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Lip Man 1
02-07-2004, 01:09 AM
Used with permission from the Chicago Tribune. Personal thanks to Bob Vanderberg, assistant sports editor and long time Sox supporter!

Copyright 1986 Chicago Tribune
Date: Friday, January 10, 1986

PHOTO: Sox vice president Ken Harrelson (right) and newly re-signed Carlton Fisk preside at Thursday`s press conference, where Fisk took issue with Harrelson`s plans to make him a full-time left-fielder.

Source: By Mike Kiley.

PUDGE WON`T BUDGE:

I`M NO. 1 CATCHER, DESPITE SOX PLANS, FISK SAYS

Carlton Fisk can mask his face, but not his feelings. Ambassador material he is not.

He again showed his combative attitude Thursday at the media gathering called to discuss his signing a new two-year contract with the White Sox at $850,000 a year.

Sox vice-president Ken Harrelson described himself as overjoyed that Fisk, whom he believes will be the club`s left fielder, rejoined the fold at about 1 a.m. Thursday. (Had Fisk not agreed to terms with the Sox now, they wouldn`t have been permitted to sign him until May 1.)

Fisk promptly informed Harrelson that he--and not Joel Skinner, as "the Hawk" has said--will be the team`s No. 1 catcher. Fisk said he`s not against discussing a career change, but he added he won`t be easily convinced his age of 38 has reduced his ability to catch.

Although he came to Thursday`s press conference at O`Hare Airport carrying his bags under his eyes after a tough night of negotiating and two hours of sleep, Fisk was bright-eyed when talk turned to inferences that he`s washed out as an everyday catcher.

Harrelson didn`t debate him. Instead, acting like a new executive should, he cleaned out the dictionary for superlatives to praise Fisk.

"Pete Rose isn`t the athlete this man is," he said. "If he was four or five years younger, I`d make Pudge our third baseman."

"Pudge can be an All-Star outfielder. He`ll be our left-fielder. This
makes Ron Kittle our full-time designated hitter."

But Fisk took what for him is a typical bite of the hand that has now committed to feed him a man-sized salary for the next two years. The contract Fisk signed in 1981, when the Sox first acquired him as a free agent, paid him about $550,000 a year.

"Tony LaRussa is manager and has the power to make out the lineup, despite what Hawk believes, and I believe I`m Tony`s No. 1 catcher," said Fisk. "It`s not etched in granite I`m going to play the outfield. "

"I feel uncomfortable with it (a switch to the outfield) because I`ve spent 20 years perfecting a trade, and the majority of those years I have been an All-Star catcher. For me to go from that level to a level where I may be only average may not be comfortable for me."

"I hate issuing ultimatums. But I can catch 110 games this season and may be able to catch better than last year. I don`t believe I`m going to be only the left-fielder on this team."

LaRussa refused to say Thursday when reached at his Sarasota, Fla., home how he plans to handle the Fisk matter. "I know what I want to do, but Carlton has to hear it first," he said.

"I went to bed Wednesday night thinking we`d lost him. So to hear this morning he had signed was good news. We`d have been a little thin offensively without him. He gives us a better chance to win the division."

LaRussa talked last season about moving Fisk to left, so you can
expect him to tell Fisk that his game time this season will be reduced to a third catcher.

Fisk angered the Sox last season with criticism of the LaMarr Hoyt trade to San Diego and also when he questioned the manner in which Ozzie Guillen was awarded the starting shortstop job in spring training.

And Fisk wasn`t averse to ruffling feathers Thursday when he talked about his heir apparent, Skinner, who`ll be 25 next month. Harrelson has said Skinner should be the starting catcher most of the time in 1986, backed up by newly acquired Ron Hassey. For the last six years, Skinner has worked mostly in the minors, waiting until Fisk would step aside.

"I hope Joel is ready to take the game seriously this year," Fisk said. "That hasn`t been the case in the past. He`s never yet made the total commitment that a major-leaguer has to make to be a winner. "

"I`ve been disappointed Joel never asked many questions or sought my help in the past. We did talk more at the end of last season than ever. "

"This year he`ll get my help whether he wants it or not. Even if I`m in left field, I`ve got a pretty loud voice that carries.

"There`s always the chance we`d weaken two positions by me going to left and putting Joel behind the plate. Why be average at both, or below, when I can be an above-average catcher?"

Praised at times last year by LaRussa for his defense, Fisk`s bat spoke loudest for him last year. His 37 home runs, which tied the club record, were second to Detroit`s Darrell Evans in the American League. He also drove in 107 runs, and Harrelson said Thursday that Fisk`s leg and hip action were awesome to watch.

But at his age, the Sox were more than ready to dump him, no matter what they may say now. Club president Eddie Einhorn admitted he never expected to sign Fisk.

"We never realized his commitment to Chicago and to keeping his family here," said Einhorn, who did most of the Sox`s negotiating with Jerry Kapstein, Fisk`s agent. "We wanted him at our price and no more. "

"We`d made mistakes in the past with expensive long-term contracts, and this time we felt there was no way we could sign Fisk for three years and not make the commitment to him that we`d never trade him."

Fisk is protected from being traded by the major-league rule that says any player with 10 years` service and five straight with any team has to approve a trade.

"My major concession was backing off the three-year deal," Fisk said.

"The decision came down basically to my family being happy in the area and not wanting to uproot them."

Fisk and his wife, Linda, live with their children Carlyn, Carson and
Courtney in suburban Lockport. "The kids were excited this morning when they woke up and learned we had come to an agreement."

Fisk emphasized the deadline signing shouldn`t be interpreted as a lack of interest from other clubs. "I`m not going to name the teams, but there was interest in me. I wasn`t afraid to go into the market if I had to."

Lip

sas1974
02-07-2004, 02:25 AM
Thanks for getting the permission and for digging that one up. Very interesting. Their treatment of Pudge is typical of how they have treated all of their star players. No respect and no gratitude. We come to see THEM, not anyone up in the owner's box.

Yes Pudge is stubborn and headstrong, but these our qualities you want in a team leader. Some one that is going to take charge and stand by it. We could use a guy like him now. They need to offer him a position on the coaching staff on some level in the organization so he can show/teach these guys how the game is supposed to be played, just like he explained to Neon Deion.

SEALgep
02-07-2004, 02:46 AM
This was the proof I was looking for. I stand corrected. Hawk was false in his assumption that Pudge was okay with the switch. He was willing, as stated in this article, basically to do what was in the best interest for the team and his family. That was very admirable. I wish to apologize to Lip, King, and Palehorse for my effort to stand by Hawk's statment at Sox Fest. Although, I feel I made a bigger deal out of it than Hawk ever intended to be. I still respect Hawk and his opinions, but obviously I need to be more careful in what I take stands on. I hope my opinions do not become invalid by those individuals listed above as I do take full responsibility for my false beliefs. Again, as I listed in a previous post, it would be my pleasure to have a beer with you guys at a game of your choice and talk face to face about whatever. No hard feelings I hope. Let me know what you think about a game.

TommyJohn
02-07-2004, 03:24 AM
Originally posted by SEALgep
This was the proof I was looking for. I stand corrected. Hawk was false in his assumption that Pudge was okay with the switch. He was willing, as stated in this article, basically to do what was in the best interest for the team and his family. That was very admirable. I wish to apologize to Lip, King, and Palehorse for my effort to stand by Hawk's statment at Sox Fest. Although, I feel I made a bigger deal out of it than Hawk ever intended to be. I still respect Hawk and his opinions, but obviously I need to be more careful in what I take stands on. I hope my opinions do not become invalid by those individuals listed above as I do take full responsibility for my false beliefs. Again, as I listed in a previous post, it would be my pleasure to have a beer with you guys at a game of your choice and talk face to face about whatever. No hard feelings I hope. Let me know what you think about a game.


I'm sure that Hawk is remembering what he wants to remember.

Mickster
02-07-2004, 08:50 AM
From Lip to SEAL:

LOL

PaleHoseGeorge
02-07-2004, 09:48 AM
Originally posted by TommyJohn
I'm sure that Hawk is remembering what he wants to remember.

Indeed. It also speaks to Hawk's credibility on *anything* he says about the Sox. He owes his livelihood to the man upstairs and has for many, many years.

So Hawk said something wrong and stupid at SoxFest. He certainly wasn't the only one guilty of that infraction. He had a bunch of angry Sox Fans breathing down his neck and tried to cast himself (and the organization) in the most favorable light possible.

Par for the course, really.

:reinsy
"And never was heard, a discouraging word..."

:hawk :KW :ozzie:
"...Where the deer and the antelope play!"

Brian26
02-07-2004, 09:57 AM
Wow, thanks Lip. That brought back some interesting memories.

Does anyone remember exactly how many games Fisk ultimately played in leftfield? At Soxfest, Hawk said he only played one game out there before he got whacked in the head with a flyball and then they switched him back to catcher. I don't recall...

SEALgep
02-07-2004, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by Mickster
From Lip to SEAL:

LOL

I don't know about that buddy, but I guess trying to be mature about the situation has its drawbacks.

Mickster
02-07-2004, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by SEALgep
I don't know about that buddy, but I guess trying to be mature about the situation has its drawbacks.

SEAL. Take it as a joke cus it was! Actually, I really enjoy the fury with which you defend your positions. It is the real reason why I even come to this board. If everybody agreed on everything, it would be a pretty boring place...

Please take no offense! :)

SEALgep
02-07-2004, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by Mickster
SEAL. Take it as a joke cus it was! Actually, I really enjoy the fury with which you defend your positions. It is the real reason why I even come to this board. If everybody agreed on everything, it would be a pretty boring place...

Please take no offense! :)

Okay :) I know I get a little sensitive, sorry.

Lip Man 1
02-07-2004, 01:15 PM
Seal;

No big deal...I applaude your passion. When you get a little older you'll learn that absolutely ANYTHING said by any member of the Sox front office / management needs to be taken with a 20 pound grain of salt.

With then there is always an ulterior motive.

Granted I may be to far biased against the organization but you must conceed there is an awful lot of evidence over the past 23 years that can put a fan into that position.

In short I don't trust any of them as far as I can throw them.

Lip

Brian26
02-07-2004, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
In short I don't trust any of them as far as I can throw them.

Lip

Not to start this debate up again, but just to be fair to Seal...

Is there a chance that somewhere between that January press conference and opening day, Fisk decided that he indeed did want to play leftfield?

I don't think there was any doubt that Fisk initially was totally opposed to it.

When Hawk said Fisk wanted to play left last weekend at Soxfest, maybe he was refering to Fisk's change of heart around Spring Training?

My memory doesn't serve me well in regards to this. It'd be nice to dig up some old stories around the time of opening day or Spring Training regarding the matter.

Lip, I know you weren't at Soxfest...but I really don't think Hawk was feeding anyone a line of bull****. On Sunday, in particular, Hawk was very candid and humble about some of his moves as GM. He was laughing when Ozzie ribbed him about putting Kenny Williams at thirdbase, Fisk in left, and the trading of Bobby Bonilla.

Brian26
02-07-2004, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Seal;

No big deal...I applaude your passion. When you get a little older you'll learn that absolutely ANYTHING said by any member of the Sox front office / management needs to be taken with a 20 pound grain of salt.

LOL. As you get older, you learn that anything said by anybody needs to be taken with a 20 pound grain of salt...from the president of the united states to the priest at your local parish to your boss at work. The White Sox organization isn't the only sports franchise that may spew bs every once in awhile.

SEALgep
02-07-2004, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Brian26
Not to start this debate up again, but just to be fair to Seal...

Is there a chance that somewhere between that January press conference and opening day, Fisk decided that he indeed did want to play leftfield?

I don't think there was any doubt that Fisk initially was totally opposed to it.

When Hawk said Fisk wanted to play left last weekend at Soxfest, maybe he was refering to Fisk's change of heart around Spring Training?

My memory doesn't serve me well in regards to this. It'd be nice to dig up some old stories around the time of opening day or Spring Training regarding the matter.

Lip, I know you weren't at Soxfest...but I really don't think Hawk was feeding anyone a line of bull****. On Sunday, in particular, Hawk was very candid and humble about some of his moves as GM. He was laughing when Ozzie ribbed him about putting Kenny Williams at thirdbase, Fisk in left, and the trading of Bobby Bonilla.

Ya, I fear I escalated the situation more than I should have. Hawk was very humble and joked around about the moves. KW, Ozzie, and Hawk were all laughing about the KW to third move and Pudge in left. He wasn't trying to justify it. They all had the crowd going, it was very funny. Ozzie was saying Pudge would turn and try to catch a pop fly in left like a catcher over his shoulder, and then said he would throw his cap. I'm sure that was joke, but it was really funny how he said it as he acted it out. Everything they ripped Hawk on, Hawk laughed it up, and admitted the moves weren't good. I just wanted to let you guys know that aspect of the discussion. I think if you were there you would maybe be more inclined to think better of Hawk. I'm not trying to reopen the discussion, I just want to be fair to Hawk, because I feel like I misrepresented him about what happened. He was being pretty cool, and he was joking around about the moves. He never pretended or claimed to be a good GM.

ewokpelts
02-07-2004, 02:35 PM
Originally posted by Brian26
Not to start this debate up again, but just to be fair to Seal...

Is there a chance that somewhere between that January press conference and opening day, Fisk decided that he indeed did want to play leftfield?

I don't think there was any doubt that Fisk initially was totally opposed to it.

When Hawk said Fisk wanted to play left last weekend at Soxfest, maybe he was refering to Fisk's change of heart around Spring Training?

My memory doesn't serve me well in regards to this. It'd be nice to dig up some old stories around the time of opening day or Spring Training regarding the matter.

Lip, I know you weren't at Soxfest...but I really don't think Hawk was feeding anyone a line of bull****. On Sunday, in particular, Hawk was very candid and humble about some of his moves as GM. He was laughing when Ozzie ribbed him about putting Kenny Williams at thirdbase, Fisk in left, and the trading of Bobby Bonilla.

Hawk was talking about his good judgement in aquiring Bonilla.

ewokpelts
02-07-2004, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by Brian26
Not to start this debate up again, but just to be fair to Seal...

Is there a chance that somewhere between that January press conference and opening day, Fisk decided that he indeed did want to play leftfield?

I don't think there was any doubt that Fisk initially was totally opposed to it.

When Hawk said Fisk wanted to play left last weekend at Soxfest, maybe he was refering to Fisk's change of heart around Spring Training?

My memory doesn't serve me well in regards to this. It'd be nice to dig up some old stories around the time of opening day or Spring Training regarding the matter.

Lip, I know you weren't at Soxfest...but I really don't think Hawk was feeding anyone a line of bull****. On Sunday, in particular, Hawk was very candid and humble about some of his moves as GM. He was laughing when Ozzie ribbed him about putting Kenny Williams at thirdbase, Fisk in left, and the trading of Bobby Bonilla.

Also, Willams played third base in 1988...two years after Hawk stunk up the joint as gm...Himes was gm at the time
Gene

ewokpelts
02-07-2004, 02:45 PM
Fisk played in the outfield in 78, 79, 80, 81, 86, 87. Before 1986, he played a handful of games in outfield. In 1986, he played 31 games, and 1987, 2 games. He's also played first base and third base.
Gene

you can look these stats up here:
http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/stats_historical/mlb_player_locator_results.jsp?playerLocator=fisk

ewokpelts
02-07-2004, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by ewokpelts
Fisk played in the outfield in 78, 79, 80, 81, 86, 87. Before 1986, he played a handful of games in outfield. In 1986, he played 31 games, and 1987, 2 games. He's also played first base and third base.
Gene

you can look these stats up here:
http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/stats_historical/mlb_player_locator_results.jsp?playerLocator=fisk

Here's Kenny's stats too....

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/stats_historical/mlb_individual_stats_player.jsp?playerID=124322

Gene

ewokpelts
02-07-2004, 02:48 PM
and ozzie's:
http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/stats_historical/mlb_individual_stats_player.jsp?playerID=115230&section1=1&statSet1=1&section2=1&section3=1&statSet3=1&statSet2=3

Gene

TornLabrum
02-07-2004, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by ewokpelts
Also, Willams played third base in 1988...two years after Hawk stunk up the joint as gm...Himes was gm at the time
Gene

At the seminar Hawk said to Williams, "And who was it who moved you to third base?"

Williams did say, "Larry Himes."

Lip Man 1
02-07-2004, 08:39 PM
Brian says:

The White Sox organization isn't the only sports franchise that may spew bs every once in awhile.

"once in awhile? ?????"

You're joking right?

Lip

Brian26
02-07-2004, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Brian says:

The White Sox organization isn't the only sports franchise that may spew bs every once in awhile.

"once in awhile? ?????"

You're joking right?

Lip

Ugh.

No, I'm not joking.

SSN721
02-09-2004, 08:25 AM
Thanks for the article Lip, nice to get a clearer picture of what were vague memories to me. Learned more about that period of Sox history from my fathers recollections than my own. Good to get a real source shedding some light on that situation.

Baby Fisk
02-09-2004, 10:09 AM
Too many depressing threads this morning! Has everyone been hit by S.A.D. at the same time? :(:

RKMeibalane
02-11-2004, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
:reinsy
"And never was heard, a discouraging word..."

:hawk :KW :ozzie:
"...Where the deer and the antelope play!"

:maggs :walnuts

"And the skies are not cloudy all day!"