Doug Seyller, better known as @k0na on twitter, broke the John Danks contract extension hours before any media outlet was able to confirm it. It's not the first time Seyller has been the first to report a White Sox transaction, either. The following is an e-mail exchange White Sox Talk conducted with Seyller:
White Sox Talk: First up, tell us a little bit about who Doug Seyller is. Are you just "some fan"?
Doug Seyller: Honestly, I am just some fan. I'm an art director who's been working in the creative industry for 15 years. I have no ties to the Sox and I have not tapped Kenny's phone. LOL. I played a little ball in and after college but never professionally.WST: What was the first scoop you ever got, and how did you go about publicizing it?
Seyller: I believe I scooped the Garland trade. At the time I posted it to the Sox message board and got blasted for it. People said I was just posting to try and troll the board. A day later the story broke and I didn't even get a nod from the media for it.
WST: Have your sources ever been wrong about something?
Seyller: Never. They are good sources.
WST: Why do you use twitter, and only twitter, to put your stuff out there?
Seyller: It has a lot to do with the industry I'm in. I've been so close to social media for so long that it all in a way annoys me. I didn't have a Facebook account until this time last year when I was forced into designing a Facebook app. Twitter to me is what it is. 80 percent one way posting from people on their soapboxes, maybe 10 percent corporate tweets. The last 10 percent are the real movers (celebrities) that have the large following. For me its the easiest and quickest way to post news and let other people spread it for me. Maybe two years ago I posted a story about a guy who redesigned the United Airlines homepage and sent it to them. It was retweeted 110x in one day.
WST: Do you consider yourself a journalist? Whywhy not?
Seyller: No not really. I'm just a guy who likes to inform others of cool things, interesting stories, trade rumors and design, without turning myself into a blogger.WST: What's your motivation for doing this? Do you take any pride in beating major media outlets to news?
Seyller: I do. Like I said above, I think I broke two big stories on the Sox site and neither time did any news source give credit. One even used my exact wording. Now I take great pride posting before they do, I think it's fantastic that a "graphic designer" as I'm called who makes elbow macaroni art (that's a joke by the way) can beat them to the punch.
WST: Why "k0na"?
Seyller: I used to ride a Kona mountain bike. When we'd ride in groups they'd call me "Kona." It stuck.
Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia will both return to the White Sox in 2017.
The team announced it reached deals with both players shortly before Friday’s 7 p.m. CST nontender deadline. Lawrie will earn $3.5 million next season and Garcia received a one-year deal for $3 million.
The club didn’t tender a contract to right-handed pitcher Blake Smith, which leaves its 40-man roster at 38.
Acquired last December for a pair of minor leaguers, Lawrie hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 36 RBIs in 94 games before he suffered a season-ending injury.
Lawrie produced 0.9 f-WAR when he suffered what then-manager Robin Ventura described a “tricky” injury on July 21. Despite numerous tests and a lengthy rehab, Lawrie never returned to the field and was frustrated by the experience. Last month, Lawrie tweeted that he believes the cause of his injury was wearing orthotics for the first time in his career.
He was projected to earn $5.1 million, according to MLBTraderumors.com and earned $4.125 million in 2016.
Garcia hit .245/.307/.385 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 453 plate appearances over 120 games. The projected salary for Garcia, arb-eligible for the first time, was $3.4 million.
The team also offered contracts to Miguel Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, who are eligible for free agency in 2018, first baseman Jose Abreu and relievers Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka, among others.
The White Sox have until mid-January to reach an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players. If they haven’t, both sides submit figures for arbitration cases, which are then heard throughout February.
Crain's Chicago Business released its latest 40 under 40 project and White Sox announcer Jason Benetti made this year's list.
The 33-year-old just finished his first season with the White Sox as play-by-play announcer, working the home games at U.S. Cellular Field (before it was renamed Guaranteed Rate Field last month) alongside Steve Stone as longtime broadcaster Hawk Harrelson saw his workload reduced to mostly road games.
Benetti quickly became a fan favorite among Chicagoans on CSN and other networks in 2016 and his cerebral palsy became more of a backstory, with his work alongside Stone and his affable sense of humor taking center stage instead.
Among other topics, Benetti discussed how he approaches his job of broadcasting for the team he grew up rooting for:
Law school taught me that there are always two sides of the argument. I see it from the Sox prism, but I can’t believe in my heart of hearts that, if the Sox lose, the world’s over anymore. That first game, I was like, “All right, it’s just a game.” And then Avi Garcia hits a homer late in the game against the Indians and I call it like I would call it with a little more. And as the ball cleared the fence, when it was rolling around, I got a slight tear in my eye. And I was like, “What’s that?”
Check out the entire interview with Benetti and the full list at ChicagoBusiness.com.