Opening Day – You Just Gotta Believe.

Happy Opening Day 2017 Ya Bastards. It’s the best day of the year, by far.  Of course it was somewhat ruined by this dumbass Opening Night our instant classic society demanded.  Wait a day!  Patience is a virtue and a bunch of you mofo’s need some, unless you are in the car.  It is totally cool to lose your patience on a bad driver.

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Back to baseball. Was I this excited last year at this time?  Kinda, yeah.  But was it for the party or baseball?  Both, duh. I thought the team had filled some holes last year, rather than made some dumb “big-name” signings and thought they could compete.  Which, for awhile, they did.  But then they collapsed, in epic fashion.  We had a bunch of weird stories coming out of spring training, lotta bullshit, which took awhile to come to the surface.  A year later our knife wielding ace is off to greener pastures and his bubble blowing compadre is ghosted too. Talk to the fanbase, we are gonna suck bad this year, lose a bunch of games, #tankforbeer, ya know, the exact opposite of what you are supposed to be aiming for at this time of year.

Let’s take stock in our team. Some fans are mad we traded Sale, some fans are pissed we didn’t give everyone away.  Some fans expected the new kids to just all of a sudden become insta-super stars. Well folks, we are in a for a ride.  It could be a fun ride, it could suck major balls, it could be both, but we can’t lose sight of the big picture. Have hope Sox fans!  In short, you just gotta believe.  Let me elaborate.

We are being given a great gift to watch a team strip down to basics, and start over so to speak, to make something special.  Will this path work?  I have no fucking idea.  But what I do know, is that without the guys we cut loose we aren’t any further away from having a playoff team.  Shit was broken, they are trying to fix it.  No way in hell, you get all the fans to agree that every move is the best, but I am pretty sure 70% of us were totally on board.  And as Sox fans, 70% is passing, so it counts.  You just gotta believe.

I love baseball.  I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I fell in love.  I enjoy being outside, the excitement of watching a guy fail 7 outta 10 times. Because those 3 times he succeeds, it’s fucking magic. It reflects life, it provides hope to everyone watching.  Cause we all wanna hit the big one, but most of the time we swing and miss. If a guy told you you were gonna fail more than you were gonna succeed, you might not wanna get up there and try.  But these guys have made a life doing just that, trying to change the odds. You gotta believe it’s gonna happen.

The hope has returned (to me and my buds in the 108) and I’m gonna enjoy watching this team lose (or win) while developing young talent. Especially enjoy it with a cold ass Modelo or Baderbrau in our fantastic seats.  Enjoy it while I am struggling to see if anyone is on 2nd and who is pitching.  Gonna be a fun year of learning, watching kids grow into baby men, it will rock.  As I said after SoxFest, this group of guys is hella nice.  That’s gotta be a good thing right?  I just wanna see them play.  I just wanna believe.

Some of you out there are saying “Aww shit, MSS is drinking the happy juice” and you are right.  But if Opening Day doesn’t give you at least a little bit of optimism, why are you watching this game?  Why are you investing your time in this?  I agree it can get majorly frustrating, but that shouldn’t start before the season.  The slate is clean, it’s a new year, who knows what’s gonna happen.  I am unsure if all the pieces fit, if they will turn out to be great moves, but I hope they do.  It’s one day (hell a week) of hopes and dreams for the new season.  We all start at 0.

So put on your poncho, your rain suit, or sack up and wear a hat and a jacket with some jeans and get your ass to the ballpark today.  Some scalpers are selling low priced tickets, take advantage. Come celebrate the small guy, the everyday guy, the guy who reminds you of you when you could still run. It’s gonna be wet, it’s gonna be cold, but you won’t find more hope anywhere than on the southside this day. Come believe with me (and have a beer and a brat).

As always, thanks for reading and GO WHITE SOX. Happy Opening Day Fans!

-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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