BRIDGEPORT — Fellow Sox fans, I say unto to you, forgive Cris Quintana for he knew not what he did.
The White Sox rookie fan engagement director — he’s the guy charged with pumping up the stadium vibe and keeping fans happy — struck out in his U.S. Cellular Field debut when he fiddled with the Sox park playlist.
For the first time in more than a decade, Quintana — an NBA stadium veteran who orchestrated the high-intensity vibe at Miami Heat and New Orleans Pelicans games — queued up "Centuries," a tune by the pop-punk band Fall Out Boy instead of AC/DC’s heavy metal anthem, “Thunderstruck” as the Sox took the field for their home opener April 10.
That decision triggered an immediate negative reaction on social media from some very passionate — and probably set in their ways — Sox fans.
@whitesox Fall Out Boy is NO replacement for AC/DC this is the South Side we want ROCK we want Thunderstruck! That was sad.— Paddy McNeary (@Eats_Bacon) April 10, 2015
And the thunderstorm of Twitter criticism didn’t stop, even from Sox fans watching from home.
“I’ve heard rumors that Thunderstruck has been replaced by Fall Out Boy’s Centuries. Change it now. That song sucks so badly,” @Reginald Jackson tweeted four days later.
And social media posts like it kept coming.
“It was definitely a unique situation,” Quintana said of fans' online messages. “You could definitely tell that a lot of people were very opinionated when that song is played and why it wasn’t used.”
Quintana first hinted that “Thunderstruck” might get yanked from the stadium song list when he told Crain’s Chicago Business in February that the song hasn’t been tied to a lot of winning baseball in recent years.
But on Thursday, Quintana said he might have been misunderstood — he never intended to scratch the AC/DC tune off the game day set list.
“We were toying around with using it in different places, or using it in a different way … like in rally situations to be a booster, or in other [times] where it might fit a little differently,” Quintana said.
“But we did receive quite a bit of feedback from fans … and this week we put 'Thunderstruck' back into its regular place.”
For changing the tune, Quintana deserves a pat on the back.
He said he considers the heavy metal backlash one of his first big-league lessons at Sox park.
“I’ve worked primarily in the NBA for 14, 15 years. Some things in the NBA translate, but not everything translates to Major League Baseball. We’re working on things on a game-by-game basis,” he said.
“I think what’s important is fans do have a voice in what they want to hear, what they want to see and what they want the ballpark to feel like. We all have a common goal to have the greatest atmosphere at the ballpark. … So any feedback our fans have, they can definitely reach out to us and voice their opinions.”
As a Sox fan, I took advantage of that offer while I had him on the phone.
“Hey, I’ve got an idea,” I said.
“You should give grandparents a crack at hitting a Whiffle Ball homer for prizes between innings in the FUNdamentals field like the kids do. Or drunken guys. That might not family-friendly, though. Either way, it could be pretty funny to watch.”
I’m pretty sure Quintana heard my brilliant suggestion, but he didn’t immediately react.
The White Sox’s new spokeswoman, Sheena Quinn, however, thought it was a great idea — and promised to pass it on.
So if you’re a grandpa with a wicked Whiffle Ball cut who likes my idea — or a hard-core fan with opinions of your own — it's probably the perfect time to hit up the Sox on Twitter with your big ideas.
After being "Thunderstruck," so to speak, they’re all ears.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: