No fans yet, but there will be faces

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN, STAFF REPORTER dvan­schouwen@sun­ | @CST_­sox­van

There might not be fans in the stands dur­ing the pan­demic but there could be faces in the crowd, any­way. Card­board faces, that is.

The White Sox an­nounced a new initiative called FAN­tas­tic Faces, al­low­ing fans to buy a card­board cutout of their like­ness that will be dis­played in empty seats at Guar­an­teed Rate Field dur­ing the team’s open­ing home­s­tand July 24-27 against the Twins.

Sales be­gan Wed­nes­day on the Sox’ web­site. All pro­ceeds go to White Sox Char­i­ties.

A lim­ited sup­ply of FAN­tas­tic Faces are avail­able for $49 apiece. Fans can cre­ate their per­sonal cutout by sub­mit­ting a photo fol­low­ing the guide­lines pro­vided at white­ fan­tas­tic­faces.

The cutouts will be au­then­ti­cated and can be picked up af­ter the se­ries against the Twins.

The Gi­ants and Ath­let­ics also have plans for card­board fans. The Korea Base­ball Or­ga­ni­za­tion was the first to do it.

The state of Illi­nois is al­low­ing lim­ited fan ca­pac­ity at 20% for out­door venues at part of the Phase 4 re­open­ing, but the city of Chicago has yet to ap­prove that. The Sox have ex­plored plans for al­low­ing fans into Guar­an­teed Rate Field at a re­duced ca­pac­ity later this sea­son if city guide­lines al­low it.

Vaughn looks ‘very com­fort­able’ at third

With Yoan Mon­cada ab­sent from camp, pre­sum­ably be­cause of a pos­i­tive coro­n­avirus test, and Ch­es­lor Cuth­bert not yet with the team be­cause of travel is­sues from Nicaragua, the Sox are thin at third base. Op­tions in­clude Danny Men­dick, Leury

Gar­cia and An­drew Romine un­til Mon­cada re­turns. First base­man An­drew Vaughn, who has only one year of mi­nor-league ex­pe­ri­ence, has been tak­ing ground balls at third and played there dur­ing a sim­u­la­tion game Wed­nes­day. Vaughn might not be ready for prime-time ac­tion at cor­ner this sea­son but it’s some­thing to con­sider down the road.

“He’s got re­ally good feet, he has a re­ally good arm and he has all the mak­ings of be­ing able to play that po­si­tion,” man­ager Rick Ren­te­ria said.

“We gave him the op­por­tu­nity and he’s taken too it. It will ex­pand his abil­ity to do many, many things. He looks very com­fort­able.”

No up­date on Kopech

Gen­eral man­ager Rick Hahn said Fri­day there was no time­line on prized right-han­der Michael Kopech’s re­turn, and Ren­te­ria of­fered no up­date Wed­nes­day. Kopech is ab­sent be­cause of a per­sonal mat­ter, but not for health rea­sons, Hahn said.

“I don’t have any­thing new for you,” Ren­te­ria said. “It’s a fluid sit­u­a­tion and we’ll deal with it as it arises.”

It’s un­likely Kopech, who was su­perb in his one in­ning of work in spring train­ing — his first since Tommy John surgery — will open the sea­son with the team, and be­yond that it’s any­one’s guess.

This and that

The Sox will play their first in­trasquad game Thurs­day, prob­a­bly four in­nings, Ren­te­ria said. Steve Cishek, Aaron Bum­mer, Ross Detwiler, Car­son Ful­mer and Drew An­der­son will pitch. Des­ig­nated hit­ter Ed­win En­car­na­cion said he is over the mi­nor back prob­lem that kept him out for parts of spring train­ing in Fe­bru­ary and March. “He’s looked re­ally, re­ally good,” Ren­te­ria said.


Like the An­gels (above), the Sox will let fans pur­chase card­board cutouts of them­selves that will be dis­played at Guar­an­teed Rate Field dur­ing the opener.

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