I said, HEY!
Is this thing on?
Hello, Chicago! HELLO CHICAGO!
Man o nam, this friggin’ offseason.
OK, well, howdy all, I’m your friendly neighborhood Year of the Hamster, former holder of the now-vacated Deputy Editor position here at South Side Sox, right-hand gal to B-Ball, sometime recap-writer and permanent SSS pollster.
Now, before I bring out Lurker Laura, who’s got a doozy of a welcome to the season for you, I thought we’d take some time to do the thing we didn’t do a year ago, mostly because we all (sorry, BB) were still assembling staff, a style guide, a season schedule, and a semblance of hope for 2018.
We are on the cusp of the greatest day of the year, our national holiday, Opening Day. But before we find out which Chicago White Sox slugger is going to torment Kansas City this season, it’s the perfect time to introduce ourselves. There are new people reading South Side Sox, and even finding the courage to jump below the fold and into the comments section. (C’mon in, the water’s fine.) So, even if you’re a veteran hand at SSS, it might benefit all to tell us just a little bit about yourselves.
Brett’s usually the one doing all the assessing and updating and thanking, but I’ll hop in to put my spin on it.
Obviously, we’ve recently encountered a bit of a speed bump on our way to the 2020 World Series title, and I don’t mean just in the sense of the complete and total bust that Offseason 2018 turned out to be. You can do something about that, if you’re able.
But it has been an extraordinary year at South Side Sox. Our numbers so far this year are way up, be it total posts, comments, views, uniq—skxzskzskxsxz ... oops, sorry, put myself to sleep with “website talk.”
And the backbone of our success is everyone reading us here, the community that engages each and every day together, even if we’re on a death march to 100 losses or trying to celebrate the Christmas that never came that was this offseason. We find ways to celebrate even the little things. We’re smart fans. We police, and encourage, one another.
As one of the folks here charged with moderating our site, I’m proud to share that we’ve banned no one from this site since I’ve been here. There are very few flags thrown on comments — one a month, maybe? Probably not even. We may be a smaller community than some other sites, but we keep the communication level high, in both quantity and quality. That’s on all of you, so pat yourselves on the hiney, all.
Thanks to Michael Kenny for keeping SSS going on all things above the fold after the old guy up and took his ball back home, bringing essentially the entire SSS staff with him. Danks for Nothin spent just one short summer with us, but provided a lot of editorial backup and last-minute gamer assignments. Darren Jackson, his partner-in-crime, has done enormously good work both on the minor league updates and player analysis; it is not speaking out of turn to say that SSS is stronger than ever in both areas due to him (oh, and holy crap, his one-man wrecking crew performance in updating our draft coverage with near real-time updates far surpassed anything SSS — and perhaps any other site — has ever done). whisoxman20051917 came on around draft time a year ago and was this winter’s MVP, setting all records for words and articles written by profiling an extraordinary 200-plus players in his offseason Deep Dive series (and he’s banked like 30 Draft Prospects You Should Know pieces running up to the draft, we can’t even keep up with him). Lurker Laura may well be the true voice of our site, debuting early last year on game coverage and delighting us all with every effort, as well as memeing the hell outta the site with CRAZY BREAD! and crabbiness factors. katiesphil finally took the writing plunge, and has been a huge plus for us, with humor and thoughtfulness; if there’s a “host” on this site, a voice, a conscience, it’s him. Leigh Allan has come on this offseason to bring additional humor and insight to the site, a pro’s pro bringing more good energy to us all. TiffW96 and KimCinAZ have provided terrific photography, and have given us glimpses of players who even a year ago we’d be wondering young or old, skinny or robust, facially haired or bared. AJ Hellraiser was crucial to getting our Minor League Updates off the ground, with very seasoned writing that actually outdid the indefatigable DJ in overall games logged. #SoxMath champ jresis is a great new voice covering the big club, and scout’s-eye Daniel Victor the same working the prospects. larry continued to bring the bite when someone needed to get bit, and we’re looking at you, Chisox suite class. mechanical turk wowed us all with otherworldly prose, including an all-time classic ode to James Shields that might well be the funniest thing ever run at SSS. e-gus and homesickalien helped to bridge the site from old to new, with HSA earning an extra kudo for, again, organizing the methup. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.S, AliWhiteSox, Matthew_Smith and realrob2005 all played somewhat minor roles over the past year, but hopefully will be back for more fun one day. KenWo4LiFe up and vanished, but before then launched our exhaustive White Sox Hall of Fame with an 8,000-word opus bringing White Sox history to the forefront. ESim3400 gave us minor league insights, Micah Johnson a glimpse of same.
And then, there’s Brett Ballantini. I’ll let him say his piece himself, otherwise I’ll turn this gig into a goddam Irish wake.
Anyway, as we head into the first games of the regular season, it’s a great time to introduce ourselves to each other. Below the fold in the comments, tell us a little bit about who you are and why you love the White Sox. Some of you have been here for years, while others have just signed up here this week. Old or new, we’re White Sox fans connecting in the SSS community, and good or bad, we’re all in this 2019 season together.
We hope to have a bevy of big developments on SSS this year, from merch to features to new voices — no matter how we’re regarded outside of these walls. There is no doubt that South Side Sox is the strongest, deepest and tightest White Sox community out there.
Let’s reaffirm that with a little meet-and-greet as the season gets underway. There’s coffee and doughnuts in the back; drop a dollar in the cup so we don’t have to scavenge for day-old bagels set out for trash collection this time next year.