View Full Version : Is the Ownership the REAL problem?

Viva Magglio
06-08-2002, 12:20 PM
We all have our beefs with Jerry Manuel and Ken Williams. A number of us, myself included, have called for Manuel and/or Williams to be fired. There are various pro and con arguments on firing them. But the best one may be because we cannot fire the real source of our franchise's ongoing malaise: Jerry Reinsdorf.

I have nothing personal against the man, but I think the leadership of Jerry Reinsdorf (or lack thereof) is the one thing that brings our franchise down. He has done many fine things for the franchise, but he has done one or two bad things for every good thing he has done. Reinsdorf successfully got the new ballpark built, but the ballpark in hindsight has become a source of scorn regardless of whatever feelings we as individuals have about the ballpark. Jerry's hawkish owners' position in the 1994 strike certainly did not help things. In fact, that was the beginning of this years-long malaise we continue to experience today.

From Reinsdorf on down, the theme from management has been that we cannot assemble a World Series contender because "the fans don't come out to the ballpark." Now I do think a lot of fans' excuses for not going are stupid. I am not going to repeat them ad nauseam. But one that has legitimacy is Reinsdorf's regime rubbing fans the wrong way. I am convinced that a new ownership would increase average attendance dramatically.

Jerry Reinsdorf certianly has cheepskate tendencies, but his bean counting is not as bad as other owners in this town like Bill Wirtz or the McCaskeys. He has spent big money on players. Sometimes, some of that big spending backfired (i.e., Albert Belle, Jaime Navarro). Nevertheless, other lack of spending has cost us other players like Robin Ventura and could cost us current star players down the road like Mark Buehrle.

Under Reinsdorf, the organization spends money on player development which is a very good thing. It has produced good talent in the minor leagues, even though it has not always translated into solid contention at the major league level. The real problem of Reinsdorf's cheapness has to do with his baseball management.

How do the salaries of Ken Williams and Jerry Manuel compare to those of, let's say, Brian Cashman and Joe Torre. Or how about even John Schurholz and Bobby Cox? I don't know this for sure, but I would venture to guess that both Williams and Manuel's salaries are below the major league average for general manager and field manager respectively.

In Ken Williams, we have an idealistic and enthusiastic general manager who is too inexperienced and too hotheaded. Several of his moves made sense at the time they were made but have backfired (i.e., the David Wells trade). Other moves he has made were too costly and short-sighted (i.e., the Todd Ritchie trade). KW's lack of experience and temperment is hurting this franchise, and that could have a devestating impact down the road.

In Jerry Manuel, we have a manager hired on the cheap. I have already stated numerous times that he does not motivate the team well enough and that he manages by the book too much (i.e., playing the percentages too much and seldom going with a gut feeling). Manuel is not a stupid baseball man, but he is increasingly becoming baseball's answer to Dave Wannstedt and Bob Davie. As this losing goes on, the calls for Manuel's head have increased.

I have feeling that we would never get thoroughbred baseball management because Reinsdorf would not pay for it. Williams and Manuel may go, but they would probaby be succeeded by more management on the cheap. Thus, I would never expect us to become a solid baseball organization like the New York Yankees or the Atlanta Braves.

In closing, I feel it is in the better interest of our franchise if a new ownership were in place. Jerry Reinsdorf is not an evil man, but his negatives have outweighed his positives. Furthermore, his style of management does not provide for a positive outlook on the state of our franchise down the road.

How would Reinsdorf cease to be owner? Well, he really isn't the owner. He only ones about a 15% or so stake in the team. He is the managing general partner among many investors in a limited partnership. The term limited means, if I am not wrong, that the other investors cannot oust Reinsdorf as the managing general partner. However, could they all sell their shares to someone else and grant that person control of the franchise by their possession of the stock majority? That is what I would like to see happen.

Who would be a good candidate for such a thing? I like Pat Ryan of Aon Corporation. Now I realize that Aon is going through a lot of problems right now. The company is on the verge of splitting up after several disappointing quarters. Aon's book of business has not been in good shape for several years. Furthermore, losing over 100 New York employees, who perished on 9/11, has not helped things.

Nevertheless, Ryan is far more aggressive and proactive than Reinsdorf. I think a Ryan ownership of the White Sox would pump much needed blood into the franchise. Something must happen soon, or our franchise could die.

06-08-2002, 12:39 PM
Viva - that was a great post! You said it all and made some great points. Every Sox fan that I know (and I know quite a few) wants him out. I also know that there would be a potential of some new fans that would be there if he was gone. If he at least made it look like he cares about winning, I could stomach, but it is obvious he doesn't (20 years of ownership and 3 crappy first round play off performances).

Thanks for the great post viva!

06-08-2002, 12:47 PM
Originally posted by ˇViva Mágglio!
. great post......... but since we can't get rid of the owner........... i say the manager has to go........... i think and i hope someone will correct me, but under shcu we were going in the right direction.

kw, and nardi has to go......................... i still like jm, but i guess its b/c he never had a choice but to play clayton...........

06-08-2002, 01:23 PM
I'm with ya on this one, ˇViva. Remember when JR said he'd trade all 6 of the Bulls Championships for a single World Series title? It's too bad he's not as willing to part with the green it would take to get it done.

06-08-2002, 01:49 PM
I would have to totally agree with you, YES IT IS THE OWNERSHIP! Why because I have'nt heard a word from J.R. since opening day when he was on espn radio with Yurko & Harry, not a peep since. If you own this team and at the least don't make a comment about whats happening, well all that tells fans is YOU DON'T CARE!I say sell the team to someone who does or maybe next year we'll be hearing about M.L.B (and J.R.'s buddy Bud )getting rid of our team especially now that the twinkies will be around through the 2003 season. Like I said I don't think Steinbrenner would be sitting still for the shoddy play and even shoddier management. I said this earlier how many team in baseball go through this with baserunning, base running something that a major league player and veterans at that should know by now, and if its not the players fault then whos. I tell you who the manager & his coaches-Pitching, Baserunning,Hitting everyone of the coaches. I don't care if its June or what if this team gets swept by the expos & mets and thers still nothing out of J.R. then we have no owner!
Go White Sox :angry: :angry: :angry:

06-08-2002, 07:36 PM
Originally posted by WinningUgly!
I'm with ya on this one, ˇViva. Remember when JR said he'd trade all 6 of the Bulls Championships for a single World Series title? It's too bad he's not as willing to part with the green it would take to get it done.

Yeah, it must be ownership's fault - everybody knows: Organizations Win Championships__® :D: