WTF is Rick Hahn doing? Part 4

In this short series, yours truly, the BeefLoaf attempts to examine WTF Rick Hahn is doing with the White Sox? I’ll dig high and low (while possibly intoxicated) to try and decipher what is going on and also what alternate path I might take. BUT FIRST….the tale of the tape.

Rick Hahn

Rick_Hahn

Position: White Sox General Manager aka CEO and shit of the Rebuild

Education: Harvard, Northwestern, Michigan

Accomplishments: 2016 Hot Stove Champion; 2018 Payroll Championship Runner-Up

Likes: Corny Catch Phrases

BeefLoaf

thumbnail_IMG_7406

Position: 4th best blogger for Section 108

Education: BCA, DeLaSalle and Dominican University of Illinois (DUI for short)

Accomplishments: Not as fat as MySoxSummer

Likes: Turley Zins and Eggplant ParmBEFORE YOU CHECK OUT PART IV, CHECK OUT PART I AND PART II AND PART III

PART IV BEGINS……NOW!!!!

The Bullpen

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The back end of the bullpen is a spot where Rick Hahn did actually reinforce with some real parts, the trade for Alex Colome (basically a salary dump by the Mariners) and the free agent signing of Kelvin Herrera represent upgrades over the incumbents in the White Sox bullpen. I’m generally not a fan of paying market price for most of your high leverage bullpen innings, it seems like bad business, especially on a non-contending team. When these signings occurred, I gave them the tentative thumbs up of a “this seems ooooo-kay”. I have since changed my tune on that, but we’ll get to that shortly. I am not ready to jump to the conclusion that the White Sox bullpen is much improved over last season, Joakim Soria was terrific out there last year, Luis Avilan wasn’t too shabby either and the White Sox shed them in trades. The signings above represent a moderate improvement over two back-end options….well, and something else.

What about the prospects?

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Last year was a year in which we started seeing some of the fruits of Rick Hahn’s previous labor, Jace Fry and Aaron Bummer both showed reliable last year and a bunch of other young relievers, namely Ian Hamilton, Ryan Burr (who’s major league debut the 108ers saw in Detroit, he pitched mad af), Jose Ruiz, Thyago Vieira and Caleb Frare (the later tree cumming over in trades for Int’l Spending Cap $$$) debuted to varying results. WAIT!! Let’s clear something up that I have read everywhere, which is total bullshit. I have read that the White Sox couldn’t use their International $$$ to sign July 2 prospects. While it is true they were in the penalty and weren’t able to spend more than $300K on any individual prospect, they were still free to sign as many of those prospects as their cap would take on. That’s exactly what AJ Preller did, under similar penalty. It is unclear to me which is better, but to say the White Sox “couldn’t use the $$$” is total bullshit. Anywho, the future looks pretty bright in the bullpen, even if only Fry and another arm here (pick’em out of a hat, I hope it’s Burr, because I like watching angry mufuckaz pitch) make it, that’s a nizzz little start to a bullpen.

Who else?

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Be careful with Nate, he might break

Oh yea, Nate Jones, Juan Minaya and Dylan Covey are still kicking around here as well. They are a veritable wild card of potential outcomes, but Nate’s been really good in the past, Minaya has been mediocre and Covey has shown some upside, so it’s possible out of this group you get 1 dependable arm as well. That’s a really nice start to a bullpen, non-contending team or not.

Aren’t you forgetting a few people??

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Yes, but I am doing that on purpose, because I need to finish big and I don’t really know what to do with my hands right now. Okay, fuck it, let’s end this shit.

WTF is Rick Hahn doing?

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At first, I really wasn’t sure what Rick Hahn was doing and if I wrote this a month ago, I probably would’ve come to an entirely different fucking conclusion. Hahn is clearly BUILDING DEPTH in the bullpen. There, I said it. The signings to reinforce the back end of the bullpen not only make the 2019 team better, but they make the 2020 and future teams better. Yes, I actually see an effort by Hahn to squirrel away talent. Kodi Medeiros had to join the 40 man this year, but other promising bullpen arms that still aren’t on the 40 man roster include, former 1st round pick Zack Burdi, Tyler Johnson and Zach Thompson. This is not to mention any failed starters along the way that will end up converted. Hahn has clearly made a point of stocking up on bullpen arms to be able to withstand injury and prospect failure. This is how you build depth in a position. This is how you ensure that you have low cost internal options to fill in when players get hurt, are ineffective or move on in free agency. This is where you utilize your depth to trade a higher cost player of the same position for something else you need and fill in with your own on hand talent. The bullpen, along with the outfield both seem primed and ready for the next half decade, we’ll see if the rest of the organization improves along with it.

If you read through all 4 of these posts, I want to thank you for lending your weary eyes to look through my thoughts on the current roster. I’m skeptical, but optimistic that Rick Hahn will continue to look for improvements all across and not settle for thinking he did a good job a couple of winters ago by just starting this process, we are probably 40% of the way there, still A LOT to go.

-BeefLoaf

WTF is Rick Hahn doing? Part 3

In this short series, yours truly, the BeefLoaf attempts to examine WTF Rick Hahn is doing with the White Sox? I’ll dig high and low (while possibly intoxicated) to try and decipher what is going on and also what alternate path I might take. BUT FIRST….the tale of the tape.

Rick Hahn

Rick_Hahn

Position: White Sox General Manager aka CEO and shit of the Rebuild

Education: Harvard, Northwestern, Michigan

Accomplishments: 2016 Hot Stove Champion; 2018 Payroll Championship Runner-Up

Likes: Corny Catch Phrases

BeefLoaf

Position: 4th best blogger for Section 108

Education: BCA, DeLaSalle and Dominican University of Illinois (DUI for short)

Accomplishments: Not as fat as MySoxSummer

Likes: Turley Zins and Eggplant Parm

BEFORE YOU CHECK OUT PART III,

CHECK OUT  PART I AND PART II

PART III BEGINS……NOW!!!!

Starting Pitcher

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Starting pitching has undergone quite the transformation in MLB the last half decade or so, we’ve seen progressive teams use “The Opener” which is basically starting a solid relief pitcher, possibly with a platoon advantage and moving the conventional starter to the 2nd or 3rd inning. We’ve seen some of the same teams (and others) start to nip starters outings in the bud, but pulling them before they get to the dangerous (to some) third time through the batting order. The White Sox however, aren’t one of those teams. Now, they’ll couch it all in the guise of “development”, and that’s probably true, but since we are starting to get out of the other side of development for certain pitchers, we’ll start to be able to tell if good ole Ricky Rents has them tools in the tool shed.

Carlos Rodon

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Rodon has been basically a league average pitcher for his entire, injury riddled 4 year major league career and that’s been kind of a disappointment. The White Sox haven’t exactly helped him out over time, but regardless, the results are the results. If I were a betting man AND I AM, I’d bet Rodon breaks out this year. No, he won’t be a true ace, but he’ll soldier on, make ~30 starts and be above league average. Rodon’s lovely wife Ashley, who is one of the true joys of #WhiteSox twitter is pregnant with their first child and any of us who are dads, know that once it’s daddy time, you gotta get your shit together and it think Rodon finally will……….and then the White Sox will trade him.

Reynaldo Lopez

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Lopez had a quietly good year last season. I know his ERA was out ahead of his FIP (that’s a fancy stat to try and measure quality of pitching performance, its not perfect though as Bruce Rondon had a decent FIP last year…..)

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Projections for Lopez in 2019 seem to think he won’t be that good, but those who watched his last 7 or so starts of 2018 would probably think otherwise. Also, those that really dig in on pitching (Eno Sarris & Steve Stone to name a few) seem to think Lopez is pretty close to a real breakthrough. Regardless of which side you believe, his spot is secure and Hahn is correct to send him out there every 5 days and see what he’s got.

Lucas Giolito

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In the pantheon of Sophomore Slumps, few could match the horribleness of Gio’s 2nd year on the Southside. Usually they stop the fight before it gets as bad as it got, but the White Sox kept trotting him out there in the name of “Development”. Because of Gio’s former life in the nations capital, he only has 1 minor league option left. That, combined with the fact that Kopech, Cease and Dunning are coming hot and heavy for his spot (and two others spots) he needs to get his shit together right quick. I assume the White Sox are saving his final option in case they need it in 2020 to retool him into a reliever. Based on the current construction of this roster, the White Sox are trying about as hard as Chorizy-E in a company bowling tournament (which we won anyways), so no reason not to send him out there, whether or not he’s shitting his proverbial pants everywhere.

Ivan Nova

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Ivan Nova is Dominican for James Shields. He’s also #108thicc. Other than that, he’s hear to eat some innings. Not sure why ~160 IP would have to cost the White Sox $9M but Rick Hahn is a savvy negotiator. Regardless, he’ll be lumbering out to the bump every 5 days. Was this a good use of a roster spot on this team?? HELL NO!!! There isn’t a single solitary reason the White Sox shouldn’t have taken a gamble on something or someone with more upside. Shelby Miller signed with the Rangers for Michael Scott’s salary before Darryl helped him get a raise. Clay Bucholz is still out there Drew Pomeranz, Tyson Ross, etc. Truth be told, if they wanted to spend a little more money, JA Happ (although it seems he wanted his 39 yr old season to be secured, which seems a bit much) or Charlie Morton would’ve been good multi-year deals. I know the White Sox have a ton of pitching on the way, but Rodon is out in a few seasons, Giolito is barely a starting pitcher at this point and the payroll is so fucking tiny, is there any reason not to line up a decent starting pitcher for future years, or even just take a gamble on some low cost high reward lanzador. Increible. Hahn does some things that make me go hmmmm?

The 5th starter spot

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Manny Banuelos sounds like he should be involved in a dangerous and illegal carnitas deal with Chorizy-E and BeefLoaf.” I uttered those words on our podcast a few episodes ago. I took a look at Banuelos numbers in AAA in the PCL last year and they were pretty decent, plus he has pedigree, but the best part of the whole signing is that Hahn acts like he knows nothing about the guy. He keeps saying one of their scouts begged him to sign this guy, so he did. Which is the narrative I like. A solid chunk of the White Sox fan base paints Hahn as this genius, where the small majority of us left aren’t really sure he knows what he is doing, so this narrative is perfect. “I dunno, that guy told me to sign him, so I did.” This signing is Hahn channeling his inner Mr. Kruger. I LOVE IT!!

The rest of the crowd around the 5th starter spot is equally mysterious. I mean, they’ve been around the org, I’m just not really sure what any of them do well. Luminaries such as Jordan Stephens, Spencer Adams, Dylan Covey, Jordan Guerrero and Donn Roach provide a venerable barbershop quartet of potential options for the job that even Keyser Soze couldn’t sell you on. I actually don’t mind if one of these guys wins the job, it is possible that one of them pops and becomes, as they would say in a criminal investigation, A PERSON OF INTEREST. I would’ve loved to see the White Sox bring in someone else to challenge for this spot, maybe they still will. I just think that a rotation as clearly unsettled as this one should be lining up as many options as possible.

WTF is Rick Hahn doing?

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Not enough imo. You need TONS of starting pitchers! The good teams seem to know this, but the White Sox seem to oddly not get that. I don’t really like the idea of basically leaving two spots wide open for Kopech and Cease in 2020. NO, that’s not what I mean, of course if these dudes are healthy, they are in the rotation, but you don’t know if HURT or BAD or BOTH will happen to Lopez, Rodon, Giolito before you get to 2020, and there isn’t much else pitching coming short term. I guess you can hope Dane Dunning joins the group of hopeful 2020 starters, but having a staff full of basically rookies isn’t generally a recipe for success. Too much of this rebuild seems to be counting on LOTS of serendipity, without taking the appropriate steps to harness said serendipity. The 2019 staff should feature Rodon, Lopez, Gio, plus 3 additional arms (from outside the org) with future control that if one of them hits, you have found something great for the depth of the organization. Hahn added 1 of those, Banuelos. Friends, when you gamble on low probability events, you need to have lots of them to increase your chances of success.

-BeefLoaf

WTF is Rick Hahn doing? Part 2

In this short series, yours truly, the BeefLoaf attempts to examine WTF Rick Hahn is doing with the White Sox? I’ll dig high and low (while possibly intoxicated) to try and decipher what is going on and also what alternate path I might take. BUT FIRST….the tale of the tape.

Rick Hahn

Rick_Hahn

Position: White Sox General Manager aka CEO and shit of the Rebuild

Education: Harvard, Northwestern, Michigan

Accomplishments: 2016 Hot Stove Champion; 2018 Payroll Championship Runner-Up

Likes: Corny Catch Phrases

BeefLoaf

Position: 4th best blogger for Section 108

Education: BCA, DeLaSalle and Dominican University of Illinois (DUI for short)

Accomplishments: Not as fat as MySoxSummer

Likes: Turley Zins and Eggplant Parm

BEFORE YOU CHECK OUT PART II, CHECK OUT PART I

PART II BEGINS……NOW!!!!

Outfield

Left Field

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I suspect Nicky Delmonico keeps the seat warm until Eloy Jimenez‘s defensive capabilities are up to snuff (aka, until service time has been supressed). This should be Eloy’s spot for the next 7 years, unless he moves down the defensive spectrum to First Base. For now, let’s leave him in the outfield. The White Sox outfield depth is fucking excellent. Nicky Delmonico is a prime example. He still has 3 minor league options. He’s an okay hitter and exactly the type of guy you’d like to have hanging out in Charlotte for when you need someone to fill in for an injury and not embarrass hisself at the plate. He ain’t no Moises Sierra, he might actually hit the ball hard. Behind that, there is depth, but it is years away.That’s okay, I really don’t want anyone taking these plate appearances other than Eloy.

Center Field

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The incumbent, who I tend to give a hard time to on account of the fact that he can’t fucking hit, is the exact type of player you’d like to have in your org so you can “break glass, just in case”. Look I know he was up for a gold glove last year, but 1) He didn’t win and 2) Who gives a fuck, you don’t need a great defensive centerfield in the Guaranteed Rate Field. What you need is someone that can give you good enough defense, while hitting.White Sox teams make the playoffs by smacking a bunch of dingers. The internal options are a little ways away, although if Luis Basabe hits a bunch he could leap frog his way to Chicago by June. The season ticket holder in me would like that, not only because it would give us fans an alternative, but because its not necessarily bad business either, Basabe is burning options as he was on the 40 man last year. Externally, the best alternatives were in the trade market, like Tommy Pham. The widely available center field options were either meh (Billy Hamilton) or going to cost you something (AJ Pollock). I would’ve loved to see Pollock in a White Sox uni, but let’s face it, they rebuilt for a reason and that reason was to save some $$$ while acquiring a gaggle of prospects, since the majority of those prospects reside in the outfield, they could easily talk theyselfs out of making a major signing, no matter how much sense it makes.

Right Field

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This should be Daniel Palka as presently constituted. Mr. 108 showed us that he can smash dongs and he didn’t care how big the moment in the game was, he could still come through. What he still needs to prove is that he can be more selective and make more left hand turns at first base. I know what’s about to happen, some snotty kid who thinks he’s dunking on me is going to say “But Beef, he’s a butcher in the outfield”…….Yea, so? This team ain’t going nowhere, let the kid play. We need to find out what we got before shit gets serious. However, given that we have an in house option, that doesn’t need anything other than playing time, Hahn has to go and do something, classic Hahn.

Enter, Jon Jay (33 yr old Machado bait) and Brandon Guyer (33 yr old Right Hand Only Platoon Partner)……ah fuck! I’ll admit, I was excited about the Jay signing initially if only because he does something that has alluded White Sox outfielders for far too long. He gets on base above league average…..however, upon closer examination, it looks like center field is more and more difficult for the old lad, so he’ll end up in right field more often than not. That’s bad. I mean, unless it secures you Manny, because if it doesn’t it just puts not 1, but 2 road blocks in Daniel Palka’s way for playing time. Jay – RF, Alonso – DH. Imagine being a GM and you are embarking on a rebuild. You trade for prospects with your available assets. You draft high, but with varying results. Then, you grab a minor league free agent off the scrap heap and he shows up the next year, in a non-full-time role and smashes 27 HR’s. Most GM’s would be elated as they found something that teams need lots of these days, POWER!! And then you decide to put as many roadblocks to his playing time in the following season as possible. And not like, young potentially promising road blocks, I mean old mutherfuckers. I mean guys that should be running around in some decent teams AAA ballpark. I might barf.

I saw several people on twitter mentioning Guyer as a “Platoon Partner” for Palka. Look, I get the value in the platoon partner, especially for a guy that has struggled with LHP, however, if the guy who struggles with left hand pitching has less than 100 career plate appearances against LHP, how’s about we just let him hit for another season against LHP. The more plate appearances, the better, when it comes to a throw away season in which development is king.

Designated Hitter

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This looks like Manny bait Yonder Alonso. Alonso is okay, but other than dragging Manny here, he’s not too valuable. He’s likely taking away plate appearances from someone else in the grand scheme of things. He’s probably keeping us from seeing as much Daniel Palka as we should or sussing out if Jose Rondon can actually hit at the big league level. The costs of the Manny whisperers are more than $$$, they also cost development time.

WTF is Rick Hahn doing?

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Hahn needs Eloy in Chicago to cover up the rest of the mess he’s created in the outfield. He has found some depth out of basically nowhere, but that’s a minor victory. He missed trading for Tommy Pham when he likely could’ve matched the price. He’s doing everything he can to take the bat out of Daniel Palka’s hands when he might have found a fucking diamond in the rough. He’s added no real youthful gambles to this mix even though his real prospects in the outfield are likely 1-3 years away from being in Chicago. It feels like paralysis by prospectalaysis. He needs to stop, leaving spots open for people that are years away, and stop putting blocks in the way of people that are here and need playing time for development. Rick Hahn was already skating on thin fucking ice with the 108ers, but if he continues to do everything in his power to keep Daniel Palka off the field, he’ll completely lose us.

-BeefLoaf

WTF is Rick Hahn doing? Part 1

In this short series, yours truly, the BeefLoaf attempts to examine WTF Rick Hahn is doing with the White Sox? I’ll dig high and low (while possibly intoxicated) to try and decipher what is going on and also what alternate path I might take. BUT FIRST….the tale of the tape.

Rick Hahn

Rick_Hahn

Position: White Sox General Manager aka CEO and shit of the Rebuild

Education: Harvard, Northwestern, Michigan

Accomplishments: 2016 Hot Stove Champion; 2018 Payroll Championship Runner-Up

Likes: Corny Catch Phrases

BeefLoaf

Position: 4th best blogger for Section 108

Education: BCA, DeLaSalle and Dominican University of Illinois (DUI for short)

Accomplishments: Not as fat as MySoxSummer

Likes: Turley Zins and Eggplant Parm

Way, way back in 2016, our WhiteSox were coming off of a 78-84 season, in which they had started 23-10 and then shat their pants to a 55-74 finish. It sucked worse than Wayne’s World II. At that time, us fans, thirsty for something more than watching Chris Sale pitch every 5 days were at a tipping point. We either needed Jerry to commit to ramping this fucking payroll up and turning our delicious core of 5 bWAR stars into a contender…….or, RIP THIS BITCH DOWN TO THE STUDS. Hahn, chose plan B and traded Sale and Eaton in a flurry at the Winter Meetings following the 2016 season. We were off, the fan base was exhilarated, thrilled with a direction being taken instead of sitting in the middle of the pack, getting our dicks slapped out of contention by our AL Central foes. After that, we waited….and waited for Jose Quintana to be traded, I for one had agita for months until they finally were able to trade him to the NorthSiders for a delicious fucking return.

Since then, we’ve had prospect starts and stops, surprises (mostly bad ones) and two wretched seasons that resulted in top 5 picks (Nick Madrigal and the next one in June). I’ll attempt to make sense of the 2019 roster and where I can’t, well, I’ll suggest some shit. Imma do this in four parts, Infield, Outfield, Starting Pitching and Relief Pitching. Today, I’ll start with the infield.

Infield

The infield is set…..sort of, but there are some strange things going on that I just don’t quite get.

First Base

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We startedfromthe108.comback in 2016 and even way back then, we have been talking about what the White Sox should do with Jose Abreu, should they extend his contract, should they trade him as part of the rebuild, should they stand pat and see what happens. In hindsight, I think not trading him was probably a missed opportunity, mainly because we saw what the Diamondbacks got for 1 year of Paul Goldschmidt and because the White Sox have shown no real interest in extending the terms of his deal (which ends at the conclusion of the 2019 season). Ultimately, keeping Abreu is a waste of plate appearances in 2019. Someone else should take these turns at the plate (not Yonder Alonso, but that’s where we are). If the 2019 White Sox aren’t primed to win (and they aren’t given how they look now, Machado or not), then these plate appearances should go to someone that could help a future team. There just isn’t a first baseman in the pipeline to take the plate appearances and meh first baseman in the market don’t cost a ton or have big upside. A progressive team would either hand Daniel Palka a first baseman’s glove and see what happens or trade for someone that’s blocked, Dominic Smith possibly. Give yourself some upside. Instead, Hahn is going with status quo, which is fine for selling tickets in 2019, but doesn’t do much for the 2020 and beyond teams.

Second Base

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Yoan is here. He was a former #1 overall prospect.& He’s basically been league average. He should stay here until further notice. I know, I know, you are dying to slide Nick Madrigal in here, but let him do something professionally before we start doing that. I don’t think jerking Yoan’s position around is a wise idea at this point in his development. Leave him where he is and let him try to learn to hit. I am not sure he ever becomes a star, but Dan Uggla with speed is nothing to sneeze at.

Shortstop

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Tim Anderson is the incumbent. If Manny Machado shows up and demands this position, then he has it. If not, Tim Anderson should play another season here. He’s becoming a good defender. I don’t know if he ever hits enough to be anything other than a bench player on a good team, but he doesn’t hit poorly enough that he’s a major hole. The only other real shortstop close to the majors in the system is Jose Rondon. You could go in that direction, but given Anderson’s contract situation and potential upside that wouldn’t make sense. The only player in the market that looked tempting to me was Tim Beckham and he signed for almost nothing with the Mariners. That would’ve been a nice gamble, former #1 overall pick, I might have brought him in and played him elsewhere, but let him pick up starts at shortstop occasionally.

Third Base

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I love Yolmer, you love Yolmer. Yolmer isn’t a regular Third Baseman. As I mentioned above, someone like Tim Beckham could’ve been a nice signing. The White Sox theoretically have some plate appearances to give to someone. I don’t think the best use of those plate appearances is Yolmer, you aren’t likely to find out anything new. I get it, they are trying to sign Machado and if they sign someone like Beckham, well, that wouldn’t make sense. I guess if they miss on Machado, they could add a little upside by playing Jose Rondon and seeing if his power is real. However, he’s right handed, so the urge to platoon he and Yolmer would be strong and result in Rondon not really playing enough to figure it out. I know these are tough people decisions for Ricky, but he’ll have to start making some sooner or later.

Catcher

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Welly Castillo is the incumbent and I know there are favored prospects in the pipeline, but it seems like there was an opportunity here to try and hit on a gamble of some sort, whether it be an oft injured back stop like Devin Mesoraco or a younger guy that almost washed out and would require a trade like Blake Swihart. It just seemed like a move here to try and find something would’ve been better than signing James McCann as the back up. He’s not young and he’s never had much of a pedigree or been good. Seems like they just signed a placeholder. I kinda get that, but why not try and find something valuable. We’ve been saying it all along, not every prospect will hit and teams can always use more good players. I just don’t get why Rick Hahn doesn’t play this rebuild like that.

WTF is Rick Hahn doing?

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The Infield lacks sufficient gambles on upside for my liking. Up the middle is good, both players are adequate right now and have good upside. Abreu is beloved at first base, but there isn’t much future there as currently constituted, they effectively wasted the available trade window and suitors (outside of a major injury) and they have no real prospect depth at the position. Gavin Sheets still seems pretty far away. A scrap heap add of a young player from another org or handing Palka a first baseman’s glove would seem appropriate, but they really can’t do that with Yonder Alonso in the fold as Machado bait.

-BeefLoaf

The 108 Interview Series – Pete Hand

Here at the 108, it is our job….our duty to bring to you the great personalities of White Sox twitter, either via tweet / photo / video or blog post.  In continuing with the tradition of bringing you “the goods” from White Sox twitter we have our interview with our buddy Pete Hand.  Pete is a friend and confidant of the 108ers and was one of the first people we encountered (other than our spouses) that actually thought this 108 thing could become something.  Oh and he’s also a great #WhiteSox and baseball fan, without further ado, Pete Hand……

Aloha Mr Hand

Likes

Favorite Game That You Were At

Game 2 of the 2005 World Series. Konerko’s slam was the loudest I have ever heard the park. I remember in the 9th I thought that there would be a walk-off HR, but I thought it would be by Juan Uribe, who batted before Podsednik. I remember walking out of the park down the RF ramps, right by the 108, almost in tears of joy mumbling “They are coming back for a parade”.

Favorite All Time Player That Doesn’t Have a Statue On the Concourse

Mark Buehrle, followed by Ron Kittle

Favorite Drink and Dinner at the Park

White-Sox-elote

I am usually driving so it would be a Coke Zero and Elotes with everything except salt, and don’t be bullshitting around with the butter and red pepper.

Favorite Place to Sit

I have 2 favorite places to sit. One is the section I am in (131) and the other is the 108.

Favorite Uniform

As much as I love the ‘83’s I got to go with the red pinstripes of the early ‘70’s. That was the era I started going to games at the ballpark.

Favorite Giveaway

I really like the magnetic schedules. I have every one of them from 2000 on, plus the 1998 “Line Drive” one.

Favorite Theme Night

Elvis night. I am hoping for a 108 day (10/8) in the near future because that will mean the team is in the playoffs.

Dislikes

What irks you the most about White Sox fans?

I bunch the fans in groups. There are the Jerry Haters, The Rick Hahn apologists, the optimistic fans (although there aren’t many recently), the stat heads, and the realisists.

I do not understand the Jerry Haters. If you hate Jerry that much why do you give him money? I could never figure that out.

The Rick Hahn apologists can never accept he made a mistake (Jeff Keppinger, Tatis Jr for Shields).

The stat heads I have fun with because they quote all these stats and I ask a simple question. Do you watch the game? That usually ends the argument. I have to tell this story. In 2016 I got into a Twitter exchange with a White Sox twitter “expert” who was saying at the beginning of July that the White Sox will be trading for a bat at the deadline. After going back and forth I asked if he actually watched the games and watched the team. If he had actually watched the team, he would have known that this team was shit in division and that they were going nowhere. I said it was be a giant mistake to make a trade, to which I was called every name in the book. Two weeks later Rick Hahn gave the mired in mediocrity speech, and this person then deleted the entire exchange. Sadly, he has on his twitter profile that he will delete tweets. How can you be taken seriously if you delete tweets? I give hot takes and part of doing this is having the ability to say you were wrong.

What is the worst part of being a Sox fan?

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The worst part is something that I am hoping will be rectified by the time this is published. The refusal to bring in top tier talent. In the past when the off-season started you knew which free agents were off-limits. Oh, this guy is a Boras client so the Sox won’t negotiate. Oh, that guy wants too much money so he won’t be coming. Let’s go sign this PTP (Past Their Prime) name player for a cheaper rate so it looks like something is being done (Hello Adam Dunn and Adam LaRoche). I just didn’t like KNOWING that there were certain players who were off-limits based on agent or money.

Worst part of the game day experience?

Lately it is the number of fans from other teams who are making themselves comfortable in our home park, hat tip to Beefloaf for that perfect summation.

What really grinds your gears?

Ha, Let’s see. 0 – 2 walks. Jose Quintana was the king of this. He would get ahead 0 – 2 on a hitter and then nibble and wind up walking the hitter. It seems to be a part of Sox pitching strategy to get ahead 0 – 2 and then immediately throw a pitch a foot outside, in the dirt, or both.

Least Favorite White Sox player of all time

Jamie Navarro, not only a bad pitcher but a raging asshole. Had an incident with him in Tiger Stadium in 1998 when I told him, in a drunken stupor, that he was robbing the Sox and that he should sign his paycheck over to Mike Sirotka.

Game Day

Most memorable experience as a White Sox fan

Game 1 & 2 of the 2005 World Series.

Biggest regrets about the White Sox experience

Not boarding a plane on October 26, 2005 to fly to Houston. The company I worked for at the time had offices in Houston so I could have done it. If I ever get the chance I will be on a plane.

Ballpark experience, how could it be better?

I think there are a lot of things. The first thing is I think the team should give preferential treatment to Season Ticket Holders by having a separate entrance and early admission. It is easy enough to do if they use Gate 1 or Gate 6, which are generally not used. I think security should separate people with and without bags, as we saw in Detroit last August. Looking at tickets in the 108 when there are about 20 people in the section is ridiculous, especially when they don’t check tickets where I actually sit.

Best Sox Park hack?

One of my favorite hacks is the Stadium Club. I buy the pass every year for a couple of specific reasons. 1.) You get in a ½ before gates open so you can get the giveaway and 2.) the bathrooms, they are much cleaner, and I am a bathroom snob.

What brings you back for every game?

The hopes of seeing something I have never seen before and all of the friendships I have built over the years with other fans and some White Sox employees.

Feelings on the wave?

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Fuck the Wave and the one annoying asshole who feels it is their job to start the wave. They belong in the 7th level of hell listening to “We Built This City” by Starship on an endless loop.

Which Gate is your favorite to enter the park from?

Gate 5, for many reasons. Whether it’s coming to the park from work, meeting friends at ChiSox, or attending one of the awesome tailgates like the Crosstown Wasted last year, held by Soxon35th and the guys fromthe108.

How Early Do You Get To Games?

I used to get to games right around the time gates opened, but since I started a new job in the ‘burbs it’s a little later. I like to eat and socialize before the game so I can be in my seat for 1st pitch.

What Do You Bring To Games?

The hope that I will see another World Series Champion

How Many Games Do You Go To Each Year?

Last year was 65. I have done anywhere from 60 – 75. I had perfect attendance in 2017 until I broke my foot in late August.

Section 108 Questions

What is your favorite baseball word?

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It’s a relatively new one. Palksmash!

What is your least favorite baseball word?

Cubs

What get’s you excited about the White Sox?

The fact that they quit half-assing the roster and chose a direction.

What makes you sad about the White Sox?

Where to begin. The fact that this team has never made the playoffs in back to back years, while every other team in the division, , all smaller markets as well, have. The fact that the management has let this team atrophy so much they are irrelevant. The fact that this irrelevance has also worked it’s way to the employees who in some respects half-ass things (see previous article I wrote about many STUPID mistakes the team makes in trying to market their product). The fact that when free agency rolls around you know that the top tier talent is an afterthought for the team to pursue because their former GM was butthurt by an agent in the A-Rod negotiations after the 2000 season.

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you love?

Fireworks after a Palksmash!

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you hate?

Go Cubs Go

What is your favorite Hawkism?

He Gone, primarily because He Gone!

You did a really cool recap of your day flying to New York City last year for HOF class announcements, can you tell us how you got involved with the HOF and what drew you do that?

 It started in 2014. I “joined” the Hall of Fame so that I could get a seat for the Frank Thomas induction. I fell in love with the place and the town. If you are a baseball nerd, like I am, it’s heaven, not Iowa, a reference for Chorizy’s favorite movie. I was going to do it again for 2019 but unfortunately the weather cancelled my flight that day. Hope to do it again in 2020, weather permitting.

You do a TON for Ron Kittle charities, tell us about how you became buddies with Ron.

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 It’s hard to explain because I am not really sure how. I spoke with him numerous times and did some stuff with White Sox Charities and just got to know him. I remember at Soxfest 2008 I was wearing my Kittle jersey and I walked up to him and said look what I got. He told me that he had interviewed for the Sox radio job, which he didn’t get, and that he was going to buy anyone who wore his jersey at a game a beer. I asked where my beer was, and he said he didn’t get the job. It just went from there. I can say there is also an incident from 2010 at the bar of the Palmer House that I cannot go into here, but it occurred about 5 minutes before the famous Freddy Garcia fuck the Cubs video which you can find on YouTube. I do owe him a lot because he has provided me some valuable advice in the time, I have known him. He has also delivered some messages I needed to hear during that time too.

What capacity do you serve for Ron Kittle charities?

I am one of the directors.

What % of Ron Kittle’s stories aren’t bullshit?

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I say 50 / 50. A couple I thought were bullshit were in fact true.

You have pretty boss seats behind home plate, have you met any celebs, if so, name drop the BEST and WORST?

The best and worse are affiliated with visiting teams. The best, by a mile, was Evan Longoria’s family. His wife (Jamie Edmondson) and mother-in-law were so nice and easy going. We have had multiple great conversations.

The worse, and it isn’t even close, is the Girardi family. His wife and daughter think they are privileged. There was an incident where the teenage daughter (Leena) kept hitting the back of my seat with her mini baseball bat. I kindly asked if she could stop. She kept doing it. I finally snapped and said if she didn’t stop, I was going to take the bat away. The mother stepped in and said that if I took the bat away and she got it back she would hit me with it. I told the mother if the kid did hit me with the bat, I would not only take it away, but I would shove it up her ass and pull it out her mouth. She immediately went to security and asked why I was sitting there, and the security guard told her that I pay for those tickets, but of course she couldn’t understand this. That is part of reason I want no part of Girardi as manager. I could see another Guillen family situation from the entitled elitist assholes.

And there is a witness to both sides of this answer. I will tell you who it is and she can confirm.

You’ve been known to crush sports trivia, if you had to pick any one of the 108ers to team up with in a baseball trivia contest, who would it be?

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This is a slam dunk. Biguns. BTW, still waiting for my video of destroying Barstool during the Crosstown Wasted Tailgate. I also won $130 on the show Gas Money, which is now known as Beer Money.

The 3-minute handy is a unique video series, who’s idea was it and why do you think it’s so popular?

It was a MySoxSummer idea. Because I’m honest, sometimes rather brutally and crudely, and it’s what a lot of people want to say but don’t have the platform to do. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about it, mostly good. I did have one person say they wanted to wash my mouth out with soap after watching one of them.

 Do you have a Member’s Only jacket?

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Not anymore. I did and I rocked it!

Can you guess which other 108er has a Member’s Only jacket?

I thought I was the last member. I would immediately guess Biguns, but I’m going Slumpbuster here

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Why don’t you room with Wally$ on any of the baseball trips?

HELL NO!!! I’m afraid what would happen after Wally$ has a night of 108’ing and his GF isn’t around. I don’t want to wake up with the smell of cool water in the air.

Do you have any favorite #108ing stories you’d like to share, ballpark or otherwise?

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I remember being chastised for having Ginger Beer, which I did not drink, in Detroit. That whole weekend was a blast, from seeing Slumpbuster make a new friend in the bar, to the whole Wally$ performance.

What’s your greatest fear about the “rebuild”?

That they half-ass it and put themselves in the same situation they were before.

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

Potential, with unfulfilled potential scaring me the most

Give us a #HotTake about the rebuild.

 I have a fear that the coaching staff they have in place in multiple stops won’t be able to develop the players they have into what they can be. How many players have they truly developed? Pickings are slim. And frankly I have the most fear with Cooper. He cannot help pitchers develop what their talent says they have. He has to develop them into the same pitcher. All throw cutters. Why do you think division teams have teed off on the Sox for years? They pretty much know the pitcher’s repertoire.

Favorite White Sox Twitter Account (Besides @fromthe108) and why?

Oh geez, several to choose from. I really like Palka’s because its entertaining.

Person from White Sox Twitter that you’d most like to meet and why?

KeNWO. Even though I think I may have met him already.

Favorite Non-White Sox Twitter Account and why?

Ken Rosenthal. If he reports it you know it to be true.

What do you like best about @fromthe108?

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Everyone is themselves. No one is trying to be something they are not. No one is afraid to bust balls, and everyone treats each other with respect. I would also add that #108ing is not only about having a good time, but friendship and mutual respect.

Favorite White Sox related blog or podcast and why?

I like White Sox Talk and Sox in the Basement, but the podcast about Baseball and Bullshit (aka the 108 podcast) is my favorite.

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?

I am not that big of a beer guy. I am more of a spirits guy. Love me some Jack Daniels Tennessee Fire, and Angels Envy. I have a bottle of Jack Daniels Frank Sinatra century which I take a glass from on occasion. As far as beer style, I don’t have the first clue but I will drink a black and tan if available. Also, like Newcastle Brown Ale and Peroni. I liked Baderbrau High Noon but we know what happened there.

Favorite cut of Steak?  Prepared?

Filet, Medium

Gimme an “Uncle Rico” moment from your prior sports playing past.

 I have two, both in high school. I led the winning intramurals team for softball and volleyball. The best part is that I was on the team with the “smart kids”, because believe it or not I was one of them, and we beat the jocks, who were guys I played sports with. After beating them in Softball they refused to shake hands, similar to what the Pistons did to the Bulls in 1991.

Where would you take @ChiPartyAunt out on a date?

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Portillo’s on Harlem and then Rainbow Motel

Favorite performance enhancing drug?

Baseball – Steroids, Other – Viagra.

Who do you hate more Jim Belushi or John Cusack?

Fuck them both, but if I had to choose, I would go with Belushi. At least Cusack made some movies I liked.

Happy Ending

What Other Chicago Teams Do You Enjoy

Bears and Blackhawks

Favorite Chicago Sports History Moment

2005 World Series, otherwise the “17 Seconds” in the 2013 Stanley Cup finals.

Favorite All-Time Sox Broadcaster

I miss John Rooney on the radio.

Any Stories About Running Into or Meeting White Sox Players? Other Chicago Athletes?

I’ve met a few. The one that stands out is Jim McMahon. When I was in High School McMahon was the man. I met him a few years later and what a JERK.

Favorite Band?

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The Rolling Stones

What is your favorite song?

Let’s go go White Sox

Favorite TV Show (or Netflix or HBO or whatever the fuck)?

If you read some of the stuff I tweet, you know it’s Seinfeld.

Married or Single? Looking for a GF?

This is funny. I am not married but I am no longer single or looking for a GF. I met a beautiful woman named Michele at the 108 Festivus party.

Do you remember your first Sox game?

Sort of. I do not know if it was my first Sox game but I remember being on the field for picture day, when they would allow fans on the warning track and the players would come and take pictures. I remember Dick Allen walking up and scaring the shit out of me.

What Player had the greatest impact on you?

From a fan standpoint I would say Fisk and Thomas. From a personal standpoint Kittle.

What was the happiest day watching the Sox?

October 26, 2005

What was the saddest day watching the Sox?

 October 8, 1983. Tito FUCKING Landrum.

What do you do for work? If you could be or do anything else – what?

I am currently working for a bank as an IT Auditor. I received a BS (in more ways than one) in Computer Information Systems. I make sure that banks systems are secure, no inappropriate access, changes to systems are appropriate, and all necessary banking regulations and requirements are being followed. It’s a geeky type of job but allows me to buy season tickets. If I could have been anything else it would have been the 1st baseman for the White Sox, but in my prime years there was this Frank Thomas guy who blocked me.

If you could live in any other time, when might that be?

I think the 50’s would have been cool. Some great baseball and life seemed easier then.

If you could have dinner with five White Sox Players, past and present, who would they be?

Shoeless Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver, Nellie Fox, Mark Buehrle, and Juan Uribe

If you could change one thing in your past, what might that be?

As previously mentioned, if I had the chance I would board a plane for Houston on October 26, 2005

What are you most proud of?

Knowing that my nieces and nephew are not afraid to come to me for advice or help.

How would you like to be remembered?

A good guy who was honest with himself and everyone else

What’s the one thing about you few people know?

I learned long division when I was 6 years old so I could compute batting average

What do you dislike most about yourself?

Temper can get the best of me at times, even though I’m not as angry as I seem, to quote MySoxSummer.

What do you dislike most in others?

Treating people with disrespect

What were your best/worst subjects in school?

Best subjects were Math and History. Worse subject was Spanish

What do you like doing in your spare time?

 Golf

Who is your celebrity crush?

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Well before I met Michele the next future Mrs. Hand was Jennifer Aniston

What is your favorite movie?

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I played basketball with co-workers in the 90’s. They used to call me Chief because I played basketball like the character of Chief in the movie. If you haven’t watched it do.

What is your favorite baseball movie?

For baseball it’s The Natural. One with a baseball reference Naked Gun

What is your biggest/weirdest fear?

Walking on subway grates on the streets downtown.

What would be your one super power?

 X-Ray vision

What would you change your name to?

Clint McQueen or Dirk Diggler

What pet would you love to have?

I would love to have a dog, but I am hardly ever home so it wouldn’t be fair.

What’s your one biggest pet peeve?

“Fans” of a team who don’t know their players or have never been to their home park.

What’s your one annoying habit?

I bite my nails.

What would be a good theme song for your life?

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My Way by Frank Sinatra

What ballpark would you like to visit?

I haven’t been to PNC yet. I hear that is the only one that compares to AT&T, actually Oracle Park now, in San Francisco.

White Sox Morale Victories

I am writing this in the evening of February 6, 2019 and Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are still free agents.

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After a long night of #108ing at the #fromthe108 and #soxmachine soxfest after party I attended the Saturday morning Rick Hahn / Rick Renteria session regarding the upcoming season. I listened intently for any clue as to Harper and / or Machado news. At the end of the session I felt there were a couple of messages that were clearly communicated.  The first is that the White Sox were not going to sign both players, which any real fan already knew. The second message is the sticking point to me. Rick Hahn mentioned that he would be disappointed if they were unable to land one of the big two free agents. I took this to be “doubling down” on their efforts to land one. I was feeling exhilarated walking out of the session.

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The more I thought about this the more I started thinking about other comments, some made in an off the cuff passing manner. The one that sticks out to me is that the Sox are in the ballgame and how it’s a great step for the franchise when they weren’t even in the top 6 in Vegas at the beginning of the offseason. This statement stuck with me, but I could not put my finger on what it was about this statement that bothered me. Then I read a tweet from my friend Bill Demantes. He was quoted in the Tribune talking about the Rick Hahn double speak, and it hit me. Was this not “doubling down” but laying the groundwork for the Sox if, or when, Machado and Harper sign with other teams? Was the victory in this not signing the player, but being “at the table”?

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I hope that Machado or Harper do sign with the team. I have written about how the organization needs a jolt from signing a player of this caliber, in particular Bryce Harper, but I cannot escape thinking about this after reading Bill’s excellent summation.

Is Rick Hahn talking about a “morale” victory, which in the context of this is the losers lament, in my opinion. It would be one thing if Harper and Machado are blown away by “stupid money” but given the fact that it is February 6th and neither has signed yet I do not think that has happened. It is also obvious that the White Sox are not Manny Machado’s first choice. They are the safety date for prom in case the one that he wants to ask him out, The Yankees, don’t. When you lost 190+ games the last two years that should be expected.

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The White Sox make it very hard to be a fan of this franchise at times. They are in the 3rd largest market in the country. They have a sweetheart stadium deal. There is NO EXCUSE for this franchise not dominating the AL Central when the other team markets are much smaller in comparison. There is no excuse for the fact that this team has NEVER made back to back playoff appearances when every other team in the division, all smaller markets too, have.

Morale victories? This division is there for the taking. The Indians are basically mocking the other teams in the division with considering trading Kluber or Bauer. They aren’t afraid of any of these franchises. The White Sox organization should take this for the slap in the face that it is and be embarrassed about it. It is there for the taking but my concern is that the team will be satisfies with a morale victory. If the team were to look closely, they would see that a large part of their attendance issues come from their desire for morale victories, not actual ones.

The time for morale victories has passed, it’s time for actual victories in the front office and on the field.

-AlohaMrHand

Comedians Draft

Last night on the podcast, we decided to do a snake draft of our favorite comedians. I put the list below, but if you want to take in the entire draft and our thoughts on who was left out, check it out here:

The Results

Chorizy:
George Carlin
Richard Pryor
Bill Burr
Doug Stanhope

Beefloaf:
Eddie Murphy
Dave Chappelle
Rodney Dangerfield
Richard Jeni

MySoxSummer:
Sam Kinison
Chris Rock
Andrew Dice Clay
Lewis Black

This draft could have gone for days and we definitely recognize we missed a ton. In fact, we list off about 20 comedians we wanted to include. So go vote for which of us had the best draft and tell us who you would have chosen: