The White Sox Culture

 

As I stated in my previous article, I am a Season Ticket Holder and a lifelong fan. I take no joy or pleasure in writing this, but it is my opinion and I feel it is something that needs to be said.

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As the team finishes what many have claimed is the “toughest year of the rebuild” I keep hearing something from White Sox Management that quite frankly disturbs me. They keep talking about building a culture with Ricky as the agent of change, or agent of chaos depending on your view. My question is how can you talk about building a new culture when you have lost 100, count it ONE HUNDRED, games? When I hear about a culture change I immediately think of out with the old and in with the new, yet for the White Sox we see the same characters being trotted out year after year. This includes Daryl Boston, Todd Steverson, Ricky Renteria, and Don Cooper.

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I have to start with a simple question about Daryl Boston and I have to ask it in my best Office Space “Bob” voice. “What you say, you do here?” I cannot think of anyone to replace him because frankly I do not know what value he is supposed to add.

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As we look at Todd Steverson all White Sox fans should be infuriated that he has a job after the White Sox set a record for the most strikeouts in a season, EVER. Also remember Todd Steverson is still at the helm of imparting his hitting “knowledge”, and I use that term loosely, to the young players the team is basing their future on, reassuring isn’t it. I will admit that I never thought about this until my friend Joe brought it up to me, Chili Davis would be a GREAT hitting coach for the White Sox, and he is available. His approach is to use all fields and he preaches contact, not this “selective aggression” crap that Steverson preaches.

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Ricky Renteria is the man with the plan. He is the straw that stirs the White Sox culture drink. I will use a Bulls analogy from the late 80’s involving Doug Collins and Phil Jackson. Just like Doug Collins was not the man to take the Bulls from Point A to Point C (Championship) I feel that this is also Ricky Renteria. I think he is not a good tactician who makes some game decisions that make me scratch my head in disbelief and is so in love with bunting to waste outs. He also drives me nuts with some of the lineups he has fielded, example, why was Avi Garcia playing at end of season with a knee that required surgery? I would love to see someone like Buck Showalter brought in to manage. He is a manager who has developed teams from scratch, Arizona, and laid groundwork for a dynasty, the 1990’s New York Yankees. He is the exact kind of manager that the White Sox need. Joe Girardi is not the answer, not only because I think he is not that good. I say not as good because he had all of that talent in New York and only appeared in, and won, one World Series.

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With the White Sox model of pitching, pitching, and pitching Don Cooper becomes a critical player in this culture change. Coop has been around for a long time, in the good (2005), and the bad like the current six, YES 6, losing seasons in a row, including seasons of 99 (2013) and 100 (2018) losses. The main thing that bothers me about Coop is that the walk totals have increased from 474 (2015) to 653 (2018) and the WHIP 1.320 (2015) to 1.432 (2018). This is more alarming to me than anything else because it shows that the young White Sox pitching staff either can’t or doesn’t attack the strike zone. How many times have there been 0-2 pitches in the dirt or a foot outside the strike zone hoping the hitter would swing? How many times have we seen pitchers get ahead 0 – 2 only to walk them (aka the Quintana special) or the pitch count after the first two outs in an inning is at 6 or 7 yet at the end of the inning the count is around 25 pitches? Too many to mention in my humble opinion.

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I am also of the opinion that Coop is a system pitching coach. I’m sure some of you don’t understand what I mean. A system coach is one who tries to fit the players into what the coach wants, not looking at the players on an individual basis and building a pitching repertoire for each one. This is clearly evidenced by his constant use of the cutter. Not every pitcher on the staff should throw the cutter, it’s time to teach some other pitches based on the individual pitcher’s capabilities. Did you ever notice on certain counts teams jump all over the White Sox pitchers? Could it be that they know what pitch is coming since they are all equipped with the same pitch and approach, leading to the same pitch to be thrown in the same location by multiple pitchers? Another thing I have been told by a couple of former major leaguers is that some of the White Sox pitchers have been known to tip their pitches. If this is known by former major leaguers don’t you think this is something the major league coaches should know, especially Dr. Coop? Further, look at the track record and you will see some success stories, such as Jon Garland and Matt Thornton. You will also see abject failures in Mike McDougal, Will Ohman, Scott Carroll, Dylan Axelrod, and Carson Fulmer, to name a few. The Fulmer failure is especially alarming because he was supposed to be one of the core components of the future White Sox pitching staff and is it an example of Fulmer not really being major league caliber, possibly, or Coop being unable to relate to the new generation of pitchers, also possible.

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Now people can argue numbers and how it correlates to the talent level, and there is a valid point to be made, but if that is the argument then you cannot claim that the White Sox should sign pitcher X because Coop will coach him up. If this model no longer applies, then Coop must go and be replaced. Again, the organization needs to go outside of the organization to find fresh blood. I would like to see them utilize Dave Duncan, remember he is a consultant for the White Sox now, as a de facto pitching czar for the organization. He has actually coached Cy Young Winners (Bob Welch (1990) and Chris Carpenter (2005)) as well as helping to transform Dennis Eckersley into a pinpoint pitching machine who made it to the Hall of Fame.  I would also like to see them try to engage someone like Mike Maddux as the pitching coach. I know Richard Dotson is the heir to the pitching coach position for the White Sox but this is just a propagation of the losing culture, in my opinion.

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I have met Jerry Reinsdorf on numerous occasions and he is a terrific person. The issue with Jerry is that his greatest virtue is his greatest vice. He is way too loyal to people who do not deserve his loyalty. The bottom line is that this is a result driven business and the results have not been there. The White Sox last finished above .500 in 2012. That’s right TWO THOUSAND TWELVE. That is six (6) seasons of sub .500 baseball. If I failed in my job at that clip I would have been shown the door long ago.

As I type this it pains me to say that the White Sox, in this current configuration, will NEVER be able to sustain long term success under this coaching staff because, frankly, they do not know how to win. Yes, they are losers. Some of them (Cooper and McEwing) have been here for the current six season losing streak while others, like Nick Capra and Todd Steverson, have been here for only part of it. It appears that they have grown comfortable in this losing culture where accountability is not found, and expectations are built on selling hope for future prospect development. My concern is that the prospects will not pan out not only because of questions regarding talent evaluation as well as the coaching staff’s ability to connect with players and help them achieve their maximum potential, I’m looking at you Todd Steverson. Further, stop with the “Ricky’s Boys Don’t Quit” because if they don’t quit he would never have had to bench some at different times for not hustling. If you think I am wrong about my opinion I will immediately destroy your argument by pointing out my Todd Steverson argument and adding in at the end that he is still the White Sox hitting coach.

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As a Season Ticket Holder, and more importantly a fan, I want to know when this organization will quit with the “woe is me” crap and start acting like a big city franchise with accountability and expectations. Until they show the ability to do that, and win, they will continue to be an irrelevant organization that will continue to do a half-assed job at selling hope, because they don’t know how to sell anything, let alone hope or winning.

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In the final analysis true culture change cannot, I repeat CANNOT, be realized until the White Sox organization takes a long hard look at themselves based upon some of the information provided above and blows up the ENTIRE coaching staff. They need to bring in an outsider with no team ties or affiliation who can disinfect this losing culture that permeates this organization from top to bottom. Nothing less than that should be acceptable to this once great, yet currently diminishing, fan base.

 

-AlohaMrHand

Family Style – Interview Series – Ozzie Guillen Jr

We’re starting a new interview series in which we interview people who have a unique connection to the White Sox, the family of the players/managers we know and love.  To kick this off, I interviewed the son of one of my all-time favorite White Sox, Ozzie Guillen.  I can’t understate how much I loved Ozzie as a kid.  I was a huge Jose Canseco fan, who was a Latino superstar, but Ozzie was here in Chicago, playing for my team.  It was important to me, and it’s probably why I like to shave down to a mustache more often than my wife would probably like.  But enough about me and my facial hair, check out this interview with Ozzie Guillen Jr.

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Favorite game that you were at?  Blackout Game. Buehrle perfect game. Opening Day New Comiskey Park, World Series Game 4 2005. Been many ones lol. Worst game when Jim Thome hit a bomb in Minnesota lol still has not landed. And losing in Tampa in 2008 I wanted to cry.

Favorite all-time player that does not have a statue on the concourse and is not related to you?  Robin Ventura sweet swing and solid glove. Also shared a locker next to me lol as a kid Ozzie and Robin had a locker between them I would say it was mine lol. Now that I think about it we must have driven him nuts.

Favorite drink and dinner at the park?  The Patio hands down the best place to eat before the game. The Bertucci boys do it right. Love that place.

Favorite place to sit at Sox Park?  Growing up we made my dad get behind the plate seats at the new stadium 6 seats deep. They would be consider the scout seats today. I once sat in the scout seats a few years back with a friend and the view is even better now and not to mention the service. Every fan should do it once.

Favorite Sox uniform?  Good guys wear black. My team is the 93 boys. I love that black Jersey I call it the super power jersey. The bad streak breaker.

Favorite Sox giveaway?  I loved bat day as a kid. And now obsessed with any Hawk related. But I love the T shirts now. I been going to bed with a Dick Allen shirt at least 5 times a month lol. It’s on my pajama rotation.

Favorite Sox theme night?  It has not been created yet lol. Hawk night lol.

Dislikes

What irks you the most about White Sox fans?  How much we worry about Cubs fans and what they do.

What is the worst part of being a Sox fan?  #2 syndrome. We seem to finish 2 a lot when I was growing up. And well now people acting like the Sox never won before the Cubs. LOL I did it you see I can’t help it lol.

Worst part of the game day experience?  Don’t have any complaints I hate when I can’t listen to the pre-game video lol.

What really grinds your gears?  When Sox fans call Ozzie a quitter after 2011 that was not the case. And people getting mad at me for being happy Cubs got a ring. LOL

Least favorite White Sox player of all time?  LOL nice try.

Worst opposing fans?  Tiger fans very aggressive.

Game Day

Most memorable White Sox experience?  Well my first broadcast in Spanish ever was awesome for me but I would say game one World Series and winning the World Series in Houston.

Ballpark experience, how could it be better?  Put charging outlets on the seats lol. And making Sox Ball Park a connected Stadium. I can also make that happen lol. That’s what I do for work lol.

Best Sox Park hack?  Like the best thing in the ballpark is the food we have the best food in baseball.

What brings you back for every game?  The opportunity to compete for a win. Watching baseball and seeing the team. So many memories at the Park. I still get chills every opening day. And I still go.

Feelings on the wave?  Not my thing. I go to the game to watch baseball. I keep score and analyze. To me baseball is everything I was raised that way.

How many games do you go to each year?  20 Sox games now. Wish it was more. But listen to radio and watch anywhere I am at. I follow baseball closely.

Section 108 Questions

What is your favorite baseball word?  Double

What is your least favorite baseball word?  Double Play

What gets you excited about the White Sox?  The Optimist Future.

What makes you sad about the White Sox?  That Ozzie Guillen is not working for them in any capacity yet. I love to see Ozzie advice in the front office. Ozzie is a great in game manager but even a better baseball mind. A PhD. Him working with Rick, Getz, Kenny, helping in development and scouting especially in Latin America and Venezuela would be beneficial to the organization. God time is always perfect. All families fight but they are family. White Sox is family to us.

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you love?  Gene Honda voice over the loud speakers asking for Sox fans to get on their feet for the 2019 White Sox.

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you hate?  Silence means it is not going well, no game, or worst a moment of silence for someone passing.

What is your favorite Hawkism?  HE GONE

We once saw your dad at Beer Bistro during a Summer Olympics.  We didn’t want to bother him, so we just sent a round of drinks over to the table, where everyone was sitting except Ozzie.  He was standing, cheering on the Venezuelan volleyball team, and holding court.  This was after he just managed a game.  Is he 100% energy 100% of the time?  Ozzie is very passionate about everything in life. But a wonderful human being. Ozzie cares about a few things Family, Baseball, and working lol. He is very misunderstood if you spend ten minutes where he is from in Venezuela you understand. The guy is a survivor. But one thing everyone needs to know Ozzie loves his White Sox. His nick name now is baby Hawk.

Make the case for Ozzie Guillen Sr returning to the White Sox as Manager.  Good Question but not fair to the sitting manager. I hate seeing on twitter when they say so and so will replace him. He’s our guy today right now. If that were ever to change then ask me then.

What players on the current team would be perfect for an Ozzie Guillen lead team?  Don’t know any personally Ozzie does best with guys that are not sensitive lol. Yolmer and him would have a lot of fun.

How would Adam LaRoche and Chris Sale been handled differently on an Ozzie Guillen lead team?  Those situations were bizarre. But don’t know. Looking back they will be situations that will be funny stories of the team. I was asked once to leave the club house lol Terry Bevington.

What is your greatest fear about the “rebuild”?  I hate the word. Every team that misses the playoffs are in a “rebuild” lol Building a team takes time this is not the NBA and teams have budgets lol. Not MLB the Show guys. They have done it successful in the past before they were called rebuilds.

What is there about this team that excites you the most?  The Depth of the roster is stronger now. No one believes in them other than them.

Give us a #HotTake about the rebuild.  Eloy Jimenez will be exciting to watch next year.

Tell us about your continued involvement in baseball in Chicago and elsewhere.  I do radio spots here and there talking white sox, cubs and mlb.  Ozzie senior is managing in winter ball. So help him put his team together unofficially. I assist write stuff down lol  My brother Ozney Guillen will be a great front office guy one day when he decided to stop playing. Kid is a baseball mind. I play way to much fantasy baseball am just a fan now. Whenever am needed to do a game in Spanish just call me I will be there.

You vs Siera Santos in a hot dog eating contest..What is the line?  Who wins?  Sierra I enjoy my hot dogs am a fat kid.

Favorite cut of steak?  Prepared?  Rib eye Medium

Favorite restaurant in Chicago?  Joes Stone Crab

Favorite place to eat near Comiskey Park as a kid?  I went to grade school in Bridgeport Love Punky Pizza & Pasta

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What other Chicago teams do you enjoy?  All Chicago Teams, including the Cubs yes I do watch them. Like I said I love Baseball.

Favorite Chicago sports history moment?  Ozzie Guillen raising a World Series Trophy

Favorite all-time Sox broadcaster?  Hawk

Which player had the biggest impact on you?  As a player I would say Joey Cora. Off the field Jose Contreras and Freddy Garcia.

Favorite band?  Los Amigos Invisible

What is your favorite song?  Eminem – Am not Afraid

Favorite TV Show (or Netflix or HBO or whatever)?  I watch way to much tv but obsessed with Billions and Shameless. All time Arliss

What was the happiest day watching the Sox?  First home game 2004 season. Aparicio, Chico and David Concepcion all there to watch Ozzie manage. All his hero watching him make it. Big deal to the family. White Sox did that for him it was special.

What was the saddest day watching the Sox?  Watching Ozzie give the press conference 2011 after his last game. He was dying inside.

If you could live in any other time, when might that be?  1980 and being 21 and a baseball player. But I might be dead already.

If you could change one thing in your past, what might that be?  I think be more mature. Appreciate what was around me more and the people. At 34 I see the world very different then I did at 24. And I never should have told anyone about twitter lol.

What are you most proud of?  Being a dad for sure. Being the first person in my family with a college degree and a MBA. My parents did not get that chance in life. So I honor them by that.

How would you like to be remembered?  Someone who always try hard and cared. Stood for what I believed in. Everywhere I go doors are open because the way my father has treated people I like for my kids to be the same.

What is the one thing about you few people know?  I don’t drink anymore. I was a big party guy in my twenties. LOL

What do you dislike most about yourself?  I hate confrontation. And I care too much what others think

What do you dislike most in others? Double standards and not respecting other people views and culture.

What were your best/worst subjects in school?  History best, Math worst

What do you like doing in your spare time?  Spending time with my family. I don’t think people realize how close we are. I think sometimes even to a fault. But that’s how we were raised family first. So being with them. Playing MLB the Show and PS4,Watching Tv, Reading, I read a lot. Any subject am intrigued by. Learning sabermetrics has been fun talking to my dad and combining the two and bonding with him over that and a cigar is priceless. Love playing fantasy baseball.

Who is your celebrity crush?  Mila Kunis

What is your favorite movie?  Man I have a lot but Tropic Thunder Lol

What is your favorite baseball movie?  For the Love of the Game / Eight Men Out

What is your biggest/weirdest fear?  No being good enough.

What would be your one super power?  Read minds

What would you change your name to?  Ozzie it’s not my legal name lol

What pet would you love to have?  English Bull Dog had two in my life named DH. We wanted to name him Harold Baines as a kid but my mom would not allow us. So DH it was. We also had a second base who was going to be Joey Cora. Lol

What is your one biggest pet peeve?  Not respecting others culture

What is your one annoying habit?  Dip when I play video games and watch baseball lol

What would be a good theme song for your life?  Eminem – Am not Afraid.

Rain Delays – Guest Post by Jack Benton

From time to time, the 108ers get sent submissions by other members of #WhiteSox twitter, this is from Jack Benton….ENJOY!

Rain Delays BLOW.

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Back to back nights this week I was part of two different rain delays at two different stadiums. These stadiums are roughly ten miles away from each other depending on the route that you take. One event was absolutely electric, everyone on the edge of their seat waiting for what was coming next and that was Michael Kopech’s first start on 35th and Shields, the other was Pearl Jam’s second night at Wrigley Field.

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Now don’t get me wrong, I love Pearl Jam, but the excitement levels were out of whack down at Fenway #2 on Monday because of the rain delay that forced field and 100 level patrons to the depths of Wrigley. Now I was in the 400 level, for those unfamiliar with Wrigley, this is only accessible with certain ramps that are located randomly throughout the concourse. So after #108ing for a few hours before the show, I needed to use the Whizz Palace. I asked the closest person who was attempting to work there where the nearest Pee Tub was and he informed me that it was on the 100 level. I am no mathematician, but 300 levels is a far distance to travel after peak . So as descended down into the depths of Wrigley, people at this point are using the ramps for everything from Herb Smokage to Carnal Passions. Staircases are packed with bodies sitting or standing in puddles, the small areas packed with patrons, reek of hot breath. This is exactly what I imagine a battlefield looked like in the Civil War. Temperatures rise and the ground is starting to get unstable as I arrive to the 100 level. Place is packed, there’s nowhere to move. It looked exactly like they learned absolutely nothing from when this exact thing happened 5 years prior in 2013.

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Show started, I finally arose from the depths hell only to witness a man take out what I assumed to be the same frustration as mine by degrading an ATM machine at some middle portion of some part of that damn place. In the end show was good; Wrigley Sucks for concerts and baseball games alike. Turn the page to Tuesday August 21st, White Sox Christmas Day, Kopech Day at the Cell (THAT’S RIGHT, THE CELL!).

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You could feel the energy as soon as you smelled the onions. The White Sox bullpen had people around it waiting since before I walked in at 5:45. You could feel that tonight was what all of us Sox fans were waiting all year for. Waiting for a glimpse at what could be a bright future for the pale hose. Kopech comes out to warm up, place erupts. Kopech walks to the dugout and gets announced by Gene, place erupts. He strikes out Denard Span for his 1st in the bigs, gets out of two jams, and again and again the place erupts with excitement. Finally, Michael Kopech stikes out Joe Mauer and they playoff type roar that burst on Chicago’s South Side must have been too much for the clouds to hold and down the rain came.

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About 20,000 people rushed to the main concourse to get out of the downpour. Even with this amount of people rushing to the main concourse with little to no notice, did I think I was at Wrigley like experience all over again. I knew that the ramps from each gate were huge, covered, and would fit all who would want to get out of the crowded concourse. I knew that all of the people in the 300 and 500 level had a place to go to the bathroom. I also knew that there were plenty of xfinity and craft beer establishments to assist with rain delay . First place I headed was the Craft Cave, took a little time but in no way was the hot stale smell of death creeping in. Got to the Craft Cave and the worst thing was the overwhelmed bar staff that in no way were expecting the 8,000 walk up ticket sales or the rush of patrons to the Bullpen Sports Bar. Waited for all of 6 minutes for my beer and then stood comfortably against the bullpen glass and waited the rain delay in pure creature comfort.

In conclusion this is not a Cubs vs. White Sox fans thought process. It is a bunch of sentences written in appreciation to a fantastic piece of property located on 35th and Shields. A place that should be looked at for concerts should Jerry want to make extra cash. A place that is easily accessible and is capable of providing a more electric crowd with 22,000+ in two innings, than a “historic” building with probably 60,000+ people on hand for one of the biggest rock in roll bands with a huge following. Rain delays suck but I would rather spend them at the Cell over the “friendly confines”

-JackBenton

Chorizy’s Mascot Assistant Job Application

If you don’t pay attention to the job openings within the White Sox organization, you probably missed the posting for a Mascot Assistant.  You should definitely apply, but know you will be going head to head with me, Chorizy-E for the job.  My application is below just to intimidate you further.  Not to mention, Southpaw and Beefloaf are pals.

https://www.mlb.com/whitesox/team/job-opportunities#mascot-assistant

Responsibilities:

  • Assist in the coordination and execution of Southpaw’s event activations. This includes, but is not limited to: Chicago White Sox home games, White Sox-related events, and Corporate Partner activations.

I’m not sure what Southpaw’s activations are, but let me just tell you that I’m not above being a fluffer.  In my younger days, times were tough and you take what jobs you can get.  So I have a bit of experience in “activations”.

  • Responsible for coordinating Southpaw’s school shows.
  • Emcee Southpaw’s school shows.

I used to work “Fashion” Shows at a bar on Lake Street back in the day.  I mainly bar backed, but one time when the DJ had a weird throat infection, I had to emcee.  I assume school shows are about the same thing.

  • Set up and break down mascot equipment for games and events.

I used to work merch for Pigface and Dope back in the day and they had elaborate setups.  I can definitely do the same with mascot gear.

  • Work alongside the Mascot Coordinator to oversee a successful partnership between the White Sox and independent event organizations.

I assume this is similar to Sluggerr’s handler in KC.  I’ve done some research on that and I’m definitely the guy for the job.

  • Act as the on-site liaison at Southpaw’s activations.

On-site liaison, I dig.  If there is one thing I am good at, it’s scoring you whatever you need.  Just no meth, we don’t need Southpaw’s fur getting all patchy and shit.

  • Speak to guests and fans for Southpaw during in-game visits and appearances.

I love talking with people, especially after a solid 6-10 Modelo tall boys.  I mean, I already do this at a majority of Southpaw’s appearances.

  • Be in suit for appearances as seen fit by the Mascot Coordinator.

I have what Sir Mix A Lot would call a juicy double, but if I can squeeze it into those tight uniform pants I’ll definitely throw on the big green head too.

Qualifications/Characteristics:

  • College degree in Marketing, Performing Arts, or other related field.

Surprisingly I have a college degree.

  • Effective communication skills, both oral and written.

Are you reading this shit?  Yeah, pretty obvious I got skillz.

  • 1 year game presentation or performance experience in dance; performance or acting training is highly preferred.

Nuff said

  • Due to costume restrictions, ideal height range is 5’8″ to 6’0″.

5’9″ but Husky sized pants

  • Strong organizational skills; must be able to multi-task.

Quadruple fisting is no problem

  • Previous mascot experience in college or another professional capacity.

I have no mascot experience, but this is a ridiculous request since you don’t require experience to manage the actual team.

  • Must have strong interpersonal skill with the ability to work with multiple departments and initiatives

I’ve yet to be kicked out of a Sox game despite extreme intoxication, so yeah, I’ve worked with most departments in the org without incident.

  • Must be comfortable speaking in public as an emcee with ability to be spontaneous when interacting with a crowd.

Happy to spread the gospel according to Chorizy

  • Event management experience is preferred

I assume you’ve already heard about the FromThe108/SoxOn35th tailgates.

  • Must be available to work nights and/or weekends as dictated by the game/event schedule

I’m already at the games.  As long as drinking and occasionally passing out is cool.

-Chorizy-E

 

The One Hitter – AJ Pierzynski White Sox Manager

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

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What. The. Fuck!?!?!

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

The dropped 3rd strike in game 2 of the 2005 ALCS
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Nothing pleases me more than watching the replay of this play and the subsequent plays afterwards.  I’m a big fan of a player trying this and and even bigger fan of it fucking working, but this is hardly a genius play.  AJ tried to “angle shoot” all the time and it rarely worked.  This wasn’t the only time he tried this gambit, he just happened to get it to work in a super big spot (which we are all undoubtedly grateful for).  However, angle shooting doesn’t making him a particularly sharp guy when it comes to managing a ballclub.

 

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

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

-BeefLoaf

#108ing Tools – Scouting Grades

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

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

Endurance (aka the Sunday grade)

2018-08-18

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

Speed

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

Cognitive Abilities

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

Range

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

Character

2018-08-30

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

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

108ing grades

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

– BeefLoaf, Chorizy-E & MySoxSummer

 

#108ing At Sesame Street Live (with Bobbles Jim a.k.a. Gobbles Jim a.k.a. Uncle Rico?)

Many, many moons ago, bobbleheads brought together myself and Bobbles Jim. Since then we have both had 2 kids (Girls 3 – Boys 1), completed our collections of team issued White Sox bobbles and spent countless hours in line at SoxFest and Sox games. We’ve also had at least 5 beers together (Bobbles Jim doesn’t really drink like a 108’er).

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Bobbles Jim wants to be called Uncle Rico from now on. His wife says if you change it, it should be Gobbles Jim. Make your voice heard on our 108 Poll!

Having girls that are months apart, we are kinda on the same curve of things they like to do, plus our wives like each other! So my wife reached out to Mrs. Bobbles to see if she wanted to go to Sesame Street Live. When the topic was brought up to me, I thought I was exempt from said event, but apparently I was lumped in cause Bobbles Jim was going to go. It was inked on the calendar.

Have you ever been to Sesame Street live before? I hadn’t and I might not ever go again. I had however, way back in the day, went to Smurf’s Ice Capades. Google that shit for some creepy videos. Anyways….

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Tickets WERE NOT cheap. $32 for the CHEAP seats up top, $75 for the “experience” seats. We opted for the cheap seats that then included a $8.05 venue fee per ticket, so if you are playing at home, a ticket cost as much as 4 Corona Lights at Sox Park. Family of 3, cost us $120 to get in the door. But wait, $15 bucks to park! So $135 to get into the show. That is about 20 Sox games in the cheap seats, but no Elmo. Southpaw, but no Elmo.

Sesame-Street-merchandise

Upon entry we had been warned that there were multiple booths to buy just about anything your heart desired that was SS related. My daughter thankfully was pretty stoked just to be there so we walked to the seats without paying $35 for a light up bubble wand. The show started and Little Miss Shortstop was going bananas. It was worth every penny for her, no shit. Even the new kid (LMS’s sister) was getting into it. I was shocked.

During intermission, cause you have to be given a bathroom break to go buy more stuff, my daughter noticed a guy selling cotton candy. LMS loves cotton candy since Uncle Loaf bought some for Bonita Steakie and she happily shared it with LMS. It got her through a 9 inning game, so it’s like coffee to her. Bobbles Jim had broke down and bought a bag of popcorn ($7) and a Cookie Monster Cup ($15). So he was $22 in. I declared I was going to buy a $11 bag of cotton candy, but actually found out it was $12. But you got a FREE FOAM CAP with your $12 purchase. The vendor apologized for the price, but I decided to tip him anyways only after he assured me that he got to keep his tip. LMS was thrilled and Bobbles Jim’s little girl got to try cotton candy for the first time too. Win-win in my book.

Pink and blue cotton candy

The second half of the show LMS was pretty distracted by the cotton candy to get too much into the show. Until I took it away from her, then she was dancing away. Luckily she was distracted long enough not to notice that the character she dislikes the most, Abby, used magic (which is why LMS dislikes her) to make it stop raining. She doesn’t like wizardry, and I don’t blame her. The show ended and we went on our merry way to Hooters, the family restaurant chain.

By now you are saying why did you even write this blog MSS? 2 reasons. 1 – It was a fun family outing that was made possible by White Sox baseball. 2 – To illustrate how cheap it actually is to go to a White Sox game.

SIDE NOTE – I would have no issue if PBS was running these events and the money raised went directly to fund the shows. No way in hell that happens. Some asshole, who for sure hates kids, makes piles of money on his muppet slaves. Sad, so sad.

Fans of our fave baseball squad love to complain about price but guess what? On Sundays, you can take a family of 4, to a game, for $30. Tickets and parking, a far cry from $135 for the 3 of us to attend SSL. Even if you buy food there, you still wouldn’t get that close to $135. In this day and time everything is expensive, but I still find $30 for 4 tickets and parking a hell of deal. And before you even say it, yeah, it’s the cheap seats, when is the last time you actually sat in your seat at Sox Park? Come on man.

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So take advantage of those cheap tickets in 2019 while you still can. I feel like they will go the way of the dodo when this team get’s good. And go see Sesame Street Live if you wanna see people trying to buy their kids love with cheap toys from China. It’s a blast to see my daughter freak the fuck out seeing a giant blue creature smashing cookies like her dad does when she is in bed.

-MSS

108 Poopourri 10/14/2018

Poll Review

Pick your poison…

Drunk Quotes

“I knew for sure they were playing porno music when I saw WallyMoney dancing to it”

“David Ross being terrible at managing would be the highlight of 2019 for basically everyone, including most Cubs fans”

“Nobody looking smarter right now than GarPax for all the shit they got for Jimmy”

Stepmom of the Week

Well, the Astros are still in the playoffs, so…

Punchable Face of the Week

Brock Osweiler

The White Sox Irrelevance

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

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

1. The roster and on-field product

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

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

2. The Ballpark experience.

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

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

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

The White Sox wore shorts in 1976, not 1979.

Scoreboard 1

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

Scoreboard 2

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

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

3. Is hope lost?

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

4. What can be done?

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

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

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

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

-Aloha Mr. Hand