The White Sox Conundrum

The other day/night (kinda all run together these days) I was reading the internets and seeing a lot of angry comments from our White Sox brethren. Since my first time getting elevated back in the early 90’s with my neighbor (where I didn’t really get high, but saw someone get really high and eat everything in her house) I have always looked for a deeper meaning or a different view of my current situation. Or maybe I got that from watching American Beauty a few too many times. Look Closer. I don’t know really, I like drinking too much to care. So anyways, while going through all these angry people’s comments I thought about what will these folks complain about when this team is good? And well, let me tell ya….

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I have written before about how it is a great time to go to White Sox games. They basically give away tickets, they have cheap food options, plenty of room, all that shit. The game going experience is at 100%, it really is. I rarely wait in line for anything which is dope AF. If you don’t mind watching your team lose 3 outta 4 times, it’s really, really great. But the upside to all this losing is when they do win, the place goes nuts! It’s quite a fun time.

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I would say that during my 7 seasons of having a ticket plan (started with an Ozzie plan, now I have a 40 game, but hit 76 games last year) the complaints have been getting angrier and angrier as the years go on. I think that is expected but the reasoning is 2 fold. 1- The Sox and the news affiliates have done an incredible job selling the prospects angle to the masses. So much so that if you don’t follow the team, you might think that they are actually good as they get a bunch of press. Had a guy tell me the other day how well he thought the Sox were doing. I almost fell down. Hype, while it is good for ticket sales, is not gonna help you win a game.

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Reason 2 is that this team is really bad to watch. Fundamentals seem to be lacking, which I think you’d expect with a young team, but we aren’t used to seeing a team this bad. They are losing a lot, which seems to be wearing on the good player (Jose Abreu), as well as the fans. But folks, this is gonna take time. I would say 50% of our fans honestly thought this team would compete in 2018 (we in the 108 knew it would be the worst year of the rebuild and said so many times). As the season has evolved, the expectations of this team have dwindled. However that hasn’t quelled the anger.

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Oh the good ol’ days.

Now, I get it, the anger usually comes from a good place. You want the team to do well, want to see your team on top again. I have bought into this rebuild and hope that it does as well as I think it can. I think we are really far away (at least 3 seasons before we are sniffing the playoffs), but I am fully invested. So let’s just assume that this team is good in 3 seasons, 2020 we contend for a Wild Card spot. Where will the anger be directed? Directly at the White Sox! For things that are really awesome right now.

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Yep, you heard me. The guy who is complaining that Kopech isn’t up yet is gonna be the same guy who is complaining that he can’t get a cheap ticket for him and his son on a Saturday to see him pitch. The guy who wants Eloy up right now, will be mad that he can’t get the “Eloy Hits The Cycle” bobblehead when he shows up right before game time. Do you know how easy it is to go get the giveaways now? Really easy. Drunk kids on prom night easy.

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People will complain about the prices, the parking, the traffic, the EVERYTHING! All these things are operating at 100% awesome level right now. And if you think it sucks now, GIVE UP, cause it will be worse when they compete again. You can park really close, you can get any ticket you want (for less than face usually), you never wait to take a piss, rarely wait for food, everything you need!

Folks, take advantage of this time and get out to the ballpark. I ain’t gonna shame you into it as I like my extra room, short lines, all that shit, but if you like the baseball game going experience it doesn’t really get much better than this. What more do you want? Oh, wins? Yeah, those aren’t available yet. Back ordered, expected to ship in 3 years.

-MSS

BeefLoaf stuffs @NotRickHahn’s suggestion box – White Sox rebuild style

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Rebuilds are generally slow arduous processees.  Since the 108ers have tix to all of these games while this deliberate process floats by, it gives us lots (LOTS) of time to sit in our seats at games and to think about all the various angles you can try to acquire talent during these trying times.  Look, if our White Sox are to ride high again, @NotRickHahn is going to need to look high and low to find players.  He’ll need to leave no stone unturned in his quest for putting our squad back in the playoffs.  I’ve seen the trades and the Trayce Thompson pick ups off the scrap heap, but we need our fearless leader to go, deep, deep, deep looking around for talent.  That’s why I have a variety of “asset classes” as the investment folks would say that could allow @NotRickHahn to search for outsized payoffs for bottom basement pricing.  Wrote a song about, wanna hear, here it go………
OLD
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Jamie looks like he may have been #108ing before this presser
Jamie Moyer – I know he’s 55 years old, but he’s probably getting stir crazy now having been retired for 5 full years.  He had an ERA+ of 117 in his age 46 season, which for those who aren’t into all these fancy pants metrics means he was above league average.  Fuck, even his age 49 season was better than what we’ve been getting from everyone not named James Shields or Reynaldo Lopez.  Moyer never dazzled with velocity, so it shouldn’t be any sort of concern that he has to “reach back and get some more”, he never really had any to begin with.  I’d put him in the Private Santiago swing man role right now.  You can get some bulk innings from him and who knows, maybe he hangs on as the 5th starter when time is good again.
FOREIGN LEAGUE
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No idea why he was nicknamed “Sweaty Freddy”
Freddy Garcia – Look friends, we might have our own Jake Taylor success story happening right here on the Southside of Chicago.  Freddy Garcia’s last professional whereabouts were in the Mexican league and because he’s still Sweaty Freddy and he’s only 41 years old, why not bring back this famous lanzador to the spot where he got his greatest level of success, a World Championship.  Freddy’s body is probably shot (like Taylor) and he drinks too much (like Taylor) and he would probably be willing to drive a bullpen car if properly motivated.  Given all of those positives, I can’t think of a reason NOT to take a shot on this kid during a rebuild like the one the #WhiteSox are undergoing RIGHT. DAMN. NOW.
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MLB: Spring Training-Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants
The look of a man who “isn’t hungry” but “will eat”
Wily Mo Pena – Nevermind that the 36 year old Post Post Post Hype Prospect has swolled up worse than Buster Douglas after beating Mike Tyson.  I’m also pretty sure he can crush mammoth bombs like back in the day.  He’s also definitively the only prospect I can remember that I saw play when I was a kid and somehow, I wound up being older than him as I talk about him today.  I know I speak for Chorizy on this one, but we both always felt that Wily Mo never really got a fair shake and that he could’ve been a great slugger.  Now is our chance to make this right.  We are going to get @NotRickHahn on the phone (twitter) and demand that he give Wily Mo a look, he can’t be any worse than the horse hockey the White Sox are currently trotting out to the grass portion of the playing field.
CONVERSION
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Can still dial it up to the mid 90’s
Kyle Long – A lotta mufukuz don’t know, but Kyle Long has straight gas.  He was a beast in high school, wielding a mid 90’s fast ball.  Now, obviously, he actually makes his vocation with another sports team in this town, but a couple of things point to this being less far fetched than you might imagine.
The White Sox actually selected Long in the 23rd round of the amateur draft in 2008.  Imagine if he had Jeff Samardzija‘d this bish, he might already be in Chicago throwin’ flames and getting the crowd all pumped up with some wrestleresque antics.
He’s had a quite a few injuries in his young NFL career.  You just never know when someone has had enough punishment and wants to look towards other lucrative career paths that might be available to them.  I think Rick Hahn should start the ass kissing right now, if we can get Long into a baseball path soon, he might be ready to be in that bullpen by the next time our White Sox play a game that means a shit.
– BeefLoaf

The One-Hitter – Jose Canseco

With the “launch” of Cansecoin this week, I’ve had one of my all time favorite players on my mind.  And then all of the sudden, I saw him get lumped into “the over the hill guys” that the Sox love to sign.  Luckily, @KenWo4LiFe was there to jump in:

And he’s right!  You may remember it differently or you may just dislike Jose Canseco, but the guy had a nice, albeit, short season with the Sox.  In a mere 76 games, he cranked 16 HR and had an OBP of .366.  You can’t be out there messing the front of your pants over Matt Davidson and then hate on Jose Canseco for doing the same shit when he was 36.  If we brought in Jose Canseco today at age 53, he’d easily be the best hitter in our outfield.

Jose, any time you want to come hang in the 108, first round of PEDs are on us.

-Chorizy-E

The One Hitter – What you missed LAST NIGHT!!!

This is your pal BeefLoaf and this is the One Hitter…..don’t forget to exhale.
Something that is becoming abundantly clear to us folks that are season ticket holders is that the fans aren’t coming out with the regularity that they used to, unless there is some special promotion or some shit.  As your friends, the 108ers believe it is only appropriate to let you know what you missed last night…….
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The 108ers have been friends with the SoxOn35th crew from the beginning.  Great White Sox fans for sure as you can see from their great coverage of the team.  The man, the myth, the legend Johnnie Nonnie, who also joined us for the #SoxFest After Party meet up with SoxMachine, Loop Sports and the artist formerly known as SpoCo Radio, was the boss for this magic carpet ride, along with the already famous Matty Ice.  Lots of brews were drank and good times were had.  We even had “the Don” of White Sox twitter WhiteSoxDave show up and hang with the crew.  A great time was had by all, the first of many great tailgates by the SoxOn35th!
$1 Hot Dogs – Superstar
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Everyone knows it was $1 Hot Dogs, but NOT everyone knew that our friends, the folks at NewSoxOrder (if you don’t know who NewSoxOrder is, the big homies Colin, Keir and Zach are about the funniest muthafuckas that the 108ers come upon during the entire season, so you’d be best to get to know them asap) had one of their crew attempting the impossible.  Ike Johnson (@ColinJOtt) was trying to eat 20….count em, 20 $1 hot dogs at the game tonight.  Whilst we were at the tailgate we were getting updates, he was off to a strong start of 10 before 1st pitch……then meat sweats…then, the rally………by the time the dust cleared, he had wolfed down a disgusting 18 dogs, falling just short of his goal.  Unreal!  We’d love to see Periscope proof of someone coming close to touching this amount of nitrate ingestion.
Dylan Covey’s great start
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For all the shit we gave Dylan Covey last season, as a guy that was a Rule 5 pick and really wasn’t ready for the major leagues, he went down to the minors, worked on this game, grew a terrific stache and turned in a gem tonight.  Given his velocity, its more than likely that a Dylan Covey that can locate has a job in the majors as a back end of the rotation starter.  As critical as we are of Rich Hahn, if this guy turns into a 5th starter type, we are tipping our cap at him.
Adam Engel’s last stand
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The White Sox have signed 2 outfielders in the last 36 hours, and in turn, Adam Engel went 4-4 tonight.  GFYZ!
Welington Castillo’s last AB for A WHILE…
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News started to break on the twitter machine that Welington Castillo is going to get an 80 game PED suspension, fuck even Ken Rosenthal confirmed it.  The 108ers thought it cathartic to give him a standing ovation after his last at bat of the evening.  Sad, sad.
You see, this was just a regular old Wednesday and look at how much shit you missed out on by not being at the ballpark.  Don’t wait till the White Sox are good, there is tons of shit happening there RIGHT. DAMN. NOW. Tix are cheap and beers are plentiful so get your ass to the ballpark, and come down to the 108 to hang with us and be part of the next one of these.
– BeefLoaf

Welcome Back Mr. Covey

I see you out there, gingerly stepping aboard the James Shields train and I am more than happy to say welcome!  And if you’ve come this far, maybe you’re willing to come a little further.  Let’s welcome back one Mr Dylan Covey to our starting rotation.

I know what you’re thinking.  Hey Chorizy, this guy has a 7.58 career ERA.  Yes, yes he does.  But there is something about this guy that I like.  I mean, I’ve talked a lot about how it’s important to be a groundball pitcher in this park.  And you gotta feel for this kid as he was drafted by Milwaukee only to find out he was diabetic.  Then in his go around with the A’s, an injury caused issues with his development that lead him here.  Then he got hurt here.  But that’s not it, there’s just something about him.

Now, if we look at his minor league career, while it wasn’t great in the lower levels, it appears that the control kicked in at some point.  His AA and AAA numbers, although a small sample size are very good.  You could imagine that if he truly has fixed his control issues, he could be a solid back of the rotation guy or a longman out of the pen.  But I don’t think it’s his overcoming of his control issues that has me excited.  You know what, I can’t figure it out, just something about this kid that I like.

-Chorizy-E

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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108 chic imo
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

Frick* You 2012.

*As much as I love the word fuck, I don’t wanna use it in a title. But trust me, I wanna say fuck, oh so bad. 

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Hey guys, how’s it going? Oh really?  Well, we’re in hide the knives mode over here in the 108. Not for us though, we expected this and we even told you this year was gonna suck major balls….YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN LISTENING!!! WHY DON’T YOU LISTEN?  WHAT ARE YOU DULL OR SOMETHING? But yeah, we are hiding the knives just in case you guys stop by.  Good luck using that spork!

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We know you guys are struggling, and while you can blame a lot of things for this, I think we can blame our need for instant gratification the most.  We fully understand that this rebuild will take time, but yet here we are confused cause we are still not a contender in year 2.  Why does this confuse us?  WE DON’T WAIT FOR SHIT BRO! We can get a pint of Ben & Jerry’s delivered to us within the hour by a drone or a real life person! We don’t wait for nothing, NADA. I’d say that that pint of Ben & Jerry’s would taste better if you waited for it, or rode your fat ass to the store to get it, but it won’t. It tastes just as fucking good when a drone gives it to you.

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Some of the older guys will remember this, but we couldn’t always do a Google search to find some adult entertainment on demand.  We were limited to what we had on hand (ha) and sometimes you didn’t have the best choices.  Sometimes, like in the case of my buddies bro-in-law in Vegas, a newly purchased (and barely read) Stuff magazine will work.  You thought I forgot about that huh John?  Nope, you fucking repressed pervert, you ruined my new Stuff magazine on a fucking BACHELOR PARTY WEEKEND IN LAS VEGAS! The whores were abundant, and you HAD THE MONEY TO BURN! But yet that Stuff magazine put you over the edge huh?  Weirdo.

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Sadly, unlike the inventions of PornHub, Amazon, OnDemand, and shit tons of other stuff that have curved our spines, there is no replacement for good ol’ fashioned time passing.  You have to watch the suck.  You can throw money at it but who are we kidding, no way Jerry buys the biggest and best.  Also, I am unsure you can buy AN ENTIRE NEW TEAM.  I don’t think it works like that.  So we are doomed to watch our team struggle for a while, so settle in and start taking joy in small things that are easily attainable.  What is that you might ask?

1- No lines for anything at the park.  It’s way too easy to get a brat or take a piss.  Nothing like the 3 inning wait up north.

2- Cheap and even cheaper tickets. Take advantage before you are priced out in 2023.

3- Funny ass bloggers 108 and their antics at the park. Bro, we fucking funny aight? Read our nonsense or watch us get blind drunk in a hot tub yelling about Matt Davidson. We haven’t broken out one mask yet this year, they are coming yo!

4 – Watching the young guys develop (almost as much fun as watching the current team lose OR paint dry). Brutal I know, but some people like it.

5 – People watching at the park! We have some crazy ass fans that are showing up.  For reals.  Also, if you show up on a Wed, there are a ton of #108Thiccc chicks plowing hot dogs that might take you up on a $10 beer.  Get her a Corona Light from our guy Brian or Champ, or better yet splurge and take her to the Craft Kave and spend an extra $1 and get her a South Side Pride.  She might show you her south side pride if you know what I am saying. Wink, wink.

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Now that we shared ours, feel free to send us your coping mechanisms during this trying time to our Twitter! Help us help you and others.  Isn’t that what this is all about?  YES.  Just in case you were wondering, YES, this is what it is all about.

By now you are wondering why I brought up 2012 and why I am being disparaging towards that year.  2012 birthed @mysoxsummer (which in turn helped birth @fromthe108) so there is that, and it was my first full season here in B-Port.  So that was cool. It was also a fun time as the Sox lead all year to win the division, but lost it in dramatic fashion in Sept in about a week.  So that was fun right? No.  Chris Sale was dealing. Fun times?  Sorta.

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But, the thing that happened that is causing us so much grief right now is that the 2012 team showed management that we were way closer than they thought to a contending team.  Remember, 2012 was supposed to be a rebuilding year too (why Robin was even hired), but for some reason we played our asses off.  We signed some shitty free agents to give ourselves a fighting chance in 2013, but remember how awful 2013 was?  It was bad.  Horrible.  63-99 bad.  Our top prospect was Courtney HawkinsJeff Keppinger was on our team. Philip Humber has the dubious achievement of going from throwing a perfect game as a starter to coming out of the pen in the later months.  Has that ever fucking happened?  I have no idea, but I am going with no.

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So they thought they were a few guys away from being good.  WRONG. That easily set us back 5 years and K Will decided that he would continue to tinker with the team in hopes of making it a contender.  Kinda like that pig that Homer cooked that Lisa liberated.  “It’s just a little wet, it’s still good!”.

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He tried.  He brought us Jeff Samar-FUCK THAT GUY,  had us let AJ go to make way for Tyler Flowers. Adam Eaton, Adam LaRoche, Geovany Soto, you get the point.  Had 2012 been a bust, we would have gotten this started earlier and maybe we’d be in a good position right now.

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We’ll never fucking know cause that 2012 team tried to win, and almost did it.  Clearly Rick Hahn learned from that and totally traded away any talent that could possibly end up helping us win games so we’d stay the course right now.  Cut out all hope that we could compete.  And for that, as awful as it is to watch, I thank you Rick.  I trust ya, don’t let me down brother.

-MSS

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

The Battle For The Crosstown Cup Begins Today!

This weekend the Sox travel up north to take on the Cubs. Expected to pitch are Fulmer vs Chatwood, Shields vs Lester and Giolito vs Hendricks. I can see Fulmer coming out and pitching his heart out, but I can also see a drubbing. Much like all the other matchups. It’d also be really awesome to see Giolito get out of his funk. But mostly, like we said on Chi Sox Weekly, we’d like to see the Sox rent some space in Lester’s head while Big Game James RIPS SHIT UP. More than likely we’ll get swept, but we can dream right? So let’s talk about the matchup that we have a chance of winning…….

SOUTHPAW VERSUS CLARK THE CUB

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I am gonna judge these guys in 5 categories. Importance to the Team, Looks, Smarts, Friends and Outreach. Let’s get going!

Importance To The Team

Southpaw has been around since June 13th, 2004. He broke a 16 year streak of no mascots on the Southside. Previously we had Ribbie and Roobarb. And lest we forget Chorizy’s favorite Andy The Clown, who was an unofficial pedo.. mascot. Southpaw has 14 years under his belt, he’s a vet.

Clark on the other hand was introduced in 2014. Previously there was Billy The Cub who hung outside Wrigley taking pics, looking for tips. Billy and I have lots of mutual friends, but I have no idea who he is exactly. The Cubs did not accept him but rather straight ripped off the idea and made their own mascot. Very northside of them.

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So fucking creepy and classy. No pants on Billy either, WTF?

Some people saw this photo before they even knew who Clark was –

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This image ran on Comcast Sports which was hilarious. But it brings up a really important question…..why no pants brah? Much like Allen in The Hangover, no pants and makes you feel really uncomfortable in his presence. Especially with his crotch right up in your face.

Gotta give the edge to our beloved Southpaw for his years of service and wearing pants around underage children.

Winner – Southpaw.

Looks

Southpaw is some type of animal, not really as crazy as the Philly Phanatic, but rather a more sleek refined animal. Green with yellow highlights. he looks great in his uniform or any costume that he wears on many of the theme nights that the Sox have in hopes of drawing a larger crowd. We got a good looking mascot fam. Ain’t no doubt.

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Clark seems really happy on the outside. Almost too happy, like he’s popping pills happy. His face can also be mistaken for anger. Just look at this pic, dude looks pissed off!

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Again, I gotta take Southpaw as he just isn’t as scary looking as a bear with fangs…..wearing no pants.

Winner – Southpaw.

Smarts

To be fully honest I have never seen anything that would lead me to believe that either one of these guys is dumb or smart. So I am gonna declare it a tie.

Tie.

Friends.

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The Chicago Mascot Club seems to all get along pretty well. Note that there are only 2 mascots not wearing pants in the pic above. They are clearly the guys at the party who have been over-served and need to get a Lyft home. But they won’t, cause they “aren’t that drunk” and they “know better than you” so they’ll just run off all the fun girls at the party cause they refuse to leave.

I will say that there isn’t a Cubs night at the Bulls game (#shocked LOL) and I have never seen Clark do a dunk off a trampoline. Southpaw has, you can see it on his IG. You only let your good friend use your stuff so I give a slight edge to Southpaw in this category.

Winner – Southpaw.

Outreach

Both of these guys do tons for the youth in Chicago. They both show up to help raise money for charities and bring a smile to those around them. Now one of them does it wearing pants, one doesn’t. We all like pants right?

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Winner – Southpaw.

Final tally = Southpaw- 4, Clark The Cub- 0. In what will be one of the only victories we have this weekend we should take pride in our mascot that at least has the decency to wear some pants when he’s around children. It’s only right.

If you travel up north to watch our boys this weekend, have fun but keep your wits about ya. I’ll be watching with my soon to be 2 year old and my 2 week old daughters. We’ll be waiting to see TA7 do the “Maury ‘I Ain’t The Father’ Dance” on home plate after he hits a dinger. Don’t even step Contreras, we’d hate to see you get beat down by Nino Brown. He’s more ruthless than Mia Khalifa, trust us.

Go Sox!

-MSS