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Lip Man 1
09-05-2003, 01:30 PM
Jerry Reinsdorf doesn't deem the Chicago media fit to talk with but he recently spoke to a reporter with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal.

I found this comment interesting...

''I don't worry about what the Cubs are doing. 'There's nothing we can do about them."

Considering the recent discussion here about the Sox marketing (or lack of) policies, I have a few thoughts.

1. In fact Uncle Jerry DOES care about what the Cubs are doing and here's an example. In 1998 at the Sox season ending picnic for season ticket holders, Uncle Jerry showed up towards the end, thanked the patrons for coming, and exhorted them to go home "and root for the Braves," while putting on an Atlanta cap.
The Cubs were playing Atlanta in the first round of the post season. This was widely reported and can easily be checked.

2. His comment in the locker room on the night of September 17, 1983 where he stunned a national TV audiance after the Sox clinched the Western Division title by condemming former Sox announcers Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall. I'm paraphrasing here but he called them "scum." Caray just "happened" to work for the Cubs and was in the process of starting the trend
towards gravitating to the North Side.

3. His comment "there's nothing we can do," smacks of the same nonsense that he told ESPN Radio 1000 before the start of the Cub / Sox series in June 2002 where he said "Chicago has always been a Cubs town."

Chicago has NOT "always been a Cubs town," and anybody with half a brain can check the attendence figures particularly for the 50's and through 1965 to see that as well as the early 70's, early 80's and early 90's.

This is the typical response for an indivudual who would rather complain about the media and the fans then to have to fire his inept marketing / PR staff and bring in new blood with new ideas.

That of course would probably cost money, the same as what it would take to REALLY take control of Chicago by spending whatever it took to buy a championship.

If Uncle Jerry did that instead of forcing the fans to have to "hope" for a title on a 53 million dollar payroll, he'd have the city at his beck and call.

Thanks to him and people like Rob Gallas the White Sox are an afterthought in Chicago after twenty years of PR blunders despite the fact that Sox have been the better team for the overwhelming majority of the time.

"It sounds like the bleat of a beaten cur..." --Ban Johnson

Any opinions pro or con on this?

Lip

gosox41
09-05-2003, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Jerry Reinsdorf doesn't deem the Chicago media fit to talk with but he recently spoke to a reporter with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal.

I found this comment interesting...

''I don't worry about what the Cubs are doing. 'There's nothing we can do about them."

Considering the recent discussion here about the Sox marketing (or lack of) policies, I have a few thoughts.

1. In fact Uncle Jerry DOES care about what the Cubs are doing and here's an example. In 1998 at the Sox season ending picnic for season ticket holders, Uncle Jerry showed up towards the end, thanked the patrons for coming, and exhorted them to go home "and root for the Braves," while putting on an Atlanta cap.
The Cubs were playing Atlanta in the first round of the post season. This was widely reported and can easily be checked.

2. His comment in the locker room on the night of September 17, 1983 where he stunned a national TV audiance after the Sox clinched the Western Division title by condemming former Sox announcers Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall. I'm paraphrasing here but he called them "scum." Caray just "happened" to work for the Cubs and was in the process of starting the trend
towards gravitating to the North Side.

3. His comment "there's nothing we can do," smacks of the same nonsense that he told ESPN Radio 1000 before the start of the Cub / Sox series in June 2002 where he said "Chicago has always been a Cubs town."

Chicago has NOT "always been a Cubs town," and anybody with half a brain can check the attendence figures particularly for the 50's and through 1965 to see that as well as the early 70's, early 80's and early 90's.

This is the typical response for an indivudual who would rather complain about the media and the fans then to have to fire his inept marketing / PR staff and bring in new blood with new ideas.

That of course would probably cost money, the same as what it would take to REALLY take control of Chicago by spending whatever it took to buy a championship.

If Uncle Jerry did that instead of forcing the fans to have to "hope" for a title on a 53 million dollar payroll, he'd have the city at his beck and call.

Thanks to him and people like Rob Gallas the White Sox are an afterthought in Chicago after twenty years of PR blunders despite the fact that Sox have been the better team for the overwhelming majority of the time.

"It sounds like the bleat of a beaten cur..." --Ban Johnson

Any opinions pro or con on this?

Lip

I think JR is an idiot and has ruined the fan base, but the fact is the Sox are in a pennant race and still didn't draw well against Boston. Did the fans all of a sudden realize JR still owns the team from 2 weeks ago when they were drawing 30K+ crowds?

Bob

RKMeibalane
09-05-2003, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by gosox41
I think JR is an idiot and has ruined the fan base, but the fact is the Sox are in a pennant race and still didn't draw well against Boston. Did the fans all of a sudden realize JR still owns the team from 2 weeks ago when they were drawing 30K+ crowds?

Bob

I think some people may have been turned off by Jerry Manuel's claims that Sox fans "don't understand baseball." That, and the fact that the school year is now in full swing probably caused some people to stay home instead of going to the park.

BTW, were you the one who went to a game earlier this year and starting shouting at Reinsdorf as he was walking through the stands? Did he hear you? I always thought that was hilarious.

DrCrawdad
09-05-2003, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
2. His comment in the locker room on the night of September 17, 1983 where he stunned a national TV audience after the Sox clinched the Western Division title by condemning former Sox announcers Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall. I'm paraphrasing here but he called them "scum." Caray just "happened" to work for the Cubs and was in the process of starting the trend towards gravitating to the North Side.

Lip

This comment by Reinsdorf, that is often repeated here, I just wonder about what may have prompted Reinsdorf to say this. I seem to remember that when Harry left the Sox he said that you couldn’t trust Reinsdorf. Could it be that Reinsdorf took that as an anti-Semetic slam, ‘you can’t trust those Jews’ kind of bigoted remark, and Reinsdorf was just returning fire?

LASOXFAN
09-05-2003, 02:20 PM
I think you make solid points, many of which have been made before. My take is that the game and its fans are still bigger than the owners and the geniuses in the marketing departments. Chicago loves a winner, on that we can all agree. Had the team in 2000 not gone so quietly with such a whimper - had they advanced to face the Yankees for a 7 game series, then I think you would have seen a huge response in 2001. I believe the same is true now. Put a team in the playoffs that advances past the first round, something that hasn't been done since 1959, and - to borrow a phrase - they will come.

They will most definitely come.

gosox41
09-05-2003, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
I think some people may have been turned off by Jerry Manuel's claims that Sox fans "don't understand baseball." That, and the fact that the school year is now in full swing probably caused some people to stay home instead of going to the park.

BTW, were you the one who went to a game earlier this year and starting shouting at Reinsdorf as he was walking through the stands? Did he hear you? I always thought that was hilarious.

It wasn't me, though I would have done the same thing if in that situation.

Bob

Randar68
09-05-2003, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Jerry Reinsdorf doesn't deem the Chicago media fit to talk with but he recently spoke to a reporter with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal.

*****! Now, ladies and gentlemen, for your pleasure and amazement, Lip will now criticize someone for holding a grudge.


Nevermind a day doesn't pass that Lip doesn't take pot shots at Sox management, no matter what they do, holding a grudge of his own.


Lip, get laid, maybe you won't be so bitter.

dougs78
09-05-2003, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
That, and the fact that the school year is now in full swing probably caused some people to stay home instead of going to the park.


Ding, ding, ding. I think thats exactly right. Also, throw in the fact that neither were half-price nights and thats why the attendance was down to 20K.

Also, many people don't realize that Wrigley only holds 32K and a lot of those are underneat the upper deck overhang. So they can draw 26,000 and make it look like a pretty packed house. Not saying they aren't drawing well, I"m just saying there is a big difference in the # of seats available.

hold2dibber
09-05-2003, 03:50 PM
Originally posted by dougs78
Ding, ding, ding. I think thats exactly right. Also, throw in the fact that neither were half-price nights and thats why the attendance was down to 20K.

Also, many people don't realize that Wrigley only holds 32K and a lot of those are underneat the upper deck overhang. So they can draw 26,000 and make it look like a pretty packed house. Not saying they aren't drawing well, I"m just saying there is a big difference in the # of seats available.

Regardless of how "packed" Wrigley may look with 26,000 in the stands or not, the fact remains that the Cubs are averaging about 34,000 per game whereas the Sox are averaging about 23,000 per game. (By the way, Wrigley holds 36,000 not 32,000, I'm pretty sure).

MarqSox
09-05-2003, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
Regardless of how "packed" Wrigley may look with 26,000 in the stands or not, the fact remains that the Cubs are averaging about 34,000 per game whereas the Sox are averaging about 23,000 per game. (By the way, Wrigley holds 36,000 not 32,000, I'm pretty sure).
This is only a minor excuse, admittedly ... but it's much easier to create ticket scarcity in a park that holds 36k than one that holds 46k. I wonder if the Cubs would be such a hot ticket if there were more of them ...

MRKARNO
09-05-2003, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
Regardless of how "packed" Wrigley may look with 26,000 in the stands or not, the fact remains that the Cubs are averaging about 34,000 per game whereas the Sox are averaging about 23,000 per game. (By the way, Wrigley holds 36,000 not 32,000, I'm pretty sure).

I'm almost positive that wrigley holds a shade more than 39,000 when all the standing room is sold and the cell has a bit more than 47,000 seats and no standing room ever sold (even for the big series)

hold2dibber
09-05-2003, 04:01 PM
Originally posted by gosox41
I think JR is an idiot and has ruined the fan base, but the fact is the Sox are in a pennant race and still didn't draw well against Boston. Did the fans all of a sudden realize JR still owns the team from 2 weeks ago when they were drawing 30K+ crowds?

Bob

The difference is that school is now in session. Those 30K+ week night crowds were fueled in large part by high school and college kids taking advantage of 1/2 price night. Most of those kids can make it to week night games now.

Plus, this gets back to the point that PHG has repeatedly made here - the last 20+ years of one inexcusable PR blunder by JR after another has greatly eroded the fan base (which means smaller crowds in general) and has greatly eroded the season ticket holder base. If the Sox had (as they should) 18,000 or so season ticket holders, they wouldn't have to rely on "record breaking" walk-up sales to have decent sized crowds.

voodoochile
09-05-2003, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
I'm almost positive that wrigley holds a shade more than 39,000 when all the standing room is sold and the cell has a bit more than 47,000 seats and no standing room ever sold (even for the big series)

I am pretty sure you are correct. In addition, I saw an article on combined Chicago attendance the other day that stated the flubbies were averaging 93.1% of capacity for the year, which leads the majors.

Now who was talking about ticket scarcity being the way to increase demand? :D:

Lip Man 1
09-05-2003, 05:00 PM
Dr. Crawdad (and others)

This is from my column SportsVision - The Legacy:

"But one more problem developed because of the SportsVision idea which had long term negative effects towards the Sox. That involved popular announcer Harry Caray. Caray had been with the Sox since 1971 and had developed a tremendous following. In many desolate years Caray was the ONLY reason to pay any attention to the Sox. His style was aggressive, he wasn’t afraid to pan the players or for that matter rip the owners. Caray wasn’t a saint by any means, he had a tremendous ego himself and could be spiteful towards those he didn’t care for, like fellow announcer J.C. Martin, whom Caray felt had no business being in a television booth, but to Sox fans he was the best asset the team had.

When Einhorn and his partner Jerry Reinsdorf took over the Sox, Caray became intolerable to them. Einhorn is quoted in Logan’s book as saying, "we were a freak show. The fans thought Harry and Jimmy (Piersall) were the stars. Things were insane."

Caray for his part, kept his personal feelings about the new owners and his relationship with them to himself, until the ties were severed between them. Afterwards he made no bones about how he felt, saying in his autobiography that Sox fans would ask him why he left and why he went to the Cubs. Caray said he loved Sox fans and loved Comiskey Park but he couldn’t stand the owners, going so far as to call them "*******s" in the book and saying they knew nothing about running a team. (A feeling echoed by Carlton Fisk in the 1994 PBS televison special Frontline: The Trouble With Baseball. Fisk is quoted on camera as saying that when the new owners took over, "it was clear they knew nothing about the game, although they thought they did.")

Despite the strained relationship the Sox would have brought Caray back for the 1982 season when he decided to leave and signed a deal with the Cubs.

In Logan’s book, Caray had this to say, "they wanted to sign me again, but with SportsVision, the White Sox are the best kept secret in Chicago. If their games were on free TV, they’d own the town now and be a byword across the nation." (Author’s Note: because of now "Superstation WGN") I gave them some good advice at that contract meeting. I told them, ‘you guys came in as owners with a positive image and became villains by taking Jimmy (Piersall) out of the broadcast booth. Why don’t you get back in the fans’ good graces by putting us back together on the TV team’" Caray continued with Reinsdorf’s reply. "Jerry answered, ‘Harry, I’ll be up in heaven looking down before Piersall broadcasts another one of our games,’ and Einhorn said, ‘with you or without you, the White Sox are going into SportsVision and away from free TV’" Logan’s book quotes Caray as saying "that’s when I made up my mind to leave. They were talking about maybe reaching 50,000 homes on pay TV instead of the 22 million people who watch the Cubs on WGN."

The final word in the Caray / Sox owners feud came on the night of September 17, 1983. After the Sox clinched the Western Division Championship and before a national audience, since WGN received permission to take the SportsVision feed of the 9th inning and post game interviews, Reinsdorf issued a final blast. During an interview with "Hawk" Harrelson, Reinsdorf said, "Harry and Jimmy wherever you are, eat your hearts out, I hope you realize what scum you are." Harrelson was momentarily speechless.

Like him or not, letting Caray leave turned out to be a huge mistake. Caray became the "Pied Piper" of the North Side and came into the situation just about the time the "Wrigleyville" neighborhood became trendy with young, upscale individuals who decided going to see the Cubs was the thing to do. The Cubs made the playoffs in 1984 and with their games being shown coast to coast on WGN, fans everywhere who didn’t owe an allegiance to a particular team, seemed to become Cub fans.

The Cubs would ride this wave to become the dominant team in Chicago despite many lousy years on the playing field. They would win the important public relations battle for the hearts and minds of neutral Chicagoans. With fans flocking to see the "shrine" (i.e. Wrigley Field) it didn’t matter if the Cubs won or lost, they were making money hand over foot.

The Sox meanwhile spiraled into what seems to be a permanent indifference among many Chicagoans and baseball fans nationally, despite usually having better records, better players and a new stadium. This has led to a deep bitterness in the organization that blames the fans and especially the media, for their problems. It’s led to a "bunker mentality" and has gone so far as to have Reinsdorf saying in a radio interview that the Cubs have "always" owned Chicago.

Nothing could be further from the truth."

The complete story can be found in the WSI achives.

Lip