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Lip Man 1
04-11-2013, 06:48 PM
In another thread Shingo asked the question (paraphrasing) ‘what is the Sox philosophy?’

That’s a great question and one that has been discussed here at the site in the past, but with a new G.M. perhaps it’s time to revisit the point to see what everyone thinks.

Double had a post where he basically said (again paraphrasing) ‘the Sox are in a Twilight Zone where they usually get around 85 wins…good enough to tell the fans “we’re contending” but in reality not good enough to win the division (usually) or grab a wild card…’

He’s exactly right as history shows (to say nothing of history showing conclusively the Sox are usually worse in the second half of the season which doesn’t help matters…)

The question though is what do they do about it? How do they break this cycle even if they want to??

To me you can look at two approaches but with the Sox under current ownership both have serious drawbacks.

First you can say you’re “all in…” (had to use it gang…) and spend 150 million or so like the Dodgers, Angels, Rangers, Yankees, Tigers and Red Sox have done. It enables you to overcome injuries, buy yourself depth, overcome bad trades, slumps by a player and so on.

The Sox have spent in the past but always within reasonable limitations. Even when they spent 130 million on payroll, the all time high, the club had shortcomings. You have to spend the money wisely which many think the Sox haven’t even when they’ve decided to stretch things. And the fact is they either cannot or won’t (depends on who you talk to) spend that kind of cash needed to buy a club like the Tigers have on a regular basis.

The other option is to rebuild and I suspect some in the organization think “it’s time” (had to use it gang…) to try this approach.

The problem is though if the Sox were to do this and publicly announce it (or not announce it but act accordingly), I suspect the fan base that they have would be up in arms, simply not show up to support a loser (which has been the case throughout history) and U.S. Cellular Field would be a ghost town. They’d lose money even if they had a small payroll and would lose whatever relevance they have in the market. Sox fans are not Cub fans.

It’s just a bad situation isn’t it? I can’t tell you what the “right” approach is or how to solve this quandary. I wish I had the answer, believe me, I would have given it to the Sox long time ago.

Maybe part of the answer is simply that it’s time for new ownership, perhaps with different financial considerations and new people in the front office, from the G.M. to marketing and advertising to media relations, scouting and minor league development…the entire package. Fresh minds, fresh ideas. That’s about all I can come up with.

Again the Sox appear to be between a rock and a hard place and it doesn’t look like they are going to get out of it anytime soon.

Lip

LITTLE NELL
04-11-2013, 07:07 PM
Part of the problem is except for some pitchers we have a horrible track record in developing good solid ready for the Major League players. I don't know who is to blame for our philosophy in the minors. What are we teaching these kids. We bring up kids that can't make contact, have no idea of the strike zone and swing for the fences. I wonder if USCF being a launching pad has something to do with the hitters mindsets once they reach the big leagues. Look at Beckham, his first year he was driving the ball in the gap in right center for a lot of doubles, when is the last time we have seen do that, he tries to pull everything over the left field wall. PK is about the only player on the team that goes with the pitch.

dickallen15
04-11-2013, 07:09 PM
The Sox have won the WS relatively recently. The Giants have won a couple without a mega payroll. I don't think winning 85 every year is baseball hell. This isn't the NBA. Baseball hell is Pittsburgh,KC, the Cubs.........the Sox are going to need a lot of breaks to win it all, but so does just about every team. Are playoff appearances without a title good enough? I would venure to guess if the Sox were like Detroit and made the playoffs 2 or 3 years in a row and didn't win, it would be referred to as a total fail.

The Sox haven't made the playoffs enough. i would be the first to tell you that, but their philosophy to me seems to be have a top 10-12 payroll and try to put the team they think will be able to win the most games in uniform.

They have expanded their presence in the DR, but that will take several years before any results are seen in Chicago. They picked up Sale in the draft, that seems like a good pick. A lot of people seem to be excited about Hawkins. The system seems to be better than it has been in years.

I think they spend enough money on the major league roster to win. It might not be spent wisely enough to win.

Lip Man 1
04-11-2013, 07:11 PM
Nell:

I suspect that's part of it (i.e. launching pad) and that this is also part of the Sox philosophy (i.e. home run or nothing...)

Daver knows about as much about the minor league system as anyone and he has said in the past another issue is the Sox (unlike say the Twins) move players from team to team, from level to level based strickly on hitting. And they'll move guys up to multiple levels in a single year to boot. Daver says things like knowing the strike zone, fielding, fundamentals are being ignored simply because a guy 'can hit.' And if I've misquoted Daver he can clarify his thoughts if he wishes.

Also remember the Sox have had by my count three different scouting directors in the past 10 years and probably three different minor league directors. Continuity doesn't seem to be a strong point in this regard for the organization.

Lip

RKMeibalane
04-11-2013, 07:13 PM
Doublem23 made an additional point that I thought was interesting when he referenced the "85-win purgatory" that the White Sox seem locked into. He talked about how young teams opting to rebuild often feature a group of young players who, in spite of their struggles upon reaching the Major League level, are given ample time to mature as a group, eventually forming a core of solid veteran players that remain competitive for the balance of their careers. I mentioned the example of the Braves in another post. I'd also submit that the New York Yankees' early teams under Joe Torre featured a similar group.

(Their spending didn't increase until the bidding war for Jason Giambi prior to the 2002 season. For anyone who hasn't done so, I would encourage you to read Joe Torre's book The Yankee Years. It's an outstanding read, and it discusses the shift in the philosophy of the Yankees organization following the loss to the Diamondbacks in the 2001 World Series. Torre believes that that loss was what spurred Steinbrenner to spend such large amounts of money, as he couldn't accept being second best.)

The White Sox haven't had a "young core" for more than twenty years. Their most successful youth movement occurred during the early 1990s, when Frank Thomas, Robin Ventura, Jack McDowell, Wilson Alvarez, and Alex Fernandez were around. I would actually be interested to hear Robin's thoughts on that group, and if he believes that the Sox have a chance to assemble such a group in the near future. They have talent at the lowest levels of their farm system, but the upper levels are largely a barren wasteland. It will be some time before said talent comes to fruition, which is by no means guaranteed. And, as Lip pointed out, Sox fans aren't exactly the most patient group when it comes to allowing ownership dismantle this team. If the Sox decide to scrap the current roster and start over, how many fans will be left by the time the refit is complete?

Lip Man 1
04-11-2013, 07:16 PM
Dick:

I suspect most fans would be dancing in the streets if the Sox were to make the post season say three years in a row, even if they didn't win the series at all.

Considering this franchise is the only one of the original 16 pre expansion franchises to have never made the post season in consecutive years, that would be a significant accomplishment and I think the fans would regard it as such....and it would show things are turning around. Just my opinion.

Lip

dickallen15
04-11-2013, 07:22 PM
Doublem23 made an additional point that I thought was interesting when he referenced the "85-win purgatory" that the White Sox seem locked into. He talked about how young teams opting to rebuild often feature a group of young players who, in spite of their struggles upon reaching the Major League level, are given ample time to mature as a group, eventually forming a core of solid veteran players that remain competitive for the balance of their careers. I mentioned the example of the Braves in another post. I'd also submit that the New York Yankees' early teams under Joe Torre featured a similar group.

(Their spending didn't increase until the bidding war for Jason Giambi prior to the 2002 season. For anyone who hasn't done so, I would encourage you to read Joe Torre's book The Yankee Years. It's an outstanding read, and it discusses the shift in the philosophy of the Yankees organization following the loss to the Diamondbacks in the 2001 World Series. Torre believes that that loss was what spurred Steinbrenner to spend such large amounts of money, as he couldn't accept being second best.)

The White Sox haven't had a "young core" for more than twenty years. Their most successful youth movement occurred during the early 1990s, when Frank Thomas, Robin Ventura, Jack McDowell, Wilson Alvarez, and Alex Fernandez were around. I would actually be interested to hear Robin's thoughts on that group, and if he believes that the Sox have a chance to assemble such a group in the near future. They have talent at the lowest levels of their farm system, but the upper levels are largely a barren wasteland. It will be some time before said talent comes to fruition, which is by no means guaranteed. And, as Lip pointed out, Sox fans aren't exactly the most patient group when it comes to allowing ownership dismantle this team. If the Sox decide to scrap the current roster and start over, how many fans will be left by the time the refit is complete?
And there is no guarantee it would only take a couple of years. The Sox came up all aces when the got McDowell, Ventura, Thomas and Fernandez in consecutive drafts, and still had to be horrible in 86,87,88and 89 to get them. Chances of them going 4 for 4 like that again, and those players making the impact as soon as those 4 did is slim.

Lip Man 1
04-11-2013, 07:24 PM
As RK pointed out it's been a long time since the Sox had that type of young talent.

Remember though it took them four desolate years (86 to 89) to be in position to get those high draft picks AND they had a tremendous talent evaluator (Larry Himes) in charge.

I've got nothing against rebuilding, it's something I think the Sox have to seriously consider but drafting and scouting is not an exact science even with the finest minds doing it. Do the Sox even have those type minds running the show right now? If not, would they pay the price financially to get them??

If they did would JR stay out of the process (as has been reported off the record in the past...)? Would talent be the directing principal? Or would it be 'who is his agent?'

Like with everything else about this situation (unfortunately) there are no clear cut answers.

Lip

RKMeibalane
04-11-2013, 07:28 PM
Nell:

I suspect that's part of it (i.e. launching pad) and that this is also part of the Sox philosophy (i.e. home run or nothing...)

Daver knows about as much about the minor league system as anyone and he has said in the past another issue is the Sox (unlike say the Twins) move players from team to team, from level to level based strickly on hitting. And they'll move guys up to multiple levels in a single year to boot. Daver says things like knowing the strike zone, fielding, fundamentals are being ignored simply because a guy 'can hit.' And if I've misquoted Daver he can clarify his thoughts if he wishes.

Also remember the Sox have had by my count three different scouting directors in the past 10 years and probably three different minor league directors. Continuity doesn't seem to be a strong point in this regard for the organization.

Lip

This is an interesting point, Lip. I'd also add that the Sox, perhaps because of the approach you mentioned, have a tendency to promote players before they're ready for the Major Leagues, often because they need to fill a hole in the lineup or in the starting rotation. How many times over the past decade (at least) have we complained about the lack of pitching at the back end of the rotation, or the lack of production from certain spots in the lineup?

It has been a problem nearly every season that I have followed this team, save for the 2000 and 2005 seasons. The '02 and '03 teams had problems with consistency from their fourth and fifth starters, and the '04 team was devastated by injuries to its two best offensive players (Thomas and Ordonez), forcing Paul Konerko and Carlos Lee to be the primary run-producers for the team. Konerko grew into that role, and eventually succeeded Thomas as the team's best hitter, but Lee was too undisciplined for the role, and as he was traded to Milwaukee after the season, it's unclear if he would have progressed as Paul did in later seasons. In any case, the absence of the team's number three and four hitters was more than enough to knock the Sox out of first place, as it would likely be for any team (as the 2012 Phillies about that).

Ironically, the events of 2004 were the impetus for Williams trading Lee and allowing Ordonez to leave via free-agency, moves that ultimately paved the way for the team that won the World Series. It's impossible to know how the Sox would have fared had either or both remained with the team in 2005, but I find it hard to believe that either would have contributed to the extent that Jermaine Dye or Scott Podsednik did. None of the players I mentioned were young, but Williams' willingness to find players who approached the game differently had a tremendous impact on how the Sox played. Why he was never able to recapture that dynamic with future groups is something I don't understand, as it was clear that reliance on team baseball produced far better results than the "home run or die" approach of Jerry Manuel's teams.

canOcorn
04-11-2013, 07:31 PM
I wouldn't mind a new ownership group to take over. Jerry isn't really the Marlins, but he's been raking in $30M profits the last 8-9 years and has also seen the ownerships initial investment of $20M grow to over $400M. Contrary to his statements, they're taking dividends each year on the investment. I guess I wouldn't really have a problem with taking something small each year, but you really shouldn't operate a professional sports team make huge profits on a year basis.

I know he's at the forefront of the latest movement to limit costs on unproven talent - i.e, the draft and international signings, but I really wish they would spend just a couple of bucks on minor league development, instead of operating the minor league operation on a shoestring.

russ99
04-11-2013, 07:49 PM
The draft issue is at least partially fixed with the new cap rules, but there is still an onus on the Sox organization to pick the best players, and not the most signable ones, and really invest in how those players are developed.

I've railed year after year about the lack of investment in the big league team, but considering that the two years Jerry did that (2006 and 2010) didn't especially work out, I can understand why the Sox would be gunshy to splash the cash and threaten the profit margin. Also, they were a high bidder on Torii Hunter in 2008 and couldn't close the deal. Not sure if that's a plus or minus.

Also as far as new ownership goes, as a fan you really don't know what you're gonna get - and what you get could change over time. As an Astros fan, I initially loved Drayton McLane as an owner, but he turned into a meddler who wouldn't spend on prospects but would waste millions on a fading player like Miguel Tejada, and that turned me sour. Now the Astros are stuck with Crane who seems worse.

Jerry despite his pre-2000 faults has turned into a decent owner. Not perfect, or someone pushing the club forward like Arte Moreno of the Angels, but decent. What happens when Jerry sells or bequeaths the Sox is going to be the big story of the Sox in the next decade or two.

My hope for the near future of the Sox is that Rick Hahn as GM can make some moves to give us that talented dynamic young core that we've been lacking, both through player development (we have a very nice group of OFs in the minors) and trading for/signing top younger talent and trading away players who aren't getting it done for younger players with more upside that those we're trading.

Once the Konerko, Dunn, Rios and Peavy contracts are through, he'll have a ton of financial flexibility to work with to fill in gaps with good players, even if Jerry pares payroll back from where it is now (Our 4th or 5th highest ever by my count).

So I'm hopeful that the Sox will be better than they are now within 2-3 years given that the right moves are made, and I'm willing to sit through a few seasons around and below .500 if we get there.

Lip Man 1
04-11-2013, 07:49 PM
RK:

Ironically it was Kenny who decided to change that 'team / small ball' philosophy when he traded Rowand for Thome (and that's not saying a thing against Jim the consumate professional)

------------------

Can:

For whatever it's worth when the new ownership took over in January 1981 one of the first things EE said was (paraphrasing) 'the way to win today is through free agency and trades, not the minor league system...'

I don't have an issue with that approach either but to do so you've got to spend big money for the top quality free agents which by and large the Sox haven't done.

So again we get back to what's the philosophy? They won't spend big dollars for the best free agents and they won't spend big dollars on the minor league system. The Sox spent the fewest dollars over the previous five seasons in MLB on signing money for newcomers to baseball.

Rock and a hard place again isn't it?

Lip

dickallen15
04-11-2013, 07:56 PM
This is an interesting point, Lip. I'd also add that the Sox, perhaps because of the approach you mentioned, have a tendency to promote players before they're ready for the Major Leagues, often because they need to fill a hole in the lineup or in the starting rotation. How many times over the past decade (at least) have we complained about the lack of pitching at the back end of the rotation, or the lack of production from certain spots in the lineup?

It has been a problem nearly every season that I have followed this team, save for the 2000 and 2005 seasons. The '02 and '03 teams had problems with consistency from their fourth and fifth starters, and the '04 team was devastated by injuries to its two best offensive players (Thomas and Ordonez), forcing Paul Konerko and Carlos Lee to be the primary run-producers for the team. Konerko grew into that role, and eventually succeeded Thomas as the team's best hitter, but Lee was too undisciplined for the role, and as he was traded to Milwaukee after the season, it's unclear if he would have progressed as Paul did in later seasons. In any case, the absence of the team's number three and four hitters was more than enough to knock the Sox out of first place, as it would likely be for any team (as the 2012 Phillies about that).

Ironically, the events of 2004 were the impetus for Williams trading Lee and allowing Ordonez to leave via free-agency, moves that ultimately paved the way for the team that won the World Series. It's impossible to know how the Sox would have fared had either or both remained with the team in 2005, but I find it hard to believe that either would have contributed to the extent that Jermaine Dye or Scott Podsednik did. None of the players I mentioned were young, but Williams' willingness to find players who approached the game differently had a tremendous impact on how the Sox played. Why he was never able to recapture that dynamic with future groups is something I don't understand, as it was clear that reliance on team baseball produced far better results than the "home run or die" approach of Jerry Manuel's teams.
Pods stole a lot of bases, but the 2005 White sox actually scored a higher percentage of their runs via a homer than the 2004 squad.

RKMeibalane
04-11-2013, 07:59 PM
RK:

Ironically it was Kenny who decided to change that 'team / small ball' philosophy when he traded Rowand for Thome (and that's not saying a thing against Jim the consumate professional)

And it's hard to know why he did that, given how successful the '05 team was. I realize, of course, that the Sox needed to find a replacement for Frank Thomas and Carl Everett, and Thome was excellent during his initial tour with the Sox, but his presence did represent a return to the pre-2005 philosophy that ultimately doomed the Sox in their pursuit of the Twins.

I don't believe that Rowand would have remained productive. He played well in Philadelphia, but was mediocre with the Giants, so dealing him when his value was at its peak was the right move. The Phillies were a logical trade partner because they needed to make room for Ryan Howard, who'd been stuck behind Thome at first base until 2005. Needless to say, that move worked out nicely for them, with Howard leading them to back-to-back World Series and helping them reach the postseason five consecutive seasons.

However, it's still puzzling that Williams so easily abandoned what worked so well, and even more confounding that he took no steps to assemble a similar roster at a later time. On the contrary, his solution to the Sox offensive woes revolved around the acquisitions of Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn. Junior was the best player in the game when he was at his best, but he was far, far removed from that pedestal by the time the Sox traded for him. As for Dunn, well, we've seen the results of his presence the past two seasons.

RKMeibalane
04-11-2013, 08:00 PM
Pods stole a lot of bases, but the 2005 White sox actually scored a higher percentage of their runs via a homer than the 2004 squad.

I remember reading that. Yet, the '05 team seemed to do a much better job of manufacturing runs in close games, something that eluded previous teams. Without looking at the numbers, I wonder how the significant the difference was in the number of home runs hit with men on base, as opposed to the solo variety that was commonplace on earlier teams. The '03 team was particularly guilty of this, as only Frank Thomas and Carlos Lee drove in more than one hundred runs. Magglio Ordonez finished with ninety nine runs batted in.

dickallen15
04-11-2013, 08:05 PM
I remember reading that. Yet, the '05 team seemed to do a much better job of manufacturing runs in close games, something that eluded previous teams.

They also had a bullpen that once they had the lead, the game was over.

RKMeibalane
04-11-2013, 08:06 PM
They also had a bullpen that once they had the lead, the game was over.

Correct, something they're missing at the moment.

Lip Man 1
04-11-2013, 08:21 PM
Just for the record in 2005 the Sox were in the top quarter of the league in the following offensive categories:

* home runs
* sacrifice bunts
* sacrifice fly's
* stolen bases
* infield hits

As I've said before the Sox had balance...they could beat you with a blast, a bloop or a bunt.

They haven't had that since.

Lip

blandman
04-11-2013, 08:23 PM
The way I see it, the Sox are doing exactly what they need to in order to maximize their profits with our fanbase. Spending too much comes with the risk of losing tens of millions if the team doesn't reach expectations. Conversely, rebuilding properly to produce a true winner reduces revenue in the short term. Building a high 70 to low 80 winner consistently, affording for luck, has allowed the team to appear competitive (and produced significant revenue). I don't think that fans will go away if we rebuild is an issue so much as the lost short term revenue. Keeping our average team out there is a successful model for them, at least as long as we continue to support this system with our money.

RKMeibalane
04-11-2013, 08:31 PM
The way I see it, the Sox are doing exactly what they need to in order to maximize their profits with our fanbase. Spending too much comes with the risk of losing tens of millions if the team doesn't reach expectations. Conversely, rebuilding properly to produce a true winner reduces revenue in the short term. Building a high 70 to low 80 winner consistently, affording for luck, has allowed the team to appear competitive (and produced significant revenue). I don't think that fans will go away if we rebuild is an issue so much as the lost short term revenue. Keeping our average team out there is a successful model for them, at least as long as we continue to support this system with our money.

Maybe I'm missing something, but aren't these two ideas linked via a cause-and-effect relationship? In other words, the Sox lose money in the short-term because fans avoid paying to see a rebuilding team flounder.

canOcorn
04-11-2013, 08:47 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but aren't these two ideas linked via a cause-and-effect relationship? In other words, the Sox lose money in the short-term because fans avoid paying to see a rebuilding team flounder.

TV contracts pay the bills. The White Sox, as most teams, use ticket sales as profit.

blandman
04-11-2013, 09:04 PM
TV contracts pay the bills. The White Sox, as most teams, use ticket sales as profit.

I don't know, but I'd imagine that's not so far off.

RKMeibalane
04-11-2013, 09:10 PM
TV contracts pay the bills. The White Sox, as most teams, use ticket sales as profit.

You're right, although I wonder to what extent TV contracts may be affected by season-to-season changes in ratings. For example, if WGN America signs a fifteen-year contract with the White Sox to cover selected games not carried by Comcast, would such a contract carry an "out clause" if ratings dropped significantly from one season to the next? Would WGN be allowed to void the contact on the basis that the Sox don't attract enough viewers, and use the time-slots to air other material? I must adit that I have no idea how television contracts work, so I'm asking if anyone knows more than I do (extremely likely).

roylestillman
04-11-2013, 09:20 PM
This is a great discussion, and one I've been thinking a lot about while watching the Nationals. These were the former Expos, and now they are considered the elite of baseball. Meanwhile we are looking like a patchwork team of aging vets and AAA players (Sale and maybe Reed excluded. ) Can't say we're playing it cheap. While you weren't looking, we're back up to $120 million in payroll, but there still is this feeling that 85 wins is as good as can be expected.

Baseball philosophies have changed, really in the last few years. I will date it from the Evan Longoria long term rookie year contract that the Rays did locking him up through his arbitration eligibility years and beyond. It set up the new formula for building a good team. That is, be bad enough to get good draft picks. Early on, lock em up to long term contracts though their prime years and develop a youthful core. I think television revenue has allowed even the small market teams to start doing this. The result is that it becomes tough for the free spenders to find the talent on the market (see the Yankees who are left making due with Hafner and Youkilis. ) For better or worse this is the way the Cubs seem to be going.

This leads to the curse of mediocrity that he Sox are in. We're not bad enough to get the draft picks that can get us he Harpers or Strasburgs. Nor is there young talent out there to buy. Unlike the Cubs, I don't think we could survive a tear down and rebuild. In short I don't know what the solution is, but I hope some of you folks that are a lot smarter than me on this can make some suggestions.

tsoxman
04-11-2013, 09:24 PM
I wouldn't mind a new ownership group to take over. Jerry isn't really the Marlins, but he's been raking in $30M profits the last 8-9 years and has also seen the ownerships initial investment of $20M grow to over $400M. Contrary to his statements, they're taking dividends each year on the investment. I guess I wouldn't really have a problem with taking something small each year, but you really shouldn't operate a professional sports team make huge profits on a year basis.

I know he's at the forefront of the latest movement to limit costs on unproven talent - i.e, the draft and international signings, but I really wish they would spend just a couple of bucks on minor league development, instead of operating the minor league operation on a shoestring.
I hear what you are saying relative to the organization's stubborness regarding drafting, paying and developing young talent. However, be careful what you wish for regarding new ownership. The White Sox are for most part, debt free while other clubs like the Cubs are paying service on about a half a billion dollars of debt. The Sox are worth a lot less than the Cubs but the point is, once a team is sold, the cost basis is reset, the debt service clock starts ticking and the team has that much less to spend, unless it can find alternative revenue stream sources.

shingo10
04-11-2013, 09:33 PM
I hear what you are saying relative to the organization's stubborness regarding drafting, paying and developing young talent. However, be careful what you wish for regarding new ownership. The White Sox are for most part, debt free while other clubs like the Cubs are paying service on about a half a billion dollars of debt. The Sox are worth a lot less than the Cubs but the point is, once a team is sold, the cost basis is reset, the debt service clock starts ticking and the team has that much less to spend, unless it can find alternative revenue stream sources.

Really wonder if JR's loyalty, while admirable, is and has been hurting this team because it never allows for true change to take place. By no means am I going to give up on this season after 9 games but there is just something about the lack of action in the offseason that makes a .500 start hard to stomach. We just kind of sat back and reappeared with a slightly worse team than when the regular season ended last year.

RKMeibalane
04-11-2013, 09:48 PM
Really wonder if JR's loyalty, while admirable, is and has been hurting this team because it never allows for true change to take place. By no means am I going to give up on this season after 9 games but there is just something about the lack of action in the offseason that makes a .500 start hard to stomach. We just kind of sat back and reappeared with a slightly worse team than when the regular season ended last year.

This is another great point, as it has been the subject of discussion here before. Reinsdorf does seem to have a hard time cutting ties with people who aren't performing their jobs adequately. On one hand, it's admirable that he's willing to stick with people in spite of their struggles, as even people who are good at their jobs can go through tough times. On the other hand, Reinsdorf's unwillingness to make changes in the structure of the Sox organization has clearly set the team back, perhaps by several years.

Robin Ventura is an obvious improvement over Ozzie Guillen for many reasons: I won't belabor the reasons for this here, as Ozzie is not the subject of this thread, but I will state that most people agree that Guillen should have been fired before the end of 2011. Why wasn't he? Was Reinsdorf unwilling to pay someone not to work for him? Was he reluctant to severe ties with someone who had been such a prominent part of the White Sox 2005 World Championship? The answer is not immediately clear, but Jerry clearly had reservations about making a move, and did not take action until he no longer had a choice.

Loyalty is something of a double-edge sword, as it helps to build the trust and mutual understanding that is required for an organization to function efficiently (or so it would seem). Yet, loyalty can also drive executives to make decisions that are in the best interests of friendship, rather than the best interests of the team.

Noneck
04-11-2013, 09:57 PM
Really wonder if JR's loyalty, while admirable, is and has been hurting this team because it never allows for true change to take place.

Reinsdorf keeping the people that he is able to control has been admirable to ownership because of ever increasing team worth and profit. He is doing exactly what ownership wants, making money for them. This club is being run by a very smart money man. With the lease the Sox got, they probably will someday rebuild prior to 2026 but not before their tv contract expires, 2016? The mediocre style they have been putting on the field will get a better tv contract than a rebuild now. Spending a lot of money to try to get a perennial playoff club is a gamble that does not have to taken. Busness as usual is keeping them all fat.

canOcorn
04-11-2013, 10:00 PM
I hear what you are saying relative to the organization's stubborness regarding drafting, paying and developing young talent. However, be careful what you wish for regarding new ownership. The White Sox are for most part, debt free while other clubs like the Cubs are paying service on about a half a billion dollars of debt. The Sox are worth a lot less than the Cubs but the point is, once a team is sold, the cost basis is reset, the debt service clock starts ticking and the team has that much less to spend, unless it can find alternative revenue stream sources.

You provide an excellent point. And that is the Cubs' problem at this point. I don't know the exact figures, but I do know the Cubs had to cut payroll because of MLB debt to salary ratios. Jerry did do right for the Sox that they have zero debt. I believe the Sox only pay a small rent charge if they have over a certain attendance (1.5M?) and none if below.

amsteel
04-11-2013, 10:10 PM
After the Dunn flop I think the Sox will be very very gun shy about big FA signings.

SoxThunder
04-11-2013, 10:56 PM
Does Jerry Riensdorf being a two-team owner hurt the Sox, help the Sox or neither? Forbes listed the Bulls value at $800M and their net profit at $34M; they listed the Sox value at $692M and their net profit at $23M. A business ower can decide to pay out profits in the form of a cash dividend or leave profits in the business as retained earnings. Do you think Jerry only lets "Bulls profits" build up/benefit the Bulls and "Sox profits" build up/benefit the Sox? Or do you think Jerry sometimes opts to take his Bulls dividends in cash and pour this personal wealth into the Sox (or vice versa)? I guess we'll never know unless Jerry shows us his tax returns and financial statements. In an ideal world, I'd like to see to see Jerry sell the Bulls and invest $800M of his personal money into making the Sox a world class organization. Unfortunately, his interests are divided and he'll never sell the cash cow that is the Bulls.

Lip Man 1
04-11-2013, 11:01 PM
RK:

When a TV deal is signed there is no such thing as an 'opt-out' because of the record of the club in the future, attendance figures or TV ratings.

A station can ask to reopen the deal (and in some contracts there is a clause specifically for this) but the team doesn't have to agree to it

In most cases you sign the deal, that's it...regardless of whether the team wins 100 games a year for the next five years or 65 for the next five seasons.

---------------------------------------

Noneck:

You do make some valid points as does blandman regarding the franchise. It's pretty clear to me based on things like Forbes and what I've been told the franchise is making money and hasn't lost money in "a long time" (direct quote told to me by someone who used to work for the Sox).

In a way it's a little like the Cubs for a number of years. They were filling the place up despite being bad on the field. Why try to win when you can't get one more person in the seats? It's a sound business decision.

In the Sox case it's why try to produce a consistant winning franchise. A perennial playoff team when the cost to buy or build such a team is huge with no guarantees that it will work out because of bad decisions, injuries ect. Better to stay the course and maximize profits. Again a sound business decision although to me the object of a sports franchise first and foremost is to win, profits come second (or third...) since that's why the game is played.

Based on everything that's been written in this thread it seems the fans have no real idea how to get out of this cycle either. The front office probably doesn't either unless you count "luck" as an alternative.

Lip

Frater Perdurabo
04-11-2013, 11:02 PM
My understanding is that the Bulls ownership group and the Sox ownership group are separate entities consisting mostly of different members, and in neither group is Reinsdorf a majority owner.

Lip Man 1
04-11-2013, 11:05 PM
Sox Thunder:

Because the Sox and Bulls have different boards of directors I'm very sure JR can't (or won't even if he could) take money from the Bulls to give to the Sox.

As far as kicking in his personal fortune? Again I'm very confident the answer to that is a resounding no. JR is a shrewd businessman first, second..always. He'll never be confused say with Artie Moreno or Mike Ilitch as far as being willing to use his personal money in the quest to win. That's not him.

Lip

RKMeibalane
04-11-2013, 11:11 PM
Sox Thunder:

Because the Sox and Bulls have different boards of directors I'm very sure JR can't (or won't even if he could) take money from the Bulls to give to the Sox.

As far as kicking in his personal fortune? Again I'm very confident the answer to that is a resounding no. JR is a shrewd businessman first, second..always. He'll never be confused say with Artie Moreno or Mike Ilitch as far as being willing to use his personal money in the quest to win. That's not him.

:reinsy

"You people are crazy if you think I'd spend my own money on this team. It's not as though I'm the owner. Oh, ****."

Lip Man 1
04-11-2013, 11:12 PM
Frater:

In regards to the Sox, I've been told and have read that JR is the majority owner. I've seen different figures anywhere from 5% of the club to 21%.

The Sox have so many owners though, that even that smaller amount is enough to claim title. Also in his contract he specifically has been given the power to run the day to day operations of the franchise without having to consult the other owners and or board members. If he decided this off season, "I'm spending 200 million on payroll and am going to go out and sign every free agent all-star I can get my hands on," he has the power to do so.

I assume that only in the case of the usual business standard clauses (i.e. doing something illegal, defrauding the organization, acting like he has lost competency) can he be removed for his authority.

Lip

Lip Man 1
04-11-2013, 11:14 PM
RK:

Well it is a fact that one time earlier in his professional business career, JR was asked what he did for a living.

His answer?

"OPM"

Other people's money. :D:

Lip

RKMeibalane
04-11-2013, 11:18 PM
RK:

Well it is a fact that one time earlier in his professional business career, JR was asked what he did for a living.

His answer?

"OPM"

Other people's money. :D:

Lip

:rolling:

SoxThunder
04-11-2013, 11:25 PM
I didn't suggest that any profits would transfer directly from the Bulls to the Sox. The only way the Bulls' success could benefit the Sox is if JR took his personal Bulls dividends and invested this personal wealth into the Sox. I hope JR will surprise us all in his old age and splurge some of his personal fortune to bring more championships to the South Side :)

Noneck
04-11-2013, 11:30 PM
Lip,

The solution is creating a sound minor league system, paying for good scouting, having a good international scouting staff, using the money accumulated throughout the years to get quality fa's, having a marketing staff that knows how to treat its customers so fans actually feel wanted when they go to park, hiring good baseball people that have total control of their responsibilities, competing with the other Chicago club for the future fan and Im sure Im forgetting something else.

But they really dont have to do any of this to make money. The lease deal makes it very easy for this club to do this without much risk. Finally I do agree with you that winning should take priorty but profits can trump practically anything in todays world.

Lip Man 1
04-11-2013, 11:42 PM
Noneck:

Again, valid points. If it's simply about "business" then the Sox are doing exactly what they have to do to fulfill those requirments.

I just feel it should be more than 'just business' because the Sox are also a public trust. And I think the lease deal is a major part of why they do things they way they do. I think it's anything below 1.2 million the state has to make up the difference up to a certain amount (it may be or may have been 1.5 million). I know those were the original lease terms, that may have been changed somewhat when the new lease was negotiated. Either way the lease is one of the best in baseball.

Lip

Domeshot17
04-11-2013, 11:44 PM
Part of the problem to me, honestly, from a marketability standpoint, the Sox are an INCREDIBLY boring team now.

Konerko is kind of... mr. steady as he goes, that does not attract casual fans.

Adam Dunn is not the Adam Dunn of Washington and Cincy

Rios and his attitude are easy to dislike

Even Sale is about as quiet of a Cy Young Candidate as you can get

The rest of the guys are a bunch of facial nobodies, no one cares about Beckham, Tank, Ramirez, De Aza.

A dad who is say, a baseball fan, but not really a Cubs or Sox fan, is not going to take his son to USCF to see anyone special.

There is no star, no face of this franchise. Its a slap to Konerko to say that, but he is as marketable as Skim Milk.

So you have a team of national nobodies, who are not bad enough to get good draft picks, and not good enough to really contend, and you get... the White Sox....

In many ways, I feel bad for Brooks Boyer. He can adjust prices (a big win for die hards) and he can tinker with marketability ideas, but at the end of the day, we are 10 games into the season, and its hard to be excited about anything we have seen. I am not saying the season is a lost cause, I am saying they are not going to draw unless they (a) get more known, better, SUPERSTAR level players or (b) Decide they want to win 95 games a year.

Until then, this is the new White Sox, same as the old White Sox. The Farm moving up to 27 from 30 is pretty insignificant, and the fan base needs a shot of life from Hahn and Kenny Williams. They won't see a huge attendance jump, they won't land a big tv deal, and they will fall behind.

kittle42
04-12-2013, 12:00 AM
The way I see it, the Sox are doing exactly what they need to in order to maximize their profits with our fanbase. Spending too much comes with the risk of losing tens of millions if the team doesn't reach expectations. Conversely, rebuilding properly to produce a true winner reduces revenue in the short term. Building a high 70 to low 80 winner consistently, affording for luck, has allowed the team to appear competitive (and produced significant revenue). I don't think that fans will go away if we rebuild is an issue so much as the lost short term revenue. Keeping our average team out there is a successful model for them, at least as long as we continue to support this system with our money.

Few will ever give you this credit, but you are dead on, munch. This is *exactly* what this franchise is doing.

Lip Man 1
04-12-2013, 12:01 AM
Dome:

You can get a fair number of fans I'd say who will already say they have fallin' behind compared to what the other divisional teams did this off season. And you also make some valid, sound points in your comment.

Lip

Lip Man 1
04-12-2013, 12:14 AM
This sounds like a good time to include something that I have held back before but because this discussion has turned towards the business aspect of the Sox, what the franchise is or is not doing and the reasoning behind it, I thought I'd mention it.

Some of you might remember in the thread I started on the new show "Sports Talk Live!" on Comcast Sports Chicago that I included a story I was told by an insider about a meeting a few months ago between CSN-Chicago and the owners of the teams that have a stake in that TV channel.

I also gave details about how the person in charge of the CSN web site apologized profusly to JR and admitted that CSN is simply not marketing the Sox very well. Said person, (his name is listed in the other thread) then asked JR if he had any ideas or suggestions for CSN about how they could do a better job with the Sox.

Here is what I was told JR's response to that question was.

"I don't care what you do as long as you make me more money..."

Now on the face of it when I was told that, I was stunned a little because without knowing if there was anymore to it or the context, that sounds pretty hard-core. (i.e. it's only about the business end and that's all I care about)

I thought that JR had changed somewhat over the past 10 years or so, that he wasn't the "shark" that he was earlier when he owned the team. That at least a part of him now cared about winning and the fans even if that meant cutting into the profit margin. Since I was told that comment, and it comes from a person that I trust very, very much, I just don't know anymore.

Maybe Noneck is right and he has continually said, in essence "the leopard (JR) hasn't changed his spots..."

Just thought I'd pass this along. Make of it what you will.

Lip

blandman
04-12-2013, 12:52 AM
Few will ever give you this credit, but you are dead on, munch. This is *exactly* what this franchise is doing.

Thanks. My emails to the team the last few years have included this, plus a few other reasons (mostly mlb financial support of bills like PIPA and SOPA, which among other things would essentially give them the right to shut down sites like WSI) as my reasons for not financially contributing to the team anymore. One person isn't going to change it though.

Daver
04-12-2013, 12:54 AM
In many ways, I feel bad for Brooks Boyer. He can adjust prices (a big win for die hards) and he can tinker with marketability ideas, but at the end of the day, we are 10 games into the season, and its hard to be excited about anything we have seen. I am not saying the season is a lost cause, I am saying they are not going to draw unless they (a) get more known, better, SUPERSTAR level players or (b) Decide they want to win 95 games a year.



They won a world series without a superstar player.

Daver
04-12-2013, 12:56 AM
Thanks. My emails to the team the last few years have included this, plus a few other reasons (mostly mlb financial support of bills like PIPA and SOPA, which among other things would essentially give them the right to shut down sites like WSI) as my reasons for not financially contributing to the team anymore. One person isn't going to change it though.

Please refrain from dragging politics in here.

blandman
04-12-2013, 12:57 AM
They won a world series without a superstar player.

I'd argue Konerko was in his prime and very much among the best in the game. He just isn't a superstar anymore.

Domeshot17
04-12-2013, 01:16 AM
They won a world series without a superstar player.

That was the or...and getting close to 10 years ago

palehozenychicty
04-12-2013, 01:32 AM
That was the or...and getting close to 10 years ago


Indeed, and they have won a single playoff game since that year. It is clearly an outlier. The franchise never really gained momentum on the field after that season. It's sad. Now they lie in the middle, lacking any personality or direction.

SoxThunder
04-12-2013, 01:32 AM
People have pointed out that JR seems to enjoy the "safety" of having his team earn $20-30M of net profit each year. Why risk adding a ton of payroll or investing in a massive expansion of your minor leagues/scouting/international player development when it could implode and hurt your bottom line?
It's easy for JR to set aside his "fan emotions" as owner of the White Sox. The Sox are not his first true baseball love...the Brooklyn Dodgers were. Sure, he wants the Sox to win and be successful, but he won't stretch himself financially to get them to the promised land. To compare, Mike Illich was born and raised in Detroit and has been a lifelong Tigers fan. His love for his boyhood team (and his deep pockets) have caused him to make "irrational" spending decisions by paying huge salaries to the game's top stars (Cabrera, Verlander, Fielder, etc).
Put yourself in JR's shoes: What if you were a super-successful businessman who acquired a baseball team that you had very little emotional connection to (like the Rockies for example). Would you dip into your personal wealth just to make the Rockies great? No, you'd focus on turning a profit year in, year out, and your emotions as a sports fan certainly wouldn't interfere with your business decisions for the team.

Daver
04-12-2013, 01:41 AM
That was the or...and getting close to 10 years ago

And your point is...

amsteel
04-12-2013, 01:52 AM
What if you were a super-successful businessman who acquired a baseball team that you had very little emotional connection to (like the Rockies for example). Would you dip into your personal wealth just to make the Rockies great? No, you'd focus on turning a profit year in, year out, and your emotions as a sports fan certainly wouldn't interfere with your business decisions for the team.

Baseball is a business for everyone involved except the fans. Owners became owners because they became millionaires based on business decisions, not on fandom or loyalty to laundry.

Lip Man 1
04-12-2013, 02:11 AM
Very true Amsteel.

Lip

Dan H
04-12-2013, 09:49 AM
The White Sox organization is hesitant to use the term "rebuild" because the after-shock of the White Flag Trade still remains after all these years. Otherwise I don't know if there is a philisophical dilemma within the organization. If money is being made, what dilemma can there be?

I do think the team realizes it can't go through what it did in the late '90's. They can't have interest that low and expect to survive. So the organization has to show it has some interest in winning. They realize the economy is still not good and people are not going to shell out money to see a team win 80-85 games and finish out of the playoffs - again. At least the parking cost is down.

Other than that, I obviously don't know what goes on behind closed doors. I still don't think this ownership understands fans and, by this time, I don't think they care to. But they may have what they think is a solid long-range plan, and they may feel it is working. It just doesn't appear to be working now. Before we know it, it will be 10 years since the World Series. And that will pose a problem for the team, one much more real that philosohical in nature.

kittle42
04-12-2013, 11:12 AM
And your point is...

The point it that it is not a model for continued success.

kittle42
04-12-2013, 11:14 AM
The White Sox organization is hesitant to use the term "rebuild" because the after-shock of the White Flag Trade still remains after all these years.

Which might keep 100 diehards away from the game. Attraction of the casual fan is the huge problem of this franchise. The rest of us aren't going anywhere.

dickallen15
04-12-2013, 11:16 AM
The White Sox organization is hesitant to use the term "rebuild" because the after-shock of the White Flag Trade still remains after all these years. Otherwise I don't know if there is a philisophical dilemma within the organization. If money is being made, what dilemma can there be?

I do think the team realizes it can't go through what it did in the late '90's. They can't have interest that low and expect to survive. So the organization has to show it has some interest in winning. They realize the economy is still not good and people are not going to shell out money to see a team win 80-85 games and finish out of the playoffs - again. At least the parking cost is down.

Other than that, I obviously don't know what goes on behind closed doors. I still don't think this ownership understands fans and, by this time, I don't think they care to. But they may have what they think is a solid long-range plan, and they may feel it is working. It just doesn't appear to be working now. Before we know it, it will be 10 years since the World Series. And that will pose a problem for the team, one much more real that philosohical in nature.

I don't know how anyone could understand the fans. You want green seats, bingo, green seats. You want a contender, bingo, won a WS, last year they were in first place, no one came. You want cheaper tickets and parking, bingo, cheaper tickets and parking, yet Sox fans will always move the goalposts. How often are teams expected to win the WS? If they win one once every 10 years, they would be one of the more awesome franchises in the league. To think they don't care to understand the fans is not paying any attention to what they have done the past 10 years or so. It's just an impossible task.

Lip Man 1
04-12-2013, 11:52 AM
Dick:

Winning solves everything...and by winning I don't mean a Yankee-like dynasty.

I suspect most if not all Sox fans would be thrilled to do what Cleveland or Minnesota did in the division in the 90's and 00's myself.

Lip

Harry Potter
04-12-2013, 12:00 PM
I don't know how anyone could understand the fans. You want green seats, bingo, green seats. You want a contender, bingo, won a WS, last year they were in first place, no one came. You want cheaper tickets and parking, bingo, cheaper tickets and parking, yet Sox fans will always move the goalposts. How often are teams expected to win the WS? If they win one once every 10 years, they would be one of the more awesome franchises in the league. To think they don't care to understand the fans is not paying any attention to what they have done the past 10 years or so. It's just an impossible task.

I'd like to see this franchise make the playoffs in consecutive years. Is that too much to ask?

Hitmen77
04-12-2013, 12:09 PM
Lip,
This is an excellent thread topic. I agree with a lot of the points people have already raised here. The problem indeed is that the Sox operate their organization in such a way that this team is good enough to win about 83 games and make the playoffs about once every 5 years. That's not good enough to build up a stronger fan base in Chicago.

The biggest problem is that their philosophy doesn't seem to put much of a priority on developing a better minor league system. Who was the last position player that came through the Sox system that became a solid major league player? Aaron Rowand? He was drafted FIFTEEN years ago! Since then, the best I can think of are Chris Young and Gordon Beckham. This team doesn't have enough internal talent to either fill holes in the major league roster and in recent years has shown that it often doesn't have enough talent to trade for established major league players. Without such talent, this team is never going to win on a consistent basis by just relying on "under the radar" acquisitions and the occasional big contract acquisitions (like Dunn and Peavy).

I guess I don't understand this argument that the Sox have a bad farm system because they can't afford to rebuild. I totally agree that this franchise can ill-afford to go the "total rebuild" route, but since when is that the only way to develop more talent from within. It's not all about getting a top 10 pick in the draft (though that can help). Good teams can develop good players too.

You can't say that JR is unwilling to put money into payroll since the Sox have had a high major league payroll for several years now, but it's not just about giving big contracts to veterans like Dunn and Konerko. Perhaps the problem is that the Sox are willing to make such big expenditures only if that cost is made up somewhere else. So, they have a big MLB payroll, but only as the expense of putting little money into scouting, drafts, etc.

I'd say another philosophical problem is ownership's loyalty to a fault. Ozzie pissed on the fans and put one foot in Miami while managing the Sox and was only let go when he pretty much pushed the issue and asked to be released from his contract. KW hasn't been very successful since 2008 and yet he's still here - promoted to VP or whatever his title is.

Finally, the other line of thinking about the Sox that I think is completely wrong and total bull**** is this notion that "well, the Sox were winning last year and the fans still didn't show up. It's not the ownership's fault that fans won't even support a winner." When I hear people say that, it just makes me want to scream in frustration. Do people really think that the Sox being good for 3 months only to fall short every year is good enough to lay this on fan support? I don't know if Sox management feels this way, but this is certainly a common thinking about this team even from it's own fans. So, I'd say this is a lousy philosophical way to look at the Sox even if it's not necessarily coming from team management.


The way I see it, the Sox are doing exactly what they need to in order to maximize their profits with our fanbase. Spending too much comes with the risk of losing tens of millions if the team doesn't reach expectations. Conversely, rebuilding properly to produce a true winner reduces revenue in the short term. Building a high 70 to low 80 winner consistently, affording for luck, has allowed the team to appear competitive (and produced significant revenue). I don't think that fans will go away if we rebuild is an issue so much as the lost short term revenue. Keeping our average team out there is a successful model for them, at least as long as we continue to support this system with our money.

I think you're absolutely right. The Sox have a sweetheart deal at the Cell. They've done a good job of avoiding the 90 loss range for most of Reinsdorf's tenure. I think they realize having that kind of team for any extended period would really hurt them financially. They're in a sweet spot (for them) where the team is just good enough to keep fans and the media mildly interested in them and keep the revenues coming in without having to really risk their profit margins by sinking too much into trying to build an elite team.

dickallen15
04-12-2013, 12:21 PM
I'd like to see this franchise make the playoffs in consecutive years. Is that too much to ask?

I would love it as well, but if they went to the playoffs 2 or 3 years in a row and didn't win it all, the next excuse is making the playoffs isn't good enough. Just like it was in 2008.

People are very impatient, yet seem to be fine with a total rebuild. Do you know how bad the Sox would have to be for a long time and draft really well for that to work out? And if it did, how long does it really last? 86-89 the Sox were horrible. They rebuilt, just like a lot of people want and drafted about as well as anyone could expect, and were good 1990-1994 with one playoff appearance. Of course it was a bit more difficult to make the playoffs at that time. 83-85 win seasons are not baseball hell. 60-75 win seasons during a 20 year rebuild is.

Harry Potter
04-12-2013, 12:25 PM
I would love it as well, but if they went to the playoffs 2 or 3 years in a row and didn't win it all, the next excuse is making the playoffs isn't good enough. Just like it was in 2008.

People are very impatient, yet seem to be fine with a total rebuild. Do you know how bad the Sox would have to be for a long time and draft really well for that to work out? And if it did, how long does it really last? 86-89 the Sox were horrible. They rebuilt, just like a lot of people want and drafted about as well as anyone could expect, and were good 1990-1994 with one playoff appearance. Of course it was a bit more difficult to make the playoffs at that time. 83-85 win seasons are not baseball hell. 60-75 win seasons during a 20 year rebuild is.

Very valid points Dick - I agree with you there.

Lip Man 1
04-12-2013, 12:30 PM
Hitmen:

You hit upon a point that I brought out in my "Sox and the Media" series here at WSI ... I was making some points regarding media coverage but there are also things that apply to the notion of fans showing up. You touched on some of it exactly in my opinion:

Let's my repost a part of it:

"The new century started with some of the same old problems dogging the Sox via the media, namely, attendance. A young White Sox team surprised everybody by winning 95 games on their way to a divisional title yet many were fixated on the fact the Sox weren’t drawing the way a top team should. Mark Giangreco, the sports anchor at WLS-TV became the target of a lot of Sox fans who ripped him for showing practically every time he had home highlights, a shot of empty blue seats.

It’s strange that every five years or so the Chicago media needed to be reminded of certain truths about Sox fans. Namely they won’t support mediocrity, they don’t think losing is cute and they reserve judgment on a team until it has proven themselves to them. How do these truths apply to the 2000 White Sox and attendance?

The Sox had four losing seasons out of the previous five years. The 2000 club was a shock and many fans were sure ultimately they wouldn’t succeed (and they were right.) The infamous ‘White Flag Trade’ was three seasons removed and the labor impasse of which Jerry Reinsdorf played such a large part was only six years removed.

White Sox fans have long memories.

One other factor often overlooked by the media when they discuss attendance, that badly hurts the Sox is this. Of all the original 16 pre expansion major league clubs, the White Sox are the only one to have never made the postseason in consecutive seasons.

Many times they come literally out of nowhere to have a good season and when they are expected to win in the future, in order to build trust with the fan base and keep the momentum going, they fail.

Many times badly.

Think of 1968, 1973, 1984, 1995, 2001 and 2006. Of those six years for example, only twice did they even have a winning season. Many Sox fans to this day can’t figure out (and neither can the media) how the White Sox with their market-size, payroll advantages, higher valued radio / TV / internet deals and advertising opportunities have never been able to dominate the division much like the Yankees and Red Sox do in the A.L. East. Cleveland did it in the 1990’s in the Central, Minnesota did it in the 2000’s in the Central but that goal has eluded management’s best efforts.

Sox fans are a skeptical bunch and only making the postseason every so often isn’t helping matters to say nothing of only two World Series appearances since 1919."

Lip

sox1970
04-12-2013, 12:32 PM
A ton of good points in this.

Ultimately, they're going to have to face a world without Konerko, Rios, and Dunn slugging in the middle of the lineup in a couple years.

Until then, we're stuck in purgatory.

Lip Man 1
04-12-2013, 12:35 PM
Sox 1970:

I suspect a lot of fans would tell you that this purgatory has been going on a lot longer then the past few years (or when Dunn, Rios came on-board). Personally I'd say based on the record of the club, since basically 2001.

Lip

doublem23
04-12-2013, 12:38 PM
Sox 1970:

I suspect a lot of fans would tell you that this purgatory has been going on a lot longer then the past few years (or when Dunn, Rios came on-board). Personally I'd say based on the record of the club, since basically 2001.

Lip

Um, what

http://www.bestsportsphotos.com/image.php?productid=22353

Not sure if you're aware or not but that happened in 2005.

sox1970
04-12-2013, 12:45 PM
I'd say living off the success of 2005 is part of the problem now.

Love that it happened, but it's sickening how many people with the Sox still talk about it as if it just happened, or it's relevant anymore.

Lip Man 1
04-12-2013, 12:46 PM
Double:

Since 2001 the Sox have averaged 84.5 wins a season (that includes of course 2005 and 2006). It lends creedence to your comment in another thread about the Sox being in that "twilight zone" / "purgatory" of averaging around 85 wins a year. That's all I meant.

Lip

Lip Man 1
04-12-2013, 12:50 PM
Dick:

Regarding your comment about if the Sox made the playoffs two or three years in a row and didn't win anything fans would be upset.

Let's see them get to the playoffs two or three (or more?) years in a row and test that propostiion out first before saying what could or might take place. :D:

Lip

dickallen15
04-12-2013, 12:54 PM
Sox 1970:

I suspect a lot of fans would tell you that this purgatory has been going on a lot longer then the past few years (or when Dunn, Rios came on-board). Personally I'd say based on the record of the club, since basically 2001.

Lip
If purgatory means a WS trophy, I'm all for purgatory.

doublem23
04-12-2013, 12:55 PM
Double:

Since 2001 the Sox have averaged 84.5 wins a season (that includes of course 2005 and 2006). It lends creedence to your comment in another thread about the Sox being in that "twilight zone" / "purgatory" of averaging around 85 wins a year. That's all I meant.

Lip

I got that but I think it's disingenious to claim that the Sox have been in some kind of Gray Zone that covers the franchise's one and only World Series title in the last average human lifetime. For the three seasons from 2004-2006, the Sox were probably one of the best teams in the league.

I would say the current era of Tire Spinning began in 2007 and the Sox have been unable to successfully move on. I think that's a pretty clear point where the team could have used a drastic overhaul, but instead they have gone with a much slower and more painful rebuild.

RKMeibalane
04-12-2013, 12:56 PM
Dick:

Regarding your comment about if the Sox made the playoffs two or three years in a row and didn't win anything fans would be upset.

Let's see them get to the playoffs two or three (or more?) years in a row and test that proposition out first before saying what could or might take place. :D:

Lip

Well said, though I think what upsets fans the most is the possibility that they may spend their entire lives waiting for such a scenario to unfold. No one likes the idea of supporting a franchise that seems content win something once.

doublem23
04-12-2013, 12:59 PM
I would just say, from my own humble vantage point, the Sox "periods" of my lifetime are as follows:

1990-1994 - Torborg/Lamont/Big Hurt/Good Guys Wear Black Boom Years
1995-1997 - Terry Bevington Clown Years/Dismantling of the Dynasty that Never Was
1998-2003 - Jerry Manuel Kids Can Play Years
2004-2006 - Ozzieball Glory Years
2007-2013 - Whatever the **** This Is

dickallen15
04-12-2013, 01:03 PM
Dick:

Regarding your comment about if the Sox made the playoffs two or three years in a row and didn't win anything fans would be upset.

Let's see them get to the playoffs two or three (or more?) years in a row and test that propostiion out first before saying what could or might take place. :D:

Lip

I'm with you there, but remember when they did make the playoffs in 2008 after winning a title 3 years earlier, the jist was making the playoffs isn't good enough.

In fact, I remember reading comments on some White Sox message board, I can't remember which, and the conversation was about the Braves making it 15 years in a row. The majority of the posters said the Braves won only once, just making the playoffs gets old.

Noneck
04-12-2013, 01:05 PM
I would say the current era of Tire Spinning began in 2007 and the Sox have been unable to successfully move on. I think that's a pretty clear point where the team could have used a drastic overhaul, but instead they have gone with a much slower and more painful rebuild.

2007 should have never occurred. After 2006 more resources should have been put into the club. That was their golden opportunity to keep the push on but they backed off.

Lip Man 1
04-12-2013, 01:08 PM
One other point that adds some heft to Double's contention that since 2007 things have stagnated is this one:

From 2000 through 2006 the Sox never had a losing season. (Granted in four of those seven years the win totals were in the 80's)

From 2007 through 2012 the Sox haven't even been able to put back to back winning seasons together.

Lip

The Immigrant
04-12-2013, 01:09 PM
I think you're absolutely right. The Sox have a sweetheart deal at the Cell. They've done a good job of avoiding the 90 loss range for most of Reinsdorf's tenure. I think they realize having that kind of team for any extended period would really hurt them financially. They're in a sweet spot (for them) where the team is just good enough to keep fans and the media mildly interested in them and keep the revenues coming in without having to really risk their profit margins by sinking too much into trying to build an elite team.

There are too many people in the ownership group for whom the Sox are a regular source of income rather than simply a long term investment. To them, it is all about short term revenues. I keep this in mind when I evaluate the approach the Sox have taken over the last few years and it all starts to make sense.

RKMeibalane
04-12-2013, 01:40 PM
I'm with you there, but remember when they did make the playoffs in 2008 after winning a title 3 years earlier, the jist was making the playoffs isn't good enough.

In fact, I remember reading comments on some White Sox message board, I can't remember which, and the conversation was about the Braves making it 15 years in a row. The majority of the posters said the Braves won only once, just making the playoffs gets old.

This is true if a team is fortunate enough to have a run like this. The Yankees experienced a similar situation. The Sox have never had a run of success that even approaches what the Braves accomplished. People would likely tire of just reaching the playoffs if the Sox couldn't close the deal, but as they've never reached that point to begin with (making the playoffs in consecutive seasons), just about anything would be a significant improvement over winning once every five years.

Lip Man 1
04-12-2013, 01:51 PM
Immigrant:

I sort of understand what you are saying but it's also a fact that some of the individuals (I'd say most) on the Sox Board of Directors / Owners are among the wealthiest people around. Regular working stiffs don't own part of a pro sports franchise

Seriously I don't think they are going to go hungry if the Sox don't make say 20 million if profit and only make 18 million.

Lip

doublem23
04-12-2013, 02:00 PM
I'm with you there, but remember when they did make the playoffs in 2008 after winning a title 3 years earlier, the jist was making the playoffs isn't good enough.

There's a difference between making the playoffs and "making" the playoffs. The 2008 Sox won the Central because they were the least mediocre team in a woefully awful division that year. Everybody was aware of this and they were promptly bounced by a much better Tampa Bay team. I think people can forgive early playoff exits when you're the better team that just loses in a heart-wrenching way. Nobody considers the Nats' 98-win season last year a "fluke," even if they couldn't get out of the NLDS, but that's just because they got ****ed by the stupid 5-game series setup. But when you need an extra game just to get to 89 wins, that's not the sign of a great team, just the luckiest of the bunch.

My_Sox_Summer
04-12-2013, 03:04 PM
Finally, the other line of thinking about the Sox that I think is completely wrong and total bull**** is this notion that "well, the Sox were winning last year and the fans still didn't show up. It's not the ownership's fault that fans won't even support a winner." When I hear people say that, it just makes me want to scream in frustration. Do people really think that the Sox being good for 3 months only to fall short every year is good enough to lay this on fan support? I don't know if Sox management feels this way, but this is certainly a common thinking about this team even from it's own fans. So, I'd say this is a lousy philosophical way to look at the Sox even if it's not necessarily coming from team management.

Good topic, good post Hitmen.

I take issue with this as I was one of those fans saying that. I guess it depends on what you call our fan base. I was angered at the end of the season when I am sitting watching a 1st place team, with their ace on the mound, in Sept. and there are only 10k people there on half price night. To compound matters, playoff tickets were sold out.

So are we a fan base that refuses to the do the heavy lifting? Are we bandwagon fans? Are we die hards?

I think the die hards were there that night and will show up regardless what the circumstances are. You would think bandwagon fans would be there as it doesn't matter to those fans what happened before or what will happen later, the now is the only thing that matters. But they weren't there. I think management wondered this too, which is why they did that huge survey and made price changes accordingly. This is not a unique situation, Tampa Bay, Baltimore are both in the same boat. But I know Baltimore struggled to sell playoff tickets, we did not.

We'll see how this year goes, but if there are lackluster numbers even with the lowered parking and ticket prices, I don't expect them to last. We need to attract that casual fan. As a fan, I think there are a lot of excuses made on both sides. But when the Sox offer a Sunday game that a family for four can go to for $30 ( $5 tickets and $10 parking) kinda hard to blame the organization, in my view.

kittle42
04-12-2013, 03:35 PM
I'd say living off the success of 2005 is part of the problem now.

Love that it happened, but it's sickening how many people with the Sox still talk about it as if it just happened, or it's relevant anymore.

In a city that worships a team that won the Super Bowl almost 30 years ago, it is no surprise to me.

We're a pretty pathetic sports town as far as accepting losing.

Dan H
04-12-2013, 03:38 PM
I don't know how anyone could understand the fans. You want green seats, bingo, green seats. You want a contender, bingo, won a WS, last year they were in first place, no one came. You want cheaper tickets and parking, bingo, cheaper tickets and parking, yet Sox fans will always move the goalposts. How often are teams expected to win the WS? If they win one once every 10 years, they would be one of the more awesome franchises in the league. To think they don't care to understand the fans is not paying any attention to what they have done the past 10 years or so. It's just an impossible task.

I don't think I ever wanted bingo. The Sox don't win a World Series every 10 years. The team has won only one since 1917. And 10 years turns into 20 real fast especially in Chicago baseball terms.

What have they done since the WS? By Chicago baseball standards, they've been all right except that they have only won one post season game since 2005. The last year Ozzie was here was a joke. Just two years after the Series when they were still drawing, they lost 90 games.

I, for one fan, have moved the goal posts. I have been going to Sox games for over 50 years and am not in the mood to settle for occasional success. I have already watched enough so-so and bad teams. It is time for this team to have some sustained success. That is not too mouch to ask and if ownership doesn't graps that, it doesn't understand their fans.

Hitmen77
04-12-2013, 03:53 PM
I got that but I think it's disingenious to claim that the Sox have been in some kind of Gray Zone that covers the franchise's one and only World Series title in the last average human lifetime. For the three seasons from 2004-2006, the Sox were probably one of the best teams in the league.

I would say the current era of Tire Spinning began in 2007 and the Sox have been unable to successfully move on. I think that's a pretty clear point where the team could have used a drastic overhaul, but instead they have gone with a much slower and more painful rebuild.

I would just say, from my own humble vantage point, the Sox "periods" of my lifetime are as follows:

1990-1994 - Torborg/Lamont/Big Hurt/Good Guys Wear Black Boom Years
1995-1997 - Terry Bevington Clown Years/Dismantling of the Dynasty that Never Was
1998-2003 - Jerry Manuel Kids Can Play Years
2004-2006 - Ozzieball Glory Years
2007-2013 - Whatever the **** This Is

Good point. You're right about the 2004-2006 time frame being an era of legitimate playoff contenders and how they've settled into more of a "playoff pretenders" rut since then (with, of course the one division title in '08 during this time).

I think one of the things that happened after 2006 is that the well started running dry of homegrown talent that could either become a big contributor to the Sox major league lineup or be used to acquire some decent talent via trade.

Remember, during this time Sox lineups featured farm system products like Ordonez, Carlos Lee, Crede, Rowand, Buehrle, Garland (acquired in 1998 as a minor leaguer from the Cubs), etc. The Sox also were able parlay some of their prospects for players like Garcia (for Olivo and Michael Morse), Vazquez (Chris Young), and Thome (Gio Gonzalez).

There was that sweet spot there where KW was a master at shuffling talent for pieces they needed on the major league roster. IMO, once the talent pool in our farm system ran dry and the next round of Sox prospects turned out to be duds like Anderson and Fields, Kenny's "smoke and mirrors" efforts to keep the Sox in that top tier of AL teams started to crumble.

He had a great run there in 2007-08 where he made a series of great trades (Fingernails on a blackboard (:tongue:) for Danks, Garcia for Floyd AND Gio, the Quentin trade. But those were all more than 5 years ago now. We haven't seen anything close to that since then and, to be honest, the Sox haven't had many pieces to trade in that time.

Good topic, good post Hitmen.

I take issue with this as I was one of those fans saying that. I guess it depends on what you call our fan base. I was angered at the end of the season when I am sitting watching a 1st place team, with their ace on the mound, in Sept. and there are only 10k people there on half price night. To compound matters, playoff tickets were sold out.

So are we a fan base that refuses to the do the heavy lifting? Are we bandwagon fans? Are we die hards?

I think the die hards were there that night and will show up regardless what the circumstances are. You would think bandwagon fans would be there as it doesn't matter to those fans what happened before or what will happen later, the now is the only thing that matters. But they weren't there. I think management wondered this too, which is why they did that huge survey and made price changes accordingly. This is not a unique situation, Tampa Bay, Baltimore are both in the same boat. But I know Baltimore struggled to sell playoff tickets, we did not.

We'll see how this year goes, but if there are lackluster numbers even with the lowered parking and ticket prices, I don't expect them to last. We need to attract that casual fan. As a fan, I think there are a lot of excuses made on both sides. But when the Sox offer a Sunday game that a family for four can go to for $30 ( $5 tickets and $10 parking) kinda hard to blame the organization, in my view.

I see your point. I share in the frustration in seeing small crowds last year when the Sox were still in first. But, I think, as frustrating as it is to us die-hard fans, it's just tough for most teams to do a full reversal and see 35k a night in September that quickly. Remember, at the start of the 2012 season the Sox had given the fans very low expectation of being a playoff contender. They even hired a manager for on-the-job training. I like Ventura, but this was a big signal to the fans that the Sox were not planning to compete in 2012. After 3 years in a row of bitter disappointments capped off by the "we're total quitters" team of 2011, the Sox were going into 2012 with low season ticket sales and low advanced sales. Those school year games are just brutal attendance wise if you don't have good advanced sales to start with and big crowds for those games were just not going to happen.

You're right that dynamic pricing and parking costs were also a factor. We'll never know what attendance would have been like last year if they had the $10 parking and $5 tickets on Sundays, etc. that they're offering this year.

I just reject the notion that this is "on the fans". It's up to the Sox organization to build up the market for their team and it has nothing to do with Sox fans being lousy fans and that the Sox product on the field over the last 5 years proves that the fans just suck.

dickallen15
04-12-2013, 04:02 PM
I don't think I ever wanted bingo. The Sox don't win a World Series every 10 years. The team has won only one since 1917. And 10 years turns into 20 real fast especially in Chicago baseball terms.

What have they done since the WS? By Chicago baseball standards, they've been all right except that they have only won one post season game since 2005. The last year Ozzie was here was a joke. Just two years after the Series when they were still drawing, they lost 90 games.

I, for one fan, have moved the goal posts. I have been going to Sox games for over 50 years and am not in the mood to settle for occasional success. I have already watched enough so-so and bad teams. It is time for this team to have some sustained success. That is not too mouch to ask and if ownership doesn't graps that, it doesn't understand their fans.
So based on results, you have a problem with every ownership the White Sox ever had. You probably also would have issues with just about every ownership group except for 2 or 3 in the league as not understanding the fans.

mahagga73
04-12-2013, 04:05 PM
There's a difference between making the playoffs and "making" the playoffs. The 2008 Sox won the Central because they were the least mediocre team in a woefully awful division that year. Everybody was aware of this and they were promptly bounced by a much better Tampa Bay team. I think people can forgive early playoff exits when you're the better team that just loses in a heart-wrenching way. Nobody considers the Nats' 98-win season last year a "fluke," even if they couldn't get out of the NLDS, but that's just because they got ****ed by the stupid 5-game series setup. But when you need an extra game just to get to 89 wins, that's not the sign of a great team, just the luckiest of the bunch.
Great post . I hate the idea of a 5 game series too, increases the chances of a fluke series win immensely. Seven games pretty much leaves little doubt because either the first or second best pitcher on a team is going to get a third shot in a game seven. A vastly inferior team with one real good pitcher and a couple breaks can easily get lucky and win a 5 game set. It seems to me to be cheating a better team to allow that after a 162 game marathon season.

mahagga73
04-12-2013, 04:07 PM
In a city that worships a team that won the Super Bowl almost 30 years ago, it is no surprise to me.

We're a pretty pathetic sports town as far as accepting losing.
I am a Sox fan but a fan of another football team besides the Bears that has won it much more recently and that does strike me as a little sad that the 85 team is still worshipped like they won yesterday, but that was a one heck of a team, so I don't think it's all that pathetic really. They were one of the better teams ever for that one season. At least Chicago fans can remember when the Hawks, Bears, Bulls, and Sox won. Philly has that one Phillie's title to brag about after all these years, and nothing since 1960 besides that.

shingo10
04-12-2013, 04:22 PM
In regards to making the playoffs in 2008, things would have and should have looked much differently if TCQ didn't punch his bat and if Crede would have stayed healthy. Then we would have been a legitimate contender. Unfortunately those injuries did occur and we were doomed.

When facing any difficult problem sometimes you need to attack it from a different perspective. And this is what the organization has failed to do in my opinion. Nothing can change if no action is ever taken. So something has to give. Whatever the "philosophy" is they need to commit to something. You can always adjust one way or another but you have to at least start. So I hope the Sox don't continue to spin their wheels but instead take some meaningful action.

GoSox2K3
04-12-2013, 04:45 PM
I'm with you there, but remember when they did make the playoffs in 2008 after winning a title 3 years earlier, the jist was making the playoffs isn't good enough.

In fact, I remember reading comments on some White Sox message board, I can't remember which, and the conversation was about the Braves making it 15 years in a row. The majority of the posters said the Braves won only once, just making the playoffs gets old.

....and that still makes it only 3 playoff appearances for this team since the league went to a 3 division and WC format 18 years ago and plus 2008 is now 5 years ago.

LITTLE NELL
04-12-2013, 05:00 PM
I am a Sox fan but a fan of another football team besides the Bears that has won it much more recently and that does strike me as a little sad that the 85 team is still worshipped like they won yesterday, but that was a one heck of a team, so I don't think it's all that pathetic really. They were one of the better teams ever for that one season. At least Chicago fans can remember when the Hawks, Bears, Bulls, and Sox won. Philly has that one Phillie's title to brag about after all these years, and nothing since 1960 besides that.

You forgot the Flyers AKA the Broad Street Bullies with a couple of cups in 74 and 75. The Sixers have a couple of Championships also.

mahagga73
04-12-2013, 07:08 PM
You forgot the Flyers AKA the Broad Street Bullies with a couple of cups in 74 and 75. The Sixers have a couple of Championships also.
That's true, forgot the Broad Streets with Bobby Clarke, and the Moses Malone, Dr. J , Toney Sixers of 82. I 'm losing it I guess. Still was a long time ago .

asindc
04-12-2013, 07:31 PM
That's true, forgot the Broad Streets with Bobby Clarke, and the Moses Malone, Dr. J , Toney Sixers of 82. I 'm losing it I guess. Still was a long time ago .

Sixers of '83.

Jurr
04-12-2013, 09:26 PM
Teams overpay for home runs, at their peril.
Homers plus great clutch/average hitting in a player? By all means, give him 17+ mil a season.

It didn't work with Albert Belle, Thome was a disaster, and Dunn doesn't scare anyone with the game on the line.

Guys like this are a waste of resources. The '05 team was built on guys with middling contracts, varied skill sets, and something to prove.

The pitching was the focus financially.

This organization can't get out of its own damn way in regards to the power issue. For whatever reason, they cannot bring in players that can hit for power and average.

WhiteSox5187
04-12-2013, 09:34 PM
Teams overpay for home runs, at their peril.
Homers plus great clutch/average hitting in a player? By all means, give him 17+ mil a season.

It didn't work with Albert Belle, Thome was a disaster, and Dunn doesn't scare anyone with the game on the line.

Guys like this are a waste of resources. The '05 team was built on guys with middling contracts, varied skill sets, and something to prove.

The pitching was the focus financially.

This organization can't get out of its own damn way in regards to the power issue. For whatever reason, they cannot bring in players that can hit for power and average.

Um, those guys had GREAT years with the White Sox. The White Sox don't make the playoffs in 2008 without Thome. Now I will agree that the White Sox misallocate resources and in hindsight giving a big contract to a one dimensional DH who hits for a low average, strikes out 200+ times a year and is over 30 is bad idea. But Thome hit for power and average, Belle did too.

Lip Man 1
04-12-2013, 10:40 PM
Jurr:

That's not entirely true. In the early part of the new century the Sox had a number of guys...Thomas, Ordonez, Lee, Konerko who'd all bash 25-40 home runs and hit between .270 and .320.

The problem is though hitters like that are scarce. To be able to get three, four, five of them in the same lineup at the same time takes some luck and probably a payroll today far beyond the Sox means.

Lip

SoxSpeed22
04-12-2013, 11:08 PM
Nowadays, it looks like teams are shifting towards quantity over quality in their lineup. You still need an anchor in the lineup, but it's more about the guys around that one guy. Recent world series teams have had that one big bat and 3 or 4 good bats that are good average/good power around him, just not exceptional. (Prince Fielder is still very good, but not on Cabrera's level.) Now with Konerko on the way down, we don't have that one big bat or the guys around said bat (Rios might be the only one). Dunn is too unreliable with average and strikeouts, and was a liability in big spots last year. Viciedo still has a shot, but is not there yet.
A lot of winning teams have also brought in good young guys to contribute, even on playoff teams. Todd Frazier (34th pick), David Freese (9th round), Allen Craig (8th round), Andy Dirks (8th round), Mitch Moreland (17th round) and Brandon Belt (5th round) all contributed on winning teams, without the need for high draft picks. The Sox have not been able to do that with hitters (they've had plenty of pitchers). I don't know if that's the guys we draft or the coaching, but I would like to see somethings change towards more balanced hitters.

Jurr
04-12-2013, 11:13 PM
Yeah, but then the act got old. We remember those teams- the 2000 Sox were the best example of how it COULD work.

After that, though, same crap different day. If the homer wasn't there, the team would struggle. Radke, Joe Mays, etc would just off speed them to death.
Every at bat was a clueless pull-chopper to second. FOR DAYS.

The Sox went about rectifying this ONCE. Out went Lee. In came a leadoff hitter with speed and something to prove.
Out went Valentin, and Uribe stepped in- a defensive move.

Willie Harris went to the bench, and they picked up a contact guy in Iguchi.

Carl Everett would change his stance in an 0-2 count to shorten his swing and put the ball in play. None of this "bailing and flailing" crap.

At the end of the day, pitching was the tale, I am aware. Without Contreras transforming into a stopper, the team would have collapsed. However, it was the first time that we ever saw the Sox look athletic and varied on offense.

It was a team not built as a "homer or nothing" outfit. It worked. Manufacturing runs helps you beat a pitcher who may be in command of his stuff. It gives you early leads and helps your pitchers relax. The players were focused on offensive fundamentals and timely hitting. Veterans that were brought in were acquired for having skills other than 40 homers, and I believe they ALL COMBINED cost less than Dunn.

The last five years have been marred with stupid trades, stupid contracts, and stupid teams that have no heart or concept of situational baseball. Despite themselves, they almost won a division last year in a HORRIBLY down year in the ALC.

This product is just so stale.

Lip Man 1
04-12-2013, 11:20 PM
Jurr:

I do agree that with the exception of 2005, it's been "home run or nothing" since 2000.

I honestly don't know if that's an unstated overall philosophy by the organization or players get to the Sox, know the reputation of the park and just say, 'the hell with it, I'm going for the downs...'

It was my opinion that Ozzie and his staff simply couldn't teach the players any other approach. Ozzie wasn't much of a teacher in the first place...but I know Robin and his staff have worked very hard at this, even up to this spring (i.e. fewer strikeouts, more contact...putting the ball in play) Once the bell rang though it was the same old, same old. (Dayan for example has abandoned that leg / timing move already...)

Maybe the players simply are baseball stupid in that regard. That's the only thing I can think of because it's not like a ton of these guys are coming up through the system...if they were then maybe you could ask if they are being taught wrong at the lower levels.

Maybe Daver can chime in on this with some comments on how the minor league system in general teaches Sox farm hands?

Lip

WhiteSox5187
04-12-2013, 11:33 PM
Jurr:

I do agree that with the exception of 2005, it's been "home run or nothing" since 2000.

I honestly don't know if that's an unstated overall philosophy by the organization or players get to the Sox, know the reputation of the park and just say, 'the hell with it, I'm going for the downs...'

It was my opinion that Ozzie and his staff simply couldn't teach the players any other approach. Ozzie wasn't much of a teacher in the first place...but I know Robin and his staff have worked very hard at this, even up to this spring (i.e. fewer strikeouts, more contact...putting the ball in play) Once the bell rang though it was the same old, same old. (Dayan for example has abandoned that leg / timing move already...)

Maybe the players simply are baseball stupid in that regard. That's the only thing I can think of because it's not like a ton of these guys are coming up through the system...if they were then maybe you could ask if they are being taught wrong at the lower levels.

Maybe Daver can chime in on this with some comments on how the minor league system in general teaches Sox farm hands?

Lip

While Ozzie wasn't much of a teacher he did emphasize at least making contact, not that Robin doesn't, but even in 2011 the White Sox were 13th in the league with 989 strike outs. In 2012 the White Sox were 6th in the league with 1203 strikeouts. I think one of the side effects of the increase in strikeouts was fewer weak infield grounders and popups.

rainbow6
04-12-2013, 11:34 PM
I've never understood the concern that one of the reasons the Sox can't rebuild is because attendance will suffer- this team was in first place the majority of last year and they were one of the bottom few teams in attendance in the AL. I think that's more embarrassing than a "restocking" phase that would perhaps lead the way to a future with a homegrown core of quality players.

Sure attendance would be "worse" but I think its clear that Sox fans will not turn out for mediocre ball either.

dickallen15
04-13-2013, 06:35 AM
If the 2005 pitching staff's perfformance was the same performance the Sox pitchers would have given from 2006 until now, there would have been several more playoff appearances. Saying they didn't rely on homers as much in 2005 is not accurate. They hit over 200 of them and scored via the homer as high of percentage as any other year.Take the WS. Game 1 homers by Dye and Crede. Game 2 homers by Konerko and Pods, game 3 homer by Blum. Game 4, score 1 run and win. That team scored 1 run and won at least 3 times. I really can't understand what some people have against home runs. If the Sox don't hit at least 200 of them, they usually lose more games than they win.

Dan H
04-13-2013, 08:50 AM
So based on results, you have a problem with every ownership the White Sox ever had. You probably also would have issues with just about every ownership group except for 2 or 3 in the league as not understanding the fans.

Yes, I had problems with every ownership the Sox had but I also saw good points. I have been a critic of the Reinsdorf group but even I saw it did good things. It established credibility quickly in the early 80's after the terrible 70's that produced only two stand out teams.

I am willing to go through the down periods as most fans. But I don't think one World Series appearance in over 50 years cuts it. Loyalty is a two-way street. Ownership can show that by having success on a more regular basis.

Finally, no team is entitled to attendance beween 2.5 and 3 million. The team has to do something to earn it.

fram40
04-13-2013, 01:31 PM
Great thread. Thanks to all for the intelligent comments

Allow me one what-if. Leave everything the same - ownership, attendance issues, Ozzie/Robin, KW and Rick Hahn, cynical fans, etc, etc. Exact same philosophy throughout the organization. Exact same results and exact same same seeding in the amateur draft.

Change only one decision: Draft Mike Trout instead of Jared Mitchell.

Imagine the excitement last season had Trout been called up for May. Imagine the second half. Do they collapse in September?

Imagine the buzz leading into this season after the rookie season he had. The fans would be flocking into USCF. Well, relatively speaking for Sox fans.

Of course, there are 23 other GMs who made the same mistake. (Rizzo gets a pass- he drafted Strasberg) It's also possible he does not develop in the Sox system.

kittle42
04-13-2013, 05:16 PM
The last five years have been marred with stupid trades, stupid contracts, and stupid teams that have no heart or concept of situational baseball. Despite themselves, they almost won a division last year in a HORRIBLY down year in the ALC.

This product is just so stale.

Yet a large contingent of huge Sox fans and frequent WSI posters don't seem to think there's much wrong with this model because (1) they won a WS in 2005 with a patchwork team; (2) the WS is "all luck"; (3) they make the playoffs 3 times a decade; (4) the best on paper teams don't automatically do best.

More depressing than the organizational philosophy is that we let them sway us into thinking it's OK. I mean, we're not going to not be fans, so I guess this is maybe just some people's coping mechanism? I mean, every fanbase likes to think, "This could be the year," otherwise, what's the point? But please, step back and realize what the Sox have been doing every year in the past lord-knows-how-long (except 2006, which just didn't work out, but was the best they have done to position themselves for success in my lifetime) just sucks.

Golden Sox
04-13-2013, 06:59 PM
fram40: It depresses me when I read the White Sox drafted Mitchell instead of Trout. Trout would of made a huge difference to the White Sox franchise.

dickallen15
04-13-2013, 07:08 PM
Yet a large contingent of huge Sox fans and frequent WSI posters don't seem to think there's much wrong with this model because (1) they won a WS in 2005 with a patchwork team; (2) the WS is "all luck"; (3) they make the playoffs 3 times a decade; (4) the best on paper teams don't automatically do best.

More depressing than the organizational philosophy is that we let them sway us into thinking it's OK. I mean, we're not going to not be fans, so I guess this is maybe just some people's coping mechanism? I mean, every fanbase likes to think, "This could be the year," otherwise, what's the point? But please, step back and realize what the Sox have been doing every year in the past lord-knows-how-long (except 2006, which just didn't work out, but was the best they have done to position themselves for success in my lifetime) just sucks.

But how are they going to rebuild from the bottom? If you have a big problem with how they evaluate players, how they call up guys too fast...how do you expect them to build an entire team ?

Perpetual rebuilding doesn't work. I know the Rays are a model a lot of people here want to be like, but they lost 90 games 10 years straight and have not won a WS, so using the same criteria people are using for the Sox, although they have a nice team, the Rays fail, and since nobody goes to their games, they don't understand the fans. Their attendance problems are easily solvable as long as they make they playoffs 3 or 4 years in a row.

There is no doubt the Sox should have been better since 2005, but I don't think it was the philosophy that failed. It was the execution of that philosophy. They paid enough to have a good roster. They paid the wrong guys. There were plenty of good players available even when they were drafting late. They missed Trout. They missed Pedroia. This way can be very successful,but just like rebuilding entirely, it has to be done right.

Lip Man 1
04-13-2013, 11:05 PM
Dick:

Completely valid points on your part which I guess gets back to my original post...perhaps it's time for new ownership and a completely new front office. Fresh eyes, fresh ideas.

Lip

Tragg
04-13-2013, 11:48 PM
Jurr:

That's not entirely true. In the early part of the new century the Sox had a number of guys...Thomas, Ordonez, Lee, Konerko who'd all bash 25-40 home runs and hit between .270 and .320.

The problem is though hitters like that are scarce. To be able to get three, four, five of them in the same lineup at the same time takes some luck and probably a payroll today far beyond the Sox means.

Lip
Look at those names and you'll find your real answer. It's not payroll, it's organization. Three of those players came up in the Sox organization. The fourth was a trade for a player of a similar background (1 or 2 years in the majors, one off year).
Has the Sox organization produced any hitters like that since then?

RKMeibalane
04-14-2013, 12:10 AM
Look at those names and you'll find your real answer. It's not payroll, it's organization. Three of those players came up in the Sox organization. The fourth was a trade for a player of a similar background (1 or 2 years in the majors, one off year).
Has the Sox organization produced any hitters like that since then?

Frank Thomas was a once-in-a-generation type hitter. Not only did he rank amongst the game's most dangerous power hitters, but he also hit above .300, and had the best batting eye in the American League. When he was at his best, he was perhaps the most dangerous hitter on the entire planet, a distinction shared only by Barry Bonds, a known cheater. The only thing that will keep Thomas- a deserving first-ballot HOF'er- out of Cooperstown next winter is the incompetence of the baseball writers. His numbers more than warrant his inclusion amongst the game's elite. Only Manny Ramirez Albert Pujols, and Miguel Cabrera have approached his level of production from the right side, so expecting them to produce a hitter of that magnitude is probably asking too much. Let's look at the other guys listed.

Magglio Ordonez was one of the best outfielders in the American League, and posted near-MVP caliber numbers when he was at his best. I'd compare him to someone like Matt Holiday (when younger), or perhaps a less talented Justin Upton or Matt Kemp. Each of these men has played to at least an AS level in his career. It's easier to find these types of players than it is a HOF'er like Frank, but still difficult.

Paul Konerko has been one of the most consistent run-producers in baseball for the past fifteen years. It's hard to pick out his best season, because each year seems to look like the one before it, which is a testament to Konerko's longevity. Just the other day, he moved past Frank Thomas on the White Sox all-time hit list. He reminds me of a right-handed Fred McGriff in that he's almost always been productive, but he's never been more than a peripheral MVP candidate, and his numbers are somewhat inflated by his long career. Be that as it may, it's hard to find players who are as consistent and durable as Konerko, who deserves to have his number retired when his career is over.

Carlos Lee was often viewed as the third or fourth wheel of the Sox offense behind Thomas, Ordonez, and Konerko. He was an excellent hitter when he was swinging the bat well, but much of his success hinged upon where he was hitting in the lineup. He did his best work in 2003, when he hit directly in front of Frank Thomas, somewhat ironic given that Frank actually compared Carlos to himself when Lee joined the team as a rookie in 1999. Carlos never approach Frank's production, however, largely due to a poor approach at the plate, perhaps the most significant reason for his inconsistency as a hitter.

There seem to be similarities between Carlos and Dayan Viciedo, though the Tank is even less disciplined than Lee, who could be patient enough to take walks if he didn't see a pitch he liked. Like El Caballo, Viciedo will probably never be the centerpiece of the Sox offense, but he will be counted on for production. Can he provide that production on a consistent basis? Only time will tell.

Tragg
04-14-2013, 12:22 AM
yea, it's hard to find Thomas (1st ballot HOF) Konerko and Magglio type players....but we haven't produced many who could just be termed above-average regulars, with an occasional all-star appearance. And we tend to rush those that look promising, which might stunt their development (debatable).
Nor have we produced enough prospects that look like they might be good MLB players so that we could trade them (we've produced a few, but the trades were usually flubbed). You've got to have a farm system that churns out some talent.

RKMeibalane
04-14-2013, 12:38 AM
yea, it's hard to find Thomas (1st ballot HOF) Konerko and Magglio type players....but we haven't produced many who could just be termed above-average regulars, with an occasional all-star appearance. And we tend to rush those that look promising, which might stunt their development (debatable).
Nor have we produced enough prospects that look like they might be good MLB players so that we could trade them (we've produced a few, but the trades were usually flubbed). You've got to have a farm system that churns out some talent.

I read this line and immediately thought about Courtney Hawkins. As well as he's played, I hope the Sox aren't trying to promote him as fast as possible to justify his selection as the thirteenth overall pick. He's nineteen years old. Mike Trout made his MLB debut at nineteen, but he struggled during his first appearance with the Angels. He was remarkably better last season, as everyone who follows baseball knows.

I would be thrilled if Hawkins played anywhere near as well as Trout did last season, but I'll settle for a competent Major League outfielder who can provide consistent production at the plate.

Jurr
04-14-2013, 09:57 AM
How good may Chris Young, Ryan Sweeney, Gio Gonzalez and the bunch have been if given some consistent guidance together?

Could they have been the core of the roster, alongside Sale?

Did we really need to dump Clayton Richard for Jake Peavy, who is seldom more than a name anymore?

This team tried to play the Yankees game and found out that they weren't able to compete.

SCCWS
04-14-2013, 11:17 AM
Since I am a longtime ( 50 years) White Sox fan living in New England and Florida, I see the Red Sox and Tampa Bay a lot.
Tampa Bay built a team by losing and getting high draft picks. But I give them credit because they drafted quality and developed them as well. But I am not convinced they will ever draw fans because the fan base is made up of too many transplants with loyalties to other teams.
Last year was Boston's first losing season since 1997. The Red Sox spend tons of money in free agencyand make many trades. But the big difference between them and the White Sox is their farm system. They always have players in the pipeline regardless of poor draft position. Both everyday players and pitchers. I think the White Sox have had success the last few years developing pitchers but it seems they never develop good everyday players. Since they won their 2005 WS, who are "good" everyday players ( on any ML roster) the White Sox have developed? In that same timeframe, the Red Sox have brought to the majors Pedroia-Ellsbury-Middlebrooks-Hanley Ramirez-Josh Reddick-Anthony Rizzo just to name a few. They have added 2 more home grown players on this year's roster. So despite winning ML records they continue to produce good drafts.

Lip Man 1
04-14-2013, 12:35 PM
Jurr:

Richard was medocire at best with the Sox. He's nothing special even with San Diego. Keep in mind the park he pitched half his games in.

Lip

kittle42
04-14-2013, 01:37 PM
Did we really need to dump Clayton Richard for Jake Peavy, who is seldom more than a name anymore?

Wait, wait, wait. Clayton Richard is ****ing horrible.

Mr. Jinx
04-14-2013, 03:44 PM
Wait, wait, wait. Clayton Richard is ****ing horrible.

Yeah, there's a very valid argument that the Sox wasted money trading for Peavy that could have been better used.. However, they gave up garbage for him.

Jurr
04-14-2013, 03:59 PM
How was Richard's progress under Don Cooper?
I believe he was rounding into a decent pitcher.

Whatever...I am discussing as an EXAMPLE the idea of keeping young players, building a clubhouse culture, THEN augmenting that culture with some free agents.

The other way around has been a debacle.

Lip Man 1
04-14-2013, 04:22 PM
Jurr:

When Richard was with the Sox he usually could not get out of the 5th inning and his ERA was in the upper's 4's...mid 5's.

That's not good anyway you slice it.

Lip

35th and Shields
04-14-2013, 05:25 PM
A better example would be the Edwin Jackson for Hudson trade. Fairly lateral move and going after a name rather than looking at the big picture, future success. Hudson may never end up being a great pitcher, but I still hate that trade.

JB98
04-14-2013, 05:55 PM
How good may Chris Young, Ryan Sweeney, Gio Gonzalez and the bunch have been if given some consistent guidance together?

Could they have been the core of the roster, alongside Sale?

Did we really need to dump Clayton Richard for Jake Peavy, who is seldom more than a name anymore?

This team tried to play the Yankees game and found out that they weren't able to compete.

Personally, I thought Peavy had an excellent 2012. I'd rather have Peavy than Richard.

Jurr
04-14-2013, 06:43 PM
Jurr:

When Richard was with the Sox he usually could not get out of the 5th inning and his ERA was in the upper's 4's...mid 5's.

That's not good anyway you slice it.

Lip

Bad example. I get it.

I still stand behind the sentiment.
This team is without a firm sense of itself- a squad of mercenaries.

Lip Man 1
04-14-2013, 07:19 PM
Jurr:

I agree with your last statement, this team always seems to be "caught in the middle" whatever words you want to use. From the overall philosophy, to the talent on the field to revenues...you name it.

I honestly think if this season goes south by June, Hahn will not be afraid to blow it up, start getting guys traded and start over.

The question is though is he and this organization which has not done a good job in the minor league system for 13 years or so able to pull that off? and will any fans still be around if they do say five years down the road??

Lip

JB98
04-14-2013, 09:43 PM
Bad example. I get it.

I still stand behind the sentiment.
This team is without a firm sense of itself- a squad of mercenaries.

This is a statement I agree with. More often than not, the Sox have to go outside their organization to fix weaknesses. It's hard to win every trade, ya know?

Jurr
04-14-2013, 09:44 PM
Jurr:

I agree with your last statement, this team always seems to be "caught in the middle" whatever words you want to use. From the overall philosophy, to the talent on the field to revenues...you name it.

I honestly think if this season goes south by June, Hahn will not be afraid to blow it up, start getting guys traded and start over.

The question is though is he and this organization which has not done a good job in the minor league system for 13 years or so able to pull that off? and will any fans still be around if they do say five years down the road??

Lip

Well, Mark, the franchise survived the late 80's. Fans will show up if the team becomes a winner. Hell, I think that Sox fans will show up if the team shows any sort of a pulse with young guys. It's the teams loaded with high priced vets without a pulse that turns fans off. That route provides no hope for the future.

Pittsburgh has a terrible track record with its baseball teams for the past two decades, yet the fans are flocking back to the stadium because the team finally has young players that are exciting. The guys fly around the stadium with a ton of energy, and they are scrappy. Are they winners? Not yet. However, the team has a pulse, and that draws fans.

dickallen15
04-15-2013, 12:34 PM
Well, Mark, the franchise survived the late 80's. Fans will show up if the team becomes a winner. Hell, I think that Sox fans will show up if the team shows any sort of a pulse with young guys. It's the teams loaded with high priced vets without a pulse that turns fans off. That route provides no hope for the future.

Pittsburgh has a terrible track record with its baseball teams for the past two decades, yet the fans are flocking back to the stadium because the team finally has young players that are exciting. The guys fly around the stadium with a ton of energy, and they are scrappy. Are they winners? Not yet. However, the team has a pulse, and that draws fans.

If the Pirates keep up their current pace, which involves opening day, (they are 30k behind last year at the same point), they will draw what the Sox drew last season. They aren't exactly flocking back to the stadium.

Hitmen77
04-15-2013, 12:44 PM
Bad example. I get it.

I still stand behind the sentiment.
This team is without a firm sense of itself- a squad of mercenaries.

This is a statement I agree with. More often than not, the Sox have to go outside their organization to fix weaknesses. It's hard to win every trade, ya know?

What's killing this team is that they're relying heavily on "under the radar" mercenaries to carry them to the playoffs.

We can't win hardly any trades anymore since this organization doesn't have enough prospects that anyone might be interested in.

Here's a look at the some of the 2005 team and how the Sox acquired them:

1B - Konerko (via trade for Sox farm product Cameron in '99)
2B - Iguchi (Japanese free agent)
SS - Uribe (via trade for Rule 5 acquisition Aaron Miles)
3B - Crede (drafted by the Sox in '96)
RF - Dye ("under the radar" FA)
CF - Rowand (drafted by the Sox in '98)
LF - Pods (via trade for Sox farm product Carlos Lee)
C - AJ ("under the radar" FA)
DH - Thomas (drafted by the Sox)
DH - Everett (FA)
P - Buehrle (drafted by the Sox in '98)
P - Contreras (via trade for Loaiza)
P - Garcia (via trade for Sox farm products Olivo, Michael Morse, Reed)
P - Garland (robbed Cubs totally blind trade in '98)
P - El Duque ("under the radar" FA)
P - McCarthy (drafted by Sox in '02)

(2004's team also featured Sox farm product Magglio Ordonez.) A good number of key players from 2005 team were either from the Sox system or acquired thanks to trades for Sox system products. Note that these Sox products weren't just barely passable at the MLB level, these were a bunch of solid players. That's the difference between the "2004-2006 era" and the current "let's hope we surprise everyone" approach of the last 5 years.

What position players have Sox drafted in the last 10 years or so that are above average MLB quality either for our team or as trade bait? Once the talent from before the Sox let their system turn to crap moved on, KW was left trying to win with smoke and mirrors or devoting a big chunk of the payroll to players like Dunn and Peavy. Easily the best player the Sox have drafted in the last 10 years who has succeeded at the MLB level is Chris Sale. Addison Reed looks like a success to. The Sox do have Hawkins in the pipeline and he might be a star someday. But a couple of successful players after years of Brian Anderson and Josh Fields type players isn't enough.

The problem with the Sox is that the people that brought us this mess over the last 10 years are still firmly in charge. KW didn't go anywhere. Hahn was part of the senior management team that presided over the decline of this franchise. Why should fans expect anything to change any time soon?

EDIT: The Sox also drafted Gio Gonzalez within the last 10 years (2004). He was used to acquire Thome for the 2006 season. Incredibly the Phillies gave him back to us in the Floyd-Garcia trade, but then we gave him away to Oakland for a pouting circus clown.

doublem23
04-15-2013, 12:57 PM
How good may Chris Young, Ryan Sweeney, Gio Gonzalez and the bunch have been if given some consistent guidance together?

Could they have been the core of the roster, alongside Sale?

Did we really need to dump Clayton Richard for Jake Peavy, who is seldom more than a name anymore?

This team tried to play the Yankees game and found out that they weren't able to compete.

The nice thing about having no prospects is there are very few trades you look back on and regret. Young, Sweeney, and Richard are all terrible baseball players, and if you put them in this lineup and replace our "mercenaries" De Aza, Rios, and Peavy... you can probably very easily drop another 10 wins off this team's expected total. Even holding on to Gio probably wouldn't make up the damage.

kobo
04-15-2013, 02:39 PM
I would love it as well, but if they went to the playoffs 2 or 3 years in a row and didn't win it all, the next excuse is making the playoffs isn't good enough. Just like it was in 2008.


I completely disagree with this statement. Sure, there might be some die-hards or meatheads that would say this but I think the majority of fans, including the coveted casual fans, would be extremely excited if the Sox made the playoffs several years in a row. Seeing as how this is something that has NEVER happened in the entire existence of this franchise how could one not be excited??

There is nothing, currently, to be excited about with this team. There is no superstar, no can't miss prospect being touted, absolutely nothing to look forward to. The organization seems to be content with how the team is being run and has been pointed out several times already why should they change anything if it keeps being profitable? The organization continues to treat fans like we know nothing or understand nothing about what is going on with the team. The continued lack of direction this team seemingly has is more of a detriment than I think they realize. At least the Cubs have a plan. It might not work in the end but at least they have a direction and their fans at least have some hope for the future. A of now, what do any of us have to look forward to as Sox fans?

TomBradley72
04-15-2013, 02:47 PM
I completely disagree with this statement. Sure, there might be some die-hards or meatheads that would say this but I think the majority of fans, including the coveted casual fans, would be extremely excited if the Sox made the playoffs several years in a row. Seeing as how this is something that has NEVER happened in the entire existence of this franchise how could one not be excited??

There is nothing, currently, to be excited about with this team. There is no superstar, no can't miss prospect being touted, absolutely nothing to look forward to. The organization seems to be content with how the team is being run and has been pointed out several times already why should they change anything if it keeps being profitable? The organization continues to treat fans like we know nothing or understand nothing about what is going on with the team. The continued lack of direction this team seemingly has is more of a detriment than I think they realize. At least the Cubs have a plan. It might not work in the end but at least they have a direction and their fans at least have some hope for the future. A of now, what do any of us have to look forward to as Sox fans?

I do see a change in philosophy that goes back to about mid- 2011- they've stopped trading off prospects for veterans- and with Hahn in charge- I see them moving away from the big free swingers that KW loved. I'll give them some credit for the young arms that came along last year (Sale, Reed, Jones, Qunitana, Santiago, Veal)- but it's clear that there is very little after that "wave" of talent.

Looking at our Charlotte and Birmingham rosters- they are a real indictment of the final years of the KW era- almost nothing there other than a few outfield prospects. With PK and TCM in their final contract years- 2014 could be pretty ugly- not that 2013 is looking so hot.

doublem23
04-16-2013, 09:05 AM
With PK and TCM in their final contract years- 2014 could be pretty ugly- not that 2013 is looking so hot.

Alexei is signed through 2015 with a team option for 2016

TomBradley72
04-16-2013, 09:12 AM
Alexei is signed through 2015 with a team option for 2016

Good to know- one MLB commentator said he was in his "walk year"- guess not.

I guess we have TCM + Rios to build around for 2014-

russ99
04-16-2013, 09:17 AM
Just a suggestion, but why not move the fences back? I know there is room behind the gaps and straightaway, the corners would be more tricky.

Too much long ball focus, from the roster makeup to the way the players approach at-bats. Maybe if the launching pad aspects of the park are minimized a bit, that could lead to more balance and help out our pitchers.

GoSox2K3
04-16-2013, 09:45 AM
I completely disagree with this statement. Sure, there might be some die-hards or meatheads that would say this but I think the majority of fans, including the coveted casual fans, would be extremely excited if the Sox made the playoffs several years in a row. Seeing as how this is something that has NEVER happened in the entire existence of this franchise how could one not be excited??

There is nothing, currently, to be excited about with this team. There is no superstar, no can't miss prospect being touted, absolutely nothing to look forward to. The organization seems to be content with how the team is being run and has been pointed out several times already why should they change anything if it keeps being profitable? The organization continues to treat fans like we know nothing or understand nothing about what is going on with the team. The continued lack of direction this team seemingly has is more of a detriment than I think they realize. At least the Cubs have a plan. It might not work in the end but at least they have a direction and their fans at least have some hope for the future. A of now, what do any of us have to look forward to as Sox fans?

Exactly. It's just an easy, unprovable argument to just say that Sox fans would still "make excuses" for not going to games even if the team made the playoffs 3 seasons in a row. Since this has never happened, there's no basis for this slam on Sox fans. But, I guess some people just want to rip on Sox fans can call them lousy fans. Whatever makes them feel better about themselves I guess.

How about let's see the Sox be a playoff team several years in a row before we start making these kind of claims as if they were facts?

You're absolutely right, one big problem is that there is nothing to get excited about for this team. Konerko is their only "star" and he's fading. There is no other stand-out stars (maybe Sale will move into that role if he continues last year's success) and there's almost no young talent in the immediate future to look forward to.

It's sad that people here have to keep harping on attendance when it's obvious the problem over the last 5 years is the disappointing and lackluster way this team has operated off the field and performed on the field. But, let's blame the fans! :rolleyes:

Let's look back at what happened since 2008:
2009 - the team stumbles to 6.5 games out by May 21, makes their typical June/July run back to contention and then gets spanked by the Twins and falls as far as 9.5 out by September. MLB avg attendance is down 7% over the previous season.

2010 - Sox again fall on their face right out of the gate: 6 games out by April 21 and down to 9.5 out by June 9. Then they make a crazy run back to first only to collapse to the Twins again in Aug/Sept. and fall as far as 12 games out in Sept. This was also the year that Ozzie didn't want Thome back despite his request to come back at a bargain price. We go with Kotsay and Jones at DH instead and Thome gets the last laugh.

2011 - An utterly unlikeable team. Once they were behind in a game, it was essentially over. Ozzie quit on this team and only an idiot would expect fans to turn out to see this debacle. KW throws money at one-dimensional Dunn and he's a colossal flop.

2012 - Sox management pretty much concedes they're not going to compete in '12. The Sox say goodbye to Buehrle and Quentin and say they're hamstrung by payroll. KW hires a man with zero professional coaching experience as a manager. The farm system is barren and there's not much talent in sight from the minors. Offseason season ticket and advance sales are poor. The team surprises and is in 1st place most of the summer before once again fading at the end and the season ends with another disappointment.

If Sox management is looking at what transpired over this time frame and is blaming the team's predicament on the fans for not suddenly packing the Cell for that 3 months in 2012 - then I think they're so blind to reality that it's going to be a long, long time before this team is consistently competitive.

Dan H
04-16-2013, 12:05 PM
GoSOx 2K3:

I agree that blaming the fans doesn't anyone anywhere. It has been done for a long time and I don't see any real results from it. I wish attendance was better, too, but I believe attendance has deep rooted problems. Brooks Boyer said a few years ago that it takes time to build or, in this case, rebuild a fan base. For a time, I thought the team was on the right track, but things regressed. Scapegoating fans is counter-productive.

One troubling thing is the public absence of Jerry Reinsdorf. Reinsdorf doesn't trust the media; from the very beginning he has blamed the media for some of his image problems. But he can go on Sports Net and get Chuck Garfien to lob him some easy questions. It could help some if he reassured fans some. I hated the White Flag Trade but at least I knew what Reinsdorf was trying to accomplish. I have no idea of what he is thinking now.

KingXerxes
04-16-2013, 12:31 PM
This has never been a popular suggestion on these boards, and I get why. Guys (and gals) posting here have an extrememly passionate connection to the team, and therefore disagree with me because I'm going after casual fans, but here goes again:

The Chicago White Sox need a complete marketing overhaul.

One cannot market a sports team solely on the basis of winning. Wins help to be sure, but over the past 30+ years the fan base has slowly morphed to where the only thing the White Sox are judged on is wins and losses. There are gratuitous (and rather stupid) "Dog Days" and such, but overall fans are now of the opinion if the White Sox aren't going to win, why bother going to a game? This is a disastrous sentiment. The fact the White Sox won the World Series in 2005 should have bought them 20 years of "Aloha" from its fan base and Chicago in general, yet here we are - eight years later - wondering why they can't draw.

Everything needs to be changed to market the team to a more casual brand of fandom. Television, radio, ticket prices, parking prices, concession prices, number of day games - everything needs to be on the table. People have to want to go to the ballpark to see a game, and have a good time - win or lose.

The broadcast booths - as will be no secret to anybody - have long been a pet peeve of mine. With a short interruption in the mid to late 1980's, for the past 30 years we've been "treated" to Ken Harrelson broadcasting White Sox games as if his audience consisted of nothing but pitching coaches and batting coaches. It has no mass appeal. Nor does Farmer for that matter.

Before everybody starts retorting they don't want a generic announcer, I will counter if you're happy with the hypertechnical idiosyncratic styles of these guys, then don't bemoan the fact the White Sox have such a regional following.

If you want a large fan base that shows up at the gate consistently, you have to at least try and get one. Once there is some consistency at the gate, which isn't solely based upon wins and losses, the White Sox will have enough stability to pursue whatever strategy they wish to accomplish goals. Until then it's going to be like managing a business which has no working capital - even the smallest disruptions in the plan are going to look like major calamities.

RKMeibalane
04-16-2013, 12:31 PM
One troubling thing is the public absence of Jerry Reinsdorf. Reinsdorf doesn't trust the media; from the very beginning he has blamed the media for some of his image problems. But he can go on Sports Net and get Chuck Garfien to lob him some easy questions. It could help some if he reassured fans some. I hated the White Flag Trade but at least I knew what Reinsdorf was trying to accomplish. I have no idea of what he is thinking now.

I don't mean to imply or suggest something that's unsubstantiated, but does anyone with ties to the White Sox front-office know about Reinsdorf's health? He's no longer a young man, and has not been for several years. Might his absence from the public eye the past few seasons be related to problems that haven't been made public. Again, I'm not suggesting that this is the case, as I have no supporting information, but am wondering if members with sources around the White Sox know more than I do. Thanks.

KingXerxes
04-16-2013, 12:45 PM
"Reinsdorf doesn't trust the media; from the very beginning he has blamed the media for some of his image problems."

Again, one of the major marketing agendas needs to be to stop the whole "Us against the world" attitude.

kittle42
04-16-2013, 01:14 PM
The suckiness of the franchise's approach only reinforces what awesome fans we all are! :D:

Jerko
04-16-2013, 01:38 PM
I look at it this way: when the team struggles, it looks like the players aren't putting in the effort. When Dunn bats 4th and plays first base almost every day, it looks like the manager isn't putting in the effort (we had enough of that in 2011). When the uniforms, the montage, or whatever gets changed or downgraded, and we bitch about it and get blown off, it looks like the marketing crew isn't putting in the effort. When fan favorites are allowed to walk so we can keep overpaid stiffs, it looks like the front office isn't putting in the effort. When you go to the park and half of it is closed, it seems that the stadium staff isn't putting in the effort. That attitude has been trickling down to the fans for years now IMO. It just looks like the entire organization has gone cheap/lazy, so why should the fans waste their time coming out?

kittle42
04-16-2013, 01:55 PM
It just looks like the entire organization has gone cheap/lazy, so why should the fans waste their time coming out?

I was just thinking whether I would make my fewest number of games in over a decade today. The answer is probably, at this point, which sucks.

SI1020
04-16-2013, 03:00 PM
This has never been a popular suggestion on these boards, and I get why. Guys (and gals) posting here have an extrememly passionate connection to the team, and therefore disagree with me because I'm going after casual fans, but here goes again:

The Chicago White Sox need a complete marketing overhaul.

One cannot market a sports team solely on the basis of winning. Wins help to be sure, but over the past 30+ years the fan base has slowly morphed to where the only thing the White Sox are judged on is wins and losses. There are gratuitous (and rather stupid) "Dog Days" and such, but overall fans are now of the opinion if the White Sox aren't going to win, why bother going to a game? This is a disastrous sentiment. The fact the White Sox won the World Series in 2005 should have bought them 20 years of "Aloha" from its fan base and Chicago in general, yet here we are - eight years later - wondering why they can't draw.

Everything needs to be changed to market the team to a more casual brand of fandom. Television, radio, ticket prices, parking prices, concession prices, number of day games - everything needs to be on the table. People have to want to go to the ballpark to see a game, and have a good time - win or lose.

The broadcast booths - as will be no secret to anybody - have long been a pet peeve of mine. With a short interruption in the mid to late 1980's, for the past 30 years we've been "treated" to Ken Harrelson broadcasting White Sox games as if his audience consisted of nothing but pitching coaches and batting coaches. It has no mass appeal. Nor does Farmer for that matter.

Before everybody starts retorting they don't want a generic announcer, I will counter if you're happy with the hypertechnical idiosyncratic styles of these guys, then don't bemoan the fact the White Sox have such a regional following.

If you want a large fan base that shows up at the gate consistently, you have to at least try and get one. Once there is some consistency at the gate, which isn't solely based upon wins and losses, the White Sox will have enough stability to pursue whatever strategy they wish to accomplish goals. Until then it's going to be like managing a business which has no working capital - even the smallest disruptions in the plan are going to look like major calamities. I don't think you have to worry about being belittled for going against the grain, like some of us are. You have credibility and quite frankly have earned it. You do make some good points, although I think following such a plan you outline would be fraught with the peril of making some things bland and vanilla and others unpalatable to some long time fans. Look at the dismay and disgust many have over the changing of the intro and the constant loud canned interruptions during the game. Brooks and company seem to fall flat on their faces when they try to be edgy and hip. Someone made the point here earlier, and I am paraphrasing, when you try to appeal to everyone you end up pleasing no one. Not only that, but I think no matter what the Sox do now they are in a weak position. They just do not have the following among the fans, and the clout in the sports media both locally and nationally that the Cubs do. They blew a golden opportunity when they couldn't follow up on their success in 05. In short, like you I'm up for a comprehensive shake up from ownership on down. We will probably have some areas of agreement and others of disagreement on how it should proceed. In any case, it will never happen under the current ownerhip group.

Lip Man 1
04-16-2013, 03:32 PM
For what it's worth Gonzo in his "Ask Mark Gonzales" mailbag column for the Tribune today pointed out a number of things about the team and the organization one of which was that the Sox need to get rid of the current pregame video.

Lip

Carolina Kenny
04-16-2013, 03:43 PM
I look at it this way: when the team struggles, it looks like the players aren't putting in the effort. When Dunn bats 4th and plays first base almost every day, it looks like the manager isn't putting in the effort (we had enough of that in 2011). When the uniforms, the montage, or whatever gets changed or downgraded, and we bitch about it and get blown off, it looks like the marketing crew isn't putting in the effort. When fan favorites are allowed to walk so we can keep overpaid stiffs, it looks like the front office isn't putting in the effort. When you go to the park and half of it is closed, it seems that the stadium staff isn't putting in the effort. That attitude has been trickling down to the fans for years now IMO. It just looks like the entire organization has gone cheap/lazy, so why should the fans waste their time coming out?

Jerko, I agree. I hate to say it, I thought Jerry was the best owner the Chicago sports scene ever had. However, his time seems to be past him, and he is old. Unfettered loyality to under-performing employees, now seems just to be laziness on his part resulting in moribundedness.

We are in need of new and younger ownership with a freaking VISION and not more recycled marketing. The Cubs will soon be on the ascent and the Sox will be talking about moving, " because the fans don't support us."

kittle42
04-16-2013, 03:44 PM
For what it's worth Gonzo in his "Ask Mark Gonzales" mailbag column for the Tribune today pointed out a number of things about the team and the organization one of which was that the Sox need to get rid of the current pregame video.

That'll put butts in the seats.

KingXerxes
04-16-2013, 03:59 PM
SI1020 - I think you and I overlap in agreement on many things. First and foremost though is the strange loyalty which ownership has toward certain people.

I agree in trying to please everyone, you'll just end up in a big mess, so I would suggest they try and please the largest segment of the population - the casual fan.

For years people screamed at Bill Wirtz for not televising Blackhawk home games. They told him over and over how a television broadcast is basically a three hour free commercial for the product you're selling - but his loyalty to ticket buyers trumped all. A week after his passing, the Blackhawks announced they would start televising home games, and the rest is history. While their good fortunes were a combination of a great team and a new approach, their tickets are now a very hot commodity. The same can happen with the White Sox.

Most people's exposure to the White Sox is via television and the radio. You turn it on and have to listen to palaber about how Adam Dunn's right shoulder flew open at that last pitch, and he couldn't reach the outside corner with his swing and not since Ol' Ted Williams has Harrelson seen a hitter who could keep that shoulder in line and put a hurtin' on a lefthander throwing an Uncle Charlie.

The clicking sound your hear in the background are televisions turning off all over your neighborhood. Don't get me wrong, there is a role for an analyst during a broadcast - and that role is when something needs to be explained or expanded upon to a casual fan.......not every single pitch.

People call many announcers these days "vanilla", but almost every announcer - with exceptions - has been vanilla since they started broadcasting baseball, and the reason for the vanilla announcer is so the game can speak for itself. Again please note I completely understand announcers such as Caray, Dean, Uecker and a few others had personalities which were woven into their broadcasts, but most of the others (Harwell, Buck, Scully, Brickhouse, Rooney etc.) kept their own personalities out of the broadcasts. They had a certain style, but they didn't want to become the show - they allowed the game to be the show. Here we've been stuck with announcers who, for far too long, are intent on being the story themselves to a large extent. Just announce the game.

The ballpark experience is great, but it isn't incorporated into the marketing well enough. Instead of constantly beating the drum about kiosks where you can throw a baseball, or learn to hit - how about simply setting the scene of a beautiful sunny day, a hot dog and game? Win or lose a great time is practically guaranteed! Nope - we got to identify with the third baseman as he talks about winning it all this year.

They have simply got to get away from tying the team's wins to the teams fortunes at the gate. Other franchises have done it (Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals) and so can the White Sox. Granted they've dug themselves a big hole, but they've got to lose this "win or go home" attitude and start appealing to a wider audience.

This all may come at a cost of the die hard fans, but those die hards will not leave. They will simply have company at the ballpark.

Hitmen77
04-16-2013, 04:20 PM
For what it's worth Gonzo in his "Ask Mark Gonzales" mailbag column for the Tribune today pointed out a number of things about the team and the organization one of which was that the Sox need to get rid of the current pregame video.

Lip

:reinsy
If we give fans a good pregame video, all they'll do is complain about our small, outdated scoreboard.

voodoochile
04-17-2013, 12:40 AM
They have simply got to get away from tying the team's wins to the teams fortunes at the gate. Other franchises have done it (Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals) and so can the White Sox. Granted they've dug themselves a big hole, but they've got to lose this "win or go home" attitude and start appealing to a wider audience.

This all may come at a cost of the die hard fans, but those die hards will not leave. They will simply have company at the ballpark.

The three teams you mention have built in selling points that go far beyond the baseball game. Be that their field, their tradition, their neighborhood, etc. The Sox have none of those things going for them. Right or wrong the ballpark is still viewed unfavorably nationally, there is simply nothing to do within a few blocks of the ballpark and their most widely known traditions mostly consists of infamous moments like throwing the Series, forfeiting a game due to blowing up records and fans jumping on the field to beat up coaches and umps.

Changing those built in negative perceptions won't be easy. If they can get the neighborhood built up it will help, but Reinsdorf has long resisted that and I believe they have some kind of airtight liquor agreement where no bars are allowed a certain distance from the park, so instead of having a thriving area that people want to go and hang out in and then catch baseball they've got a parking lot - actually several.

I honestly think their best bet would be to market to families, lots of promos to drag mom and dad and the two brats down to the game, cheaper prices would help a lot, but that won't help them M-Th even in the summer.

Part of their problems were created by the Trib owning the flubbies for so many years and effectively being their marketing arm. Now that those days are over the Sox still have to fight those conceptions the Trib helped create. I don't know what the answers are, and I agree they need to find ways to market the club better, but what form that should take and how they combat the natural logistic issues they have (dead isolated neighborhood) I don't know. Hopefully someone with a better marketing mind than me can figure it out.

Maybe a simple marketing campaign built around smiling people having fun at the ball park with fireworks and kids catching baseballs and that kind of thing instead of focusing on the players would be a good idea. It certainly can't hurt.

KingXerxes
04-17-2013, 11:00 AM
Voodoo - Great to hear from you. I think we're on the same page.

I'm not a marketing whiz myself, but I do think they need to stop marketing every game as a battle, every season as a war, and each player as a warrior.

I agree the White Sox are in a big hole, but a bit of it is their own making. Obviously the Cubs have a big advantage, but instead of trying to differentiate themselves, they flirted with going head-on against them. Sponsors (WLUP years ago and the Southtown as well) started running direct confrontational ads involving the Cubs and White Sox (and believe me I posted against those when they were taking place). It made the White Sox organization look small, and I don't think it paid any dividends over the long haul.

White Sox fans know they have a great stadium, an entertaining team and certainly a fan base large enough to support the franchise. Capitalize on those elements, and stop making it a win/loss or life/death situation.

It's baseball, and it's a good time win or lose - that's the message which needs to get out there.

I do agree 100% with you on the dead zone around the park. You're not going to have a Wrigleyville-type of development due to the fact that the neighborhood doesn't consist of high density population which keeps those places going during away games and the off season, but I would have thought by now you'd see destination locations (restaurants and such) popping up in the general vicinity of the park.

kittle42
04-17-2013, 11:18 AM
I do agree 100% with you on the dead zone around the park. You're not going to have a Wrigleyville-type of development due to the fact that the neighborhood doesn't consist of high density population which keeps those places going during away games and the off season, but I would have thought by now you'd see destination locations (restaurants and such) popping up in the general vicinity of the park.

We *still* hear from people - especially visitors to the city and transplants now living here - that the area is dangerous. The lack of these types of things only contributes to that notion, especially when the other park has a vibrant business area around it. Which would you choose for a trip/team to root for? The "fun and safe" area around Wrigley, or the bland and "dangerous" area around the Cell?

Golden Sox
04-17-2013, 11:44 AM
Alot of people keep bringing up attendance issues at the Cell. The bad guys on the Northside keep saying that 40% of their attendance comes from out of state. We obviously don't get those type of numbers at the Cell. If you take away the out of towners our attendance is basically the same as the bad guys on the Northside. Also when you stop and consider the fact that the White Sox fanbase is no longer in the neighborhoods of the Southside of Chicago, I really don't think our attendance is that bad. If the White Sox draw 2 million people a year, I really think that's a good number when you account for the fact that probably 85% of those people attending White Sox games are from somewhere else other than the Southside of Chicago.

kittle42
04-17-2013, 11:51 AM
The bad guys on the Northside keep saying that 40% of their attendance comes from out of state.

That absolutely cannot be an accurate figure. 40%?! I'd even find half that to be implausible (I think).

RKMeibalane
04-17-2013, 12:05 PM
That absolutely cannot be an accurate figure. 40%?! I'd even find half that to be implausible (I think).

I agree. Even if one takes into account the people from northern Indiana who attend Cubs fans, it's hard to believe that one or two of every five are from there. I suppose a small pocket of fans might come from southern Wisconsin, as well, but that still doesn't seem like an accurate number.

voodoochile
04-17-2013, 12:05 PM
That absolutely cannot be an accurate figure. 40%?! I'd even find half that to be implausible (I think).

Depends if you include Wisconsin and NE Indiana. They also have a large fanbase in Iowa and draw well with visiting team fans. Heck most summer series against St. Louis are about 30% or more Cardinals' fans. That's before you factor in casual tourism. I agree the number is probably high, but like it or not Wrigley is a place of destination for tourists too.

kittle42
04-17-2013, 12:20 PM
Depends if you include Wisconsin and NE Indiana. They also have a large fanbase in Iowa and draw well with visiting team fans. Heck most summer series against St. Louis are about 30% or more Cardinals' fans. That's before you factor in casual tourism. I agree the number is probably high, but like it or not Wrigley is a place of destination for tourists too.

Ah, forgot about visiting fans for fairly close sports teams, though a portion of those live here, as well. Still, averaging 14,000 non-Illinois fans each game? That is not happening.

TaylorStSox
04-17-2013, 02:43 PM
Voodoo - Great to hear from you. I think we're on the same page.

I'm not a marketing whiz myself, but I do think they need to stop marketing every game as a battle, every season as a war, and each player as a warrior.

I agree the White Sox are in a big hole, but a bit of it is their own making. Obviously the Cubs have a big advantage, but instead of trying to differentiate themselves, they flirted with going head-on against them. Sponsors (WLUP years ago and the Southtown as well) started running direct confrontational ads involving the Cubs and White Sox (and believe me I posted against those when they were taking place). It made the White Sox organization look small, and I don't think it paid any dividends over the long haul.

White Sox fans know they have a great stadium, an entertaining team and certainly a fan base large enough to support the franchise. Capitalize on those elements, and stop making it a win/loss or life/death situation.

It's baseball, and it's a good time win or lose - that's the message which needs to get out there.

I do agree 100% with you on the dead zone around the park. You're not going to have a Wrigleyville-type of development due to the fact that the neighborhood doesn't consist of high density population which keeps those places going during away games and the off season, but I would have thought by now you'd see destination locations (restaurants and such) popping up in the general vicinity of the park.

I think a lot of this sentiment is the fault of the fan base for having reactionary Cub envy. We've always had the attitude that winning trumps all. "Yeah, you may have fun drinking all day in the sun and looking at hot chicks, but you suck. Winning is everything. We refuse to have fun unless we're winning. You know nothing about baseball." I don't know that this can ever change or if it even should.

I do agree with getting rid of Hawk, but its not for his baseball knowledge. He's a polarizing, grumpy, often mean spirited, *******. You can't have a guy like that be the face of the franchise.

I really don't have any of the answers, but identifying the problems is a good start.

TaylorStSox
04-17-2013, 02:46 PM
That absolutely cannot be an accurate figure. 40%?! I'd even find half that to be implausible (I think).

I think a lot of that comes from vacationers who aren't even Cub fans but want to check out a ball game. Wrigley is a smelly, awful dump, but it is historic. There's no denying that.

kittle42
04-17-2013, 02:53 PM
I think a lot of that comes from vacationers who aren't even Cub fans but want to check out a ball game. Wrigley is a smelly, awful dump, but it is historic. There's no denying that.

Oh, I realize that, but it's still not going to add up to that percentage of attendees.

RKMeibalane
04-17-2013, 03:34 PM
Oh, I realize that, but it's still not going to add up to that percentage of attendees.

Not every day, at least. I can see it happening during the summer months or around holiday weekends, but no more than that. People aren't going to be traveling as much while school is in session, or while it's still cold in Chicago.

TaylorStSox
04-17-2013, 03:43 PM
Oh, I realize that, but it's still not going to add up to that percentage of attendees.

Yeah, I agree with you there.

TaylorStSox
04-17-2013, 03:45 PM
I also don't believe hardcore Cub fans outnumber hardcore Sox fans. They just absolutely destroy us with the casual fan.

doublem23
04-17-2013, 03:50 PM
I also don't believe hardcore Cub fans outnumber hardcore Sox fans. They just absolutely destroy us with the casual fan.

Exactly true

Mr. Jinx
04-17-2013, 04:06 PM
Oh, I realize that, but it's still not going to add up to that percentage of attendees.

If you include casual city fans then I think you get to the 40% mark, but yeah, that's not out of towners.

At my company, when someone offers up their Cubs tickets for the night, you'll have at least 5-10 people bite. Do the same with the Sox and you'll hear nothing but crickets.

voodoochile
04-17-2013, 04:06 PM
I think a lot of this sentiment is the fault of the fan base for having reactionary Cub envy. We've always had the attitude that winning trumps all. "Yeah, you may have fun drinking all day in the sun and looking at hot chicks, but you suck. Winning is everything. We refuse to have fun unless we're winning. You know nothing about baseball." I don't know that this can ever change or if it even should.

I do agree with getting rid of Hawk, but its not for his baseball knowledge. He's a polarizing, grumpy, often mean spirited, *******. You can't have a guy like that be the face of the franchise.

I really don't have any of the answers, but identifying the problems is a good start.

Well those folks are going to come out based on winning and losing anyway. It can't hurt to market the team to a more casual fan who is looking for those other things. Maybe an ad with a video of young attractive people cooling off in the shower on a hot summer day. Show a father sharing a foul ball they caught with their young child then close with a family package deal announcement. Heck a walk down the main concourse showing all the various food options.

It would be a dramatic change from the Sox current marketing campaign of focusing exclusively on the game and players and it cannot hurt the bottom line to market to more people.

RKMeibalane
04-17-2013, 04:09 PM
It would be a dramatic change from the Sox current marketing campaign of focusing exclusively on the game and players and it cannot hurt the bottom line to market to more people.

And as the game and players aren't exactly enticing to fans right now, maybe they should try to shift the focus to something else.

:reinsy

"You're crazy, Ravi! Do you really think I'm going to market Italian beef and giant pretzels? Ha! I won't have Brooks change our marketing approach until your sorry ass comes to a game. You don't deserve an alternative marketing strategy."

TaylorStSox
04-17-2013, 04:17 PM
Well those folks are going to come out based on winning and losing anyway. It can't hurt to market the team to a more casual fan who is looking for those other things. Maybe an ad with a video of young attractive people cooling off in the shower on a hot summer day. Show a father sharing a foul ball they caught with their young child then close with a family package deal announcement. Heck a walk down the main concourse showing all the various food options.

It would be a dramatic change from the Sox current marketing campaign of focusing exclusively on the game and players and it cannot hurt the bottom line to market to more people.

I agree with focusing on families. The Sox probably will never attract a young, single crowd because of Bridgeport.

kittle42
04-17-2013, 04:24 PM
I agree with focusing on families. The Sox probably will never attract a young, single crowd because of Bridgeport.

And because Arne Harris and WGN spent decades showing us little else than attractive, bikini-topped women at Cubs games.

RKMeibalane
04-17-2013, 04:24 PM
I agree with focusing on families. The Sox probably will never attract a young, single crowd because of Bridgeport.

I was in that area not that long ago, and I was impressed with the renovations that have been done. It's nicer than I remember.

KingXerxes
04-17-2013, 04:27 PM
Don't just target families - target everyone.

By the way, I was driving in and listening to WSCR, and evidently the "face of the franchise" stepped in it again in regards to Sabermetrics. Naturally he had to lead in to his explanation by telling of his 54+ years in baseball covering all or parts of seven decades.

The single biggest marketing improvement is an easy move to make.

RKMeibalane
04-17-2013, 04:36 PM
Don't just target families - target everyone.

By the way, I was driving in and listening to WSCR, and evidently the "face of the franchise" stepped in it again in regards to Sabermetrics. Naturally he had to lead in to his explanation by telling of his 54+ years in baseball covering all or parts of seven decades.

The single biggest marketing improvement is an easy move to make.

I'm not going to get into the numerous problems imposed by Hawk being the face of the franchise (someone posted pictures of him wearing a hood a few years ago, and he looked like Palpatine), but it would seem that if the Sox want to attract more fans, what you're suggesting is the best way to do it. Cast a wider net to catch more fish. It's not a great long-term plan, as fans won't support a mediocre team, but it may help over a period of a few seasons.

Jerko
04-17-2013, 04:47 PM
There's just nothing to do near the Cell if the game isn't going on. You're more apt to wind up on my buddy Jeff's front lawn than you are to find a place to eat or grab a beer. Don't get me wrong, I love going to Sox games, but I can see why the casual folks avoid the place. The only option before the game is to tailgate in the lot, (which you're shagged out of out like cattle at 7:10), or to go to Bacardi, which doesn't open until about 3 for a night game. Nothing is open immediately around the park when the sox aren't in town or during the offseason, so that doesn't attract anybody to the area either (not that there's a lot to see). There's really nothing the Sox can do about that. Casual fans like to make "a day" out of going to a ballgame. Can't do that at the Cell. I was there for a 1:00 game last year and they were kicking people out at 4......... who is going to "drive in from Iowa" for 3 hours?

kittle42
04-17-2013, 05:04 PM
Casual fans like to make "a day" out of going to a ballgame. Can't do that at the Cell. I was there for a 1:00 game last year and they were kicking people out at 4......... who is going to "drive in from Iowa" for 3 hours?

And people shouldn't cite stadiums in other cities as evidence that a ballmall can be built off an expressway near nothing. Most/all of those cities don't have a viable alternative with a much better outside-the-park experience 10 miles away.

KingXerxes
04-17-2013, 05:12 PM
This is a bit off point, but does anybody know how long the stadium lease runs?

RKMeibalane
04-17-2013, 05:19 PM
And people shouldn't cite stadiums in other cities as evidence that a ballmall can be built off an expressway near nothing. Most/all of those cities don't have a viable alternative with a much better outside-the-park experience 10 miles away.

Or other activities, period. Chicago is Chicago.

kittle42
04-17-2013, 05:22 PM
Or other activities, period. Chicago is Chicago.

Not that space was necessarily available at the time, but how awesome would a park near Roosevelt/State have been today?

Lip Man 1
04-17-2013, 05:30 PM
King:

I think until 2026.

Lip

KingXerxes
04-17-2013, 08:28 PM
Thanks Lip.

gosox41
04-17-2013, 10:54 PM
Alot of people keep bringing up attendance issues at the Cell. The bad guys on the Northside keep saying that 40% of their attendance comes from out of state. We obviously don't get those type of numbers at the Cell. If you take away the out of towners our attendance is basically the same as the bad guys on the Northside. Also when you stop and consider the fact that the White Sox fanbase is no longer in the neighborhoods of the Southside of Chicago, I really don't think our attendance is that bad. If the White Sox draw 2 million people a year, I really think that's a good number when you account for the fact that probably 85% of those people attending White Sox games are from somewhere else other than the Southside of Chicago.

So who are the people on the Southside of Chicago rooting for? The Sox need to expand the fan base.


Bob

gosox41
04-17-2013, 10:56 PM
That absolutely cannot be an accurate figure. 40%?! I'd even find half that to be implausible (I think).

There was an article in the Trib about it last offseason, I believe. They made reference to that 40% number. Having a national following due to WGN for the last 30 years and the fact that there are a lot of bars and restaurants around the stadium make it an easy choice for out of state visitors who don't have access to live MLB to want to go to Wrigley and experience it.



Bob

gosox41
04-17-2013, 11:02 PM
Well those folks are going to come out based on winning and losing anyway. It can't hurt to market the team to a more casual fan who is looking for those other things. Maybe an ad with a video of young attractive people cooling off in the shower on a hot summer day. Show a father sharing a foul ball they caught with their young child then close with a family package deal announcement. Heck a walk down the main concourse showing all the various food options.

It would be a dramatic change from the Sox current marketing campaign of focusing exclusively on the game and players and it cannot hurt the bottom line to market to more people.

I agree with that. It is easier to sell the Wrigley experiece to the casual 20 something fan who could care less about winning and losing and more about picking up people before and after the game.

The question for Sox marketing (and they've probably already asked it) is: What makes going to US Cellular to watch a Sox game unique/special to the casual fan?

Unfortunately, I don't have the first darn clue.

Of course the next question should be: How do we expand our base of 'die hard fans' ie the one's who don't stop going when the team isn't playing well or feel the need to start threads about their annual complaints about how they are treated at the game.


Bob

gosox41
04-17-2013, 11:04 PM
I'm not going to get into the numerous problems imposed by Hawk being the face of the franchise (someone posted pictures of him wearing a hood a few years ago, and he looked like Palpatine), but it would seem that if the Sox want to attract more fans, what you're suggesting is the best way to do it. Cast a wider net to catch more fish. It's not a great long-term plan, as fans won't support a mediocre team, but it may help over a period of a few seasons.

These fans you speak of go to Cubs games. 2.8MM bought tickets wiht their hard earned money last year. A year when they lost 100 games. What keeps those fools coming back? The right to spend more money to see a much worse team play then the Sox?


Bob

Lip Man 1
04-17-2013, 11:22 PM
These fans you speak of go to Cubs games. 2.8MM bought tickets wiht their hard earned money last year. A year when they lost 100 games. What keeps those fools coming back? The right to spend more money to see a much worse team play then the Sox?


Bob

The answer is everything but baseball. Sunshine, good looking females and cold beer so they can get drunk and act like bigger idiots.

Lip

Golden Sox
04-18-2013, 10:15 AM
Beer and good looking chicks plus a neighborhood which has become the new Mardi Gras has obviously worked for the bad guys on the Northside. The area wasn't always like that. In the mid 1970's that area was awful. I knew the man who bought Rays Bleachers and renamed it Murphys. He bought the tavern for $25,000 in the mid 70's. The only time the bar was open was when the Cubs played, 81 times a year. Most people wouldn't step foot in that area other than to go to a game there. My former taxman grew up in a 2 flat on Eddy street just southwest of Wrigley Field. They sold it in the mid 70's for $70,000. That same 2 flat sold recently for $1.3 million. Obviously things have changed there. The Ricketts must realize the Cubs are going to draw decently regardless of what the team does. Anybody who thinks the Chicago media doesn't favor the Cubs is dreaming. The media has yet to point out that this present Cubs ownership has done nothing to improve the team in over 3 years. Spending $52 million on Edwin Jackson isn't exactly improving the team. Yet the media says nothing.

voodoochile
04-18-2013, 10:23 AM
Beer and good looking chicks plus a neighborhood which has become the new Mardi Gras has obviously worked for the bad guys on the Northside. The area wasn't always like that. In the mid 1970's that area was awful. I knew the man who bought Rays Bleachers and renamed it Murphys. He bought the tavern for $25,000 in the mid 70's. The only time the bar was open was when the Cubs played, 81 times a year. Most people wouldn't step foot in that area other than to go to a game there. My former taxman grew up in a 2 flat on Eddy street just southwest of Wrigley Field. They sold it in the mid 70's for $70,000. That same 2 flat sold recently for $1.3 million. Obviously things have changed there. The Ricketts must realize the Cubs are going to draw decently regardless of what the team does. Anybody who thinks the Chicago media doesn't favor the Cubs is dreaming. The media has yet to point out that this present Cubs ownership has done nothing to improve the team in over 3 years. Spending $52 million on Edwin Jackson isn't exactly improving the team. Yet the media says nothing.

I've actually seen some articles critical of Cubs ownership for not doing more to improve the team, but I think that people are pretty aware the Ricketts were strapped for cash immediately following the purchase, especially because the economy was in the tank.

The Ricketts aren't fools and there is no way they are going to move the team away from that area. It's a cash cow if they can find a way to keep the stadium standing.

TaylorStSox
04-18-2013, 10:41 AM
The answer is everything but baseball. Sunshine, good looking females and cold beer so they can get drunk and act like bigger idiots.

Lip

This attitude is the problem. God forbid people want to go out and have a good time.

kittle42
04-18-2013, 10:47 AM
This attitude is the problem. God forbid people want to go out and have a good time.

It's only jealousy from Sox fans, IMO, over the exposure and attendance issues. If it were the Sox who played in a stadium which attracted sellouts, but half those people were annoying/only there to get beer/sun/hookups, while some of us would be annoyed, we would be happy the Sox were reaping the rewards and would rip the Cubs for being irrelevant.

While I hate the "casual" or "having fun" Cubs fans, I get the whole situation is great for the Cubs.

RKMeibalane
04-18-2013, 10:47 AM
This attitude is the problem. God forbid people want to go out and have a good time.

I don't know. I agree with Lip on this one. Wrigley Field isn't a baseball stadium so much as it is an outdoor hotel bar. I don't have anything against people having fun, but the main reason to go to a baseball game is to watch baseball. People can have fun getting drunk and exposing themselves within the confines of their backyards. There's no reason to spend money to do so at a baseball game.

kittle42
04-18-2013, 10:53 AM
the main reason to go to a baseball game is to watch baseball. People can have fun getting drunk and exposing themselves within the confines of their backyards. There's no reason to spend money to do so at a baseball game.

I think this is a bit ridiculous. People go to *many* events to drink and have fun. Street fests, bars, concerts (where sometimes music is even secondary) and, I hate to say, sporting events. You can drink in your backyard, but that is not exactly the entertainment of choice for most people. The point of a sporting event is, first and foremost, entertainment. The number of people who spend the majority of the game not watching the game is probably a lot higher than we all think. This is *especially* true at ballparks, which allow fans to walk around and still kinda see the action (i.e. don't have to walk underneath as it many football stadiums and practically all hockey/basketball events). In addition, I am sure, if you have ever walked the Cell concourse, you can see tons of people decked out in Sox gear with their backs to the field chatting in groups and slugging down beers.

Sox fans love to be the "if you're not interested in the outcome of the game, get the hell out of here" types (see 2006 attendance spike), but it hurts the fanbase.

doublem23
04-18-2013, 10:55 AM
I don't know. I agree with Lip on this one. Wrigley Field isn't a baseball stadium so much as it is an outdoor hotel bar. I don't have anything against people having fun, but the main reason to go to a baseball game is to watch baseball. People can have fun getting drunk and exposing themselves within the confines of their backyards. There's no reason to spend money to do so at a baseball game.

What does it matter to you how people spend their own money? If you only want to go a game to watch baseball AND NOTHING ELSE, you can do that in a park full of Chads and Trixies having summertime fun or in a deserted ball park. But logic says the park that's full to the brim with (THE HORROR) people having fun will probably have more money to spend on the on-field product than the team whose park is half empty.

Bring 'em all down to the Cell, I says.

RKMeibalane
04-18-2013, 11:07 AM
What does it matter to you how people spend their own money? If you only want to go a game to watch baseball AND NOTHING ELSE, you can do that in a park full of Chads and Trixies having summertime fun or in a deserted ball park. But logic says the park that's full to the brim with (THE HORROR) people having fun will probably have more money to spend on the on-field product than the team whose park is half empty.

Bring 'em all down to the Cell, I says.

It doesn't. I just think it's silly to go to a baseball game to do things other than watching the game.

dickallen15
04-18-2013, 11:17 AM
It doesn't. I just think it's silly to go to a baseball game to do things other than watching the game.

Yet, here we are on a board with diehard Sox fans and we hear gripes over the years about seat colors, canned music, ushers not smiling, not having access to the lower deck so they can't stare at some statues, poor service at concession stands and scoreboards not being big enough. There are very few people left that actually go to a game just to watch the game.

RKMeibalane
04-18-2013, 11:32 AM
Yet, here we are on a board with diehard Sox fans and we hear gripes over the years about seat colors, canned music, ushers not smiling, not having access to the lower deck so they can't stare at some statues, poor service at concession stands and scoreboards not being big enough. There are very few people left that actually go to a game just to watch the game.

I never understood the issue with the seats, beyond the fact that a continuous stream of blue looks weird.

voodoochile
04-18-2013, 12:01 PM
It doesn't. I just think it's silly to go to a baseball game to do things other than watching the game.

And most people on this board agree with you. That's why we go to baseball games after all, but for many people it's about having fun with their kids or friends and rooting for (insert city's name here) team or visiting a ballpark in a new city while on vacation or chilling with friends before an evening out or trying to meet people or any number of other reasons. Heck, there's a reason the fireworks' games are normally closer to sold out - because people take their kids to the game to enjoy the show afterwards.

Baseball is simply entertainment. How people are entertained comes in any number of flavors. If they want to get that flavor at UCSF and that flavor has little to do with the actual play by play or pitch by pitch aspect of watching a baseball game, if the occasional home run and a win is enough for them, that's fine by me.

Like the song says:

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks,
I don't care if I never get back
Cuz it's root root root for the home team
if they don't win it's a shame

Baseball has long been about culture to America. The actual outcomes aren't that important to many people and with 162 games a year if the outcome didn't go your way today, odds are it will tomorrow. Even the worst team in baseball will get 60 opportunities to send their customers home happy every single year.

kittle42
04-18-2013, 12:16 PM
It doesn't. I just think it's silly to go to a baseball game to do things other than watching the game.

When I visit other parks for the first time and the Sox aren't playing, the game is the least of my concerns.

KingXerxes
04-18-2013, 01:12 PM
First off - People at Cubs game are watching the game. I'll give you they're not all living and dying on every single pitch in a 6-0 game, but who other than a moron would? This whole "nobody watches the game up there" attitude is ridiculous. When the entirety of the stadium cheers after a two run double, it can only be explained by the fact that people are watching the game.

We White Sox fans don't have a monopoly on irrational baseball devotion. Every team, including the Cubs, has a large group of rabid and knowledgable fans, but the successful teams have an even larger group of casual fans.

I just get the feeling some of you guys would rather sit next to a group of empty seats rather than a group of bikini clad knock-outs with less than a total command of baseball strategy.

I'll take the latter, watch the game like always, and have a great time talking with the ladies.

kobo
04-18-2013, 01:22 PM
I don't know. I agree with Lip on this one. Wrigley Field isn't a baseball stadium so much as it is an outdoor hotel bar. I don't have anything against people having fun, but the main reason to go to a baseball game is to watch baseball. People can have fun getting drunk and exposing themselves within the confines of their backyards. There's no reason to spend money to do so at a baseball game.
Oh come on. The majority of my friends are not Sox fans. We usually get a nice group together for 1 or 2 games each year. When we go, we party. Get to the lots when they open, setup the grill and bag boards and start drinking. The game is just the icing on the cake. I'm there to enjoy the weather, be with my friends, drink some beers and watch a game. If I want to go and just concentrate on the game I will either go by myself or with a couple buddies.

RKMeibalane
04-18-2013, 01:36 PM
First off - People at Cubs game are watching the game. I'll give you they're not all living and dying on every single pitch in a 6-0 game, but who other than a moron would? This whole "nobody watches the game up there" attitude is ridiculous. When the entirety of the stadium cheers after a two run double, it can only be explained by the fact that people are watching the game.

Don't be so sure. One of my classmates from medical school was determined to prove that Cubs fans are idiots. His GF (now wife) didn't believe him, so he took her to a Cubs-Reds game (he's a Reds fan). The game featured several lead changes, as well as a mammoth home run by (*gasp*) Adam Dunn. Baseball fan or no, anyone would have enjoyed the action. Unfortunately, at least a few fans weren't paying attention.

Seated directly in front of my friend and his GF was a group of four college-age men. They spent most of the game talking about different cup sizes (women's bra), and one of them made the mistake of hitting on my friend's girlfriend. In the eighth inning, one of them looked at his buddies and said, totally serious, "You know what would be really cool? I've always wanted to see the Cubs play the Reds." Even his friends were amazed he could be so clueless.

We White Sox fans don't have a monopoly on irrational baseball devotion. Every team, including the Cubs, has a large group of rabid and knowledgable fans, but the successful teams have an even larger group of casual fans.

I don't dispute this. It's absolutely accurate, and I don't mind casual fans attending games as long as they're paying attention to the action. I don't want to see people talking on their cellphone, nor do I want to hear people talking about their neighbors' awful Christmas decorations that are still up. Maybe I just invest in ear plugs.

I just get the feeling some of you guys would rather sit next to a group of empty seats rather than a group of bikini clad knock-outs with less than a total command of baseball strategy.

Not at all. I will happily set next to attractive women in bikinis as long as they're willing to make the afternoon about baseball, as opposed to something else. One of my most favorite memories of attending a baseball game happened the summer after I graduated from college. The woman I was dating at the time had never seen a baseball game and wanted to go, so I happily brought her with me to an Indianapolis Indians game (I lived twenty minutes from Victory Field, where they play).

She spent the entire evening asking me questions about baseball- it's rules, history, etc. By the end of the night, she had a reasonably good grasp of the most basic rules. I had to explain in more detail about things like balks, the infield fly rule, etc. For the rest of the summer, she took every opportunity to watch baseball with me because she thought the game was interesting (it was also a great chance for us to be together, too). Our careers and lives have since taken us to different places, but we've stayed friends, and when we see each other, the conversation always turns to baseball, as she probably knows more about the game now than I do.

I'll take the latter, watch the game like always, and have a great time talking with the ladies.

See above.

RKMeibalane
04-18-2013, 01:38 PM
Oh come on. The majority of my friends are not Sox fans. We usually get a nice group together for 1 or 2 games each year. When we go, we party. Get to the lots when they open, setup the grill and bag boards and start drinking. The game is just the icing on the cake. I'm there to enjoy the weather, be with my friends, drink some beers and watch a game. If I want to go and just concentrate on the game I will either go by myself or with a couple buddies.

No, not come on. I know what I like, and when I go to a baseball game, I want to watch baseball. I'm happy to bring friends along who aren't baseball fans (see my earlier post), provided that they are willing to at least appear interested in what's happening on the field.

Maybe I'm just being an ******* when it comes to things like this (it wouldn't be the first time I've rubbed people the wrong way around here). I just believe that a baseball game should be about baseball. That doesn't mean there's not a place for other things, but they should never supplant what's happening between the lines.

kittle42
04-18-2013, 01:42 PM
Don't be so sure. One of my classmates from medical school was determined to prove that Cubs fans are idiots. His GF (now wife) didn't believe him, so he took her to a Cubs-Reds game (he's a Reds fan). The game featured several lead changes, as well as a mammoth home run by (*gasp*) Adam Dunn. Baseball fan or no, anyone would have enjoyed the action. Unfortunately, at least a few fans weren't paying attention.

[clip the remainder]

Yours is an unrealistic view of a crowd at a sporting event. I do not doubt this event happened, as we have all seen it at a number of games, because those peopel *are* there, at every stadium. But the overall generalization is just offbase.

Also, :geezer:

And agree on King's "some of you would rather be next to empty seats" comment. We saw that on these boards in 2006, and see it on occasion when the park is packed.

RKMeibalane
04-18-2013, 01:49 PM
:geezer:


I'm not sure if you're using this image because you're scolding me or because you're calling me old. If you are calling me old, I hope you don't mind if I take it as a compliment, as I get asked at least once a week about "what grade I'm in." It's gotten to the point where I'm actually happy if I see one or two strands of gray hair nestled amongst the black. :cool:

Jerko
04-18-2013, 01:49 PM
Not trying to flame the fires of fandom, but walk around the concourse at the Cell oh, say the 4th or 5th inning. Tons of people out there not watching the game. So, both sides have their hardcore fans, both sides have people that go just to bull****.

kittle42
04-18-2013, 02:04 PM
I'm not sure if you're using this image because you're scolding me or because you're calling me old. If you are calling me old, I hope you don't mind if I take it as a compliment, as I get asked at least once a week about "what grade I'm in." It's gotten to the point where I'm actually happy if I see one or two strands of gray hair nestled amongst the black. :cool:

Not calling you old, just saying it's the "old-tyme" philosophy. :wink:

kittle42
04-18-2013, 02:06 PM
Not trying to flame the fires of fandom, but walk around the concourse at the Cell oh, say the 4th or 5th inning. Tons of people out there not watching the game. So, both sides have their hardcore fans, both sides have people that go just to bull****.

The same as any fanbase - totally agree. There is really nothing special about Sox fans in that regard. One could argue that the % of fans at a particular game that are there solely for the game and pay a ton of attention is higher at the Cell, if that makes one feel better, but I am not even sure that is true. Sox fans ripping on the Chads and Trixies at Wrigley is a good way to dig at die hard Cubs fans, but really, I don't see that numbers would support such contentions.

LITTLE NELL
04-18-2013, 02:24 PM
Not trying to flame the fires of fandom, but walk around the concourse at the Cell oh, say the 4th or 5th inning. Tons of people out there not watching the game. So, both sides have their hardcore fans, both sides have people that go just to bull****.


I don't understand that mindset. Why would people pay an awful lot of money for tickets, parking, gas or carfare and hardly watch the game. Just head down to corner saloon and save a lot of $$. As for me the only thing that matters is the White Sox and the game. 67 years old and I thought the day would come that it didn't matter if the Sox won or lost, that has not happened yet, when the Sox have a real late game I will get up about 3:30 am for a latrine break I make sure to check my I pod to see how the Sox did.

Paulwny
04-18-2013, 02:37 PM
That absolutely cannot be an accurate figure. 40%?! I'd even find half that to be implausible (I think).

I agree. Even if one takes into account the people from northern Indiana who attend Cubs fans, it's hard to believe that one or two of every five are from there. I suppose a small pocket of fans might come from southern Wisconsin, as well, but that still doesn't seem like an accurate number.

37%
http://chicagoist.com/2011/07/25/cubs_numbers_confirm_37_percent_of.php

Mr. Jinx
04-18-2013, 02:44 PM
I don't understand that mindset. Why would people pay an awful lot of money for tickets, parking, gas or carfare and hardly watch the game. Just head down to corner saloon and save a lot of $$. As for me the only thing that matters is the White Sox and the game. 67 years old and I thought the day would come that it didn't matter if the Sox won or lost, that has not happened yet, when the Sox have a real late game I will get up about 3:30 am for a latrine break I make sure to check my I pod to see how the Sox did.

Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of people who do enjoy doing that.

RKMeibalane
04-18-2013, 02:47 PM
37%
http://chicagoist.com/2011/07/25/cubs_numbers_confirm_37_percent_of.php

I'll be damned.

doublem23
04-18-2013, 02:50 PM
I don't understand that mindset. Why would people pay an awful lot of money for tickets, parking, gas or carfare and hardly watch the game. Just head down to corner saloon and save a lot of $$. As for me the only thing that matters is the White Sox and the game. 67 years old and I thought the day would come that it didn't matter if the Sox won or lost, that has not happened yet, when the Sox have a real late game I will get up about 3:30 am for a latrine break I make sure to check my I pod to see how the Sox did.

Because going to the park is something to do, an experience to be shared with others. To be honest, if I just wanted to watch the Sox and zone everything else out THAT'S what I'd rather do at home or the corner bar.

kittle42
04-18-2013, 02:59 PM
I don't understand that mindset. Why would people pay an awful lot of money for tickets, parking, gas or carfare and hardly watch the game. Just head down to corner saloon and save a lot of $$. As for me the only thing that matters is the White Sox and the game. 67 years old and I thought the day would come that it didn't matter if the Sox won or lost, that has not happened yet, when the Sox have a real late game I will get up about 3:30 am for a latrine break I make sure to check my I pod to see how the Sox did.

Because it's a fun experience for a lot of people. For us, of course, it's like going to a funeral with concessions.

SI1020
04-18-2013, 04:02 PM
I like to go to the game with someone who is as into the game as I am. A cold beer or two, a hot dog, a good buddy or two for company (my wife qualifies) and I'm good to go. I don't need loud music or to be told when to clap or cheer. I don't need to tailgate either but I'm not averse to it if any of you want to invite me. Yes the Cubs have had in the past, and still to this day have hardcore fans whose knowledge and love for the game is the equal of any other teams fans. I've met a few of them, and been friends with some. Still I'm not going to delude myself and think that the Wrigley experience today is primarily about the game. It hasn't been marketed that way and it isn't in reality. It's one of the reasons I took the unpopular position that the Cubs could use a fresh start somewhere else. Well that ain't going to happen, so we'll see how things continue to develop on the north side.

kittle42
04-18-2013, 04:04 PM
I like to go to the game with someone who is as into the game as I am. I don't need loud music or to be told when to clap or cheer. I don't need to tailgate either but I'm not averse to it if any of you want to invite me. Yes the Cubs have had in the past, and still to this day have hardcore fans whose knowledge and love for the game is the equal of any other teams fans. I've met a few of them, and been friends with some. Still I'm not going to delude myself and think that the Wrigley experience today is primarily about the game. It hasn't been marketed that way and it isn't in reality. It's one of the reasons I took the unpopular position that the Cubs could use a fresh start somewhere else. Well that ain't going to happen, so we'll see how things continue to develop on the north side.

But they rake in money hand over fist. What owner really cares about whether the paying people care about the game on the field first and foremost when they are buying tickets and $8 beers? Are you saying an owner would want to start fresh in such a situation, or only that it would create more fans who care about the team if they just got out of dodge?

SI1020
04-18-2013, 04:08 PM
But they rake in money hand over fist. What owner really cares about whether the paying people care about the game on the field first and foremost when they are buying tickets and $8 beers? Are you saying an owner would want to start fresh in such a situation, or only that it would create more fans who care about the team if they just got out of dodge? You're right they do. It's a financially winning formula that they have perfected. It's also a reason why they don't have to win. I mean can you see this kind of futility accepted in NY, LA or even Boston? Even in their 86 year drought they had some really good teams. Sometimes I get ruffled when criticized but in this case if you or anyone else thinks I'm nuts or wrong about it, I accept it. It's not a popular stance.

kittle42
04-18-2013, 04:59 PM
You're right they do. It's a financially winning formula that they have perfected. It's also a reason why they don't have to win. I mean can you see this kind of futility accepted in NY, LA or even Boston? Even in their 86 year drought they had some really good teams. Sometimes I get ruffled when criticized but in this case if you or anyone else thinks I'm nuts or wrong about it, I accept it. It's not a popular stance.

No, it wouldn't be accepted in those towns. But, sadly, Chicago has accepted losing for years, in all its sports. The Bears get the most heat, but really, this isn't *that* tough a town to play in otherwise. So I guess Cubs fans feel, if we're gonna lose, why not have fun while watching it?

Dan H
04-20-2013, 08:30 AM
Right now, regardless of what happens on either side of town this year, I have more faith in the White Sox turning things around than the Cubs. I really don't know what the direction the organization is going at the moment. Many Sox fans don't, and that is one reason this thread has drawn so much attention. Although I have been a critic of the organization, even I can see it puts a solid team on the field from time to time. And it does it more often than the god-awful Cubs.

For a time, I thought the Cubs may have been on the right track. But the more I see from the Cubs, the more I think they are headed for a disaster. The White Sox situation is not good, but I've come down from the ledge. I only wish I knew what their real plan was.

kittle42
04-20-2013, 03:03 PM
Right now, regardless of what happens on either side of town this year, I have more faith in the White Sox turning things around than the Cubs. I really don't know what the direction the organization is going at the moment. Many Sox fans don't, and that is one reason this thread has drawn so much attention. Although I have been a critic of the organization, even I can see it puts a solid team on the field from time to time. And it does it more often than the god-awful Cubs.

For a time, I thought the Cubs may have been on the right track. But the more I see from the Cubs, the more I think they are headed for a disaster. The White Sox situation is not good, but I've come down from the ledge. I only wish I knew what their real plan was.

How in the world can you think the Sox are on a better path? Look at the Cubs' minor league system. Look at the philosophy of tanking 2-3 seasons to be a ligit contender. Not that they will all pan, out, but those players are much more promising than anything the Sox have. We are treading water.

ChicagoG19
04-20-2013, 03:21 PM
How in the world can you think the Sox are on a better path? Look at the Cubs' minor league system. Look at the philosophy of tanking 2-3 seasons to be a ligit contender. Not that they will all pan, out, but those players are much more promising than anything the Sox have. We are treading water.

The Cubs can tank 2-3 years and still draw 39,000 a game. If the Sox tanked 2-3, we are looking at Expos-type attendance. I say this as a die-hard Sox fan, but it is the reality of being 2nd-fiddle in the city in terms of popularity.

Noneck
04-20-2013, 04:53 PM
I only wish I knew what their real plan was.


Their plan is to make money and they have achieved this goal.

Dan H
04-21-2013, 08:03 AM
How in the world can you think the Sox are on a better path? Look at the Cubs' minor league system. Look at the philosophy of tanking 2-3 seasons to be a ligit contender. Not that they will all pan, out, but those players are much more promising than anything the Sox have. We are treading water.

It's not that I think that the Sox are on a better path or better said a great path. I just think historically the Sox tend to build better clubs in the long run. I am not certainly not happy with the team and I don't expect much in the short run. This team needs fixing.

As far as the Cubs building a real winner, I won't believe anything until I see it. I don't know how many I have heard that hype from the Cubs and their promising young talent. Remember Felix Pie or whatever his name was? And I have my doubts about Theo. There is too much hype surrounding him, too. Also, I have no faith in Ricketts.

But I do agree with you that the Sox are treading water. And while many want Hahn to make some moves, I don't know what he can do in the immediate future. My optimism comes only from historical performnances and I am not jumping for joy right now. This team is bad and will stay that way for a while. But the Cubs? Like I said, I will believe it when I see it.

Dan H
04-21-2013, 08:10 AM
The Cubs can tank 2-3 years and still draw 39,000 a game. If the Sox tanked 2-3, we are looking at Expos-type attendance. I say this as a die-hard Sox fan, but it is the reality of being 2nd-fiddle in the city in terms of popularity.

The Cubs will still draw well, but to assume these numbers is no longer realistic. Even many Cub fans, especially older ones, are sick of hearing the Hope Springs Eternal stuff. 39,000 a game? I don't know. Maybe with tickets sold. But actual people in the seats will not equal that. The Cubs can no longer assume they can do anything they want. Once 2008 happend, things began to change.

But you're right about the Sox. The fan base just isn't strong enough fo the team to tank it like the Cubs are doing.

Frater Perdurabo
04-21-2013, 10:51 AM
Remember the good old days, when we had countless threads arguing about whether or not the lineup could afford to carry a #9 hitter who hit .220 and liked to party but played great defense?

Now we have a DH hitting cleanup who is hitting less than .100!

Frater Perdurabo
04-21-2013, 04:43 PM
If this organization wants to rise above mediocrity, it needs to stop privileging loyalty over performance among its scouts, coaches and player development people.

BainesHOF
04-21-2013, 05:01 PM
If this organization wants to rise above mediocrity, it needs to stop privileging loyalty over performance among its scouts, coaches and player development people.


Heck yes! I was dumbfounded by the last round of promotions in this area. People should have lost jobs, not been promoted.

KingXerxes
04-22-2013, 11:25 AM
If this organization wants to rise above mediocrity, it needs to stop privileging loyalty over performance among its scouts, coaches and player development people.

Agreed, but need to add Marketing.

As an aside, the White Sox once had a guy who walked around with a microphone introducing songs and such when there were breaks in the game. What was his name? I was talking with a friend this weekend, and neither of us could remember the name. My guess was STEPHEN, but I need confirmation. Breakfast is riding on this.

amsteel
04-22-2013, 11:38 AM
If this organization wants to rise above mediocrity, it needs to stop privileging loyalty over performance among its scouts, coaches and player development people.

Rising above mediocrity is secondary to making money, the only way anything really changes is if they stop making money.

KingXerxes
04-22-2013, 12:19 PM
Rising above mediocrity is secondary to making money, the only way anything really changes is if they stop making money.

This seems to be a common theme, but I'm not certain it's a correct theme.

I'm not privy to all the inside details of the White Sox financial strategy, but I have to believe a higher turnout at the gate would lead to a greater revenue stream, and therefore a higher net. One can't look at this and say, "Reinsdorf is just happy making money." because I can almost guarantee you if there is a lot more money to be made, and he's not getting it, he'll be working his butt off to get it.

I think a fair statement would be "Reinsdorf isn't going to bet the ranch in order to acheive the possibility of larger rewards right now". In other words he's risk averse at this point - which is far different from saying he's satisfied just making some money.

While it seems as though this distinction is splitting hairs, it really isn't. Reinsdorf can add to his bottom line by simply trying to harvest what I think is a huge, untapped reservoir of White Sox fans just by getting a decent marketing team in place. The damning thing about it is he never seems to get around to actually putting a decent marketing program in place. To his defense, Reinsdorf is not a marketing guru - he's a money raising guru, but he's got to get somebody to straighten out the marketing side. Right now the team just appears adrift as to whom they are marketing toward, and what the selling points should be. For all we know the lost upside could be killing Reinsdorf, yet he's incapable of righting the ship.

I realize things are always more complicated than most people realize (myself included), and I can see where the stadium deal may actually trim a lot of incentives out of increasing attendance (e.g. rent kick ins and such) and I don't think he's looking to move the team and cash out that way - I'm not even sure he'd be able to do that with the stadium deal (which still has a ways to run).

It may simply be a case of loyalty overwhelming the common good (my take), or the fact he's simply not the right person to address the issues facing the organization and its fan base right now. I doubt he'll sell with pricing being depressed, so we'll all just have to hope he brings in the right people.

Jerko
04-22-2013, 12:52 PM
I love being at the park, but let's face it, watching paint dry is more eventful than a Sox game these days. I should know, as I did both over the weekend.

Noneck
04-22-2013, 12:57 PM
This seems to be a common theme, but I'm not certain it's a correct theme.

I'm not privy to all the inside details of the White Sox financial strategy, but I have to believe a higher turnout at the gate would lead to a greater revenue stream, and therefore a higher net. One can't look at this and say, "Reinsdorf is just happy making money." because I can almost guarantee you if there is a lot more money to be made, and he's not getting it, he'll be working his butt off to get it.

I think a fair statement would be "Reinsdorf isn't going to bet the ranch in order to acheive the possibility of larger rewards right now". In other words he's risk averse at this point - which is far different from saying he's satisfied just making some money.

While it seems as though this distinction is splitting hairs, it really isn't. Reinsdorf can add to his bottom line by simply trying to harvest what I think is a huge, untapped reservoir of White Sox fans just by getting a decent marketing team in place. The damning thing about it is he never seems to get around to actually putting a decent marketing program in place. To his defense, Reinsdorf is not a marketing guru - he's a money raising guru, but he's got to get somebody to straighten out the marketing side. Right now the team just appears adrift as to whom they are marketing toward, and what the selling points should be. For all we know the lost upside could be killing Reinsdorf, yet he's incapable of righting the ship.

I realize things are always more complicated than most people realize (myself included), and I can see where the stadium deal may actually trim a lot of incentives out of increasing attendance (e.g. rent kick ins and such) and I don't think he's looking to move the team and cash out that way - I'm not even sure he'd be able to do that with the stadium deal (which still has a ways to run).

It may simply be a case of loyalty overwhelming the common good (my take), or the fact he's simply not the right person to address the issues facing the organization and its fan base right now. I doubt he'll sell with pricing being depressed, so we'll all just have to hope he brings in the right people.

If value is increasing and profits have been rolling in for years, no need to take chances. He does very well with other peoples money and that is why he is a very rich man. As Ive said before he has the pigs get fat, hogs go to market philosophy, which has worked very well for him.

KingXerxes
04-22-2013, 02:07 PM
But there is zero downside in cultivating the fan base, and therefore he would not be acting as a hog. I'm still staying with unjustified loyalty and a marketing blind spot.

amsteel
04-22-2013, 02:13 PM
Reinsdorf can add to his bottom line by simply trying to harvest what I think is a huge, untapped reservoir of White Sox fans just by getting a decent marketing team in place. The damning thing about it is he never seems to get around to actually putting a decent marketing program in place. To his defense, Reinsdorf is not a marketing guru - he's a money raising guru, but he's got to get somebody to straighten out the marketing side.

Would an unreasonable conclusion to the ongoing marketing/attendance struggles is the fact that White Sox fans are impervious to marketing? Marketing or not all they show up for is a fun and or competitive team?

Hitmen77
04-22-2013, 02:44 PM
If this organization wants to rise above mediocrity, it needs to stop privileging loyalty over performance among its scouts, coaches and player development people.

Frater, I think this may well be the heart of the Sox problem. Yes, also at fault is an unwillingness to invest more resources in drafting, scouts, etc. But perhaps the biggest problem overall is the loyalty over performance way of running things.

We've seen years of very little talent coming up through the system. Yet, was anyone accountable for these constant failures?

Noneck
04-22-2013, 04:52 PM
I'm still staying with unjustified loyalty and a marketing blind spot.


If unjustified loyalty is the same as ones you can control, I agree.

DSpivack
04-22-2013, 05:00 PM
Frater, I think this may well be the heart of the Sox problem. Yes, also at fault is an unwillingness to invest more resources in drafting, scouts, etc. But perhaps the biggest problem overall is the loyalty over performance way of running things.

We've seen years of very little talent coming up through the system. Yet, was anyone accountable for these constant failures?

The thing about this that I have never understood is that it seems very penny-wise and dollar foolish. The more young talent you develop which would cost pennies means the less big dollars you have to pay out to the likes of Peavy, Rios, Dunn, Danks, et al. They're running out a very mediocre roster with a $122 million payroll. I would think that, ideally, the better you are developing young, cheap talent, the lower your payroll would be.

KingXerxes
04-22-2013, 05:11 PM
Would an unreasonable conclusion to the ongoing marketing/attendance struggles is the fact that White Sox fans are impervious to marketing? Marketing or not all they show up for is a fun and or competitive team?

Nobody is impervious to marketing.

Isn't a bad day at the ballpark better than a great day at work? Start making the case.

Harry Chappas
04-22-2013, 05:47 PM
Would an unreasonable conclusion to the ongoing marketing/attendance struggles is the fact that White Sox fans are impervious to marketing? Marketing or not all they show up for is a fun and or competitive team?

The fans they should be targeting are the casual "baseball" fans. The fans that just like to get out 3-4x a year to soak up the 'game day experience.' In other words - the Sox equivalent of typical Cubs fans. It's this group that will fill in the empty 10,000 - 15,000 seats on a Tuesday night in April.

Now the question is - how do you get them? So far, the Sox haven't been able to find a John McDonnough-type to answer that question. I know this much...Brooks Boyer isn't the answer.

Daver
04-22-2013, 05:57 PM
The fans they should be targeting are the casual "baseball" fans. The fans that just like to get out 3-4x a year to soak up the 'game day experience.' In other words - the Sox equivalent of typical Cubs fans. It's this group that will fill in the empty 10,000 - 15,000 seats on a Tuesday night in April.

Now the question is - how do you get them?

A perennial contender would probably do the trick.

amsteel
04-22-2013, 05:58 PM
Now the question is - how do you get them? So far, the Sox haven't been able to find a John McDonnough-type to answer that question. I know this much...Brooks Boyer isn't the answer.

Kane and Toews and the Cup have done 10000000x the marketing job McDonnough has. He's been the beneficiary of a good team, not vice versa.

Mr. Jinx
04-22-2013, 06:50 PM
Kane and Toews and the Cup have done 10000000x the marketing job McDonnough has. He's been the beneficiary of a good team, not vice versa.

So you're saying the Sox should just play like **** for a few years, get all their fans to leave, start winning, and watch the bandwagon come rolling on in? Interesting...

amsteel
04-22-2013, 06:52 PM
So you're saying the Sox should just play like **** for a few years, get all their fans to leave, start winning, and watch the bandwagon come rolling on in? Interesting...

Bandwagon fans = $

TDog
04-22-2013, 07:11 PM
Rising above mediocrity is secondary to making money, the only way anything really changes is if they stop making money.
I don't think that's true at all. It's the sort of smug, convoluted logic all too prevalent among the fanbase that is hurting the franchise.
If winning were easy, everyone would do it. It all it took was spending money, the Marlins would have had a great 2012, maybe losing to the Angels in the World Series. There are more big-salary failures in the last 20 years than big-salary champions.

Spending money, more money than anyone else was offering, on Adam Dunn wasn't about profitability above mediocrity. Many who had watched Dunn play believed it was a bad baseball move, but it was something a majority of fans wanted. It isn't even a matter of hindsight. The day Dunn was signed, it was noted in the discussion that you could get as much from Mark Reynolds at a much lower cost because he was available in trade. Now fans complain that the franchise is cheap because it won't eat his contract.

Fans complain that the White Sox traded Daniel Hudson for Edwin Jackson after Jake Peavy went down, although keeping a minor league prospect and his ERA in excess of 6 to continue to perhaps get hammered in the American League would have been far cheaper. Trading for Jake Peavy wasn't cheap. Taking on the Alex Rios contract wasn't cheap. Re-signing Paul konerko wasn't cheap.

The Sox didn't sign any big name free agents this off-season, but I don't think that is a matter of putting profit before rising above mediocrity. More often than not in recent years, signing the big free agents as probed both from the perspective of business and baseball.
What fans do by hurting their team's franchise financially is put them in a position where they can once again say the franchise is blaming the fans, blame that really only exists in their convoluted logic.

amsteel
04-22-2013, 07:26 PM
I don't think that's true at all.


If it's not true wouldn't JR be willing to lose money or not profit in order to put a winning team on the field? That would be the definition of putting winning before profitability.

It's a business, you try to maximize profits while minimizing costs. If the Sox value increases by whatever incremental amount per year, regardless of team performance I would think JR would take that over potentially losing value by investing in high risk, high value contracts.

SCCWS
04-22-2013, 08:23 PM
Would an unreasonable conclusion to the ongoing marketing/attendance struggles is the fact that White Sox fans are impervious to marketing? Marketing or not all they show up for is a fun and or competitive team?


If you get a chance, pick up a copy of Francona. Besides the baseball, there is quite a bit of what the Red Sox have done to cultivate their attendance and the marketing around it. A few things:

1. Music---the Dropkick Murphys and Sweet Caroline were both marketing gimmicks that have become staples appealing to certain population segments.
2. Francona was stunned when a big buck marketing survey determined the roster was bland and needed more players with sizzle and sex appeal to improve TV ratings.
3. The Red Sox want the female audiance and gear parts of their marketing approach specifically for them. So the pink hats, Sweet Caroline, sex appeal are all geared to attract the female fan and enhance their experience.

TDog
04-22-2013, 08:57 PM
If it's not true wouldn't JR be willing to lose money or not profit in order to put a winning team on the field? That would be the definition of putting winning before profitability.

It's a business, you try to maximize profits while minimizing costs. If the Sox value increases by whatever incremental amount per year, regardless of team performance I would think JR would take that over potentially losing value by investing in high risk, high value contracts.

Not trading for Jake Peavy, not trading for Edwin Jacskson, not picking up the contract of Alex Rios, not signing Adam Dunn etc. cost the Whtie Sox ownership group, which Jerry Reinsdorf heads, money in a way that contradicts your assumption.

Teams that are willing to lose money to put a winning team on the field rarely put winning teams on the field. Even more rarely do they have stockholders. The big money teams have more money to spend.

It is unreasonable and unrealistic to demand your favorite team's ownership lose money to provide you a winner. It is particularly unrealistic and unreasonable to suggest that fans should deny support for their team unless the francise loses money to provide a winner, especially when fans complain about moves that prove bad for baseball that cost the team money at the same time fans complain that management is unwilling to spend money.

Frater Perdurabo
04-22-2013, 09:06 PM
How can we fans really get the message through to Sox ownership that we are fed up with the organization's ridiculous emphasis on loyalty over performance excellence in its drafting, scouting and player development?

The Sox aren't cheap; but they suck at drafting, scouting and developing talent. Doing those things well does not require flushing the major league club; it means drafting better, scouting better, and teaching/coaching/practicing better. If their current employees in those departments can't do that, then fire them.

Noneck
04-22-2013, 09:44 PM
The Sox aren't cheap; but they suck at drafting, scouting and developing talent. Doing those things well does not require flushing the major league club; it means drafting better, scouting better, and teaching/coaching/practicing better. If their current employees in those departments can't do that, then fire them.


They have cheaped out on their minor league system for years. The result of this was being dependent on overspending on marginal FA's and signings to put a somewhat competitive team on the field. Short term this seemed to work for their bottom line. Long term hasnt been determined yet but I bet ownership has things covered.

DSpivack
04-22-2013, 09:54 PM
They have cheaped out on their minor league system for years. The result of this was being dependent on overspending on marginal FA's and signings to put a somewhat competitive team on the field. Short term this seemed to work for their bottom line. Long term hasnt been determined yet but I bet ownership has things covered.

It just seems very penny-wise and dollar-foolish to me. Develop more young, cheap talent and you could potentially have a better team with a lower payroll.

Noneck
04-22-2013, 09:56 PM
It just seems very penny-wise and dollar-foolish to me. Develop more young, cheap talent and you could potentially have a better team with a lower payroll.


But the model they have been working with has made them fat, why change a good thing?

Mr. Jinx
04-22-2013, 10:32 PM
They have cheaped out on their minor league system for years. The result of this was being dependent on overspending on marginal FA's and signings to put a somewhat competitive team on the field. Short term this seemed to work for their bottom line. Long term hasnt been determined yet but I bet ownership has things covered.

There is no salary cap in baseball and they are making plenty. They cheaped out on the minor league system because they are cheap.

Lip Man 1
04-22-2013, 11:44 PM
Daver has it exactly right.

Marketing certainly helps but when you cut through everything the bottom line is that nothing is a better marketing tool than winning...and I don't mean being in first place for three months after a losing season the year before...to add to the fact that this franchise hasn't even had back to back winning seasons since 2005-2006 (I wanted to preempt the "it's all the Sox fans fault crowd...")

Spivak:

Again I go back to EE statement soon after he and JR bought the franchise (paraphrasing since I don't have the exact quote in front of me...)

'The way to win today is with free agency and trades...'

They have never believed in the minor league system / approach to building a consistent winner, they have never invested the resources like other franchises (Sox spent the least amount of money in minor league bonuses in the last five years of MLB) and just in the last decade they can't even hang on to the same minor league director for longer than three or four years. Hard to develop a consistent development approach when the folks in charge are leaving or getting fired every few years.

Then you add in the instances where JR intervened in who the Sox were going to draft and his dislike for certain agents (who usually happen to control very good talent) and you are shooting yourself in the foot.

If the Sox in fact invested heavily in free agents (the TOP guys) and made good trades I'd say the lack of a minor league system wouldn't be a big deal. But not only do they chisel the minor league system but they are falling flat in the other two areas as well.

Not a good situation.

Lip

amsteel
04-22-2013, 11:50 PM
How can we fans really get the message through to Sox ownership that we are fed up with the organization's ridiculous emphasis on loyalty over performance excellence in its drafting, scouting and player development?

Long time STHs don't renew and big time corporate partners back out. The people that spend the most have the loudest voices.

The Sox don't give a **** about the family of 4 that spends 60$ on one Sunday game a year.