The 108 Interview Series – PNoles

Likes

Favorite Game That You Were At The Blackout Game. It is my great hope that I have a new answer to this question in 5 years.

Favorite All Time Player That Doesn’t Have a Statue On the Concourse Quintana. I considered Maggs but the fact that I’ve had greater fondness for Quintana in a Cubs uniform than I did Magglio in a Tigers uniform speaks volumes.

Favorite Drink and Dinner at the Park Brat with grilled onions and peppers. While I appreciate a good IPA or craft brew, I’m more likely to stick to Modelo in the park.

Favorite Place to Sit For a night game, nothing beats the scout seats but I’ve only done it twice. For day games I like the lower deck down the first base line for the shade.

Favorite Uniform Loved the cutoff pinstripes with the black sleeves that they used to wear. I miss those.

Favorite Giveaway Any and all bobbleheads.

Favorite Theme Night Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day.  One of these years I’m gonna wear my leprechaun suit to that game.

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Dislikes

What irks you the most about White Sox fans? It varies from era to era. Right now it’s the habit of making benchmarks out of the respective rebuilds of the Cubs and Astros — two completely dissimilar organizations with more proven levels of team-building acumen and more generous spending habits that didn’t have three premium trade pieces to kickstart the process.

What is the worst part of being a Sox fan? We have no “Golden Age” to point to.  Success has been fleeting throughout my lifetime and long before it. 2005-2008 is probably as close as it gets, but even that timespan included a 90-loss team and just two postseason berths. I want to see them punch a ticket to October in back-to-back years.

Worst part of the game day experience? Bathroom and concession lines. This isn’t a problem at lesser-attended games, but it sucks that part of the price of games like Opening Day includes punting an inning to take a piss. I don’t blame the White Sox for this, it’s just the nature of stadiums.

What really grinds your gears? Bunting with two strikes, bunting before the late innings, bunting with competent hitters, and bunting.

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Least Favorite White Sox player of all time Paniagua

Game Day

Most memorable experience as a White Sox fan I don’t want to say the Blackout Game again so I’ll go back to the Carlos Lee grand slam against the Cubs in 2001. That was the loudest and most amped up I’ve ever heard the crowds going down the ramps from the concourse.

Ballpark experience, how could it be better?  I’ve got three for this. First, open the parking lots earlier. If you’re doing a full-blown tailgate, it takes awhile to set up, cook, and take everything down, and if you’re in charge of everything that doesn’t leave a lot of time to just chill and hang out or play bags or whatever while still making it into the game on time.

Second, now that I’m a dad with young kids, I’m gonna give a dad answer and say they should have more than one family bathroom.  If you’re not sitting close to the 108 (which I suppose is a mistake in of itself), that can be a long walk for either carrying or walking with slow-moving kiddos.

Third, bring back the damn Pirates of the Carribbean intro. This is a no-brainer. Everyone loved it, it gave me chills, and it often would make me rush to leave tailgates to get in on time for it. Now I don’t really care if I’m slightly late (as long as it’s for tailgating reasons).

Best Sox Park hack? I don’t really have any. I like freely grabbing seats close to the dugouts / home plate like everyone else, but that’s not unique.

What brings you back for every game? Nothing beats the sights, sounds, and smells of the park. I can’t say it any better than that.

Feelings on the wave? I thought it was cool as a kid but then as I got older I realized I liked baseball instead.

Which Gate is your favorite to enter the park from? Gate 5. I love walking up the big staircase. I call it the Stairway to Heaven.

How Early Do You Get To Games? I like to get into the park about a half hour or 45 minutes before the game. I have this weird obsession with the way Gene Honda introduces the other team with a level of sinister contempt: “First for the visiting….Minnesota Twins.” That also gives me plenty of time to hit up food and beer without missing much of the pregame stuff.

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What Do You Bring To Games? I’ll sometimes bring peanuts since I’m going to wind up buying them if I don’t, but other than that not a whole lot.

How Many Games Do You Go To Each Year? It used to be 8-10 but since having kids that’s dropped to about 4-5. I’ll probably ramp that up again when they get older.

Section 108 Questions

What is your favorite baseball word? TOOTBLAN

What is your least favorite baseball word? Bunt

What get’s you excited about the White Sox? When they’ve got a lineup full of guys that can swat dingers. I loved the 2008 team.

What makes you sad about the White Sox? The last decade.

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you love? I love the organ. It’s just perfect for the setting. It’s fun to pay attention for when they play a little tune that’s a pun on an opposing hitter’s name.

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you hate? Cowbells. Leave that shit at home.

What is your favorite Hawkism? “You can….put it on the boooooooooooaaaarrrddd, YES!!”

Do you think that you, Jim and Josh could take the 108ers in a 3 on 3 hoops game? Yuck. Who picked these teams? I play a lot of ball, but there’s no way I’m good enough to carry those guys.

Why do you dislike KenWo so much? I don’t! I like to dunk on him sometimes for trash baseball opinions (and make no mistake, some of them are major doozies) but he might actually deserve the title of “biggest Sox fan I know”.  Dude’s invested a ton of himself into this team. I’ve been at tailgates with him a few times and he’s a likeable guy.

The Pat Hatter blog is a fun read, but how the fuck didn’t you have Maurice Levy in your top 30 Wire characters? Levy is a good TV villain. Every time that guy’s on screen you just want to see him get what’s coming to him, and I love when characters make you feel that. However, this is The Wire we’re talking about and the cast is too deep to accommodate several good characters on that list. What I love about The Wire is that nearly everyone is written with nuance/depth and few characters are thoroughly good or thoroughly despicable. There’s nothing redeeming about Levy and we don’t really know anything about him other than that he’s an extremely scummy lawyer. In my book, that leaves him squarely outside the top 30.

Maurice Levy, abogado criminalista corrupto representante del clan Barksdale

You are a bit of a stathead, if you could, which specific stat / metric would you like to fully educate the average White Sox fan on? I think wOBA is a good metric and a decent gateway into the more advanced stuff.  It stands for Weighted On-Base Average and essentially takes the result of every plate appearance and appropriately weights how valuable it is to a baseball offense, so e.g. triples will raise your wOBA more than singles or walks.  It’s on a similar scale to on-base percentage, so something around .270 is garbage, .320 is around average, and stuff close to .400 is elite.

Do you have a SoxMath arch-nemesis? Mike Gonnella is damn fast, but there’s a whole host of other players (Joe Resis, Jordan Lazowski, Ashley Sanders, Riles, Jack, others that I’m surely and apologetically forgetting) that have really stepped up their game this year and made winning extremely tough, and I’d like to extend a hearty congratulations to those competing in the finals. I’ve toned it down on the SoxMath this year — this is sure to induce groans but ever since I’ve changed cable providers I’ve seen some correct answer timestamps occur before I’ve seen the question (“lol suuuuuuure pnoles”).

Do you have any favorite #108ing stories you’d like to share, ballpark or otherwise? Nothing too crazy. Back in 2013 I attended the South Side Sox meetup at the park for the first time after posting on the site for about 3-4 years. It was awesome meeting everyone, but I made the exceptionally poor choice of drinking a lot of beer and eating very little food at the tailgate. We went to Cork and Kerry after the game and I left at some point to go home by myself.  My sense of direction pretty much vacated me by that point and I was found by a couple South Side Sox folks a little later that night wandering around the abandoned Sox/35th Red Line station (which was closed for construction that summer). They got me home OK and I’m still very grateful to them.

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What’s your greatest fear about the “rebuild”? That it won’t generate enough stars. I think there’s going to be enough depth players but the early returns have been discouraging with regards to developing elite major league talent.

What is there about this team that excites you the most? Eloy

Give us a #HotTake about the rebuild. The White Sox don’t have a single league-average catcher in their organization, and are going to continue to grow The Legend of Tyler Flowers for another half-decade.

Favorite White Sox Twitter Account (Besides @fromthe108) and why? Excluding @SoxMachine from this because it’d be a boring answer, I’m a big fan of everything @SoxOn35th has been doing this year. Second choice would be @ckamka and his never-ending parade of cool facts.

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Person from White Sox Twitter that you’d most like to meet and why? I’ll say the collective from BP South Side. I’ve met Mark and Mike, but haven’t met the other guys. Most of us are doing an online trivia league and that’s been fun.

Favorite Non-White Sox Twitter Account and why? Gotta be @jon_bois. Jon is hilarious and extremely creative. I was way into his Pretty Good series and if you haven’t checked out 17776 I can highly recommend doing so.

What do you like best about @fromthe108 ? You guys have brought a lot of fun to a really tough year to be a Sox fan. If you can make 2018 a good time, I can’t wait to see what you do to a year when good stuff actually happens

Favorite White Sox related blog or podcast and why? Can highly recommend this killer blog/podcast combo called “Sox Machine”.

What is your favorite alcoholic drink for #108ing?  Be specific and feel free to go with more than one if you need to.  What about your favorite beer style?  If I’m watching at home, I’m all about old fashioneds. I generally like IPAs and other high-ABV beer but they are my Kryptonite.

Favorite cut of Steak?  Prepared? I’m big into New York Strip steaks, generally medium or medium rare.

Gimme an “Uncle Rico” moment from your prior sports playing past. On two separate occasions I’ve hit a half-court shot at the buzzer to send a basketball game into overtime. In true Uncle Rico fashion, I’m not typically the guy whose number gets called in those situations, and to the best of my recollection those are the only two such attempts I’ve ever had.

Where would you take @ChiPartyAunt out on a date? She doesn’t strike me as the dating type…

Favorite performance enhancing drug? Pedialyte. Best anti-hangover weapon there is. Not sure if it counts as a drug, but they put it in the section with medicines so that’s good enough for me.

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Who do you hate more Jim Belushi or John Cusack? Cusack

Happy Ending

What Other Chicago Teams Do You Enjoy Bulls and Bears. The outright tanking has soured me on the Bulls though. I watched them all the time when they sucked from 1999-2004 but the recent shift of actually managing games to lose had me stop tuning in altogether last year.

Favorite Chicago Sports History Moment Last out of the 2005 World Series

Favorite All-Time Sox Broadcaster Jason Benetti. I also love Stone and it is my dream to have him eviscerate me on Twitter one day. Hawk will always have a special place in my heart but too much of his tenure was rough to sit through.

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Any Stories About Running Into or Meeting White Sox Players? Other Chicago Athletes? Not really. I’ve met some players but there’s not much of a story there.

Favorite Band? Coheed and Cambria. Claudio Sanchez is a creative mastermind.

What is your favorite song? Right now I’d say Mr. Brightside. It takes me back to college.

Favorite TV Show (or Netflix or HBO or whatever the fuck)? The Wire. After I wrap up The Americans I’m going to put together a personal all-time list on The Pat Hatter.

Married or Single? Looking for a GF? I am happily signed to a 100-year contract with no opt-out clauses.

Do you remember your first Sox game? Nope!

What Player had the greatest impact on you? Frank Thomas, hands-down.

What was the happiest day watching the Sox? Game 4 of the 2005 World Series.

What was the saddest day watching the Sox? I might be conflating memories but I’d say that game against the Mets when Gillaspie and Beckham collided to blow an infield pop-up, and after the Sox blew the lead, Hawk went to break outright screaming “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!” It was the first time I thought White Sox baseball might be hazardous to Ken Harrelson’s health.

What do you do for work? If you could be or do anything else – what? I’m an actuary. If I had the voice for it, I would have loved to be the PA announcer at the Sox game or the person who decides what music and sound bites to play. I also think it’d be cool to be a voice actor. Basically, I wish I had a better voice.

If you could live in any other time, when might that be? The 1980s would have been pretty cool. I technically was born then but wasn’t old enough to appreciate the culture.

If you could have dinner with five White Sox Players, past and present, who would they be? Yolmer, Big Hurt, A.J., Ozzie, Palka.

If you could change one thing in your past, what might that be? I wish I was more confident in high school. I didn’t really figure myself out until college and in retrospect feel like I spent years living as less than the best version of myself for no good reason.

What are you most proud of? My family

How would you like to be remembered? I’d like for people to think of me as a good person, and to feel at the end like I’ve earned that (which is harder and will be a lifelong struggle). I don’t need more of a legacy than that.

What’s the one thing about you few people know? I get ashamed of myself very easily when I say or do something out of line. For example, if I get heated and raise my voice at someone on the basketball court (not common, but it happens), I just ruined my day, because I’ll spend most of the rest of the day obsessing over how I came off and why I got amped up over something that just doesn’t matter.

What do you dislike most about yourself? I wish I could be one of those people who’s “on” all the time. You know the type, folks who are always feeling chatty and can inject energy into any conversation/encounter. I have occasional times when I’m introverted and just don’t feel like interacting with people and it probably shows. I never want to be like that but it happens.

Also, I absolutely despise the taste of cheese and wish I liked it like a normal person. It makes me a brutal person to order shared food (appetizers, small plates, etc) with and I hate that it makes me a difficult customer at restaurants.  Possibly the worst part is that this is often one of the first things that people learn about me (due to business/social occasions often centering around food) so it sticks in their memory and it leads to them ripping on me constantly for it, which gets old after a few decades.

What do you dislike most in others? Nothing specific. Just don’t act vindictively toward people and we’re cool.

What were your best/worst subjects in school? Best subject was Math. My worst subject was Literature because there’s no way to check your work. You needed to guess the same interpretation of the book as the teacher and/or grading rubric, which is BS. My sophomore year of high school I was one of several people in my class who was caught plagiarizing SparkNotes, because without using SparkNotes, I was never confident that my essay on a particular book was “right”. I had a couple GREAT English teachers in high school but also one particular one that repeatedly insisted that grades weren’t important, especially for English given the subjective nature of interpreting literature, and I was like, “Great, well if you don’t think it’s important which grade I get just give me an ‘A’ then.”

What do you like doing in your spare time? In addition to hanging out with my family and friends, I play basketball a few times a week and am in a softball league. I love to play poker, even though I don’t get a chance to as much as I used to. I watch a good amount of TV and as alluded to above, I’ve made a habit of writing up my thoughts on shows over on The Pat Hatter. Lately I have been getting more and more into trivia because about a year ago I joined the aforementioned online trivia league with a bunch of my friends and realized how bad I am at it, so I’ve actually started to read some books and watch Jeopardy more. Being bad at things — no matter how trivial (no pun intended) — bothers the hell out of me. That’s the significance of “gym class hero” in my Twitter bio.

Who is your celebrity crush? Don’t really have one

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What is your favorite movie? Silver Linings Playbook

What is your favorite baseball movie? Moneyball. I’ll get Shawshanked by that movie whenever it’s on.

What is your biggest/weirdest fear? I’m sort of a hypochondriac, but I’ve found that since having kids, it’s been less of an issue. Hooray for exposure therapy! I still won’t let you drink out of my cup or vice-versa though.

What would be your one super power? Telekinesis. The potential for messing with people would be through the roof.

What would you change your name to? Rembrandt Q. Einstein

What pet would you love to have? I would like to have Jimmy Butler’s boombox fishtank and put pet fish in there. That thing is amazing.

What’s your one biggest pet peeve? Left-turners that don’t pull into the intersection on a soft green. There’s no reason we both can’t make this light, buddy.

What’s your one annoying habit? One? Hmmm…well I can definitely be a space case sometimes. My mind wanders easily from whatever’s going on in front of me. I’ve gotta say though, this feels like a pretty incomplete answer to this question.

What would be a good theme song for your life? Eve 6 – Here’s to the Night. I know it was actually written about a one-night stand but the lyrics are heavily nostalgic and reflect my general mindset about the past. I’m not good with big changes and moving into new stages of life. On the other hand, I love escaping into memories of days gone by and experiences I’ve had in high school, college, and even as a younger adult. I focus a lot on the exciting stuff and the high points, sure, but I even have fondness for all the stuff that wasn’t as pleasant to live through. I try as hard as I can to appreciate the present but the truth is that I love life so much more in hindsight. Five years from now I’m probably going to be doing the same thing about 2018. After college was over I made a video of photos of my friends and I through the four years and set the ending of the video to this song.

What ballpark would you like to visit? I crossed off Fenway last summer the night that the 108ers cashed in on Dylan Covey, so that was probably my answer for as long as I can remember. With that one off the list, I think Camden Yards or Coors Field would be my next choices.

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