Well, with the Chicago White Sox steaming toward ninetysomething losses, fans turned on the Cleveland series for an interesting batting lineup over three games: Jason Benetti and Wimpy Paciorek (who will gladly broadcast for you) on Tuesday, Benetti and Steve Stone on Wednesday, and Stone & Wimpy on Thursday.
On the occasion of such a fun experiment, and with Wimpy telling more tall tales of how it used to be, here are some highlights from the broadcasts:
Tuesday — Jason and Wimpy
[Family Four-Pack promo]— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) September 19, 2018
.@JasonBenetti: Or you could just get a family four-pack for yourself, and take all the food.
WIMPY: I like that idea.
JB: If you're a spread killer.
WIMPY: Jim Angio and I used to call ourselves the Cleanup Crew. Anything leftover on the spread, we ate.
.@JasonBenetti: That's the nation's longest win streak!— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) September 19, 2018
WIMPY: That's right. That should be a really good game.
JB: Oh, thanks. Upon reflection [my game will be OK].
(Yeah, I know, the Central Florida game was on Thursday, because who doesn’t need college football three days a week?)
.@JasonBenetti: You met Picasso in Paris? He might have taken a vacation or two.— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) September 19, 2018
WIMPY: I don't know where he's from. He couldn't hit a breaking ball, either.
.@jasonbenetti: And Wimpy says, "You know what? Do a goatee!" And lo and behold, there's only two weeks left in the season, @matt_davidson24 took your advice.— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) September 19, 2018
WIMPY: Doesn't he look handsome with that? I love it. [Laughs] pic.twitter.com/TGAHODxS6i
Wednesday — Jason and Steve
.@jasonbenetti: Can't wait till you do the Farm Report tomorrow & Wimpy starts doing barnyard animal sounds@stevestone: No, we've banned them— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) September 20, 2018
JB: You've banned farm animals?
SS: Yeah. They can be up there before or after, not during
JB: Good to know. I also think it's not true
Indeed, it turned out to be true. With the minor league season over, the broadcast crew could find no excuse to challenge this “rule” and encourage another nonsensical Wimpy moment. Score one for Steve.
Thursday — Steve and Wimpy
Right out of the gate, Stone was bringing his A-game on Twitter:
At least I can spell it.— Steve Stone (@stevestone) September 21, 2018
I come here for the in-game Stone sass. https://t.co/T13JKWxvZO— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) September 21, 2018
“Sticks and Stones” was devoted to Paciorek’s career record against Stone:
It did result in some exchanges a bit too long for Twitter. Essentially, the riff was Steve never throwing any batter anything but curveballs.
Stone told the story of facing his Kent State batterymate, Thurman Munson, a guy who infrequently struck out. After whiffing him three times with curveballs, Munson barked at Stone to throw a fastball his fourth time up, and Stone launched one over his head (which Munson fouled off). Stone told him, “there’s your fastball,” went back to throwing curves, and got Munson to ground out.
Paciorek countered with a story from Yankee Stadium, when he came up to bat late in the game against Goose Gossage and Munson, from a crouch, started chiding him that the Seattle Mariners had given up in the game. After striking out on three pitches, Munson kept yelling at him: “See? I told you, you guys have given up!”
After seeing his stat line against Stone, Paciorek (surprised, as he had guessed he was 1-for-17 against Steve in his career), muttered, “Still waiting for you to throw me a fastball.” To which Stone countered, “Don’t worry, it’s coming, later in the game ... that’s what I told everybody.”
.@stevestone: Did you like the 3-0 green light?— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) September 21, 2018
WIMPY: I liked it—but I never got it. Heck, Walter Alston used to have me TAKE two strikes before I got to hit, when I was with the Dodgers. So I like it, but I don't even know if I ever tried it.
[@SteveStone mentions $75 SRO seats for Cubs series]— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) September 21, 2018
WIMPY: [philosophically] Hey, what's a standing room only SEAT?
SS: It's $75.
WIMPY: See, if I'm STANDING ...
SS: Yeah, but it's a bargain, only $75.
[WIMPY remembers when Woody Fryman threw him 2 straight sliders that he fouled consecutively off his shin]@stevestone: I'll tell you why pitchers do that.— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) September 21, 2018
WIMPY: Why, because they're not nice people?
SS: No, that's not it. We have your best interests at heart.
WIMPY: YEAH RIGHT!
WIMPY: Good grief, that was 1973.@SteveStone: But at least you've let it go.— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) September 21, 2018
WIMPY: Some things, you never forget.
Of many fun moments in tonight's Stone/Wimpy broadcast, Wimpy quietly giggling with incredulity after Melky Cabrera's CS to end the fourth is right up there.— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) September 21, 2018
WIMPY: [new pitcher] Tyler Olson, from one of my old stomping grounds, Spokane.@stevestone: You were big up there.— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) September 21, 2018
WIMPY: Oh, huge.
SS: They still have the monument to you there?
WIMPY: Well, something for the pigeons to ...
Wimpy, after the @ManofSteal_15 HBP in the 10th, with the accompanying THUNK of the ball off of his knee: "You can't hurt steel."— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) September 21, 2018
And during the game, when Stone hired Wimpy as baseball commissioner, the first decision Commissioner Paciorek said he would make was decidedly Steinbrennerian: Ban beards.
Seems he may have one White Sox player in his corner already: