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Kansas City Blues

Christmas Coal for Sox Fans
by Jim Laffer

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, Sox fans, and a big ho ho ho on you all. That weight in your stocking isn’t a stack of World Series tickets for next year it’s your annual White Sox Monogrammed Lump-o-Coal ©. If you are a season ticket holder it comes complete postage due with a nice fat per-game increase just to make sure you understand where you are intended to insert the coal. It’s Christmas and in that giving spirit, the Sox have walked away from all their big name 2003 acquisitions, free and clear save the draft picks they will get for Bartolo Colon. In addition, the Sox have made it clear they are willing to part ways with any and/or all of their big-name, big-price talent for the right offer.


Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to see so many people walk away if the Sox were replacing said players with equal or better versions, but in true Reinsdorfian fashion, the Sox are standing pat or actually taking a step backwards. They have sunk the money not spent on Colon into Mark (I was here until 2006 no matter what) Buehrle and made a run at Sidney (I’m the last of the B-tier Free Agent pitchers available) Ponson. With the fate of that second deal still pending at the time that I type this article, the sole acquisition to date is Juan “Who?” Uribe acquired for sometime minor-league phenom and fan of the underdog favorite, Aaron Miles. Sox fans can hardly contain their angst as they watch the Oriole’s sign Ivan Rodriquez and Miguel Tejada and make a run at Ponson too. Come on, Baltimore, don’t be greedy; leave us poor Sox fans some scraps. It’s Christmas, where’s your giving spirit?


Meanwhile Kenny Williams has made it very clear that he is interested in every single available Free Agent player who could possibly help the Sox at all – verbally that is. You see, Kenny will watch these guys get signed and then say, “Oh, we wanted him, “ to some press contact and everyone will go mad talking about Kenny’s desire to win. But when it comes time to actually put Uncle Jerry’s money where Kenny’s mouth is, nothing happens. It has been proposed that it is merely access to Reinsy’s wallet that Kenny lacks, but I suppose that merely makes him the Tweedle-Chump in their dynamic duo – one guess who plays the role of Tweedle-Cheap. But as we step back through the looking glass into reality to contemplate the rapidly deflating balloon that was 2003 – where all that second half glory fell just inches short and was quickly cast aside – we can gaze upon the wasteland that is this coming season and thank our lucky stars that the Sox play in the AL Central – where no one looks like world beaters anytime soon.


Of course that begs the question, if it is really that close to their grasp, why are the Sox once again playing not to lose, or is it playing not to lose money? That hardly seems likely. They just received huge influxes of cash to remodel, had one of their best attendance seasons in the past decade, made the upper deck more fan friendly and more inviting and had a massive ticket price increase. Oh yeah, and then there is that little private TV station deal which goes into effect next year (they are already 6th in media driven revenue).  Heck, even the junior Sox fans are getting a chance to get into the season spirit by giving unto Reinsy. Yes, the price of the Kid’s Club is increasing too. Yet still the fans sit waiting for the money that they give to come back to them in the form of better players of a slightly higher payroll for one more starting pitcher and a hitter for the leadoff slot. Somewhere, Tweedle-Cheap – his heart still much too small – is laughing as he pulls up his Internet bank account to watch the season ticket deposits roll in and fans can only scratch their heads and ponder who’s the chump?

Jim Laffer is a lifelong Chicago sports nut living on the North side of Chicago.   He was raised in Hyde Park and graduated from UIC in December, 2000.  He grew up in a house famous for developing insights into economic phenomenon.  Thus he doesn't believe it when the White Sox start crying poor.

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