Spare Parts: We met in Milwaukee

I hadn’t been to Miller Park since it opened in 2001, and I remember it being a park that needed a breaking-in period. The concourse felt sterile, the lower bowl had sizable blind spots from seats in the outfield, the high walls necessary to support the retractable roof blocked air flow, and it took forever to get out of the parking lots.

Now American Family Field, the concourse is a lot more lively. The other issues still remain, and were particularly pronounced on a 90-degree day. Then again, I’m not used to going to games where 40,000 people show up, which makes uncomfortable warmth and traffic jams harder to avoid, and better sight lines harder to solve by moving.

Also, I wasn’t old enough to partake in the good part about those parking lots back then, and after the Sox Machine/From the 108 tailgate, I now know the fun before the game is worth the headaches after.

Of those 40,000 people, it seemed like half of them passed through our party. We thought 200 koozies would be too many, and we ran out with hours to go. I didn’t get an idea of the scale until I saw some photos show up on the #PostcardsFromMilwaukee hashtag.

Josh, the 108 crew, Eric and Tim provided the structure, and it held up. We’ll be talking about it on the next episode of the Sox Machine Podcast.

SPARE PARTS

I’d wondered why Brian Goodwin bounced around baseball as often as he had, and he tells James Fegan that he doesn’t have a great answer for it himself. But as as long as the White Sox need a left-handed outfielder who complements Adam Engel, he fits in.

Goodwin, in turn, has found a comfortable fit in a boisterous White Sox locker room. It’s understood that Anderson is the vocal leader of a roster that is famously unafraid to banter and talk smack to each other, and every afternoon Goodwin is beside Anderson and Billy Hamilton, smiling and laughing as they bounce through pregame stretches. Goodwin said it feels like home. And not a figurative home, but his actual one.

“The South Side reminds me a lot of where I’m from, Rocky Mount, North Carolina; you’ve got to have tough skin, thick skin,” Goodwin said. “It’s super easy as long as you love the game, you love to compete, and you’re not afraid to learn from your mistakes and you’re comfortable with who you are. It’s one of the best teams you can possibly be on.”

As the Blue Jays ready for a return to Toronto after spending the last 12 months in a nomadic existence between Florida and Buffalo, Travis Sawchik takes a good look at how a Triple-A city and its ballpark rose to the occasion in support of a team that could have been worn down by all the inconveniences.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — even though it isn’t fun to watch pitchers hit, baseball will lose something when it loses the weird dynamic of half the league’s pitchers barely ever standing in a batter’s box. That doesn’t mean it’s worth preserving, but it is worth appreciating for its weirdness. Imagine Cristiano Felício being forced to attempt a three-pointer from 30 feet out in an assortment of games against Western Conference opponents. That’s kinda what it is.

Remember when Major League Baseball shed 40 teams from Minor League Baseball because they said it would allow them to pay players better? Guess what: Living situations remain as pathetic as ever.

Corporate money — specifically the threat of it leaving their coffers and going to another team in town — is why Cleveland changed its mascot when it did. The rest of this story covers a lot of what goes into changing a team name after 100-plus years.

Trevor Bauer has been on paid administrative leave for a month, and the LA Times can only answer one of the two questions it put forth: “Will Trevor Bauer throw another pitch for the Dodgers or any other major league team? And, more consequentially, why was he here in the first place?”

Author

  • 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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Trooper Galactus

One of these days, I will finally retire from the Army Reserve, and you guys can stop consulting with USARC to make sure Sox Machine meet-ups are on my training days.

Great seeing such an awesome turnout, and from the looks of things on social media it looks like a great time was had by all. Congrats on your success in building this community; proud to continue being a supporter.

Joliet Orange Sox

TLR says Eloy to be activated from IL tomorrow!

dwjm3

Adam Frazier to the Padres