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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

National Laughingstock!

Reinsdorf makes a joke of our allegiance.

Yet another open letter to The Chairman.†

Dear Mr. Chairman:†

Do you realize what a laughingstock the ball club you run has become?† When a pitcher of the caliber of Gary Knotts pitches a three-hit shutout against a team of supposed sluggers, and thatís exactly what your ball club was promoted as, itís time to take a good hard look.† When the club manages to lose a series as a result of that three hitter, itís time to take a good hard look at who is running this ball club.†

The obvious sacrificial lamb is the manager, Gen. Disarray.† Now Mr. Chairman, you have a reputation of being a little bit tight with a buck, but even you must admit that it canít all be the coachesí fault.† We have new first and third base coaches, yet another new hitting instructor (replacing Gary Ward who replaced Von Joshua who replaced Bill Buckner who replaced Ron Jackson, if I have my chronology right), and your players still cannot do the three essential things you have to be able to do in baseball.†

You have to be able to hit the ball.† The White Sox canít.† They canít hit for average.† They canít hit to the opposite field.† And especially they canít bunt worth a lick.† You have to be able to throw the ball.† Well, you might say they can do that, but if the ball isnít sailing past the first baseman, itís probably sailing past the cutoff man.† You have to be able to catch the ball.† There are some on this club who are challenged to do that.†

You said late last season that the Sox spring training would be like boot camp.† You said that your players would come out of that boot camp able to execute the fundamentals of the game.† Were you there, Mr. Chairman?† Did you make sure those obvious orders to your manager and coaches were executed?† Or was it the usual relaxed atmosphere where your players just went through the motions when your players went through the drills for bunting, hitting to the opposite field, and hitting the cutoff man?†

Whatever happened, it is obvious that the players didnít get the message from the manager or the coaching staff.† They continue to play worse than the Kane County Cougars (Class A).† Of course thatís not a fair comparison, since those players were hired by Billy Beane, and are playing under his coaches.†

The manager cannot hit, pitch, and field for twenty-five players, but you canít fire the players.† There is more than enough evidence, however, that these players are either inadequately coached, or they are just not paying attention.† Maybe they need someone who will get in their faces and force them to pay attention.† That doesnít mean yet another rookie manager, either.† †

This means a manager who has had some success in dealing with situations like this and has turned around teams who are underachieving.† It is now almost June.† The season still isnít early, and the Sox are still stinking up Chicago.† Is it really true that you are such a tightwad that you wonít let a manager go just because he has more than a year left on his contract, and that youíll do that at the expense of this yearís attendance?† †

Thatís exactly whatís happening.† I was stupid enough to fall into the pre-season hype and bought a bunch of tickets.† I either have to go to those games or eat several hundred dollars.† However, there are a lot of fans who are making decisions right now about whether or not they are going to see the Sox play at all once school is out.† Iím willing to bet your clubís play the last few weeks has already made that decision for them.† †

Iím not one to make demands, but Iím making one today.† When attendance falls to even lower levels because, despite the spike in your season ticket base that you got as a result of this yearís All-Star Game being played at U.S. Cellular Field, the walk-up ticket sales drops to next to nothing, Iím demanding that you donít blame the fans.

The fault lies squarely on your shoulders this time.† The White Sox stink.† But nothing has been done except to replace a hitting instructor.† This is the kind of thing that will drive away your fans in droves.† †

Or is that what you really want?†

Sincerely,†

Hal Vickery
ďFallen ArchesĒ


Editor's Note: Hal Vickery has been a White Sox fan since 1955 when he was five years old. For much of that time he also had a secondary rooting interest in the Cubs, which he has shown the good sense to abandon. When not cheering for or writing about the Sox, Hal teachers chemistry and physics at North Boone High School, in Poplar Grove, IL. Hal commutes there daily from Joliet, where he lives with his wife Lee, and their dog, Buster T. Beagle. Hal's opinions are not necessarily those of North Boone High School, his wife, or Buster T. Beagle. You can write Hal at hvickery@svs.com.

More features from Hal Vickery here!

Have a Thought about
National Laughingstock?

You Can Put it on the Board -- Yes!



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