Everyone and their mama (and mama’s mama’s….mama’s mama’s) is doing a season preview for MLB or for their particular team, spending 10,000 words explaining why their 1 yr $3MM free agent (no interest in talking Matt Latos, but Cat Latos should be a thing) is just the lottery ticket this team needs to win the division. Your friends from #Section108 have no interest in this sort of preview…I mean, we do love to talk and read about baseball, particularly the White Sox, and any time you venture into the 108, you can bet your sweet tokis that we’ll be talking about something at least tangentially baseball related, but this preview is about the fan experience, particularly the #Section108 experience.
#Section108 has had a tough ride the last several years with our beer vendors, which tends to be an excellent gauge of how fun of an experience you will have at a major league
ballpark. Beer, Peanuts, Encased Meats are the bane of existence through which hardcore fans enjoy the game. The 2014 season saw us getting less and less exposure to beer vendor Richard (we believe that was managements decision) and beer vendor Perla (her career and family were taking off at once)………also, beer vendor Don sustained an injury which had him out most of the season. Lastly, and most importantly, between the 2014 and 2015 season, beer vendor Kenny passed away, leaving us very short handed. As we head into 2016, beer vendor Don is slated for retirement, so we are left with newcomer beer vendor Brian and the excellent effort of beer vendor/margarita vendor James (we’ll have our beer vendor rankings for RF out in the early part of the 2016 season). From this standpoint, we appear to be solid, but probably need reinforcements. Luckily, in the 108, you have craft beers and the XFinity bar at the top of the stairs at the concourse level, so even when we cry and moan, we still have it better than the rest of the park.
The White Sox always use their new food offerings as some sort of a marketing ploy, as if someone goes to a ballgame just to consume an $11 sandwich. Other than “Bacon on a Stick”, I can’t think of another gourmet food item that I was even remotely excited to
consume…….that being said, the usual food suspects are done well and a Hot Dog with grilled onions and yellow mustard is about as good as it gets when attending a ball game. Beggar’s pizza is quality………but the best deal in the park is the box of popcorn, cheap, salty, delicious. Food is always very low on the totem pole for the 108 crew, since there are many games in which we choose to have liquid dinner, but occasionally, we’ll grab a bite and possibly even eat a soft pretzel that might have grazed the ground after purchase. The good thing about the folks in 108 is that they won’t judge you if you have a dab or two of nacho cheese or yellow mustard on your attire.
Most ballpark staff is helpful and attentive……………BUT, entering the ballpark, last year, with metal detectors and body cavity searches was a flipping disaster……….the staff got better as the season went on, but expect long delays if this team actually gets their act together and starts drawing. Opening day 2 years ago was embarrassing, it was 45 mins to get into the park. I don’t even want to think about the possibility of this team starting the year winning, it will further encourage the 108 crew to enter the ballpark in the 2nd inning as is par for the course. Also, while I am wang whipping the club, I might as well mention the red shirts who incessantly check tickets for no apparent reason. The 108 is at full capacity about 4 times per year………..the other 77 home dates bounce between 50% of seats sold and 1% of seats sold, so checking my ticket when I am in the same fucking seat every game doesn’t seem a good use of time. As a general rule, at any ballpark, if a fan is in another fans seat, they can usually solve the problem in a matter of 8 seconds with no issue…….red shirts, please do your job, by doing nothing. Thanks, #Section108
Alright, for fucksake, I guess I have to talk about the team. Let’s skip over the acquisitions of Frazier and Lawrie. When you sit in the 108, your main concerns are A) The Right Fielder and B) Weird occurrences. Let’s start with A), its been a bad run of RF’s for us….
……..you have to go back to Jermaine Dye to find someone endearing and worth rooting for…………..Alex Rios was an okay player, but other than his walk up song (“Beggin”) there wasn’t much there…………..Avi Garcia is especially underwhelming, lots of tools, but no real production, unless you count the jumping over the wall HR saving catches (mind you, Avi is 6′ 4″, the fence is about 8′ high, he should be able to reach over the fence flatfooted to catch the ball, but I digress)……………there doesn’t seem to be any help on the way for us, unless, somehow the Sox make a signing that allows Adam Eaton to play RF,………………….. insert, Austin Jackson!!! This is the type of signing that gives the 108 something to cheer about. Adam Eaton, regularly in RF (most likely). We probably won’t streak onto the field, but I can’t count it out, lets just say with Eaton playing RF for a big chunks of the year, the crew of Section 108 will shine. On to B), we won’t have anything as fun or annoying this year as Geo Soto. Between falling into the dirt after toss back to the mound, or fixing that by grabbing his procreator incessantly after each pitch, there will be nothing as l0ltastic as that to see during a game. I suspect we’ll get some excessive celebratory antics at some point from Brett Lawrie (provided he actually does something worth celebrating)…………..and I guess we will always have Melky Cabrera’s craziness (which is great!!!), I am holding out hope that someone steps up into the weirdness and provides some additional entertainment to those of us that occupy ballpark seats on the regular.