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Hondo
01-14-2004, 01:24 PM
I was bored and did a search of JR on the "internet" and one of the first things to come up is this 2000 article in the Sun-Times with Terry Savage. Now I apologize if this is a topic that's been beaten to death but I was dumbfounded, well I guess I wasn't, maybe reaffirmed about where he stands.

Jerry, Why are you so great? (http://www.suntimes.com/savage/talk/terry30.html)

". My feeling was that our fans wanted a Chicago-style team that plays hard, gets dirty, signs autographs and interacts with the fans"

No. We want a team that wins. Namely a World Series.

"I didn't get into sports to make money"

Or appearantly to SPEND money.

Read the article if you care. It's a total puff piece which makes me ill but it's interesting I think.
As a younger fan maybe I'm not as jaded as some but reading stuff like this quickly sends me down that path.

This guy is so out of touch it's incredible. Maybe I'm being too dramatic about this but it really rubbed me the wrong way.

Daniel

anewman35
01-14-2004, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by Hondo

Jerry, Why are you so great? (http://www.suntimes.com/savage/talk/terry30.html)


"I didn't get into sports to make money"

Or appearantly to SPEND money.

Daniel

Did I miss where Jerry said "I got into sports to lose money?" There's a huge difference between being ok with breaking even and being ok with losing millions.

CubKilla
01-14-2004, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by anewman35
Did I miss where Jerry said "I got into sports to lose money?" There's a huge difference between being ok with breaking even and being ok with losing millions.

I find it laughable that you even consider that JR is losing money. If he's as shrewd a businessman as everyone here credits him of being then why would he hold onto a franchise for 20+ years if he was losing money? Answer that.

PaulDrake
01-14-2004, 03:10 PM
I can't believe I actually read that whole article. It really affected my gag reflex.

anewman35
01-14-2004, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by CubKilla
I find it laughable that you even consider that JR is losing money. If he's as shrewd a businessman as everyone here credits him of being then why would he hold onto a franchise for 20+ years if he was losing money? Answer that.

He's not, that's the point. That's why the payroll is where it is. If he raised the payroll another $10 or $20 million, he quite likely could be. He's willing to break even, but not to lose money - makes sense to me.

Iwritecode
01-14-2004, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by anewman35
He's not, that's the point. That's why the payroll is where it is. If he raised the payroll another $10 or $20 million, he quite likely could be. He's willing to break even, but not to lose money - makes sense to me.

He's not willing to take any risks. That's all.

Which I guess makes him a good businessman and a bad baseball owner...

Lip Man 1
01-14-2004, 05:57 PM
Except of course that ANEWMAN is forgetting that Uncle Jerry got his new park subsized by the city and state, in my opinion that counts for something.

If Uncle Jerry build his park with his own money then that's a different story. He has an obligation in my opinion to give the fans who built his stadium what they want.

If that means going into debt for a few years so be it. He'll get his money back in spades with a championship caliber club.

Lip

CubKilla
01-15-2004, 12:07 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Except of course that ANEWMAN is forgetting that Uncle Jerry got his new park subsized by the city and state, in my opinion that counts for something.

Certainly does. JR isn't paying one dime for the renovations either to his Albatross at 35th and Veeck.

anewman35
01-15-2004, 08:17 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Except of course that ANEWMAN is forgetting that Uncle Jerry got his new park subsized by the city and state, in my opinion that counts for something.

If Uncle Jerry build his park with his own money then that's a different story. He has an obligation in my opinion to give the fans who built his stadium what they want.


See, that's the thing, the obligation is "your opinion" and not a real obligation. If the state really cared, they'd have inserted some clause that if he didn't win a certian number of games, or spend a certian amount, he had to pay them. The state didn't, so he can do whatever he wants

(I believe the Brewers are going through a simliar thing, with the state asking why they build a stadium for such a bad team. It just proves - never trust a sports owner, get everything in writing).

KingXerxes
01-15-2004, 10:16 AM
It seems to me whenever these sorts of discussions arise, there is an underlying assumption that Jerry Reinsdorf is a "shrewd businessman". Is he?

He made a lot of money with Balcor years and years ago, but believe me, it takes a hell of a lot more than a single "shrewd" guy to take something like that off of the ground.

My point is that one can make a lot of money in a business and not necessarily be any smarter than the cleaning woman. The ability to take risk (sometimes incredibly stupid risks) is probably paramount in earning a fortune. Just because he's got a few bucks, and has friends who also have a few bucks does not make him shrewd - it only makes him wealthy. Judging by the way he runs the White Sox - I would say he's anything but shrewd. New stadium, friendly political climate, large market - and a furious fan base. Not quite the manifestation of a genius.

Lip Man 1
01-15-2004, 11:08 AM
This is a small segment from a long piece that will appear on Jerry Reinsdorf in the future at WSI. The piece will be called jerry Reinsdorf: In Their Own Words.

The crux of the story is that all opinions and comments in the article will be about Jerry Reinsdorf by the people he knows, the people who work with him or work for him.

None of the opinions will be mine therefore claims of biasness are unfounded. I am currently combing my library of printed material, video and audio for comments and quotes. Some of the quotes you'll be able to hear yourself through Real Audio.

"Early in his career he was a lawyer at a Chicago firm representing doctors. He kept telling these doctors the real estate deals they were looking at were bad, however the doctors kept ignoring his advice. Finally one doctor challenged him to put something together if he was so smart. He did and it led to the start of his real estate empire and the formation of his own company Balcor in the early 70's. When he was asked one time by a baseball executive what his business was Reinsdorf replied ‘OPM’ Pardon? ‘other people’s money.’ Wound up selling Balcor to American Express for 53 million dollars. After the sale, rumors surfaced of American Express being upset at some of the things they had supposedly found in the company books, however these ‘charges’ were never followed up or proven and must be considered a myth. "

Lip

anewman35
01-15-2004, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
This is a small segment from a long piece that will appear on Jerry Reinsdorf in the future at WSI. The piece will be called jerry Reinsdorf: In Their Own Words.

The crux of the story is that all opinions and comments in the article will be about Jerry Reinsdorf by the people he knows, the people who work with him or work for him.

None of the opinions will be mine therefore claims of biasness are unfounded. I am currently combing my library of printed material, video and audio for comments and quotes. Some of the quotes you'll be able to hear yourself through Real Audio.

Except that, since it's presumably going to be a selection of opinions and comments, it automatically biased. If there's a person (and this isn't even directed at you, it's just in general) selecting what gets printed/published/shown/whatever, it's almost assured that, in some way, their personal bias (pro or con) will leak into what they are doing.

Adam

Iwritecode
01-15-2004, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
It seems to me whenever these sorts of discussions arise, there is an underlying assumption that Jerry Reinsdorf is a "shrewd businessman". Is he?

He made a lot of money with Balcor years and years ago, but believe me, it takes a hell of a lot more than a single "shrewd" guy to take something like that off of the ground.

My point is that one can make a lot of money in a business and not necessarily be any smarter than the cleaning woman. The ability to take risk (sometimes incredibly stupid risks) is probably paramount in earning a fortune. Just because he's got a few bucks, and has friends who also have a few bucks does not make him shrewd - it only makes him wealthy. Judging by the way he runs the White Sox - I would say he's anything but shrewd. New stadium, friendly political climate, large market - and a furious fan base. Not quite the manifestation of a genius.

I think the fact that he got such a sweetheart deal on the stadium plus got the “attendance clause” thrown in so there are years he doesn’t have to pay rent in then 10 years later got another company to pay for the design flaws in the original structure puts him at least a little on the shrewd side.

Also remember, his fortune will come when/if he ever decides to sell the team. The value of the organization is 10 times what it was when he bought it.

You're right though, he's not exactly a genius. As much as I hate to say it, I'd have to put King George in that category. He manages to make money and win every year.

Lip Man 1
01-15-2004, 11:26 AM
Anewman:

You are absolutely correct. And you haven't even included that I don't have every single comment or piece ever done on Jerry Reinsdorf so I can't possibly give a 100% total picture of the man.

That being said I am doing the best I can with what I have and when you read the story you'll see that I have gone out of my way to incude positive comments on the man like this one:

“I discovered managing partner Jerry Reinsdorf to be one of the most misunderstood men I’ve ever known, a guy whose heart and head were constantly at odds, with his heart winning more often than anyone would like to admit.” – Sam Smith. From the book The Jordan Rules. Pg. 332.

The bottom line is that your opinion of the man isn't going to be changed one way or another by what I publish. I'm offering information to Sox fans, many of whom weren't even born when this organization took control of the club. You can take it, you can leave it, you can use it, you can lose it. Whatever you choose...

I have discovered some shocking stuff though including the fact that Uncle Jerry wasn't always the union buster that he degenerated into after time. In fact he was against the 1981 labor impasse and argued that in baseball's executive meetings. Something obviously took place to make him bitter, vindictive and pompus towards the players union and Sox fans.

I am working to find out what that may have been.

Lip

KingXerxes
01-15-2004, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by Iwritecode
I think the fact that he got such a sweetheart deal on the stadium plus got the “attendance clause” thrown in so there are years he doesn’t have to pay rent in then 10 years later got another company to pay for the design flaws in the original structure puts him at least a little on the shrewd side.

The fact that he was basically given free use of a public stadium is a point to be made on the "shrewd" side, but look at what he had to agree to do in order to get that stadium usage.

I'm pretty sure he didn't want to play across the street from the old place, he didn't want the stadium he ended up with - surrounded by nothing but parking lots etc. etc. While it's true that he isn't paying anything for his stadium, the same is true for the Tribune because they bought Wrigley Field (along with the Cubs) from Wrigley.

Has his initial investment appreciated? Sure, but haven't most investments since 1981? My point is that although Reinsdorf has made money in the aggregate - he has not exactly maximized his returns. If I recall correctly, the Cubs and White Sox both sold around the same time - for around the same price (appx. $20mm). Who do you think has done better, Reinsdorf or the Tribune?

voodoochile
01-15-2004, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by PaulDrake
I can't believe I actually read that whole article. It really affected my gag reflex.

I started scanning and then just quit after the "Clearly, to Reinsdorf, money is a means and not an end" comment. It followed by exactly two lines this comment from JR:

"I have a friend who says money is a way to keep score, so there's never enough. To this friend, rich means more. That's not my belief. This is fun, not work.

Which is just so much drivel...

Iwritecode
01-15-2004, 12:18 PM
Originally posted by KingXerxes
My point is that although Reinsdorf has made money in the aggregate - he has not exactly maximized his returns.

I agree with this completely.

The Cubs on the other hand, have pretty much done the impossible.

The only team I've ever seen that can actually make money while consistently losing every season. At least the past few years.

KingXerxes
01-15-2004, 12:21 PM
I don't know what to think of Reinsdorf to be honest with you. I know the guy put the deal together using some - but not too much - of his own money, and raised the rest from friends. He set himself up as the managing general partner of the partnership that owns the team, and usually the MGP only receives a return after some sort of preferred return goes to the Limited Partners.

Could he be under pressure from his Limiteds? Sure - maybe they are demanding some sort of return on their investments above and beyond what they've been getting in previous years. Maybe baseball's new debt restrictions have forced the White Sox to pay down credit lines over the past few years leaving little if any for distributions - WHO KNOWS?

Here is the conundrum though. If any of these situations are what is causing this team to be run the way it is being run - it calls out for the owner to put the team up on the block, and make way for a different owner. This will not happen with Reinsdorf and his group though - because selling the team will trigger a monumental tax liability - and if there's one thing this gang hates more than losing money, it's paying taxes.