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Iwritecode
09-17-2002, 11:25 AM
He doesn't want to play until he's 40 like Harold and he wants a ring, not records.

:shammy

WHAT?!? Records are all that matters. Especially homerun records. I hear that I'm almost #1 in strikeout records. What's this ring everyone keeps talking about anyway?

By Paul Sullivan
Tribune staff reporter

September 16, 2002, 11:32 PM CDT


There's no debating that the future of the White Sox centers on Magglio Ordonez, the latest cornerstone of a franchise in the midst of a makeover.

Ordonez, in his fifth full season, has established himself as one of the top hitters in franchise history, and he is currently on track to finish with his fourth straight season of hitting better than .300 with more than 30 home runs and 100 RBIs.

Though he wasn't selected as a starter or reserve to the American League All-Star team, Ordonez is among the top 10 AL hitters in almost every significant offensive category with two weeks left in the season. Perhaps even more impressive than his raw numbers has been Ordonez's ability to put them up under a virtual cone of silence.

The 28-year-old Venezuelan doesn't open his mouth often, which tends to make him an invisible man of sorts in a clubhouse renowned for housing strong personalities such as Jack McDowell, Tony Phillips, Jaime Navarro, Frank Thomas and Albert Belle.

Ordonez's quiet demeanor may keep him from being noticed outside Chicago, but Sox fans and management are well aware of the right fielder's superb talent. Thomas was supposed to be the centerpiece of the team through 2006, but Ordonez now is regarded as the primary building block, making Thomas expendable if the Sox decide to invoke his diminished skills clause and hope he opts for free agency.

But, like Thomas before him, Ordonez has shied away from some of the responsibilities that go with being a team leader, even as the Sox get young and younger. He can't change his low-key personality, and he would rather follow in the footsteps of players such as Billy Williams, who spoke softly but carried a big stick.

"I don't feel comfortable being loud," Ordonez said. "I try to be a leader in the game, on the field. That's just the way I am. I play hard, and if young kids want to watch me and learn how to play, that's fine. But I'm not going to go up to somebody and tell him 'do this' or 'do that.' That's not me. Really, I consider myself one of the guys. I don't consider myself one of the veterans."

Last year Ordonez became the first player in the AL—and seventh in the majors—to hit at least .300 with 40 doubles, 30 homers, 100 RBIs and 25 steals in one season. Though he has cut back on base-stealing to save his legs, Ordonez still is posting numbers that rank among the best in the majors.

As of Monday, he was second in the league in RBIs (121), seventh in home runs (32), sixth in average (.316), fourth in doubles (44), sixth in runs (106), fourth in extra-base hits (77), seventh in slugging percentage (.574), fourth in total bases (316) and 10th in hits (174).

Barring an injury, Ordonez could wind up replacing Thomas on the Sox leaderboard in home runs and RBIs when his career is over. But he has told many of his friends he only wants to play for seven or eight more seasons, or one long-term deal after his contract is up following the 2004 season.

"I don't think I'll be playing when I'm 36, 38 years old," he said. "I'll be home. If I'm that age and still playing at the level I want to play at, maybe I'll change my mind."

And what if he's on the verge of setting a franchise record? Would that change Ordonez's mind?

"Records matter to me," he said. "But I'm not here to get records. I'm here to win a ring and try to get in the playoffs every year. Would you rather break a record or play in the World Series? You will forget about all the hits and RBIs someday. You'll never forget about playing in a World Series."

Two years remain on the three-year, $29.5 million contract Ordonez signed in the summer of 2001. His current $6.5 million salary increases to $10 million next year and $13 million in 2004. Whether or not the Sox will be able to afford him in 2005 remains to be seen. Ordonez wants to finish his career with the Sox, but understands the organization faces an uncertain financial future.

"I have two years left, and who knows?" he said.

So consider that a two-year window for Sox management to prove it can fill in the blanks and put a pennant-contending team on the field in 2003. Instead of going into a rebuilding mode in 2003, general manager Ken Williams opted for a two-month crash course at the end of 2002 for the young players, hoping they will jell in time to win the Central Division next year. Additions must be made on the pitching side to get the Sox to another level, though Ordonez is confident the Sox are headed in the right direction again.

"We have good young position players like [Joe] Crede and [Joe] Borchard, Willie Harris, D'Angelo [Jimenez]," he said. "They've shown they can play at this level. The pitchers have also gained a lot of experience and they're pitching well lately. If they play as well next year as they're all playing now, we'll be OK."

Copyright © 2002, The Chicago Tribune

hold2dibber
09-17-2002, 02:10 PM
The Sporting News has recently declared Maggs to be the best RF in Chicago.

Maggs #1 RF in Chicago (http://www.sportingnews.com/baseball/poll/)

bc2k
09-17-2002, 04:10 PM
So why is Thomas signed longer than Magglio?

WhiteSox = Life
09-17-2002, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by bc2k
So why is Thomas signed longer than Magglio?

:reinsy
"Because I'm Reinsy, owner of the Chicago White Sox! Need I say more?"

RichH55
09-18-2002, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by bc2k
So why is Thomas signed longer than Magglio?

Frank has a ridiculously long contract for one....the other one is that Mags is signed long term, he just doesnt have a ten year deal and I think the signing of Mags long term was one of the few strokes of brillance by KW and to pick at that is just ridicilous, but then again maybe ridiculous was the point of your post

doublem23
09-18-2002, 08:10 PM
Originally posted by RichH55
Frank has a ridiculously long contract for one....the other one is that Mags is signed long term, he just doesnt have a ten year deal and I think the signing of Mags long term was one of the few strokes of brillance by KW and to pick at that is just ridicilous, but then again maybe ridiculous was the point of your post

No, Frank just didn't sign one of his baseballs when he was a kid and so now bc2k has some sort of illogical hatred of Frank Thomas. It's a lot easier just to ignore it.

RichH55
09-18-2002, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by doublem23
No, Frank just didn't sign one of his baseballs when he was a kid and so now bc2k has some sort of illogical hatred of Frank Thomas. It's a lot easier just to ignore it.



Good Point :gulp: