White Sox Future – Minor League Options

I read and listen to lots of underground White Sox media, whether it be tweets or blogs or podcasts, I try to keep up to date with the groups of people whom I consider fans, or that are doing more or less “passion” work.  As my favorite, Nassim Taleb would say, “Amateurs are the best!“.
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In a recent ChiSox Weekly podcast (hosted by the affable Jon Suarez @ChiSoxJonda and Tony Marchese @chisoxmkz) the fellas had Josh Nelson (@soxmachine_josh) on as a guest and they got to talking about future White Sox teams and trying to slot players in all over the diamond from the minors and dreaming up free agents that would fit into the next good White Sox team.  They had a hearty chuckle over some of the fine folks on this current White Sox roster.  While I tend to agree you “hope” that all the prospect pan out and reach their incredible ceilings, we all know that shit ain’t happening.  In fact, there is probably some dude on this 40 man roster that you don’t expect, who ends up a big contributor to the upcoming teams you’ll really care about.  The teams that I will be able to give away select games of my season ticket package for.  This got me thinking….although I’m not nearly the most qualified person to do this, why not take a look at this roster and see how it can be managed, into the future with respect to minor league options and the tightness of the 40 man roster.  Maybe someone who does know this stuff will see this feeble attempt and improve on it, but until that happens you fuckers are stuck with my take….first a little background.
TL;DR
Once a player has graduated to a team’s 40 man roster, they are granted 3 minor league option (years).  This is sort of like the teams being granted 3 life lines for each player.  A minor league option is used, when a player spends 20 days on a minor league roster each season.  Some players will never use their options, they are stars quickly as they ascend through the minors and go to the majors with all 3 options in tact, running through their service time into arbitration and finally reaching free agency.  That isn’t the type of player we are talking about here.  We are talking about the proverbial grinders, people with a skill that is valuable, but other skills that are lacking, we are talking about people with upside potential that is as of yet unrealized.  When Rick Hahn talked about building a “sustainable success” he not only meant having a beavy of top 100 prospect talent coming up to fill in the major league roster, he was also implicitly talking about having useful players on either the major league roster or in AAA with available options to cover injuries.  As an example, think about how the Dodgers have conjured up Chris Taylor and Max Muncy out of thin air over the last two seasons.  You want that type of organizational depth in your system.  This is why I find this part of the equation so much more interesting.  You guys can have the top 100 prospect lists (101 at BP), I’ll take the edge of the roster lottery tickets as fodder for conversation because to me, the out-of-the-money options are just inherently more fun to talk about.  LEGGO!!!
WARNING!!!  These options are pulled from www.rosterresource.com which is a great informational website, but I am assuming the info is correct without cross-referencing so, YMMV, BFD, GFY, etc…..
Catchers
Chorizy and myself have often said that Kevan Smith or Omar Narvaez would be the perfect #3 catcher on a good team.  The kind of player that hangs out in AAA most of the year, but plays ~25 games when you have one of your top two catchers banged up and gives you a serviceable performance (we said this before both of these guys started hitting everything in sight, but it was a reasonable thought even before).
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With just a single remaining option left for Smith, you might like to see the White Sox carry him to start the year in 2019 if nothing else but to save that option.  Smith is an atrocity at throwing out runners and he doesn’t walk much, but otherwise, he’s a fine #3 catcher as we noted above, plus he has boyish good looks and that’s important for White Sox because we want to avoid the ballpark from looking like the sausage fest that was the Barstool at the Park tailgate.
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Now, Omar is a perfect candidate for being on the periphery of the roster for the “good” White Sox teams forthcoming, with his 3 minor league options.  If the White Sox decide not to spend money in the upcoming free agent market, I’d suggest they trade Welington Castillo and just run with Smith / Narvaez no matter how painful that is just to keep the option years at their behest.  Omar has legit on-base skills no matter how you cut it AND he’s starting to hit the ball with more authority.  I know…Zack Collins….Seby Zavala…..let them dudes marinade while we let Omar come into his own, we might have something here that just needed some time.
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Nicky Delmonico 3
Everyone that has prospect fever discards Nicky like that 3rd Maxwell Street Depot cheeseburger that you just can’t force down after a long night of boozing (for the record, I’ve knocked back 7 of those puppies back when I was in my 20’s….and this was in a 30 minute span….ah to be young again).  Nicky can’t really run, he’s a brutal defender and he doesn’t hit for as much power as you’d like, BUT, he is left handed and has good on-base skills, the skills he has are important, especially for a guy with 3 options.  The White Sox will get good use out of Nicky even if he’s saddled with LF/1B/DH duties, much like our next guy……
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The White Sox shouldn’t need Daniel Palka’s options, he’s the only bat out of this group with legit MLB pop #108thicc. He’s the type of guy that could be the strong side of a LF / DH platoon and knock you 25 HR in 450 PA, he’s got that kinda power.  If he gets demoted over one of these other fellas, WE. WILL. RIOT!
Charlie Tilson 2
Adam Engel 2
Let’s put these boys in the same basket, we’ll give a slight nod to Tilson because he’s a local kid and rumors have it he’s got future 108 talent in his makeup.  Tilson’s hit tool also puts him slightly above Engel even if he’s a worse defender.  I wouldn’t bend over backwards to hang on to either of these dudes, but if I had to pick one, it’s Tilson.  Re: Engel……I often laugh when people give you, the “he’s got a good glove, too bad he can’t hit”….fam, we could go get half the failed punt returns in the NFL, give them a glove and have them work with DBo for a couple of weeks and they’d be able to run down fly balls in the OF better than some of the guys you say this about.  Engel is a guy who is destined for multiple organizations because someone will think they can fix the bat.  Actually, I think he will eventually have a productive half season with the bat, like 3 years from now in some other town.
Out of options
Yolmer Sanchez 0
Matt Davidson 0
Leury Garcia 0
The main reason that the 108ers were touting Matty D getting DFA’d before the season is that he is out of options and although he might be slightly better than some of the fellas above in the outfield basket, he’s really basically relegated to DH with a little 3B / 1B sprinkled in.  Matty D also has big power, but unless Jose Abreu finds a different address sometime soon, he’s a redundant part.  In an ideal world you’d figure out a way to keep him and just see if the walk rate continues to rise and you get a solid part-time player out of him because of his power.  If they trade Abreu, he’ll draw everyday 1b reps, which is another reason to trade Abreu.  He’s also a handsome kid, so the stuff I said about Kevan Smith above, ditto here.
Yolmer is controllable one year longer than Leury, so he gets the nod initially, but Yolmer is also less versatile than Leury, so there is that.  Yolmer is also running into a situation in which, he’s sort of mismatched at 3b, he just doesn’t have the pop to play there long-term and the White Sox just used their 1st pick (4th overall) on an up the middle player, making his theoretical future value decrease.  One of these guys should likely be traded given the redundancy.  Despite the fact that Leury is more versatile, we need Yolmer to stay because he is so much goddamn fun!
Pitchers
Lucas Giolito 1
The fact that he has only 1 option remaining (a relic of his Washington days) is the reason why you’ve gotten to enjoy the fruits of his ~7 ERA labor for the entirety for the 2018 season.
Dylan Covey 3
We’ve enjoyed good and bad Dylan Covey this year and I’d envision that we see him shuffled back and forth between Charlotte and Chicago on the regular over the next couple years, picking up injured pitchers starts / bullpen assignments along the way. He still has material upside, but even if he never gets there, his 3 options make him a valuable player for an org in the rebuild phase.
Reynaldo Lopez 1
Lopez belongs in the bigs, this option is valuable tho’ in case they need to re-tool him into a reliever at some point and want to do it midseason.  Although truthfully you could just do it with the big club and never need this option.  Regardless, it is good to have.
There you have it!  Hit me up on the twitters with where you think I’m full of chit!
– BeefLoaf
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The One Hitter – 1993 White Sox

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Today starts the 1993 White Sox reunion weekend.  Those of us old enough to remember that season or parts of that season will probably enjoy a nostalgic moment or two throughout the weekend thinking about those White Sox of yesteryear, whether it be the sure dominance of Frank Thomas,
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the resurgence of Bo Jackson,
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the dominant pitching staff which featured 4 home grown studs (Fernandez, Alvarez, McDowell and Bere)
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or the other Hall of Famer on this squad, Tim Raines.
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You might also remember that this team ran into the juggernaut that was the early 90’s Blue Jays.  For me, I got to thinking about the NEXT White Sox contender.  According to Baseball Reference, the 1993 White Sox had 5 players worth 5 bWAR or more (Frank Thomas 6.2, Lance Johnson 6.1, Alex Fernandez 5.4, Robin Ventura 5.3 & Wilson Alvarez 5.0).  This is pretty consistent with the make up of the good teams in this era as well.  You need 4 or 5 players that fit into the 5bWAR or more category.  Our current White Sox are on pace to have 0 players that fit this categorization (Tim Anderson is on pace for about 4.0 bWAR this season).  I got excited this morning to think about who will be the next crop of players that will fill those slots as highly productive players on the next White Sox division winner.  Will it be current team leader Tim Anderson?
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Will Yoan Moncada fulfill his #1 prospect pedigree and become a perennial MVP candidate?
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Will Michael Kopech be the Ace that our fan base believes he is destined to be?  Will it be someone that isn’t even in the organization yet?
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Wilson Alvarez was acquired in trade from the Texas Rangers (in the deal that involved Harold Baines), will someone that the White Sox get back in a future Jose Abreu deal be the kind of player that moves the needle on the next squad?  Lance Johnson was acquired via trade from St Louis (for Jose DeLeon…..fucking Jose DeLeon)….will James Shields or Joakim Soria bring back a player that ends up on the front lines of the White Sox next contender?  Maybe one of these players is about to be DFA’d from his current team, out of chances with some other organization and about to be a part of the White Sox future, but they just don’t fucking know it. Just thinking about the next Great White Sox team has me much like Ellis Redding in Shawshank Redeption, “I find I’m so excited that I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head.”
– BeefLoaf

Chorizy-E PED Suspension: Effective Immediately

We unfortunately have to relay some sad news today.  During the 108’s random drug testing, we have discovered that Chorizy-E has been using a performance enhancing drug.   The drug in question is a little known Balco cocktail called the “Janikowski”.  It’s a mix of excedrin, tums, horse viagra, adderall, and LSD with a chocolate coating.  His suspension will take effect immediately and bans him from any Sox games and any social media.

Chorizy-E has issued the following statement:

To the Fans,

I take full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension for the 2018 season.  I regret that my actions made the situation worse than it needed to be. To the Adult Beverage Industry, the 108, the Beefloaf and MySoxSummer families, the Uber/Lyft drivers and you, the fans, I can only say I’m sorry.

I accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point. I understand why and that’s on me. It was gracious of Beefloaf to offer me the use of the Beefcave for this apology but I decided the next time I am in the Beefcave, I should be inebriated doing my job.

I am serving the longest suspension in the history of the 108 for PED use. MySoxSummer has said the matter is over. Beefloaf has said the same. The 108 have said the next step will be to start drinking.

I’m ready to put this chapter behind me and drink some beer.

This game has been my single biggest passion since I was a teenager. When I go to Spring Training in NWI, I will do everything I can to be the best drinker and teammate possible, earn a spot on the 108 and help us get drunk.

Sincerely,
Chorizy-E

Despite his apology and seeming admission of guilt, Chorizy-E still plans to fight the suspension and hopes to be back in the 108 for the 2018 season.  His hearing is scheduled for July 27th and will take place on the Beefdeck (weather permitting).  While Chorizy-E was not available for comment, his lawyer Vinny Baseball said he’s confident Chorizy-E will be re-instated based off of their belief of “special rules for special players, dude.”

 

Wrigley Field > Sox Park….wat????

Hi friends, it’s your pal BeefLoaf, coming at you with a different sort of blog post.  I’m usually the guy in the 108 crew that writes the tongue-in-cheek basebally type stuff…….I don’t normally hit you up with critiques on ballpark conditions or fan pieces, but the 108 boss MySoxSummer has granted me some one time immunity to write up a painful article about the situations where Wrigley Field is better than Sox Park.  I was recently at a game at Wrigley Field for a “work outting” and happened to notice several areas where I thought the game / fan experience was better.  The areas I am about to get into are downright embarrassing triumphs for Wrigley Field over Sox Park.  They don’t just edge out our favorite teams ballpark, they run 60 yds for the touchdown, Deion Sanders high stepping it half the way,
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and then they celebrate in the star at the middle of the field, TO style.  Well, let’s get on with it.
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Bathroom lines
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My man MSS wrote this exceptional article about how to fix some of the bathroom issues at Sox Park that occur anytime you get > 20k people at the ballpark.  I was at Wrigley on a Wednesday, for a 1:20pm start and there were 41k people there….and guess what, not a fucking second wait for the bathroom.  I went to the can for the first time in the middle of the game, 5th inning and I was in and out in a flash.  My initial observations were that the troughs are a key to this.  Now I know, some of you might find the “meat gazing” aspect of the troughs as a negative (or possibly a positive, I don’t know), but they are efficient af.
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The bathroom that I was using, which was on the lower level, directly down the RF line, had outer urinals and inner troughs and the bathroom was set up to have traffic flow out towards the exit as you make your way to wash your hands.  I talked to my boy KC (he’s a long time Cub fan and we’ve worked together almost a decade now…he’s my trusted source for all Cub fan stuffs) and he told me that they put in extra bathrooms to accommodate the fans.  To me, this is a shocking development…..a professional sports team putting money into an aspect of the fan experience that isn’t a direct revenue generator.  I’d prefer more attention to these sorts of details and less to free t-shirts.
Tickets being checked
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We’ve gone into detail on twitter and in various blog posts how fucking ridiculous it is that in a sparsely crowded Sox Park that the 108ers (usually sitting in our section by ourselves AND full season ticket holders) would get their tickets checked multiple times in a 9 inning game.  I don’t know what dipshit is in charge of this policy, but they clearly don’t exhibit their “talents” on the northside.  At Wrigley, there is no such policy that I could note.  We never got our tickets checked….in fact, I didn’t see anyone get their tickets checked.  What a nice experience.  Wrigley Field staff is very helpful though from what I can tell, I saw them being asked questions by fans and happily directing people around the ballpark.  It was a small sample size, but the employees seemed happy to be there.
Getting into the stadium
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As I mentioned before, there were 41k fans at the game I attended and shockingly, there weren’t lines down the fucking street to get into the ballpark.  Wrigley Field staff get the fans through security and into the ballpark quickly.  There were A LOT of staff and gates / metal detectors open.  I didn’t have to wait in line, I was literally in the ballpark in under a minute.  At Sox Park, if there are 22k fans on a Sunday afternoon, it takes 15-30 minutes to get into the ballpark.  The quicker you get into the ballpark, the sooner you can get to your seat and enjoy the product, the sooner your group can buy hundreds of dollars of overpriced beer.  #Business
Sound
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This was most impactful to me, but I had various people tryna shout me down when I was talking about it.  Wrigley Field sound is loud and makes you feel like you are at an event.  Of course, MSS, always bustin’ balls noted “It could’ve been the 41k people that made it sound like an event.”  Good point, a big crowd does make an event feel bigger and more fun to watch.  I think Wrigley Field does a good job with the level of “over-the-top” sound that they push through the speakers out into the ballpark.  It makes you feel like you are at something BIG, something FUN!!!  I talked to a couple of Cubs fans about it and they feel like it is over done and annoying, and maybe I’d feel that way over 81 home games, but I can only give you my visceral reaction and it felt awesome and really got my enthusiasm up for an event in which I had absolutely no rooting interest.  I got so hyped I was ready to rock the Kid’N Play dance, but my man MSS wasn’t there to fill out the 2nd half of the hustle

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Bars Open more then 20 mins after the game
(Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern)
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The post-game experience at the Budweiser branded bar which is located just off the NorthWest corner of the stadium was terrific.  There was no rushing killing the loss leader post game special 5 minutes after people arrived.  There was no “last call” an hour after conclusion of the game.  The service was fast and friendly.  We had a large group and we had only one dedicated wait staffer, but we were getting drinks quickly and it was a fun atmosphere.  It was clear that they wanted you to stay out, drink, eat and party for as long as you could stand.  The ChiSox Bar and Grill could take notes from such establishment, because the food at ChiSox is most definitely better, but the all around experience is worse because they don’t stay open late enough or work to cater to their patrons like this bar does.  If ChiSox Bar and Grill operated like this bar, the 108ers would end up cracking open their 401k’s to keep a flush drinking budget for hanging there.
In conclusion…..I still think Wrigley Field is a fucking dump.  That’s been my position for ever and it still stands.  You can’t put up a few scoreboards and some extra paint and cover over the fact that it’s an old tired ballpark, but you can tell from the reasons I posted above that management DOES CARE about the fan experience and wants people to come away talking about it.  Fuck, I’m a FULL SEASON TICKET HOLDER for the WhiteSox and I noticed enough stuff in one afternoon to tell the whole interwebs (the literally dozens of people that will read this).  Both teams are selling an entertainment product, but at Wrigley, they really treat the fans like a customer.
If the White Sox management is reading this……DO BETTER!!
– BeefLoaf

The Quick Hit – Make Concessions Great Again

Folks. We are just starting July and some of you seem to be showing up to the park on a more regular basis! Kudos to you! If you aren’t making it out to the park, eh, I don’t really give a shit.  You do you.  Holla. The White Sox do a fine job at the park (especially with less than 20k in attendance) and they offer some of the best ballpark food I have ever come across. I like the local options, especially with the beers (RIP Baderbrau) but one thing that drives me nuts is the pricing.  I feel like if we had a cheap menu option, it would be utilized.  Much like the 2 ticket, 2 beer promo (or even $1 hot dog day) that is taking off, Sox fans like the deals.

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So my thought, is how can we make it even better?  Enter CostCo.

Have you ever had dinner at CostCo?  Of course you have.  You worked all day and you are out of some product that you eat in mass quantities. So you try to squeeze that trip in, but all the jackwagons that sweat the samples stations (taking TWO SAMPLES, DICKS!) seem to get all the samples. Rice pudding isn’t dinner, neither is half a pouch of Go-Gurt.   You get through the trip and are walking out and the fresh and ready food area just smells unavoidable.  If the line isn’t ridiculous, of course you go into the line to get a hot dog, or a slice, or even a churro.

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This was us the other night.  We needed to get some stuff at home and we pushed it. All my girls were hungry and when we walked out they had a new option that I wanted to try.  It was delish and I was looking at the prices in awe.  59¢ for a POP.  59¢! Even P&P’s resident cheap guy James Duda would put out the 59¢ for a man sized pop.  $1 Churros.  Under $2 for an obscene amount of ice cream.  Now, could this work in Sox Park?  OF COURSE IT FUCKING CAN.

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CostCo makes money, mad money yo.  You wanna charge me $50 to $100 a year to get great deals?  Go for it.  I have been a proud member since 2000. Even in my single years, I got about everything I ate there. It was dope.  I used to drink milk like I drink beer now, so basically it was a BOGO. And speaking of beer….

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BOOM BITCH! With the closing of 108 fave Baderbrau, it might be time to revisit the Kirky Light train, the most inoffensive beer I have ever drank. If you like Bush Light, you’ll LOVE Kirky Light! ~$25 for 48 beers.

So how can we make this work?

MLB should sign up CostCo to do their concessions.  We’ll stick to their menu, which as you can see below, is fantastic.

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Thinking only of Chicago here, maybe they add in regional items.  Like Italian Beef for the Windy City. Cheese Steaks for Phila. You get me?  Now I am sure some folks that like selection are gonna bitch that they don’t have this or that, but ya know what? GFY.

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I think they could even raise the prices and we’d all still be good with it in the end. People seem to be buying the $2.50 “PREMIUM” dogs on $1 Hot Dog night, but that could just be because they wanna be better than us scum that soak up all the $1 dogs.   Ya know what? You aren’t better brah or brah-ette, AND you should take a long look in your fun house mirror and examine why you have to be better than me or my $1 dog friends.  You’re such an asshole.

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Anyways, I feel like people would love the new menu and they would support it.  But what is missing?  As I said earlier, CostCo makes their own beer! $3 cans – all game, every game.  Maybe we can convince the good folks at CostCo to make a 19 to 24oz beer to go to the stands, that would be divine.

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I know some of you are really fuming by now that I have attacked your sacred overpriced ballpark fare, so you know what I am gonna do?  I ain’t gonna change shit about what they do now.  Everything will stay the same but the stands that are closed on slow games and all through April / May, they become the CostCo stands.  Maybe we pay a premium for the year as season ticket holders to fast pass the line, maybe we don’t.  I imagine that the amount of beer / brats / churros / chicken bakes sold will be insane.  All getting washed down with massive amounts of $3 Kirky Lights.

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What have we learned?  That CostCo can solve a bunch of issues at the ballpark and make the experience even better.  Cheap Tix + Cheap Food + Cheap Beer = A 108 Wet Dream.

Gotta problem?  Tweet at me! Do it! I double dog dare you.

-MSS

The White Sox Twitter Power Rankings #1

When I was asked to do this for the 108 boys (and girls) I said yes faster than Charlie Tilson swipes second. Why? You may be asking yourself, well for one, it is a genuine honor to be writing for the fine lads of section 108 and two, I think that I will be receiving some MAJOR bribes once this takes off. So before you all turn against me, here we have it the first ever White Sox twitter power rankings presented by section 108 brought to you by Benny Baseball:
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#10 Ali (@Aliwhitesox)

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Ali is a dark horse that could shoot up the power rankings ladder in the coming months. Being one of the few if not the only distinguished member on the list to have a tweet go viral. A White Sox tweet no less! Ali tweets out many refreshing stats and updates reminding us of every win and never letting us forget every painful loss.

#9 Write Sox (@WriteSox)

 Write Sox
Write Sox is also someone that could very easily find a spot in the top three as we progress and build the rankings from the young core we have. Tweeting satirically about the White Sox and other facets of life, while keeping it balanced with tweets about relatable life topics.

#8 Herb Lawrence (@Ecnerwal23)

Herb
When Herb is not producing at 670 the score or tweeting about the Fighting Illini, Herb has one of the best White Sox twitter profiles out there. Herb has a great deal of knowledge not only about the Sox but around the MLB and all levels of the minor leagues.

#7 Sox Nerd (@SoxNerd)

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Sox Nerd has one of the more optimistic twitters of Sox twitter and it is refreshing to read through his tweets. Definitely could see Sox Nerd becoming a prominent member of Sox twitter. Give him follow, there are absolutely zero downsides. 

#6 Scott Merkin, Contributor MLB.com (@scottmerkin)

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Scott likes to keep us updated on clubhouse interviews, prospect movement and development, and current player morale and stats. His twitter is kept very professional and helps the average Sox fan understand the rebuild. Definitely worth a follow as he travels with the team often.

#5 Gabe, founder of the “White Hole”, located in Sec 100 of the G-Spot (@Bearstownsox35)

Gabe
Gabe or Gabriel has one of the most opinionated twitter accounts in all of Chicago sports twitter. The die hard Bears and White Sox fan never fails to let the world know how he feels about any move the Sox make, Player, Front office personnel or the ladies. Gabe also got to throw out the first pitch when the Sox played the Twins! Gabe’s book is available on amazon: https://www.amazon.it/High-School-Football-Life-Autistic/dp/1719274355

#4 Patrick Nolan, editor for Sox Machine (@SoxMach_pnoles)

 Pnoles
The Sox Machine is on the come up in White Sox twitter faster than Luis Robert jumps out of the box. Editor, Patrick Nolan does some great work with the machine. Make sure to stay on the look out for Sox Machine tailgates, tweets, blog posts and their podcast.

#3 Jonnie Nonnie, Contributor at Sox on 35th (@NonnieJonnie)

 Jonnie
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Jonnie at the Sox on 35th/Sox Mafia tailgate (In lot B). He’s a standup dude.  Check out his twitter, the Sox on 35th twitter, and the Sox on 35th podcast. All great Sox content that we need and crave.

#2 Chuck Garfien, White Sox pre & post game show host, occasional visitor of the 108 (@ChuckGarfien)

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Chuck has been an absolute pleasure to watch on the broadcast this year. Between Steve, Jason, and Hawk, Chuck is the comic relief we all need in this rebuilding year. When he’s not roaming the crowd or reporting live from the dugout, Chuck hosts the White Sox talk podcast. If you haven’t yet, I would recommend taking a listen, it is well worth your time.

#1 Barstool White Sox Dave, host of the number one Chicago baseball podcast, Red Line Radio, Mayor of Scoop City, my boss (@barstoolWSD)

 WSD
Being my boss and not doing so could put my job in jeopardy definitely has nothing to do with me putting Dave this high in the rankings. Hosting guests on Red Line Radio like most recently Hawk Harrelson earned Dave the top spot on the rankings along with having one of the funniest twitter profiles.

 – Benny Baseball (@sonofaMitch123)

The 108 Interview Series – NWI Steve

Here at the 108, it is our job….our duty to bring to you the great personalities of White Sox twitter, either via tweet / photo / video or blog post.  In continuing with the tradition of bringing you “the goods” from White Sox twitter we have our interview with NWI Steve, a terrific White Sox fan from “the Region”.  Steve has spent many a times watching games with the 108ers (and even spent some quality bar time with the boys, which we’ll get into later) and is always a fun time, whether it be talking White Sox or Seinfeld or Bar Room Talk, he’s smart and funny.  Anywho, let’s get on with this shits, ENJOY!

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Likes

Favorite Game That You Were At – Blackout Game.  The electricity of a do or a die game was simply too hard to top since I didn’t get to go to a World Series game in 2005

Favorite All Time Player That Doesn’t Have a Statue On the Concourse – Mark Buehrle (I was a soft tossing lefty pitcher in college so he was my spirit animal)

Favorite Drink and Dinner at the Park – Anti-Hero and the Bacon Cheddar Pretzel Dog (put just about anything on a pretzel bun and I’m down)

Favorite Place to Sit – Scout Seats (only experienced it one time so far, but it’s pretty tough to beat the view and free food)

Favorite Uniform – 1990 Campbell Soup “C” uniforms.  that was the first uniform I really remember the Sox wearing

Favorite Giveaway – The 2005 Replica Ring (it’s cheesy but pretty sweet)

Favorite Theme Night  – Not a big theme night guy so I’m going to say Opening Day.  Finally being able to end that 6 month absence from the ballpark and the big tailgate has become my Christams morning as an adult.

Dislikes

What irks you the most about White Sox fans?  While I enjoy some good-natured ribbing about the Cubs, I think too many people in the fanbase care more about beating them than they do about beating the division rivals.

What is the worst part of being a Sox fan? The fact that the team is overlooked constantly from a national perspective and having to hear the same attendance bullshit over and over again.

Worst part of the game day experience? The decision to get rid of the Pirates of the Caribbean intro video

What really grinds your gears? Being an AL charter franchise that has never gone to the postseason in back-to-back years

Least Favorite White Sox player of all time – Justin Morneau.  I will never forget when asked in 2006 about who he wanted to win the AL Central that dickface famously said “I don’t care who it is as long as it’s not Chicago)

Game Day

Most memorable experience as a White Sox fan – Being at Safeco Field on 4/21/12 for Philip Humber‘s Perfecto

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Ballpark experience, how could it be better? – Bring back the Pirates of the Caribbean intro video, play the Howard Ankin/Ozzie “You need my mang” commercial at least once a game, reduce the price of upper deck tickets to say $10 so you can get more people in the park consistently,

Best Sox Park hack? For me it’s parking for free at Buffalo Wings and Rings (35th/Halsted) and using the free shuttle to get out of the $20 parking.

What brings you back for every game? I just love baseball and this is my team

Feelings on the wave? – I think an Executive Order should be signed banning it

Which Gate is your favorite to enter the park from? Gate 3.  I have a weird superstition where I walk past my legacy brick and tap it with my right foot before every game and then just head over to the gate (told you I was a quirky, weird lefty pitcher.  we sometimes do things that don’t make sense)

How Early Do You Get To Games? I usually like to get to games about 6:30 just to kinda unwind from the work day typically, and just take in the sights and sounds of the ballpark

What Do You Bring To Games? A smart ass sense of humor…

How Many Games Do You Go To Each Year? 30+

 

Section 108 Questions

What is your favorite baseball word? Cockshot (simply due to the fact that when you say it around a person who doesn’t understand the context they take it to mean something it isn’t…yes I’m a child)

What is your least favorite baseball word? BUNT

What get’s you excited about the White Sox? The possibility that we COULD be entering the Golden Age of White Sox baseball if this rebuild works

What makes you sad about the White Sox? The never making the postseason in back-to-back years thingy, and when asked by an out of towner if I’m a Cubs fan when I say I’m from the NWI suburbs of Chicago…

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you love?  The fireworks going off after a White Sox winner

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you hate?  The sound of people doing the wave

What is your favorite Hawkism? YOU CAN PUT IT ON THE BOARD, YEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!

Why did you drink MySoxSummer under the table at Growlers back in March 2018? It just kind of happened organically, I didn’t set out to do it on that magical day, one beer just kinda led to the next and well…he ended up passed out in a van

What’s your greatest fear about the “rebuild”?  That they guessed wrong on the prospects and they will turn into the AL version of the Pirates from 1993-2013

What is there about this team that excites you the most?  The fact that there could be 4-5 legitimate “Superstars” on the next core.  The Sox haven’t had a legit superstar since the Big Hurt

Give us a #HotTake about the rebuild. I think just about every aspect of 2018 has been “worst case scenario” between the injuries and, to this point, limited development out of key pieces

Favorite White Sox Twitter Account (Besides @fromthe108) and why? @FutureSox – with the big league team not providing much value at this point, the emphasis on the minor league levels and the development of players there, that account is a must follow for in-depth analysis.

Person from White Sox Twitter that you’d most like to meet and why? My guy: The Moncada Armada (@HashTagReggie), simply because he has a smart ass sense of humor that is very similar to mine

Favorite Non-White Sox Twitter Account and why? Nihilist Arby’s – although I think the account has taken a step back in recent weeks, the subtle dark humor makes me laugh hysterically

What do you like best about @fromthe108 ? It’s just a fun group of guys that love the Sox and love having a good time.  Everyone in the group is very welcoming and overall, pretty damn hilarious.

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Favorite White Sox related blog or podcast and why? Future Sox, again due to the emphasis placed on the minor leagues right now that blog is a must to stay up to date on what’s happening in the system

What is your favorite alcoholic drink?  Be specific.  Rum and Vanilla Coke.  From the first time I had Vanilla Coke as a teenage I was hooked on it.  I know it’s an acquired taste but I had many a tailgate in my early 20s when I would polish off a Fifth of rum with Vanilla Coke.

Favorite cut of Steak?  Prepared? I’m a New York strip guy cooked medium

Gimme an “Uncle Rico” moment from your prior sports playing past. My junior year of high school I had a 10k start against a team ranked 8th in the state (4A Indiana)

Where would you take @ChiPartyAunt out on a date? Since she’s a simple gal, a pregame Polish at 35th Street Red Hots, a ballgame, and a special Polish after the game…

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Favorite performance enhancing drug? HGH, simply because it helped Barry Bonds head expand so much in his late 30s

Who do you hate more Jim Belushi or John Cusack? Cusack.  That shithead got to go to a World Series game and I didn’t…and I’m very bitter about it

Happy Ending

What Other Chicago Teams Do You Enjoy  – Blackhawks.  I’ve given up on basketball and football entirely so the Hawks build a bridge for me from winter to baseball

Favorite Chicago Sports History Moment – 10/26/05

Favorite All-Time Sox Broadcaster – Hawk.  I know he has a lot of “haters” but he’s the voice of Sox baseball that I grew up with, so even though that crazy old coot has slipped a lot in recent years, he’s still our guy.

Any Stories About Running Into or Meeting White Sox Players? Other Chicago Athletes? I met Yoan Moncada in Scottsdale this past March as he was trying to drill a bartender at a local establishment after a spring training game.  2 years earlier I met Theo Epstein (ya know #TheosLeague), and he was a total prick.  He famously told me when I said I was a Sox fan that “Uh they suck and are so boring.  You can always come over to the dark side, ya know)…so fuck him

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Favorite Band?  All-time is Alice in Chains (w/Layne Staley)

What is your favorite song? Too many to name (weak answer I know)

Favorite TV Show (or Netflix or HBO or whatever the fuck)? Seinfeld…it’s the best of all time.  if you don’t agree you’re wrong

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Married or Single? Looking for a GF? I currently am the owner of a Girlfriend

Do you remember your first Sox game? I do not, evidently it was the game in 1990 when the Yankees Andy Hawkins no-hit the Sox and lost 4-0 thanks to Jim Leyritz

What Player had the greatest impact on you? Mark Buehrle, again because I too was a soft tossing lefty pitcher

What was the happiest day watching the Sox? 10/26/05

What was the saddest day watching the Sox? The day Bud Selig cancelled the 1994 season

What do you do for work? If you could be or do anything else – what? I’m a sales rep for a medical clinic.  If i could do anything else it would be Jason Benetti’s job

If you could live in any other time, when might that be? I don’t think I could live in a prior era because it’s hard to imagine living without the technology we have today

If you could have dinner with five White Sox Players, past and present, who would they be? Buehrle, Big Hurt, Konerko, Chris Sale, Shoeless Joe

If you could change one thing in your past, what might that be? Not dropping the $1,000 for a World Series ticket (couldn’t find anything cheaper on the secondary market)

What are you most proud of? Being able to pitch in college

How would you like to be remembered?  As an easy going, goofball that made people laugh

What’s the one thing about you few people know?  I had brain surgery as a child

What do you dislike most about yourself?  I haven’t been as successful professionally as I envisioned in my youth

What do you dislike most in others?  People who use their wealth/social status as a means to demean others

What were your best/worst subjects in school?  Best – history, worst- Chemistry

What do you like doing in your spare time? watching baseball would be the obvious answer, aside from that spending time with the GF and trying new pizza joints

Who is your celebrity crush? Torrie Wilson

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What is your favorite movie? Anchorman

What is your favorite baseball movie? Major League (despite it being about the Indians)

What is your biggest/weirdest fear?  HEIGHTS…just can’t do it

What would be your one super power? X-Ray vision 

What pet would you love to have? dog

What’s your one biggest pet peeve? people who don’t phonetically pronounce words like: egg, caramel, leg

What’s your one annoying habit? I’m a hardcore Nail biter

What would be a good theme song for your life? Grind by Alice in Chains – from the very first note it just hits you in the mouth with a fist full of intensity and every day we gotta keep grindin’

What ballpark would you like to visit? I’ve been to 27 already, and the one’s I’m yet to see are (OAK, TB, CLE, TOR, ATL) so I’ve hit all the major one’s already so I would say to be able to go back and see a game at Old Comiskey.

THE END.

 

Tradebaitin’

It’s been a while since I posted about actual baseball, so I thought I would do something that I absolutely love to do: make predictions that won’t happen in a million years.  With a team with nearly no trade bait, let’s take a look at the trades that will be made, according to Chorizy.

Xavier Cedeno and Joakim Soria

These two bullpen pieces have been solid as of late and there are a ton of teams that will be looking for help there.  You don’t have to look outside of our division to find a playoff team with a dumpster fire of a pen.  With Andrew Miller currently out Cleveland’s bullpen is especially bad.  But even when he comes back, it won’t be enough to make them good.  So we ship not 1 but 2 relievers to the Indians so we can get an actual player in return.  I know this is a stretch, but solidifying their bullpen will come at a cost and that cost will be Bradley Zimmer.   Zimmer was a hot name with the Indians winning the starting CF job this year, but his high strike out rate landed him in AAA and now he’s on the shelf with a shoulder injury.  Might be the perfect time to buy low on Zimmer and plan for him to take on CF in 2019.

James Shields

You knew we were gonna talk about my favorite guy.  His ability to not be terrible this year has thrown him into the trade rumor mix.  Unfortunately, you’re not gonna get much for Shields and it’s going to become important to move him to make way for Michael Kopech.  So I think the Sox will be an a position where a move is forced and a team in need of a starter, ut not willing to risk much because of the strength of their division will step in.  That team is Angels.  And what will we get?  Of course, our guy Cash Considerations.

Jose Abreu

This will basically come down to who gets desperate at the deadline.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the Yankees with the shit season Greg Bird is having at the plate.  Looking at their prospects, Dillon Tate and Dermis Garcia look like Sox.  Tate is basically Carson Fulmer and Garcia is pretty much Matt Davidson.  Seems like the exact guys Hahn would go after once he realizes the market won’t produce a team’s top prospect.

Leury Garcia

If you have been down with anything above, I can guarantee I lose you now.   I like Leury.  I like his position flexibility.  I like his speed.  I like his contract.  But these are all things that other teams would like as well, I mean, Brandon Phillips just got picked up.  And when it comes time for a playoff run having a guy with those attributes is very helpful.  So where does he go?  I’m gonna send him to the Mariners and in return…Robinson Cano.  This sounds insane, I know.  But think about it.  Cano is now a problem for the Mariners, since when he comes back from his suspension he can contribute but he can’t play in the playoffs.  Also, he has a gigantic contract that he’s into the back half of.  After this season, he has 5/120 left on his contract, taking him to year 40.  I say the Mariners pick up at least half of that and stick with Dee Gordon at 2b.  The Sox move Cano to 3B where he can be less mobile than at 2B for the next 5 yrs.  He would have been a SS had it not been for Derek Jeter, so he should have the arm to grow old at 3B.  His type of tools age well, so you should get production out of him.  Plus, might get Jay-Z to come to a few games.

-Chorizy-E

 

The 5 – Better ways to do the Sandlot promotion

I’m not totally blaming the Sox here.  Sounds like this is a league-wide promotion and it’s probably happening the same way everywhere.  But Beefloaf and I were discussing this the other day and there are some better ways to do this.  If you don’t know what I am talking about, after the Sox game on Saturday, they played the move The Sandlot on the scoreboard.  The only concessions seemed to be popcorn and candy.  People were able to sit in their seats and watch the movie.

On the Field

Instead of doing this after a game, do this on a day when the Sox aren’t even in town and let the fans sit on the field.  You can have a limited set of tickets at a really low price and let families come in and watch the movie on the field.  This is a far better experience for the fans and there is a reason to watch it in the park instead of just watching it at home.

Before the Game

Having the movie play pre-game instead of post-game is so much better.  Get some asses in the seats early.  Sell a bunch of concessions.  At the conclusion of the movie, you can have one of the guys from the movie throw out the first pitch while Benny the Jet steals home.

Alternate Baseball Movie in the Bars

If it has to be post-game, let’s have some other baseball movies going in the bar areas.  Maybe Bull Durham or Major League.  Of course I won’t Bingo Long.  Hell, why not make this an actual thing.  Post-game Friday night movie at Chi-Sox.  Of course, they’ll close the kitchen 5 seconds after people get there and the promotion will be worthless.

Live Action

Find the 10 drunkest people in the park and give them $20 in Comiskey Cash to act out the movie in the concourse.  This will only last about 5 mins before someone goes full Diego Maradona and starts flipping people off, but it’ll be extremely entertaining.

Replace the Movie with Ozzie Guillen Video Clips

Instead of playing a movie at the end of the game, every game should end with snippets of Ozzie interviews.  When the Sox lose it should be angry Ozzie after a past loss.  After a win, you get the “winning is fung” Ozzie.  In a rain delay, you get a mix of Howard Ankin commercials and Ozzie saying things he’ll get in trouble for like stuff about Fidel Castro and Jay Marriotti.

-Chorizy-E

The 5 – Daniel Palka Defense

The White Sox have tons and tons of holes, and truth be told, it is too much of a burden for the front office and coaching staff to handle on their own.  This is where we “the fans” come in.  Our suggestions or even solutions could make the difference between actual real life wins.  I had heard, via Twitter dot com, that DBo (Daryl Boston) had been working extensively with Daniel Palka in the outfield to get him more reps and refine his technique.  This is exactly the type of route that “coaching staffs” always go, the route of boring, straight-line, safe thinking that will make it look like they are implementing real change.  Look, for a big change, like making Daniel Palka into the type of outfielder that won’t induce dry-heaving from your pitching staff every time a fly ball is swatted his way, you need to think outside the box, you need ideas that are unconventional, but have a substantial upside.  You need, THE 5, from your friends at the 108.
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5 – Super Big Glove
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From what I can tell, Mr. Palka has a normal sized glove, and that’s all well and good for the regular ass outfielder, who has regular ass range, and a regular ass ability to judge fly balls.  The early returns on Daniel Palka’s outfield defense is that he is none of those.  One thing we do know, is this guy has a big strong frame.  His calves could intimidate Mark Pryor’s calves, so you know a Super Big Glove wouldn’t bother him one bit.  The last time this was tried in MLB was with Yasiel Puig back when he was coming up with the Dodgers, but it didn’t take.  Daniel Palka seems like a better test case for this.
4. Camouflage Trayce Thompson out there as a 4th OF
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I know Trayce is likely to be DFA’d when Avi Garcia comes back, but this is going to be a covert operation and we don’t even want people to know he’s out there, so it doesn’t really matter.  Trayce will likely need to wear the sort of garb that will allow him blend right in with the grass, the outfield wall, possibly even those scoreboards that sometimes line the lower sections of the outfield.
3 . When you shift, let him play where the ball won’t be hit
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The first two suggestions were ones that I think we could get by Ricky Rents, but this one might be a problem.  Ricky is “OLD SCHOOL” or something like that, so it might be tough to have this one tried.  One way to cut down on his issues is when you shift, just switch him to the spot least likely to see the ball.  You know how teams shift a Left handed hitter, to the right and leave the 3b back on the other side, just to catch a throw to 2nd occasionally.  This is where you put Daniel Palka.  In fact you can shift him all around the field, Steve Lyons style to try and reduce the amount of plays he’s forced to make.  It’ll be like having a 2nd DH.
2. Hoverboard
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The Hoverboard is a terrible invention.  I really see no use for it….other than this….now, I don’t want Daniel Palka controlling the hoverboard, because he already has issues tracking fly balls, so much like the 2004 Red Sox did with Manny Ramirez using a hoverboard and Dave Roberts on the bench controlling it, the White Sox are going to need a bench confidant to control the board.  I think the most likely candidates are probably James Shields or Omar Narvaez.
1. Different spectacle options
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It is very possible that the dude just can’t see fly balls too good and that’s why he’s having problems.  I remember how much of a difference some good specs made to the young fire baller Ricky Vaughn, why not to our young masher Daniel Palka?
These are just ideas, but they could be BIG ideas that actually help a contending club at some point figure out that teeny, tiny bit of edge they need to eek out an extra win in a pennant race.  Just think, that idea could come from you.  Hit me up on the twitters with any suggestions you haz.
– BeefLoaf