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

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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

Why the 108ers are SHORT on Nick Madrigal

Hello friends. I’m so fascinated by the man who’s phrase that is, Jim Nantz is such a freak, did yous guys know he likes his toast burnt a certain way, and he is so fucking particular that he carries a picture of how he’d like his toast burnt around with him everywhere? Anywho, today I want to talk Nick Madrigal, and why I think the vast majority of White Sox twitter has a chubby for him and why the 108ers (and Keith Law) don’t.

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Nick Madrigal was the 4th overall pick by our #WhiteSox in the 2018 MLB Rule 4 Amateur draft

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From the moment he was selected, I saw members of #WhiteSox twitter anointing him the 2nd baseman of the future!!! Many folks were already trying to figure out odd lineup configurations moving around many of the teams other young players to accommodate Nick in the current lineup. The more bullish of the crowd saw Nick as a Shortstop, even though he did not play Shortstop in college. The White Sox claiming to “try him out” at shortstop (he only played 1 minor league game at shortstop in 2018) stoked this fire even more.

WE HAVE A REPLACEMENT FOR TIM ANDERSON!!!

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I heard lewd comparisons to Jose Altuve and Dustin Pedroia (Madrigal is small, like really small, like 5’6″ and weighs slightly more than my biggest cat) as his comps and how he might even be better than them dudes. I saw people projecting .380 OBP for him in his prime. The excitement seemed insane to me, and believe you me, I am happy to get excited about shit that seems impossible, I’m a White Sox season ticket holder. I’m not sure how many players under 5’9″ have been top 5 picks this century, but it surely wasn’t many. Again, he is listed at 165 lbs, and this is a College Junior, not a High School kid that has yet to fill out. I don’t know how many folks of this weight or under have been picked this high in recent memory, but it can’t be a lot. I was told not to worry about any of that stuff, this kid has elite bat control and is the most polished hitter in this draft. He also doesn’t strike out, like hardly ever. The White Sox were just concluding a season in which they would set the all-time single season strike out record. Does not striking out really matter that much if you don’t hit the ball hard enough for it to go over the fence? I was confused. I wasn’t seeing what everyone else was.

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The way I saw Madrigal, the way I still see Madrigal is that he looks like the guy on your little league team that was really good in little league and never got any better because all he could really do was put the ball in play all the time. In Little League, that’s a fucking terrific strategy, because you don’t have elite athletes covering materially all of the diamond, you have a fat kid at 3b who might catch a ball if you line it directly into his fat rolls. At 2b, you probably have a kid who looks like he should be able to play baseball, but really can’t. Your OF’s aren’t too splendid either. Yes, they are coordinated enough to ride their bike to the park, but their defensive baseball skills end at retrieving a ball, not “playing it”. See where I am going with this? If your entire skill set is never striking out, you are likely to be a star as long as catching the ball is a big problem. As you rise up the ranks, just putting the ball in play is a very tough strategy to execute. This is not to mention the pitchers knowing this shit as well. Oy vey.

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Chorizy and I have been on the opposite side of the consensus on this from the get-butt. Mind you, this isn’t contrarianism for contrarianisms sake, this is two dudes, drinking a lot and talking shit and coming to the same goddamn conclusion. Now, you know us, you know the 108ers, if we think something, we are happy to tell you….we are also happy to listen to your opinion, that’s how conversations work. I for one am often confused by prospect talk. I know nothing about scouting, I couldn’t tell you dick about a guys swing or how he brings his ubula through the zone. I don’t know how the hips are supposed to be used, I take all my hips positioning advice from Chubbs Peterson. So this sort of commentary is taking the 10,000 ft view. I’m using empiricism and probability and most of it doesn’t agree with the consensus.

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Anywho, when thinking about this, I just looked around and realized, hey, there aren’t many tiny players that become stars and the ones that have become stars have been long shots to do so. Also, the current MLB player needs to basically hit for power OR have an elite defensive profile at a premium position (like SS, because even Billy Hamilton was non-tendered), like Andrelton Simmons. Otherwise, it is very tough to be much of a player in this MLB. As I tried to come up with comparisons in profile, the only two players that seemed similar in playing style to Madrigal (good contact hitter without much power and good defender at 2b) from what I could dream up were DJ LeMaheiu (6-4 215 lbs) and Joe Panik (6-1 200 lbs), both decent players, but not stars, also these dudes are way huger than Madrigal. The truth is, the world where guys like Madrigal is a really good player is a dream world. Jose Altuve is basically a fucking Chupacabra, Madrigal ain’t becoming him, Altuve hits the ball really fucking hard. Dustin Pedroia has to be the 99th percentile outcome of Madrigal, he’ll need to add good weight and really start smacking the ball hard. When I say good weight, I don’t mean the type of weight that me and Wally$ are carrying, right around the old spare tire area, that weight is fine when creating the “motion in the ocean”, but not as good for impacting a baseball hard.

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What I am saying is, without some changes, the dude as is ain’t becoming them dudes, in fact, we might be lucky to sneak a David Eckstein type guy out of him. A good player for a couple of years, that sort of declines into infield Jon Jay (a guy with no power, some speed and nice on-base skills), that’s workable, but that player doesn’t seem to cost too much on the open market (see Jon Jay’s career earnings). That player also doesn’t really need to play all the time. That’s basically Leury Garcia‘s role, well, Leury Garcia if he couldn’t grab a glove and fake the outfield. You don’t usually need to draft that 4th overall. Look, I’ll probably be way wrong on this and all of you will be right. You’ll be able to tell me “I TOLD YOU SO”…..the lineups you crafted where you had to move Moncada to Point Guard and Tim Anderson to Running Back to fit Madrigal into the lineup where he belongs, at the only position he can play, Second Base will be right and you’ll be able to piss in my Cheerios (as they used to say)…..but this is just my dumb, uneducated take, what do the fucking experts think….where is he rated on the top 100 prospect lists for 2019?

Baseball America – 43rd

MLB Pipeline – 47th

Baseball Prospectus – 15th

Oh fuck, I guess I’m a dumbass…..but wait……

Keith Law – Just missed top 100 (listed 12th on his list of players that missed)

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FINALLY!!!! Someone that isn’t a dumbass like myself, sort of agrees with this uphill battle ole Nicky boy is probably facing. Now, most of you reading this will be like, oh, but Keith Law hates the White Sox. I am pretty sure what I have read from Keith Law, most fans thinks he hates their team. That seems pretty consistent, so it isn’t likely he hates the White Sox more than anyone else. I’ll admit, I like Keith Law’s writing, he’s a bit of a prick in his writings, but he’s entertaining and I just like his perspective on baseball stuff. I’ll often check in on his chats (print or live video) and I am glad I did this time, because he talks for 2 mins about our top pick from 2018 in this one, start at the 35 minute mark. Pretty much hits the nail on the head for me.

Of course, I am rooting for Mr. Madrigal, I’d love to be wrong on this stuff. I would much rather be mashing hands with all of you fine folks after an RBI triple by Nicky. I’d love to watch him be a fucking vaccuum cleaner at 2b. I’ve been thinking “MAYBE HE CAN BECOME LIKE JOSE VIDRO”….that would be nice, but I really don’t buy it. I hope to be wrong, dead wrong.

Tell me why I’m wrong, come at me bro

-BeefLoaf

The 5 – 5 Things to replace sweating Twitter for Machado rumors

Welcome friends, this is the 5, inspired by #WhiteSox twitter, which is simultaneously looking to move on from sweating Manny Machado rumors on twitter and can’t stop fucking refreshing twitter looking for said rumors.  Anywho, here are 5 alternatives to continually sweating twitter for those rumors, now, I know what you are thinking, I’m going to tell you to meditate or exercise or some shit like that….I’m not, that’s for overachievers.  We are straight C type students, not showing off, and not falling behind.  This is a list for us.

5 – Eat some pudding

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Pudding is delicious and ever since the whole Bill Cosby scandal, pudding, particularly Jello pudding has been getting a bad fucking wrap.  I suggest going to the grocery store, grabbing a couple of fist fulls of chocolate pudding packs and dig in.  You’ll love it so much, you’ll be dancing in the streets singing the praises of pudding and handing off pudding packs to random folks on the street.  You’ll stop thinking about Manny Machado immediately.

4 – Re-Learn the Macarena

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That’s right, I have no idea what the big homeys Los Del Rio have been up to since the mid 90’s, but you know and I know that we learned that fucking dance and now we have forgotten it.  A vital piece of our personal history has been trashed in favor of learning about “advanced metrics” or some other bullshit, awful!!  Let’s take back the part of our life when we learned the hip dance of the time period just so we wouldn’t miss out.  Fuck, we can probably get it going in Section 108 during the season if we all just take the time to work it out.  I see a big coordinated scoreboard appearance for us friends.  That’s much more important than Manny Machado.

3 – Play with some puppies

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I love dogs and cats.  They are essential to a happy life imo.  If you don’t love house pets you are a horrible menacing curmudgeon of non-humanness.  I recently spent a few hours on MLK Day with Mrs. BeefLoaf and Bonita Steakie at a PetSmart that had an Anti-Cruelty wing to it.  We went in and played with puppies, it was fucking amazing.  It costs $0, it brings joy to the animals and to you.  Why even bother looking at twitter when you can play with puppies.  Manny Machado would want you to do this, in fact, he’s not signing with the White Sox unless you do this shit…RIGHT. DAMN. NOW!!

2 – Read a book

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Look, I know the 108 family and friends ain’t necessarily Umberto Eco or some shit like that, but I think we could spend a little more time reading books.  If I had to guess, your subscription to Juggs magazine has just run out, so it might be time to go out and BUY an actual book.  Fuck it!! You can go to the library and just take out a book.  If you have children, read to them, or read with them.  If you don’t find yourself a book that interests you.  I’m not looking for a goddamn book report here, I want you fulfilled in a way that bullshit report tweets by Bob Nightengale won’t do.  I like Nassim Taleb, he’s probably my favorite author…..so maybe check out something in his catalog and tell me if you enjoy it.  Manny Machado probably doesn’t read Nassim Taleb, so you’ll instantly be smarter than him.

1 – Exercise

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Alright, I admit, the 108ers don’t look like the fittest crew out there, but you know damn well that a good workout will make you forget about this Manny shit and really enjoy life.  I’m not suggesting you train for a marathon or something, that would be lunacy, how about a 2 mile walk while you listen to some music, or how about you ride a bike.  Look I know the weather sucks but even 90 seconds of doing the old “IN-OUT” with your significant other constitutes “exercise”, I mean, it’ll get your heart rate up and I know for sure you’ll feel better after.  Manny Machado is probably doing the old “IN-OUT” right now, he’s not thinking about you, so why think about him?

-BeefLoaf

 

BeefLoaf’s 4 most hated Sports teams

Inspired by this tweet question from the big homey Soxsupporter, I bring you my 4 most hated Sports teams (by sport).

Hated Franchises

 

Football

The 1980’s Green Bay Packers

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I know the Bears fucking dominated the Packers in the 1980’s, but the Forrest Gregg / Charles Martin Packers, the ones that effectively ended the Bears reign in 1986 by body slamming Jim McMahon, yea, those fucking Packers.  Fuck them!  I don’t think I have watched a more reprehensible group of goons try to organize themselves as a professional sports team.  Reading Martin’s wiki page, it appears he was out of football shortly after these shenanigans

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Basketball

The 1980’s Detroit Pistons

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Back before everyone widely recognized Jordan as the GOAT, he would annually run into these fucking Pistons teams and they’d beat the shit out of him and the Jordanaires.  As a man of 40 years of age, I routinely lolololol when people say “but Jordan never lost in the FINALS”, yes, this is true, he also got cock blocked from advancing in the playoffs for many, many years by teams like the Celtics and Pistons so it’s kind of a fake argument.  The Pistons were not only a historically great team that got derailed by Isiah Thomas’ achilles, but they were also a historically hateable team.  Most of you probably remember Rodman in a Bulls uni, but he was a sonuvabitch with the Pistons, Rick Mahorn, Spider Salley, fuck, even Dumars and Isiah were pinche cabrons.  All of these fuckers were nothing compared to Bill Laimbeer.  I recently saw a gif / montage of 80’s basketball, showing all of these fights and rough plays and 75% of them were Bill Laimbeer.  Fuck, if I saw Laimbeer in the street right now, I wouldn’t hesitate to run him over with my car.  Hate the fucking Pistons!!!

Hockey

The 1990’s Pittsburgh Penguins

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I know Jaromir Jagr is a legend for being like 58 years old and still playing and banging 19 year old chicks and not giving a fuck, but these Penguins blocked the Roenick / Chelios / Belfour Blackhawks from a Cup.  I’m not a hockey guy, and around this time the Bulls were starting their dominance, so the Blackhawks were playing second fiddle, but this was still must watch TV at the time.  Anywho, Super Mario and Jagr face fucked the Blackhawks in those finals.  I still hate thinking about their long greasy sweaty mullets.

Baseball

The Minnesota Twinks

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There is no sports franchise that I can more easily extend my fucking middle finger at than the Minnesota Twinks. Fuck Tom Kelly and Ron Gardenhire, fuck Justin Morneau and Kirby Puckett, fuck Brian Dozier and Nick Punto, fuck Torii Hunter and Michael Cuddyer, fuck Johan Santana and Joe Nathan, fuck Carlos Gomez and Jason Kubel.  I fucking hate the Twinks.

-BeefLoaf

The One Hitter – Honest Lies

This is the One-Hitter, don’t forget to exhale.  The last several days have been a lot of fun in White Sox twitter, with reporters hurling barbs at each other from their respective sources all in the name of providing us with the latest and greatest on Manny Machado’s free agency.  EVERYONE has an opinion on who is right and who is wrong and it often depends on your personal narrative of who you believe.  The 108ers don’t tend to worry about these mudslingings unless there is an opportunity for some comedy…..OR if there is a lesson to be learned from the ordeal.  Yea, a lesson.  What if everything everyone is saying is true, or at least shades of truth or better yet, as true as their perspective source is telling them.  Maybe each group of “journalists” (if we can call them that) are getting information that is factual enough to be believed, but isn’t quite telling the entire story.  No I do not have any light to shed on Manny Machado, but another narrative that I have heard 57,000 times this off-season did finally peak my interest enough to look into it.

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The Cleveland Indians are looking to cut payroll, they  had their largest payroll ever in 2018, while winning the AL Central for the 3rd straight time and what did the Indians fans do, they came to the ballpark less in 2018, than they did in 2017.

I’ve heard that bandied about the aforementioned 57,000 times this off-season and it finally got me to investigate.  Everything in that headline is factually accurate, but the conclusion is less so.  The implication is that the gate receipts at the ballpark decreased so Indians management has no fucking choice but to reduce payroll by trying to trade one of their more salaried players.  Hang on, peep this little article about average ticket prices

2018 Cleveland Indians average ticket price

See the table below sketching out what revenues might look like…..sure attendance is down overall (which sounds like a reason to cut payroll), but revenue appears to be up (this is an estimate).  So while all the FACTS are correct in the italicized conglomeration of the headlines folks are trotting out about the Indians, I am not sure the conclusion ties in.

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The Indians want to cut payroll, well, because they want to cut payroll.  I guess saying it like that won’t get the whole twitterverse a buzz.

-BeefLoaf

The 108 Interview Series – Lauren Nisavic

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 the great and powerful Lauren Nisavic (@LaurenNisavic on twitter).

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Before I start I’d like to thank all of you guys at Section 108 for highlighting me on your blog. As a fan I truly support your entertaining, personality-driven content, unique voices you each bring and of course #108ing.

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Favorite Game That You Were At

Easy. Game 1 of the 2005 World Series. We didn’t go on vacation that year because my dad got us tickets to the game.

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

Mark Buehrle. He deserves more than a statue. Give the man a street named after him.

Nancy Faust is an honorable mention.

Favorite Drink and Dinner at the Park

Beer, nacho helmet, soft pretzel (with salt and mustard on the side)

Favorite Place to Sit

I honestly don’t think there’s a bad seat at the park as long as you’re in good company.

Favorite Uniform

Bring back the vests.

Favorite Giveaway

My favorite giveaway would have to be the Hawk Harrelson alarm clock. It was annoying at first listening to them going off around the park (Why would they include batteries?), but it makes an awesome addition to my apartment.

Dislikes

What is the worst part of being a Sox fan?

The worst part about being a Sox fan is having not made the postseason since 2008.

What really grinds your gears?

The wave really pisses me off.

Game Day

Most memorable experience as a White Sox fan 

Where to start?? I have so many memorable experiences as a White Sox fan. I grew up about 10-15 minutes away from the park and almost weekly, and every time on a whim, my dad would ask if I wanted to go maybe 30 minutes prior to first pitch. I’d run to my room and grab a hat or shirt- whatever I could find- along with my “White Sox” CD that I burned a bunch of my dad and my favorite songs on (lotta Sinatra) and we’d listen to it on the way to the park. We went to a lot of games leading up to the 2005 World Series and he treated me to game 1 when I knew he probably couldn’t really afford it. I remember him telling me it might be the only opportunity in his lifetime he’d see this happen live. I’m hoping that’s not the case, Dad 🙂

*Dad don’t read this next part*

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Also getting an annual group together to go the Bullpen Bar and bringing a sharpie for each of us to keep track of how many beers we could down before first pitch. I wish I could remember the record.

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**Ok, Dad, you can read again**

Another memorable moment for me was Paul Konerko’s grand slam in game 2 of the 05 WS. How could you forget it. I was screaming in my living room and jumping around while watching the game with my dad who was just standing there in awe and fist pumping like he was Tiger Woods sinking a putt.

Screaming OOOO-EEEE-OOO Maaaaggglioooooo

This past summer I was working on our weekly show in the studio and couldn’t physically go to the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando and was pretty bummed since I heard A.J. Pierzynski was going to be there doing some broadcasting for our PGA TOUR Live team. Well it turns out my roommate at the time (who knows/knew nothing about baseball) did some type of project with him at the tournament one day- she didn’t know who he was other than he played baseball and lived nearby. She called me up later on in the evening and asked if I knew him and I lost my mind. I was like “DUDE, I’m texting you questions to ask him you NEED to find him tomorrow and do an on camera interview.” I sent her a bunch of questions and she sent me back footage the next day. I featured AJ in my show that week for no reason other than c’mon it’s AJ and I’m a White Sox fan. My coworkers questioned my work and my motive and I’m totally ok with it. No regrets.

When I moved down to Florida a year and a half ago my mom made me go through all the stuff I had been storing in their basement for years. I stumbled upon an old scrapbook I made when I was a little girl of all of my White Sox ticket stubs, print articles I cut out and glued onto pages with stickers, pictures and other cute kid stuff I collected from games. It was a reminder of how the team has been such a prominent part of my life and especially childhood- it put a smile on my face since I completely forgot the book existed.

Last one- This past summer I was working producing at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, NC and one of my projects that week was to ride along and go with TOUR player Harold Varner III and capture him driving into the park and throwing out the first pitch at the Knights game. It was really cool to be on the field that night and it was the first time I saw Michael Kopech pitch in person since I was allowed to stay for the game if I wanted. As a lifelong Sox fan, it was really cool to see my two worlds of golf and baseball come together like that. If you haven’t been to BB&T Ballpark you should consider going! It’s a gorgeous park and Charlotte is a fun city with some great breweries.

Feelings on the wave? 

No. Look- I get that it might be fun for kids, but it’s terrible because…

1)    It means you’ve given up on watching the game

2)    It means your team is probably losing

3)    You look like an idiot when singled out

4)    It’s distracting to the players

5)    It’s annoying to people trying to watch the game

6)    There’s a good chance you’ll spill your beer if you’re still holding on it

7)    You look like an idiot

Which Gate is your favorite to enter the park from?

My favorite gate is gate 4. My family has a brick in that 05 shrine area. I like to go look at it.

How Early Do You Get To Games?

Depends on when the tailgate starts

What Do You Bring To Games? 

My bag, usually some candy, a coozie and my Aaron Rowand jersey

Section 108 Questions

What is your favorite baseball word?

STRETCH

What is your least favorite baseball word?

Dag Gummit

What gets you excited about the White Sox?

-The [near]future of the team.

-Michael Kopech’s tweets.

-Hot stove rumors—no really, it’s been a while since the White Sox were in headlines for the right reasons in consecutive offseasons.

-Deadspin articles hating on the sox. No really, it’s cool to know you’re doing something worth hating on.

-Listening to Section 108.

-The marketing department and how focused they are on the fan experience.

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you love?

I have several favorite sounds at the ballpark and they include: the Pirates of the Caribbean song, the song “Thunderstruck”, a solid crack of a white sox bat, fireworks, the cha cha slide beat.

What is your favorite Hawkism?

I don’t know if I can call it my favorite, but I have incorporated the phrase “what are you doing, Wegner?!” into my everyday vocabulary and I don’t think anyone really picks up on it which doesn’t make it funny, but I’ll never not say it when questioning why someone did something dumb.

You work for the PGA TOUR, correct?  What professional golfer do you think you could most likely get to wear a #108ing shirt?

Yes, I work for the PGA TOUR as a tv producer on the long form team. Our most recent project was for ESPN-and called Tiger Woods: The Return of the Roar, a 90-min doc on Tiger’s comeback in 2018. Sorry for the shameless plug but the team crushed it on that one.

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I don’t want to speak for one of our players because I’m sure they’d all love a free #108ing shirt, but I can say I’m sure every single person at the Waste Management Phoenix Open would wear one.

Do you have any favorite parts of your job working in sports?

My favorite part of the job is that I get to watch and live sports and get paid for it. It’s a dream come true. I’ve had the opportunities to work for the Chicago Bears, NBC Sports Chicago, Big Ten Network, Fox 32 and now the PGA TOUR. It’s been awesome to take my passion for sports and combine it with my love for storytelling and now able to share so many cool stories throughout the years with fans.

The 108ers have daughters ranging in age from 8 mos to 9 years old, what advice would you give them about advancement in a male dominated profession?

Honored you’d ask this! The advice I give other ladies looking to get into a male dominated field is this- I’d say study, know your stuff and stay confident. Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed. You might have to work a little harder to prove yourself because you are a female, I’m not saying it’s right- it’s just my experience. There are always going to be assholes, don’t let them get under your skin- they’re just insecure. If someone is creepy- tell HR. Don’t date people you work with.

The 108ers don’t golf, if you had to coach one of us up on golfing to win a bet of some sort, who would it be (Chorizy, MySoxSummer or BeefLoaf)?

First of all you would not want me to coach you in golf. But I’d take MySoxSummer in a driving contest.

Best Golf film?

Tiger Woods: Return of the Roar (HAHA SORRY HAD TO)

You recently had a serious illness, how are you?

I did have a freak illness recently. I’m doing better tysm for asking. I only have 60% of my lung on my right side but it’s cool. They found a benign tumor in one of my airways and ended up having to take a chunk of my lung out- five total incisions BUT they saved my tattoo (Chicago flag/skyline) AND I should be back to normal in 6mon-1year. Could’ve been a lot worse.

What was more inspirational in your recovery, the love and compassion of your family and close friends or Eddie Barstool getting himself hospitalized out of pure empathy?

Eddie is my guy. Such a gentleman. Really knows how to take one for the team to boost moral. No really I’m glad he’s doing ok.

Honestly thought my friends and family were so supportive and helpful during what was a really physically painful and mentally taxing process and I couldn’t have done it without them. Also Eddie O. gave me a get well shoutout the night of my operation and when I heard it, I cried I was so touched the NBC Sports team would go out of their way for me like that. I have great friends.

You took a gorgeous pic of some of the 108ers at a tailgate this past summer, any tricks you can share with people about taking bomb ass fucking pictures with a phone?

So many compliments! Some tips for good photo taking would be to follow the rule of thirds, lighting is what really matters and if you’re the subject of the photo- be mindful of your posture.

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

There was a guy at that tailgate you mentioned who chugged a beer out of his prosthetic leg TWICE.

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

That somewhere down the road we hire another manager who was a former player.

That Moncada could strikeout 215+ times again in a season in the years to come.

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

That Moncada might not strikeout 215+ times in a season in the years to come.

Possibly signing Machado.

Eloy’s going to be mashing in the majors soon.

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

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White Sox Dave (@WSDBarstool) is my guy. He has been a great friend over the years and we’ve always supported each other for the same reasons I support you guys!

What do you like best about @fromthe108 ?

The best part about @fromthe108 would be your voices and how fan driven you are without it feeling forced or lame. Also- how you’re all pretty normal and nice dudes in real life and how easily that translates through your social media/blog.

Favorite White Sox related blog or podcast and why?

Section 108, because duh.

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?

My favorite alcoholic beverage for #108ing is beer and what kind depends on where I am and what time of the year it is.

In the summer, I generally go for something a little lighter or a saison or nice unfiltered farmhouse ale.

In the fall and winter I like anything from Revolution and you can never go wrong with a Lagunitas IPA. I’ll often get a Guiness draft if it’s snowing. Idk why.

I’m currently #108ing with a Fat Tire that my dad left here for me to drink when I started to feel better after surgery.

Where would you take @GasMoneyBob out on a date?

Hey dere, Bob. Portillos?

Favorite performance enhancing drug?

HAha wut. Does caffeine count?

Who do you hate more Jim Belushi or John Cusack?

I don’t hate neither Jim nor John since neither have ever done me wrong, but I won’t watch anything with either of the Cusacks. Sorry.

Happy Ending

What Other Chicago Teams Do You Enjoy 

da Bears and Blackhawks

Favorite Chicago Sports History Moment 

Ones I’ve been alive for?

2005 Chicago White Sox World Series

The parade that followed.. fun story. I was a sophomore in high school (Argo) in 05 and my parents called me out of school sick and took me to the parade downtown. I still have some confetti 🙂

2010, 2013 & 2015 Stanley Cup runs

Corey Crawford’s speech at the rally

Favorite All-Time Sox Broadcaster 

Obv. Hawk

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

I’ve had the opportunity to work with several guys over the years and seeing that it’s my job I don’t typically act or behave any differently than I would talk to my friends or coworkers. BUT there was one exception where I fan girled pretty hard.

I was working part time during my freelancing days at CSN (now NBC Sports Chicago) and was using someone’s desk in the newsroom since I didn’t have my own. The desk was right near the back entrance door- the door itself was one of those heavy metal doors with the small wired window near the top. Anyways- one day I’m sitting at the borrowed desk and hear a pounding on that door. I look up and see Frank Thomas’ face in that tiny window and just stared at him until I realized who it was. He looked at me like “Um, hello??” and I was like “Oh shit. I gotta go open the door for Frank Thomas.”

I walk over there, open the door and he says hello and introduces himself. His hand was 3x the size of mine and I thought he was going to break it when we shook. I hopped out of his way as he walked through the door into the newsroom and went right toward the desk I was sitting in. He hung up his suit jacket that honestly was as big as a picnic blanket on the cubicle wall and asked if it was ok if he kept it there. I might’ve nodded? Idk I didn’t say anything the entire time. I just met my childhood hero and was working on the same show together. It was one of those oh shit I have a cool job moments. I eventually came back to earth but I’ll never get over how much of a loser I was.

Drinking margs and eating pizza with Bill Melton. That guy has got some awesome stories.

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

Big Game of Thrones girl. Also, The Office.

Do you remember your first Sox game?

Yeah. I couldn’t tell you how old I was but I was really little. I remember a drunk guy demanding my sister and I whack him in the head with a glow stick and my dad was cool with it so we did.

What Player had the greatest impact on you?

Paul Konerko. I cried when he retired. He’s probably the biggest single representation of my childhood.

What was the happiest day watching the Sox?

Game 4 of the 2005 World Series

What was the saddest day watching the Sox? 

Too many to count lately

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

I produce really cool content and shows for the PGA TOUR that get aired on ESPN, NBC, CBS, ABC and Golf Channel. I basically come up with a story and do all the things in-between having the idea to when you see it on TV. My job involves a lot of travel, interviews, working with an awesome team of producers, photographers and editors.

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I don’t think there’s anything else I’d rather do, except I know what I want to do when I retire. I really, really want to be a soundboard operator at a minor league ballpark. Can you imagine being the reason why thousands of people are clapping along with the cha cha slide beat? I can, and I will have that job one day.

What do you like doing in your spare time? 

Lately I’ve been all about resting- but I like watching golf, baseball, hockey and nfl football. I also like traveling, working out, eating and drinking beer.

What would be your one super power? 

Teleportation for sureeeee

What’s your one biggest pet peeve?

Northsiders that think they’re better than White Sox fans.

Wrigley Field & its construction

When people take things too seriously—like Twitter and any other social media. Also people that have bad hygiene. Dudes that try to slide in my DMs in the weirdest ways.

What’s your one annoying habit?

I have more than one but I’m that person that always asks to take one more picture and then one more and then another- I know it’s annoying and I don’t care 🙂

What ballpark would you like to visit?

AT&T Park- I’ve driven past it half a dozen times and have never been to a game. It looks awesome and the area that surrounds it looks awesome.

$300,000,000 ain’t nuthin’ but a number

Good day friends, it’s your old pal BeefLoaf and I’m ingesting just enough caffeine to keep my lids open and type this here “entry” into the old wordpress machine.  Just like all of yous (this is Bridgeport) I go through fits and starts of being enthused, amused, excited and thrilled, as well as frustrated, annoyed, scared and bored, with the whole MacHarper twitter rumor mill.  As fun as it is to see fake accounts or even real accounts make grand proclamations and then get dunked on until they have to deleted their accounts, it is even more fun for me to see grand proclamations by folks who TELL YOU that Player X won’t sign for X amount of years or less than X amount of money.  OR that the White Sox are idiots if they don’t just immediately write a check for $300M and “GET THIS OVER WITH!”

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I see people with lots of followers writing shit like this, not the average fan that is #108ing by cutting loose eating some Punky’s Pizza and downing some Miller High Life bombers.  I get it, us 108ers have opinions about stuff as well, but you don’t really see us espousing an opinion on this thing at all.  Why?………

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The 108ers have avant garde or even crazy opinions about lots of stuff.  Some of what we spout is just tongue-in-cheek and fun stuff we think will make you laugh (possibly), but other stuff we just tend to think differently than just about everyone else who likes to have opinions on stuff.  That’s where we are at with this negotiation.

Player X (meaning MacHarper) won’t sign for less than X amount of years!!

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This claim is total bullshit and you can safely ignore anyone who says otherwise.  You have no idea what these negotiations look like because not only does the media only have a vague sense of what is being discussed, but we don’t have a good sense of what the limited amount of teams and players actually want.  As much as you don’t like it, the teams have as much control as the players do.  MacHarper aren’t going to sit out the 2019 season waiting for what they want, or will they?  MacHarper may want to play in a certain subset of cities or have a certain long-term plan in mind.  They might want an early escape hatch and the only team willing to provide that only wants to give them a certain amount of years or money.  They just might want the most money possible per season or possibly a wickedly front loaded contract that allows them to get in on the early ownership of an XFL II team.  Nobody really knows and anything we get in the media is hearsay.

Player X won’t take less than X amount of money!!!

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Again, who the fuck knows.  If you only have a limited amount of teams / companies bidding on your services, you only have so much leverage, even if you have a very special set of skills (like MacHarper).  Maybe the 3 teams in the marketplace really do only want to spend X amount on your services.  You can stomp and kick and yell for your $300,000,000 (again, speculation) and never ever get it.  Maybe nobody values your services THAT MUCH.  Are you going to sit out?  Are you going to go on personal strike?  Or are you going to take (some made up estimate below $300,000,000) because it’s the best offer and you’d prefer to use your talents and skills instead of “making a point”.  I think you get the idea.

The White Sox should just write a check for $300,000,000 regardless of what the other teams are offering to get this over with.

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I’ve seen more variants of this than any other thing and it is the most ludicrous thing I have seen.  I know, I know, it’s not my money and I am never trying to save billionaires a couple $20-$30 Mill…..BUT, the White Sox should be trying to hook one of these big fish for the LOWEST amount that they possibly can.  This way, they can allocate the remaining shekels that they didn’t spend on other players that make this franchise into a winner.  I know that’s sort of theory, but it is also practice.  It is okay for the White Sox to “wait it out” and use the resource of “time” to keep the final price of netting a big fish lower, even if it causes you to refresh twitter a couple thousand extra times in the interim.

Hang tight White Sox fans, keep your head on a swivel and always be #108ing, but be aware of folks who’s emotions are getting the best of them (and not in a fun, totally losing their mind way).

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Lastly, if you want to hear more bullshit than you can possibly handle, subscribe to our YouTube channel.  We do post game shows of our podcast that don’t get published anywhere else, and we think you’ll enjoy them.

-BeefLoaf

The 5 – Reasons why you should LOVE Jon Jay

Good day friends, it’s your old pal BeefLoaf and this is the 5, so let’s fucking get to it.  5 Reasons why you should LOOOOOOOOVE the free agent signing of Jon Jay.

5 – He gets ON BASE!

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You heard it here first!!  Jon Jay gets on base more than the incumbents.  Remember Avi Garcia?  Of course you do, he didn’t get on base much last year, only .281 OBP.  How about Adam Engel, everyone’s favorite Gold Glove runner up, what do you think his on base % was in 2018?  .279 OBP.  Jon Jay had a down year and got on base at a .330 clip.  Back in 2017 with the North side Chicago baseball club, Jon Jay got on base at a .374 clip.  Hrmmm, I’m not a mathematician…nor do I play one of those sexy bitches on TV, but I think getting on base more as opposed to less is a positive.

4 – Sara Jay MIGHT be his Stepmom

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Look, I’ll be honest with you, I am never too confident in picking out people’s age.  I know that Jon Jay is 33, and I know that Sara Jay is a stepmom (occasionally), so it would seem reasonable that there is a connection there.  I’m not 100%, but if this ends up checking out, I can predict MySoxSummer will be happy af.

3 – Former Cardinals player

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I don’t know for sure, but I have heard of something called the Cardinals way, and it is supposed to show that you know how to play baseball well and do things the right way.  I suppose Tony LaRussa falling asleep drunk driving at a stop light has been excluded from that, as well as Mark McGwire’s backnee and probably a few others exploits (Oscar Taveras and Josh Hancock).  But mostly, the Cardinals are supposed to be a good basebally organization, so that means we should feel lucky to have him.

2 – He allows YUGE nerds to make Founding Father’s jokes

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You can’t discount any advantage of a free agent signing, even if you personally won’t partake in it.  I’ll admit, I saw some jokes on twitter, unfortunately, I didn’t realize they were jokes, because, I had no clue who John Jay is (blame my Catholic School education K-12 on that shit).  Regardless, those that enjoy that sort of thing, it’s right there for you.  You’d been saving that very pertinent knowledge up all your life, just waiting for a chance to launch that joke and your fucking time has come.  Congrats!

1 – He’s Manny Machado’s bestie

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Look if you are going to sign a top notch free agent, you need his best fucking buddy in the fold to host sleepovers and to play pranks and shit.  He’s the White Sox Jack Haley (the kids younger than 30 are googling “Jack Haley” rn).  If you can’t bring in a guys drinking / going to Chipotle / playing Fortnite buddy, then what fucking good are you?  Rick Hahn is definitely checking boxes here, so to speak.

-BeefLoaf