Choose or Lose Sox Exchange Part 1



“A politically charged debate on the White Sox chances of winning the 2008 “American League Nomination.”

By Soxman and Paul M. Banks 

(PMB) I just got a new gig writing liberal blogs for the Washington Times website! And it allows me to stay here in Chicago, run The Sports Bank, write for NBC and inject my Chi-town progressivism into these new columns with national reach. My feature is named “Chicago Blue State” with the slogan “progressive without apology.” 
(SM) Congratulations.  Although, as your first bureaucratic move I think we need to work on changing the political colors.  After all, if we admit we are a “blue state,” Cubs fans may take the interpretation a little too far.  Plus, after making my concession speech on Sunday that the Royals spanked us, I’ve got the blues. 
(PMB) Fair enough, and good job with the “primary colors.” You’ll know I’ll mention how Senator Barack Obama’s favorite team is the White Sox at some time or another. Some people think that news/politics should be separate from the sports pages, but I think the two areas can go hand in hand quite nicely. Look at George Will and Keith Olbermann, the news just released about former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer’s sports initiatives, if they can do it….   
(SM) Yeah, I agree, but somehow I don’t think that the “change” Obama has been talking about in his campaign had to do with the Sox losing their grip on first place.  Keith Olbermann is the ideal polar opposite to Bill O’Reilly.  Is it wrong that I actually enjoy watching both of them on occasion? Would that make me the equivalent of a “Bi-Soxual,” that is a Sox and Cubs Fan?  Perhaps you can begin each one of your blogs with the number of days the Sox have been out of first place like Olberman does about Iraq being declared “Mission Accomplished.”

(PMB) There’s never anything wrong with listening to all perspectives. The first time I met Ozzie it was right after the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and he said to me, “LOOK AT US VENEZUELANS!!! WE’RE COMING OUT BABY!!!” When I asked him about controversial Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and how some Chicagoans didn’t like his bringing the World Series trophy with him to his native land, he gave an answer that kind of dodged the question and sort of went off on a tangent with the WBC. Basically, his answer was something to the effect of “why can’t it just be about baseball, it doesn’t have to be political.” And I’m sure there was a little @@##  and some %%&&* in there as well.  While I agree it’s great to enjoy a game as just a game, independent of any sociopolitical ramifications, I’m not sure this is entirely possible. What do you think?
(SM)  It all depends on your approach.  I believe that the only place politics are left out of sports are when we are children.  Even then it gets a little questionable.  What do I mean?  Well how about the coach’s son making the all-star team even though he might not be the best, or how in many schools, anyone on the football team automatically makes the baseball team.  Is it not very similar to a president choosing his cabinet?  We have all seen what the popular vote has done to the all-star game.
You could dissect sports a thousand ways from Sunday.  Many have argued that a salary cap in professional sports is the equivalent of a socialist system.  Yet looking at the MLB, you see the ultimate democracy.  The rich often win (Yankees, Red Sox) and the poor (Royals, Pirates), often fail.  How about the fact that cigars from Cuba are illegal, but we’ll gladly take your best baseball players for “America’s Pastime?”  How about politicians throwing out first pitches at professional baseball games?  Yes, politics run rapid in sports.  

(PMB) With no draft lottery, the franchise tag rule and salary cap, the NFL is the league with a structure closest to socialism, and yet it’s “America’s Game.” With the congressional steroid hearings dominating the news these past couple years, is this really plausible?  I know some arch-conservatives who were ANGRY that Ozzie flew the Venezuelan flag at the World Series rally. I think that’s ridiculous! You’d expect Americans to wave our flags when we’re overseas, so what’s wrong with him reppin’ his native country? 
(SM) Wow, let me understand what you wrote.  It sounds like some conservatives believed that if a country has a lousy president, you should then be ashamed of your country and not proudly display your flag?  Are these the same folks who believe you should support your president even if you don’t agree with his position?  Hmmm.
As far as the steroids hearings go, after all of that posturing, what really came out of it all?  Not one player was brought up on charges, even when it was evident that at the very least they were guilty of perjury (Rafael Palmeiro), and other people with a Category 5 hurricane cloud of suspicion around them (Clemens) are called heroes to the game by some politicians, including the president, as the levees of truth breach around them.

(PMB) Yep. the type of crowd that takes Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter seriously really believes that our president is infallible and that Ozzie did a horrible thing back then. Yikes! but hey every vote (and all 162 games) count! Great job with the Katrina metaphors, “Soxy” you’re doing a heckuva job”


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  1. Thanks Cheese. MARK MY WORDS ON THIS. There is a reason the Packers hired a former presidential press secretary who was best at spinning negative press. There’s a PR storm coming in Green Bay.

  2. Bleeding Cheese says

    Wow! What a follow-up. Soxman and Banks can actually make politics fun. Yeah I played footbal and made he baseball team even though I stunk.

  3. the gooch says

    How about politics at the Olympics? Gosh this was an interesting article, but aside from some references to first place, where’s the sox news?

  4. the gooch says

    Very funny ref to “Blue State” LOL. That was way creative Soxman. PEACE

  5. Well you write about politics not belonging in sports but bring them in by discussing it. Very interesting perspectives and fun site.

  6. Only the sports writing dynamic duo could make politics fun. I wanted to puke when Bush called Clemens a hero. I got that chill in my bones when his choice for FEMA, “Brownie” gaffed hurricane Katrina. He was not brought up on perjury charges either for lying during his confirmation hearings.

  7. Don’t let the last name fool you. This article is dead-on target. Very well stated but where the White sox information?

  8. “My name is soxman and I approved this message”…LOL. Fun article guys. Is there any creative hook you guys can’t come up with? Soxman, Obama should choose you as his VP!

  9. I can’t believe all of the comments on this already!!!

    This was not even posted until VERY late.

    Thanks so much for the “votes” of confidence. It is an honor to represent such great fans.

    I’m sure Paul will add to this, but as so many of you are asking, there will be more sox specific talk in part II of this exchange!

    Our interview was too long for one blog. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

    Heidi- Paul told me that Cheese made this mistake before. He can fix it. Sometimes if your page loads slowly and you rely on the tab key it can happen. It’s never been a problem with me on the sportsbank site, but it has happened on other sites.

    We know you are one of our most dedicated posters! We didn’t know Maddy was your friend! Welcome Maddy!


  10. I second big g’s nomination. That would be one “Soxy” ticket. LOL.

    I love you guys. Creative twist on otherwise boring subject matter.

  11. Soxman for VP…YEAH!!!

  12. That would be a black and white ticket on sooooo many levels. Go Sox!!!

  13. Soxman for Pres and Batboy for Vice Pres!!! Banks could be Secretary of State. I love you soxman. Great article as always.

  14. Heidi Hot Sox says

    My best friend Maddy thinks that soxman should be Pres and Batboy VP!

    Sorry as I messed up the to line from her. I’m a dork.

  15. Heidi Hot Sox says

    Hi, the dork who does not know how to type in the “to” line. I agree with Gwen. I love you guys as well.

  16. Bleeding Cheese says

    LOl. Hot sox returns!

    I did the same thing before trying to send a message string to you! Hmmm maybe we should get married.

    Soxman for Pres! Even a cheese head can appreciate that!

  17. Where’s the White sox news? Screw politics we need you Soxman! If ever the Sox needed a hero, its now!!! Save us Soxman.

  18. Where’s the sox news??? Loved the article though.

  19. Where’s updates on our sox? That’s the political disaster right now. Very fun article though.

    Is Soxman a liberal or a conservative? I’m glad to see your heart is bleeding Paul. :)

  20. PS I’m with Big G. I also tried writing Soxman’s name in on the all star ballot this season. A bunch of us did actually.

    Wa hoping it would at least list his name on a site somewhere.

  21. Well I have to give it to you guys, there is no taboo topic you are afraid of. Very creative politcal twist, although I must say its a bit of a downer there is no Sox news here. I was waiting for soxman to assure us everything was going to be ok. Fun

  22. Soxman approves as well. :) See we all have secret identities….LOL

  23. Very fun article but where’s the sox news?

    Congrats Paul on your new job. Keep DC straight!

    So what will the new political colors be?

  24. Just caught it says part 1…lol.

    Listen to Linkin Park’s “Hands Held High.” Powerful politics in music. The truth is out there.

  25. Nikki Sixx says

    Wow… politics and white sox..I feel smart now. See mom, I’m surfing the net to keep up on world politics. LOL. Fun guys and well done.

  26. Ya Ya Sox Sisterhood says

    Awesome. Lots of fun. I agree with everyone. Soxman for Prez! Another A++++++++++++++++++ article even without any real baseball news on the sox…LOL luv ya lots.

  27. Soxman Stalker says

    WWWWWOOOOOOWWWW!!!! I e-mail soxman and ask why he is never on myspace and he responds to visit the sportsbank. I see him in the Red Eye more now. I llllllloooooovvee yyyyyyooooooouuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Tommy Tutone says

    First time comment. Fun site and even an interesting article with very fun use of political analogy. I love soxman’s stuff in the Red Eye and think you are one of the more creative writers out there. More baseball though!!!

  29. Heidi Hot Sox says

    Wow that was fast! Thanks for answering my e-mail Soxman! Didn’t want you guys to think I was trying to fake being someone. My friend Maddy sent you guys comments this morning as well and an e-mail on myspace.

    Loved your Red Eye article on monday. You are a Fives MVP.

  30. Mary, Mary says

    How about the politics of plunking a player? Or politics when a team tries to trash a player’s rep to justify his release.

    You guys hit it right on the head. Not as fun as your Dark Knight exchange but proof positive hat there is no creative hurddle you can’t leap over.

  31. Mary, Mary says

    Obama looks like he can pitch in that photo. Sign him for the bullpen!

  32. Myspace mike says

    I think Soxman should be the new commish of baseball. The heck with the president.

  33. Myspace mike says

    Did you hear they found weapons of mass destruction? One went off in the White sox bullpen since the all-star break. Horrible.

  34. cheer for the cubs and the terrorists win.

  35. I’d vote for soxman for President. After all he already airs all of his dirty laundry. :)

    I love you soxman.

  36. Billy Blast says

    Fun site and interesting article. Can’t wait to see how soxman thinks the sox can win this thing. You guys are both pretty talented writers.

  37. paulmbanks says

    Hey everyone, I’ll get part two up this afternoon. It’ll have more Sox and baseball news in it. I promise! The exchange ended up being very long, so we had to do two parts.

    Also, last week, we where late on our exchange, so this week WE’RE GIVING YOU TWO EXCHANGES TO MAKE UP FOR IT!

  38. paulmbanks says

    Thanks for all the compliments. I would gladly accept a position in Soxman’s cabinet

  39. Billy Blast says

    Hell Yeah!!! Good content. Bring it on!

  40. Very fun article guys. Well matched. Look forward to the Sox comments. We need a miracle to win our division now.

  41. So should we call this “Soxitics?” LOL.
    Love you guys. Soxman you complete me.

  42. Mullet Kelly says

    Mullets have no place in politics. :)

    I do like what you guys were trying to do here and was like “where’s the Sox stuff” until I read Paul’s note…

    Go sox!

  43. I’m a republican and I can appreciate the creative side of this article. Soxman hit it on the head. Arti Flesher was only hired for one month. Favre is really costing the Packers.

  44. Fun article and I HATE POLITICS.

    Saw the Dark Knight finally and could not help but laugh thinking of Soxman perched at the top of US Cullular field watching over the decension of the sox into a criminal cess pool performance.

    A hero brings hope…America needs soxman

  45. Nice creative follow-up and White sox tie-in to the biggest events of today.

    So is soxman a democrat?

  46. I’m guessing Paul is as liberal as they come. :)

  47. paulmbanks says

    Yep, I am a bleeding heart alright ;)

  48. Disney Mom says

    Very fun article

  49. paulmbanks says

    I also sent the NBC post with the 130 comments to the Sox PR guy last night. The Commish is doing what he can to spread the word more about Soxman and Batboy

  50. Well done. I think they would be hilarious in one of those commercials. After all if Daley can do it….

  51. paulmbanks says

    -Check out who the Street Team blogger of the week is! And the team my boss choose to mention is the Sox! love it. And they plug the Soxman post with 130 comments

  52. Matt Saracen QB#1 says

    clear eyes. full hearts. can’t lose!

  53. paulmbanks says

    My first Washington Times post about politics and Chicago is up.

    please leave a comment if you are so inclined

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