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Lip Man 1
09-26-2010, 09:21 PM
Folks:

As you may know I had the opportunity to come home in late July / early August and as part of my trip thanks to the cooperation of the White Sox, I was able to get some access to the front office, former players as well as members of the mainstream Chicago media for a story I wanted to do on the history of the relationship between the Sox and the media.

It took about a month and a half to put this one together and thanks to George (Pale Hose George) part one of this overview is now available at White Sox Interactive on the main page, here is the link to the story:

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=2&id=4060

The second part will be published next Sunday.

To help get background for this one I spoke with members of the Sox front office, fans, former players, current members of the Chicago media and I used where applicable, quotes from other media members whom I had already interviewed in the past for the web site.

I don't claim this to be the "be all / end all" on the subject but I do think it looks honestly at what the relationship has been, how it has changed, why it has changed, the mistakes made by both parties and a look to the future to see what may happen in the next few years. There are also some links to other historical events such as SportsVision, the "White Flag Trade", and in part II, Roger Ebert's column on Jay Mariotti and ESPN.

I hope you will enjoy reading this. All comments are welcome.

Lip

WhiteSox5187
09-26-2010, 09:26 PM
I'm really looking forward to the second part of the article. As stated in the article, the media hasn't been very kind to the Sox since Jerry took over but this organization was a PR disaster for a long time.

DSpivack
09-27-2010, 12:02 AM
Looking forward to reading this. You typically have excellent work.

Quentin08
09-27-2010, 09:18 AM
Excellent read for the first part! I loved all the great insight, and I'm looking forward to reading the 2nd part.. esp on what may happen in the next few years. I haven't been too optimistic about the near future for the Sox.. so I'm interested to hear your take on it.

gogosox675
09-27-2010, 10:02 AM
Articles like these are why I love WSI. I'm a first-generation Sox fan, so these articles are how I get most of my information about Sox history. I can't wait for the second part. Thanks, Lip!

downstairs
09-27-2010, 12:23 PM
Excellent read! Well written, as always.

I do believe you got the William Ligue date wrong? Wasn't it 2002?

I noticed this because you mention Sept 2003 first, and then go on to say "then in April 2003..."

salty99
09-27-2010, 12:38 PM
Yes it was 2002.

Lip Man 1
09-27-2010, 12:41 PM
I just noticed that myself today when I re-read the piece. I always try to fact check before sending things to George but something always seems to slip through.

Lip

tsoxman
09-27-2010, 12:52 PM
Very informative, Lip, thanks.

Question for you... in your story, when talking about the new stadium deal passed in 1988, you said that the new owners (Reinsdorf and Einhorn) had a lease agreement that was 'among the best in baseball'.

I know that you were referring to then, but do you think that this is still the case now?

Lip Man 1
09-27-2010, 01:04 PM
I answer that with this quantifier, that I don't know the specifics of the new agreement that was signed a few years ago. (Perhaps someone else can weigh in on this with specifics?)

But based on what I've read in general terms and from what I've heard in general terms it still is a very good one from the White Sox perspective.

I do not know how it 'ranks' or compares to other agreements with other franchises.

Lip

Hitmen77
09-27-2010, 01:55 PM
Great read, Lip! It's very interesting to read the ups and downs that have occurred over the years.

The Sox sure have made PR blunders over the years that help propel them to "2nd class" status in the media. You better believe that two waves of young Chicago fans - those who just started following baseball in the late 60s and again those who started following baseball in the early 80s - went overwhelmingly to the Cubs because they were more accessible on TV.

When you described the media's dislike for the unlikeable Stanky in the 60s, that sounds like a parallel to what happened when Jerry and Eddie took over. These guys just said and did things in the early years of their ownership that made them not likable. Interesting that Einhorn had just a short-sighted view of how to market the Sox.

The timing of the White Flag trade showed that they were totally tone-deaf when it came to fan relations. They convinced themselves so much that they'd be telling the fans "I told you so" in the end. It was almost like they couldn't wait for the day that they could tell the fans that they were wrong about the trade. There's no way the media wasn't going to pounce on that.

You're right that the media used to be much better about covering the two teams based on who was doing better. But I don't think the media ever got over their love affair with the Cubs that started in 1984. It wasn't just inches of column space like Veeck used to complain about. It was the way stories were spun. Sox stories tended to have a negative spin while Cubs stories were more likely to have a positive spin.

The coverage of the Ligue story was ridiculous. Years after it happened, the Tribune kept trotting out Ligue references and photos of the Ligue incident whenever there was fan behavior trouble anywhere.

WhiteSox5187
09-27-2010, 03:05 PM
Great read, Lip! It's very interesting to read the ups and downs that have occurred over the years.

The Sox sure have made PR blunders over the years that help propel them to "2nd class" status in the media. You better believe that two waves of young Chicago fans - those who just started following baseball in the late 60s and again those who started following baseball in the early 80s - went overwhelmingly to the Cubs because they were more accessible on TV.

When you described the media's dislike for the unlikeable Stanky in the 60s, that sounds like a parallel to what happened when Jerry and Eddie took over. These guys just said and did things in the early years of their ownership that made them not likable. Interesting that Einhorn had just a short-sighted view of how to market the Sox.

The timing of the White Flag trade showed that they were totally tone-deaf when it came to fan relations. They convinced themselves so much that they'd be telling the fans "I told you so" in the end. It was almost like they couldn't wait for the day that they could tell the fans that they were wrong about the trade. There's no way the media wasn't going to pounce on that.

You're right that the media used to be much better about covering the two teams based on who was doing better. But I don't think the media ever got over their love affair with the Cubs that started in 1984. It wasn't just inches of column space like Veeck used to complain about. It was the way stories were spun. Sox stories tended to have a negative spin while Cubs stories were more likely to have a positive spin.

The coverage of the Ligue story was ridiculous. Years after it happened, the Tribune kept trotting out Ligue references and photos of the Ligue incident whenever there was fan behavior trouble anywhere.

I think it's interesting the amount of coverage that Ligue got and still gets compared to when that stuff happens at Wrigley. How come no one mentions when that guy attacked Randy Myers? Or Bob Howry? Or when the Dodgers got into a brawl with Cub fans?

LITTLE NELL
09-27-2010, 03:18 PM
All this brings to mind the 2nd team in a city subject.
I was watching a series called the golden age of baseball yesterday before the Rays game and yesterday it was about the 3 teams that were the 2nd team in their city and had to move. They were the Braves, A's and Browns. We came so close on 3 different occasions that I know I've lost a few years off my life with worry that the Sox were leaving Chicago.
As far as the media goes they forgot all about us when the Cubs came back from the dead in the late 60s and again when Harry went to the Cubs and Wrigley became a destination as a so called landmark.

Lip Man 1
09-27-2010, 09:03 PM
Hitmen and 5187:

We go into details about the issues you brought up with coverage of the Ligue and Dybas incidents next week in part II, as well as a closer look at the insanity that was Jay Mariotti and what it is exactly that drives Sox fans up the wall concerning ESPN. Plus Mark Gonzales and Joe Cowley address the question of Sox coverage today.

Basically we look at the time period from 2000 through 2009 plus some bonus features, i.e. the potential big Sox stories in the next few years and in their own words, i.e. quotes from the principles themselves on how the relationship with the media has developed.

Lip

Frater Perdurabo
09-27-2010, 09:35 PM
Another outstanding story, Lip. Well done!

thomas35forever
09-28-2010, 05:07 PM
Excellent article. I read about some of this in one of Richard Lindberg's books this summer, but it was nice to see so much covered in so much detail.

Lip Man 1
09-28-2010, 05:18 PM
Thomas:

I appreciate it. Next week will be one that I think fans will particularly enjoy as part II comes out Sunday night.

Lip

Quentin08
09-28-2010, 09:20 PM
Top story tonight on Fox Chicago once again showed video of the Ligue incident. What an ugly incident! They were reporting on unruly fans because of the incident last night at the Bears game.

Hitmen77
09-30-2010, 02:20 PM
All this brings to mind the 2nd team in a city subject.
I was watching a series called the golden age of baseball yesterday before the Rays game and yesterday it was about the 3 teams that were the 2nd team in their city and had to move. They were the Braves, A's and Browns. We came so close on 3 different occasions that I know I've lost a few years off my life with worry that the Sox were leaving Chicago.
As far as the media goes they forgot all about us when the Cubs came back from the dead in the late 60s and again when Harry went to the Cubs and Wrigley became a destination as a so called landmark.

That sounds like an interesting program. I have to wonder if a 2nd team that had stayed in Boston and Philadelphia would draw better than some of the teams in MLB today.

St. Louis definitely wouldn't. Their population has plummeted since WWII.

Aside from these 3 cities losing their 2nd team, New York also went from a 3 team to a 2 team (after the expansion Mets) city.