Guaranteed Rate Field: The Nadir Of White Sox Fandom


Image result for konerko grand slam

Just think of this and be happy.



It’s been a rough year to be a White Sox fan. It started with an unbearable redneck muppet who could barely find the Mendoza line complaining that his kid wasn’t allowed to manage games, and somehow went downhill. The actual season started out great before collapsing into just another mediocre year. Another in a long string of middling and plodding seasons for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2008 and, in that time, only came actually close once. Another year where in June you could squint your way back into contention, but every two or three game streak was followed by a bad week. The emblematic moment of our season was when one of the best pitchers in the game, and one of the best we’ve ever had, cut up the 1976 throwback jerseys because he didn’t want to wear them. That hurt for reasons I’ll explain in a second. The fact that the Cubs are the best team in baseball, with the brightest future, and who are doing everything right, and are genuinely likable, just makes it worse.

But there is a new low now. This is worse than Disco Demolition (which was awesome). This is worse than the Ligue boys (who were Cubs fans). This is way worse than the grand Comiskey name being changed to U.S. Cellular Field. I can’t…I can’t even type it.

BREAKING: Guaranteed Rate has purchased naming rights to U.S. Cellular Field. Will be known as Guaranteed Rate Field thru 2030.

This is just…it’s the worst. It’s the worst name. Worse than Enron, probably, because when the Astros stadium was first named that no one knew that they were a country-wrecking band of criminals. Some shady third-rate mortgage company with a terrible name? It’s disgusting. I like Jerry Reinsdorf, and I get that parks have to have naming rights these days, but this is abhorrent.

Worse, it is embarrassing. Being a Sox fan always means eating some crow, which for many turns into bitter anger and misplaced aggression. We have to listen to fans of a team that hasn’t been in the World Series since the end of WWII talk about how we don’t matter, and for the most part, they are right. Sports aren’t entirely about success. They are about the trappings of fandom, and our trappings aren’t glamorous.

And for the most part, that’s been fine. Many of us actually like it. We have our insularity, and we have our weirdness, and we have our quirks. Our history isn’t illustrious, and it is frequently grimy, but in a cool, late 70s, early 80s sort of way. We like it. We like bad fashion and dumb jokes and an owner who created an exploding scoreboard. We like being the weird cousin that no one cares about. There is an aggressive tribal attitude to it, sure, but there is also a sense of family. We have our family history, and that includes terrible choices, like those 1976 throwback unis. They were dumb, but they were fun, and they were ours. That’s why Sale cutting them up was such a blow. Our best player isn’t one of us, like Beuhrle and Konerko and Jermaine Dye and even (especially) Ozzie were. And more to the point, he shouldn’t be. Why would he? We’re not relevant, and just middling. That’s why this season is so hard.

And now this. “The Cell” was at least a decent dimunitive. US Comiscular was fun to say. There’s nothing here. It’s bland and insulting and a disgrace. No one can ever– ever!– say “let’s catch a game at Guaranteed Rate Stadium” without rolling their eyes. Everyone has every reason to make fun of us. They always made fun of us anyway, but we had our defenses. Now, year by pathetic year, and terrible business decision by terrible decision, those defenses are being stripped.

I’ll always be a White Sox fan, until the day I die, and will be passionate about them. I’ll always love going to the ballpark with my family. I’ll love our traditions.  I’ll still mostly call it “Sox Park”. But others won’t. It’s even more of a joke. This really hurts.

Tomorrow’s Irritation’s Today: There is No Pivot From Bigotry



“Lady, you knew I was a snake until you covered my ‘attempt at tacking toward the center'” – Ancient Parable


Imagine that you’re at a bar with a guy and he’s railing about blacks and Mexicans and Jews. He’s just going off, and with each drink, he gets more and more unhinged about them, more conspiratorial, until toward the end he’s a sweaty mess and raving about how they are all out to get him and ruin his life, because they are evil and awful people, barely even people.

Then, about a week later, you see him. He mentions that he had a job interview, and it turned out that the people in charge were black, so he didn’t say anything racist for a few hours. Would you think, well, this fellow certainly has turned a new leaf! Because raw self-interests forced him to tamp down his essential terribleness for a spell, he clearly isn’t a terrible racist anymore!

Of course you wouldn’t. So hey, media: don’t pretend Trump’s sudden incoherence on immigration, and his faltering, obviously-insincere attempts at softening his hardline stance are anything but a transparent attempt to erase the last 14 months (and really, 5 years). You know it is a cynical ruse when he actually uses the word “softening”, which is remarkably insincere. It’s like saying “we’re about to start pandering, believe me.”

Everyone “pivots”; we know this. It’s part of politics. But running on naked racism and white nationalism for over a year, then pretending you didn’t mean that, isn’t a pivot. It’s a way to hide the essential nature of your campaign to fool people who are just now paying attention. This isn’t something he should be able to get away with. The stakes are too high.

So I really, really, don’t want to see serious discussions on “did Trump manage to massage his message enough to appeal to his base without alienating more people?” He’s still the know-nothing fascist dimwit he’s always been, now he’s just pretending to be a real candidate for five or ten minutes. He’s clearly not. It’s part of the cynicism of GOP leaders— just pretend that you won’t be an epochal and country-wrecking disaster of a President for 3 months, ok?”– and it is incumbent upon the media not to let them get away with it. This isn’t Romney pivoting away from the far right. It’s George Wallace putting on Groucho glasses and pretending to be someone else. It’s a gaboon viper telling you he’s a caterpillar. It really can’t be allowed to work.

I’m Probably Going to Blame Teens For This


Don’t be so smug, Brayden. This is your fault. 


Facebook is running a small test that allows all videos to automatically start rolling with the sound on, rather than silently as they do now — this despite the company’s own research showing that unexpected, loud video ads annoy 80 percent of users.
[Peter Kafka | Recode]

I don’t really have much to comment on Facebook here, per se: they are going to do what they are going to do, and continue to make money, even as we grouse. And we will, because automatic videos with sound are annoying as hell. I work from home, where no one will ever look over and know I am goofing around when a video starts playing, and I still get instantly irritated and close whatever window the sound is in. It’s a natural reaction, a vestige of office-based guilt, but mostly annoyance. I’ll sit through ads. I’ll click on things. If I get a website for free, and enjoy the content, that’s the price. It’s fine. But not when you insist upon makign a racket. But anyway, that’s not what bugs me about this, really.

No, it’s that 80% that blows my mind. That seems overwhelming, but that means 20% of you aren’t annoyed by this. If you are talking to five people right now, one of them is ok with an ad for Hardees suddenly shouting at them. Who is fine with this? Who are you people? In some ways, this is more disturbing than knowing that millions of people are voting for Trump.

It’s probably teens. I knew it was teens. Even when it was the bears, I knew it was them.