White Sox Prospect Fatigue

Hi, I’m BeefLoaf and I have White Sox Prospect Fatigue.
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That was a tough sentence to write, mostly because, a half dozen righteous twitter folks are going to say “This BeefLoaf idiot just doesn’t get the rebuild”.  Believe me, I get the rebuild, I understand how it works and I think the 108ers as a whole have been critical but fair regarding each of the moves so far that have encompassed the White Sox rebuild.  I’m also fine with being patient about said rebuild.  You have to remember, the 108ers are LONG TIME season ticket holders.  We aren’t just folks spouting off on twitter, we put our hard earned cash into this team on an annual basis.  Never mind the tickets, you see the “sundry” items we buy in the ballpark.  WE ARE INVESTED.
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Sundry purchases
We have discussed ad nausem that this process is going to take a much longer time than most people think.  There was a Bacci’s sized pizza slice of the White Sox fan base that thought they would compete for a playoff spot, THIS YEAR.  The 108ers have been saying this is going to be the WORST year and that next year, you might start seeing some signs, but even next year it seems aggressive to think of the White Sox as a playoff team without a large injection of talent via the free agent market.  These are all coming as stark realizations to the fan base, as we are 20% into the season and we are watching a HORRID on field product, but none of these are really surprises to us in the 108.
So…..you are probably wondering, “BeefLoaf, WTF is your problem?!?!?!”
My problem is the incessant beating of the drum of the “prospects”.  I am NOT trying to belittle the terrific coverage that is provided by various outlets on the minor leagues.  I read and enjoy those products, but I’m coming to the point where I might have to start limiting myself from ingesting those products because it is making me sad.
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SAD!?!?!?  How could seeing that Luis Basabe or Blake Rutherford are crushing it in Winston Salem make you sad!?!?!
Because I realize just how far away they are and just how unlikely it really is that any single one of them is crushing it in the majors some day.  These are out of the money options…these are the controlling stock in a cash negative business that the owner can really only cash out on the valuation IF someone buys the company.  When will that be?  Will the value go to zero before it can be realized?
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I’m a big BIG fan of Nassim Taleb, if you don’t know his writings, you should check him out, or don’t, to each his / her own.  Regardless, he’s many times noted in books and videos or articles that it isn’t healthy or helpful to look at your stock portfolio daily.  The incremental movements (both good and bad) are unhealthy for ingestion by us humans and they don’t have much baring on the long-term success or failure of the portfolio.  This is what we are doing to ourselves by looking everyday at whether or not Micker Adolfo struck out or Dylan Cease had a regular bowel movement or whatever the fuck.  IT IS TOO MUCH!  At least for me.  I’ll be limiting myself from this coverage as much as possible.  I even skipped through 30 mins of my favorite White Sox podcast because it was going on and on about people that will likely never make a difference to the club on 35th and Shields.  I can’t do it, won’t do it.  Life is short my frents.
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So I am going to limit how much I ingest of this, if I find out some prospect is having Ron Kittle’s 1982 Edmonton season at some level of the minors, I’ll probably become intrigued, but given the level of expertise you need to understand how underlying prospect performance turns into major league performance and the nuance required to teeter from numbers to scouting to reports about make-up, I think it is best for me to limit my how much of this stuff I take in.  Apologies to those that do a great job covering this stuff, you’ll still get a twitter follow, I’ll still be a supporter of your work, but I’ll be tuning out for the majority of the prospect stuff.
Sorry,
– BeefLoaf
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The Next GREAT White Sox Team – Expectations

Good morning friends, it is your old pal BeefLoaf (emphasis on the OLD, as I’ll be turning 40 the day after our meet up at Baderbrau on June 16th with our friends from the SoxMachine, check out this Eventbrite for some more details.) and I wanted to get down on my thoughts about “Expectations” for the Next GREAT White Sox team.  The two best White Sox teams that I remember vividly are the 2005 Champs (let’s include the 2000 team in there and the 2008 division champs, which was the first season that I had weekend season tix) and the 1993 Division Champs.  I went, as all supposedly smart dudes do, to the Baseball Reference page and took a look at these two teams competitive windows and calculated their “expected” playoff appearances using the 2 wild card system that we haz today.  Here are the results……
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The best White Sox teams in terms of playoff appearances evar  (this criterion is based on IF the 2nd Wild Card existed, AND for the 1990-1998 White Sox I am assuming that the strike shortened results of 1994 for FINAL).
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2000-2008 White Sox 4 

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1990-1998 White Sox 4
*It makes me happy to watch these two dudes mash taters*
This was the genesis of the poll that I put out to the fans.  I really wasn’t sure what to expect from a good White Sox team, but since the last two versions came through with similar type results as far as wins and such, I thought it might be about the right number to shoot for with the core that will be around over the next decade.
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Okay, 46% of you, said I’m fucked up.  4 Playoff appearances is too few to make you “delighted in your happies”, with this next crew.  I found this interesting as I assumed most of the people who participated in this poll likely don’t remember 1983 (I barely do) and some probably don’t really remember 1993.  Most of you only remember the 2000-2008.  Those teams had a variety of different players and really only 2 stars that were part of all of those teams Paul Konerko and Mark Buehrle.  Those were the best teams of our collective lifetime’s.  The poll revealed that in order for this rebuild to be successful for at least 46% of you out there, they would need to be better than that team.  Doesn’t seem terribly unreasonable on the face of it, what with 1 more playoff birth in there that would make it so.  You also have to think those teams didn’t have a second wild card to contend for, had they, Kenny Williams likely would’ve been even more aggressive in acquiring in season upgrades and maybe they squeeze out a 5th playoff appearance in that era.  Then I got to thinking, maybe there was an even better example of this in the years before I was born.
ENTER the GO-GO White Sox!!!
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Now, I had to change the criterion a bit.  There were only 8 teams in the American League at this time and free agency didn’t yet exist, so it’s probably not a perfect comparable.  I decided that top 2 in the AL or 3rd place with 90 or more wins, was akin to making the playoffs in the 2 Wild Card system.
1957-1965 White Sox  6
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The GO-GO White Sox are the best of our beloved since WWII.  This is probably the era that your grandparents and for some of you older folks, your parents were becoming White Sox fans and dragging you into this herd.  That team mostly didn’t make the playoffs, only 1 division title, that was in 1959 as most of you all know.  That team however was terrific, and put up very high win totals only to be edged out by the likes of the Yankees (mostly) and the Twins and Indians occassionally.  This is our marker for the poll as Sox fans.  OKAY, BUT BEEFLOAF, I NEVER SAW THE GO-GO WHITE SOX PLAY, SO WTF?  You know what, me either, and all I can garner from looking at stats and talking to people who did in fact watch them play was that they didn’t score too much, but they also didn’t give up much runs.  Truth be told, 1950’s and 1960’s baseball looked nothing like what it looks like today.  Maybe we should look at some more recent teams that went through rebuilds and see what a good expectation of making the playoffs might be for our soon-to-be (hopefully) in the competitive window White Sox.
For this section, I am going to throw out the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Angels, Tigers (Pizza Money Spending Era), Cubs and Astros, because we all know they ain’t gonna be spending that kinda money.  Let’s call these teams the BIG MARKET teams.  These teams separate themselves as they are able to extend their competitive window by consistently buying players of need who contribute.  Not only superstars, but regular old players that are pretty good that you need to keep contending.  I know, I know there are people out there saying, BeefLoaf, you don’t know that, we were told Jerry will spend when it is time to spend…..c’mon, Artie Moreno paid Josh Hamilton like $100M to go play for some other team because he had enough of him.  You really think Uncle Jerry gonna spend like that?
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Anywho, let’s take a look at some other teams.  Remember the rules, we are taking ACTUAL PLAYOFF APPEARANCES + WOULD BE PLAYOFF APPEARANCE (pre 2nd Wild Card, but with a record that would’ve qualified for the 2nd wild card)  Apples to Apples frents.
Rays 2008 – 2016 4
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This is the team that went from worst team in MLB to AL Champs (2007 to 2008), they also defeated our White Sox in the division series that year, 3-1.  They were top of my mind because Rob Hart recently brought this team up on twitter noting their rebuild back in the day (it was actually a build because they sucked eggs before this).  Remember BJ Upton, I know I do, unfortunately he changed his name back to Melvin Upton Jr.….doesn’t have the same ring.  He kilt the Sox in that series.  The Rays were a great story as they were considered one of the “smart” organizations for their emphasis on run prevention in an era coming off of the whole “Moneyball” thing.  They also got on base like a mutha too, and utilized high draft picks that helped this eras teams greatly (Longoria, Price & Upton were all top 3 overall picks).  The Rays 1st round magic appeared to run out later into this run and therefore so did their cheap cost controlled talent.  The Rays tend to always have a miniscule payroll, so that’s curtains for a team like this.  The White Sox will spend substantially more than those Rays, but they also don’t have Andrew Friedman as their GM.
Pirates  2012 – now  3
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The Pirates started the uh…”pitch it so they can hit it right into the shift” revolution, or something.  They also drafted Andrew McCutchen #11 overall in 2005 and he became a superstar.  This era of team was also terrific at finding low cost free agents that they could plug in and get A LOT of mileage out of…..that sounds nothing like our Sox.  For all their success, all they got were 3 wild card play-in games, which they went 1-2 in, and then a quick divisional exit at the hands of the Cards.  They are already back in pseudo rebuild mode, trading their top SP this past offseason as well as the aforementioned McCutchen….your luck can change just that quickly.
Royals 2012 – now  2
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This one we watched up close and personally…including seeing the Royals clinch a playoff birth at our home park.  For all the talk and all the discussion and all the bouqets thrown their way.  They made 2 FUCKING PLAYOFF APPEARANCES.  That’s it.  Rebuilds are hard folks.
Reds 2010 – now  3
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The Reds were good in 2010, winning the division, they also won the division in 2012 and before you know it, they were fucking horrible in 2015.  This team had a good young core, but their pitchers swiftly got leprosy and were no good anymore,….Mat Latos (hey, remember me?), Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo and Tony Cingrani.  I’m not sure enough limbs remain from that group to make an entire Frankenstein’s monster.  DUDE.
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Joey Votto is still there, doing Joey Votto things, but he’s the last remnant of a REALLY GOOD and short lived Reds squad.
Indians 2013 – now 3 (soon to be 4)
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The current crop of Cleveland Indians are likely to go to the playoffs for a 3rd consecutive season, they also got a dead cat bounce season back in 2013, which I am also including.  This club is getting to the end of the rope on some of their talent (Andrew Miller and Cody Allen are free agents at the end of the season).  Their stars though are still all under contract (Lindor, Ramirez, Carrasco, Bauer, Kluber).  The Indians are much, MUCH better at drafting and developing talent than the White Sox (at least to date) and they have a better front office.  The AL Central is still pretty weak and it wouldn’t shock me if the Indians went to 5 or 6 playoffs before this 9 year window is done.
Phillies 2005 – 2013 7
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Now this is probably what White Sox fans are thinking.  This era Phillies were really fucking good!!! Through 2008 / 2009, the Phillies had a payroll more akin to what the White Sox are likely to have in their competitive window, something in the top 1/3 of the league, but not too high up.  The 2nd half of the winning also included a top 5 payroll on the regular.  That is going to be a little tougher to imagine.  This squad had home grown talent up the ying-yang and superstar talent at that, with two MVP’s (Jimmy Rollins & Ryan Howard) and another guy who didn’t win an MVP, but is likely a HOF (Chase Utley), as well as a top pitching talent (Cole Hamels).  They were also good at scooping up low cost talent and turning them into top players (Bobby Abreu as an example).  As I said, the 2nd half of this run included grabbing Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt, as well as providing arbitration raises to the young home grown players.  Is this something our White Sox can do?  I’m not sure.  The truth is, that these Phillies would look A LOT like the previous teams I mentioned, without big coffers.  I bring them up because they are a little different than the big spenders who I excluded because they don’t seem to spend BIG all the time.  Just when it matters.  Just like the White Sox MIGHT.
The final two comps are probably the best hopes for the 46%ers when envisioning a future White Sox world.
Rangers 2009 – 2017 6 
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The Rangers combined a terrific farm system with some savvy pick ups in free agency and trade.  Their payroll stayed in the top 1/3, but didn’t consistently get in the top 3 like the Phillies did.  The Rangers managed to keep the flow of low cost players who could contribute coming up from their minor leagues without having a BIG STAR come out of that group (well Josh Hamilton was a BIG STAR for 2 of these years, amidst all his issues).  They were terrific up the middle with Ian Kinsler / Elvis Andrus / Michael Young for this era.  A late blooming Nelson Cruz helped solidify their offense through this competitive arc (hey sounds like someone else we know).
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Adrian Beltre‘s 2nd career flourished here.  They traded for and mixed and matched pitching to get them back to the playoffs on the regular.  All shapes and sizes imo.  This era Rangers is what the White Sox COULD look like if they get it all right.  Savvy free agent and trade acquisitions, terrific player development and patience.  Nelson Cruz washes out of a lot of other orgs.  NOT HERE.  He becomes a star (despite his misplay in game 6).  If the White Sox are to reach our 46%’s expectations, they are going to likely look like these teams.
Cardinals 2000 – 2008 6 AND 2009 – 2017 6
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Cardinal voodoo magic is real.  I’d like for the White Sox to draft Albert Pujols‘ equally sick cousin in the 13th round of the 2018 draft, but I won’t hold my breathe.  Other than being big fucking cheaters,  the Cardinals are terrific at acquiring and developing low cost talent.  You can’t have this type of winning record over two decades without doing so.  They win in all kinds of ways, including having one of the worst tactical managers in MLB the last several years.  The key to their success is literally ALWAYS having that next guy from their system to turn to when players are under performing.  When someone gets hurt, you don’t have to put JB Shuck out there to crush your teams hopes and dreams.  They have real actual players that come up from their minors that can actually play baseball.  Two years ago, nobody ever heard of a Tommy Pham…..and now most of you still haven’t heard of him, but he’s pretty fucking good and really holding it down in the Cards OF.  This would be the dream situation, although, I would assume a more massive front office overhaul would need to take place to get to something like this.  The crew on 35th and Shields ain’t just going to wake up tomorrow and be good at all the shit the Cards front office has been good at for 20 years.
In conclusion…..
While I thought it VERY OPTIMISTIC, borderline irrational for 46% of White Sox fans not to be pleased with a potential 4 playoff appearances in 9 years, I now at least believe it to be within the realm of possibility.  It will take improvements in the development staff and possibly more restructuring of the front office to get there in my humble opinion.  An advantage that even the bad White Sox teams had over other clubs was an ability to get their players to sign very team friendly extensions.  Jerry wouldn’t open up the pocket book for the last club that had Sale, Q, Abreu and Eaton on super cheap deals, but maybe he will for this group….this group seeded with young talent coming up through the minors.  Maybe Jerry will go all Mike Illitch on this bitch and become THAT owner and start spending like there’s no tomorrow (even if that only means a top 8 ish payroll).  Maybe, the salary cap will aid a team like the White Sox as it won’t make it AS HARD to keep up with the top payroll teams.  One thing that has been said elsewhere as well as here in the past, if the White Sox are to get to the playoffs as much as the 46% expect, they’ll have to get better at pro scouting.  Signing free agents (full market value) and finding the next Carlos Quentin (or similar type player) is going to require a much better result than the last 5 to 7 years worth of work has rendered.  Oh, and it’s going to take some LUCK!  Probably lots of LUCK!  But that’s okay, the 108ers are optimists and with the White Sox running as bad as they have for the last decade…..lets just say…..WE’RE DUE!
– BeefLoaf

The 5 – FIRE Jeremy Haber!!!

Good day friends, it’s your pal BeefLoaf and I know how mad you is after that crushing loss to the Cub.  After that, the minor league teams aka the “White Sox propoganda machine” took a poo all over themselves Bridesmaids style.
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I know, I know, its a fucking rebuild, save your bullshit, today ain’t about that.  Today is about irrational solutions to the problem of “I’m pissed about watching terrible baseball.”  MY SOLUTION: FIRE Jeremy Haber.  Some of you are like, who the fuck is Jeremy Haber??  I’ll be honest, the only reason I knew who he was, was because the fine folks @FutureSox had him on for an interview.  As it turns out, Jeremy Haber is the Assistant GM or the Assistant to the GM, I’m not sure which, either way, he’s fired!!!  Anywho, I am bringing you the 5.  5 Jeremy Haber replacements.
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But wait, before we do that, I don’t know what the Assistant to the GM actually does…..then again, this isn’t a problem, most of you don’t know what I do and those that do know what I do, realize they can pick off 5 average Streetwise vendors to take my job tomorrow and not miss a beat, so this shouldn’t be too, too hard to figure….aight, here we go!!!
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Hans Gruber – Look, I know he’s not with us anymore, but good candidates to replace the Assistant to the GM don’t grow on trees, so I went with a guy that WOULD’VE BEEN GOOD!  We all know he was an “exceptional thief” and was transitioning over to “kidnapping” when John McClane dropped him off the Nakatomi building back in the late 80’s.  Plus, the White Sox could use those $640 million dollars worth of bearer bonds to buy some free agent talent.  Get this payroll moving in the right direction.
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The Chairman of the Fucking Board Phillip Green – “He didn’t know too much, he didn’t want to know too much, he especially didn’t want to know that the bosses told the Teamsters to give him all that money, he wanted to believe they gave it to him because he was smart.”  Do I need to say more?  This seems like the perfect White Sox front office employee, he looks the part but doesn’t know shit.  HIRED!!
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Joe Sheehan – I’m a YUGE fan of Joe Sheehan’s work, he’s a smart baseball man and would probably be a very good outside the box hire for a TV or radio booth (the White Sox radio booth needs some work, but that’s a story for another time).  Joe might even be able to filter down the message to Ricky Renteria to STOP FUCKING BUNTING!!!!!!  However, Joe admittedly doesn’t play nice with others, which probably means he and Kenny Williams would end up fighting and he’d be out after a short while.  Imagine that, a SMART GUY, who is ALSO a SMART BASEBALL GUY in a position of power for a BASEBALL team, instead of just a dude with a bunch of letters behind his name from an Ivy League school.
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Howard Ankin – “YOU NEED MY MANG!”  Since Ozzie loves this guy, again, it would probably be frowned upon, but he currently provides more entertainment to the White Sox broadcast than any of the players on the field.  I bet if we ran a poll, at least 25% of people would say that Howard Ankin is their favorite part of a Chicago White Sox game on television.  So why not hire him inside the org.  He can still chase ambulances, nobody in this blog wants to interfere with that, but he could probably provide some valuable insight into how to turn a buck and how to spend it effectively.  It’s something Rick Hahn could use a little “assistance” with.
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Dwight Schrute
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– BeefLoaf

What if the guy we were looking for was here all along?

A favorite “throw this movie on in the background while we do anything else” film in our household is “The Campaign” the moderately funny take on the political process in the US starring Will Farrell and Zach Galifianakis (among others).
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The movie is centered around the evil capitalist brothers, the Motch Brothers (played by Dan Akroyd and John Lithgow) who are basically a fictional version of the Koch brothers.
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The Motch Brothers basically create a candidate out of thin air, Marty Huggins, played by Galifianakis, but despite garnering a large lead in the polls, he declines to change legislation that is key to their “plan” and they swing back around to back the opposing candidate, Cam Brady, played by Farrell.  Before they switch sides, they are discussing the need for a new candidate and they note “What if the guy we were looking for was here all along?”.  This got me to thinking, I’ve been pining for the WhiteSox to develop some halfway decent homegrown players, players we aren’t expecting stardom from, just guys who can be “okay” players on the next good White Sox team.
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What about Matt Davidson?  We’ve already jettisoned him from this roster back in March, only to jump ceremoniously back on the bandwagon in early April.  Davidson’s early season has been disgusting .257 / .372 / .574 and not likely to hold up, but his increased patience does look like it will hang around. He probably won’t hit home runs at the clip he does off of the hideous Royals pitching stuff.  He’s literally KNOCKING the COVER OFF THE BALL
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SIDE NOTE – I did literally knock the cover off of the ball back in the day.  Chorizy-E and Polish with Extra Onions can confirm, we used to have a junky little field that we would play pickup games on (it was like the Sandlot except with snakes and we used bricks for the bases).  I remember Polish with Extra Onions hitting a line drive off of some kids head during a game there, we told him to rub some dirt on it and keep playing.  Anywho, we were playing with a rubber coated league ball (we were poor and this was all we had, so gfy) and we were playing “lob”, which is basically slow pitch hard ball.  This field had a surrounding hill, so if you could knock the ball onto / over the hill, that was a home run.  We lost many balls in the lush urban jungle behind the hill and it was always an adventure to go and try and find a ball that was hit “out” so to speak.  I’m standing at the plate, tall, muscular (on the husky side) and get a nice lob pitch right down the pipe.  I swing and BAM!  The ball goes flying into the outfield, except the cover of said ball goes floating out towards the pitchers mound.  I remember being pretty happy to tell MadMex that I had followed his orders (he used to tell me all the time before coming to the plate in little league to “Knock the Cover off the ball”).
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Oh, yea, back to Frosty…..it looks like a good bet that at least some of his gains on offense are real and while he’s not much of a glove man at 3b or 1b, and his upside is likely limited to becoming a Logan Morrison type, that’s still a usable player, especially in the American League.  Now, these aren’t sought after players (at least not with large monetary compensation), but when they come cheap, it is always nice to have the extra power, even if he becomes a 3-4 times per week player.  Good teams need bench players like this……injuries happen, good match-ups happen, off-days happen, etc.  That’s the good news.
The other other good news is that Davidson is under team control through 2022 and doesn’t even hit arbitration until 2020.  Cheap power…..that’s exactly what you’d like to see on a team that plays at the BallPark Formerly Known as US Cellular Field.
WAIT BEEFLOAF!  What if Matt Davidson learns how to crush other pitching staffs like how he crushes the Royals (truth be told, the Tigers and Orioles bullshit pitching staffs gotta be in the running for this)?
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If Matt Davidson turns into a .250 / .350 / .500 full-time player…….it wouldn’t shock me to see the White Sox trade Jose Abreu thinking Davidson will take over first base.  I know, I’d hate to lose Jose Abreu, but the White Sox appear to be ready to do so, as they didn’t take advantage of a depressed FA market to try and extend him when pricing appeared to be favorable.  It is almost like they are rooting against Abreu this year and next OR they are pretty comfortable trading him at some time between now and the expiration of his deal.  Get used to it White Sox fans, as much as we want our team to spend mucho dinero for the next competing team, don’t assume they’ll play big market team for a few years.  Expect them to pinch pennies where possible and turning arb eligible Matt Davidson into 75% of Jose Abreu for a fraction of the price sounds right up there alley.  Only time will tell if he can actually maintain his power and patience approach to being a valuable big league stick.
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As this trainwreck of a season goes tumbling down through the summer, be on the outlook for how Matt Davidson is doing and how he potentially fits in on the 2020 White Sox.  Now is the time to test out players like he to see whatcha got and hopefully we got at least a little sumpin’ sumpin’
– BeefLoaf 

The 5 – White Sox Positives of the Early Season

The early season for the White Sox has been abysmal, a last place start with an absolutely awful pitching staff.  Our centerfielder is a worse hitter than most of the pitchers in MLB through ~ 500 MLB Plate Appearances and our manager is bunting our way out of big innings on the regular.  As shitty as this year has started off though, there have been some positives and in order to keep all the folks who thought this team would compete for a wild card from jumping off of the ledge, I bring you, the 5.  Five White Sox Positives from the Early Season.
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5. The Beer Vendors – One easy measure for enjoyment of the 108ers at Sox Park is the speed and care with which we receive adult beverages.  In fact, we had a recent game in which two of our favorite beer vendors popped a squat right in the 108, so it was basically like we had our own cooler right at our disposal all throughout the game.  It isn’t a surprise that the White Sox walked this game off and the 108ers trudged away triumphantly.  Throw in a SundayFunday margarita or two and you have the full compliment of terrific adult beverages services in Section 108.
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4. Tim Anderson‘s antics – We’ve posted before about how we go to games to be entertained and Tim Anderson is doing that in the early going.  Whether it be his exciting play at the plate, or in the field and especially on the basepaths he has not disappointed.  He has especially been a hero in the way he has gotten under the skin of the whiny fucking crybaby “unwritten rules” policy people (Sal Perez and JV, I’m looking squarely at you two fucking crybabies).  I loved when he fucked with Marcus Stroman last year (btw, that might have RIPIP Stroman’s career as he’s been a stinky, stinky pile of dung this season) and I am really enjoying this year so far.  I can only hope that when the White Sox play the Astros again, he can get under the skin of one of the all time jag baggiest “unwritten rules” policeman of all time Brian McCann.  I can’t wait to see that jagoff getting hot about Timmay hamming it up.  Team brawls are good for camaraderie, right?
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3.  Fruitsunami – Unless you have been living under a fucking rock, you know our sponsor Baderbrau and the terrific beers and food they serve on a daily basis at their tap room at 2515 S. Wabash.  The star of the show in this early season at the BeefDeck tailgates is the Fruitsunami.  We have routinely started the weekend with a 24 pack of this delicious brew and by the time we are done with the first game of the weekend, there are basically none of these badboys left.  EVERYONE in the crowd LOVES, what MySoxSummer has nicknamed “the Mind Eraser”.  The whole crew, even the wives and girlfriends seem to dig on the Fruit and Green Tea that comes through in this tasty IPL.  It’s an early superstar of the 2018 season and plans to figure prominently in the June 16th meet up with the SoxMachine at Baderbrau.
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2. Steve Stone – While people are paying extra attention to Hawk Harrelson’s proverbial swan song and others are laying lots of praise at the feet of the NKOTB Jason Benetti, Steve Stone has quietly been at his best in a LONG TIME in the early season.  As if he already wasn’t one of the one or two best in the game, it is like Stone has taken his game to a new level this season.  He’s gone deep in the story well including some very interesting stuff, like beating Minnesota Fats at pool.  He’s also gone to twitter to slay idiots on the regular to the delight of White Sox Twitter and anyone who likes when ignorance is punished for our enjoyment.  Stone is 70 years old (71 in July) and he doesn’t have any hint of slowing down his game.  He looks like he’ll keep on keepin’ on at a high level ala Vin Scully for the next decade or so and that’s good, because when the playoff teams come along, we definitely want him here still killin’ it.
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1. White Sox Twitter – the tight nit group that is White Sox twitter always makes the losses more palatable.  The GIF’s, the polls, the smart ass comments, the videos, the blog posts and podcasts and everything in between.  Nothing better than laughing it out with your best few hundred friends on White Sox twitter who happen to be out on any particular night.
– BeefLoaf

The One-Hitter – Adam Engel

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Hi friends, it’s your pal BeefLoaf and this is the One-Hitter, don’t forget to exhale.  Pretty much the whole herd of us folks on White Sox twitter were intrigued at some point with the prospect of Adam Engel.  Last year’s near full-season audition was terrible at the plate (like Sinbad’s comedy terrible), but there seemed to be glimpses of elite speed and defense.  Supposedly, even some of the stat folks that measure defense thought Engel was the second coming of Byron Buxton in CF (I have a big internal belly laugh every time I think about that, just watching the two can make you realize how silly that sounded).  There was even promise of his putrid bat turning around, as there were “noticeable adjustments” that were trotted out in spring training.  The White Sox propaganda machine even made sure to have side-by-side video of last year’s terrible plate appearances and this year’s new and improved plate appearances.  Engel even managed to hit a little bit in the Cactus League (along with lots of other folks who won’t mean a damn to an MLB team this summer), putting all of White Sox twitter (or most, I know there are probably a few of you miserable fucks that weren’t intrigued, so don’t @ me) on the edge of their seat as to what might come of this quick twitch, young athlete.
Alas, we are here, 1 month into the season and we are seeing pretty much the same terrible hitting out of Engel that we watched all of last season.  Even worse, we are now realizing that his “elite defense” may have been small sample size bullshit as he’s looked the part of a Three Stooges short in CF this season.  White Sox twitter and White Sox nation for that matter, have pretty much fallen out of love with Adam Engel, and rightfully so…..except for one guy.
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We’ll write about his future prospects in another post soon….
– BeefLoaf

Are you worried about Yoan Moncada?

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Good day friends, it’s your old pal BeefLoaf, just writing some chit on ANOTHER DAY of PPD White Sox baseball. I gotta tell ya, I have proverbial blue balls with all of these PPD so far in this early season, especially considering we might get 0 innings of White Sox baseball this weekend, such hooey, but I digress.  I wanted to stop by to ask a quick question.
ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT YOAN MONCADA???
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Of course you are, otherwise I wouldn’t be asking this question.  The real question, is, why are some people NOT worried about Yoan Moncada.  You know who I am talking about, those heady, steadfast folks that host blogs or podcasts or that are otherwise rational baseball fans on twitter that you interact with on a regular basis.  Those folks keep telling you that they aren’t worried about Yoan Moncada, mostly they use terms like “small sample size” and “pedigree” and “barrels” and “exit velocity“……those things reassure them and make them sound smart.  Folks, I’m here to tell you the truth.  Everyone of them mufuckas is worried to some degree, but lets me ‘splain why they aren’t worried to the same degree that you are…….
Forget that the White Sox traded Chris Sale for Yoan Moncada
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Most of the people that say they aren’t worried about Yoan Moncada, have already separated the fact that the White Sox traded one of the best pitchers in their history for Moncada.  These folks (likely sociopaths) have been able to compartmentalize the fact that the Sale White Sox teams weren’t going to win shit and that trading him was a necessary conclusion unless we went back to 2012 and Richard Branson bought the White Sox.  If you can do this (no small feat) then you don’t automatically think that if Moncada isn’t as crazy good as Sale was, then he’s a failure.  This leads me to my next point……
Successful Yoan Moncada might not look like you think
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I’ve heard the “#1 prospect in baseball” title bandied about with old Yoan as if it means SUPERSTAR
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Truth is, the #1 prospect in baseball at any one time, sometimes just becomes Andy Benes, a solid big league player or worse……….
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The people that aren’t worried about Yoan assume he ain’t going to become Ken Griffey Jr.or Mike Trout or Alex Rodriguez…………..”real good” Yoan Moncada, in my mind and likely the mind of others that “aren’t worried”,  is a prime Ron Gant and prime Eric Davis love child.
Lots of power and lots of speed, solid defense and a bunch of swing and miss and meh average.  I’ve heard people say that average Yoan Moncada is basically Ian Kinsler, I think it is probably closer to Dan Uggla with speed, but either way, we aren’t talking about a generational player.  We are talking about a very good player and one that is a top 3 hitter on a championship team, but one that still has some warts…..while we are on top players on a championship team
Yoan Moncada’s timeline is not the full competitive window AND he doesn’t have to be the best player on the next White Sox world series team
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I just got over thinking that Yoan Moncada’s last season with the White Sox is the END!!!  It isn’t, truth be told, the competitive window is likely more calibrated around Eloy Jimenez than any other player in the org.  Also, Yoan Moncada can be the 3rd or 4th best player on the next title contender….think 1 SP, Jimenez, BIG $$ Free Agent, Yoan…..if Yoan ends up better than all those folks, the White Sox are in even better shape.  Think about any good team of the last 10 years, teams that made it to the World Series….can you envision Yoan Moncada becoming as good as their 4th best player?  No? Okay, then you’ll really love my next point……
People are full of shit!
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Yep, I said it, some of the people being even handed, and claiming they aren’t worried about Yoan Moncada are full of shit!!  It is the same as when someone asked you “Are you worried?” when your high school girlfriend went to go “study” with her “friend”.  Her “friend” who happens to be male and also happens to be the handsome captain of the football team.  You tried to play it cool, but you were fucking terrified underneath all of your fake coolness.  Yoan Moncada’s 36% strike out rate in the major leagues is the handsome captain of the football team.  Fuck yea you are worried!!  And you have every reason to be.  Pretty much anyone who thought Yoan Moncada might not be that good thought he’d be swallowed up by a gigantic strikeout rate.  That HAS happened so far.  Will he improve?  Probably, but in order to be “good” Yoan Moncada, he’s gotta park that thing in the 27% range.  He has to cut it by 25%, can that be done? Sure…will it be done, who the fuck knows?
Eat some Twinkies
Look, some of your favorite bloggers on the internet would rather just drink beer and eat twinkies and forget about it.  Is there a better way to “help out” than crushing a bunch of twinkies with fans? Are the 108ers worried?  A little….but we have some control, as our superstitious side knows we’ll just knock back these delights from Hostess and our man from Fidel Castro land gonna be ALLLLLL RIGHT!!!
– BeefLoaf
PS….we have a Baderbrau MeetUp that has just hit the calendar, it is going to be 30 minutes after the June 16th 1:10pm game vs the Detroit Tigers…..we’ll be joined by the fine folks from SoxMachine and we’ll be drinking tons of Baderbrau at their brew pub. We’ll be in the gallery, so come see us, $0 to get in and it is also the eve of yours truly’s 40th bday so stop on by to talk WhiteSox with us and to share some delicious Baderbrau beer.

Fixing MLB’s Opening Week

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Good day friends, it’s your pal BeefLoaf and I am back after a bit of a hiatus from writing, it happens, sometimes you can’t quite get the lead in your pencil to go right….so to speak, but I digress.  I am writing this in the midst of the White Sox Home Opening Weekend and I wanted to get into a league wide MLB problem that almost everyone has opined on, but almost nobody is getting right.  After spending 3 hours out in low 30’s degree weather Thursday, with 2/3rds of that time being spent in the snow, and once again spending 3 hours in low 30’s degree weather on Saturday, it would seem that we have a bit of a climate problem when it comes to the start of the MLB season.  I happened to catch some Pirates/Twins earlier in the week, which was also in the snow, and while it looks pretty on TV, it’s probably sub-optimal for the players.  You can look around the league at the various postponements across the midwest and northeast to start the season and see this is clearly a problem.  You end up bunching these games up later, playing them on off-days down the stretch.  Nobody in their right mind wants that shit.  So what to do???  I’ve heard that they should start the season in only the dome / warm weather parts of the MLB landscape but that doesn’t seem right, I mean, why would folks in these locales want a disproportionate amount of their home games right now as opposed to June or August or wherever else in the schedule.  I’ve heard that the baseball season should be shortened and started later.  Hey, I could get on board with that, but I think the owners like to accumulate whatever revenue they can in the early season from their taxpayer funded stadiums, so I am not sure we’ll ever see that (possibly if they are expand the playoffs in a more dramatic way, maybe this happens), but for now, we are left with a series of undesirable prospective solutions, none of which are going to fit with the current climate of baseball in which the players have negotiated substantially more off-days for theyselfs.  What to do???

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I got to thinking, everyone who follows a baseball team LURVES a road trip!!!  Every year, it is the one thing that gets talked about more than anything else, WHAT CITY ARE WE GOING TO GO SEE THE WHITE SOX play in?  I’m sure all fan bases are like this…..so I haz the solution….instead of starting the season in any teams park, the first 10 days (8 games) of the season will be at a neutral location.  Each Division will be assigned a city to attend to play 2 games each against their divisional opponents, for 8 games total for each team.  With the added off-days you might even run into some of the heroes from your team having dinner, drinking excessively or tucking a buck in the city that your division is assigned to, imagine that!!  However, the neutral sites need some sort of appeal, so I’m thinking these are the criterion…….
– Warm predictable weather or a Dome stadium
– A big enough stadium to hold major league baseball even if major league baseball games have never been held there
– Fun city or location, possibly a city that wants major league baseball so that Rob Manfred can pretend he is doing some due diligence on a future site for expansion
Here is the first cut at this solution……

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Montreal – We’ll send the NL East to Montreal!  World class city, they used to have baseball (as you might have heard) and rumor has it they want baseball again (or at least baseball romantics who forget they couldn’t get 3,000 people to a game at the end of the Expos residence there)….and rumor has it, they have an exciting night life and would be a cool city to visit.  They already have a baseball stadium, so this shouldn’t be a problem.  I see this as a no brainer.  I can’t wait to watch Thor throw a shut out and then fake speak some French, it’s gonna be amazeballs!!

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Honolulu – Yep, we are sending the AL West to Hawaii, why not?  They deserve it, don’t you think!?!?!  Truth be told, I don’t think Honolulu has a big enough baseball stadium to have MLB games, but they have that junky old football stadium that hosts the college team and used to be the home for some of the most boring exhibition football games in the history of sports known as the Pro Bowl.  I see no reason they can’t do a little conversion job to slap this together.  I would love it if they had a comically short Right Field fence and Joey Gallo hit like 9 HR’s in a game, including one out of the stadium completely, whatta thrill!  I suspect that we could get tons of folks that don’t even care about Billy Beane to fly from their homes to Hawaii to enjoy this little baseball get together.

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Las Vegas – You knew this one was coming, booze and gambling and nightlife mixed together…..we are sending the NL West here, this way the Rockies won’t feel slighted as they can still play at altitude.  I am not sure the AAA stadium will work, so we might have to play these games inside of one of the casinos.  I could just see it now, Clayton Kershaw sitting at the nickel slots pounding away and then being called to take the mound that next half innings.  Warms the heart.

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New Orleans – We will send the AL Central to NOLA!!  Now, I think playing these games in the Superdome makes the most sense, I would think they could figure out how to make that workable for baseball, although I doubt many of the hard partying midwesterners that head down there will actually make it to the games, between Harrah’s casino and Bourbon Street and the French Quarter there is a whole fuckton of things to keep this crowd busy and boozey!  Imagine an April trek of games where Ned Yost doesn’t look like he’s going to freeze to death.  That would make baseball history!!!

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Mexico City – The AL East will be sent to Mexico City!!  Now, once you get past kidnapping and rampant gang violence, I hear Mexico City is a fun town.  They have Azteca Stadium which holds like 100,000,000 people, or at least it did for those Guns n Roses concerts in the 90’s.  For those that don’t know, Mexico City is at higher altitude than Denver, so watching Stanton and Judge maim balls in this ballpark should be a treat, it will be like playing Baseball Simulator 1.000

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Indianapolis – The NL Central will go to….Indianapolis?  Look, I know it’s not a world class city like the others and it doesn’t really have a baseball stadium either, so we’ll have to shove it into the dome where the Colts play, but goddamnit, we aren’t taking away all the damn jobs from the Midwest, so we are having our brothers to the east in Indiana host this excursion.  Cubs fans rejoice!!!  You’ll get to spend some time trashing this quaint midwestern town instead of Clark and Addison.  I’d expect 108 fave Jim Irsay to be there in fine form.  He’s not on the hook to speak or “represent” a team or some shit, so he can really enjoy hisself.
Doesn’t this seem like something we could get behind?  Then the rest of the schedule can start around April 10th or something and if you want to trot out a week of warm weather / dome home games then, you are really kicking out the super bad weather section of the schedule for the midwest / northeast teams.  I envision locations and assignments would rotate over time, but this idea would have everyone booking their road trips together and creating a big mess  party for all to attend.
– BeefLoaf

Betting with Biguns ’18

Hello friends, it’s your old pal BeefLoaf.  As I did last year, I figured I would alert everyone to the bets that myself and Biguns will be partaking in this fine season.  We do have actual scratch on these bets, so they are NOT for entertainment purposes only, there will be money exchanged at the end of the season this year.  Last year, Biguns crushed me in these bets, see here https://fromthe108.wordpress.com/2017/04/02/betting-with-biguns/
In fact, ever since I hit Biguns good on a Bears to win > 9.5 games at 5 to 1 in the 2010 NFL season, he’s been getting the best of me with these season long bets. Anywho, below is the whole list….hit me up on twitter if you want to get down James Brown on something, I am sure we can line up a beer or 108 sundry item bet on some shit @mrdelicious13
BeefLoaf Bet Biguns
UNDER Slumpbuster Saturday appearances 7.5 OVER
OVER Texas Rangers wins 77.5 UNDER
UNDER James Shields 5.15 ERA OVER
UNDER Matt Davidson 165 K’s OVER
UNDER Nicky Delmonico 15.5 HR OVER
OVER Tim Anderson Walks 15.5 UNDER
UNDER Yu Darvish 200 K’s OVER
UNDER LA Angels wins 84.5 OVER
OVER Oakland Athletics wins 74.5 UNDER
OVER Tampa Bay Rays wins 77.5 UNDER
Sox Cubs vs Sox wins 23.5 spread Cubs

Beefloaf

The White Sox Twitter Personalities Tournament

Good day folks, I’m very happy to be here to announce a very special Twitter Poll tournament that the 108ers are hosting on www.twitter.com “The White Sox Twitter Personalities Tournament
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We have been working long and hard (several days) putting together the field for this tournament.  In its inaugural season, the tournament will have 36 teams, which is a standard 32 team tournament with 4 play-in games which start tomorrow!!!
The 108ers, because its our party and we’ll cry if we want to, have selected 4 different regions……
Celebs….with our Chuck Garfien as the #1 seed and the #1 overall seed in the tournament.
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Bloggers……with WhiteSoxDave as the #1 seed in that region
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SuperFans…..with the young buck ChiSoxFanMike as the #1 seed in that region
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and finally, last but not least, without further adieu, coming down the mountain, here she comes, here she comes……the 108 region, with the Mayor of the 108, MySoxSummer as the #1 seed in the region.
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Below is the full bracket (click the link to see it), feel free to follow along at home or possibly even fill out a bracket and send it in before the tournament starts.  If anyone gets a perfect bracket we’ll come to your house and drink all your beer to celebrate!!!  Now, you know you can’t beat that deal!
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Play-In games start tomorrow, so be ready!!
– BeefLoaf