As we get deep into the holiday season, you may be thinking “how can I stay in decent 108 form to be ready for next April?” or maybe “how do I teach the people I love about #108ing this holiday season?” Luckily, I have some shopping tips for you, since I’m a girl who loves to shop for myself and the 108 crew.
Here it is 108ers: Your essential shopping list for proper #108ing. Outside of the baseball season, the holiday season is my favorite time for 108ing.
#108ing Starter Kit
We’ll start with a 108 Starter Kit because the name seems to fit. The 108 koozie is standard. It’s the easiest thing to bring with you anywhere. Representing at the game is key, but just think how prepared and professional you will look pulling a koozie out at a holiday party?! Plus how great will you or your loved ones look in this hat? Mustache not included.
Buy it here: #108ing Starter Kit
Ladies, this is a gem of an Amazon find and they are perfect for games! Don’t worry, the security will not touch your tampons during their five-minute raid through every.single.corner.and.pocket of your purse. Allow me to digress into the #thatsBS corner because it happens every.single.game. One of these games I’ll be showing up with a purse filled with a box of regular tampons and nothing else. *Just* to see the reaction from security. And for my own entertainment.
Back to the tampon flasks – grab a delicious lemonade and add a couple shots of vodka from your tampon flasks. #yum
Buy it here: Tampon Flasks
Smirnoff Christmas Balls….of Vodka
I’m a sucker for holiday decorations and this is a genius holiday vodka promotion – a giant Xmas ornament filled with vodka. The bottle is pretty and I plan to re-use it next year. Like a Christmas decanter. So fun! You can find these in any liquor aisle.
Stocking Booze Bag
Next on the Xmas liquor-related gift list is this amazing stocking beverage holder. I know it’s technically another flask, but this is not your normal flask. You can fit a bottle of wine in this thing easily!
Buy it here: Stocking Booze Bag
Ornament Shot Glasses
And finally, for your holiday 108ing, *actual* ornaments that you can fill with your favorite beverage. The 108ers will hit the short glasses every now and then, so what better way to do it during the holiday season.
Buy It here: Ornament Shot Glasses
Good day friends, it’s your pal BeefLoaf, welcome in, pour yourself something to drink, take off those boots and lets sit by the tree and have a little chat, albeit an oration from me. For me, one of the best things about writing for the Section 108 blog is that we can basically do anything in these virtual pages. We aren’t bound to a specific theme. We can go all ee cummings with the punctuation if we please. We can broach topics far and wide and we can craft a post with ultimate freedom knowing we don’t have aspirations beyond scratching our own itch and entertaining the literally dozens of yous (this is Bridgeport) that click on our stuff. With that being said, this post here takes a look at two parallel situations and how they were handled and leaves open questions as to why they were handled in such a way. I’ll merely prepare the canvas, but I’ll need the Bob Ross’ of the world out there to give me some conclusions as I am not WOKE enough to know WHY?
I’m critical, but supportive of one Rick Hahn, and have been since the dawn of the rebuild. I appreciated the chutzpah it took to go down this path (obviously using suspension of disbelief to ignore that he was a big part of why they were in this mess), in this market, with this ownership group. I think he was aggressive with seeking out trades that expedited the timeline of the next great White Sox teams. That was the first 1.5 or so years of what us locals call “The Rebuild”, but since then we’ve seen lots of parts of the rebuild stall out and other moves or tactics begin to be put in play. One that got WILD support from basically all of the fan base, were tree (this is Bridgeport) trades in which Hahn used International Amateur spending cap to acquire prospective high minors bullpen arms. Mind you, when I say “spending cap”, I literally just mean, the rights to spend some money, not actually spending any money by the WhiteSox, so basically, these were free (sort of) acquisitions. Each team is alotted a “pool” of money to spend each year on July 2nd international free agents (usually 16 year old kids primarily located in the Caribbean or South America, largest concentrations in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela). These pools range from roughly $4M-$6M and teams can then sign players using those caps (but to sign players, they must use actual money, not the fake salary cap they are given, that is just a guideline). The teams can also trade their pool money (again, not actual money, just the rights to spend your own additional money). Now, one team can’t just accumulate all of everyone’s pool money, there are restrictions to how much a team can trade for, but you get the general idea.
Also, under the previous rules, which butted up against the two years I am going to detail, teams could exceed their spending limits, but they would be put in the penalty and required to have 2 consecutive years where they can not spend more than $300,000 on any individual player. Our White Sox were in the box in 2017 and 2018 because they spent like a billion SpaceBucks on Luis Robert (which we fucking jumped for joy at them doing). Several other teams were in the penalty these years with the White Sox and had sort of a similar marketplace in which to deal. The specific team I am going to pick out is the San Diego Padres, primarily because they are in a similar rebuild position as the White Sox, they have a similarly GRAND minor league system (generally rated ahead of our White Sox), the two teams engaged in a trade in the not so recent past and they are stark opposites in this part of the business.
As previously noted the WhiteSox chose to use a significant part of their International Spending cap in trades to other teams to acquire the following upper minors bullpen only arms. Arms that needed a home (relatively quickly) on the 40 man roster.
I cheered! You cheered! RICK HAHN HAS DONE IT AGAIN exclaimed twitter. In those two years, the White Sox also used some of the cap (but they had to spend actual money for the signings) on a handful of signings (2017 and 2018 respectively)……
The White Sox signed a couple of players each season. It appears they chose to focus using these resources on the bullpen arms (that we all loved when the trades were made and were exclaimed to be basically FREE) noted above.
Every time I find myself siding whole-heartedly with the majority, I get a little itchy and I feel I need to investigate the other side of the argument, the other side of the coin if you will. Most times that I do this, I find nothing and I am pretty comfortable with my original position…..but not always.
Now, let’s look at what AJ Preller and the San Diego Padres did faced with similar restrictions ($300k spending cap on individual players), what did they do…..
Wow that’s a lot of signings….but that’s just 2017….here’s 2018.
The Padres and AJ Preller took a different approach to the same problem, signing tons of International Talent, albeit none of the top, top talent because of the penalty. As I said, I don’t have answers. Although I do have plenty of questions.
Why would these teams take such different approaches?
Are the Padres much better set up to gamble on Int’l signings than to bring in older / almost major league ready relievers?
Do the White Sox feel a distinct advantage at bringing in almost major league ready bullpen arms? If so, aren’t there lots of readily available such arms getting DFA’d on the regular to fill that void?
What is the expected value of what the Padres did vs what the White Sox did in a neutral setting?
Is the Fernando Tatis Jr trade a look into how AJ Preller builds up the Padres farm? Do they just know more about these international kids than materially everyone else?
Do the White Sox not have the infrastructure set up in the Dominican Republic or the relationships and connections to do what the Padres did?
Which move is cheaper in the long run? Maybe the decisions are based on a monetary budget.
I don’t fucking know. What I do know is that 2 of the top 5 farm systems in Major League baseball chose decidedly different paths for the same assignment and I am intrigued by it. I’m so interested in different methods to solve the same problem (in this instance, win baseball games, particularly in the future).
DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? Hit me up on the Twitter Machine and tell me wtf is going on.
With the off-season stove getting hot and lots of chatter linking the White Sox with more than a mild interest in Bryce Harper the question begs to be asked. What would a Bryce Harper contract look like?
I am by no means a contract expert, so feel free to take this for what you will. I personally think a Harper contract will be anywhere between 10 – 12 years with a value of $375 million. If you break it down a 10-year contract would have an Average Annual Value (AAV) of 37.5 million, whereas a 12-year deal would have an AAV of 31.5 million. To be honest the years and AAV are irrelevant for two reasons, one appearance and one business. Let me explain why.
We know that Scott Boras will want his client to have the biggest contract of all time. This contract regardless of 10 or 12 years accomplishes that. Just because he signs a long-term contract DOES NOT mean he will be around for the entire contract. This is where the most important element of the contract comes into play. An opt-out after the 3rd year. This is a critical element for the White Sox and even more so Harper. Why you ask. The White Sox answer is very simple. After three years the rebuild should be in the rear-view mirror with a wide-open competitive window and a farm system that will hopefully be supplementing the major league roster where needed. The Harper answer is actually very simple. I heard people speculating on MLB Radio and in all honesty, I probably blinded someone with the light bulb that went off over my head when I heard this. To get to the answer we must look at some of the expected events of 2021. As we know the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the players union and ownership will expire. One of the critical elements of the CBA that will be a point of contention will be the luxury tax. The reason Harper will want an opt-out after year three is because if the Luxury Tax is altered, or abolished, he can go back on the market still in his prime and make even more money.
This is why the years and total value of the contract are just ego pieces. The contract will be front loaded so that the first three years’ salary will be much more than the AAV.
Does this mean the White Sox will sign Harper? I wish I knew the answer. But if you run the numbers with the way the team has managed their roster and expenses the last few years, they could sign him and still have a very comfortable payroll as well as Rick Hahn’s beloved payroll flexibility.
The hell with it. GET IT DONE!
Good evening, it’s your old pal BeefLoaf and this is The One Hitter, don’t forget to exhale.
With the Hot Stove ostensibly cooling off after the completion of the GM Meetings and narry a signing to be seen, we turn our attention to any little bit of beisbol that might catch our eyeballs. The US vs Japan all-star games are going on, I literally saw 3 pitches before Bonita Steakie told me, “turn this off, baseball is boring!” I did also happen to notice (via twitter) that the Arizona Fall League is going on and one White Sox prospect appears to be having quite a hoot down there. Between crushing long, LONG home runs and stringing together a 14 game hitting streak, Luis Robert appears to be doing thangs down there in ‘Zona. I’ve seen short videos of mammoth blasts and bursts of speed, it has been fun to catch little bits of Robert playing to a tree slash line of .324/.367/.432 (that’s Batting Average / On-Base Percentage / Slugging Percentage). The entire twitterverse appears to be head over heels in love with this version of Robert. For a second, I was pretty thrilled too…..then, I was struck with a pang of anxiety as I struggled to remember another former Arizona Fall League legend draped in White Sox clothing.
Ooooooh, Yea……..this guy right here, remember him? He almost won the Gold Glove this year. His major league bat (tree slash line again) of .235/.279/.336 probably cost him that Gold Glove (everyone knows Gold Gloves are partially won with hitting). Well, back in 2015, this fine fella hit hisself a .403/.523/.642 line in that same old Arizona Fall League. Look, don’t panic, but there is some evidence that the Arizona Fall League might not be the stiffest competition in the land. I’m not a prospect hound, but someone who is, and someone who has previously had a near bromancish love affair with Robert had this to say about viewing Robert’s AFL performance.
Look, let’s all take a step back, whether it be us fans getting tight pants over long bombs or Mr. Longenhagen downgrading his bromance over something he might have seen in a 19 game sample and focus on Robert being healthy and playing everyday to get the necessary reps to start to chip into his potential. It’s gonna take TIIIIIIIIME..
…..so for those of yous (this is Bridgeport) that had him in the 2020 Opening Day lineup, lets pump the brakes and just enjoy the ride with Robert, if all goes right, he’ll be the cherry on top, the prospect that brings it all home and helps them win their first pennant in nearly 2 decades.
The Sox just announced the 2019 SoxFest bobblehead today, and it’s a beauty. DeWayne Wise, “The Catch”. Just admire it here.
So, I, MSS, decided to break down the best giveaways from the 2018 season. These are my rankings, and mine alone, as 75% of the 108 could really give a shit about getting to a game early to get a giveaway. I am including the special ticket giveaway for the bobbleheads too, as I really like those. So let’s get started!
In 2018, we saw some good bobbleheads. Started off with a SoxFest talking Ken “Hawk” Harrelson in his blue mod suit and cowboy hat. A mashup of some great outfits worn by “The Hawk”. But the Sox weren’t done, they dropped a Hawk Solo to start the bobblehead season off. Followed that with a HOF Jim Thome, IronMan and Tim Anderson in his ’83 uni. The Sox Charity bobblehead was a A.J. Pierzinski featuring fuzzy hair! Special ticket giveaways included a Tommy Hawk, Santa Claus and a Southpaw Grateful Dead statue.
Starting off with that Hawk really worked against the Sox in my view. That bobble talks and looks awesome. So here is my top 3 –
I would put the Santa next, as it was pretty original. We got repeats with Thome and AJ, and the IronMan and Southpaw were recycles from other teams. I wasn’t impressed with them. The Hawk Solo was lame, IMO, but it was a forced movie tie in, so not their fault. It WAS rather punny.
The rest of these giveaways will fight each other to become the 2018 Giveaway Champion.
Shirts / Jersey / Pullover
The White Sox continued to give away a free t-shirt to the first 10k people on Thursdays, which is always nice. I don’t remember all those, but some highlights include – CTA 35th & Sox, Black Out, Bill Melton, Ricky’s Boys Don’t Quit, as well as many others. My fave was the Celebration Yolmer, and the concept of the Hawk shirt was really awesome, but it was made in China with an odd method of printing so it looks so weird. They had a nice (and from I could tell, roomy) ’83 road jersey they gave away, which kinda made up for the straight recycled soccer jersey (bleh). The 1/4 zip up was really nice too, and it is an item that my wife wears all the time. A welcomed change of pace from the regular stuff.
The Sox gave away 4 hats this year at the gate. It seemed like a bunch, which is fine and all, but they don’t fit my big melon. The winter hat was a beanie which I wore with pride! It was really nice. As was the sporty grey hat they gave away too. Those two were really good. They tried to do a snapback, which most folks loved, but it was kinda cheap looking for me. But again, it was a solid effort. I wasn’t a fan of the hawaiian hat either, but folks loved it, so kudos to Brooks and staff.
Last year it was the Hawk Alarm Clock. In 2018, it was the onesie. Yep, an adult onesie was easily the oddest thing that the Sox gave away this year. Which was awesome if you are normal sized. I know Chorizy cuddles up in one while he reads Baseball Prospectus in front of a warm fire. The Hawk Harrelson nesting dolls were way cool too. The ’93 pennant was not that cool. I would have loved to have seen a 90’s character drawing of the team, but alas it was not in the cards. The 90’s had some awesome sports items, why not bring those back? Remember the wicked posters back in the day? Jim McMahon chawing a corn cob pipe declaring he would return? Motherfucker was full door size. Or even the Chicago Vice poster with Walter Payton? Holding a fucking UZI? I mean goddamn. We need, we fucking demand, that we get a Palka as the Hulk poster next year. Maybe a Palka as Hulk for the Marvel tie in. Just fucking do it.
2018 Giveaway Champion Tier – NEXT 4
5. Adult Onesie – It was unique enough to win 5th place.
4. 1/4 Zip Pullover – Following up the full zip hoodie last year was gonna be tough. The Sox aced this test my friends.
3. Silver Hat – Unique and doesn’t even look like a giveaway. People would pay money for it. Easy.
2. Winter Beanie – Hip and cool plus it’s big enough for all head sizes. A quality item that all fans can enjoy.
1. 1983 Road Jersey – It was a great idea to bring back this jersey that about everyone loved. Kudos to the Sox for not making it white, it’s fucking sharp as a grey and is really for the fans.
So what can they do to have a great 2019? 2019 will be the 60th Anniversary of the 1959 Go Go White Sox. ‘Member those guys? Had some wicked ass jerseys and hats. Let’s bring those back. Let’s also make a goddamn Luis Aparicio bobblehead. If not that, the dual Fox / Aparicio statue will be just fine. Bobbles “Uncle Rico” Jim would blow his load Randy Marsh style when he get’s that email. That guy REALLY wants the rest of the statues.
If we are gonna stick with some of the same old theme nights, Star Wars, Marvel Super Hero Night, Beatles Night, Grateful Dead Night, Bulls and Hawks, let’s switch it up. I’d be bobble heavy on any of those nights as I love bobbles, but here are a few different ideas.
For the Beatles, the guys played one of their few US shows AT COMISKEY PARK. How have the Sox not tapped that resource? I’d love a replica stadium with the stage on the field that can play a song. Or a t-shirt with the ticket stub on it. A mini 4 person bobble would be best, but we can work up to that.
I’d also love to see Southpaw as a Jerry Bear for Dead night. Or even a black and silver Jerry Bear. The Dead items have been solid so far, so I believe in you Sox. Just don’t do a dumb hat.
Marvel is simple, Palka. That’s it, make him Hulk. The bobble can even talk with Jason saying “Palka Smash!” He’s got a bunch in the tank, so let’s just honor him now.
Star Wars, I’d retire that shit to be honest. Give it a year or two to breathe. When Kopech is our ace, make him a Jedi.
Let’s keep it fresh for 2019 and float some new stuff out there White Sox. The fans will love it and it will distract us if we lose another 100 games.
Pissed? Have an idea? Tweet it at me @mysoxsummer
PS – On Nov 30th we have a benefit trivia night in honor of our friend who passed this year. Tickets are available here , so get a team together and buy some tickets. It’s $60 a person but that INCLUDES beer, wine and cocktails. You can do some #108ING on the cheap. And if you are smart, you’ll win fantastic prizes.
PPS – On Dec 21st we’ll be hosting the 1st stop of the #108ING Tour with our good buddies SoxMachine. It’s free as fuck and will be at Lo Rez Brewing. It’s Festivus themed so bring that anger and let lose while drinking unique craft beers in Pilsen. We’ll have swag to giveaway and for purchase. Bring your crew and get fucked up with us.
PPPS – ALSO, Black Friday is upon us and YES we will have a deal on our merch site. Keep an eye on our Twitter for a code that will unlock the special of the day! If we have any left, they will be available on Cyber Monday too! But go there today and check out our merch. We got stuff for a hard to buy for hard drinking White Sox fan. Orders of $50 or more, get a free gift. You spend $100 (or close to it) you get several free gifts. The hoodies keep ya nice and toasty. They are also dope AF.
Good day friends, it’s your old pal BeefLoaf and I figured I would write about something that caused many of you great excitement and me…..well, not so much excitement. WARNING the tweet below may cause Priapism. Proceed with caution!
Anywho, Buster Olney, take it from here…..
The big take away here is that the Cleveland Baseball Club would like to pare down their payroll some and see trading Corey Kluber (or others) as at least part of that grand plan. I’m not going to cry poor for the billionaire owners in question, if they don’t want to spend on their team, let’s leave it as their discretion, not fan shaming the fine people of Cleveland. This is a different tangent, but how about teams just say, “LOOK, we want to make more operating income than this, so we aren’t going to spend, we have the means to spend as much as we want on things because we are Billionaires, but we don’t give a fuck about spending more on this because it isn’t generating the operating income we would like.” Honesty is the best quality….anywho. Before we get to what a Kluber deal might look like in the current climate, let’s take a look at what losing Kluber might mean to the team on Lake Erie.
Last year’s standings….provided by FanGraphs
PythagPat ~ Record based on run differential, ie, if you smoothed out all the runs you scored and gave up, what would your record look like. Ie, the bigger the positive differential, the better the team.
BaseRuns ~ Record based on hypothetical run differential, based on underlying statistics, but same idea as Pythag, just it is using hypothetical runs.
Cleveland was fucking good….actually, they were fucking better than we even realize when you look at these other angles of measuring the season long performance. In other words, without any adjustments to the teams in the AL Central, they are back to being gigantic favorites to win the 2019 division. They are loaded on the pitching side and they have two young studs in the middle of the diamond in Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. They have an excellent core.
Corey Kluber Steamer projection for 2019 is 4.8 fWAR, lets just round that shit to 5 WINS. 5 less wins on the 2018 Tribe leave them with only 86 wins,…..seemingly more catchable than before (although by those other measures of performance, they are still FAR and AWAY the best team in the division)……….but WAIT!!! This assumes that Kluber is replaced by some jamoch that has no business pitching in the major leagues. Someone better than 2018 Lucas Giolito albeit, but still someone that isn’t good. Well, that’s not likely to happen, in fact, what is more likely to happen is that some form of Danny Salazar will get first crack at that job, presuming health. I think yous (this is Bridgeport) remember Danny Salazar, he was a pretty decent pitcher for the Tribe back in 2016 / 2015. They also have their #1 prospect Tristan McKenzie who doesn’t seem very far from the majors either. In other words, losing Kluber would be a BIG DEAL for most teams, but when you play in the LOL AL Central and you have the depth that Cleveland has, you aren’t mere mortals, you are a team that is ready to move on such an odd mission.
Let’s assume from all of this though, that the 2019 Cleveland squad is 5 games worse than expected, lets assume EVERYTHING goes wrong. This would require a lot of work (and luck) by our White Sox to catch up. Indeed, I couldn’t agree more (I know they let Michael Brantley walk in free agency, shhhh, stay on point), 2019 still seems like a pipe dream even with significant moves. You at home are probably saying, “Beef, I know, but 2020 is supposed to be different, we’ll have Kopech and Cease and the wave of prospects behind them.” Oh yea, I forgot, it isn’t just like the Tribe are tossing Corey Kluber out, they actually get stuff back for him when they trade him. Kluber is owed $46.5M through 2021 (with cheap buy outs in 2020 and 2021 if disaster strikes and he gets injured), so basically he’s in mostly everyone’s price range. Also bad news is that the Braves and Yankees are both flush with prospects and are dying for the services of a Corey Kluber type hurler. Imagine a deal headed by Frazier and/or Andujar, or Florial from the Yankees or Austin Riley or Mike Soroka from the Braves…..so what I’m tryna say is that while 2019 might get a little easier for our boys (albeit the White Sox ain’t ready for that shit yet), 2020 and 2021 are going to get harder….possibly much harder.
I guess we’ll wait and see, but while some of you are celebrating this Cleveland “re-tooling”, I’m seriously concerned. Well, maybe I’ll just drown my sorrows in some McRibs and call it a day.
I think most of the White Sox fandom believes the White Sox will do some spending this offseason. However, let’s imagine a scenario where they do nothing in free agency. More than that, what if they do nothing to add new players to the MLB roster? What would you want to see happen? Let me lay out what I’d like to see on what could be the lowest payroll since the Black Sox.
Trade for some prospects
If they don’t add to the team, it’s gonna be bad. It’s gonna be a team that does not require Jose Abreu‘s services. So let’s move him to a team that will send back prospects and take on his contract. I think the Astros could be a fit, assuming they don’t bring back Marwin and want to use Gurriel in that role. It’s possible they see Tyler White as the guy, but seeing an opportunity to add Abreu at 1b would be something they would not pass up. In other words, Tyler can go play in Japan with Dayan Viciedo if they have a chance to land Abreu.
Change up third base
I feel, and I think most of us do, Yolmer is not a full time third basemen. What I would like to see, if nothing is added from free agency, is Jose Rondon get a chance at third. It is possible that he has the power to stay at third. I am less concerned with the glove, that seems to play. But what if we have Jose Ramirez light in Jose Rondon, does that solve the third base problem and allow spending elsewhere in 2019? We’d still get all the Yolmer antics, but with like 20-25 HR from our third baseman.
The fifth starter
In this scenario, you pretty much know the first four in the rotation: Carlos Rodon, Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito, and Dylan Covey. But who fills that fifth spot? I am sure that Fulmer and other bad pitchers will get a chance to compete during Spring Training. However, the guy that I’d like to see separate himself from the pack and take that role is Spencer Adams. I don’t want to rush Cease or Dunning or Hansen to the rotation, so someone almost unexpected has to take this role. Spencer Adams seems to be that guy. DO YOU MISS JAMES SHIELDS YET?!
Clear out right field
There are a bunch of outfielders floating around in the system that are probably AAAA guys. So first off, DFA Avisail Garcia and shed that $8M. Next, commit to Daniel Palka at DH with minimal days in the OF. Use 2019 to cycle through as many different outfielders as possible at as many spots as possible. Nicky D, Cordell, Tilson, Engel, Leury, Basabe, Adolfo, and of course Eloy are all on the 40 man roster. Let’s figure this shit out!
This is something I have discussed with ‘Loaf. We have a stupid amount of relievers that have been acquired via trades by Rick Hahn. Basically, if you have a minor league bullpen arm that is going to be Rule 5 eligible, just give Hahn a ring and he’ll give you something for that player. Hahn is like the baseball card collector that grabs up as many commons as possible in hopes that one of these guys will become a star and it will all be worth it, but then realizes he’s living in a studio apartment and doesn’t have room for 25,000 baseball cards. You have to sort out which of these arms is a real arm and build a bullpen for the future. So cycle all of the guys on the 40-man throughout the 2019 season and much like RF, figure this shit out!
I hope, at this point, you are as depressed as I am looking at the bull flop team we would have if nothing is done in free agency. But before you write “Brooks was here” on that ceiling beam, take a moment and realize that this should not happen. Hahn, Kenny, and Jerry need to spend some money so all of the above is not our reality in 2019.
I recently got the opportunity to ask a few of our favorite questions to our favorite person on the radio. And even though he’s down on my guy James Shields and I want to know a ton more about this Marquis Grissom incident, this is a great interview. If you’re not familiar with Laurence Holmes, he’s the host of the Laurence Holmes Show on 670 the Score and he also has a fantastic podcast called House of L. You should check out both, but as a Sox fan, I would definitely recommend checking out the Benetti episode of the podcast. If you’re a fan of sports radio in general, the George Ofman episode is basically a history of Chicago sports radio. I can go on for days about Laurence, but why not just check out his answers to our questions:
Favorite game that you were at? Blackout Game.
Favorite all-time player that does not have a statue on the concourse? Jermaine Dye.
Favorite drink and dinner at the park? I don’t really drink that often. Churros, street tacos, charred premium dog.
Favorite place to sit at Sox Park? Gold Club.
Favorite Sox uniform? Black Tops, Pinstripe Pant.
Favorite Sox giveaway? Hawk Alarm Clock.
Favorite Sox theme night? House Music Night.
What irks you the most about White Sox fans? Them worrying about what the Cubs are doing, when it isn’t a head-to-head series.
What is the worst part of being a Sox fan? Having to defend the South Side of Chicago to people who’ve never spent any time there.
Worst part of the game day experience? The lines on $1 dog day.
What really grinds your gears? Adult autograph seekers.
Least favorite White Sox player of all time? James Shields (although, professionally, he was great to deal with).
Worst opposing fans? Red Sox fans.
Most memorable experience as a White Sox fan? Being on the World Series parade bus, turning down King Drive at 35th and seeing school children waving white socks at the parade as it went by. I choke up thinking about it every time.
Ballpark experience, how could it be better? I’ve never really had an issue that’s worthy of speaking of. I always walk away having had a great time.
Best Sox Park hack? Take the Green Line. Less crowded from downtown.
What brings you back for every game? I love baseball and Sox fans are lucky to have such a great park.
Feelings on the wave? Live your life, but I’m not participating.
Which gate is your favorite to enter the park from? 5. I like walking up the ramp and seeing the skyline.
How early do you get to games? If I’m working, 3:30 hours before the game. 10 minutes before first pitch if I’m just being a fan.
What do you bring to games? Whichever cap I feel like sporting that day.
How many games do you go to each year? 20-30.
Section 108 Questions
What is your favorite baseball word? “Filthy”
What is your least favorite baseball word? “unwritten rules”
What gets you excited about the White Sox? The attempt at a full-fledged rebuild.
What makes you sad about the White Sox? All the injuries that have happened to the prospects.
What sound or noise at the ballpark do you love? Pop of the catcher’s mitt in the bullpen.
What sound or noise at the ballpark do you hate? The “make noise” thing.
What is your favorite Hawkism? Get on back there.
The Mets have Thor, what superhero or superheroes do the Sox have? Yolmer is kind of like Rocket Raccoon…
What comic book character would be your #1 pick as a baseball player? Captain America.
What comic book movie would you remake? Green Lantern.
What comic book character deserves a movie that has not yet had one? Black Adam.
Which two guys from your A Team would you pick to go against the 108ers in 3 on 3 basketball (we got a lot of girth)? Tony Gill & Melissa Rokaitis
Gimme an “Uncle Rico” moment from your sports playing past. I once pitched 5 2/3 of relief in the first game of a doubleheader (we were getting blown out) against Northwestern. My curve ball got more effective as my arm tired out and I started the 2nd game because I was having success. I struck out 7. Back then I could throw 80 mph. I was a catcher. I couldn’t lift my arm for a week after that.
You vs Siera Santos in a hot dog eating contest..What is the line? Who wins? I got Crohn’s disease. No eating contests for me.
The White Sox want to add a doughnut stand in the park, what local establishment should it be? Huck Finn. It makes too much sense.
Favorite cut of steak? Prepared? Filet. Medium Well.
You seem to be comfortable in all forms of media: radio, tv, pod, social media. Is there any type of media you dislike? Nope.
Mitch walks in and says you have to take on a co-host, but it can be anyone you want. Who are you on the air with the next day? Goff.
You seem to work hard to get your producers involved with your on air show (Herb, Joe O, etc) with great success over time, how are you able to do that and why is that important to you? The show is loosely based on what Dan Patrick and Dan LeBatard are doing. Yeah, I’m the center of it, but I work with a lot of talented people. I think it’s important to let them shine. My job is to help them get to the next place, whether it’s another time slot as a producer or helping them develop their on-air style. I believe in the theory of “lift as you climb.”
When should we expect the release of the other 2 hours of the Jason Goff interview we all know is out there? It’s my highest rated episode of the podcast. Why would I horde extra sound?
What is your greatest fear about the “rebuild”? That injuries will derail the vision.
What is there about this team that excites you the most? Not lot to be excited about right now. Just want to see what their approach is to the offseason, with free agency and how they’re managing prospect development.
Give us a #HotTake about the rebuild. I don’t do #HotTake.
What was your go-to DePaul bar? I think State has really good food.
Would you rather see a DePaul football program or Demon Dogs reopen? DePaul having a football team would raise my salary as a professor, so that…
What is your favorite alcoholic drink? Be specific and feel free to go with more than one if you need to. My wife was a bartender for 20 years. She makes a killer margarita on the rocks with kosher salt on the rim.
You’re coming to a FromThe108 tailgate, other than Herb Lawrence, what are you bringing? Whatever you guys need me to bring.
Best #108ing story (that you can tell us) I’m pretty boring. Other than Jonathon Hood and I relentlessly mocking Marquis Grissom, I got nothing.
Who do you hate more Jim Belushi or John Cusack? Belushi.
What other Chicago teams do you enjoy? All of them, but I’m only emotionally attached to DePaul.
Favorite Chicago sports history moment? Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier.
Favorite all-time Sox broadcaster? Jason Benetti.
Any stories about running into or meeting White Sox players? Other Chicago athletes? I convinced Charles Tillman to run the Shamrock Shuffle. He beat me by 25 minutes without training.
Favorite band? The Roots.
What is your favorite song? “As” by Stevie Wonder
Favorite TV Show (or Netflix or HBO or whatever)? Star Trek: Next Generation.
Do you remember your first Sox game? Nope. They all blend together from when I was kid.
What player had the greatest impact on you? Paul Konerko. Best interview in town.
What was the happiest day watching the Sox? The end of game 3 of the 2005 World Series. I finally felt like they were going to win.
What was the saddest day watching the Sox? End of the 2012 season. They had gotten the magic number down to 11 and then collapsed.
If you could live in any other time, when might that be? There’s not really a time in the past where things get easier for people of color. I’d be interested in checking out the future as long as I had the choice to come back to now.
If you could have dinner with five White Sox players/broadcasters, past and present, who would they be? Not to brag, but I’ve had a meal with: Hawk, Stone, DJ, Ed, and Benetti, so I’m pretty much covered.
If you could change one thing in your past, what might that be? I would’ve gone to Law School.
What are you most proud of? Being the GOAT of uncles and teaching my students.
How would you like to be remembered? As someone who worked hard and was a great teammate.
What is the one thing about you few people know? I’m uncomfortable in crowds.
What do you dislike most about yourself? I don’t say no enough.
What do you dislike most in others? Being inauthentic.
What were your best/worst subjects in school? I have a degree in History. I’ve always hated math.
What do you like doing in your spare time? Strangely enough, watching sports.
Who is your celebrity crush? J-Lo.
What is your favorite movie? Training Day.
What is your favorite baseball movie? Sugar.
What is your biggest/weirdest fear? Failure.
What would be your one super power? Physical regeneration.
What would you change your name to? I love my name.
What pet would you love to have? I don’t have time to take care of a pet properly.
What is your one biggest pet peeve? Talent that isn’t matched by drive.
What is your one annoying habit? Forgetting where I put my keys.
What would be a good theme song for your life? “Til I Collapse” by Eminem
What ballpark would you like to visit? Dodger Stadium.