The One Hitter – AJ Pierzynski White Sox Manager

This is the One Hitter, don’t forget to exhale.  With a bad team, brings disgruntled fans and at the end of every season we all question whether the current skipper in charge should be the person manning the controls in the following season.  Ricky Renteria has his faults, 1) Bunts too much, 2) Likes to use 4 pitchers in an inning 3) Benches players as if he’s running a CYO team 4) Plays Adam Engel as if he knows where the bodies are buried……and finally, the team sucks.  We even ran a poll to see if fans approved of Ricky’s 2018 performance, they didn’t.  We also ran a poll to see if fans would replace Ricky with Dusty Baker, they wouldn’t.  So where to go from here.  A common refrain I hear on twitter is “AJ Pierzynski will be our next manager.”

6512580
What. The. Fuck!?!?!

Look, I very much enjoyed AJ Pierzynski as a player, although a further look at his stats leads me to believe that he is undervalued by modern metrics or overvalued by us White Sox fans.  Either way, I think some of this “AJ for manager” shit has to do with a theory that AJ is a super genius.  Most of this thought process comes from two places…..

The dropped 3rd strike in game 2 of the 2005 ALCS
Josh-Paul-dropped-third-strike

Nothing pleases me more than watching the replay of this play and the subsequent plays afterwards.  I’m a big fan of a player trying this and and even bigger fan of it fucking working, but this is hardly a genius play.  AJ tried to “angle shoot” all the time and it rarely worked.  This wasn’t the only time he tried this gambit, he just happened to get it to work in a super big spot (which we are all undoubtedly grateful for).  However, angle shooting doesn’t making him a particularly sharp guy when it comes to managing a ballclub.

 

Hawk has been telling us for decades how AJ is one of the smartest ballplayers he’s ever met
ct-hawk-and-aj-on-upcoming-plans-20180405

This one particularly makes my lollercopter go zoizoizoizoi…..for a fan base that constantly makes fun of the crazy shit that Hawk says, we are going to believe this one?  C’mon now.  No doubt major league catchers are generally not dumbasses given the job they have to do, but smartest ever.  Let’s slow down.

Finally, the job, which is managing a major league ballclub is fraught with having to deal with lots and lots of people across various age groups and levels of employ in the organization.  From what we know about AJ, he kept his circle small and was a throbbing prick to nearly everyone else, so this doesn’t seem to really fit into his MO as a person.  Maybe we pump the breaks on AJ for manager for a bit…..maybe forever.

-BeefLoaf
Advertisements

#108ing Tools – Scouting Grades

There isn’t a delicate way to put this, but we in the 108 tend to crush beers……..before……………DURING………….and after the game.  The more I think about it, some of this approach needs to be graded out.  YES!  I think it is time that the 108 issue some guidance on how we rank specific drinking and drinking related skills that are valued out in a #108ing world.  Remember, it’s not just a hashtag, it’s a lifestyle……

To be clear, below are the top 5 “TOOLS” for a person who will be doing some #108ing, we’ll go back, back, back, back (fuck Chris Berman) and use the classic scouting grade scale of 20-80.  What is that you say?  Well, if you read any literature on scouting grades for prospects in major league baseball, they will use a grading scale that starts with 20 (the WORST, like an Adam Sandler film) and go all the way up to 80 (LEGENDARY, like the Sharon Stone interrogation scene in Basic Instinct)….Let’s do this!!!

Endurance (aka the Sunday grade)

2018-08-18

Probably the #1 most important tool in the OG 108ers toolbox is the Endurance grade.  How we holding up on Sunday, the 3rd leg of the weekend series formation.  Mind you, we need this tool to be above average as we have the #SundaySoak looming in the late afternoon, post game.  Also, it isn’t like the 108ers hold back on Friday or Saturday night of the series to “save ourselves” for Sunday LIVE yakking on the twitters.  Fuck no!  What you see is what you get.  Probably the best in this category is MySoxSummer, he’s usually game to drink 3 or 4 more beers AFTER the #SundaySoak while we just sit around contemplating what pizza joint we are going to order from to finish up our day.

Speed

DlUTQF5WwAEgKMv

This is obvious.  Who can drink the quickest, get themselves lit up the quickest.  The fastest path to #108ing excellence is to consume drinks at a high speed to get you the #108edest.  The OG Indiana crew of Biguns and the Slumpbuster are masters of this.  They employ the short glass technique, and although it is an old technique, it’s hella dependable.

Cognitive Abilities

img_3351

Yea, yea, everyone likes to get #108ed, but how do you hold up once you have a billion drinks in you.  Some people fold like a cheap card table.  Others become a gigantic mess like a lidless blender making Pina Coladas.  Some however, flourish…even improve their cognitive abilities as they get deeper into the #108ing.  That would be one Chorizy-E.  We have a rule in Section 108, that when we do trivia, it is required we wait until at least the 4th inning to allow Chorizy to get enough drinks in him so that the trivia answers start flowing out.  It never fails.

Range

388692_3139550968475_1759154370_n

Range means you are covered in any and all #108ing situations.  If the drink of choice at your specific appointment is Wine, you got it locked down…Margaritas…no problem……keg beer, wine coolers, expensive liquors drunk neat, NO PROBLEMO.  Both Chorizy & BeefLoaf have a big range of drinks that they excel in consuming, definitely a wide band that keeps them comfortably #108ing in all situations.

Character

2018-08-30

The most overlooked of the #108ing tools is Character.  That’s right.  You guessed it.  Do you become a total jag that is going to start a fight at the drop of a hat.  Do you get overserved and need a “nap”?  Does your lying frequency increase from “as needed”, to “as much as you speak”?  Do other deviant behaviors that you normally keep in check come creeping out once you get the #108ing going too strong….then guess what, that’s BAD!  To score high in Character, you need to materially keep your shit together, while being more social and fun.  If this tool isn’t at least average, you can become a major liability to a #108ing crew and therefore be pushed back in the hierarchy.

Without further ado….(do people still say that??) here are the grades for the 108ers….

108ing grades

Want to grade yourself or your friends on the #108ing tools scale?  DO IT!!! and please tweet it at us for a critique

– BeefLoaf, Chorizy-E & MySoxSummer

 

The White Sox Irrelevance

I am a White Sox fan. I grew up watching and rooting for this team. I still miss Old Comiskey Park. With that being said I will also add that it pains me, and I take no joy in, writing this article. The White Sox have become irrelevant.

There are multiple reasons for this assertion. Some of which I will cover here.

1. The roster and on-field product

For years the White Sox organization has tried to convince us of how smart they are using a half assed approach. What is this approach you ask? The approach is simple.

• Bidding on high-priced talent at a lower price point than other organizations and then telling the fans that the bid was “competitive”, even though it was a lowball offer.
• Being butthurt by the agent who represents several high-profile and high talent players (Scott Boras and Kenny Williams) and refusing to deal with him.
• The inability to read the waiver wire (Kenny Williams with Alex Rios)
• Choosing to shop in the K-Mart Blue Light Special aisle hoping that the past their prime player du jour (Canseco, Andruw Jones, Jimmy Rollins, Manny Ramirez, and the like) can regain their previous form.
• Having a “Kenny guy” (Dave Wilder) accepting kickbacks from international players signing bonuses, leading to a conviction and prison sentence for Mr. Wilder. Oddly enough Kenny Williams still has a job.
• Devotion to obvious poor choices to manage the team (Terry Bevington and Robin Ventura are two examples).
• Kenny Williams and his constant big swinging dick mentality. I give him credit for trying to be competitive but wonder how he keeps his job.
• The drafting of players. How many drafted players have made an impact since the days of Larry Himes drafting, in succession, McDowell, Ventura, Thomas, and Fernandez. Remember drafting, not a free agent or acquiring in trade. Chris Sale (1st round) and Mark Buehrle (37th round (?)) are the only two that come to mind.

2. The Ballpark experience.

Now I could stop there and be rightfully angry, but sadly the White Sox problems extend far beyond that. The ballpark experience leaves a lot to be desired as well. Some prime examples of this include:

• Allowing people who buy 500 level tickets to sit in 100 level seats that Season Ticket Holders pay a lot of money for. I have broached this subject on numerous occasions with the team and one day a member of the security staff told me that they were told to allow people to sit there so the park looks fuller. Way to protect your fan base that actually pays for good seats.

• This PDF tickets. I have had people attempting to sit in my seats using tickets that had been photo shopped with a different seat number, in this case my seat.
• The fee that Season Ticket Holders have to pay to get their season tickets printed. I am a fan who likes collecting tickets, but if I want a hardcopy ticket it costs $50 on top of what I pay for season tickets to get them. On top of that they are the crappy Ticketmaster tickets. If you are going to charge extra why can’t you at least do a little solid for the fans and make them nice.
• The security checkpoints to get in the ballpark become a disaster when there is a crowd. Nothing like putting your best foot forward when you have people there. The wait times during the Cub series was an absolute joke and just add another point to a shitty ballpark experience driving fans away.
• The fact that for some teams (Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs) the crowd is more fans of the visitors than the Sox. If this doesn’t concern the White Sox front offices then frankly all hope is lost.
• The general apathy of this organization to convey accurate information. The scoreboard questions and stats can be an absolute joke at times with obvious errors and omissions. There are also examples of incorrect dates for “signature” Sox events and history. I have attached a couple on the next couple of pages illustrating my point:

The White Sox wore shorts in 1976, not 1979.

Scoreboard 1

The Dates for Soxfest 2016 were January 29 – 31. BTW, this screen was displayed on the screen while waiting for the opening ceremonies to begin Soxfest 2016.

Scoreboard 2

The White Sox found a way to git Friday – Sunday into 2 days. July 17 – 18?

Scoreboard 3
If the staff can’t, or doesn’t care to, convey accurate information for their product how can they expect the fans to be enthusiastic?

3. Is hope lost?

I will be frank. I think all hope is lost. If the Sox really want to win the fans back, they need to win. Not only win but make winning a standard. A simple stat will explain what I mean by sustained winning. The White Sox have won five (5) playoff appearances (all division titles (1983, 1993, 2000, 2005, and 2008) since division play began in 1969. The Cubs, nicknamed the loveable losers, have made four straight playoff appearances, including the NLCS three years in a row and a World Series title. The White Sox have NEVER made back to back playoff appearances, which just further illustrates the half-ass approach this team has always taken. They have hoped to catch “lightning in a bottle”, and they did in 2005. This is not how you build a loyal fan base. This team has not had a winning record since 2012, even when they were trying to compete in 2013 – 2016. In that time the Cubs have lapped them. The Cubs have the media on their side and a slew of celebrity fans, and wanna be fans, like Bill Murray and Eddie Vedder. Wrigley Field has always been billed as an experience and the winning just jacked it up to another level. The White Sox act like they are doing you a favor by letting you come see their games. Sorry that mindset doesn’t work anymore.

4. What can be done?

So, what can be done? If the team has ANY hopes of becoming relevant in this city they not only need to need to build a sustained winner, they need to improve the ballpark experience. What are some of the steps they need to take:

• Sign talented players. I think they have to go hard and all-in for Manny Machado or Bryce Harper. My choice is Harper and it not only has to do with on-field performance. Josh Donaldson CANNOT be the primary piece of free agent signing. He has to be a complimentary piece. If you frame all of your free agent moves around signing him, you have basically repeated the sins of the past. I say that because that means that you did not sign Harper or Machado AND you will not be making a move for Arenado after the 2019 off-season.
• Improve the ballpark experience by making Season Ticket Holders feel special. This can include:
o Dedicated entry for Season Ticket Holders with guaranteed giveaway items for them.
o Early entry for Season Ticket Holders so they can watch batting practice. This can be done through Gate 1 and have security standing at the entry to the lower bowl from the outfield area.
o Embrace the fans. Make sure the fans know they are appreciated. Do more things like the White Sox Prom held on the Wednesday before Soxfest 2018. Have a Christmas party for the fans, you can use the Stadium Club, Scout Section, or Chisox Bar and Grill.
o LISTEN to the fans. You may be able to find some things that may make the ballpark experience better.

The team has a long journey ahead of it. I hope they realize how bad things have gotten. I tend to think they don’t because things have gotten to this point.

Feel free to contact me with any compliments, criticisms, or any other thing you can think of.

-Aloha Mr. Hand

The 108 Interview Series – PNoles

Likes

Favorite Game That You Were At The Blackout Game. It is my great hope that I have a new answer to this question in 5 years.

Favorite All Time Player That Doesn’t Have a Statue On the Concourse Quintana. I considered Maggs but the fact that I’ve had greater fondness for Quintana in a Cubs uniform than I did Magglio in a Tigers uniform speaks volumes.

Favorite Drink and Dinner at the Park Brat with grilled onions and peppers. While I appreciate a good IPA or craft brew, I’m more likely to stick to Modelo in the park.

Favorite Place to Sit For a night game, nothing beats the scout seats but I’ve only done it twice. For day games I like the lower deck down the first base line for the shade.

Favorite Uniform Loved the cutoff pinstripes with the black sleeves that they used to wear. I miss those.

Favorite Giveaway Any and all bobbleheads.

Favorite Theme Night Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day.  One of these years I’m gonna wear my leprechaun suit to that game.

pic2

Dislikes

What irks you the most about White Sox fans? It varies from era to era. Right now it’s the habit of making benchmarks out of the respective rebuilds of the Cubs and Astros — two completely dissimilar organizations with more proven levels of team-building acumen and more generous spending habits that didn’t have three premium trade pieces to kickstart the process.

What is the worst part of being a Sox fan? We have no “Golden Age” to point to.  Success has been fleeting throughout my lifetime and long before it. 2005-2008 is probably as close as it gets, but even that timespan included a 90-loss team and just two postseason berths. I want to see them punch a ticket to October in back-to-back years.

Worst part of the game day experience? Bathroom and concession lines. This isn’t a problem at lesser-attended games, but it sucks that part of the price of games like Opening Day includes punting an inning to take a piss. I don’t blame the White Sox for this, it’s just the nature of stadiums.

What really grinds your gears? Bunting with two strikes, bunting before the late innings, bunting with competent hitters, and bunting.

DIlZtK1XUAAOk8t

Least Favorite White Sox player of all time Paniagua

Game Day

Most memorable experience as a White Sox fan I don’t want to say the Blackout Game again so I’ll go back to the Carlos Lee grand slam against the Cubs in 2001. That was the loudest and most amped up I’ve ever heard the crowds going down the ramps from the concourse.

Ballpark experience, how could it be better?  I’ve got three for this. First, open the parking lots earlier. If you’re doing a full-blown tailgate, it takes awhile to set up, cook, and take everything down, and if you’re in charge of everything that doesn’t leave a lot of time to just chill and hang out or play bags or whatever while still making it into the game on time.

Second, now that I’m a dad with young kids, I’m gonna give a dad answer and say they should have more than one family bathroom.  If you’re not sitting close to the 108 (which I suppose is a mistake in of itself), that can be a long walk for either carrying or walking with slow-moving kiddos.

Third, bring back the damn Pirates of the Carribbean intro. This is a no-brainer. Everyone loved it, it gave me chills, and it often would make me rush to leave tailgates to get in on time for it. Now I don’t really care if I’m slightly late (as long as it’s for tailgating reasons).

Best Sox Park hack? I don’t really have any. I like freely grabbing seats close to the dugouts / home plate like everyone else, but that’s not unique.

What brings you back for every game? Nothing beats the sights, sounds, and smells of the park. I can’t say it any better than that.

Feelings on the wave? I thought it was cool as a kid but then as I got older I realized I liked baseball instead.

Which Gate is your favorite to enter the park from? Gate 5. I love walking up the big staircase. I call it the Stairway to Heaven.

How Early Do You Get To Games? I like to get into the park about a half hour or 45 minutes before the game. I have this weird obsession with the way Gene Honda introduces the other team with a level of sinister contempt: “First for the visiting….Minnesota Twins.” That also gives me plenty of time to hit up food and beer without missing much of the pregame stuff.

CidJjVLUUAIGy9S

What Do You Bring To Games? I’ll sometimes bring peanuts since I’m going to wind up buying them if I don’t, but other than that not a whole lot.

How Many Games Do You Go To Each Year? It used to be 8-10 but since having kids that’s dropped to about 4-5. I’ll probably ramp that up again when they get older.

Section 108 Questions

What is your favorite baseball word? TOOTBLAN

What is your least favorite baseball word? Bunt

What get’s you excited about the White Sox? When they’ve got a lineup full of guys that can swat dingers. I loved the 2008 team.

What makes you sad about the White Sox? The last decade.

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you love? I love the organ. It’s just perfect for the setting. It’s fun to pay attention for when they play a little tune that’s a pun on an opposing hitter’s name.

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you hate? Cowbells. Leave that shit at home.

What is your favorite Hawkism? “You can….put it on the boooooooooooaaaarrrddd, YES!!”

Do you think that you, Jim and Josh could take the 108ers in a 3 on 3 hoops game? Yuck. Who picked these teams? I play a lot of ball, but there’s no way I’m good enough to carry those guys.

Why do you dislike KenWo so much? I don’t! I like to dunk on him sometimes for trash baseball opinions (and make no mistake, some of them are major doozies) but he might actually deserve the title of “biggest Sox fan I know”.  Dude’s invested a ton of himself into this team. I’ve been at tailgates with him a few times and he’s a likeable guy.

The Pat Hatter blog is a fun read, but how the fuck didn’t you have Maurice Levy in your top 30 Wire characters? Levy is a good TV villain. Every time that guy’s on screen you just want to see him get what’s coming to him, and I love when characters make you feel that. However, this is The Wire we’re talking about and the cast is too deep to accommodate several good characters on that list. What I love about The Wire is that nearly everyone is written with nuance/depth and few characters are thoroughly good or thoroughly despicable. There’s nothing redeeming about Levy and we don’t really know anything about him other than that he’s an extremely scummy lawyer. In my book, that leaves him squarely outside the top 30.

Maurice Levy, abogado criminalista corrupto representante del clan Barksdale

You are a bit of a stathead, if you could, which specific stat / metric would you like to fully educate the average White Sox fan on? I think wOBA is a good metric and a decent gateway into the more advanced stuff.  It stands for Weighted On-Base Average and essentially takes the result of every plate appearance and appropriately weights how valuable it is to a baseball offense, so e.g. triples will raise your wOBA more than singles or walks.  It’s on a similar scale to on-base percentage, so something around .270 is garbage, .320 is around average, and stuff close to .400 is elite.

Do you have a SoxMath arch-nemesis? Mike Gonnella is damn fast, but there’s a whole host of other players (Joe Resis, Jordan Lazowski, Ashley Sanders, Riles, Jack, others that I’m surely and apologetically forgetting) that have really stepped up their game this year and made winning extremely tough, and I’d like to extend a hearty congratulations to those competing in the finals. I’ve toned it down on the SoxMath this year — this is sure to induce groans but ever since I’ve changed cable providers I’ve seen some correct answer timestamps occur before I’ve seen the question (“lol suuuuuuure pnoles”).

Do you have any favorite #108ing stories you’d like to share, ballpark or otherwise? Nothing too crazy. Back in 2013 I attended the South Side Sox meetup at the park for the first time after posting on the site for about 3-4 years. It was awesome meeting everyone, but I made the exceptionally poor choice of drinking a lot of beer and eating very little food at the tailgate. We went to Cork and Kerry after the game and I left at some point to go home by myself.  My sense of direction pretty much vacated me by that point and I was found by a couple South Side Sox folks a little later that night wandering around the abandoned Sox/35th Red Line station (which was closed for construction that summer). They got me home OK and I’m still very grateful to them.

Dkb2QmZUYAAMB5r

What’s your greatest fear about the “rebuild”? That it won’t generate enough stars. I think there’s going to be enough depth players but the early returns have been discouraging with regards to developing elite major league talent.

What is there about this team that excites you the most? Eloy

Give us a #HotTake about the rebuild. The White Sox don’t have a single league-average catcher in their organization, and are going to continue to grow The Legend of Tyler Flowers for another half-decade.

Favorite White Sox Twitter Account (Besides @fromthe108) and why? Excluding @SoxMachine from this because it’d be a boring answer, I’m a big fan of everything @SoxOn35th has been doing this year. Second choice would be @ckamka and his never-ending parade of cool facts.

8cE1Tbpm

Person from White Sox Twitter that you’d most like to meet and why? I’ll say the collective from BP South Side. I’ve met Mark and Mike, but haven’t met the other guys. Most of us are doing an online trivia league and that’s been fun.

Favorite Non-White Sox Twitter Account and why? Gotta be @jon_bois. Jon is hilarious and extremely creative. I was way into his Pretty Good series and if you haven’t checked out 17776 I can highly recommend doing so.

What do you like best about @fromthe108 ? You guys have brought a lot of fun to a really tough year to be a Sox fan. If you can make 2018 a good time, I can’t wait to see what you do to a year when good stuff actually happens

Favorite White Sox related blog or podcast and why? Can highly recommend this killer blog/podcast combo called “Sox Machine”.

What is your favorite alcoholic drink for #108ing?  Be specific and feel free to go with more than one if you need to.  What about your favorite beer style?  If I’m watching at home, I’m all about old fashioneds. I generally like IPAs and other high-ABV beer but they are my Kryptonite.

Favorite cut of Steak?  Prepared? I’m big into New York Strip steaks, generally medium or medium rare.

Gimme an “Uncle Rico” moment from your prior sports playing past. On two separate occasions I’ve hit a half-court shot at the buzzer to send a basketball game into overtime. In true Uncle Rico fashion, I’m not typically the guy whose number gets called in those situations, and to the best of my recollection those are the only two such attempts I’ve ever had.

Where would you take @ChiPartyAunt out on a date? She doesn’t strike me as the dating type…

Favorite performance enhancing drug? Pedialyte. Best anti-hangover weapon there is. Not sure if it counts as a drug, but they put it in the section with medicines so that’s good enough for me.

51752_1_m_1200x1200

Who do you hate more Jim Belushi or John Cusack? Cusack

Happy Ending

What Other Chicago Teams Do You Enjoy Bulls and Bears. The outright tanking has soured me on the Bulls though. I watched them all the time when they sucked from 1999-2004 but the recent shift of actually managing games to lose had me stop tuning in altogether last year.

Favorite Chicago Sports History Moment Last out of the 2005 World Series

Favorite All-Time Sox Broadcaster Jason Benetti. I also love Stone and it is my dream to have him eviscerate me on Twitter one day. Hawk will always have a special place in my heart but too much of his tenure was rough to sit through.

pic1

Any Stories About Running Into or Meeting White Sox Players? Other Chicago Athletes? Not really. I’ve met some players but there’s not much of a story there.

Favorite Band? Coheed and Cambria. Claudio Sanchez is a creative mastermind.

What is your favorite song? Right now I’d say Mr. Brightside. It takes me back to college.

Favorite TV Show (or Netflix or HBO or whatever the fuck)? The Wire. After I wrap up The Americans I’m going to put together a personal all-time list on The Pat Hatter.

Married or Single? Looking for a GF? I am happily signed to a 100-year contract with no opt-out clauses.

Do you remember your first Sox game? Nope!

What Player had the greatest impact on you? Frank Thomas, hands-down.

What was the happiest day watching the Sox? Game 4 of the 2005 World Series.

What was the saddest day watching the Sox? I might be conflating memories but I’d say that game against the Mets when Gillaspie and Beckham collided to blow an infield pop-up, and after the Sox blew the lead, Hawk went to break outright screaming “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!” It was the first time I thought White Sox baseball might be hazardous to Ken Harrelson’s health.

What do you do for work? If you could be or do anything else – what? I’m an actuary. If I had the voice for it, I would have loved to be the PA announcer at the Sox game or the person who decides what music and sound bites to play. I also think it’d be cool to be a voice actor. Basically, I wish I had a better voice.

If you could live in any other time, when might that be? The 1980s would have been pretty cool. I technically was born then but wasn’t old enough to appreciate the culture.

If you could have dinner with five White Sox Players, past and present, who would they be? Yolmer, Big Hurt, A.J., Ozzie, Palka.

If you could change one thing in your past, what might that be? I wish I was more confident in high school. I didn’t really figure myself out until college and in retrospect feel like I spent years living as less than the best version of myself for no good reason.

What are you most proud of? My family

How would you like to be remembered? I’d like for people to think of me as a good person, and to feel at the end like I’ve earned that (which is harder and will be a lifelong struggle). I don’t need more of a legacy than that.

What’s the one thing about you few people know? I get ashamed of myself very easily when I say or do something out of line. For example, if I get heated and raise my voice at someone on the basketball court (not common, but it happens), I just ruined my day, because I’ll spend most of the rest of the day obsessing over how I came off and why I got amped up over something that just doesn’t matter.

What do you dislike most about yourself? I wish I could be one of those people who’s “on” all the time. You know the type, folks who are always feeling chatty and can inject energy into any conversation/encounter. I have occasional times when I’m introverted and just don’t feel like interacting with people and it probably shows. I never want to be like that but it happens.

Also, I absolutely despise the taste of cheese and wish I liked it like a normal person. It makes me a brutal person to order shared food (appetizers, small plates, etc) with and I hate that it makes me a difficult customer at restaurants.  Possibly the worst part is that this is often one of the first things that people learn about me (due to business/social occasions often centering around food) so it sticks in their memory and it leads to them ripping on me constantly for it, which gets old after a few decades.

What do you dislike most in others? Nothing specific. Just don’t act vindictively toward people and we’re cool.

What were your best/worst subjects in school? Best subject was Math. My worst subject was Literature because there’s no way to check your work. You needed to guess the same interpretation of the book as the teacher and/or grading rubric, which is BS. My sophomore year of high school I was one of several people in my class who was caught plagiarizing SparkNotes, because without using SparkNotes, I was never confident that my essay on a particular book was “right”. I had a couple GREAT English teachers in high school but also one particular one that repeatedly insisted that grades weren’t important, especially for English given the subjective nature of interpreting literature, and I was like, “Great, well if you don’t think it’s important which grade I get just give me an ‘A’ then.”

What do you like doing in your spare time? In addition to hanging out with my family and friends, I play basketball a few times a week and am in a softball league. I love to play poker, even though I don’t get a chance to as much as I used to. I watch a good amount of TV and as alluded to above, I’ve made a habit of writing up my thoughts on shows over on The Pat Hatter. Lately I have been getting more and more into trivia because about a year ago I joined the aforementioned online trivia league with a bunch of my friends and realized how bad I am at it, so I’ve actually started to read some books and watch Jeopardy more. Being bad at things — no matter how trivial (no pun intended) — bothers the hell out of me. That’s the significance of “gym class hero” in my Twitter bio.

Who is your celebrity crush? Don’t really have one

nigel

What is your favorite movie? Silver Linings Playbook

What is your favorite baseball movie? Moneyball. I’ll get Shawshanked by that movie whenever it’s on.

What is your biggest/weirdest fear? I’m sort of a hypochondriac, but I’ve found that since having kids, it’s been less of an issue. Hooray for exposure therapy! I still won’t let you drink out of my cup or vice-versa though.

What would be your one super power? Telekinesis. The potential for messing with people would be through the roof.

What would you change your name to? Rembrandt Q. Einstein

What pet would you love to have? I would like to have Jimmy Butler’s boombox fishtank and put pet fish in there. That thing is amazing.

What’s your one biggest pet peeve? Left-turners that don’t pull into the intersection on a soft green. There’s no reason we both can’t make this light, buddy.

What’s your one annoying habit? One? Hmmm…well I can definitely be a space case sometimes. My mind wanders easily from whatever’s going on in front of me. I’ve gotta say though, this feels like a pretty incomplete answer to this question.

What would be a good theme song for your life? Eve 6 – Here’s to the Night. I know it was actually written about a one-night stand but the lyrics are heavily nostalgic and reflect my general mindset about the past. I’m not good with big changes and moving into new stages of life. On the other hand, I love escaping into memories of days gone by and experiences I’ve had in high school, college, and even as a younger adult. I focus a lot on the exciting stuff and the high points, sure, but I even have fondness for all the stuff that wasn’t as pleasant to live through. I try as hard as I can to appreciate the present but the truth is that I love life so much more in hindsight. Five years from now I’m probably going to be doing the same thing about 2018. After college was over I made a video of photos of my friends and I through the four years and set the ending of the video to this song.

What ballpark would you like to visit? I crossed off Fenway last summer the night that the 108ers cashed in on Dylan Covey, so that was probably my answer for as long as I can remember. With that one off the list, I think Camden Yards or Coors Field would be my next choices.

Check out Pnoles on Twitter…

The White Sox player polls – Coaches & Hahn

Good day friends, we bring you the last of the White Sox 2018 review with our players polls coaches and Hahn polls, voted on by the fans, with comments from the fans….let’s do dis!!

Ricky Renteria

The Fans….

RICKY

BeefLoaf’s Take – I voted with the fans.  The easiest parts of his job to judge are his tactical managing in-game and the development of young players in his care.  Both were medicore to terrible this season (Daniel Palka’s hulking HR performance aside).  Ricky makes questionable moves throughout the game and is likely hurting the teams chance of winning more than helping it when he’s requesting bunts early in the game.  Maybe it was all a complicated rouse to ensure a top 5 draft pick….I don’t know, but I leave the season hopeful that he has the capacity to learn and improve, but Underwhelmed by the 2018 seasons performance.

Don Cooper

The Fans…..

COOP

Todd Steverson

The Fans…….

TODD

BeefLoaf’s Take – I have lumped these two jokers together because to me, it is equally difficult for me to judge their specific performance.  I know it is tied to the overall performance, but the player profiles and lack of talent more closely correlate to overall performance of the team.  In layman’s terms.  If a player was expected to have X performance with the average pitching coach, what is his performance with Cooper.  These are probably knowable at some level of quant calculations with moderate comfort in the calculation, but not by a dickhead like me.  Same with Steverson, the offense was actually ahead of the pitching by a wide margin, but a similar analysis would need to be conducted and I don’t have the wits about me or the time to do so.  As MySoxSummer always tells me…..”If a hitter has great success, the success is always attributed to the hitter and the great adjustments they made and that they don’t listen to the hitting coach, conversely, if a hitter struggles, the blame goes to the hitting coach, sighting that he should have DONE SOMETHING to help the player hit better.”  It’s a complicated analysis.  I did vote underwhelmed on both because the team performance blew so bad, but I am open to anyone and any opinion to the contrary.

Rick Hahn

The Fans………

HAHN

BeefLoaf’s Take – I voted Underwhelmed….WHERE….TO….START.  Hahn couldn’t manage to sell the magic beans that were Avi Garcia’s 2017 season and he couldn’t find a suitor for Jose Abreu either.  Hahn didn’t use the White Sox substantial payroll flexibility to bring in more prospect talent (absorbing Jacoby Ellsbury’s or Matt Kemp’s contracts could’ve bolstered the farm), other than paying ~$7M for 38 IP of Joakim Soria and Kodi Medeiros who the White Sox internally are singing the praises of, but the rest of the outside world believes is hopefully a LOOGY in the future.  The White Sox did not invest in a Rule 5 pick on a roster that clearly could’ve absorbed one (they used a pick but then traded it).  Hahn did trade some International Cap space (which the team really can’t use because it exceeded the cap previously for Luis Robert) for a few teams ~15th reliever on their 40 man roster, which is in the good column for sure, but hardly a home run.  I don’t want to fully rehash it, but Tommy Pham was apparently available for org depth and he didn’t find himself with a new CF.  I guess the folks that were Encouraged are hanging their hats on the expected excessive value that Hahn is securing in 2025 on the back of Eloy Jimenez.  I don’t know.  At least this season’s 1st round pick looks more likely than the last several to be a major league regular, so that is also a plus.  Finding Daniel Palka has to be his #1 accomplishment of this off-season and the stat heads out there will say that’s “Meh” at best.  Be better next year Rick, there are a lot of us counting on it.

-BeefLoaf

The White Sox player polls – Pitchers

Good day friends, we continue on our review of the White Sox 2018 review with our players polls, voted on by the fans, with comments from the fans….let’s do dis!!

 

Dylan Covey

The Fans….

COVEY

BeefLoaf’s Take – I voted with the fans.  The performance was volatile and if you squint hard enough, you can see a potential future multi-inning reliever with some effectiveness.  As a former rule 5 pick, maybe it should be a little more than meh, but it’s still all speculative right now.

Jace Fry

The Fans…..

FRY

BeefLoaf’s Take – I voted with the fans.  The guy looks like a good bullpen arm, I’m surprised I still know what one looks like after watching the 2018 White Sox, but I’m happy I do.

Carlos Rodon

The Fans…….

RODON

BeefLoaf’s Take – I voted “Meh” because to me, this looked like all of the other Carlos Rodon seasons, he has flashes where he looks amazing, he has flashes where he can’t find the plate and inevitably he misses some time and at the end of the year, he has what looks like a middle of the rotation starters numbers.  It’s fine, I just can’t get excited about that.

Lucas Giolito

The Fans…….

GIO

BeefLoaf’s Take – I voted with the fans ldo.  21% Encouraged has me like…..

nigel

 

Reynaldo Lopez

The Fans………

LOPEZ

BeefLoaf’s Take – I voted with the fans.  He weathered all of the storms, he battled through bouts of ineffectiveness and he came out of it all with a very strong finish, where the strike outs starting showing up.  He’s the best pitcher on this staff and I would give him the ball on Opening Day in Kansas City late next March.

-BeefLoaf

The One Hitter – The White Sox can’t afford Jose Abreu

This is the One Hitter, don’t forget to exhale.  I was goofing off, doing a little poking around the internets related to our favorite Sout Side Team thinking through a few discussion points for our visit on the ChiSoxWeekly podcast this week and I decided to do a quick sketch of the 2019 White Sox payroll, I had heard lude claims that the White Sox had this microscopic payroll, so I wanted to see if it was true.  So I made a few assumptions.

  1. Modest arb raises for those in line for them
  2. A mostly league minimum payroll (I used $600k, which might be an eyelash high)
  3. Picked up Nate Jones’ option
  4. I signed 2 bottom basement starting pitchers for $5M each to replace Kopech / Shields spots.

Here are the results

Sox Payroll

That payroll is pretty similar to the roughly $72M that was spent this year.  If they did go out there and sign a Manny Machado, well they’d be at $100M, with not even 1 above average starting pitcher.

Based on what we think as fans, they probably won’t be spending much more than $100M in total on payroll this year.

POLL

Conclusion: If the White Sox are going to be players in this off-season, I think Jose Abreu’s and Avi Garcia’s salaries need to go away.

WHAT. SAY. YOU?

-BeefLoaf 

The White Sox player polls – Infield

Good day friends, we continue on our review of the White Sox 2018 review with our players polls, voted on by the fans, with comments from the fans….let’s do dis!!

Yolmer Sanchez

The Fans….

YOLMER

BeefLoaf’s Take – I voted “Meh”, yes of course I love Yolmer’s craziness, he’s entertaining af, but he’s only a starter on a 2nd division team.  He’s really just a backup and his performance over the last two seasons is showing that, as fun as he is to root for, he needs to be replaced if progress is the goal.

WRITE SOX

Cut it out Tom!

 

Tim Anderson

The Fans…..

TA7

BeefLoaf’s Take – I voted with the fans.  The defense has become a weapon.  He’s a big league regular even if his offense doesn’t take another step forward.  Yes, yes, I know he was a 20/20 guy this year, but his HR’s aren’t likely to keep up if he doesn’t start hitting the ball with more authority, that’s the next step up.  The speed / base running is real, he’s a stud at that.  Lastly, his LEADERSHIP!!!  Before the season, Chorizy-E and I dubbed him “Nino Brown” as he is the boss of the baby White Sox, this still appears to be bearing fruit and I am excited to see how he continues to embrace that role.

Yoan Moncada

The Fans…….

MONCHADA

BeefLoaf’s Take – I voted “Underwhelmed” and apparently because of it I haven’t watched very much and I don’t know how development works…..

RONNY

I digress, being encouraged or meh or underwhelmed is about expectations, and my expectations for Moncada were high (I expect him to become Dan Uggla with speed).  The facts our, he regressed at the plate from his 2017 debut.  Not so much that I’m alarmed and I sure as fuck didn’t use the “B” word (we don’t use the “B” word in the 108….we say other “B” words, but that’s a different discussion).  Every scout worth their salt said that the one thing that could eat up all of Moncada’s talent is his K-rate and guess what, he struck out a ton.  I’m very interested to see if he can take a step forward in 2019, but as for his 2018 performance, a slightly below average MLB second baseman is a fine baseline, but watching it in real time was underwhelming.  It lacked any signature moments, it lacked any blistering hot dominating streaks.  I’m Underwhelmed.

Omar Narvaez

The Fans…….

OMAR

BeefLoaf’s Take – I voted with the fans. It’s kinda sad when we get all excited over a potential decent hitting backup catcher, but this is the 2018 White Sox for fucksake.

Matt Davidson

The Fans………

FROSTY

BeefLoaf’s Take – I voted “Encouraged”, but that is mostly for two reasons.  1) Chorizy-E and I are Matt Davidson Fanbois

DbUokRLXkAAUkoC

2) His commitment to trying out various in-game mustache looks was commendable.

th

I’ll be back soon with the Pitchers….
-BeefLoaf

The White Sox player polls – Outfield

Good day friends, we wanted to get out ahead of the “blogs” and “podcasts” as all of those spots will be doing their “Season Review”, well there wasn’t specifically a Season Review done by the fans,….UNTIL NOW.  Your pals at Section 108 wanted to highly involve all of you in our discussion of the season in total by putting up player polls and by plucking the best of the best comments to include in the reviews.

Best-Of-The-Best-1989-580x400

Okay, now we can start….

 

Avisail Garcia

The Fans….

AVI 1

BeefLoaf’s Take – I was Underwhelmed by Avi, but then again, I’m always underwhelmed by Avi.  He has 1 year above 0.7 bWAR, he’s not the prospect he was hyped as.

Nicky Delmonico

The Fans…..

STEAKS

BeefLoaf’s Take – I agree with the Fans.  Nicky got hurt this year, so maybe that sapped some of the power, but he looks like a guy who doesn’t have enough power for a corner OF spot, not enough speed to play CF, but enough on-base skills and versatility to help a team on their 40 man roster.  He looks like the dude you try and stash at AAA so he can come up when you have some injuries and give you a month of decent plate appearances.

Adam Engel

The Fans……

ENGEL

BeefLoaf’s Take – I voted Encouraged.  I’m really not sure why, I can’t stand watching Adam Engel bat. It’s an abortion.  His defense is pretty fucking slick tho’.  Maybe my expectations were that he gets chewed up and spit out by the harsh major leagues and end up playing in a beer league next to other “has beens” and “never will be’s”, but alas he’s here.  Upon looking into his offensive profile, his wRC+ and OPS+ (those are fancy metrics that try and pin down offensive value without having to use a bunch of stand alone statistics) would put him in the Billy Hamilton or Adeiny Hecheverria range of hitter….real luminaries of the craft.  I’ve come to the conclusion that Adam Engel needs to pick a lane…here are his two choices and if he comes back to spring training not choosing one of these, well then I am sure they can find him a nice job at the Bulls / Sox Academy.

  1. Become a slappy singles hitter that hustles to get on base – Remember when Scotty Pods had his second go around with the White Sox?  He was sitting on his couch looking handsome when he unexpectedly got a call from the White Sox to come play.  He was an awful defender, not really a good base stealer anymore, but he decided that if he just hit .300 and got on base he could be valuable.  So he started running up on the pitch and trying to chop it and doing all kind of other weird things just to get on base.  I want the “Handsome” Scotty Pods to come in and teach Adam Engel the ropes on how to apply 16 inch softball tactics to the MLB.  ALSO, i’d like him to start working hard on the muscles in that left shoulder, because we are going to attempt to take a few dozen pitches off of that shoulder in 2019.
  2. Sell out for power – Ron Kittle needs to be on the job for this.  I just want him to mash 20 dongs ($1 Zach Sherwood), I don’t care wtf the rest of his hitting profile looks like, if he can tap that power, he’ll get more walks and be on base more to use his speed and he’ll never really have to learn how to hit.

 

Daniel Palka

The Fans…..

PALKA

BeefLoaf’s Take – I obviously voted with the Fans!  The only reason to even come to the ballpark most nights was to see if Palka was going to smash one.  He’s our spirit animal, he embraces #108ing, he’s the man.  I just assume that those who pressed the button on “Meh” Or “Underwhelmed” miss clicked.

That’s all for the Outfielders……we’ll be back with the Infielders soon…

-BeefLoaf

Hawk’s Retirement – Why we no longer need TV announcers

I really couldn’t write a better Hawk send off than dozens of other folks have written.  I have enjoyed parts of Hawk’s bit for years, particularly his catch phrases and his enthusiasm for the White Sox.  I know LOTS of people in the White Sox fan base and even interlopers are tired of Hawk’s “act” and tired of his “child-like qualities” but I for one am going to miss Hawk Harrelson.  I think the era of us having these entertaining, hyperbolic and mercurial personalities in the television booth of a baseball game are over (I mean, that doesn’t mean one broadcaster won’t attempt to choke another broadcaster out off camera over which chair they’ll sit in, but that’s entertainment for the interwebs, not for the actual broadcast).  Just a few of the reasons why Hawk was so unique are listed below….

chi-hawk-ct0021532010-20050522

Homerism – I can only speak for me, but when I listen to the home broadcast of my favorite team, I’d like that person to be as personally invested in the team winning or losing as I am.  Hawk is MORE invested than the fans out there.  What other broadcaster runs down to the clubhouse to check on Todd Frazier after an injury?  What other broadcaster gets mad af and goes silent for a whole half inning?  What other broadcaster screams at the umps or goes down to the clubhouse to even give them a piece of his mind.  NOBODY!!  Hawk did / does all the shit that any of us fans would do if we were in his spot.

17priq80tavm7jpg

He threatened to punch Jay Mariotti – The 108ers aren’t really fans of physical violence, in fact we avoid it at all cost, but when someone is really fucking asking for it, well, I can do nothing but take great delight in them being scared out of town over it.  Mariotti was a scumbag before we knew he was into hitting women.  A loud mouth jerk off sometimes gets what they deserve and Hawk was ready to serve it up to him, so for all of us out here who also think he’s a fucking jagoff I raise my glass to Hawk in a typical #108ing style.

Ken-Hawk-Harrelson-crop

Stories – This motherfucker LIVED!  Hawk has sooooo many stories!  If you think about it, a baseball broadcast is part sporting event, part talk show and Hawk was fluent in both.  I know people would occasionally call it “The Hawk Show” and mean that as a derogatory term, but for me, I love that Hawk could fill in the dead times with stories both of on and off the field exploits.  As the late great Kurt Cobain said “Here we are now, entertain us!”  A lot of the modern broadcasters just haven’t lived enough life yet to have anything like this for us.  They’ve been too busy hustling up the next play-by-play gig after their graduation from Syracuse.  It isn’t their fault, but it is to our detriment as consumers.

th

Originality – The entire White Sox fan language has basically been created by Hawk.  You can’t get through watching an entire White Sox game with another fan without a Hawkism spilling out of one or both of your mouths.  The persona of Hawk is an original character that I don’t see being recreated in the remainder of my lifetime.  It seems people are content to receive broadcasts in a non-hyperbolic, well-mannered, controlled delivery (sorry Gus Johnson) and so the bombastic characters of yesteryear like Hawk are probably finished.  If you can’t get excited when Hawk is delivering a BIG CALL on a game winner for the White Sox, then something is wrong with you.

ct-chris-rongey-signs-off-at-wscr-am-670-20170126

After getting my thoughts down on paper (web paper, i guess), I got to thinking…..maybe tv broadcasts don’t really need an on-air broadcast team in the traditional sense.  If we can’t have a colorful character with a bunch of stories coming at us and mostly what we get is cookie cutter college broadcast program types, then why not innovate this shit and move in a different direction?  We have the visuals, so what might make sense instead.  Mind you, this is no shot at our current play-by-play man Jason Benetti, who does have a personality and can be very engaging on air, but if you flip around to the rest of the tv broadcasts on MLB.TV, you are getting less and less folks that can really spin a yarn.

Artificial-intelligence

AI Broadcaster – Artificial Intelligence is being used everywhere else in all of our other regular activities, why not just grab a bot or two and get to testing.  Survey the public for the most generic, pleasing, unoriginal voice (sort of like your run of the mill Bryan Adams album) and program that to recognize the activity and just give you the facts.  That’s what I often hear the intelligencia want, they don’t want a big over the top story guy, they just want the information coming at them, so here you go, and eventually once it’s rolled out everywhere, then the cost will be lower and the innovation will be complete.

DaILbeGWkAAaI1F

Sound man – How about we just hire up the great sound men of each city, whether it be DJ’s for Radio sound men / women or whatever.  In Chicago, we have Chris Tannehill from 670 the Score.  Just let him loose in the booth, to play anything and everything he wants as a sort of backing track to the game play.  It could be music, so maybe during the early parts of the game you have something more like shoe-gazer like My Bloody Valentine, busted up by various sound bites that more accurate describe the big action when it occurs.  This would probably suit the twitter crowd great.  Later in the game when there is a lot more tension, you could flip the switch some some metal or hip hop depending on game play situations.  I dunno.  The folks that do this shit would probably come up with something really cool to back the game with.  I’d love to see it tried.

30-steve-albini.w1200.h630

Mic the field – I mean, really mic the field, I want Steve Albini to be the first person to hang the mics for this shit.  Then, all we get is crowd sound, bat sound, ball hitting glove sound, umpires yelling, etc.  You could really create the visceral sounds of the ballpark at home with this approach and it would cost a fraction of the price.

Eagleman

Constant commercials – I know this is getting ownership groups everywhere to have tight pants, but you could employ a read man or woman and literally get every facet of the game sponsored to varying degrees.  You could run a panel of the screen with up to the second stats and then have the ad man drop in that that pitch out was sponsored by Menards.  That sacrifice bunt was sponsored by Depends, or whatever the fuck.

All the rest of the game innovates when it gets to a stagnant spot, I’d have to guess that one of these innovations or something really cool that my feeble mind could not even process are on the way.  Congrats on retirement Hawk, you’ll be missed.

– BeefLoaf