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Lip Man 1
05-13-2003, 04:25 PM
Today's Daily Southtown web site is asking for Sox fans opinions on what to do to solve the problems with the organization. They call it "if you owned the Sox..." I'm surprised nobody has already posted this.

I submitted my beliefs but since I don't know if they will ever be printed I wanted to post them here for your evaluation and comment.


To Whom It May Concern:

If I owned the Sox I would take the following five steps as soon as the current season ended to give the organization plenty of lead time heading into next year.

1. Increase the payroll – It is ludicrous that Chicago, the 3rd largest market in the country has a payroll smaller then the Minnesota Twins. My payroll would be in the 75 million dollar range which would allow some flexibility to get players at the trade deadline as well as allow room for injuries and "can’t miss kids" who fail to develop.

2. Hire experienced front office members – No longer would the Sox be a "training ground" for general or field managers. I would pay top dollar for the brightest executives with a track record of success at the major league level and I would stay out of their way and let them do their jobs.

3. Hire a new PR / Marketing department – Rob Gallas is just as arrogant as the owner he works for and his staff follows his lead. The Sox are very unimaginative and their promotions are tired. A complete new staff needs to come in with a fresh approach stressing season ticket sales as opposed to half price nights and discounts. Those are fine but with them there is no guarantee that walk up ticket buyers will ever return. Season ticket sales are the backbone of any organization.

4. Mend relations with the media – In Bob Logan’s book "Miracle On 35th Street" Jerry Reinsdorf is quoted as saying ‘I always thought Jack Kennedy was the kind of person I looked up to in that regard. He always gave the media a fair shake and understood you guys have a job to do.’ Contrast that with today’s ‘us versus them’ attitude which has led to little or no positive coverage of the club. The media can produce tons of free publicity for a franchise and when the Sox fail to even return reporters phone calls, you have a serious issue. The Cubs know the value of the media and I would immediately take any steps needed to give the Chicago media anything they needed to do their jobs.

5. Apologize – I would call a press conference mainly to apologize to the city of Chicago and Sox fans for the mistakes made in the past twenty years. I would let the fans know that I value and badly need their support... that the arrogance, vindictiveness and short term, bottom line thinking of the prior ownership is gone and that the goal is now to compete and win at the highest championship level.

Any comments?

Lip

WhiteSoxWinner
05-13-2003, 04:29 PM
Not a bad plan, Lip. Might go a long way toward the Sox regaining some glory in the city of Chicago. Too bad JR would NEVER do any such thing.

Hangar18
05-13-2003, 04:34 PM
LIP, that is very excellent. Those are 4 Crucial Points that have hurt the SOX time and again over the course of 20 seasons the Einhorn/Reinsdorf "Regime". IF they, or the NEXT group followed that to a "T", theres no way they could do any wrong.

A.T. Money
05-13-2003, 04:44 PM
You can mention you would drop the corporate name on the park (US Cellular) and rename it Sox Park, or better yet, privately finance a new park near Grant Park and have it face the skyline.

FoulTerritory
05-13-2003, 05:16 PM
I really liked the point about the marketing department. It is absolutely ridiculous. To Gallas, it seems that any gimmick is a good gimmick. I think "tired" is absolutely the most accurate word to describe the Sox marketing. And oh, how can I forget the most dastardly attempts at reaching the "youth" by injecting techno beats over the sound system. And who can forget the Macharaina (sp?) and YMCA in the late 90's -- they were a nightly treat. Gallas aims toward the general American shallow easily amused consumer, but alienates the core fans who really don't want their team identified with disco and the wave, or a noise-o-meter. Give me some organ music from the fleet fingers of nancy foust, and some interesting highlights and stats on the scoreboard, and thats enough for me. But Gallas has forgotten that his primary audience is BASEBALL fans, that love the traditional eviroment of baseball. Sometimes going to a Sox game feels more like how I imagine a Rickey Martin concert. This has to stop. Pleaase!

Brad

Hangar18
05-13-2003, 05:20 PM
Or Between commercials, I feel like im In the middle of a Giant
INFOMERCIAL with the Scoreboard and Ribbon Boards going.....

Foulke You
05-13-2003, 05:39 PM
All valid points and good suggestions Lip. I would also add to your list, the following:

1. Drop the price of tickets across the board at least 15-20% especially in the much maligned upper deck. An olive branch to an abused fanbase.

2. Build a parking garage in the lot behind the park that doesn't face the express way and then build a proper tribute to Old Comiskey in the front lot off 35th st. Also, I'd have a Sox hall of fame that is high profile and not crammed into the gift shop. With the remaining space in this lot, I would develop the land into an "old town cobblestone street" and I would lease the remaining parking lot land initially at a low price to local businesses like sports bars and restaurants so the Sox can better compete with Wrigley and other more modern parks. Too many people associate Wrigley, Camden Yards, Fenway etc. as having "more to do" than our park. This strategy would attract the younger crowd that has been lost in the Reinsdorf regime and eliminate the boring "unhip" stigma associated with The Cell.

3. This one is associated with Lip's suggestion of increasing the payroll but the Sox need to make a big splash in the free agent market like the Phillies did. Go after 2 top level free agents and go after them hard and force the baseball world to take notice that we are serious about winning.

4. Revamp the upper deck and end the pointless debate about how it is too high.

hsnterprize
05-14-2003, 07:25 AM
To go along with FoulkeYou, I would definitely drop ticket AND parking prices...that would help reach out to the people within the immedate neighborhoods surrounding U.S. Cellular Field. It seems to me that the Sox forgot the fans who love them the most are NOT the affluent, suburban fans who can afford to spend "big bucks" to go to a baseball game. Statistically, Sox tickets are amongst the cheapest in baseball, but in this troubling economy, people who are trying to make ends meet can't afford to pay nearly $20 just to park their car at the ballpark...let alone pay whatever for tickets, food, and souvenirs. We're seeing more and more with every big league sporting franchise that the "regular fan" is being priced out in favor of those who can afford the sky boxes and such. If the Sox made the effort to reach out to the fans who aren't affluent...especially if they were to reach out to the immediate areas around the ballpark, I think their fanbase would increase.

As far as the property where the Old Comiskey Park is concerned, I'd get rid of that stupid home plate thing, and put something very useful on that land. In cities like Houston and Milwaukee, there are youth baseball fields built near Minute Maid Park and Miller Park respectively. Why not put up a youth baseball field and the Sox Hall of Fame Museum with some of the look of Old Comiskey on that spot? And...put home plate of that field where that "ceremonial marker" is? I can imagine a "stadium" that has an Old Comiskey Park look where kids can not only play organized baseball, but also get a sense of what White Sox baseball was like generations ago. Talk about a history lesson, huh?

Marketing this team is going to be a HUGE hurdle. I like the ideas of "apologizing" to the fans and press, and mending fences between the Sox and the rest of the outside world. I don't have a problem with the promotions at the ballpark, but it seems like the Sox are trying to be like the Cubs, and want people to go the the Cell because it's the Cell, and not because the team playing there is any good. Don't the Sox marketing team understand the mindset of their fans? It's nice that the ballpark is getting a new look, but who cares what color the seats are if no one is sitting in them? Who cares about a larger-than-normal video screen in center field if there are people avoiding the ballpark in droves? Unlike our neighbors to the north, people aren't going to go the Sox games for the "ambience" of the ballpark...we want to see a winner, and we'll do our part to make our favorite baseball team accountable if they don't produce. If the Cubs want to market and promote a ballpark and a bunch of losers, that's their business...but we won't put up with that with our team. We want a winner...plain and simple. And we won't settle for anything less than such.

Getting front-office personnel that believe in winning shouldn't be a challenge if the ownership is committed to winning. I know this was posted on another thread, but I'd like to know who could come to the Sox and turn this team around? Actually, who would want to come here and make this team better? There's got to be someone out there. I personally haven't been part of the "fire Jerry and Kenny" campaign, but I do agree changes with the White Sox on all areas is needed.