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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Blame someone else!

If At First You Donít Succeed...

By Mark Liptak

"We've got to battle some of the outside forces that apparently surround the club with, quite honestly, much of the negativity that comes from the media, or the perception [of negativity]. For whatever the reason, it's out there."óG.M. Kenny Williams.

††† The above remarks printed in the February 22 edition of the Chicago Tribune PERFECTLY explain the single biggest fault of the White Sox organization over the past 22 years.

††† The best way to sum it up might be "lack of accountability." Itís really amazing, when you think about it that Williams, who has only been the General Manager for a little over a year, would buy into the "organizationís mantra" so quickly. But apparently he has.

††† Williamsí obviously thinks that the many questions and problems surrounding this charter member of the American League arenít his fault, nor the fault of Marketing Director Rob Gallas, or Director Of Park Operations David Schaffer or Owner Jerry Reinsdorf or everyone in between.

††† Itís the mediaís fault... or the fans fault, or the player agents fault, or (write in your favorite scapegoats) fault.

††† In my own small way Iíve been a member of the media for a number of years. Iíve also had the chance to get to know, speak with and communicate with some members of the Chicago media down through the years.

††† Most of the Chicago media isnít from Chicago, most werenít born and raised in the city, most had no connection physically or emotionally with the franchise before they got a job with a Chicago media organization.

††† Naturally there are some exceptions. Chet Coppock was born in the area and has rooted for Chicago teams for at least fifty years. Even in his case, it hasnít clouded his professional objectivity, unless you think saying the Sox organization made former hitting coach Von Joshua a scapegoat for the poor start last year is being biased against the club. Thatís exactly what Coppock said on his radio show with The Sporting News network.

††† Jay Mariotti and former Tribune columnist, Skip Bayless are favorite whipping boys for members of the Sox organization (and some fans) for supposedly being "anti-Sox". Jerry Reinsdorf went so far as to call the owners of the Sun Times to try to get Mariotti fired once. Bayless had to be escorted from the Sox locker room in Cleveland last April because some players were upset with things he wrote about the clubís chances in 2001. (It didnít matter that he turned out to be right).

††† The fact is that BOTH Mariotti and Bayless have ripped the Cubs organization. Bayless wrote in the Tribune (a so called Cubs paper) that top executive Andy MacPhail needed to be fired. Mariotti on his radio show for The Sporting News, ripped the Cubs every day for a week last Summer for not being more pro active in getting the talent needed to take a shot at the World Series. Mariotti did the same thing to former Sox G.M. Ron Schueler in the Summer of 2000, when the Sox refused to get the pitching they so badly needed.. Bill Gleason, a Chicago media icon, has passionately rooted for the Sox since the days of Babe Ruth. He is an unabashed fan and yet the Sox say heís against them as well.

††† When you lay it out in black and white, you can see how stupid the argument is.

††† The Chicago media isnít anti Sox, on the contrary, they want the Sox to win. Thatís why they criticize it like they do! They all know that a winning (not whining) Sox team is good for their medium.

††† A winning Sox team sells newspapers, a winning Sox team means more viewers on WGN and Fox Sports Chicago, which means those stations can sell advertising at a higher rate, a winning Sox team means more money for ESPN RADIO 1000.A winning Sox team means more readers on White Sox Interactive.

††† Biased against the Sox? The media canít wait for a Sox team to actually do something in the post season besides lose at home.

††† Kenny Williams and the entire Sox organization refuse to acknowledge a simple truth.

††† If you want better publicity, (or more attendance, or more advertising revenue or more corporate sponsorships etc...) THEN WIN MORE GAMES!

††† Make some off season moves that generate interest, spend some money trying to win, have some promotions that Sox fans ACTUALLY WANT (like an Old Timers Game) instead of the same tired lame promotions (Beatles night, Dog Day Afternoon and Elvis night) and start treating fans like they mean something (remember the owner telling Sox fans to "shut up" at the Town Meeting?) And on a personal note to the General Manager, stop telling everyone at every opportunity about how the Sox have to "cut corners, canít sign free agents, and have to watch the payroll." Thatís inflaming opinion against an organization that has very little credibility to start with based on the facts of the last 22 years.

††† Williams must not have heard that Sox fans donít believe a word of it and neither does the media and you donít have to hire a group to conduct surveys to figure that one out. Start running the team like a representative of the nations 3rd largest city and media center and you wonít have "all the negativity."

††† All comments, questions and thoughts are always welcome. Contact me at

Editor's Note: †Mark Liptak is an experienced sports journalist, holding several awards for both his electronic and print media work. †He has held numerous sports reporting positions for various TV and newspaper†organizations, including Director of Sports for KNOE-TV (Monroe, Louisiana)†and KPVI-TV (Pocatello, Idaho), and sports writer for the Idaho Falls Free Press, where his column "Lip Service" has appeared for for a number of years. †"Lip", his wife, and cats presently live in Chubbuck, Idaho, where they collectively comprise 100 percent of the Pocatello River Valley's long-time Sox Fan population. †

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