Have you bought in yet? Find yourself wanting to head to 35th and Shields to catch some of this awesomeness? It feels good Sox fans. For us who have suffered through the past few seasons, we deserve this. The players deserve this. Ventura deserves this. Here’s my 5 reasons to buy in now!
Unlike 2015, the Sox actually filled holes. Frazier, Jackson, Avila. In the short term, it seems to be working. Allowing Garcia to only DH, makes sense. Maybe will keep him healthy. Who knows? The talent is there, let’s stay healthy guys!
AMAZINGLY Good start.
I ran into Jim Rose (@jimroseabc7) at Walgreens down on State St. I asked him his thoughts before the season started and he hesitated to give me the solid thumbs up. he was very concerned with the clubhouse mood after the whole LaRoche incident. But he did say we’ll know how well this team will do a few weeks into the season. I agree 1000%. In 2012, they started strong and held that lead till September. Sad decline, but was a fun year to watch Sox baseball. I think that year also set us back, thinking that we did have the right components for a winning team, which we clearly did not after three abysmal seasons in a row. We chatted about some other stuff, which I will share with anyone in a private conversation, then went about our way. Mine was to look for clearance Easter candy that didn’t suck, his was for gift cards.
It’s been kinda sparse, but last year when we had two on with no outs, you hit that slump in the order that produced little to no runs. Had to deal with the Beckham and Flowers vortex that just sucked any momentum we had going. This year, so far, we have seemed to come up and got a few hits that got us the runs we needed to win that game. I hope it will continue to happen as the bats warm with the weather, but honestly, who knows. If we are down 2 runs in the 7th, this year we know it isn’t over. Been very fun to watch.
Matt “El Niño” Albers and the pitching staff.
I like his passion. I like his pitch selection. I like his overall size. His consecutive out record that he was carrying since last August is just a nice thing to see. Good to see the bullpen coming in and kicking some ass. Will he keep this type of production up the rest of the year? Maybe. Most likely not, but let’s hope so. Will he help you finish a helmet sundae? You know he will. Cause he’s a team player.
Chris Sale is 6-0. Mat “Cat” Latos is 4-0. Jose “Q” Quintana is 3-1. Once again, it’s early, but these are some great numbers. I bow to you Donnie Cooper. The offense is helping it happen too. We have a stinker, Mr. Danks, but honestly that guy is trying as hard as he can. He’s had his chance, it ain’t working, let’s bring him in for long relief situations. I like John, but it’s time to move on. Bring in the new guys, feed off their energy. Feed off this hella good start. Let’s cash in bitches!
Besides us crazy ass fans, no one is expecting the White Sox to do anything. I want them to have a chance to make the playoffs. They don’t have to make the playoffs, but I would like to see some meaningful baseball in September. They boys up north have all the pressure on them.
We are playing the perfect hand. The city is Cubs crazy. The fact that the Sox have stayed with ’em as far as wins is really amazing. Fans are starting to show up on the southside, causing some longer wait times, which is pretty cool too. The best baseball is being played in Chicago right now. Amen. Good time to be in the city.
UPDATE – I wrote this weeks ago, still holds up, but within that time the Sox have swept two series. They are playing crazy good right now. I am almost fully on board. However, I know once I buy in at 100%, shit will go badly. So for all of you, I will not be 100% till we make the playoffs. It’s awful fun to watch them win though.
It’s way f’ing early. Shit, the way the media is talking in Chicago, Cubs have the World Series berth locked up and maybe the Sox will compete with them in October. Y’all are f’ing nuts.
Yeah. 2 games, 2 losses. Not even close. I met John at SoxFest ’16, hell of a great guy. Always looks really excited, possibly high, maybe it’s time to pack it up, take care of that smoking hot wife of yours and call it day. Hell, go hang out with Dunn. Maybe join LaRoche on one of his “missions”. He’s not cutting it, maybe he’ll get hot later, but let’s bring him in if a young guy starts getting pounded. He shouldn’t be starting.
The teams we have played.
“We would have lost to the Twins last year” – Friend in passing.
He’s right by the way. Were the Twins better last year? I HAVE NO F’ING IDEA. I am a White Sox fan, I can barely keep up with them, I rely on the head nod and squinty eyes when I am asked in depth baseball questions. Chorizy , Polish or ‘Loaf can handle your technical questions better, I rely on the ol’ eye test. The Twins f’ing failed the eye test. Badly. When I see Oakland starting Phegley and Semien, I think to myself, “I know how good those guys are so you guys must really suck.” I am sure they will come on later in the year to prove me wrong (Phegley Fever!) and I hope they do. Tribe sucks too, cause, well Cleveland. Look what that city did to that find upstanding COLLEGE GRADUATE from Texas A&M, Johnny “Football” Manziel. Cue Beastie Boys – Johnny Ryall.
Dude is old. Like way old. I am 1 year older than him. I am f’old too. I don’t need to be on the softball field anymore, much less a MLB field. I hope JRoll keeps not hurting himself. I hope he continues to help us in the field and smack a hit here and there. What I am guessing will happen is one day his leg will just fall off. You better be practicing Tyler, you let a 37 yr old guy beat you for your spot. I met Tyler at SoxFest too, I asked him what the plans were, his handler said he was the starting SS for us. Tyler responded with a “We’ll see”. Yeah, cause goddamn, we’re gonna need ya son.
Not long ago, Jose Abreu had to swing at anything close cause the dude wasn’t being protected by ANYONE. Now we have reigning home run champ Todd Frazier batting behind him and he still swings at junk. Will he get more disciplined? Maybe. Hitting coach Todd Steverson is a hell of a nice guy too, I know he has worked hard with Jose, so I am hopeful. But will Frazier start hitting? Kinda a big component in the whole deal. I hope as the weather warms up so will the bats. Still not hitting good enough to get behind them yet.
So alot of things that need to be fixed before I can even list these guys an contenders. I thought this past weekend would be a good test, lost 2 of 3. Hoping that they can split with the Angels and take the series vs the Rangers. I will be at a few games this week, hope to see you guys there!
OK, I could sit here and talk about the 5 worst seasons ever by a White Sox player. I could reference Adam Dunn, I could go in on Scottie Fletcher’s 1990 season which was an absolute shit sandwich, but none of those actually draw out my hatred. The list you are about to read is a list of 5 players who I hate. You may not hate these 5 players, but there is absolutely no way that you actually liked these 5 players. Without further ado, here is the list of 5:
5) Billy Koch: If by his 3rd week as our closer you did not pronounce the “ch” as a “ck”, I’m not sure you were watching White Sox baseball. He was a lockdown closer in Oakland, and had a triple digit fastball. What could possibly go wrong? Coming over to the Sox in a trade where we dumped Keith Foulke, I had this joyous feeling. Basically, it was a “My closer is a badass who throws 100 f’ing miles per hour” feeling, but a feeling nonetheless. What did that feeling get us? A 5.66 ERA, a 5.34 FIP, and a -.9 WAR. Oh, let us not forget the $10,000,000 salary that he was earning. The salary part doesn’t bother me that much. Teams pay what they think a player is worth, but this was just a cherry on the top for me. I was young, in college, and could not comprehend how this shit storm was out here every save opportunity. Did I mention that Keith Foulke went on to be much better, with a 2.06 ERA, and a 4.09 FIP. Did I mention that he didn’t suck?
Polish with Extra Onions
4) This one for me is actually a little bit painful. I was born in 1978, and had access to golden box seats growing up. My favorite player was Harold Baines. I was a righty hitter, but went to extreme lengths to try and mimic Harold’s batting stance and swing. As a tee baller, I thought that if I could just hit lefty like Harold, I could dominate the Donovan Park circuit. This is why it pains me to put him here. Now, this is not 1980-1989, nor 96,97 Harold Baines that I am talking about. I am talking about 2000-2001 Harold. I can vividly remember a game where he got a double, and thinking he should retire and ask for the ball, because it isn’t going to get any better that that. Harold had a -.3 and a -1.2 WAR during this span. What is most astounding is that he had a negative defensive WAR. I don’t even think he had a glove anymore when he came back to the Southside, but that may have been the problem. This was the hardest thing for me to write, but I feel that this has cleansed my soul. I will preach on!!!!!
3) Mike Caruso: These kids can play!!!!! No they f’ing can’t. Mike gave us a glimmer of hope during his first season with the Pale Hose. He gave us a +2.7 WAR, a .721 OPS and received ROY votes. Overall, it was an impressive one year resume. On the other hand, we should have seen the signs coming. He tailed off defensively at the end of year one, and his September BABIP was only .248. But we had hope. Mike was going to solidify our SS position for years to come. Then year two came along. Mr. Caruso had a -1.6 WAR and a 47 OPS +. I am pretty sure that the Babe could do that right now. Yes, I know that he is dead, but prove me wrong. His second year was like a terrible car crash. You didn’t want to watch it anymore, but you also couldn’t turn of the television. There were errors, there were terrible at bats, but there was also hope that he could regain form. That was a whole bunch of hate piled into 2 years. In my defense though, those 2 years really seemed like 7.
2) Dye with the catch, Swish with the worm!!!! Mercy!!!!! Hawk, you get a pass for this, but let’s be honest, Nick Swisher’s tenure with the Sox was so awful. Before I break into my hatred, let me give him a little credit. Swish was playing out of position from day one. When you trade for a corner OF from Oakland, and think you can put him in CF at the Cell, you are not exactly setting someone up for success, but I digress. At first, his Captain Morgan celebration was cute, and catchy, but when you hit an abysmal .219 with an OBP of .332 you are not really allowed to celebrate or complain. I think the fact that it was always someone else’s fault when he struggled is what really amped up my hatred. A -.2 WAR is no one’s fault but your own. But there was Bromontana Swisher blaming Ozzie, blaming the media, blaming the clubhouse. Then of course, he leaves the South Side, and gives the Yankees an 11.5 WAR. He still had the douchey attitude, but it is easier to swallow when he is performing. And just to throw a little icing on the cake, we sent Gio Gonzalez to Oakland to get Nick Swisher. Yeah, that is bad.
This man is the crème de la crème. He was a utility player that was supposed to be a reserve, but was thrust into the starting lineup because Brian Anderson was supposed to be the next big thing. Brian was one of the best defenders that I can recall, but he could not hit a fastball. You know, the ball that goes straight. That isn’t good for a Major League player. Number 1 with a bullet is Rob Mackowiak. Now, before I get into the thick of it, I want to point out that I have played against Rob in several men’s softball leagues, and he is a fucking stud. He is the fastest player out there, he hits a bomb every time he comes up, and holy shit he is a lefty shortstop that dominates. If only the AL Central was a slow pitch 12” league. Rob basically held his own at the plate with a .360 OBP, and a 98 OPS+, but when you take in the defense, it was so so bad, a -.9 WAR isn’t doing it for me. What if he could cover more than a 6 foot radius? What if he could make the right read on a fly ball? Would we be celebrating back to back WS titles? Damn you Rob Mackowiak!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Honorable Mention: Drake LaRoche. Have you ever had a take your child to work day? It was cute, your child got to see where mommy/daddy worked. You had lunch together, and everyone went home happy. You know what you did the next day? No? Well, let me tell you. You woke up, went to work, did the shit you did every day with the exception of yesterday, and guess what, there was no fucking kid there. Everyone wants to tip toe around this, but Adam LaRoche is a weirdo. Who wants to spend every moment with their child? I have 2 of them, and I gotta be honest, if they were with me every moment, it would not only make my production go down, it would make me underappreciate the time that I do get to spend with them. Now, you could say “Polish, your hatred is really towards Adam.” But what sane 14 yr old wants to spend every moment with his dad? When I was 14, I was trying to get past 2nd base, and not on a baseball diamond. Instead, this weirdo is indirectly the reason that the Sox are in the mainstream media.
I would like to thank Baseball Reference for having the stats to confirm just how bad these 5 were.
– Polish with Extra Onions
Anyway you slice it, an excellent performance at the plate and above average shortstop defense. Then 2005, where Uribe was still good, but not quite as good at the plate, defense still solidly above average. Most White Sox fans will remember this play for the rest of their lives, or like me and my friends, we never saw it in real time as the second he gloved it, everyone jumped up and started hugging. Unfortunately, this play gets lost in lore (sky point). At least Joe Buck and Tim McCarver get it……..but I don’t think anyone ever talks about this play in the history of the World Series, but it is likely the best late inning defensive play in the history of the classic. Imagine a world in which Derek Jeter makes this play or Cal Ripken makes this play. It would be considered the greatest moment in the history of mankind (next to when John C. Dorito created his magical chips).
As much as I love going to baseball games, there are a few things I cannot stand. MySoxSummer already covered “the wave”:
Check out the video, because it’s wonderful.
The other thing that is equal in my level of hatred is people who throw home runs back on the field. This annoys me more than anything else at a game.
What’s The End Game?
On top of it just being stupid, I really want to know what people think this act will accomplish. Do you think they’ll take the run off the board? Do you think that Eaton will relay to Lawrie to Avila for an amazing out at home? Do you think Rick Hahn will see the beautiful, weak loft to your throw and give you millions of dollars to be the next Jim Parque? Really, you’re an idiot if you do this. Best case scenario is you don’t get kicked out for throwing something on the field. Worst case is either you don’t even get the ball back on the field and you are rightfully ridiculed or your inability to throw accurately starts with you hitting a player with the ball and ends with Chicago’s finest helping you take the stairs down to the holding cell. So as you can see, don’t do this dumb shit.
I don’t know what it is about Yankees fans, but they are seriously bad at this
But What Do I Do With The Ball?
So you find yourself with the ball after a Ryan Raburn home run, what should you do? Well, you trampled 3 old ladies and 5 children to catch it, so you obviously don’t want it. So let’s think. I don’t know, maybe give it to a kid. I am sure this is your first time around children and/or baseball, so I’ll let you in on a secret: It would make that kid’s day to get a baseball at a Sox game no matter where it comes from. This is not really a perplexing problem, so if you find yourself in a situation like this, now you know how to deal with it.
Or if you’re really awesome and well prepared, like this kid, you can do this:
Exception To The Rule
There is an exception to this rule. If you are at Wrigley Field and you catch a Cubs home run, feel free to throw that back. But they’ll definitely kick you out: https://www.sny.tv/mets/news/read-mets-fan-at-wrigley/149357710
1. Pizza Vendors – It wasn’t long ago that one could get a tasty slice of Connie’s Pizza from a vendor walking right up to your seat. Then came the DiGiornio’s debacle and the ballpark pizza sucked. Now we have Beggar’s, which is a solid slice. I couldn’t help but believe that my ingame pizza consumption would go up 12,000% if someone walked past my seat with a slice of pepperoni every couple of innings.
2. Apps for ordering drinks – If casinos can set up slot machines with this function, no reason your seat or even a phone app couldn’t coordinate this sort of thing. C’mon Sox, be a trend setter.
3. Rewards cards – Season ticket holders should have rewards cards that have various discounts and allow the ticket holder to pay directly through the card, which would be linked to their credit card on their season ticket holder account.
4. Gambling – Not real gambling, but in-game contests based on “guessing” events in the next, inning, rest of the game, etc. It would be a great opportunity for the team to give things away to people who would interact on a phone app. The team could direct give aways to those fans that are really into the competition and gather information for their own use. It also adds to the fun, when you have a little something on the game.
5. On field stunts – I am really only referencing one on field stunt, that used to exist and was the best thing ever. On Friday nights, the White Sox used to pull a fan (sometimes an intoxicated fan) out of the crowd and shoot fly balls for them to catch. This needs to come back. Now!!! Especially on Friday and Saturday nights.
Welcome to a little slice of Sox-cusssion we like to call The 5. When we think of 5 reasons to write about something, we will. If you think of something you’d like us to write about tweet it to us @fromthe108 using the hashtag #thesox5. Don’t have Twitter, leave us a message below in the comments. Or hell, we are on the Facebook here, send us a message there too!
Keep it local. We hear that a lot. We think that means fresh, exciting, local. We think we are supporting people that live in our communities and in most cases we are. There are a few areas in the ballpark where a local product is being used and it is a far superior than what was there before.
Pizza – In 2012 they had DiGiorno. I heard that before that they had Connie’s, which makes perfect sense being in Chicago. I think the Cubs carried Gino’s for awhile. But it always broke my heart that in Chicago, in our ballparks, we were serving frozen pizza. WTF. Never ,under any circumstance, was I going to eat a damn slice of frozen pizza. Nothing against the pizza, it is plenty fine when I am drunk or really hungry and lazy, but when I am a short walk from Fabulous Freddie’s, I will stick to the classics. But then, the Sox announced in 2014 the switch to a Chicago favorite, Beggars. That stuff is great, and it is very easy to carry 4 or 5 slices back to your buds on a Friday game. BeefLoaf is convinced that if there was a guy walking around selling pizza, it would do awesome. But he’ll talk about that later.
Beer – The Sox have always had a great selection of beers available at the park. I admire that. I still drink (at the games) mostly Miller Lite, but having the option to have a Summer Shandy or Blue Moon is great. But last season they did the unthinkable, they added in Chicago’s Revolution Brewery Anti-Hero IPA and Lagunitas IPA, ON DRAFT.I think they cost $10.75 for a 24oz beer, which I am sure has you like nah, but what if I told you it is the best deal (per ounce and in alcohol content) in the park. It is actually cheaper than Miller Lite, and has more alcohol. Miller Lite is $8 for 16oz, so 50¢ an ounce. But with the Lagunitas and Anti-Hero you pay just 45¢ per ounce. It makes cents. I talked to the food and beverage guy at SoxFest ’16 and he wasn’t sure that deal or the beer would be back. Not sure we’d have the drafts from the local guys, which in all honesty, bums me the F out.
So there are two great examples of local being better. Here is one more area that we think the Sox could make the game day experience even more localized.
Years and years the sounds of Australia’s own AC/DC welcomed our boys on the field. Last year, the sounds of Fall Out Boy THEN AC/DC did the job. Fall Out Boy has some local ties, but damn, not my bag. The song makes sense too, “Light It Up”, yeah we all get it, but nothing about FOB speaks to Sox fans. AC/DC did and does ring true to the Southside. So who local can we play to get that same vibe? Here our our top 5 selections.
1. “High-Fiving MF” – Local H.
If you haven’t heard this song, do yourself a favor and listen to it now. Turn it up too. Local H is from Zion, IL and my god do they rock. This song just get’s ya amped up. For reals. Even play the instrumental version (lots of swears) at the game, so much better than FOB.
2. “Good Ass Intro” – Chance The Rapper.
Chance. Dude is the real deal. Local product. Local flavor. Loves the Sox. Reps the Sox. Can’t think of a better rapper to watch our boys run onto the field to.
3. “Seether” – Veruca Salt.
Chicks that rock. Still rock. Their album American Thighs still hits as hard as it did back in the day.
4. “N.W.O.” – Ministry.
Just because this kicks off a little harder than “Jesus Built My Hotrod” I choose “N.W.O.” I used to rock out to this as a high schooler back in the day too, blaring this CD (or a tape copy that was made from this CD) in my ’81 Chevette with the Realistic tape deck and Realistic speakers. Rocked then and it rocks now. Does it get ya ready to play some baseball? Hell yes. It’s mean. It’s raw. It’s local.
5. “Cherub Rock” – Smashing Pumpkins.
A great intro song on one of the best albums of the 90’s. I saw the Smashing Pumpkins so many times in my youth, it was really awesome. This song would be great at high volume at the park, while we watch the highlights of yesteryear. Remembering when the Pumpkins (and the Sox) were great.
So there you have it, 5 songs that are a far better intro song than Fall Out Boy. Don’t like it? Hate tweet me at @fromthe108. Do it. Think I missed something? Send me a tweet. Just do it. Love it? Share it with your Sox friends. We love attention, so share the f outta this. Share away!