White Sox expecting to play home opener Thursday

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Jose Abreu greets White Sox teammates during player introductions before the scheduled opening day game against the Tigers last season at Guaranteed Rate Field. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

TORONTO — With a forecast calling for cold and a chance of rain or snow later in the day Thursday, the weather could become an issue for the White Sox’ home opener at Guaranteed Rate Field. But the Sox were fully expecting the game to be played, so bundle up.

The Sox host the Tigers (3:10 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago, 720-AM) with an open date in place Friday in case of a postponement, but as of Wednesday evening, the forecast called for cloudy skies and a high of 40 at game time. Temps are expected to dip into the upper-30s with a chance of flurries around 6 p.m.

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The Sox had nine players making their first Opening Day roster, so the home opener is an especially big deal to almost half the team.

“Oh, gosh, yes,’’ said left fielder Nicky Delmonico, who’s included in that group. “I don’t really know what to expect, but I’m really looking forward to it.’’

The season opener in Kansas City was a “dream I’ve had my whole life, and it was special, but that day I was just imagining being home in Chicago,” Delmonico said.

This will be shortstop Tim Anderson’s second home opener.

“I think this one will be better and a lot louder,’’ Anderson said. “The fans are excited with how we’re going about things, judging from feedback and social media.’’

A.J. Pierzynski will throw out the first pitch and country-music artist Brandon Lay will sing the national anthem. Parking lots open at noon, and gates to the ballpark open at 1:10 p.m. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats no later than 2:15 for the opening ceremonies.

A heads-up for fans: Netting has been extended from the backstop to the outfield end of both dugouts.

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