Change is coming

Please read for a very important announcement.

In a move that’s both exciting and sad, I’m going to bring Sox Machine to a close over the next month…
…because I’m taking over South Side Sox.
I initially set up Sox Machine as a way to get my writing fix — but as the audience grew and became more involved, I set my sights on becoming a legitimate, alternative source of high-quality White Sox information and discussion.
The discussion here is top-notch, as I’ve said many a time, and I appreciate being able to trust that people will debate with respect to opposing viewpoints, no matter how ludicrous they may seem. That comfort made me say “eehhhhhnnngh...” at the first two pitches I received from SBNation (the company that provides the platform for South Side Sox).
The infrastructure, support and reach of SBNation’s sites became too strong a pull to resist. As proud as I am of this site, the community and the built-by-hand, mom-and-pop feel, it would be foolish of me to resist taking advantage of their resources.
Through mid-January, I will be providing content to both sites on an alternate-day schedule, which will allow time to tie up loose ends and make the transition. The ultimate goal is to put the backbone of Sox Machine into the impressive framework and community that South Side Sox has, and with our powers combined, create a true monster of logic, knowledge and reasoning. If you have any questions or reservations about the whole deal, I hope you’ll fill out this form and let me know.
I want to do all I can to take the best of this site over to South Side Sox, and that means you, too.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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mechanicalturk

This is a bit sad indeed. I hope that your nature of posting remains the same, because even with SSS in its height of excellence (where I lurked but never commented due to cookie issues and being stubborn) I always felt that sox machine was better.
I will follow you to SSS, because I really consider this blog and your writing to be among the best out there, not just for the sox but in sports writing period.
I don’t like the commenting format as much over there but maybe some of my lengthy rants that no one wanted to read in the comments section here will become fanposts that no one wants to read over there.
I hope this all works out for the best. This blog was one of my favorite things about being a white sox fan and hopefully SSS will now fill the void inside me like so many brownies.
Really, though, thanks for your loyal service. I hope you get the compensation and recognition and all those other things that you so thoroughly deserve.

buford

I couldn’t have said it better.
First-rate writers opining on the Sox are hard to find. Sox Machine will be losing you, but Sox fans won’t and that’s all that counts.
A white knight saves us from the 3 Stooges!
All the best, Jim. You deserve it.

LS_SoX_FN

“A white knight saves us from the 3 Stooges!”
i felt like SSS was becoming a bit embarrassing, it really got out of control over the past year.
Thanks jim, i had previously been checking both sites each morning, now ill be saving bandwidth

buford

Same thought. I always enjoyed SSS columns but felt some posters were just auditioning for a Las Vegas lounge act.

paul

Congrats Jim. I read and really enjoy both regularly, although, on the rare occasion that I actually post, it’s usually over here. I’ve also enjoyed the differences, with SSS being a bit more Wild West, and SM being more serious. I can foresee the increase in content and quality on SSS, but hope their forums don’t lose all their clubhouse charm. I have to say it feels a bit like a merger between church and state. 🙂

dalton

Eh, I don’t know. Seems like every comment thread I read at SSS devolves into some snarky one-up contest with people trying to out-sarcasm each other. Not to mention the threads veer drastically and often irrevocably off-topic.
I could be as sarcastic and caustic as the next poster, but it’s just a waste of energy hauling out my manhood every time I post. I’d rather just Milton Berle it from time to time and otherwise, keep things civil and on-topic.
Sox Machine has had its share of heated discussions and people clearly had no trouble disagreeing with one another, and I don’t think posters had to look over their shoulder every time they wrote something.
I visit Sox Machine because, first and foremost, I’m a lifelong Sox fan. I read it every day because I enjoy Jim’s writing and insight, as well as that of the posters here. It feels like a community of people, different from each other as we no doubt are, who “get it” when it comes to posting on a baseball forum. It will be missed.

dalton

You sound like you’re heading up the Port Authority with those nautical references.
“Where are we going?”
“Garbage Island.” (Sound of barge horn blaring).

winningugly

As a frequent snarky SSS poster I welcome you to give us a try. We know Jim’s arrival as Managing Editor brings some grown-up expectations. I think the “garbage” reference is a bit much and would hope you would trust Jim – and us – to welcome White Sox discussion with a strong, open community.

dalton

It was actually a Simpson’s reference. I apologize for that. Didn’t actually mean it. Just fit the “barge” talk.
Re: Homer the Heretic
I’ll definitely be at SSS with bells on.

winningugly

Very cool. I look forward to it.

As Cirensica

Congratulations in moving forward and embrace more challenging and rewarding sport’s journalism or bloggism or whatever this may be called. If it works for you, works for me, i.e. if you are happy, them I am as well. If this helps, one of the reasons I learned to love this site is its simplicity. Articles and comments enjoy ample space and it was easy and friendly to read. I can tell immediately that SSS is a lot busier (Ads everywhere, a heck of a lot of links, polls, etc… That’s fine, but I can tell Jim, that I will miss the simplicity of the SoxMachine….anyways…kudos my friend, and all the success to you!!!

ftb23

Thank you very much Jim. I have always followed all White Sox news and my daily routine included this site, SSS, suntimes, and the tribune. Out of those sites you were the most informative and always the best read. Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do. Since I have always followed SSS it will be an easy transition.

drlingerie

This consolidation of power draws you ever closer to your lifelong dream of getting dogged out by Cowley on Twitter.
(Congrats.)

striker

Congratulations Jim! How will this affect your ESPN relationship?

brittburnsfan

As a newbie to this site (long time lurker though) I am saddened because I thought this was the best White Sox site in cyberworld! But I trust that Jim is making a good decision and he certainly has the right to make that decision! Good luck Jim and I will be following you to the new site.

ctsox

Jim – I wish you all the best. While I rarely post, I consider Sox Machine a “must read” every day. Now I’ll have to place SSS in my daily lineup. Keep up the fantastic work!

fundman

Jim – many thanks and best of luck. I’ve been a regular reader, now mostly lurker, for 4 plus years, and I’ve always hoped you could turn this gig into something full time and paying without direct cost to readers. While I share everyone’s view that SSS is, well, a frat-house, surrounding by loony-bin, wrapped in insanity, I think you’ll do a great job.
Does this mean you have to send an assassin to kill the Cheat with an ice-pick in his home in exile in Mexico?

bigfun

Congratulations on going from the guy with the site nobody reads to being Big Boss himself.
As long as the SM style of writing continues, I don’t care what URL it’s under. If the daily updates and gamethreads don’t detract from the analysis, then it’s all good.
I’m less certain about how some of the really good SM commenters might make the jump to SSS, but I’ll keep an open mind.

stopdrop8

my thoughts exactly. i trust that the analysis and posts will be just as strong over there. my only concern is that it will be difficult to keep the discussions as friendly, intelligent, and relevant as they are given how many posters there are there, how frequently they post and what they are used to. all in all though, i think it will improve SSS while maintaining most of the good parts about soxmachine. im a little nervous, but hopefully the arrival of the Soxmachine poster presecence at SSS can help to make things over there more like they were over here.

dalton

This might be met with more resistance than Jim thought: http://www.southsidesox.com/2010/12/22/1892018/sincere-best-wishes-to-the-new-management#comments
Jim, may you live in interesting times.
I guess all us SM posters can just drive out the undesirables (that was a joke) with our stodgy posts. Heh.

winningugly

Peel the onion. The cartoon works on a lot of levels. It’s more about Ozzie than SSS, right?

dalton

I think it works both ways, and I can appreciate the humor. Man, we’ve made ourselves out to be quite the stuffy bunch here.

Carl Skanberg

That’s not resistance. That’s an editorial point of view, from a newspaper man who also struggles with the importance of self-imposed ethics on the internet. Is it as unnecessary as a slick-fielding DH?
Good luck, James. Once the dead of the offseason passes, I think everyone will be happy with combined talents and baseball analysis at SSS. Until then… you have some kind of Quixotic battle on your hands.

winningugly

“Quixotic”. Hmmm. Maybe someone should draw a cartoon about such a quest.

Shinons

Rec’d for the Captain Planet reference. Oh wait, wrong site…
Congrats Jim.

soxfan1

Good luck Jim, you are the best!!
I hope the folks on SSS are not ready to elect Alexi Ramirez to the Hall of Fame.

navid

I’ve been reading since 2006, and I just have to be honest: I really think this is a terrible idea. Your blog is way better than SSS (and I like SSS), the comments are actually thoughtful, and personally I prefer the layout. I see a bunch of negatives here but not a lot of positives aside from the expanded “resources” support and more readers. Perhaps I’m just uninformed about the whole situation but it seems a lot like your favorite coffee shop being bought out by Starbucks.
Sorry to criticize though. You’ve provided me with hundreds of hours of reading over the years for zero cost, so I have no right to complain. I just feel like you’ve created a truly great and original site and don’t want anything to change. Nonetheless, best of luck to you Jim.

dalton

You gotta take care of business. It’s not like we’re paying a premium to read this blog (I would, by the by). it’s nice to do what you do and get paid for it.

navid

Well, I’m looking forward to reading SSS every morning. I’ll go ahead and switch my homepage from Soxmachine to SSS. Keep up the good work, we love your writing!

gnix

Hey Jim,
I’m curious about how you plan to change what you write about and the style of your posts over there. For example, I really like your minor league coverage and I also really like larry’s minor league coverage, so I would hate to lose one or the other – but it would also seem to be redundant from your end to have you both write on the same topic at the same site. How do you plan to deal with conflicts like that (I’m assuming larry et al. will stay on in some capacity)? I also hope that your style doesn’t change much, because I like the longer posts here that deal with more than one topic – as well as the minor league round-up and link dumps – that are your staple. Seems to me the majority of SSS stuff is shorter and on one topic. You’re also the best pure writer of any Sox blogger out there, which puts your stuff on a different level than other sites, so maybe a bit of editing in the other guys over there would help bring a bit of SM to SSS. I’m just worried that SM will be engulfed by SSS, rather than a merger of sorts.
In all, I can’t say I’m super happy to see you head over there, but I also trust you to make the right decision and also will keep reading.

ricksch

Congratulations Jim and I hope the move enriches you in some way. However, I would also be remiss if I didn’t feel as though losing Sox Machine is a bit like losing an old friend — or as a poster above put it — “having my neighborhood coffee shop bought out by a Starbucks.”
I had looked at SSS a couple of times in the past and always found it extremely CLUTTERED. The Cheat seemed knowlegable, but often seemed to be on some personal rant and looking to establish himself as a “personality”. You’re a journalist and the adherance to those standards some through on SM. Finally, the posts on SSS are too often the same kind of silly crap that you find on the big sites or the newspaper sites.
I’m sure you’ll bring some value and integrity to SSS, but to be perfectly honest, I wish things were staying the same.

David

So, you are taking your talents to SSS? Good luck and thanks for everything.
My hope: That you fix the layout/presentation of SSS. Tons of clutter and busy appearance over there. I always appreciated the subtle, sharp, clean look of SM.
Best wishes,
David

David

I just found out that my work Internet filter blocks SSS. Now, I’m very unhappy about your move.

buford

No problem. Just change jobs.

bigfun

Would an RSS feed bypass this problem? I feel like Google Reader suctions everything up pretty effectively.

rhubarb

I, for one, welcome all you duders over to SSS. While White Sox baseball is the first topic of discussion…it is also a thriving community and I welcome you all into it.
Just wondering why you guys consider it a looney bin? People at SSS enjoy each others company and the many different walks of life that comprise the community add colour to other SSSers lives. Hence the digressions from just pure baseball talk.

bigfun

Thanks.
The off-topic stuff is a great alternative and I’m glad it’s out there, but I’ve also always liked how on-topic SoxMachine is. I’m here to see baseball analysis and discussion, not… tabs over to SSS a picture of Daniel Craig in women’s swimwear :/
That said, I’m optimistic about what Jim will bring to the site and will continue to be an everyday reader and (maybe) a participant to some degree.

rhubarb

That Daniel Craig picture is an an abomination but also an anomoly. In the off-season it is tough to have 100% Sox talk, so is everyone at SSS to go into hibernation despite the relationships built?

bigfun

Not at all, and I won’t make any judgments without a long trial period. I will be interested to see what Jim does to make it (in his words) “less clubby” in the interest of attracting new regulars.

ricksch

I’ve only ever looked at SSS a few times and here’s why:
The sophmoric tone of the posts were a big turn off. It was like all these guys who were the dorks in high school decided to create a club of their own with their own insider lingo and references. Uggh. I’ve long since left high school and don’t care to revisit it.
All the off-topic posts literally kills the threads and makes me stop reading instantly. I come to a White Sox site to read about the team and baseball in general. If I’m looking for humor, I’ll watch SNL. If I want to see pictures of girls, there are plenty of other sites that have those.
The intimacy of SM was great and even though I didn’t always agree with the posters here, there ideas were/are intelligent and their manner respectful. Of course, it’s all about numbers and if a smart guy like Jim can make some money and not have to spend half his life fixing his web site, more power to him. I fully understand why this is happening and I’ll give Jim a chance to fix the mess over there. But we’ve indeed lost a very smart, valuable and straightforward baseball blog over here.

rhubarb

Making your elitist distinctions and divisions shows that you are still engaging in highschool behavior.
Give it a chance. More than likely people there won’t like you all that much anyway, so you won’t have to worry but maybe…just maybe…you can find some value.

ricksch

screw you asshole and I mean that!

ricksch

what a tool Rhubarb — you solicit for opinions and when you don’t like them, you make personal attacks. I didn’t single anyone out on that piece of crap site of yours and you start talking down to me?! You deserve nothing more than profanity — though I apologize to Jim and the others on this site for my outburst.

rhubarb

I don’t have a problem with your opinion and I see where you are coming from but you made scathing generalizations and have displayed iotas of hypocrisy. Please don’t fly off the handle, I’m reaching across the aisle here. We both root for the same team right?

stopdrop8

I certainly don’t want to contribute to this argument or choose sides, but I think the assertion that ‘people won’t like you all that much,’ is what turns off SM readers from SSS. the majority (if not all) of the SM posters prefer it to SSS because we care only about discussing baseball, and don’t want to have to make sure that we fit into a crowd to be able to do so. That being said, it seems like Jim’s goal is to combine the community atmosphere at SSS with the inclusive and relevant discussions at sox machine, and if he didn’t think he could do it he wouldn’t have taken the job. i think it may be rough at first but it will be fine. petty fights like this will only make things harder.

winningugly

I can appreciate this. The “stagnant” comment is accurate. As soon as the proposed changes were slowly being released the content – and quality of discourse – improved.
I can’t wait. You know I am a fan and look forward to an improved hybrid – the best of improved quality and a sharpening of quantity.

dalton

Rhubarb, I commend you on using the word “dangle” in one of your post titles. Reminds me of one of my favorite lines from Miller’s Crossing:
“So take your flunky and dangle.”

rhubarb

Yes. Good call! That is where I first heard it used in that context.

ricksch

Oh yeah, I’d be remiss in not mentiong that the CLUTTER of the SSS site which is truly an abomination. My eyes have no idea which way to turn. All these different fonts? Even in a single post? I had no idea what was being referenced and what was new and the content was generally so banal I had no reason to care.

baseballjones

I had nearly the same thought when I read the news, only my comparison was the Mom & Pop being squeezed out by Wal-Mart…I will miss the ease of use of this site. The threads, and commenting style over there at SSS do not appeal to me at all, so I likely won’t follow, but understand the change.
Hopefully Jim’s “white knight” act won’t turn into an Obama 2012 campaign slogan: “Change: It seemed like a good idea at the time?” Best of luck to you all trying to fit in and coexist! I’m skeptical. And damn those sponsors, they ruin everything with their precious money!

dalton

I’ll go along for the ride.

cushinglee

I have to admit I am somewhat disappointed in this. I’ve never really been a big fan of SSS, for most of the reasons covered above. The “exchange” in this comments section doesn’t make me any more of a fan, either.
Nevertheless, Jim, I’m sure that you have your own reasons on why you want to do this. I will be reading your stuff on SSS–but I really don’t think I will be getting into any insult contests with 300 other “fans”.
It was bad enough when Andrew Reily put “The 35th Street Reveiw” to rest earlier this year. The demise of “Sox Machine” puts a damper on a productive off-season.

rhubarb

I am not quite sure what I did to illicit such a reaction from you folks. I regret it. Above I simply stated the people over there would probably not like the guy’s attitude because he is coming from generalized assumptions. I am not really sure why he called me names.

rhubarb

Its not like I besmirched his mother or even him…

soxexile

When I first thought of using the internet as the means to get a more regular and in-depth Sox fix than the MSM allow, I looked around at the various blogs, including SSS initially, but settled here. My reasons for doing so basically coincide with my hopes & fears for the merger.
1. SSS is visually cluttered, and I find it confusing to tell what’s “play-by-play”, what’s analysis, and what’s background noise.
2. SSS often felt like listening in on somebody’s personal conversations, as there seemed to be a lot of in-jokes and other opaque references. After several years of lurking and occasionally posting on SM, I have some sense of the personalities behind the frequent posters here. Nonetheless, I’ve always appreciated that beyond a little friendly ribbing, the conversations here are about Sox baseball, not about the personalities of the posters. I think that sometimes the anonymity of the internet gives people license to behave badly, and SM has consistently avoided that. Maybe Jim censors the site, but I’ve always preferred to believe that we’ve just chosen to stay on topic and treat each other decently.
3. Some of the posts on SSS seemed knowledgable, but also focused on so many esoteric statistics that I had trouble keeping up. I’m pretty good with math, but I haven’t had the time or the inclination to dig into all those details. SM always did a better job of using numbers to make a point, rather than talking exclusively to the other 6 guys who understood the stats.
4. There’s little or nothing on SM that I’d be uncomfortable letting my daughter see or read. I’m not a prude, but I’ve aged past the point where something is funny just because it contains a sexual reference.
5. Even in an argument, the goal on SM was more to understand than to win. Facts settled arguments here, rather than name calling.
6. So, Jim, thanks for all you’ve done. To all the rest of “the usual gang of idiots”, I hope that after the move we can pick up where we left off, and simply make it better than it has been.

winningugly

Re: #3, as one of the older posters I have not been steeped in the “new” numbers tradition of FiP, wOBA, and such. However, when even the MSM begins to embrace WAR, OBP, SLG, and OPS, the change train is comin’. The kids (to me, anyway) drag you to the new technology and new ideas.
Frequently posters take time to “dumb it down” for guys like me and make the stats easier to understand. But I hear you. It’s just a different way of looking at players’ value and worth.
Re: #4, I’ve got a small daughter, too, and hear your concern. That’s one of the reasons I think this is going to work. Jim’s an adult who will bring some needed structure to SSS. I welcome it.

brettdavis

I’m sad to see that you’ll be leaving. I only found this site through the SweetSpot Network because I’m a huge fan of Rob Neyer. I have come to really enjoy the posts on this site over the last few months. I have never been on the SouthSide site, but I will have to check it out. I’ll go in with fresh eyes, albeit leery of what I have read above. I am only truly disappointed to know that you will now not be associated with the SweetSpot. Good luck going forward with this ‘promotion’ Jim. Congratulations.

marshlands

Congrats, Jim!
I have some reservations about the shift, but having been an SM regular since what feels like the dawn of time, I’ve got confidence that there will be good White Sauce discussion and analysis with Jim at the wheel, no matter the arena.

urcon

Jim, As a Sox fan going back almost half a century, I’ve been reading your site for the past two seasons. Frankly, I’m amazed that you’ve been able to provide a service of such quality to the team’s fan everywhere, on a part time, non revenue basis. Your site, quite simply has been the best source for news, information and commentary anywhere. Period.
I wish you well over at SSS. I look forward to your effort at bringing that operation up to the standards you set for this site.