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Lip Man 1
09-15-2011, 11:47 PM
I've always felt Gonzo was even keeled and understood that as a beat writer he's not paid to give opinions.

I also know of some of the things he's observed the last five years dating back to Brian Anderson being one of the guys in the clubhouse in Cleveland watching TV instead of watching video of a pitcher the Sox had never seen before. (and it was pointed out to me that other players and coaches noticed this...)

Tonight Gonzo stepped out of character and made some observations which I think you'll find interesting:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/ct-spt-0916-on-white-sox-gonzales-chicago--2-20110916,0,116443.story

Lip

DirtySox
09-16-2011, 12:08 AM
Lip,

I assume you wanted the draft bonus spending data to give to Gonzalez? Because this is the first time he's ever mentioned it as a detriment. In the past when I inquired about the pathetic spending he fed me answers that indicated he had almost no understanding of said topic which was rather disappointing.

Lip Man 1
09-16-2011, 12:17 AM
Dirty:

Let's just say that I knew Gonzo was going to be stepping out of character and I thought those figures might be helpful as background information.

Trust me in this, Gonzo knows a lot about the minor league system, that's something he really seems to enjoy (i.e. following it and seeing how the kids progress) and he talks to scouts religiously from different organizations in both leagues. He's known some of these guys for decades and trusts their judgment.

I also know that at this point he hasn't told everything that he's seen, I get a sense more could be coming if the higher up's in the organization try to attack his thoughts on a personal basis.

The minor league system is perhaps lower than its ever been (which is saying something) and to place all the blame on Kenny for it is doing him an injustice.

Noneck has talked a lot about getting the feeling that Kenny doesn't have as much power as some think and unfortunately he's right. At least in the draft process as well as the signing phase JR has asserted himself apparently in ways that have not worked well for the franchise.

How this may change, even if it will change, I honestly have no idea. I think, I hope that it will though if Kenny is allowed to select (with the final blessing from JR) his guy.

It's going to be interesting the next few weeks.

Lip

captain54
09-16-2011, 01:27 AM
JR has asserted himself apparently in ways that have not worked well for the franchise.

How this may change, even if it will change, I honestly have no idea.
Lip

JR may be many things, but what he is NOT is a dumb guy. He's been around long enough and has said many times that the best marketing tool is a winning ballclub. 14,000/15,000 a night and the Sox will lose money. And if things continue down this path, its a real possibility.

JR is savvy enough and determined enough in his decision making to not allow the franchise to go into the financial crapper, and if that means less asserting of his ways, or at least asserting his ways differently, he'll do it.

SoxSpeed22
09-16-2011, 01:37 AM
Jerry already handed control of the Bulls to his son, we'll have to see what his next move is. A lot of people here don't think he wants to go through hiring another GM and manager, so he might keep Kenny around and let him do all of the legwork on finding a manager. He might do the same for Kenny that he did for Krause and give him another shot at building a winner.

DSpivack
09-16-2011, 01:41 AM
JR may be many things, but what he is NOT is a dumb guy. He's been around long enough and has said many times that the best marketing tool is a winning ballclub. 14,000/15,000 a night and the Sox will lose money. And if things continue down this path, its a real possibility.

JR is savvy enough and determined enough in his decision making to not allow the franchise to go into the financial crapper, and if that means less asserting of his ways, or at least asserting his ways differently, he'll do it.

I've always been a pretty vocal JR supporter and have tried to shut down any ridiculous arguments that say he's cheap (as I remember from many years ago here, the cliche was that the Sox were cheap, timid & stupid, the former referring to the owner).

But one thing I do suspect from many years reading things here is that while JR is not afraid to put money into the major league squad, I do think he is very much against spending over slot in the draft. And I do not think that is as much organizational philosophy as it is an effect of JR being among the closest owners to Bud Selig, thus he tends to tow the party line in baseball much moreso than many owners. If MLB and Selig in general are against going over slot, then JR will not do so as a matter of principle, so as to maintain power amongst ownership, even if such policy is to the detriment of the team. I think such policy is finally catching up to the White Sox in that regard, whereas they had been able to avoid such problems by bringing in outside talent and spending more and more on payroll than the team had ever done before. I think this season we are seeing the Sox reach their upper limit in terms of payroll, though, and combined with a dearth of young talent, the policy and philosophy of ownership is really coming to a head. That all of that has coincided with a manager who is clearly at the end of his tenure with the team could just be a coincidence.

As Noneck and Lip have said, it's hard to completely blame KW, if he is limited to operating within those parameters. Given an owner without such restrictions (and I don't mean an unlimited budget, but being able to use those resources however one wishes in building a team up over time), I don't exactly know how KW would operate. I also don't know if KW is the answer going forward as GM of the Chicago White Sox. But I also don't see JR changing his ways when it comes to the draft any time soon.

TomBradley72
09-16-2011, 08:25 AM
I'm starting to think JR is a big contributor to the dysfunction in the organization- overall I think he should hire the right people and then "get out of the way" and empower them to do their jobs.

Examples of his micromanaging that I've heard:

Williams wants to fire Walker- over ridden by JR
Williams says today that the manager decision is up to JR :?:
Williams is pursuing Olivo- JR jumps in to re-sign AJ
I'm used to the manager having authority for hiring/firing any coaches, and the GM having authority over hiring/firing the manager- from a pure business perspective-JR is creating a very dysfunctional environment as the CEO.

asindc
09-16-2011, 09:09 AM
The article mentions "complacency" among the veterans, and I think that is spot on. There has been an appalling lack of fire in this team the past three years.

Rocky Soprano
09-16-2011, 09:31 AM
The article mentions "complacency" among the veterans, and I think that is spot on. There has been an appalling lack of fire in this team the past three years.

I truly find that surprising.
Like him or hate him, Ozzie displays a lot of passion.
How could that no carry over to the team? How could he not expect more from his players?

Or is the passion/fire a show for the media and fans?

hawkjt
09-16-2011, 09:43 AM
The article mentions "complacency" among the veterans, and I think that is spot on. There has been an appalling lack of fire in this team the past three years.

Yes, that is a damning indictment of those vets,and Ozzie and coaching staff. Who are they referring to?

Candidates: Rios,Alexei,AJ,Thornton,Danks,Floyd,Omar?

Peavy,maybe?
PK? nah.
Ramon? possible
Gordo? still not a vet,really.
Juan? hardest worker? nah.


As far as the draft bonus issue; so does this mean the Sox are not signing draft picks or just not drafting guys who they know will demand bonuses in excess of slot?

I suppose with Cowley blowing up the Sox on a daily basis, Gonzo felt some pressure to weigh in before the end at least once,just to remain ''relevant''. I respect his work,no doubt.

asindc
09-16-2011, 09:49 AM
I truly find that surprising.
Like him or hate him, Ozzie displays a lot of passion.
How could that no carry over to the team? How could he not expect more from his players?

Or is the passion/fire a show for the media and fans?

I think Ozzie maintained his fire up until about a month ago, but there is only so much a manager can do in that regard. Players respond best to other players, but the long-time Sox vets have seemed to vary in their intensity since 2006. I credit Pauly for re-dedicating himself (contract push or not, it has spilled over), but generally Pauly, Burls, and AJ (despite his on-field edge) don't seem to be the type to kick ass and aggressively shake up things when needed. Probably not their personalities, but this team really needs it at times and it seems it hasn't gotten it in recent seasons.

asindc
09-16-2011, 09:51 AM
Yes, that is a damning indictment of those vets,and Ozzie and coaching staff. Who are they referring to?

Candidates: Rios,Alexei,AJ,Thornton,Danks,Floyd,Omar?

Peavy,maybe?
PK? nah.
Ramon? possible
Gordo? still not a vet,really.
Juan? hardest worker? nah.


As far as the draft bonus issue; so does this mean the Sox are not signing draft picks or just not drafting guys who they know will demand bonuses in excess of slot?

I suppose with Cowley blowing up the Sox on a daily basis, Gonzo felt some pressure to weigh in before the end at least once,just to remain ''relevant''. I respect his work,no doubt.

I think it has been more than latter than the former, though some draft watchers who follow it more closely can chime in here.

kaufsox
09-16-2011, 10:17 AM
Lip:

I don't want to say he steps out of character, but Gonzo has one of the better twitter feeds that follows the Sox. He lets a little more opinion come in, which can be fun. He also is able to make a comment that seems innocuous, but are actually have a little bite. I specifically referring to his twitter count of Dunn's strikeouts, which I believe started around 90.

DirtySox
09-16-2011, 10:57 AM
As far as the draft bonus issue; so does this mean the Sox are not signing draft picks or just not drafting guys who they know will demand bonuses in excess of slot?

It's a bit of both, but primarily the latter. It's been mentioned in this thread already and I've harped on it incessantly. Jerry doesn't like spending on the draft. Probably a combination of the risk involved, not liking to spend on unproven talent, and being close with Bud and his slot recommendations. This year was quite glaring in this regard. Without having a first round pick, instead of allocating that 1st round savings on better and more expensive talent that fell to latter rounds, the Sox decided to pocket that excess money and ended up spending the least of all teams this year. A draft class where we saw record breaking spending on bonuses in large part due to how much talent was available.

This link tells the tale pretty sufficiently:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2011/08/bonus-expenditures-2007-11/

Unless Jerry does a complete 180 on his willingness to spend overslot, expect the Sox to be at the bottom of this list in coming years as well. Either pray for hard-slotting in the off-season or hope someone takes over for Jerry. The unwillingness to invest in prospects coupled with Kenny missing lately on his trades has left the organization in a scary place right now. It's hard to fault Kenny, Laumann, and Bell entirely though, as they are very limited in their resources and what they have to work with.

Lip Man 1
09-16-2011, 11:01 AM
Hawk:

Just wanted to add something. I know Gonzo had been debating with himself whether to do this since the All Star Break. I don't think Joe releasing his story had much to do with this.

The impression I got was that Gonzo really wasn't comfortable stepping out of what his role should be and it just took awhile for him to figure it all out and how to present it.

I also know he's been seeing a lot of stuff over the past few years and just felt he had an obligation to the readers and fans to start letting some things out that he knows.

Lip

ilsox7
09-16-2011, 01:08 PM
Hawk:

Just wanted to add something. I know Gonzo had been debating with himself whether to do this since the All Star Break. I don't think Joe releasing his story had much to do with this.

The impression I got was that Gonzo really wasn't comfortable stepping out of what his role should be and it just took awhile for him to figure it all out and how to present it.

I also know he's been seeing a lot of stuff over the past few years and just felt he had an obligation to the readers and fans to start letting some things out that he knows.

Lip

He is one of the few writers in this town that doesn't suck.

hawkjt
09-16-2011, 01:21 PM
It's a bit of both, but primarily the latter. It's been mentioned in this thread already and I've harped on it incessantly. Jerry doesn't like spending on the draft. Probably a combination of the risk involved, not liking to spend on unproven talent, and being close with Bud and his slot recommendations. This year was quite glaring in this regard. Without having a first round pick, instead of allocating that 1st round savings on better and more expensive talent that fell to latter rounds, the Sox decided to pocket that excess money and ended up spending the least of all teams this year. A draft class where we saw record breaking spending on bonuses in large part due to how much talent was available.

This link tells the tale pretty sufficiently:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2011/08/bonus-expenditures-2007-11/

Unless Jerry does a complete 180 on his willingness to spend overslot, expect the Sox to be at the bottom of this list in coming years as well. Either pray for hard-slotting in the off-season or hope someone takes over for Jerry. The unwillingness to invest in prospects coupled with Kenny missing lately on his trades has left the organization in a scary place right now. It's hard to fault Kenny, Laumann, and Bell entirely though, as they are very limited in their resources and what they have to work with.

I assume those numbers do not include bonuses given to Alexei and Viciedo,right? Maybe that would even it out a bit?

Also, I wonder how many high picks that demand big bonuses were held by the Sox over this period. They have rarely been picking high,like the Pirates and other teams that never contend. I would like to see draftees that the Sox passed on due to bonus concerns. Some big names?

DirtySox
09-16-2011, 01:23 PM
I assume those numbers do not include bonuses given to Alexei and Viciedo,right? Maybe that would even it out a bit?


They do not. Those bonuses are considered under international spending. The White Sox fall in the bottom in that category as well. They have almost zero international presence compared to other organizations.

DirtySox
09-16-2011, 01:26 PM
Also, I wonder how many high picks that demand big bonuses were held by the Sox over this period. They have rarely been picking high,like the Pirates and other teams that never contend. I would like to see draftees that the Sox passed on due to bonus concerns. Some big names?

I'm not sure what you're looking for. The Sox almost always select players that will be reasonably easy to sign. They are never linked to players that are seeking significant overslot money because Jerry generally follows the recommended slot bonus. This isn't some new development and it has been apparent for a while now.

From a very recent BA Prospect Chat:

Mikell (Chicago): Why do the White Sox have the worst farm system of the modern era year after year? And what can be done to alleviate this yearly disaster?

Jim Callis: That's a little harsh, but the White Sox are perennially near the bottom. The answer is simple: Chicago spends less on the draft than any team, and while I don't have international amateur figures, the Sox are near the bottom there too. Hard to bring in talent without spending any money, but Jerry Reinsdorf hates paying big bonuses.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/chat/2011/2612323.html

russ99
09-16-2011, 07:39 PM
I've always been a pretty vocal JR supporter and have tried to shut down any ridiculous arguments that say he's cheap (as I remember from many years ago here, the cliche was that the Sox were cheap, timid & stupid, the former referring to the owner).

But one thing I do suspect from many years reading things here is that while JR is not afraid to put money into the major league squad, I do think he is very much against spending over slot in the draft. And I do not think that is as much organizational philosophy as it is an effect of JR being among the closest owners to Bud Selig, thus he tends to tow the party line in baseball much moreso than many owners. If MLB and Selig in general are against going over slot, then JR will not do so as a matter of principle, so as to maintain power amongst ownership, even if such policy is to the detriment of the team. I think such policy is finally catching up to the White Sox in that regard, whereas they had been able to avoid such problems by bringing in outside talent and spending more and more on payroll than the team had ever done before. I think this season we are seeing the Sox reach their upper limit in terms of payroll, though, and combined with a dearth of young talent, the policy and philosophy of ownership is really coming to a head. That all of that has coincided with a manager who is clearly at the end of his tenure with the team could just be a coincidence.

As Noneck and Lip have said, it's hard to completely blame KW, if he is limited to operating within those parameters. Given an owner without such restrictions (and I don't mean an unlimited budget, but being able to use those resources however one wishes in building a team up over time), I don't exactly know how KW would operate. I also don't know if KW is the answer going forward as GM of the Chicago White Sox. But I also don't see JR changing his ways when it comes to the draft any time soon.

Very good post.

Personally, I think a lot of the problems with planning for the big league club and the exponential lack of balance in the roster is that the Sox often react to a deficiency a 6 months to a year later due to self-enforced budgetary inflexibilty, creating another often worse deficiency.

Here's a few examples:

CF: Trading Rowand, replacing him with kids who couldn't handle the job then losing out on Hunter, and finally Kenny grasping at straws for Griffey then taking a huge chance on Rios on his contract.

DH: Not replacing Thome in the FA period of 2010 well before Soxfest debacle (when Vlad Guerrero could be had cheap) then replacing him with a Jones/Kotsay, then the poor Manny acquisition, then overpaying on Dunn after being outbid on Victor Martinez.

SP: Vazquez replaced by Clayton Richard replaced by Peavy; Hudson for Jackson for Stewart

Had Jerry/Kenny bent the budget a few times or were at least flexible in the winter signing period (as they were so successful doing in 2005) then those problems would have been fixed with talent at that time, and not left to be problems until Kenny had to take big risks to try and fix them.

SI1020
09-16-2011, 08:04 PM
They do not. Those bonuses are considered under international spending. The White Sox fall in the bottom in that category as well. They have almost zero international presence compared to other organizations. A really great strategy for success in today's game.