Um …Tim? Hello? Tim? Was it something I said? (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)
The 2019 Chicago White Sox Major League campaign has, on the whole, been an uneven and categorical failure.
Starting with the tortuously dragged-out pursuit of Manny Machado (maybe Jason Benetti can do some #SoxMath and explain how $250 million is more than $300 million) to the current feeling of deja vu watching the front office dick around with leaving a
absolutely potentially majors-ready top prospect in Luis Robert to languish in Charlotte needlessly. Sprinkle in the multiple injuries to top young stars like Eloy Jiménez, Michael Kopech, Yoán Moncada, Dane Dunning, and Carlos Rodón (just to name a few) and the farce that was the Yonder Alonso/A.J. Reed experiences, and it’s tough to find much to hang your hat on as we wind down another lost year at 35th and Shields.
But, for me, a 35-year-old Black Sox fan (not 1919) who has pretty much only had Frank Thomas, Jermaine Dye,
Carl Everett, and Ray Durham as prominent White Sox stars I had a cultural connection with (Griffey Jr. doesn’t quite count), 2019 has been more special than any other in recent memory, with the superstar ascendance of the best African-American White Sox player (and perhaps all of baseball).
I could tell you who it is, but I think we should let the Stick Do The Talking:
That right there, folks was no mere bat flip. Bat flips like the José Bautista, or the subtle, yet low-key pimp Bat Drop (immortalized by Griffey Jr., now carried on by Moncada) have been done before. What Tim did there was javelin-toss his bat towards his own dugout (remember that for later) like the ground killed his puppy, let out a primal roar the likes of which would rattle the gates of heaven and hell, and then he jettisoned his pants and put his Steve Stones on Ron Gardenhire’s noggin (metaphorically speaking … but barely).
Honestly, Anderson was more than likely letting out just a wee bit of frustration at the fact that 12 days earlier on April 17, after doing this to the Kansas City
Crybaby Weenies Royals:
Take careful notes here, as Timmy clearly makes no motions or demonstrative gestures at the Royals directly. All attention is at the Sox dugout and his teammates, telling Yolmer to get the Home Run Chain polished and ready to be annointed.
Then Mitch “The Bitch” Keller and the Kansas City “Lorde Probably Regrets Naming Her Hit Song” Royals decided to respond thusly:
Sorry to make you relive any of the ridiculous Royals feed in this clip, but we all know the details by now: As Ricky Renteria and Ned Yost were seconds away from having an old-fashioned, bare-chested and knuckle old man fight of their own, Tim got tossed (!?). The guy gets hit by an obvious purpose pitch and HE gets thrown out? How does that happen? Well …
I see. Well I suppose you can’t have a young black man, born in Tuscaloosa, Ala., saying such uncouth language in a league with 8.4% African-Americans as of Opening Day 2018. A total, mind you that hadn’t been reached since 2012. (Take a look!)
So Tim gets suspended (one game, which he immediately served without appeal, seeing as he’s a grown-ass man, while Mitch “He’s No Trubisky” Keller went and fought his like the baby he is) and me, your humble writer who had spent the majority of that day fuming at the (in my opinion) inconsistent application of discipline for “actions unbecoming of a MLB Professional.”
Fast forward to the next day. I’ve cooled down considerably, and so I fire up the ol’ Twitter feed and a tweet pops up with Timmy’s handle @TimAnderson7 … and this:
After spending the immediate aftermath speeding through Denial (No, no, no this can’t be real! *furiously refreshes feed*) and Anger (How could he do this to me?! I was defending HIM!) I came around to good ol Bargaining (“I’ll ask my twitter squad to DM Timmy! He hasn’t blocked me on Instagram yet … I’ll apologize!”). After a spending the next days constantly checking if my Hail Mary worked, with no success, Depression took hold (My favorite player rejected me 😰).
To be honest, I don’t know how long I spent at this stage. It was tough for a while, as Tim continued to have his breakout season while anything he put out on Twitter was hidden from me. Eventually, I came to Acceptance, the last stop where I no longer actively tried to get out of TA7’s Twitter Jail for Wayward Trolls and realized all my hangups over getting blocked were not going to make any difference.
I mean think about it. Have I ever unblocked someone? Have you? It’s just the easiest and simplest way to weed out unnecessary stressors on social media, right? And you never have to explain yourself to them! (Unless they open a dummy account). You just digitally erase the problem, and the noise dims a bit.
So no, I don’t think Tim will ever unblock me. And that’s fine. Whatever line I crossed in the sand has been washed away by the tide and I’m not willing to get into this again. If others want to take on the charge for my pardoning, have at it. God help us if someday down the line SSHP gets a chance to interview TA … I may be a dealbreaker (kidding! I think?).
But before I go, I must tie this to the infamous White Sox Talk Live Podcast at Reggie’s earlier in August and Rick Hahn’s comments on blocking the “trolls.” Here’s the quote for context:
What can I do about it? The block button is pretty powerful and you do that, and you move on with your life.
And Rick (and Tim … and me … and you …) are exactly right. You just move on with your life. But in case Rick or Tim or anybody in the White Sox organization reads this, here’s my final say:
Not everybody who disagrees with you is a troll. They are not “Negative Nellie Foxes” who only want to create chaos. They are fans who, for FREE, choose to follow and support this team financially, and in spirit. We love this fucking team. I love this fucking team. I hope someday Rick is proven right and Bill Walton is leading the parade down Michigan Avenue over the Studs Terkel Bridge (still trying to figure that one out) in two or three years. But it’s HARD. We need to see results. Soon. The house is halfway through being built, but you are running out of the supplies you started with and Home Depot is right there for you to get the reinforcements you need to finish construction and move this franchise into the promised land: ACTUAL. SUSTAINED. SUCCESS. I’ve lived to see a World Series (Thank God). I’d much rather now see the first consecutive playoff seasons in Franchise History. Then I can die a happy Sox fan. But FINISH THE JOB. Please.
Thank you to anyone who gets to the end of this diatribe: Have you or a loved one been blocked by your hero on social media? Let it out in the comments! This is a safe space and you have a friend in me, ready to lend a sympathetic ear!
Peace and Love.