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Lip Man 1
08-07-2003, 08:34 PM
The Sox are featured in Wednesday's USA Today (Page 3C). There were some interesting comments in it which I pass along for review and discussion...the author is Mike Dodd

"We didn't put this team together with the mind set of winning the division. I'm not trying to be arrogant or to minimize the other clubs were battling with...but my goal is to get us in position to give our fans something they've been starving for, a chance to stand up against the large market clubs and get to the World Series."-- Kenny Williams.

Here's another:

Williams is looking for the same kind of results to "recapture some of our lost fan base." He says owner Jerry Reinsdorf will spend the money the team makes on the club. He doesn't rule out more deals, such as shoring up a shaky bullpen that has been in flux for most of the season. "We should be a major market team. I'm tired of being in Chicago and operating like a middle market club," Williams says.

Just a few thoughts...

I wonder what he means when he says Reinsdorf will reinvest money in the team. Does he mean if the Sox draw the next three weeks, he'll allow picking up high priced waiver wire talent? Does he mean he'll reinvest the money in next year's club? Which would mean the Sox might resign their numerous free agents.

Finally it's interesting Williams says the Sox are a "middle market" club when his boss on more then one occasion in public has said the Sox are a "small market" team.

The floor is open for discussion!

Lip

PaleHoseGeorge
08-07-2003, 08:39 PM
I would say these comments by Williams are the surest sign yet that Reinsdorf is preparing to sell the team in the not too distant future.

Either that, or it's the surest sign yet of the apocalypse. :smile:

Daver
08-07-2003, 08:41 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


Either that, or it's the surest sign yet of the apocalypse. :smile:


To quote R.E.M. "It's the end of the world as we know it,and I feel fine."

MarqSox
08-07-2003, 08:41 PM
Either way, I haven't been the world's biggest KW supporter, but I've grown to really respect this guy. Whether he's a good GM or not, the jury's still out ... but he's definitely proved that he really wants to win.

gogosoxgogo
08-07-2003, 08:43 PM
Quotes like this really make me like K-Dub. For all that people say about this guy, I don't think you can deny that the guy really wants to win. I think it's in him. He hates losing. That's really what you want out of your General Manager, one who has a desire to win. Why are the Yankees so sucessful? Their ownership really wants to win. All thoughout these years, every deal Kenny has pulled has been aimed at winning. Even the Todd Ritchie deal was at the time intended to put us over the top for that particular year. Yes, it did not work out as Kenny had hoped for, but instead of putting his head between his legs, he went out the very next year and tried once again. He's not afraid to make a deal. Yes, this can be a bad thing, but every deal he makes is intended to win. You look around at some other GM's and you wonder if they really care about the teams they work for. How would you like to be a Reds fan right now? How about an Astros fan? I like Kenny Williams and I'm glad he's our general manager.

With that said, my only worry is that Reindsorf does not have the same desire that Kenny posesses. He has said he wants to win, but we haven't seen all that much to back it up. For as much as Kenny does, he's going to need Jerry behind him. Williams will be limited so long as Reindsorf is watching over him. However, with the quotes from both him and Williams as of late, I think he is finally starting to understand. Winning will equal money. Chicago fans aren't going to support a losing franchise. I just hope this continues in the years to come.

Now... let's go get a quality right handed reliever!

JJAustin69
08-07-2003, 08:49 PM
Jury still out on KW but it is a heck of a lot better than all that Ron Schueler double talk.

inta
08-07-2003, 09:54 PM
yeah i'm with marq, KW has definitely gained my respect this season just for being aggressive, so he got a few unexpected stinkers... big whooop, it's not like he romanced fred mcgriff for months to have that backfire for 2 years.

cadman
08-07-2003, 09:58 PM
All the trades he's been making recently have not depleted our top minor league talent, so I'm all for it. Robbie has been a godsend and Colon has been what we expected from him the last few starts. If we keep playing like we are now the Sox will be a scary team in the playoffs.

dickallen15
08-07-2003, 10:16 PM
All those who think Reinsdorf doesn't care about winning , should get up to the club level on the infield and look at him in his box during the games. The other night when KC was rallying in the 9th he was standing with both hands on top of his head. When the final out was recorded he pumped his fist in the air. He wants to win and he wants to win badly.
I think a philosophy change may have occurred with the team. It may be that Einhorn, healthy for the first time in years is playing a bigger role and the days of signing and trading for cheap players hoping against hope that they put things together is over, and the aggressive approach this ownership had when they acquired the franchise may be returning.
With the team averaging over 30,000 fans the last 18 home games, they now have proof the fans will come if they play well. Hopefully, we will finally get a consistently good team we all could be proud of.

Dan H
08-07-2003, 11:03 PM
The real encouraging part of the KW Quote is the wanting to recapture the fan base. That statement in itself is facing up to the problems the team has had instead of just blaming the fans. The past month - from beating the Cubs, to getting back into the race and to statements like these - make this the best month the team has had in recent memory.

As far as Reinsdorf wanting to win - Let's see shim hell out a little bit.

soxtalker
08-08-2003, 05:16 AM
I do like the stated goal of getting to the World Series rather than simply winning our division.

However, I'm not sure that I agree with the comments of others on the board about him (or JR) "wanting to win". Maybe it is just semantics, but I think that most GM's and owners "want to win". Oh, some owners are content to try to make a profit (or break even and make a capital gain when they sell). But the vast majority want to win a division title and have a WS ring.

I think that the big difference is the amount of risk that the owners and GM's are willing to take. Schueler/JR were fairly risk-adverse, particularly after the Albert Bell fiasco. In contrast, KW has always been willing to roll the dice since he took over. That looks great when we're winning, but it didn't after the horrible Richie deal.

KW will be measured two ways -- short term and long term. He's made us competitive on a short-term basis, but it isn't clear if that has come at the cost of our farm system. In this regard he reminds me of a lot of CEO's of companies who have looked for short-term profits and left the problems for their successors. Now, he may also have been making changes in scouting and on the farm while he's here that will help; I just have a hard time evaluating them (and the continual poor fundamentals that show up at the major league level aren't encouraging).

KW came into the GM role as young, inexperienced, and agressive. It's nice to be winning, and it is good that he has goals of bringing back the fan base and a WS. But he has made mistakes. My hope -- and I've expressed it on the board before -- is that KW is learning from them.

delben91
08-08-2003, 06:47 AM
I really like reading quotes like that. They make me think that KW really "gets" White Sox fans, and perhaps there's hope that JR will see the light too.

Either way, I really like what Kenny's tried to do this season, and I can only hope that he'll find a righty for the bullpen. Bottom line, this team is finally playing like it's capable, and seeing them make a run at the AL Central crown is now a possibility.

I won't get my hopes up too much, let's see how they fare against Oakland, but I'm much more inclined to follow every game now than I was in early June.

GO SOX!

MarqSox
08-08-2003, 07:05 AM
Originally posted by soxtalker

KW will be measured two ways -- short term and long term. He's made us competitive on a short-term basis, but it isn't clear if that has come at the cost of our farm system.

Now let's be fair. We were almost always competitive under Schueler. I mean, when was the last time the Sox were a dormat team with no realistic chance of making the postseason? I guess 1999, but even that year you sorta got the feeling that success was right around the corner.

I'm just saying, we haven't had a truly dismal season in quite some time. And while I'm very happy with what KW has done with the team, it's not like he took over the Devil Rays.

gosox41
08-08-2003, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
The Sox are featured in Wednesday's USA Today (Page 3C). There were some interesting comments in it which I pass along for review and discussion...the author is Mike Dodd

"We didn't put this team together with the mind set of winning the division. I'm not trying to be arrogant or to minimize the other clubs were battling with...but my goal is to get us in position to give our fans something they've been starving for, a chance to stand up against the large market clubs and get to the World Series."-- Kenny Williams.

Here's another:

Williams is looking for the same kind of results to "recapture some of our lost fan base." He says owner Jerry Reinsdorf will spend the money the team makes on the club. He doesn't rule out more deals, such as shoring up a shaky bullpen that has been in flux for most of the season. "We should be a major market team. I'm tired of being in Chicago and operating like a middle market club," Williams says.

Just a few thoughts...

I wonder what he means when he says Reinsdorf will reinvest money in the team. Does he mean if the Sox draw the next three weeks, he'll allow picking up high priced waiver wire talent? Does he mean he'll reinvest the money in next year's club? Which would mean the Sox might resign their numerous free agents.

Finally it's interesting Williams says the Sox are a "middle market" club when his boss on more then one occasion in public has said the Sox are a "small market" team.

The floor is open for discussion!

Lip

If the Sox keep averaging 26-28K per game, they are essentially a middle market team. Their attendence falls about in the middle of MLB.

I wouldn't read too much into this quote.

Bob

gosox41
08-08-2003, 09:14 AM
Originally posted by Dan H
The real encouraging part of the KW Quote is the wanting to recapture the fan base. That statement in itself is facing up to the problems the team has had instead of just blaming the fans. The past month - from beating the Cubs, to getting back into the race and to statements like these - make this the best month the team has had in recent memory.

As far as Reinsdorf wanting to win - Let's see shim hell out a little bit.

Maybe KW lurks at WSI.

Bob

Randar68
08-08-2003, 09:16 AM
Originally posted by gosox41
If the Sox keep averaging 26-28K per game, they are essentially a middle market team. Their attendence falls about in the middle of MLB.

I wouldn't read too much into this quote.

Bob

Merchandising and TV revenue along with silly parking costs = Big Market. The only thing about this team that isn't Big Market is the attendance.

Anyone else shocked at the turnout Wednesday afternon? Maybe the fan base is turning around a little as a result of KW's aggressiveness and recent comments.

gosox41
08-08-2003, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by Randar68

Anyone else shocked at the turnout Wednesday afternon? Maybe the fan base is turning around a little as a result of KW's aggressiveness and recent comments.

I hope so. The best marketing tool for a sports team is winning. If JR hasn't figured that out from this season then he truly is a dumbass.

The only inconsistent thing about winning is that the Sox the last couple of weeks are drawing better now then this time in 2000. In 2000, the team was running away with the division. Fans must like the excitement of a pennant race then runnning away with the division.

I personally would choose to see the Sox having a huge lead in the division. If the Sox had a 10 game lead right now, do you think they would have drawn as well in the KC series?



Bob

mandmandm
08-08-2003, 09:29 AM
The fact that the Sox are in a pennant race should be a big boost in attendance. 2000 was a done deal by mid season. The last two months, especially with this bullpen, will be bad on Sox fan's hearts, good for JR's wallet. I love when Comiskey is full and hopefully a full ball park will push the team into the playoffs.

gosox41
08-08-2003, 09:33 AM
Originally posted by mandmandm
The fact that the Sox are in a pennant race should be a big boost in attendance. 2000 was a done deal by mid season. The last two months, especially with this bullpen, will be bad on Sox fan's hearts, good for JR's wallet. I love when Comiskey is full and hopefully a full ball park will push the team into the playoffs.

I'd still rather see the Sox have a 10 game lead right now. I'm enjoying the pennant race, but I'd feel a ton more confident that the team would make the playoffs with a big lead. And that's pretty much more important to me then beng in a tight race.

Bob

Hangar18
08-08-2003, 10:19 AM
Man did I NOT LIKE KDubb early in the year, but he pulled off some good deals, ala Jim "steal from women & children" Hendry.
This is good, and esp for his particular Career, because the Media loves the cubs here, and will jump/trip over each other at the chance to bash the Sox. He Cannot allow the cubs to "outdo" him in the public eye, lest the Media Witchhunt be out for him.
Good Job.....

Clarkdog
08-08-2003, 10:33 AM
I'm encouraged by the comments made by KW in USA Today.

Thanks for posting them Lip.

But quite honestly I am stunned that it took this organization this long to realize the grand opportunity in front of them with this team and it's fan base. That is why part of me thinks that PHG is on to something in his post. Here's why:

Randar is right - this IS NOT a middle market team. The have superior merchandising and media revenue compared to other teams in the division, along with exhorbanant parking fees . Seriously, it costs only $5 more to park kitty corner form the Wrigley bleachers and parking is at a real premium there. I think the middle market mentality when it comes to payroll is a risk averse strategy. But IMO, the White Sox overall situation poses the least risk in the MLB.

When the MLB realigned the leagues the Sox should have become the Yankees of the AL Central. Consider the populations of the cities:
Chicago: 3,000,000
Detroit: 1,000,000
Cleveland: 500,000
Kansas City: 450,000
Minneapoils: 400,000

Now we may have two teams in this market but we also have greater suburban sprawl than any of the other markets in the AL Central. We could easily outspend any team in this division. Yet currently the Twins have a higher payroll than the Sox.

By why do the Sox constantly cry about money? Because Sox fans are not lemmings that will trot out to see mediocrity like our neighbors to the north. And the front office of this team has foolishly spent years looking at the Cubs model and asking "Why won't that work for us?" It has nothing to to do with the neighborhood, the ballpark, even the parking. It is the FAN. Vince Lombardi could have been a Sox fan: "Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all-time thing." Most Cubs fans could care less. That difference puts greater emphasis and building and retooling the Sox to always be winning.

And given the market makeup of this division, there is absolutely NO REASON for it not to be an all the time thing.

JR is no fool. He knows this. He knows the White Sox could out trump any team in this division at any time if they wanted to. But he hasn't done it until now because as PHG said he may be considering getting out. His bought this franchise, spent enough money and made some sweetheart deals to assure he made a tidy profit each year for he an his investors with very little risk. But now he needs to show the true value of this team - show that there is a rabid fanbase, demonstrate that they come out en masse, that the team can generate big walkup crowds - so that he can really get top dollar for the franchise.

Don't get me wrong. I love that we have Half Price Mondays and Tuesdays, $1 Hot Dog Thursdays, Saturday Fireworks, Sunday Kid's Days. We get those perks as fans of the Sox to try and encourage repeat visits to the park and provide a baseball value in Chicago, when the Cubs clearly do not. But nothing works better than winning - especially with Sox fans.

Sorry for the long post.

Hangar18
08-08-2003, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by dickallen15
All those who think Reinsdorf doesn't care about winning , should get up to the club level on the infield and look at him in his box during the games. The other night when KC was rallying in the 9th he was standing with both hands on top of his head. When the final out was recorded he pumped his fist in the air. He wants to win and he wants to win badly.

With the team averaging over 30,000 fans the last 18 home games, they now have proof the fans will come if they play well. Hopefully, we will finally get a consistently good team we all could be proud of.

I sure hope that Reinsdorf WASNT believing the Irresponsible Yellow Media around here, when they proclaimed the cubs as the best franchise ever, because their "fans" fill the park day after day after nite after day. The Sox have a Fan Base, and a big one at that. Its funny, but after reading and hearing the MEDIA talk about a NON SOX FAN BASE, you start to believe it (much like everyone in the last 20 yrs believes that Dump 8miles north is a "shrine") Ive been lucky to have done a little travelling the last couple years to Watch the SOX on the ROAD, and I'll tell you....there are a Ton Of Us out there. Im angered because the media WONT report something thats truthful, instead focusing on the trials and tribulations of little punk Darren Baker and the Dumber, Bigoted Version of Mark Grace Manager of theirs. We have to claw and scratch for Just the EQUAL amount of attn that other team gets for LOSING. If they get a washed up movie star to take part in a "tradition" that was originally a SOX tradition, this gets headlines and warrants good Copy, relegating the SOX again to the hidden pages. We Have A Fan BASE, and Sox Nation is Slowly Rising Up .....

dougs78
08-08-2003, 11:25 AM
George and Clarkdog are right. I also believe JR is setting himself up for the sale of the franchise. Here is what I think is going on in the mind of JR.

Show the fans this year, that you are really wanting to win. Then, when you do start winning some games and hopefully a division, then they take notice and say, "man hes serious this time." This hopefully culminates in a good playoff showing that only serves to increase hope for next season.

Then, by resigning the key free agents and otherwise improving the team for next year he really makes the case that he is trying to win it all. The fans flock in droves to Comiskey to see the Sox play good baseball.

In JR's mind, this team gives him a shot at the WS ring that he desperately wants. He does everything he can next season and the year after to win it all.

Obviously winning the series is idea for him and for the fans, but either way he is left with a rejuvenated fan base, a successful team, a completely remodeled park all within one of the largest metropolitan areas of the country and in a division filled with small market teams. In other words, everything is in place to command the highest possible asking price for selling the Franchise.

Of course, the beauty of it all, is that this is right in line with what the fans want anyway. Ideally, he even sells the team to someone who is a passionate fan who wants to see a winning Sox team every year.

Gumshoe
08-08-2003, 12:41 PM
That is the idea --- I hope he goes with it. It's liek the win - win ... either we win or both KW and JM are gone. But who are we kidding, he's sticking with them, and would have even if they didn't pull that 12-2 2nd half start.

GoSox is right as usual in that he knows winning is the best marketing. Let's bring back Nancy, winning, and respect for the game, not the "frog raCE" and all this other crap ... a little is fine, but nothing is more electric than when a guy gets a basehit for a lead or our reliever shutting the other team down at the end (damn, wish we had foulke right now) ... at least we have colon, loaiza, and buehrle

Come on tonight, Mark! Let's go Sox!

Gumshoe

Lip Man 1
08-08-2003, 01:12 PM
Just a few thoughts....

I think the Sox didn't draw that well in 2000 is because many fans (especially after mid July) considered this team a fluke and were waiting for the other shoe to drop, which had the season been another three weeks longer might have, as Cleveland cut a double digit lead down to what four games?

The reason it took the organization so long to come to the same conclusions as fans here at WSI (and frankly that's a big assumption that is being made...the proof of the pudding will come this off season what with all the free agents and arbitration eligible players) is because Uncle Jerry is an arrogant, vindictive ass.

I'm not saying that to be ugly but that is the nature of his character. He's always wanted to win but HIS way....with a low team payroll and no long term pitching contracts. All his life he's had things his way and he wanted this to be done in his way as well. He's been determined to settle scores from as far back as insulting Caray and Piersall on national TV (WGN) the night the Sox won the division in 1983. Then you had the collusion issue, the baseball strike, signing Belle to get back at the other owners who voted to settle, his whole relationship with Carlton Fisk, his threatening to move the team and so forth.

His focus was on being "right," not winning.

Perhaps (and again I say perhaps) that's changing because he now starts to see his own mortality and realizes he's not going to be around forever plus if you believe what a former Sox player told me (which I have posted) that in fact he has begun the process of selling the club to some of his current minority owners.

The easiest way to jack up the selling price is to win and draw a lot more fans.

Lip

Gumshoe
08-08-2003, 02:30 PM
I'm not saying that to be ugly but that is the nature of his character. He's always wanted to win but HIS way....with a low team payroll and no long term pitching contracts. All his life he's had things his way and he wanted this to be done in his way as well. He's been determined to settle scores from as far back as insulting Caray and Piersall on national TV (WGN) the night the Sox won the division in 1983. Then you had the collusion issue, the baseball strike, signing Belle to get back at the other owners who voted to settle, his whole relationship with Carlton Fisk, his threatening to move the team and so forth.

His focus was on being "right," not winning.




Lip, that is money. However, don't put that beginning ... "IF the season had been 3 weeks longer" what kind of reasoning is that. If the season were 3 weeks longer how many other times would certain teams have won a division, or lost it? insane.

In any case, I remember your post and I hope you are right --- d anI hope he goes ballz out and sells regardless. I have a tough time believing that with Jerry and this pen (KW should get the brunt because of the Foulke deal), we'll come out on top in the playoffs unless we just catch HUGE fire and score tons of runs.

Gumshoe

Gumshoe

thepaulbowski
08-08-2003, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by gosox41
If the Sox keep averaging 26-28K per game, they are essentially a middle market team. Their attendence falls about in the middle of MLB.

I wouldn't read too much into this quote.

Bob

But, the sox's TV & radio earning rank in the top five in baseball.

soxtalker
08-08-2003, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Just a few thoughts....

I think the Sox didn't draw that well in 2000 is because many fans (especially after mid July) considered this team a fluke and were waiting for the other shoe to drop, which had the season been another three weeks longer might have, as Cleveland cut a double digit lead down to what four games?

The reason it took the organization so long to come to the same conclusions as fans here at WSI (and frankly that's a big assumption that is being made...the proof of the pudding will come this off season what with all the free agents and arbitration eligible players) is because Uncle Jerry is an arrogant, vindictive ass.

I'm not saying that to be ugly but that is the nature of his character. He's always wanted to win but HIS way....with a low team payroll and no long term pitching contracts. All his life he's had things his way and he wanted this to be done in his way as well. He's been determined to settle scores from as far back as insulting Caray and Piersall on national TV (WGN) the night the Sox won the division in 1983. Then you had the collusion issue, the baseball strike, signing Belle to get back at the other owners who voted to settle, his whole relationship with Carlton Fisk, his threatening to move the team and so forth.

His focus was on being "right," not winning.

Perhaps (and again I say perhaps) that's changing because he now starts to see his own mortality and realizes he's not going to be around forever plus if you believe what a former Sox player told me (which I have posted) that in fact he has begun the process of selling the club to some of his current minority owners.

The easiest way to jack up the selling price is to win and draw a lot more fans.

Lip

I don't think that there is any obvious way to win at this game. Steinbrenner has done it and has built a quality organization. But he's also been able to cover his errors by spending the enormous resources afforded him by being the dominant team in NYC. Atlanta's another good organization, though they haven't won the WS that often. So JR can think that his "approach" is reasonable.

Using that as a preface, I tend to agree on your view of JR -- he wants to win, but on his terms. He doesn't allow discension in the ranks, and that has been demonstrated numerous times (as you indicated). KW reflects a similar philosophy. That hasn't been mentioned lately, since KW's moves seem to be paying off. And people will be singing JR's praises if we win. But I just don't see how arrogance helps in winning, and it sure has driven some players -- not to mention fans -- away.

One more thing -- I must be missing something, but what evidence have we seen of a change in JR's philosophy? The trades that KW pulled off were done at no additional cost in salary. Of course, if you are thinking of selling the team, I suppose that a few prospects in the farm system might not affect the apparant value very much.

Foulke You
08-08-2003, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by soxtalker
One more thing -- I must be missing something, but what evidence have we seen of a change in JR's philosophy? The trades that KW pulled off were done at no additional cost in salary. Of course, if you are thinking of selling the team, I suppose that a few prospects in the farm system might not affect the apparant value very much.

Agreed. There seems to be a perception that we've somewhow increased payroll. We took on the remainder of Scott Shchoenweiss's contract and that is it. Robbie and Carl our being paid by their former teams. The true test of this organization's desire to win comes in the offseason. If I see Robbie Alomar, Frank Thomas, and Bartolo Colon resigned in the off season, I will become a believer. Until then, I am enjoying the fact that we actually made 2 big moves to boost the team rather than dump players like we usually did at this time. (see Kenny Lofton and Ray Durham)