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Cup o’ Joe, side o’ dough: Pesäpallo fever!

Forget Korea, let’s get Finnished

Finland’s diamond.

Forget Korean Baseball: Finland’s version of baseball, Pesäpallo, is the quarantine sport you never knew you needed
Cat Silverman, Mile High Hockey

The batter has three opportunities to hit a ball into play, although they don’t have to run on the first ball they connect with — they truly have three opportunities to get the hit they want and “round” the bases. They also aren’t automatically out if the outfielders catch a fly ball — those have to be tossed to the bases, which are each the size of an inflatable swimming pool and follow a zig-zag pattern instead of a diamond shape — and if the ball goes into the river or rolls out of the field? Tough luck for the outfielders; that puppy is still in play.

As you might tell from this one paragraph excerpt, Finland’s version of baseball is ... insane. And it looks like a lot of extremely unsatisfying fun.

Michael Jordan: an artist's statement
Tom Borowski, South Side Hit Pen at Sports Illustrated

The Jordan I grew up watching — without the social media access of todays player's — helped to perpetuate the myth of a giant who only won. Understanding the grind and work that he put in during the '80s inspired me to push through the the mental hurdles I create for myself, focusing on being very deliberate in each unique brushstroke. Painting MJ, and the “Last Shot” and his face-off with Kobe, connect me back to the '90s, which is where my love of sports began to take shape and where my love of art begin to cultivate.

Not just a terrific pair of paintings, shown here in time-lapse fashion, but an honest self-assessment by the artist himself. Tom’s work is not just must-see, but must-read.

2020 OOTP sim: Morton, Rays trip Sox in rubber game
Brett Ballantini, South Side Hit Pen at Sports Illustrated

Michael Kopech pitched very well for the White Sox on Thursday. Unfortunately, white-hot Rays hurler Charlie Morton was even better, beating the South Siders, 5-0.

Unlike in some other sims (holy crap, B-R OOTP), the Kopech who’s shown up for the SSHP sim has been really good. This game, coupled with Lucas Giolito’s return from the injury list, bumps Reynaldo López to the bullpen — and Kelvin Herrera off of the team.

Injury-Shortened Sox Seasons: Big Hurt misses 2005 and fractures Chicago ties
Owen Schoenfeld, South Side Hit Pen at Sports Illustrated

It's time to get to the heart of this specific piece: "The Big Hurt," Frank Thomas, missing out on a significant portion of the 2005 championship run and the ensuing fallout – all due to a pesky, fractured left foot.

Owen begins a multi-part, weekly series on the key injuries off the 2000s-2010s White Sox with the biggest one of all — Thomas missing out on the run to the 2005 World Series. A great what-if read, and a very nice video production as well.

CryptoSoxery No. 2
Leigh Allan, South Side Hit Pen at Sports Illustrated

President Barack Obama knew how to pick a team to root for. And he knew about those who shared his enthusiasm. Which is why, in an interview, he said:


Leigh’s cool puzzler picks the prez as its next subject. Get your word sudoku on, people.

Roger Clemens vs. Mike Piazza and the Best MLB Feuds of the Last 20 Years
Zachary Rymer, Bleacher Report

Our interest was more so in players who displayed—or are still displaying—a genuine dislike for one another. Some did indeed come to blows on the field, while others limited themselves to sniping each other through the media and social media.

No White Sox make the big list, but there are a couple of honorable mentions — can you guess them before reading?

Morning Music
Get brown. If you squint hard through the fog, you can see young baby Hamster in the front row balcony.