game hitting .262/.351/.524 since Memorial Day. Cabrera similarly has found success after a slow start, slashing a healthy .324/.375/.482 in his previous 34 games before picking up two hits in four at-bats Monday. And Robertson, who’s been linked to the relief-starved Washington Nationals for months, has 41 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings with 11 saves.

“We want to be able to do as much as we can in our power to get this team to where it needs to be,” Hahn said. “Yes, there’s an element of competitiveness involved in that. There’s an element of patience involved in that. But at the end of the day, we have to — we get paid to be prudent in our decision making. We have to make the right decision.”

In the meantime, the White Sox looked the part of a rebuilding team with the worst record in the American League on Monday. Starter David Holmberg struggled, allowing six runs on five hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings — but only two of those runs were earned thanks to errors by Holmberg, Frazier and Matt Davidson.

As the Yankees took advantage of those miscues with three runs in both the fourth and sixth innings, Jordan Montgomery retired nine consecutive White Sox batters and went on to cruise with eight strikeouts over seven innings. The White Sox – as they’ve done quite a bit this year – still showed fight late, battling back in the ninth inning.

Tim Anderson ripped a three-run home run in the ninth inning off Yankees left-hander Chasen Shreve to bring the White Sox within two. Joe Girardi quickly turned to Aroldis Chapman, who allowed a run when Jose Abreu doubled home Melky Cabrera. But the tying run was stranded on second when Avisail Garcia grounded out and Frazier flew out to end the game.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Top pick Jake Burger can't wait to someday take a bite out of Chicago; When will Sox trades begin?

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Top pick Jake Burger can't wait to someday take a bite out of Chicago; When will Sox trades begin?

After taking batting practice for the first time with the White Sox, number-one pick Jake Burger sat down with Chuck Garfien to talk about getting drafted by his favorite team, what it was like getting a phone call from Paul Konerko, why he wants to be a leader like Jonathan Toews, playing on Team USA with Seth Beer and more.  

Then CSN's Dan Hayes joins Garfien to discuss the return of Carlos Rodon, when the White Sox might start making trades, and Rick Renteria's short temper with umpires.   

Listen here to ketchup with top prospect Jake Burger: