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Lip Man 1
12-15-2002, 10:46 PM
This just hit the Tribune web site in a story from Paul Sullivan. I post it without comment since my column is now up on the Greg Maddux comment that Williams made yesterday.

I'll leave the debate to the rest of you to either defend Williams' thinking or to punch holes in his comments...

"Everyone gets hit with the bug to overextend themselves at various times or to put a strain on the budget when you have an opportunity to win," he said. "We also have done that from time to time. We've done it recently and got burned in the process.

"I promised myself one thing—I don't want to go down this road because our fans, Chicago White Sox fans, do not want to hear it. They don't want to hear about revenues, don't want to hear us cry about payroll limitations or anything else. All they want on the South Side is a winning baseball team, and that's all we're focused on, regardless of the circumstances. We just have to be that much more creative and make proper decisions and accurate decisions on our personnel and the type of club we put together to make that happen. I'm not going to go down that road because our fans do not want to hear it."

Lip

jeremyb1
12-15-2002, 11:44 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
This just hit the Tribune web site in a story from Paul Sullivan. I post it without comment since my column is now up on the Greg Maddux comment that Williams made yesterday.

I'll leave the debate to the rest of you to either defend Williams' thinking or to punch holes in his comments...

"Everyone gets hit with the bug to overextend themselves at various times or to put a strain on the budget when you have an opportunity to win," he said. "We also have done that from time to time. We've done it recently and got burned in the process.

"I promised myself one thing—I don't want to go down this road because our fans, Chicago White Sox fans, do not want to hear it. They don't want to hear about revenues, don't want to hear us cry about payroll limitations or anything else. All they want on the South Side is a winning baseball team, and that's all we're focused on, regardless of the circumstances. We just have to be that much more creative and make proper decisions and accurate decisions on our personnel and the type of club we put together to make that happen. I'm not going to go down that road because our fans do not want to hear it."

Lip

i'll say one thing, i think kenny has finally started to learn at least a little about good pr in that he's refraining from complaining about attendance.

RichH55
12-16-2002, 01:50 AM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
i'll say one thing, i think kenny has finally started to learn at least a little about good pr in that he's refraining from complaining about attendance.

Almost all of KW's statements/moves have seemed positive to me so far this offseason....I have hope....cant say more than that, but hope is at least a start

hose
12-16-2002, 06:12 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
This just hit the Tribune web site in a story from Paul Sullivan. I post it without comment since my column is now up on the Greg Maddux comment that Williams made yesterday.

I'll leave the debate to the rest of you to either defend Williams' thinking or to punch holes in his comments...

"Everyone gets hit with the bug to overextend themselves at various times or to put a strain on the budget when you have an opportunity to win," he said. "We also have done that from time to time. We've done it recently and got burned in the process.

"I promised myself one thing—I don't want to go down this road because our fans, Chicago White Sox fans, do not want to hear it. They don't want to hear about revenues, don't want to hear us cry about payroll limitations or anything else. All they want on the South Side is a winning baseball team, and that's all we're focused on, regardless of the circumstances. We just have to be that much more creative and make proper decisions and accurate decisions on our personnel and the type of club we put together to make that happen. I'm not going to go down that road because our fans do not want to hear it."

Lip

Sounds good to me

NewyorkSoxFan
12-16-2002, 07:37 AM
Originally posted by RichH55
Almost all of KW's statements/moves have seemed positive to me so far this offseason....I have hope....cant say more than that, but hope is at least a start

I agree Rich, this guy has had to learn on the job as well as have one of the most difficult financial situations to work under. And it is a fact for whatever reason the fans have not supported this team. I understand their frustrations with management, but we should support the players that we love and root for. Small market teams like Cleveland, and Atlanta have been able to take more financial risks because of the attendance they were generating.

Not to take anything away from guys like Cashman(yankees) Phillips(Mets) and others, but they have an open checkbook to sign guys they want. Met fans hate Wilpon just like we loathe JR, but they support their team, and it makes all the difference in the world.

KW has made some boneheaded decisions no doubt, but he is learning. I think we should be blaming him less and looking above (JR) for the reason this team is constantly in neutral.


NYSF

duke of dorwood
12-16-2002, 08:05 AM
:KW

I'm a Plan B guy

voodoochile
12-16-2002, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by NewyorkSoxFan
I agree Rich, this guy has had to learn on the job as well as have one of the most difficult financial situations to work under. And it is a fact for whatever reason the fans have not supported this team. I understand their frustrations with management, but we should support the players that we love and root for. Small market teams like Cleveland, and Atlanta have been able to take more financial risks because of the attendance they were generating.

Not to take anything away from guys like Cashman(yankees) Phillips(Mets) and others, but they have an open checkbook to sign guys they want. Met fans hate Wilpon just like we loathe JR, but they support their team, and it makes all the difference in the world.

KW has made some boneheaded decisions no doubt, but he is learning. I think we should be blaming him less and looking above (JR) for the reason this team is constantly in neutral.


NYSF

I agree that KW appears to be improving his deal making ability - the Koch deal being merely a bit lopsided and not nearly as overboard as the Ritchie deal, but...

You bring up the point about Cleveland and Atlanta having a healthy fanbase/attendance record in smaller markets. Why is that? It's because they win. They Braves hadn't won anything when they acquired Maddux by shelling out what at the time was big bucks. The Indians started by building from within, but signed the players they wanted to keep and made good acquisitions through the years. That is why they have a strong following - both teams built winners and the fans came to see them. The Indians jump in wins happened to coincide with the building of their new stadium which gave them an attendance boost, but they didn't sell out for 500+ games (or whatever) because they built a new stadium 8 years ago (or whatever). They had that string of sellouts because they were winning the division every year. Some of that winning was against some pretty poor central competition, but they went out and built a team that won 2 pennants during that time. Some of that was because of their willingness to spend money. Guys like Finley and R. Alomar didn't come up through the system, but they were vital additions to the talent they did have. If the Sox were to go out and sign a Bigname CF and a top of the rotation pitcher this year and that drove them to the top of the standings, they too will see a jump in attendance and then the problem with the purse strings becomes less and less.

It is the unwillingness to take a chance and build the winner first that has most of us ticked off. You want more customers? Don't cry about how the customers hate you, build a better product. Sometimes that means taking a loss or at least lowering your profit expectations for a year or two. JR has refused to compromise on this issue and the result is KW learning on the job and making some bad decisions - even if his desire was in the right place.

Finally, KW got the job out of favoratism. Not because he was the best candidate for the job. He took the job for personal reasons knowing there were financial hurdles to overcome. He allowed himself to be signed to a job he wasn't allowed to do properly. He has to take some of the heat for failing to take his case to JR and force his hand. It isn't like I expect JR to listen, but KW has to be the fans' advocate when it comes to loosening up the purse strings. He is the only one who can get the message across. He needs to be doing more to see that it happens...

Build us a winner, KW and we won't care about that which is past...

NewyorkSoxFan
12-16-2002, 11:05 AM
Originally posted by voodoochile
I agree that KW appears to be improving his deal making ability - the Koch deal being merely a bit lopsided and not nearly as overboard as the Ritchie deal, but...

You bring up the point about Cleveland and Atlanta having a healthy fanbase/attendance record in smaller markets. Why is that? It's because they win. They Braves hadn't won anything when they acquired Maddux by shelling out what at the time was big bucks. The Indians started by building from within, but signed the players they wanted to keep and made good acquisitions through the years. That is why they have a strong following - both teams built winners and the fans came to see them. The Indians jump in wins happened to coincide with the building of their new stadium which gave them an attendance boost, but they didn't sell out for 500+ games (or whatever) because they built a new stadium 8 years ago (or whatever). They had that string of sellouts because they were winning the division every year. Some of that winning was against some pretty poor central competition, but they went out and built a team that won 2 pennants during that time. Some of that was because of their willingness to spend money. Guys like Finley and R. Alomar didn't come up through the system, but they were vital additions to the talent they did have. If the Sox were to go out and sign a Bigname CF and a top of the rotation pitcher this year and that drove them to the top of the standings, they too will see a jump in attendance and then the problem with the purse strings becomes less and less.

It is the unwillingness to take a chance and build the winner first that has most of us ticked off. You want more customers? Don't cry about how the customers hate you, build a better product. Sometimes that means taking a loss or at least lowering your profit expectations for a year or two. JR has refused to compromise on this issue and the result is KW learning on the job and making some bad decisions - even if his desire was in the right place.

Finally, KW got the job out of favoratism. Not because he was the best candidate for the job. He took the job for personal reasons knowing there were financial hurdles to overcome. He allowed himself to be signed to a job he wasn't allowed to do properly. He has to take some of the heat for failing to take his case to JR and force his hand. It isn't like I expect JR to listen, but KW has to be the fans' advocate when it comes to loosening up the purse strings. He is the only one who can get the message across. He needs to be doing more to see that it happens...

Build us a winner, KW and we won't care about that which is past...




Voodoo,
You mention that the Braves signed Maddux before they had one anything, well they had already played in one WS. You mentioned Cleveland, and it is true that they built from the farm, and they did make key additions, but when they began to win the fans came out, in 2000 we were still talking about where are the fans? You can hardly tell me that we supported that team properly in 2000. And I seem to remember some fan favorites wondering out loud where the fans were-namely Konerko, Foulk, Howry, and others.

No one blames the twins for not going out and overspending to show their fans that they want a winner. No one blames the Royals for doing the same thing. However we expect our team to go out and spend and hope the fans come out. Although I agree if you build a winner consistently the fans will come out, and I guess I am playing devil's advocate a little, but as a WS fan it is frustrating to not even see the park sold out on opening day, or against good teams in the division.

We can't say that KW got his job because of favoritism, unless you were in the office when it was discussed or know something we all don't. Everyone thinks things would be so different if Evans was the GM, but you can't say that based on what JR has given KW to work with.

My point was that KW has made some bad decisions, but when your owner only gives you one bullet you better not miss. Those are tough odds for anyone to work with.

NYSF

voodoochile
12-16-2002, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by NewyorkSoxFan
Voodoo,
You mention that the Braves signed Maddux before they had one anything, well they had already played in one WS. You mentioned Cleveland, and it is true that they built from the farm, and they did make key additions, but when they began to win the fans came out, in 2000 we were still talking about where are the fans? You can hardly tell me that we supported that team properly in 2000. And I seem to remember some fan favorites wondering out loud where the fans were-namely Konerko, Foulk, Howry, and others.

No one blames the twins for not going out and overspending to show their fans that they want a winner. No one blames the Royals for doing the same thing. However we expect our team to go out and spend and hope the fans come out. Although I agree if you build a winner consistently the fans will come out, and I guess I am playing devil's advocate a little, but as a WS fan it is frustrating to not even see the park sold out on opening day, or against good teams in the division.

We can't say that KW got his job because of favoritism, unless you were in the office when it was discussed or know something we all don't. Everyone thinks things would be so different if Evans was the GM, but you can't say that based on what JR has given KW to work with.

My point was that KW has made some bad decisions, but when your owner only gives you one bullet you better not miss. Those are tough odds for anyone to work with.

NYSF

Opening day does sell out most years. The attendence problems are because the Sox have allowed themselves to be painted as a cheap franchise who doesn't care about the fans or winning. They don't have the natural advantage the flubbies have of being owned by a major media outlet.

My comment about favoratism wasn't limited to the Evans situation. KW was chosen over every other potential GM candidate in MLB. He got the job because JR likes him and trusts him to follow JR's orders. He made his own bed and if he only gets one bullet, he should start making noise to JR and whoever else will listen. Time for someone to step up and call JR on his crappy rules.

One last point. When was the last time the Royals won anything? What are the odds of Minnesota ever winning anything if they don't loosen their purse strings? One crappy divisional championship every 5 years or so is not the way to build a fan base...

NewyorkSoxFan
12-16-2002, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Opening day does sell out most years. The attendence problems are because the Sox have allowed themselves to be painted as a cheap franchise who doesn't care about the fans or winning. They don't have the natural advantage the flubbies have of being owned by a major media outlet.

My comment about favoratism wasn't limited to the Evans situation. KW was chosen over every other potential GM candidate in MLB. He got the job because JR likes him and trusts him to follow JR's orders. He made his own bed and if he only gets one bullet, he should start making noise to JR and whoever else will listen. Time for someone to step up and call JR on his crappy rules.

One last point. When was the last time the Royals won anything? What are the odds of Minnesota ever winning anything if they don't loosen their purse strings? One crappy divisional championship every 5 years or so is not the way to build a fan base...




You said it yourself the Sox are not owned by a big media outlet, and because of that it is more difficult with the teams financial situations. I guess I would agree with you if we had 32, 000 people a night in the place, and they were not forking up for some better players. But when you are privately owned and you have 12,000 people in the stands as much as I hate to admit it I wouldn't be signing any guys to 10 and 15 mill dollar contracts.

You also can't blame KW for taking the job even if he did know the challenges coming in. Everyday on this site people try to figure out ways to get players here and stay within what we think is the Sox budget. He is a young guy with aspirations like anyone else who has chosen a profession that he wants to succeed in. He no doubt felt that if he were able to get this team to the next level that he would obviously be pretty marketable in his profession. That being said I am not an apologist for him, he is a big boy and can answer on his own for some of his stupid decisions.

As far as the Twins go, well they have 2 World Championships in the last two decades, what do we have?

NYSF

voodoochile
12-16-2002, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by NewyorkSoxFan
You said it yourself the Sox are not owned by a big media outlet, and because of that it is more difficult with the teams financial situations. I guess I would agree with you if we had 32, 000 people a night in the place, and they were not forking up for some better players. But when you are privately owned and you have 12,000 people in the stands as much as I hate to admit it I wouldn't be signing any guys to 10 and 15 mill dollar contracts.

You also can't blame KW for taking the job even if he did know the challenges coming in. Everyday on this site people try to figure out ways to get players here and stay within what we think is the Sox budget. He is a young guy with aspirations like anyone else who has chosen a profession that he wants to succeed in. He no doubt felt that if he were able to get this team to the next level that he would obviously be pretty marketable in his profession. That being said I am not an apologist for him, he is a big boy and can answer on his own for some of his stupid decisions.

As far as the Twins go, well they have 2 World Championships in the last two decades, what do we have?

NYSF

Both of those championships were before the salary explosion of the mid and late 90's. The rules are different now, IMO. Name me a WS winner from the last 10 years without major FA acquisitions playing a role?

While I agree with your comments about 12K fans limiting their resources, the only way to improve the number of fans at this point in time is to build a winner regardless of costs. That will turn it around, but playing poor and crying for support won't get it done...

NewyorkSoxFan
12-16-2002, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Both of those championships were before the salary explosion of the mid and late 90's. The rules are different now, IMO. Name me a WS winner from the last 10 years without major FA acquisitions playing a role?

While I agree with your comments about 12K fans limiting their resources, the only way to improve the number of fans at this point in time is to build a winner regardless of costs. That will turn it around, but playing poor and crying for support won't get it done...

I don't seem to remember the Angels adding any significant FA going into last season.

I agree with you that you can't play poorly and get support. But you never answered what the problem was in 2000 when they had a magical season and still didn't get much support until late August.

NYSF

voodoochile
12-16-2002, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by NewyorkSoxFan
I don't seem to remember the Angels adding any significant FA going into last season.

I agree with you that you can't play poorly and get support. But you never answered what the problem was in 2000 when they had a magical season and still didn't get much support until late August.

NYSF

Angels acquired both Appier and Sele before last season. Yeah, Sele didn't play in the playoffs, but they went out and made the moves necessary to shore up a weakness, SP.

I am pretty sure that the Sox attendance in 2000 jumped like 500K from the previous year and that trend continued in 2001 when the season ticket base went up by 4K a game. When nothing happened, the Sox decided to sell the season tickets as a way to get AS game tickets instead of continuing to build a winner...

NewyorkSoxFan
12-16-2002, 12:00 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Angels acquired both Appier and Sele before last season. Yeah, Sele didn't play in the playoffs, but they went out and made the moves necessary to shore up a weakness, SP.

I am pretty sure that the Sox attendance in 2000 jumped like 500K from the previous year and that trend continued in 2001 when the season ticket base went up by 4K a game. When nothing happened, the Sox decided to sell the season tickets as a way to get AS game tickets instead of continuing to build a winner...

I would not call Kevin Appier a major FA, solid pickup but not major. Not with an ERA of over 6 in the playoffs.

Sure attendance had a spike, but I am sure that most of that increase came after the all-star break. We should support these guys, they may not always play well, but they play hard that's all I'm saying. I don't know the solution, it is not an easy one, but as fans we have to be objective and see both sides. Not just the angle we want to see.


NYSF

Iwritecode
12-16-2002, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by NewyorkSoxFan
I would not call Kevin Appier a major FA, solid pickup but not major. Not with an ERA of over 6 in the playoffs.

Sure attendance had a spike, but I am sure that most of that increase came after the all-star break. We should support these guys, they may not always play well, but they play hard that's all I'm saying. I don't know the solution, it is not an easy one, but as fans we have to be objective and see both sides. Not just the angle we want to see.


NYSF

The reason the attendance spiked after the all-star break is because nobody expected that team to do anything. Everyone was waiting for 2001. It took about half the year for people to start noticing what was going on and start believing that it was the real thing. If they could have repeated that sucess in 2001, you probably would have seen a year-long rise in attendance...

hold2dibber
12-16-2002, 12:29 PM
The problem the Sox had in 2000 in terms of attendance, as Voodoo points out, is that most people kept expecting the other shoe to drop and for the Sox to collapse, as they did in '96 (?) when they had a 4 or 5 game lead for the Wild Card going into August and blew it.

JR has made a remarkable string of horrendous decisions during the last 12 years (design of the ball park, leader of hawk owners that lead to a strike in '94, white flag trade, Navarro instead of Clemens, screwing over Fisk, etc., etc., etc.). The result is that many people who consider themselves Sox fans have given up on the Sox. And even those of us who haven't done so, simply do not trust JR. It has been his lousy leadership that has put the Sox in the position they're currently in with respect to their fans. It is his job to fix that by building a consistent winner. He can't expect the fans, who he has insulted and betrayed time and time again, to bail him out by showing up in droves. He has to fix the problem he caused. Then fans will return. This franchise is a sleeping giant, only JR does not have the vision to wake it out of its duldrums (sp?).

NewyorkSoxFan
12-16-2002, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by Iwritecode
The reason the attendance spiked after the all-star break is because nobody expected that team to do anything. Everyone was waiting for 2001. It took about half the year for people to start noticing what was going on and start believing that it was the real thing. If they could have repeated that sucess in 2001, you probably would have seen a year-long rise in attendance...

I agree code, but that team had played great all year. And that is something that I have a fundamental problem with as a Sox fan. Either you are a fan or you aren't. When I'm home I go to the game whether they are playing good or not.

We always seem to wait for something to happen before we show our support at the park. I know many on this site do go to games so I don't mean everyone, but I feel some of are base are fair weather. We should go because they are our team, I wish some of you if you haven't been able to do so come here to NY or Baltimore, or even Philly and see how the fans support their teams, now they will get angry at management, yell at the players and that's all a part of the experience.

But our fans just don't go to the games, even when I watch on the dish and they are playing the Twins, or Yankees and to see all the empty seats it is discouraging. The only time we show up is when we play the Cubs. But beating the Cubs other than bragging rights is not as important as some other series.

Unfortunately the players are caught between the fans hatred for the owner and GM, so they don't show up and it's too bad because the players deserve better.


NYSF

That's it I'm off my soap box, thanks for listening. :)

PaleHoseGeorge
12-16-2002, 12:37 PM
All the reasons for lousy Sox attendance can ultimately be drawn back to one fact: too few season-ticketholders.

Here are four proven ways to increase season ticket sales:

1. Consistently field a winning team.
2. Sign free agents and tell everyone "we're going for it."
3. Give customers incentives to buy season tickets more than any other available discount.
4. Give season ticketholders incentives to buy more season tickets.

Here are three proven ways that won't increase season ticket sales:

1. Give day-of-game attendees deeper discounts than what season ticketholders receive.
2. Complain to the media that you aren't getting a fair shake.
3. Complain to the fans that they aren't buying enough tickets.

I'll give you three guesses which of these seven items the Sox indulge in the most.

Stop whining about the fans being at fault.

NewyorkSoxFan
12-16-2002, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
All the reasons for lousy Sox attendance can ultimately be drawn back to one fact: too few season-ticketholders.

Here are four proven ways to increase season ticket sales:

1. Consistently field a winning team.
2. Sign free agents and tell everyone "we're going for it."
3. Give customers incentives to buy season tickets more than any other available discount.
4. Give season ticketholders incentives to buy more season tickets.

Here are three proven ways that won't increase season ticket sales:

1. Give day-of-game attendees deeper discounts than what season ticketholders receive.
2. Complain to the media that you aren't getting a fair shake.
3. Complain to the fans that they aren't buying enough tickets.

I'll give you three guesses which of these seven items the Sox indulge in the most.

Stop whining about the fans being at fault.


No one is whining, but albeit their are things the Sox could do to make it more appetizing for fans to buy season tickets. However the average fan doesn't buy season tickets. They either don't have the money or the time to attend all the games. I believe most pick 10 to 20 games they want to attend and they buy their tickets and go.

WS fans complain everyday that the media is biased, but when the team does it they are making excuses. I agree with you on the half-price nites, but they are trying to induce walk-ups on the day of games.

Its so easy to say sign a free agent to say "we are going for it" but let me see you run a business that way. We may not like JR but we know he isn't going to lose money. That is his philosophy like it or not. As I said earlier let me see you run this team with 12,000 people in your stands every nite, and watch you "go for it".

Playing consistent baseball is something I agree with you on though, that is the best medicine to get the fans in your corner. All the marketing in the world does not replace winning. However my only point-I WILL STATE IT AGAIN is that we should support the players, not management. We are waiting for something that won't happen with this team, not going to the game will not change anything.

NYSF

PaleHoseGeorge
12-16-2002, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by NewyorkSoxFan
No one is whining, but albeit their are things the Sox could do to make it more appetizing for fans to buy season tickets. However the average fan doesn't buy season tickets. They either don't have the money or the time to attend all the games. I believe most pick 10 to 20 games they want to attend and they buy their tickets and go.

WS fans complain everyday that the media is biased, but when the team does it they are making excuses. I agree with you on the half-price nites, but they are trying to induce walk-ups on the day of games.

Its so easy to say sign a free agent to say "we are going for it" but let me see you run a business that way. We may not like JR but we know he isn't going to lose money. That is his philosophy like it or not. As I said earlier let me see you run this team with 12,000 people in your stands every nite, and watch you "go for it".

Playing consistent baseball is something I agree with you on though, that is the best medicine to get the fans in your corner. All the marketing in the world does not replace winning. However my only point-I WILL STATE IT AGAIN is that we should support the players, not management. We are waiting for something that won't happen with this team, not going to the game will not change anything.

NYSF

I agree we as Sox Fans should always support Sox players. This starts with giving a damned about what happens on the field. I think by definition, anybody who takes the time to go on the internet, surf their way to White Sox Interactive, and post an opinion about the team deserves credit for giving a damned about the Sox. That's a start--and an important one.

OTOH, simply measuring our allegiance by how many tickets the Sox sell is a much wider question. Sox management must take ownership for this detail. That's the point I was trying to make.

hold2dibber
12-16-2002, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by NewyorkSoxFan
Its so easy to say sign a free agent to say "we are going for it" but let me see you run a business that way. We may not like JR but we know he isn't going to lose money. That is his philosophy like it or not. As I said earlier let me see you run this team with 12,000 people in your stands every nite, and watch you "go for it".


First of all, please stop saying 12,000 people in the stands every night - the Sox averaged over 20,000 per game last year, not 12,000. Second, the reason they're only drawing 20,000 per night is because of a disasterous string of decisions/actions by JR over the past decade. He is to blame for this mess - it is his responsibility to fix things, not the fans. You seem to be suggesting that Sox fans ignore the fact that JR has screwed them over again and again, and show up in droves so JR can then finally right the ship. The hell with that. JR needs to solve the problems of his own making, then the fans will return.

By the way, despite the rhetoric above, I go to as many games as I possibly can (about 15 per year); but I don't really begrudge those that don't go as much, because I understand that JR's leadership of this team has left many Sox fans feeling betrayed and hopeless.

Iwritecode
12-16-2002, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by NewyorkSoxFan
I agree code, but that team had played great all year. And that is something that I have a fundamental problem with as a Sox fan. Either you are a fan or you aren't. When I'm home I go to the game whether they are playing good or not.

We always seem to wait for something to happen before we show our support at the park. I know many on this site do go to games so I don't mean everyone, but I feel some of are base are fair weather. We should go because they are our team, I wish some of you if you haven't been able to do so come here to NY or Baltimore, or even Philly and see how the fans support their teams, now they will get angry at management, yell at the players and that's all a part of the experience.

But our fans just don't go to the games, even when I watch on the dish and they are playing the Twins, or Yankees and to see all the empty seats it is discouraging. The only time we show up is when we play the Cubs. But beating the Cubs other than bragging rights is not as important as some other series.

Unfortunately the players are caught between the fans hatred for the owner and GM, so they don't show up and it's too bad because the players deserve better.


NYSF

That's it I'm off my soap box, thanks for listening. :)

George mentions this in his post also but it's the # of season ticket holders that really affect the attendance. You can't really expect high attendance with only 8,000 - 10,000 season ticket holders. That means we need 30,000+ walkups to sell out just one game. You'd be hard pressed to find any team that can do that on a consistent basis. Also, within those 30,000+ walk-ups you will find some "fair weather fans" and/or "casual fans". Those that aren't quite attatched to the team enough to spend a lot of money to see a lot of games. Like it or not, every team has them. BUT, if the team starts to win consistently maybe they can convert some of those casual fans over to die-hards who go to more than 1 or 2 games a year. Just don't expect it to happen over the course of one season. It's probably going to take 2-3 consecutive playoff apperances to really get the attendance up to a respectable level.

As far as the Cubs games, I have to admit I'm one of those that help to sell-out those games. My reasoning is that I usually only can afford to make it to one game a year. My best friend happens to be a Cub fan so I take him with to help split the travel cost and have somebody to go with.

Paulwny
12-16-2002, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by NewyorkSoxFan
[B
Its so easy to say sign a free agent to say "we are going for it" but let me see you run a business that way. We may not like JR but we know he isn't going to lose money. That is his philosophy like it or not. As I said earlier let me see you run this team with 12,000 people in your stands every nite, and watch you "go for it".
NYSF [/B]

With JR's agreement with the state he's guaranteed a profit with low payroll and any attendance, high or low.
Instead of improving the team with a few fa's he's happy to sit back and hope the team is competative.
The status quo he's created because of the deal with the state will prevent the sox from ever being a dominent team.

NewyorkSoxFan
12-16-2002, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
First of all, please stop saying 12,000 people in the stands every night - the Sox averaged over 20,000 per game last year, not 12,000. Second, the reason they're only drawing 20,000 per night is because of a disasterous string of decisions/actions by JR over the past decade. He is to blame for this mess - it is his responsibility to fix things, not the fans. You seem to be suggesting that Sox fans ignore the fact that JR has screwed them over again and again, and show up in droves so JR can then finally right the ship. The hell with that. JR needs to solve the problems of his own making, then the fans will return.

By the way, despite the rhetoric above, I go to as many games as I possibly can (about 15 per year); but I don't really begrudge those that don't go as much, because I understand that JR's leadership of this team has left many Sox fans feeling betrayed and hopeless.


Dibber,
Whether the average is 20,000 or what most nites 12,000 show up. Half-price nites, the Cub Series, and maybe the Yankees or Cleveland where they get walk-ups from fans of the other teams is where you get your average from. Besides don't they count tickets sold not the actual attendance?

Tell me this then I like Maggs, I like Burhle, what does going to see my favorite players have to do with JR? I mean betrayed and hopeless, c'mon they are a baseball team. You like the Sox, and if you can afford it support the Sox from someplace other than your couch.


NYSF

voodoochile
12-16-2002, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by NewyorkSoxFan
No one is whining, but albeit their are things the Sox could do to make it more appetizing for fans to buy season tickets. However the average fan doesn't buy season tickets. They either don't have the money or the time to attend all the games. I believe most pick 10 to 20 games they want to attend and they buy their tickets and go.

WS fans complain everyday that the media is biased, but when the team does it they are making excuses. I agree with you on the half-price nites, but they are trying to induce walk-ups on the day of games.

Its so easy to say sign a free agent to say "we are going for it" but let me see you run a business that way. We may not like JR but we know he isn't going to lose money. That is his philosophy like it or not. As I said earlier let me see you run this team with 12,000 people in your stands every nite, and watch you "go for it".

Playing consistent baseball is something I agree with you on though, that is the best medicine to get the fans in your corner. All the marketing in the world does not replace winning. However my only point-I WILL STATE IT AGAIN is that we should support the players, not management. We are waiting for something that won't happen with this team, not going to the game will not change anything.

NYSF

Sure, we should support the team no matter what, but like it or not, the area around Comiskey isn't a huge draw, so the ONLY reason to spend a day down there is to watch baseball. If the team is winning, it will draw in a lot more casual fans which again is the ONLY way to consistently generate sellouts and bring in higher revenue streams.

There just aren't enough diehard Sox fans (or flubbie fans for that matter) to sell out the park 81 games a year. Casual fans are integral to the process. They will make their decisions based on a number of factors including but not limited to:

1)Seeing a superstar at the top of his game (do the Sox even have any superstars ala ShamME? If so, do they market them effectively to the media and to the general public?)\

2)Local attractions - like things to do before and after the game within walking distance. Wrigley has all of that, especially ones that appeal to the demographics with lots of money to spend.

3)Continuous success on the baseball field for several years in a row. This does not mean fielding a team that wins more than it loses. Yes, that is great, but a team that wins 83 games year after year after year only manages to draw fans in those rare late seasons when they are actually in the WC or divisional hunt. Casual fans will come out from a sense of civic duty - support the local winner, town pride, what have you - IF the team in question is regularly among the league elite.

There are probably other factors, but the facts remain - The dwindling blue collar fan base that used to regularly fill the old park has been chased off by an owner who wants to fill the place with families and corporate types. In addition the prices have gone up so much that many people who want to attend a bunch of games a year cannot afford to do so. Worrying about how many people on this board attend games regularly as you noted is silly. Anyone who takes the time to come here and post/read on a regular basis is a diehard fan and will attend as many games as time and money permit, but the problem isn't us. The problem is that JR and his gang of buddies has done nothing to market this team to the casual fan while at the same time leading the team through a string of marketing blunders (beginning with the strike at the end of the '94 season) that have severly hurt his own fanbase. That isn't just bad business, it is corporate suicide and the only way to fix it is to prove to those same fans you have chased off that you have changed your tune and are going to do whatever it takes to win their hearts and mids again. At this stage of the game, that is a prettys simple thing: Win. Win now. Win tomorrow. Win regularly. Win a pennant - or field a team that will contend for one on a regular basis. That's it. Nothing else will do it. If that takes opening up the checkbook and taking a loss, or dipping into the unrealized capital gains, so be it.

I don't think the fans are budging and frankly, I don't blame them...

Iwritecode
12-16-2002, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by NewyorkSoxFan
Dibber,
Whether the average is 20,000 or what most nites 12,000 show up. Half-price nites, the Cub Series, and maybe the Yankees or Cleveland where they get walk-ups from fans of the other teams is where you get your average from. Besides don't they count tickets sold not the actual attendance?

Tell me this then I like Maggs, I like Burhle, what does going to see my favorite players have to do with JR? I mean betrayed and hopeless, c'mon they are a baseball team. You like the Sox, and if you can afford it support the Sox from someplace other than your couch.


NYSF

I've said this many times before and I'll say it again. Watching and supporting the Sox is the ultimate catch-22. We spend money to go out and watch our favorite players and have a good time with some friends. If enough people do with when the team isn't really worth spending money on, JR has absolutely no incentive to try and spend money to improve the team. Why spend money to try and win when you are going to make money no matter how bad the team is? (I believe the Cubs have taken this philosophy to the extreme.) So one of the biggest ways to get the point across to JR is to hit him where it hurts: his wallet. This strategy leaves the players right in the middle though. The biggest problem is that it backfires because 1) JR's lease with the stadium and 2) JR refuse to spend money until he has the money in his hand. Not the other way around like it should be. He doesn't believe in that old saying that you "have to spend money to make money".

NewyorkSoxFan
12-16-2002, 02:40 PM
Voodoo,
I almost agree with everything. Except marketing to families. I have a wife and two daughters and we love going to the games together sometimes they get bored by the 7th inning but still that was my introduction as a kid. And those kids are next generations Sox fans. And by the looks of it we need as many as we can get.

However you hit on a key point, the casual fan. He is crucial to the teams success. I have suggested perhaps taking part of the parking lots and either having a permanent or frequent carnival near the park. Kids love that and it would be a great attraction.

If JR was really smart he would get some resturanteurs to invest in places near the park, and maybe split the cost of the land in order to have a reason to hang out down their.

I understand how everyone feels, I have been a sox fan since the late 70's early 80's so I have seen the regime from start to finish, and I wish he would go out take a loss, and get a guy that puts us over, but he is not going to do it.

So I watch my team, I enjoy it, get frustrated when they lose, and don't let that idiot (JR) cause me to not support the team I have loved since I was 11 years old.

NYSF

Paulwny
12-16-2002, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by NewyorkSoxFan
Voodoo,
I almost agree with everything. Except marketing to families. I have a wife and two daughters and we love going to the games together sometimes they get bored by the 7th inning but still that was my introduction as a kid. And those kids are next generations Sox fans. And by the looks of it we need as many as we can get.

However you hit on a key point, the casual fan. He is crucial to the teams success. I have suggested perhaps taking part of the parking lots and either having a permanent or frequent carnival near the park. Kids love that and it would be a great attraction.

If JR was really smart he would get some resturanteurs to invest in places near the park, and maybe split the cost of the land in order to have a reason to hang out down their.

I understand how everyone feels, I have been a sox fan since the late 70's early 80's so I have seen the regime from start to finish, and I wish he would go out take a loss, and get a guy that puts us over, but he is not going to do it.

So I watch my team, I enjoy it, get frustrated when they lose, and don't let that idiot (JR) cause me to not support the team I have loved since I was 11 years old.

NYSF


With the state guaranteeing him a profit, why would he risk any of his money on any of your suggestions. The guaranteed profit is killing this team.

hold2dibber
12-16-2002, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by NewyorkSoxFan
Tell me this then I like Maggs, I like Burhle, what does going to see my favorite players have to do with JR? I mean betrayed and hopeless, c'mon they are a baseball team. You like the Sox, and if you can afford it support the Sox from someplace other than your couch.


NYSF

I personally agree with your last sentence - I go to as many games each year as I possibly can. But I don't really blame Sox fans who don't do so. Because as much as you like Maggs and Buehrle, wouldn't you rather watch them playing on a team that consistantly wins 90-95 games instead of a team that consistently wins 80-85 games? Wouldn't you rather see them on a team that wins a playoff series or even -- dare I utter the words -- a world series? That's what JR has to do with it. I hold him directly responsible for the fact that the Sox have been unable to make themselves regular contenders. Don't forget that before the strike, Sox fans did fill the park every game. And what did it get us? A single division crown and a string of ridiculously bad personnel and PR decisions that alienated the throngs who were out at the ball park in droves in the early 90s.

My point is, JR has no business beefing about the low attendance, because the low attendance IS HIS FAULT! And although it may sound overly dramatic, Sox fans do feel betrayed by JR and many feel that there is no hope that the Sox will ever win a world series under JR's watch. Again, that IS HIS FAULT and he needs to do something to turn these people around (other than berating them publicly for not showing up enough).

voodoochile
12-16-2002, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by NewyorkSoxFan
Voodoo,
I almost agree with everything. Except marketing to families. I have a wife and two daughters and we love going to the games together sometimes they get bored by the 7th inning but still that was my introduction as a kid. And those kids are next generations Sox fans. And by the looks of it we need as many as we can get.

However you hit on a key point, the casual fan. He is crucial to the teams success. I have suggested perhaps taking part of the parking lots and either having a permanent or frequent carnival near the park. Kids love that and it would be a great attraction.

If JR was really smart he would get some resturanteurs to invest in places near the park, and maybe split the cost of the land in order to have a reason to hang out down their.

I understand how everyone feels, I have been a sox fan since the late 70's early 80's so I have seen the regime from start to finish, and I wish he would go out take a loss, and get a guy that puts us over, but he is not going to do it.

So I watch my team, I enjoy it, get frustrated when they lose, and don't let that idiot (JR) cause me to not support the team I have loved since I was 11 years old.

NYSF

My only issue with marketing to families is the lack of disposable income they have access to. 20-something-yuppie-wannabes are where the money is (The Sex in the City crowd). Families can afford a game or two a year at the prices the Sox charge. Rowdy singles are where the money is at and JR has done his best to chase off that crowd. Still, families are subject to the casual fan syndrome too. Not everyone has a father or mother who cares about which way they root. So, those parents will take their kids to whichever park they feel safer at or whichever park has the biggest current draw. Some of those kids will grow up rooting for the team they spent the most time rooting for as a kid. Heck, sometimes the parents will decide to chose a side after their kid does. If most of the casual families are ending up at Wrigley to watch ShamME smack zingers or because they view the NS as being a safer place, then the battle for those folks is lost regardles of how many hitting clinics the team puts on. Personally, I think Comiskey is a great place for a family to enjoy some baseball, but my opinion doesn't matter because I don't have any kids...

I guess gentrification is on its way. As the towers across the DR come down and land opens up for townhomes, etc. you will see a richer group of people move in around the park and the businesses will follow. Hopefully it actually happens before JR's lease is up and he decides to bail...

NewyorkSoxFan
12-16-2002, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
My only issue with marketing to families is the lack of disposable income they have access to. 20-something-yuppie-wannabes are where the money is (The Sex in the City crowd). Families can afford a game or two a year at the prices the Sox charge. Rowdy singles are where the money is at and JR has done his best to chase off that crowd. Still, families are subject to the casual fan syndrome too. Not everyone has a father or mother who cares about which way they root. So, those parents will take their kids to whichever park they feel safer at or whichever park has the biggest current draw. Some of those kids will grow up rooting for the team they spent the most time rooting for as a kid. Heck, sometimes the parents will decide to chose a side after their kid does. If most of the casual families are ending up at Wrigley to watch ShamME smack zingers or because they view the NS as being a safer place, then the battle for those folks is lost regardles of how many hitting clinics the team puts on. Personally, I think Comiskey is a great place for a family to enjoy some baseball, but my opinion doesn't matter because I don't have any kids...

I guess gentrification is on its way. As the towers across the DR come down and land opens up for townhomes, etc. you will see a richer group of people move in around the park and the businesses will follow. Hopefully it actually happens before JR's lease is up and he decides to bail...


I disagree totally, fans in chicago are too caught up with the NS fan base. They have that 20 something crowd because of the bars in the area, not their love for baseball. In other cities you see far more families and groups of guys going to games than the crowd of which you speak. Also most of the families that go, do so because they have a rooting interest in the team.

In my town here in Long Island the train which is like the IC trains back home, go right past shea, its one of the stops. In the summer all you see are families chasing the train to get to the park with their kids. We grew up Sox fans because someone introduced us to the team, and we rooted for them. It should be no different now. And baseball is still one of the most reasonably priced sporting events that you can take your family too. Unlike the NBA, NFL, or even the NHL.

Thats where you build your season ticket base from-not casual young fans who may or may not be their to watch the game. Of course I am not indicting all younger fans, but it would be smart if they created season ticket packages for families with perhaps reduced pricing for kids under 10 or something like that.


NYSF

Lip Man 1
12-16-2002, 07:28 PM
New York says:


Either you are a fan or you aren't. When I'm home I go to the game whether they are playing good or not.

I bet Uncle Jerry just LOVES you!

Lip

NewyorkSoxFan
12-16-2002, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
New York says:


Either you are a fan or you aren't. When I'm home I go to the game whether they are playing good or not.

I bet Uncle Jerry just LOVES you!

Lip

Lip,
Hey if you don't go that's you, but don't criticize me for going and watching my team. I am unconcerned with what Jerry thinks, and WS fans would all be better off if they did the same.

NYSF

Lip Man 1
12-16-2002, 08:52 PM
New York:

Temper temper! I wasn't ripping you (at least not to the same degree that you just blasted me)

If you want to go win or lose that's fine. Obviously you are in the minority though based on fan attendance who feel that way.

I grant you I don't live in Chicago anymore but if I did I wouldn't set foot in the park until Uncle Jerry is gone. That doesn't mean I don't love my team, I could watch the games, listen to the games and read about the games.

I just won't line JR's deep pockets for the priviledge of watching mediocrity. You live in NY, do you think Yankee fans would show up if George didn't keep producing winners? (before you answer I have a ton of Sox video from the 80's and early 90's of games in New York where if they had 20 thousand in Yankee Stadium they were very lucky...)

Lip