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Mismatched Sox: Things To Do While The CBA Is Dead

by Ed Siebert
Published: Last Updated on

A note for those of you reading: Mismatched Sox is a weekly blog hastily thrown together by Sox in the Basement Co-Host Ed Siebert and is written to present you with White Sox and baseball thoughts in a manner that, frankly, thinks it is funny the way that Dad Joke books left in the bathroom pass for entertainment. While there will be facts here that will be factual, the opinions and other nonsense are neither reflective of anyone at Soxon35th.com nor believed or intended to cause any harm, but consult a physician and ask if this blog is right for you.

This movie is 27 years old and is, therefore, an obscure reference, but one that will kill 1 hour and 55 minutes of this
“No White Sox baseball” existence. (C) Miramax.

The owners made an offer, the players responded with all the grace and dignity of a 6-year-old being presented a plate of liver and onions with a side of brussel sprouts. And there was much more that needed to be discussed than what was slid across the table by the owners, so the MLB season is nowhere near getting going. And at this point in the winter, generally, fans are dusting off the last afterglow of the hot stove season and spending the next few weeks waiting for those four special words, “Pitchers and Catchers Report”. Instead, the four words fans are more likely to hear are “The Season is Delayed”. Well, that and “maybe you should shower” or “KBO fantasy baseball league”. At worst, “Go read Mismatched Sox”.

So what can we do as fans? Where can we go for our White Sox fix? There are, of course, a million ways to go with one’s life and there is no way, shape, or form that a random article should ever be considered to have all the answers. Until now.


MLB SIMULATIONS, PART 1

Ever play video games? If the answer is yes, then it turns out there are games that can take actual MLB player likenesses and names, create a virtual version of them out of a complex series of code, and then let you pretend that they are the real things and play full seasons of baseball with them. But you knew that already, and apologies are due for condescension.

The Pros: You can finish Rick Hahn’s job, play the games, see how the season turns out and bask in the virtual glory of a World Series win. Or to paraphrase Hawk, “you can cuss” over the failure. Hey, it worked in 2020 for Sox in the Basement! Call the games yourself and do your best Jason, Len, Hawk, Ed Farmer, or maybe even Harry Carey (the last one requiring more drinking and singing). Or, practice your own unique home run call. Good Night Irene, Skadoosh!!!

The Cons: It isn’t real, so it isn’t exactly the same thing. Also, unless you find a way to broadcast it and invite 40,000 people into your yard every game, there’s no way to share in the emotional rollercoaster that your basement TV is taking you and your couch on each day. Also, face it, you’re going to create the greatest 2B that ever played or somehow build the 2022 White Sox into an All-Star team that is unrealistically unstoppable. As Chicago fans who have played Madden in franchise mode can attest, the Bears have been amazing for the better part of 30 years when the McCaskeys aren’t holding the controller.


MLB SIMULATIONS, PART 2

If you’re a real fan, chances are that you’ve recorded and saved every game for the past three seasons. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Sox on 35th is not questioning your fandom if you didn’t do this, it is a bit much and the author’s elevator doesn’t always go all the way up.] Taking those recordings, you can play out the schedule. Fun fact, you can also try and swap out old commercials for current ones. But Sox Math will be really predictable if you’re into it. Maybe Jason Benetti will do new ones on Twitter. Chances are that you don’t remember every minute of each game, but if you avoid reading your game journals and scorecards it’ll be mostly new! [EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re getting him help.]

The Pros: In all seriousness, there’s no reason that you’d remember every game, and the schedule is such that you’d likely be able to find enough games to cover everything. April and May are all AL teams and the Cubs.

The Cons: You don’t have enough games saved, but if anyone at NBC Sports Chicago is reading this, feel free to steal the idea and run with it. But you can re-read your game journals and scorecards in the meantime. [EDITOR’S NOTE: He doesn’t have those either.]


MLB SIMULATIONS, PART 3

Well…if you want to recreate the feeling of game day, you can always recreate the steps that you take before and after the game. Get the lucky jerseys on, recite the incantations, pour the Malört, get stuck in traffic, eat grilled onions out of a replica of the stadium, head out to Cork and Kerry, refill Jobu’s rum, break out the Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers action figures and act out a video for “Let’s Go, Go-Go White Sox”, smoke a cigarette and juggle three baseballs, whatever you do. And do the post-game routine too, which may involve similar activities or other activities, but maybe different combinations for cigarettes and Captain Stubby.

The Pros: It is all the get-up and go of a game day, but cheaper and less likely to involve a parking attendant telling you to go the wrong way. That can be arranged of course.

The Cons: That whole thing is like wearing a Tuxedo to go grocery shopping. Sure, there’s a bit of novelty once but after that, it becomes an exercise in building yourself up for nothing. So maybe every now and again but not daily.


TWO WORDS: FAN FICTION

Are you a slinger of words? A storyteller par excellence? Do your fingers translate brain impulses to turn thoughts into words? Then writing White Sox novels and short stories might just be the thing for you. And maybe, if you’re good, the rest of White Sox fandom.

The Pros: You can both tell the story of the game and the story behind the game. “The bat felt clumsy in his hands. He hadn’t felt right at the plate in days. Or was it weeks? His head was spinning with anxiety to the point that the ball whizzing by barely registered. “Ball.” the ump called in a loud but nonchalant voice. He scuffed the dirt and stared at the bat handle. For years it had felt like part of him, like all his might and concentration had morphed his arms into this mighty weapon from bygone days of legend and myth. But now, he felt like a guy holding something that he shouldn’t, and that he had been caught in the act. “Strike!” The ump was more emphatic if unenthused. The day had been long already with the rain delay and the oppressive heat. He needed to swing. He needed to turn that heater around and send it…send all of it…the ball, the doubts, the pain…screaming into someone else’s nightmare. “Ball 2.” He felt better as a chuckle crossed his face and popped out of his left nostril at the thought that the third baseman would inherit the nightmare. He watches ball 3 cross the plate high and away. And for a moment the feeling came back. Last Saturday was gone. She was gone. Maybe he hadn’t lost his left hand to those mobsters and wasn’t faking it with a glove full of Play-Doh to keep at least his DH position. The pitcher slid his leg towards the plate and delivered. The bat barely registered the contact except for the sound that has held the generations together in the thread of line drives and broken hearts. The ball screamed towards third and handcuffed the fielder who had a bewildered look on his face. Had it happened? Was it a nightmare that the demons and angels had conspired to send through the bat and into another player? Or had the fake hand gone father than the ball?”

So as you can see, there’s a lot that can take up your time writing it and others to read it. And maybe 27 years from now, it’ll be an obscure movie reference for some hack with a blog.

The Cons: Writing a book is, like, hard and long and stuff.


SAME TWO WORDS WITH A MODIFIER ATTACHED: EROTIC FAN FICTION

Speaking of hard and long and stuff, if you’re gonna write a book, make it hot.

The Pros: You can use fun wordplay like so: “Kid, until you yank it out on them they’re going to treat you like a nobody. You need to show that you can whip that wood through the groove and send a hard one their way; maybe it finishes on their face, maybe it finishes on a spectator and makes them spill their beer on their wiener. But you’ve got to grip that bad boy and show them just how big you are. But be selective; after all that you could be neck-deep in balls for weeks.”

The Cons: Yeah, nobody talks like that.


WHIFFLE BALL!

Gather up 40 of your fellow White Sox lovers, find 1,160 other people who conveniently break up into 40-person units of the fandom of 29 non-White Sox MLB teams, and form a Whiffle Ball League!

The Pros: It is easier to play than regular baseball or 16″ Softball (though, yeah, 16″ is an absolutely acceptable alternative. But take your 12″ somewhere else and stuff it). [EDITOR’S NOTE: The saucy language will stop now, promise.] Generally, there are few injuries, rules can be added easily, fun for all ages, indoors and outdoors. You just need to gather all 1,200 hundred players, determine, say, 25-26 to play each game with some in reserve, perhaps practicing at another location. Maybe there should be some folks in charge of the league, maybe people who want to contribute financially but not play. They can pay for things and recoup by having people pay to watch the games. Those people and the people who will be playing the game can just sit down and agree on rules, schedules, maybe some sharing of the wealth, and maybe the parameters for players changing teams. But getting like 2,000 people into a room isn’t realistic right now and is not likely to get anything done. Maybe both sides can just have a representative or two and can collectively bargai-

The Cons: Well…shoot.


Featured Photo: @RiverAveBlues / Twitter


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