CLEVELAND -- After playing parts of nine seasons for the Red Sox, Kevin Youkilis was used to suiting up in front of home sellouts at Fenway Park. So, upon coming to the White Sox via a trade, he had to adjust to a U.S. Cellular Field attendance that left them short of two million fans for the year even in support of a team in first place for 117 days.
"[In] Boston, you are used to a sold-out crowd every night. That's just a way of life," Youkilis said. "It's very surprising to see with us winning that we were still second fiddle to the Cubs. I thought we had a lot of fun and brought a lot of enjoyment to the fans. There was a great fan base that was there. It seemed like the same people that showed up every night to cheer us on, the diehards.
"That was the one surprising thing for me, of down the stretch still being that second team in Chicago. I think these guys here are a great bunch of players and go about their job professionally and do the right thing. They've got a good team."
Youkilis quickly added that with the economy being as it is, he understands people can't come out to the games as much. He also explained that players want more fans at games but they have to focus on their on-field business and not the stands.
"With this season and the promise for next season, we will see better crowds," Youkilis said.
One of the White Sox goals for the offseason is to examine their role as an organization in the attendance conundrum.
"An energized fan base and electric atmosphere can propel a team to the next level. So that's important," White Sox general manager Ken Williams said. "We've already started that process in looking at ourselves. What are we doing? What can we do to push ourselves a little bit harder and a little bit better for the fans and give the fans a better experience and a greater reason to come to the ballpark.
"If I had to characterize this offseason, it's not just the product we have to focus putting on the field. But I'm not going to point the finger at anyone who hasn't been to the ballpark because I know they were watching or rooting at home because I've heard."