Bandwagon Cubs Fans, Repent!

Folks, its your old buddy BeefLoaf…………this is a special post, a playoff baseball post.  This is a post that should help you and more importantly, your Cubs fan friends, enjoy baseball this time of year.  A recent series of discussions between the 108ers helped us identify that most of OUR friends that claim their fandom to the Northside team, are very, very casual fans and few, if any, actually attended, or even so much as watched or listened to games during their extended hiatus from playoff baseball.  Now, this isn’t a sin in the biblical sense, but it is a sin of fandom if you intend to sport your Cubbie blue all over the goddamn place and choose to be obnoxious to your fellow Southsider that has been living and dying with an awful team for 8 years.  So upon further review (no worries, Mike Carey isn’t advising us), I decided to create a list of things that the bandwagon Cubs fans can do to repent and feel full enjoyment for this current playoff run.  White Sox fans, please pass this list on to your Cubs fan friends and together we can live in harmony, like ebony and ivory.
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Re-embrace Sammy Sosa………..I’m tired of it, as Cubs fans, you love Sammy Sosa, so I want you to bring him back in to your life….I think hanging an 8×11 photo of him in your den should do the trick.  Extra credit for hanging a picture of “White” Sammy Sosa
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Buy an old school shirsey………….I’d suggest EITHER something from your childhood, whatever era that might be (I’m in my late 30’s so a Manny Trillo shirsey might be fun)………..OR a guy that none of the other bandwagon fans know who the fuck they are…….like 2012 All Star Bryan LaHair
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Drink nothing but Old Style for an entire playoff game.  It used to be the main beer at the park on Sheffield and Addison, so go nostalgic and knock back some Old Style
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Rewatch Glenallen Hill’s May 11, 2000 monster fucking home run.  It’s seriously the longest fucking home run I have ever seen (I don’t care what the record books say).  And it’s so easy to find in the YouTube era, so go check it out.  If it is your first time viewing it, please watch it in private, because it’s NSFW
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Adopt some vintage Cubs styles to your personal ensemble……I’ll leave this to your imagination, but a couple of things that would really endear you to the hard core Cubs fans and your White Sox brethren as well would be getting a perm like 80’s closer Lee Smith, or possibly an I ❤️ Sandy Sandberg tattoo, you know, something really classy
Say it out loud, so all can hear…”FUCK RYAN DEMPSTER AND HIS STUPID FUCKING IMPRESSION OF WILL FARRELL DOING HARRY CARAY!!!!” We all know this sucks, and I’m still not sure why this is allowed to be on TV.  You’ll be considered part of the die-hards if you say this blows

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Make sure others know that you blame Alex Gonzalez and Dusty Baker’s over usage of Mark Prior in game 2, for the 2003 team’s NLCS collapse, and NOT Steve Bartman.
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Create a macaroni statue of your favorite current player or coach, I’d suggest Chris Bosio as it would take the most possible macaroni of any person in the dugout.   Don’t let him near your statue though, I doubt he could resist, as it appears his self control around the table is in question.
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Get into a bar fight with Kyle Farnsworth.  To be honest, most of you  have probably already done this, or if you are woman, you have been sloppily hit on by him, so this is probably the least necessary one on the list, but I’ll leave it on here for those that were incarcerated or underage during those years.

Godspeed.

 – BeefLoaf

MidSeason Grades from the 108

Midseason Grades
A couple of footnotes to the grades, Chorizy-E went with Pass/Fail as he believes that is how everything should be graded.  MSS offered up an “Incomplete” for Twitter, as he doesn’t believe much in Twittering.
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Beer Vendors
Over in the 108, this is easily the most important grade. We got this shit on lockdown.  Hell, BeefLoaf and Slumpbuster have our regular beer guys on speed dial so they don’t waste their precious time coming by till be get there.  Brian, James and Richard are top notch and take great care of us.  However, if you are sitting in the upper deck…it is a bad area….a wasteland if you will.  Easily lost multiple sales because they NEVER come around.  Sometimes we save money on tickets to buy beer folks, but if we don’t have the opportunity to purchase, well, yeah.  So treat the “up high guys” the same as the lowers.
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Fans (in stadium)
Wow.  We went from selling 100k tickets in a week, to listing 1000 tickets a day on StubHub.  The fans were awesome when we were winning, not so much when the drecks of the bad losing streak hit.  We don’t expect full houses anytime soon.  White Sox fans in the stadium actually know the game better than you might think, we like to think 99% of fans are just there to eat hot dogs and drink beer, which is mostly correct, but the 108’ers tend to run into people who actually have a clue and who are very social.  Especially opposing team fans, which is always questionable………unfortunately, too many of you still engage in the wave, which is the equivalent of having AOL as your internet provider or  asking someone to fax you some information.  The wave may have been fun/cool at some point, but that point is 20 years in our rear view, now its equal parts obnoxious and pointless.  If you don’t believe me, watch our video here.  Overall, White Sox fans are generally friendly and conversational, with the occasional fall down drunk (more occasional in the 108).
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White Sox Twitter
I’m a big fan of the White Sox Twitter community.  They’re very active and unlike most social media, I see people actually asking questions and getting solid answers.  This builds a more informed, more cohesive fan base.  Of course there are some complete lunatics, but it’s the internet, so that’s gonna happen.  But, White Sox Twitter also clearly suffers from bipolar disorder…….one minute, Sox are the best team in baseball, the next, they should get contracted Expos style………Tyler Saladino is the equivalent of the Bears backup QB, everyone knows he isn’t very good, but they still want him in the lineup at all costs, even at DH………..the group is very split on JB Shuck, the sane folks know he really sucks and shouldn’t play everyday, the unsane would like him out there at all costs……..in fairness, this is what you have to work with when you watch 162 baseball games of a mediocre team.  White Sox Twitter has been really on point with the fans’ feelings of the team, they make the game viewing experience very fun, even when the team sucks.  I think collectively, as a group, we need to work in Crying Jordan more, but that is just me.
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Robin Ventura
Like a wet luke warm towel in a locker room, RV is still around.  Is it luke warm cause it was recently pissed on?  Maybe.  Cause it wasn’t fully dry when it came out of the dryer?  Maybe.  Why are we talking about towels?  Cause they are far more interesting than RV and his managing style.  Just read this article to get the unabridged version of what we think of RV.
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Rick Hahn
We are fans of Rick Hahn, but trying to figure out “the Plan” is sort of like following the plot of True Detective 2, you think you sort of almost have it and then Jimmy Rollins and Mat Latos die and you are back to square one.  To his credit he has discarded his old and broken toys for other people’s old and broken toys……..ah, who are we kidding, if it weren’t for Tim Anderson, this team would be trending down towards the Twins, which is possibly what they need, but right now, we want to watch them play well.  There is so little depth on this team, someone has to take the blame for that.  If you lose the CF you picked up 30 seconds before the season started, the whole team should not fall to pieces, and we certainly should not have to watch JB Shuck.  Not to mention you rostered Jerry Sands for what seemed to be forever.  We think Hahn was in a weird spot this year, between trying to compete and keep the White Sox 3 high draft picks………..think in that respect, he mostly did what he could, but again the team is in the dreggs of the middle class (we know, we know, the middle class is gone in the US).
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The Organization
Rough one.  They try so fucking hard. we are friends with many folks in the front office in all different areas. We would say overall, this year has been pretty smooth so far. We feel like they have had some solid giveaways.  The t-shirts have been bomb, wish it was a Monday not a Thursday, but whatevs.  Lots of folks are getting there to get them.  They have started doing special tickets for special bobbleheads too, which we love.  We also love that they discount the tickets.  We also love that MSS does make us go through the line a bunch of times to get extras. MSS really hope this continues and they offer this for the regular release bobbles too.  Even the red shirts have done a better job this year.   The organization hasn’t really pissed me off and they are clearly trying to make positive changes.
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Announcers
Jason Benetti is carrying this sorry group.  He is a breath of fresh air and he is already making the broadcast 100x better with new segments and fun interactive stuff for the fans (even if we realize that @ssspnoles and @cswear12 have the cheat code for #SoxMath).  He also allows Steve Stone to actually talk and they actually interact in a fun way.  Especially like the one inning a game where Jason really gets to break Stoney’s balls about how bad he did against certain hitters from his past.  We suspect that Benetti will get stolen by ESPN or MLB Network at some point, so we should really try to enjoy this while it lasts.  One negative point against Benetti, he dissed us with our welcome sign and never acknowledged it on TV.  That ain’t cool.
Steve Stone is still good, not as good as he used to be, but that is only because with the pervasiveness of advanced stats that help the average fan understand the game better.
Hawk is done, but we get so many insane quotes from him, we can deal with it for the rest of the year.  His main highlights of the year have been when he couldn’t see if a ground rule double (aka bounce home run) was a homer or a double and had to ask Stoney (mind you, he has a monitor 3 inches from him that he could look at) and when he left the booth for an inning to check on Todd Frazier when Frazier got hurt in Texas.  He’ll probably blame the umps for this bad rating we are giving him.
Farmio and DJ are a good listen if you think of them as an old married couple.  I think that’s what they’re going for, so I’ll pretend it’s on purpose……….however, if your intention was to actually know what is going on in the game they aren’t such a good listen………..when they actually do talk about the game, Farmio rarely knows wtf is going on and often gives incorrect information.  DJ would probably be better off with a better partner, because Farmio is slipping big time, but considering it is the White Sox, they’ll probably extend him for another 5 years.
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Technology
We love the ballpark app (except for the feature that allows you to order food, because that food shan’t arrive, EVAR). We love that they give you stuff for checking in.  Sadly, this year it has been mostly bullshit.  Last year we had free apps at ChiSox every weekend it seemed.  And those coupons were good till the end of the season.  Now they are only good for that game.  So if BigUns buys us all pretzels or something in the 8th, we still have to go get the free apps even if we aren’t that hungry for wings (which is rare, but can happen).  Yes, they lost a TON of money on that promo last year from the 108.  But guess what?  We also bought a TON of tall boy High Life’s at $7 each.  Seriously.  We can buy a case of High Life for $3 more.  A case! So give me some free fucking wings!
On another note, one of the goals of Ballpark App is at 50 check in’s, you get a Golden Chris Sale Bobblehead. Which is awesome.  What is not awesome is that they GAVE THE DAMN THINGS AWAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA NIGHT IN THE TWITTER VENDING MACHINE. So all the guys who have been going to every game  just got scooped by some douche that tweeted “Go Sox! 456789”  That was cold guys, especially since we are only in the 40’s for home games.  You could have waited, but in true Sox fashion, blew the load early.
New scoreboard is nice, but that’s about it.  They’re trying to do more with social media, but there is not much of interest there.  There is still not a way to use a credit card with vendors.  They do very little to go about seeing what their season ticket holders spend in the stadium or what they spend it on.  There are a lot of improvements to be made across the MLB in terms of in-stadium technology and you think they would lead the way since they have so many games as opposed to a sport like football.  But they do not.  Good news though, Comiskey Cash is still a thing, for some stupid reason.

Happy 69th Birthday Steve Stone!!!

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If you grew up in Chicago in the 80’s you have been watching and listening to Steve Stone your entire life.  He left baseball in 1981, but by 1983 he was full-time in the Cubs booth paired with the legendary Harry Caray……….one side note, I know this is a White Sox blog, but when you are my age, you didn’t have a lot of choice but to watch Cubs baseball as a kid even as a Sox fan…………the Cubs played predominantly day games (during the summer when we were kids, there was no internet, so this was the best thing to watch) and when they weren’t day games, they usually started at 6pm (road games in the old NL East).  Also, all games were televised on WGN……..so you could actually watch them………..the White Sox played predominantly night games, including a big chunk of games on the West Coast and a lot of those games, I could not watch, as I did not have Sportsvision……….but I digress…….

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Wherever or whenever you caught Stone doing a ball game, you were getting the best an analyst had to offer, someone who thought the game deeply and gave the fans an educational experience.  One of the most fun things about Stone is he liked to test his acumen against the actual events, by trying to predict what move or pitch would work best.  A fun game that fans generally enjoy.  He also pulled no punches, which is evidenced by him leaving the Cubs booth for good at the end of the 2004 season.  Nothing like an analyst that is willing to take some risk for his opinions (gfy ESPN analysts).

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Stone has also shared the booth with two legends of the business…….two play by play guys that had unique personalities (so to speak) and has managed to weather those storms and still provide the fans with top notch analyst work.

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So, happy birthday Steve Stone!!  Hope you are knocking back a stogie or two, possibly placing a wager on the ponies to enjoy your special day.

– BeefLoaf