clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

SoxivusFest 2022: Feats of Strength

We’ve aired our Grievances, including the White Sox canceling SoxFest. So we’re creating our own SoxFest fun

Phil Rosenthal: Ozzie Guillen reunites with his White Sox family:
Three years ago, at the last SoxFest, Ozzie Guillén was happy to be invited: “I feel like Im back home. I feel happy.” The White Sox may be on the verge of bringing him all the way back home three years later.
Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

You didn’t think we’d let the White Sox get away with skipping out on SoxFest, did you?

Rick Hahn and Jerry Reinsdorf may be afraid of you, but we are not. So behold our Feats of Strength, as we bring our vision of SoxFest to you. Some of these things may never happen, but we can’t help but wonder what could happen if the Sox brass weren’t so scared of coming face-to-face with the fans.

Instead of a World Series parade, could there be a seat-at-the-table parade, wherein a La-Z-Boy is offered to the baseball gods at 35th and Shields?

As these last few years have taught us, anything is possible. So before you snicker too hard at our writers’ submissions, remember that stranger things have happened.


Tommy Barbee

It’s OK if the White Sox don’t want the fans to have opportunities to address the front office. However, I’ve got other ideas on how to make it an authentic, fan-friendly interactive experience that is great for all ages.

Managerial Draft
The idea of Ozzie returning, to me, is too straightforward, without a wrinkle. What if the White Sox instead allowed former players to manage the team each month, as picked by those who attend SoxFest? Not only do you get Ozzieball for the start of the year, but you can also have Jim Thome take over and encourage all of the long balls for those hot days in July, and Frank Thomas exhibit clutch at the end of the season. Furthermore, putting the managerial search in the hands of the fans gives the White Sox front office a chance to go through all of their internal, pet candidates in a single season instead of leading fans through this masochistic exercise for the next decade. Plus, the front office has been fan-blaming for some time now, and letting us pick the next manager(s) takes the onus off of them, for real.

Drake LaRoche Inspiration Station
Can your kid be as inspiring as Drake LaRoche? Find out in these TED Talk-influenced sessions, where the first kid who makes Adam Eaton cry and reevaluate his life wins an autographed bat and a pair of scissors signed by Chris Sale.

FUNdamentals, New and Improved
Race Eloy to first base without injuring yourself. Outsmart Joe McEwing by knowing when to send runners home from third. Practice your Hall of Fame managerial chops by intentionally walking batters while ahead of the count. All of these games and more are available to fans, young and old, at the new FUNdamentals station.


Melissa Sage-Bollenbach

Sox fans, it’s time to dissipate your anger from the disheartening 2022 South Side season. Come one, come all to the first-ever SoxFest Midway! Experience games of chance or skill and test your luck and expertise against your favorite White Sox players, coaches, and management.

You can toss your animosity away in our Pie the Bad Guys, exert some energy in a game of Run, Sox, Run, or display your strength in Ring their Bells.

Pie the Bad Guys
This one is as simple as it sounds. Hurl whip cream pies at Rick Hahn, Frank Menechino, or Jerry Reinsdorf.

Pie your beloved 2020 Sporting News MLB Executive of the Year and see how often you can send a creamy confection crashing into Hahn’s face. Have no fear! Teflon suits are not allowed, so it will be impossible for him to avoid the impact.

Impel a delicious dessert at everyone’s favorite hitting coach Frank Menechino. Feel free to scream, “F*$k the home run,” when you throw at him.

You’ve been waiting 40+ years for this one: It’s the chance of a lifetime to toss a sweet treat at tart Jerry Reinsdorf. Make this game your first stop, as Jerry will only be available for five minutes. He’s pretty much checked out on anything that has to do with the White Sox. Aren’t we all?

There is no special prize for this contest, aside from the pure pleasure of hitting them in the face. That’s it. It will feel pretty good.

Run, Sox, Run
I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Thanks to Herb Lawrence of CHGO for inspiring this game. Earlier this season, he unsuccessfully tried to beat the slowest guy on the team, Yasmani Grandal, in home-to-first sprint speed. I’m confident there are some Sox fans out there who CAN beat the slowest people on this team. Thus Run, Sox, Run was born. Thanks, Herb!

Do you catch yourself screaming at the TV while watching Sox players run at half-speed? Do you think YOU have what it takes to beat them in a foot race? If so, Run, Sox, Run is for you! Pick one of three players to challenge to a dash and try to beat their sprint speeds. If you can, there are some special rewards!

For reference, sprint speed is Statcast’s foot-speed metric, defined as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window” on individual plays. The major league average on a “competitive” play is 27 feet per second (fps), and the competitive range is roughly from 23 fps (poor) to 30 fps (elite). At South Side Sox, we can’t ever pass up an opportunity to have a teachable moment!

Andrew Vaughn is one slow outfielder, bit at 26.2 fps to first base I know it seems impossible, but Vaughn is almost close to average. But I’ve triple-checked the numbers. Vaughn may prove to be more of a challenge than fans think. The prize: If anyone beats him, he will dye his eyebrows and never play the outfield again.

Seby Zavala is another slow-ass catcher, because having just one on the team isn’t good enough. He is the third-slowest player on the roster, with a sprint speed of 25.8 fps. The prize: Zavala will immediately disappear, and Willson Contreras will miraculously appear in his place.

Eloy Jiménez, outfielder and DH, is still running at 50% capacity, it seems. His sprint speed is 25.7 fps, making him the second-slowest player on the Sox. When you consider that he’s not running at full capacity, maybe there’s hope that he will improve in the future. Anything is possible. The prize: Eloy will make a custom “Hi, Mom” video for YOUR mom!

Ring the Bell
Step right up to the high-striker and see if you have what it takes to lay down the hammer and ring the bell: Challenge Luis Robert or Yoán Moncada in this literal Feat of Strength. Your odds might be reasonably good to win this contest against either Robert or Moncada; Robert, because he will only swing one-handed, and Moncada has already been paid to win, so he’ll half-ass it. Prize: A fluffy stuffed animal of your choice, to remind you of the 2022 team’s softness.

Finally, you can’t leave the SoxFest Midway without some delicious, fresh popcorn. So, stop by and grab some. Hot air is provided exclusively by Hahn and Ken Williams.


Adrian Serrano

First off, every fan gets a complimentary “enjoy the ride” sticker placed over the complimentary busted headlight on your car in the parking lot!!

Lucky!

The Ballpark Experience Simulator
The fun starts right at the entrance, where purposely-understaffed security check points bring back those game-day vibes and ensure that you are at least 20 minutes late for the event!

Jerry Reinsdorf Shark Tank
Do you have an idea for the next great White Sox trade? How about an under-the-radar free-agent signing to help the team win in 2023? Well here is your chance to pitch your plans to the man himself!

Take a seat in the front office simulator tank, perched above a tank of live sharks, and you can make your case to spend the Chairman’s hard-earned money on your dumb ideas!

I’m sure he will like it!

Good Luck!!!

Free Agency Free-for-All
Get a rare, behind-the-scenes view of the free agency process at work! Watch as real MLB free agents come in for “interviews” as they get a chance to enter the state-of-the-art Contract-o-Matic 5000 booth that throws around nickels and I.O.U.s for money to be spent based on the White Sox’s perceived value of the player in question.

Watch the business of baseball happen in real time!

Ken Williams Meet and Greet
Meet the architect of the 2005 World Series championship in the flesh, and for a small fee, he will sign “stay out of White Sox business,” on any item of your choosing!

Are You Better Than Bryce Harper?
Are you a grinder? Full of both fire and passion? South Side vibes until you die? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you just may have what it takes to be the next starting right fielder for the Chicago White Sox! Live tryouts for the 2023 roster. **Baseball glove optional for tryout**


Joe Resis

Offseason Simulation
With many people surprisingly thinking Rick Hahn should be out of his job as White Sox general manager (despite getting nods for Executive of the Year two years ago and being picked to be in the World Series six months ago), fans have an opportunity to show that they can do a better job.

In MLB The Show’s Franchise Mode, fans can make an attempt at handling the 2022-23 offseason. The objective is to make it back to the postseason with a 2023 payroll at or below $175 million. After the offseason moves are finished, the season will be simulated.

Put-Away Pitches
This will allow fans to show that they can finish off a batter when they are ahead in the count. With home plate set up 60´6´´away and with the count set at 1-2, what is the strategy? Can fans think of a better approach than what happened in the Bennett Sousa vs. Trea Turner (June 9) and Jake Diekman vs. Oscar González (August 19) matchups?


Jordan Hass

White Sox fans: “Jerry, I want SoxFest.”
Jerry: “We Have SoxFest at home.”

Well, here’s our “SoxFest at home”:

Fortune Teller
Pay $80 to see all the terrible moves the White Sox will make in the future:

  • Making Ozzie Guillén manager again
  • Signing exclusively relievers in the offseason
  • Letting José Abreu walk, but for some reason trading Andrew Vaughn as well
  • Signing Dallas Keuchel again because he needs another chance
  • and much, much more.

Rick Hahn’s Mild Ride
Take a nostalgia trip through Rick Hahn’s best moments like:

Oh wait, there’s nothing here.

It's just a room, with nothing in it.

Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Race the Players
Race all your favorite White Sox players, like Yasmani Grandal, Luis Robert, Tim Anderson and others! You’re certain to win, because White Sox trainers told them to not run so hard.

Oh, what’s that?

Sorry, the event has been closed, as every player on the team has pulled their hamstring in the first race. Bummer (him, too).

Steve Stone’s Block Party
Have some fun with Steve Stone while he cooks burgers, tells wacky stories, and tells you to go ride Rick Hahn’s Mild Ride. When you get back from that, complain to Stoney about how bad the ride was, and he’ll give you a complimentary block on Twitter and permanent ban from all future SoxivusFest events for not enjoying it.

Karaoke With Benetti (sponsored by Nationwide)
Sing karaoke with Jason Benetti, so long as the only song you sing is the Nationwide jingle. (Len Kasper will fill in on the days of SoxivusFest that Jason isn’t available.)

Outfielder Tryouts
Do you think you have what it takes to play the outfield for the White Sox? Now’s your chance, as after Race the Players failed miserably the team is looking for new talent (that can actually run) to play the outfield. Compete in such drills as: Running into walls, pulling a hammy, sitting on the bench, and playing first base. All applicants will get to play in a major league game before Oscar Colás does!


Allie Wesel

Fans want to be in the same room as Jerry Reinsdorf and Rick Hahn, and while I want that too, we should spend SoxivusFest really working on ourselves.

Yoga
Injuries? They happen, but here on the South Side, they seem to happen at an alarming rate. This is why members of the 2023 White Sox will be joining fans for a group yoga session. We will be working on properly stretching — specifically our hamstrings — so that our bodies are prepared to take on a new season. Members participating in this session will include Eloy Jiménez, Luis Robert, Tim Anderson, and others!

Negotiate Like a Champion Today
Rick Hahn really tried at the trade deadline to get a deal done, but was unsuccessful. He was disappointed just like the fans, and that is why Rick will be joining fans for a session on proper negotiating tactics. In this session, we will learn to be assertive and finish deals that are fair and benefit both sides. There will be no more trying in your life, only doing!


Trooper Galactus

Just because the White Sox accomplished their eternal mission of finishing in second place doesn’t mean their work is done. Time to get the team and the fans prepped for another season of drudgery!

The Miyagi-Do Hamstring Healing
After an entire season of the White Sox collectively sweeping their own legs, fans can channel their inner Pat Morita and perform whatever rejuvenating ritual they can to transfer some strength into the perpetually-flaccid legs of the players.

Elotes Andale
Participants run the length of the outfield wall, but instead of contending with Atlanta’s renowned sprinter The Freeze, they’ll have to consume an entire elote at while running at full speed without spilling any (time penalty for doing so) and without throwing up (automatic disqualification). Winning time gets $5 off a jersey at the store.

The Big Chipper
In an effort to show fans how the front office is as frustrated as they are, fans are invited to submit essays on what they would like to see the team do. Staff will be on hand to stuff these essays in a giant wood chipper, with the contents to be recycled into toilet paper for Jerry Reinsdorf’s personal restroom.

Right Field Charity Drive
Everybody chip in for a good cause! There’s surely some outfielder who is completely toast who could use a few million dollars ... but Rick Hahn can’t spend his way out of/further into disaster, so let’s all pitch in!

Poll

What is your favorite activity of our proposed SoxivusFest?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Are You Better Than Bryce Harper?/Outfield Tryouts
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Ballpark Experience Simulator
    (0 votes)
  • 6%
    The Big Chipper
    (2 votes)
  • 16%
    Drake LaRoche Inspiration Station
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Elotes Andale
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    Fortune Teller
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Free Agency Free-for-All
    (1 vote)
  • 6%
    FUNdamentals, New and Improved
    (2 votes)
  • 6%
    Jerry Reinsdorf Shark Tank
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Karaoke With Benetti
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Ken Williams Meet & Greet
    (1 vote)
  • 6%
    Managerial Draft
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Negotiate Like a Champion Today!
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Offseason Simulation
    (0 votes)
  • 6%
    Pie the Bad Guys
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Put-Away Pitches
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    Rick Hahn’s Mild Ride
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Right Fielder Charity Drive
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Ring the Bell
    (1 vote)
  • 12%
    Run, Sox, Run/Race the Players
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    Steve Stone’s Block Party
    (1 vote)
  • 9%
    Yoga/Miyagi-Do Hamstring Healing
    (3 votes)
31 votes total Vote Now