Back in Time – Memories from the BallPark

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It’s your pal’s BeefLoaf and Chorizy-E, today we are going to dig back into our memory banks to tell a tale from our past ballpark experience.   Beefloaf will tell the story with notes from Chorizy-E.
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The Background
This game takes place on September 12, 1988 and involves our beloved White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers.  You see, this was before Bud Selig fucked up the leagues and moved Milwaukee to the NL (so he can get more Cubs fans into his stadium to pay for tix and concessions) and the Astros to the AL.  This was also in Old Comiskey, where I am sure a lot of you have many memories.  I can remember playing an epic game of tag in 1989 with some of my classmates (we all got in trouble by the way because running around without supervision at the ballpark when you are 11 usually doesn’t fly with the parentals, even back in the 80’s) but I digress.  This was a simpler time when the Sox weren’t very good and when attendance sucked.  Hey, wait, basically like right now, except the old park smelled a lot more like grilled onions than this park, which is always a plus.  Anywho, my dad, who we’ll call MadMex, and his friends from work were having an impromptu work outing at the old ball yard and he decided to take us with him.  This was a big deal, because these were the 80’s and we were pretty poor, so going to the ballpark was an event.  Well, going to the ballpark is still an event now, but imagine us as little kids, donning starter jackets (Falcons for ‘Loaf, Bengals for Chorizy-E). Chorizy-E: If you’re wondering why no Bears jackets, I guess you’re too young to remember Boomer throwing to Eddie Brown or think the Ickey Shuffle was just some shit in a Geico commercial.
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The Setting
Just to set the scene, this is the 80’s, we have a lots of wonderful 80’s fashions including delicious hairstyles.  For some reason, Mom and her gigantic poodle perm didn’t come with us to this game, probably needed a break from MadMex and BeefLoaf & Chorizy-E.  This gang was a hard charging rabble rousing group…………it included guys and gals, but this was the 80’s and these were mostly artists (although with technical training) so they drank and drugged hard………….think Wolf of Wall Street, but on a beatnik budget.  Chorizy-E: When you’re a kid, you don’t quite realize this, but when you look back, holy shit were some of these guys insane. 
The Game
As any good Sox game experience does, the action on the field bored the group to drink, and drink and drink….and obviously to talk shit to opposing fans.  We in the 108 are still up for some playful banter with Sox fans or opposing fans, as this was….at the start.  As the game wore on and both teams were playing a miserable brand of ball, the chat accelerated……..it was mainly lead by a guy….I want to keep his identity secret, so for this article, we’ll call him Jeff Cernak………….Jeff Cernak was needling the opposing fans mercilessly………..to get a feel for Jeff Cernak, he and MadMex would often be on projects that required long work nights, but most of those long work nights required little in the way of actual work (hours and hours of idol time and then short bursts of work to get an overnight job done)………..in order to get right for these types of jobs, they had to fuel up, which meant, MadMex ride home at 3am on the Archer bus was often a happy/dazed one……………..back to the game……..which was a real fuggin’ barn burner between a meh team and a bad team. Chorizy-E: Much like now, there is no way I was awake for all of this.
The Brewers finally scratch the first run across in the 8th inning………imagine hanging out with a bunch of hard livin’ folks for 7 fucking innings with no runs scored…………nothing really to stop them from 108ing themselves into oblivion.  Clearly, this was back before MLB took alcohol consumption seriously and stopped serving at the end of the 7th, these folks were hitting it hard into the 8th when Robin Yount‘s single drove in Jim Gantner.  The talk from the opposing fans becomes louder, but still at least to these young ears, not quite threatening at this point.  The game rolls to the bottom on the 9th where the Sox, who are a billion games back at this point in the year, mount a rally off of Dan Plesac………….Harold Baines doubles (Harold Baines was my favorite player back then and stayed my favorite player into the Frank Thomas/Robin Ventura era of White Sox, so it was great to see him come through in that spot to start the rally………it used to be soul crushing as a child to go to the ballpark only a couple of times a year and that was the day Baines was getting a day off, anywho) Chorizy-E: My favorite player was Fred Manrique
Carlos Martinez pinch runs for Baines……Fisk is walked intentionally, so now our hero Jeff Cernak is really feeling it and whooping it up at the Brewers fans……..Rich Morman hits for David Boston (thank goodness, since Boston, quite the athletic specimen, couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat) and Donnie Hill runs for Pudge…………Morman singles, Mike Diaz singles and the White Sox walk off the win……………I remember our little section being thrilled and the rush of excitement coming over us, but I also remember the stadium being pretty much empty (8,351 attendance), so an overall meh stadium feel.  A great night, so much fun………….but wait…………the Brewers fans behind us had slipped away amongst the excitement of Jeff Cernak’s torment and a walk off win……………our motley crew stumbled for the exits via the ramp, on our way, we came across the very Brewers fans that we had (joyfully?) interacted with earlier……….Jeff Cernak knew this was his moment, so he went full blaze with middle fingers blasting and yelled “FUCK YOU CHEESEHEADS!!!”………….I remember it like it was yesterday………….a skirmish ensued, and I distinctly remember two things………………..
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1. Jeff Cernak took a fighting stance like he didn’t know how to fight and would clearly get his fucking ass kicked.  I was 10 years old when this occurred and I was pretty sure I’d whip his ass if I was so inclined.
2. Madmex grabbed Chorizy-E and BeefLoaf and held us behind him to protect us from the incident.……..this was interesting, because MadMex was not afraid to mix it up and given the poor fighting stance of his guero compadre, it probably made sense for him to mix it up, but he grab us and shoved us aside from the mess Chorizy-E: He moved us as the middle fingers were going in the air, it was not his first rodeo…………………now in the end, nothing happened, sort of like the scene in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka with Isaac Hayes, nobody knew karate, so they tried to fake it, but eventually they tired out and we all went home happy.
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Old Comiskey park was like that, filled with booze and antics and smelling of grilled onions and bad White Sox baseball.  A loveable character that eventually needed to be put out of it’s misery.
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Derek Holland is our next new favorite White Sox we’ll forget about in 3 years

This week, the White Sox signed former Rangers LHP Derek Holland for 1 yr and $6M (plus incentives).  A few observations……his nickname and twitter handle is the Dutch Oven.  For those scoring at home, this is the definition I was able to pull from Urban Dictionary: dutch oven –  The act of trapping a person under bed covers after releasing vile ass fumes.  Ex/ Dave vomited on the sheets when his wife gave him a White Castle dutch oven.

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Derek Holland might be the most openly 108 player to ever trot out from the left field bullpen to start a game at the Cell G-Spot.  Another strange thing about Derek Holland is that he looks curiously like 70’s porn star John Holmes, I don’t know exactly what that means, but I am sure some of the single ladies (or men, not judging) in Chicago are already tryna find out.

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Regardless, most of White Sox twitter had their head on straight and realized that this signing is for two main reasons…….1) As an insurance policy to protect the young arms you just acquired, none of which should start the season with the big club and those that are expected to possibly join the club should be on an innings limit in their first full season in the majors, so assuming Mr. Holland can stay healthy, he’ll hold them off for the appropriate amount of time.  2) He’s a lottery ticket, if by some chance (change of scenery, Don Cooper voodoo, other bullshit, etc), he returns to form (his 24-26 year old seasons were quite good), he’ll be tradeable for some young prospects (nothing great, but some depth and when you are rebuilding you can use some depth).  The rest of White Sox twitter lost their shit and had some delusional ideas about this signing……..I won’t get into all the silliness, cuz why re-visit odd and weird things unless they are enjoyable, just get with the program, this is what a rebuild looks like.  Happy Saturday!
COLLEGE PARK, MD - NOVEMBER 22: Head coach Ralph Friedgen of the Maryland Terrapins looks on against the Florida State Seminoles on November 22, 2008 at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
COLLEGE PARK, MD – NOVEMBER 22: Head coach Ralph Friedgen of the Maryland Terrapins looks on against the Florida State Seminoles on November 22, 2008 at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Breaking Down the Adam Eaton trade

It’s weird as a White Sox fan to have two consecutive days in which you feel good about yourself, but fam, that day is today.  Move #2 of the rebuild was trading Adam Eaton to the Nationals for a pile of prospects that we will review below.  Today feels even better than yesterday, because although we weren’t completely sure yesterday would ever occur, the picture is becoming clearer as to what this will look like.  I have never been more goddamn excited to watch a 100 loss baseball team than I am for the 2017 White Sox, its going to be beautiful……kudos to Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams and the rest of the White Sox brass for doing this for us, the fans.  Now onto the review………….

Nationals Get – Adam Eaton OF
Everyone in these parts knows Adam Eaton well, he’s short, bearded, super grindy and was worth ~6 WAR last year.  He was really fucking good on a meh team in 2016.  He’s also a bit of a pain in the ass.  His hot takes on the Drake LaRoche situation bordered on idiocy and there has always been whispers that he rubs others the wrong way in the locker room.  Regardless, he was a fan favorite and our take in the 108 is we don’t give a fuck if the player is a nazi cannibal off the field, as long as he can play and Adam Eaton can play.  Now, the Nationals are planning to play Adam Eaton in CF, and that saps some of his value but they have no choice as even pencilling in Bryce Harper in CF would cause a 15 day DL stint (now 10 days, fucking CBA) and Jason Werth’s corpse in LF ain’t moving, so CF it is, for now.  Eaton’s bat plays though and that’s the key for this move, the Nationals pitchers strike out a ton of hitters, so defense is less important than offense and Adam Eaton’s bat will certainly play.  There is one issue, much like I noted with the Chris Sale lovers, the Adam Eaton lovers are 50 times worse…….they act like Adam Eaton cured cancer and gave birth to puppies all season in RF.  It wasn’t really stalker time, it was more blubbery, gross, embarrassing adult behavior time.  We might start a camp for those recovering from Adam Eaton withdrawal over in the 108, Slumpbuster will buy you a beer and Chorizy-E will tell you how silly you is.
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White Sox Get – Lucas Giolito P
A short 12 months ago Lucas Giolito was an eyelash behind Byron Buxton for top prospect in baseball, then, 2016 happened, and he got hit around in MLB and wasn’t that great in AAA either and at 22 years old, everyone shit their pants and gave up on him as the future best pitcher that’s ever touched a baseball.  The bottom line is lots of pitchers have short set backs and then become gigantic stars……..in fact, the majority of our favorite hurlers of the last 20 years pretty much sucked at the start of their MLB careers.  But suddenly, the wonks at Fangraphs think ~20 IP is a sample size and now Giolito might have to go to the bullpen.  This is total bullshit and the White Sox realize it.  This is the sort of thing that seems obvious, Rick Hahn is taking advantage of a market overreaction to steal Giolito.  When I was sitting at work and saw this trade come through, I thought Mike Rizzo had hired Dave Stewart as special consultant, yes, this was the closest to Shelby Miller trade bad in recent memory.  If he reaches his potential, he’ll be the best right handed starter in the majors………….think Curt Schilling……..if he doesn’t reach his potential, think EITHER, young Alex Fernandez if he is a starter, or think PED’d to the point of jaundice Eric Gagne if he is a closer.
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White Sox Get – Reynaldo Lopez P
Of the prospects that Rick Hahn has gone out and harvested this week, Lopez is the biggest favorite to be in Chicago on April 3rd.  He spent significant time in Washington last year as a 22 year old and there really isn’t anything for him to learn in AAA, so I suspect he starts the 3rd or 4th game of the season for the 2017 White Sox.  If Don Cooper is worth the money, he becomes Freddy Garcia…..if not, he’s Scott Linebrink.
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White Sox Get – Dane Dunning P
Seriously, this sounds like a fake name………I heard this is a pitcher, but it sounds like a vineyard in Sonoma.  To be honest, if this guy skipped his flight and went backpacking in Europe, never to be seen again, it wouldn’t effect this deal at all.  Dane Dunning’s highest value, currently, to the 108 members is to help push Courtney Hawkins closer and closer to being off the top 30 White Sox prospect list.  Truthfully, he’s a low ceiling low floor guy.  If he reaches his potential, he’s prime Jesse Crain, if he doesn’t he’ll probably still be pitching somewhere, only issue is it will be while you are fast asleep.
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Breaking Down the Chris Sale trade

Good day fam, a special 108 breakdown of the Chris Sale trade.  We at the 108 are stoked by this move.

Red Sox Get – Chris Sale P
We all know what Chris Sale is, he’s a total ass kicker of a pitcher.  I could post his stats in this page, but you know what does, he goes out there and dominates, he’ll strike out 14 if he needs to or he’ll pitch to contact so he has enough bullets to beat the Rays 1-0 in complete game shutout.  He’ll bash the other teams heads in and drink the blood of their children if it means victory, he’s that much of a competitor.  Sometimes this competitive spirit drifts into places not on the field, as he’s much maligned for his run-ins with the front office.  All in all, the Red Sox got a stud pitcher, in fact, he’s such a fucking G, that David Ortiz is questioning coming out of retirement.
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White Sox Get – Yoan Moncada 2B/3B
Before I gush all over this kid like the stud he is, let’s just remind you that the Red Sox broke an amateur record by spending $31.5M on his signing bonus…..in fact MLB charged them a 100% penalty on that bonus (yep, an additional $31.5M) and the Red Sox were like…..ehh, we don’t give a fuck, this kid is super hero and we’ll pay that too without batting an eye.  Most prospect sites are going to rate this kid #1 overall in baseball for 2017, the last time the Sox had a prospect this promising was the late 80’s when a former Auburn TE who blocked for a Vincent Bo Jackson was making his way up the ranks………….and to be honest, Moncada is built like a mini Vincent Bo Jackson, kid is ripped, and he destroys baseballs.  The kid also runs like the wind, his speed and power combination are rare.  Think Ian Kinsler if he’s meh…….think prime Eric Davis playing 2nd base if he’s good.  I heard a few potential negatives on the kid, like he has a lot of swing in miss in his game at this point and he’s a little awkward playing around the bag at second base, but the guy on TV who said it had glasses and a pocket protector, so wtf does he know about running fast and smashing baseballs.  Some friends of the 108 are already searching to buy his shirsey, thats how boss he is.
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White Sox Get – Michael Kopech P
This kid is tall, blond and throws 1000 MPH…or something.  Seriously, everyone is talking big game about this kid like he’s the next Thor, which I hope is true, but here’s what I know about him.  He’s been busted for PED’s (supposedly viagra, but gimme a break, the kid is like 20 years old and has a baller girlfriend, any reasonable person in his position would be jamming bumps of coke to get the same effect)…..he got into a fight and broke a bone and missed significant time………..and he has a hot girlfriend (although she is a little short on posterior meat for the 108 crowd, but still delicious).  He’s basically Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh………..the only problem is, the Sox don’t have Crash Davis to bring him along, all they haz is the gaseous Don Cooper and his infinite genius.  So far, the kid has dominated at all levels and really only had issues with control.  This seems like a movie we have seen before, as the Sox staff lead by the happy go lucky Cooper turned Matt Thornton into a very valuable player with some of the same issues.  If he’s meh, think Matt Thornton, if he’s good, think Randy Johnson lite.
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White Sox Get – Luis Alexander Basabe OF
Basabe is a toolsy outfielder….hrm, where have I heard that before. I assume Kenny Williams wouldn’t leave the room until this kid was included.  The only difference is that most scouts think that his athleticism makes his floor a 4th OF.  His upside is large though, as he could be a very good 4 Tool player (Arm, Speed, Defense, Power) if it lines up right.  The best thing I have heard about him is that he has a twin brother, which Tony LaRussa traded for last year (I wonder if he knew that this is the “Good” brother).  Various writers and scouts thought Basabe as the 3rd piece in this deal was a giant win for the White Sox given the potential.  Think Dewayne Wise if he’s meh, think Mike Cameron if he’s good.
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White Sox Get – Victor Diaz P
At this point in the rundown, you prolly dunt care anymore, and to be honest, my morning constitution is calling anyway, so I’ll be brief,  this kid is a pitcher that throws hard, but is 22 years old and in A ball, which is a little old, especially for a bullpen arm, but stranger things have happened, and if the Sox can get this kid right, it wouldn’t shock me if he’s the first one of the group that we see in Chicago in 2017.  If he’s meh, think parking lot attendant.  If he’s good, think Rafael Soriano.
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The Real Hot Stove

The rebuild is in full swing, and that means good things for the future.  But I’m not here to talk about that.  I’m here to talk about some trades that can improve your enjoyment of games as soon as this year.  I’m talking about concession stand trades.  We need to be realistic though.  Just like the Braves aren’t giving up Swanson, they ain’t giving up the Burgerizza either.

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Trade #1

We need to get the ball rolling and we’re gonna start with a division rival.  We’re going to Detroit.

Tigers get Elotes: To me this was a no-brainer.  Sure, people love elotes, but we live in Chicago.  You only have to go about 7 feet to find a guy selling these on the street.  And I don’t know about you, but Chorizy-E prefers the price of street food to ballpark food.  With only 3.5% of Detroit’s residents being Mexican, I’d guess this will be a most impressive cuisine to them.

White Sox get the Brat Pop: This is a fried bratwurst on a stick.  My cholesterol went up just downloading the image.  This is a much needed addition.

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Trade #2

I really thought we could work something out with the Mets for their 108 burger, but they’re pissed we bolstered Washington’s lineup with Spanky.  So I headed down to St Louis.

Cardinals get Bacon on a Stick: Bacon on a stick feels like a tough one to trade, but it’s the most overrated item in our lineup.  Not to mention, we now have an excellent “on a stick” option.  Don’t worry, the Cards will hok us up in the exchange.

White Sox get The Hill Meatball Cone: This trade is all about potential.  We don’t need to stop at meatballs, we can go italian beef, giardiniera, sausage n peppers, and on and on.  This is a Don Cooper project if I’ve ever seen one.

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Final Trade

In this trade, we’re getting some minor league prospects from a team going for it now.  Milwaukee is unveiling entirely revamped concessions, so we’re gonna gut their farm system. They’re putting in $20MM, they’re looking to deal.

Brewers get Ice Cream Helmet and everything at the Beggars Bar: The ice cream helmet in Milwaukee is weak, so this is a huge upgrade.  And let’s be honest, it’s only warm enough 3 times a year to buy this in Chicago.  They have a dome, so they’ll be fine.  Last, I’m getting rid of the Beggars Bar, because fuck left field.

White Sox get (from the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers) the On Wisconsin Burger, Big Mother Funnel Burger, and Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger: Seriously, we gotta get a road trip to Appleton.  These guys do not fuck around with their food.  On Wisconsin Burger is a 1/3 pound burger with a split brat, beer-battered onion ring, cheese curds, nacho cheese, and fried sauerkraut.

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Big Mother Funnel is a one-pound burger patty between two funnel cakes, with Romaine lettuce and a half-pound of Mozzarella blend.

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The Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger uses two Texas Toast grilled cheese sandwiches made with American cheese and six slices of bacon to hold together a third-pound burger.

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Yeah, this is a massive haul, but that’s what the Sox do now.  Get used to it.

Now let’s get back to hanging on every word Scott Merkin writes on Twitter and everything Kenny tells Bob Nightengale to write.

-Chorizy-E

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The Rebuild is Happening!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Thank you baby Jesus.

It finally happened!!  It is your buddy BeefLoaf…….we are back again, and Rick Hahn has exceeded my expectations on the Chris Sale trade.  First off, he seems to have played his hand perfectly and gotten the best prospect in baseball (Yoan Moncada)…………he also got rid of the one piece that will finally force this rebuild, I’m elated.  I am not going to spend any time going over the prospect haul as you can find that information everywhere……….I’m going to address…

WHAT NOW?!?!?!?!

Most of you reading this are probably a little bit sad, I know the White Sox twitter family was mixed as to their level of joy and sadness due to Chris Sale being traded.  I saw people pouring out drinks, I saw people getting irate and frustrated.  I saw people writing about their undying love for Chris Sale and how they want to get a Red Sox Chris Sale jersey (seriously, that’s kinda weird, twisted, sick and fucked up, if that was you, delete those tweets before I send the authorities after you, because you might deserve a restraining order).  Anyway, if you are sad, spend a little time wearing nothing but your K Zone t-shirt and posing in the mirror until you feel a little better, like this guy
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If you are thrilled, like your buddy BeefLoaf, then I suggest an Ickey Woodsesque celebration dance, just pretend you just scored a touchdown OR got some cold cuts and you’ll be set.  I personally stomped around my office like I was the Wiz and nobody beats me.
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You can also dream of a future with the new prospects.  I must admit, I spent some of my afternoon day dreaming that Kenny Williams was hanging Dave Dombrowski off the edge of his balcony just like Suge Knight did to Vanilla Ice, coaxing Moncada into the deal.  It seems like Kenny’s likely best use.
WHAT’S NEXT?
More trades, I expect at least half of the name players to go before spring training and moar to go in July of this year.  My hit list of guys that MUST go   in order.
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I am hoping that the Sox wait until July to trade Melky Cabrera, because we need something fun to watch when this first bad season starts.
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There will also be signings (mostly lol ones) and we are going to want to hope some of those guys play well and can be traded.  Look for the White Sox to hope and pray that Nate Jones and Brett Lawrie play well, so they can trade them this year as well.
ANYTHING ELSE?
Yes, this team is going to be bad, starting in 2017, but hopefully we’ll start seeing some signs of hope early and a competitive team as soon as 2019.  2017 will probably be full of frustrating Avi Garcia at bats, and bullpen meltdowns……….who knows, depending on who gets traded, we might have some gnarly looking veterans sauntering around the field getting paid just above the league minimum to help our White Sox secure a high draft pick.  Like Bart Scott, “CAN’T WAIT!”
LASTLY….
The goal of this whole thing is to bring in the players that make up the core of the next White Sox team that goes to the playoffs.  As of now, there are 4-5 prospective pieces in tow of that next core, Anderson, Rodon, Fulmer, Moncada and Kopech.  Maybe there are more here, but Rick Hahn’s job isn’t done, more trades and last years, this years and next years drafts are going to go a long way to putting together the pieces of the next White Sox team that is a perennial contender, the teams of 2019-2023.  Yesterday was the beginning of the rest of our lives as White Sox fans, so let’s enjoy it for a moment and get ready for a few lean years, because they are coming………..as they say, it will get worse before it gets better (actually, the only person I can think of saying this is Dalton in Road House).

– BeefLoaf

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