SoxFest 2017 – We met some people, we gave out some shirts.

In case you haven’t been paying attention to Twitter, SoxFest was last weekend.  If you’ve never been, and you like waiting in lines like the former U.S.S.R., you should really go.  But instead of getting bread or cheese, you get autographs from your favorite White Sox players!  Plus about all the free stuff you can handle.

I went in with 2 guys (@ricojr16 and @bigsexxy_75 #wallymoney), 2nd year we have done the ‘fest together. We always have a great time, this year was no different.  Lacking the star power of previous years, the attendance was a little smaller than last, but what a treat for anyone that bought tickets.

In other years, I was focused on getting bobbles signed.  Since the majority of the guys there were new, and didn’t have a Sox bobble, I was more focused on speaking the word of the 108 and getting baseballs signed.  I was prepared with 108 t-shirts and business cards.

I also had a special shirt that Chorizy thought up that we wanted to present to Rick Hahn to show our excitement and appreciation on his off season.  Because I am really lucky, I ran into him. Rick loved the shirt and asked for his cut.  I assured him once we made some money, we’d send him a check.

Rick Hahn is hella nice, just so you know.  I have met him a couple of times, both very briefly, but this last meeting was fantastic.  He was with his son, who was laughing the whole time, and he dropped a “fucking” during the course of our conversation.  I am sure he was terrified that I would eat him, so he treated me real nice like.  Giving Rick a shirt was on my list of goals, glad I was able to get one to him.  Also, over in that corner, the lovely Alexa was taking pics for fans with Dan Jennings. I wondered how many people wanted a pic with both of them.  Hmmmmmmm……..

If you haven’t heard of #southsidestachemen you better read this before you read below, cause shit won’t make sense.   We ran into Tim Anderson and Tyler Saladino in the Sox Social Lounge, so of course I let Tyler know who I was. We chatted for a bit about the contest, which is awesome, and I gave him a shirt.  Tyler is another really nice guy, engaged with the fans, and stood around forever talking about the original tweet and how awesome the contest is gonna be. So much awesome talk that I am scared that we’ll screw this up.  He also signed about a bijillion autographs.  Including the t-shirt that we will give the winner on the #southsidestachemen contest.  So get to growing guys (and girls, ewww) get this shirt and some free tickets!

Also in the lounge we ran into fellow 108 supporter Jason Benetti! Jason let us know that he’d be down for a game this year, so we are gonna hold him to it.  Didn’t have a size medium shirt on me, so I gave him one the next day. Jason then did something that got the entire 108 excited, he said they’d put it on the prize shelf.  Can you fucking imagine?  Ha.  I had Jason and Ed Farmer sign a shirt that we can give away too sometime during the season, look for this on our Twitter or FB.

Carlton Fisk was also in the Social Lounge taking pics with fans.  Was fun to chat with him about the blog and take a quick pic.  He was looking good, walking bad.  All those HOF years behind home have taken their toll.

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And here’s a pic of me with Todd Frazier.  Todd is not a 108 supporter as he has had us blocked for about a year now.  He distracted me with a fist bump and being a cool guy so I didn’t ask to be unblocked.  He had a bum paw, said it was nothing to worry about for the season.  I hope so! We’re gonna need some good numbers from you Todd, so we can trade you away at the ASB.

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Having breakfast on Saturday we ran into ROY 1983, Ron Kittle.  Ron is always good for stories and some dirt on the 80’s guys.  Told us some great stories and bullshitted with the best.  Asked about the shirts, so I gave him one.  We took a pic and he even put one on! Awesome.  We hope to see you this summer in the 108 Ron, first and final beer on us! Again, hell of a nice guy.  Sunday he said hi and we chatted some more, Harold Baines showed up too, was a great time.  Always a fun time when you are eating pancakes with your favorite player as a kid.

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I always said I’d never pay to go to Soxfest and now, 2 years in a row, I have done just that.  If you like Sox baseball and feeling like one of the guys, the Sox really make these guys available to do just that.  They make the guys more personable.  Hell, I took a piss with Jacob Petricka and Eric Soderholm, while security watched us all. I was most impressed when Eric asked me how the sinks worked, and I told them I was happy to see them washing their hands.  I came home with tons of stories and lots of hope that we can actually make this rebuild work.  I liked the feeling at SoxFest, optimism was all around.  Hearing people that were still excited for this season was awesome.  Plus I hope we gained a few more followers.

Soxfest 2017 has put the 108 on the map.  If you haven’t already you can see me get skunked in trivia here. You can see our good friend Cyndee get a Cuban Sandwich here.

Didn’t get shirt?  Follow us on Twitter and start telling your friends! Hell, add your friends on our FB site. We have boxes of shirts that we’ll give away this year with a few new ones planned to sell.  We’ll keep you in the loop.

Get that ‘stache a growing for opening day!  Tweet at us and Tyler with the hashtag #southsidestachemen.  Free tickets!  Free shirt!

-MSS

The 5. Haterade. By Polish with Extra Onions

 

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This isn’t about you.

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:

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Too easy.

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?

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“Oh man. Why Polish with Extra Onions? Why you gotta be so cruel? “

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!!!!!

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That ball isn’t going where you’s expect.

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.

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Douche? Yup.

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.

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“I fucking won!”

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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“Out there dad, that is where the ball is supposed to go”

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

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