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View Full Version : TSN's Rosenthal spells it out


saltwater farmer
02-16-2004, 01:35 PM
http://www.foxsports.com/content/view?contentId=2148322 (http://)

optimistically speaking, the glass is looking half empty indeed.

MRKARNO
02-16-2004, 01:38 PM
Well it's good to know that one national sports commentator truly understands the situation

CubKilla
02-16-2004, 01:42 PM
Link is down. What did the article say? That the White Sox are a sad-sack team for being from Chicago?

MRKARNO
02-16-2004, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by CubKilla
Link is down. What did the article say? That the White Sox are a sad-sack team for being from Chicago?

http://www.foxsports.com/content/view?contentId=2148322

this link should work.

jeremyb1
02-16-2004, 01:46 PM
A couple thoughts. First, I respect Rosenthal but I think it borders on insanity to claim we might not even contend in the Central. We'd have to be below .500 to be completely out of the race prior to the end of the season with the lack of talent in this division. Does anyone really think the Twins or Royals are going to win 100 games or even 95 for that matter?

Second, I was shocked to see that we finished 21st in attendance last season. Doesn't that hurt the argument that you have to spend money to make money quite a bit? We brought in Colon, one of the top starters in the game the previous season, at nearly 10 million dollars, competed all season long, and added marquee names at the deadline and that couldn't get us near the upper half of teams in attendance? As always, I'd love to see a larger payroll and I think Reinsdorf should be putting more money into the team if possible but I'm not shocked that he wasn't convinced to add a ton of payroll after the results last season. We didn't win and we didn't have a huge spike in attendance. That'd make me think twice about investing 20 million dollars per season I don't have in the hopes that it will bring the fans out.

CubKilla
02-16-2004, 01:50 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
http://www.foxsports.com/content/view?contentId=2148322

this link should work.

Thanks MRKARNO. But Rosenthal obviously doesn't know the first thing about the White Sox since he called Frank Thomas "self-absorbed."

Lip Man 1
02-16-2004, 01:54 PM
I can tell you now that I had a hand in this story. Ken e-mailed me and asked if I'd give him a three or four paragraph summery of why Sox fans at so angry at ownership to help dovetail with the work that he had already done for the story.

Which I did. In addition I also e-mailed to him a 'timeline' of the important events both good and bad that have happened since this ownership took over as well as a large section of previously published quotes from an upcoming story for WSI called Jerry Reinsdorf : In their own words.

It was a real pleaseure to have played a very small part in this.

Ken did an exceptional job!

Lip

CubKilla
02-16-2004, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Second, I was shocked to see that we finished 21st in attendance last season. Doesn't that hurt the argument that you have to spend money to make money quite a bit? We brought in Colon, one of the top starters in the game the previous season, at nearly 10 million dollars, competed all season long, and added marquee names at the deadline and that couldn't get us near the upper half of teams in attendance?

The Sox weren't in contention, "all season long." The Sox struggled to stay above .500 the entire first half. The Everett and Alomar deals were completed, by in part, because the NYM and TEX agreed to pay the remainder of their respective '03 salaries. But look at the numbers. You'll see a spike in attendance after the White Sox gave the fans something..... ANYTHING..... to be excited about.

Lip Man 1
02-16-2004, 01:56 PM
Jeremy:

This team was garbage for the first two and a half months of the season. Look at the figures after mid June, what do you see?

How many sellouts? How many games with over 30,000?

Like Jimmy Piersall said on Chicago radio last month, the attendence figure was incredible given the season the Sox had through June. He went on to say Sox fans are the best in baseball for putting up with this ownership and still coming out in those numbers.

Lip

Kilroy
02-16-2004, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
I can tell you now that I had a hand in this story.

Boy, that sure explains a lot. If you wanna write gloom and doom about the White Sox, Lip is the perfect source.

CubKilla
02-16-2004, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by Kilroy
Boy, that sure explains a lot. If you wanna write gloom and doom about the White Sox, Lip is the perfect source.

Would you rather a fluff-piece exclaiming a team with Willie Harris, Aaron Rowand, and Miguel Olivo in the probable everyday starting line-ups are going to be world-beaters?

doublem23
02-16-2004, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by CubKilla
The Sox weren't in contention, "all season long." The Sox struggled to stay above .500 the entire first half. The Everett and Alomar deals were completed, by in part, because the NYM and TEX agreed to pay the remainder of their respective '03 salaries. But look at the numbers. You'll see a spike in attendance after the White Sox gave the fans something..... ANYTHING..... to be excited about.

Agreed. Also, I think most Sox fans who are apathetic to the franchise at best need more than a year of promised winnings to return. This team has to start showing a long-term commitment to winning before we can ever dream of having years of attendance revival. The Sox can't look at this in a year-to-year lens if they're ever going to get it right.

saltwater farmer
02-16-2004, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
We brought in Colon, one of the top starters in the game the previous season, at nearly 10 million dollars, competed all season long, and added marquee names at the deadline and that couldn't get us near the upper half of teams in attendance? As always, I'd love to see a larger payroll and I think Reinsdorf should be putting more money into the team if possible but I'm not shocked that he wasn't convinced to add a ton of payroll after the results last season. We didn't win and we didn't have a huge spike in attendance. That'd make me think twice about investing 20 million dollars per season I don't have in the hopes that it will bring the fans out.

First, apologies for the bum link -- rookie mistake, I guess. Secondly, nice assist, Lip Man. A very complete and concise summary of South Side baseball from you and Mr Rosenthal.

I don't think the issue is just spending (or not spending). The Red Sox got a lot out of a cast of under-priced talent last year (Muellar, Millar, Ortiz). The White Sox got a lot out of Loaiza. But to sit idly by as talent leaves en masse is absurd. The fans come out when the Sox are winning -- which didn't happen until well into the second half last year.

SoxFan76
02-16-2004, 02:06 PM
The guy makes a lot of sense. That article made me hate Reinsdorf even more. When he flat out says all the horrible things Jerry has done to us (the fans), that really pisses me off. I think signing Fisk was the only good thing that has ever been done under the watch of Reinsdorf.

poorme
02-16-2004, 02:07 PM
It will take many years of a concerted effort to bring the fans back.

Winning 86 or 88 games means nothing. Beating a team that was going to be contracted a couple of years ago means nothing. When we have a team worthy of going toe-to-toe with the big boys, maybe the fans will take notice.

Yeah, I know that's never going to happen.

CubKilla
02-16-2004, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by SoxFan76
I think signing Fisk was the only good thing that has ever been done under the watch of Reinsdorf.

And you can add Fisk's treatment and departure from the White Sox as yet another reason to completely despise JR and his ownership.

Iwritecode
02-16-2004, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
A couple thoughts. First, I respect Rosenthal but I think it borders on insanity to claim we might not even contend in the Central. We'd have to be below .500 to be completely out of the race prior to the end of the season with the lack of talent in this division. Does anyone really think the Twins or Royals are going to win 100 games or even 95 for that matter?

Second, I was shocked to see that we finished 21st in attendance last season. Doesn't that hurt the argument that you have to spend money to make money quite a bit? We brought in Colon, one of the top starters in the game the previous season, at nearly 10 million dollars, competed all season long, and added marquee names at the deadline and that couldn't get us near the upper half of teams in attendance? As always, I'd love to see a larger payroll and I think Reinsdorf should be putting more money into the team if possible but I'm not shocked that he wasn't convinced to add a ton of payroll after the results last season. We didn't win and we didn't have a huge spike in attendance. That'd make me think twice about investing 20 million dollars per season I don't have in the hopes that it will bring the fans out.

Geez, how many times does this have to be explained??? Attendance is a gradual thing and not affected in the least by payroll. It solely depends on how good the team on the field is. The attendance in 2000 was 1.95 million. The reason for that was because they won the division. The past two years the team has basically sucked. Thus, the attendance dropped all the way to 1.68 million in 2002. It shot back up again to 1.94 last year because the Sox were in contention for half the year. Had they not had such a horrible first half, I'm sure it would have been higher. That is about a 16% increase. Not quite as good as the 20% they had in 2000 (second highest in baseball that year), but not bad either. That proves that if the team wins, we will show up!

Now, here's the part some people don't understand: in order for it to go up again this year, the team needs to win. IF they do, I'm sure we'll break the 2 million mark this year. Then, if they continue to win, the attendance will eventually creep up somewhere between 2.5 - 3 million mark, just like in 91, 92 and 93 when they were (guess what?) WINNING!

Quit expecting them to be #1 in attendance when they haven't done anything to deserve that many people showing up every year. The teams that have high attendance are the ones that have been winning and making it to the post-season the past few years.

Well, except the Cubs I guess...

RichFitztightly
02-16-2004, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by CubKilla
Would you rather a fluff-piece exclaiming a team with Willie Harris, Aaron Rowand, and Miguel Olivo in the probable everyday starting line-ups are going to be world-beaters?

Maybe we should start doing fluff pieces. It works for the Flubbies. Hell, I can play the part of a brain-dead, half-retarded, lobotomy victim that represents the Flubbie Fan Base. You know the type, the one who will argue to the death about how great their team is when they're 20 games below .500 and 15 games out of first place. Maybe that'll boost attendance and put a winner on the field.

Kilroy
02-16-2004, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by CubKilla
Would you rather a fluff-piece exclaiming a team with Willie Harris, Aaron Rowand, and Miguel Olivo in the probable everyday starting line-ups are going to be world-beaters?

No, but most of what was in that piece was the same tired b.s. that is trotted out all the ****ing time.

White flag trade, steep UD, 94 strike. Get over it already. Its past, and it isn't changing. Instead of sitting around whining about the same bull**** all the time, think about this: Last off season was on of the best in a long time. Sox fans weren't that excited in the offseason since Belle signed. Problem is, just like when Belle signed, the team went on to suck in spite of the marquis move.

On the other hand, the last time we had a "ho-hum" off-season, kinda like this one was when we got rid of an obnoxious, cry-baby, over-paid pitcher, and picked up a mediocre shortstop, a 2nd run 3rd baseman w/ bad knees, and not much more. The Sox won the division that season.

Am I saying that will happen this time? No. But whining about the same **** year after year after year that has nothing to do with the games on the field, and the Cubs on top of it, is just assinine. Some of that stuff is just plain lies.

Its easier to get to Wrigley on game day than it is to US Cellular??? Bull****.

People are more able to go to day games than night games? Right.

Not only are the old standby complaints there, Rosenthal added a couple of new, imaginary ones.

And the six free agents the Sox lost? 2 were major, the rest, who cares? Alomar and Everett are both old and slow, Graffanino was a minor contributor, and Scott Sullivan appeared in 15 innings for the Sox. There's no make-or-breaks in that 4-some.

Of all of them, the only one I'm pissed about is Gordon.

Iwritecode
02-16-2004, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by poorme
It will take many years of a concerted effort to bring the fans back.

Winning 86 or 88 games means nothing. Beating a team that was going to be contracted a couple of years ago means nothing. When we have a team worthy of going toe-to-toe with the big boys, maybe the fans will take notice.

Yeah, I know that's never going to happen.

Some Sox fans consider 88 wins and beating the Twins a "sucessful" season. Then wonder why attendance isn't higher...

Fans of other teams aren't happy unless they win 90+ games and make it to the second round of the playoffs.

CubKilla
02-16-2004, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by Kilroy
No, but most of what was in that piece was the same tired b.s. that is trotted out all the ****ing time.

We ***** all the time. That's why the article is not foreign to us. I, for one, am glad to finally see in national print media what we here have been *****ing about for years now. Like it or not, to put any kind of pressure on this pathetic ownership, Sox fans are going to need the media on our side.

The more articles we see ripping this Organization the better IMO.

Kilroy
02-16-2004, 02:34 PM
Originally posted by CubKilla
We ***** all the time. That's why the article is not foreign to us. I, for one, am glad to finally see in national print media what we here have been *****ing about for years now. Like it or not, to put any kind of pressure on this pathetic ownership, Sox fans are going to need the media on our side.

The more articles we see ripping this Organization the better IMO.

That's where you're wrong. The only way to put pressure on ownership is to squeeze their pockets. You think Jerry cares that most of us think he's a fat-cat prick that doesn't care about winning, but only about how many churros he sold this season?

He couldn't give a ****.

But if we start cutting into his profits, he'll notice. If you just like to see JR and the Sox get ripped, subscribe to Mariotti's mailing list.

saltwater farmer
02-16-2004, 02:43 PM
I think there's merit to trotting out the littany of horrors at the hands of Reinsdorf. It illustrates the trends that characterize the ineptitude of his tenure. And Rosenthal is only providing an analysis of MLB teams leading up to Spring Training, fer chrissake. What else could he write about the team? All the creative front office moves since October?

Kilroy
02-16-2004, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by saltwater farmer
...Rosenthal is only providing an analysis of MLB teams leading up to Spring Training, fer chrissake. What else could he write about the team? All the creative front office moves since October?

He could write about what kind of season we might see from CLee, Maggs, Crede, or Frank. He could write about whether or not the supposed weak links at center and 2nd will be able to produce anything. How 'bout that in a Spring Training analysis?

dickallen15
02-16-2004, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by CubKilla
The Sox weren't in contention, "all season long." The Sox struggled to stay above .500 the entire first half. The Everett and Alomar deals were completed, by in part, because the NYM and TEX agreed to pay the remainder of their respective '03 salaries. But look at the numbers. You'll see a spike in attendance after the White Sox gave the fans something..... ANYTHING..... to be excited about.

So the trade for Colon last year wasn't anything to get excited about? What about 2000, when they won the division. They didn't draw 2,000,000 then. This notion that USCF will fill up when the White Sox win is pure garbage.

TornLabrum
02-16-2004, 02:50 PM
I recognized something I've been writing about in the "Fallen Arches" column for several weeks: "Williams never stops trying as G.M., but he failed in his goal to get to the playoffs last season and create additional revenue for the '04 payroll."

Huisj
02-16-2004, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by dickallen15
So the trade for Colon last year wasn't anything to get excited about? What about 2000, when they won the division. They didn't draw 2,000,000 then. This notion that USCF will fill up when the White Sox win is pure garbage.

in 2000, if i remember right, they drew lousy crowds for a long time. there were no expectations for the year, because the sox had been lousy in '99, so no one was all that excited when they started out hot. not until june and july did people start coming out a lot. and then they kind of just coasted to the playoffs in the last month and a half despite not really playing well. they were so beaten up and broken towards the end of the season that they really weren't playing all that well.

last year the team played about 4 months of pure corpseball, and maybe two months in the middle of good baseball. and even when they were playing good, they didn't seem like they were playing that good. the team underachieved so badly for so much of the year, it is amazing that they drew the fans they did.

poorme
02-16-2004, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by dickallen15
This notion that USCF will fill up when the White Sox win is pure garbage.

well, they averaged about 2.75 million from 91-93. How did that happen?

WinningUgly!
02-16-2004, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by poorme
well, they averaged about 2.75 million from 91-93. How did that happen?

The combination of the new stadium AND a good ball club.

hold2dibber
02-16-2004, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by dickallen15
So the trade for Colon last year wasn't anything to get excited about? What about 2000, when they won the division. They didn't draw 2,000,000 then. This notion that USCF will fill up when the White Sox win is pure garbage.

The Colon trade did create a lot of excitement, but in true White Sox fashion, the Sox sucked so horribly for the first three months last season that they were unable to turn that excitement into attendance. If the Sox had played well all year last year they would easily have drawn more than 2 million. And in 2000, attendance went up 20% over the prior year. The point is, you're completely right if you're saying that winning for one year (i.e., 2000) or less (i.e., 2 months of last year) will fill up the Cell. You're wrong, IMHO, if you think that consistent winning, and a general commitment to winning, won't fill up the Cell. And if you think otherwise, do you just think that it is hopeless and the Sox will never draw well, or do you think there's another solution other than winning on a consistent basis, year-in, year-out?

saltwater farmer
02-16-2004, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by Kilroy
He could write about whether or not the supposed weak links at center and 2nd will be able to produce anything. How 'bout that in a Spring Training analysis?

I think he did when he wrote, "Even in the weak A.L. Central, the Sox might not contend with Miguel Olivo at catcher, Willie Harris at second and Aaron Rowand in center."


Rather than argue about what he didn't write, I think throughout his piece he supports his lead-in:
"While angst-ridden Red Sox and Cubs fans mutter about curses, White Sox fans are far more deserving of sympathy. Their franchise is in an inexcusable funk, and not simply because it operates with small-market restraint in the nation's third-largest city."

He goes on to back up this argument rather well. And, as is proven daily on this site, White Sox fans' angst is a product of a long trend of bad moves, a few of which are illustrated in the current dilemma: a fundamental weakness in three, if not all four, positions up the middle. That's not where any team wants to be in med-February.

rahulsekhar
02-16-2004, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
The point is, you're completely right if you're saying that winning for one year (i.e., 2000) or less (i.e., 2 months of last year) will fill up the Cell. You're wrong, IMHO, if you think that consistent winning, and a general commitment to winning, won't fill up the Cell. And if you think otherwise, do you just think that it is hopeless and the Sox will never draw well, or do you think there's another solution other than winning on a consistent basis, year-in, year-out?

I think that the issue is that if you spend more and win the division, but lose in the playoffs, my current perception of Sox
fans is that they'll say "you didn't spend what it took to be a REAL contender", and won't come out. So JR gets to make the decision - do I spend into the red for a couple of years, make the playoffs but likely go no further and quite possibly have little to no attendance benefits? Or do I spend to break-even and hope to get a division?

Do you really think that Sox fans will be satisfied with a couple of division titles but likely no playoff series wins? Because from a revenue standpoint, there's no way the Sox can put themselves in position to be favorites in the playoffs. Not when the Yanks & BoSox are in the AL. IMO, Sox fans are almost the opposite of Cubs fans - they won't come out until/unless the team really wins and is a real WS contender (whereas Cubs fans don't care one way or the other as long as there's crappy beer and sunny days).

Note: I'm not putting the full blame on Sox fans, because I think the team does need to invest to rebuild the fan base. But I do put some on there that they haven't responded as well as I'd expect to quality moves in the past.

Happy Felsch Fan
02-16-2004, 04:36 PM
Hey, we won Divisions with Karko. I think Olivio can be just as good defensively and will hit better than Karko.
Karko, 1993- ave.228, 20HR, 128KO that was a good year for him.

Olivio only a baby. This is our catcher for the next six years. Learn to love Olivioooooooooooooo.

Rowland in center. Where are all the all-star centers these days? This position is weak all over the league.

Harris, this guy could be the best defensive 2nd baseman we have had since juice cruz.

Pitching wins games. Colon gave alot of innings true, but I never saw a more uninspiring guy in a white sox uni. I don't know how he was in the clubhouse but he was not exciting to watch and I doubt if he was a boon to attendance. I don't care to see his ugly face anymore, to heck with him and his money. I hope we slaughter him when we face him.

Give me young arms with a passion the loyalty only youth can bring. Give me that big bull behind the plate. Give me those speedy young legs at second. Screw Roberto and his agent. (I miss Everett for his competativeness and LH bat and Gordon with his wicked curve), but we will win this damn division anyway and you all will be on the edge of your seats for the playoffs.

pudge
02-16-2004, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
I can tell you now that I had a hand in this story.
Lip

That's great, the media relies on one of the most bitter fans in the history of sports to get its information.

hold2dibber
02-16-2004, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by rahulsekhar
I think that the issue is that if you spend more and win the division, but lose in the playoffs, my current perception of Sox
fans is that they'll say "you didn't spend what it took to be a REAL contender", and won't come out. So JR gets to make the decision - do I spend into the red for a couple of years, make the playoffs but likely go no further and quite possibly have little to no attendance benefits? Or do I spend to break-even and hope to get a division?

Do you really think that Sox fans will be satisfied with a couple of division titles but likely no playoff series wins? Because from a revenue standpoint, there's no way the Sox can put themselves in position to be favorites in the playoffs. Not when the Yanks & BoSox are in the AL. IMO, Sox fans are almost the opposite of Cubs fans - they won't come out until/unless the team really wins and is a real WS contender (whereas Cubs fans don't care one way or the other as long as there's crappy beer and sunny days).


Will Sox fans be satisfied with a couple of division titles but no playoff series wins? No. But will attendance go way up if Sox fans feel the organization truly is committed to winning and puts a team on the field, year in and year out, that is a legitimate threat to win? Yes. If the Sox were to field a team that is a legitimate 90+ win team each year for several years running, attendance will grow, the season ticket base will grow and the Sox will re-capture some of their lost fan base, regardless of whether that team actually goes far in the playoffs. This organization desperately needs to convince Sox fans that it is worthy of their trust. If the Sox say "we're committed to winning" and then prove it, year in and year out, attendance will grow. Trying to catch lightening in a bottle by hoping for career years out of a bunch of guys who have never proven themselves and counting on the weakness of the division, is not going to do it. It's all about a consistent, ongoing commitment to win. That, IMHO, is the only way this organization can undo the horrible damage it has done by PR mishap after PR mishap over the last 20 years.

Kilroy
02-16-2004, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by saltwater farmer
I think he did when he wrote, "Even in the weak A.L. Central, the Sox might not contend with Miguel Olivo at catcher, Willie Harris at second and Aaron Rowand in center."

From a supposed baseball expert, I expect a little more than "I think they'll suck." Back it up with some analysis.


Originally posted by saltwater farmer
Rather than argue about what he didn't write, I think throughout his piece he supports his lead-in:
"While angst-ridden Red Sox and Cubs fans mutter about curses, White Sox fans are far more deserving of sympathy. Their franchise is in an inexcusable funk, and not simply because it operates with small-market restraint in the nation's third-largest city."

I won't argue that he didn't support his point. But MY point was that this is the same crap that so many Sox fans have been whining and complaining about for years on end. Stop whining about the past. Its over. Live in the now.

PaulDrake
02-16-2004, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by pudge
That's great, the media relies on one of the most bitter fans in the history of sports to get its information. I don't agree with everything Lip writes, but most of his points if you look at them objectively and with Sox reality in mind are very well taken. In my opinion, this smacks of "shooting the messenger." By the way, great article by Rosenthal and my kudos to anyone at WSI who had some kind of hand in it.

joecrede
02-16-2004, 05:00 PM
Historically Sox attendance is poor. It's not that the team doesn't win, the UD is steep or the fans are bad, there just aren't that many of us and really never have been.

hold2dibber
02-16-2004, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by Kilroy
I won't argue that he didn't support his point. But MY point was that this is the same crap that so many Sox fans have been whining and complaining about for years on end. Stop whining about the past. Its over. Live in the now.

But what is old news to us as Sox fans has not been well-documented to the outside world. Sox fans get loads of crap when attendance doesn't zoom up any time the Sox have a half way decent team, but nobody reports on the reasons why Sox fans are so alienated and pissed at the organization. I am damn glad to see something written in the national media that reflects the frustrations of Sox fans. It may be old news to you, but I can guarantee you the problems chronicled by Rosenthal are not old news to people in Bakersfield or Baton Rougue who think Chicago is a one-team town.

hold2dibber
02-16-2004, 05:20 PM
Originally posted by joecrede
Historically Sox attendance is poor. It's not that the team doesn't win, the UD is steep or the fans are bad, there just aren't that many of us and really never have been.

Well, as the article points out, the Sox out-drew the Cubs virtually every year in the 50s and 60s and for the first half of the 90s. And even if I agreed with your point, there's no reason that it has to stay that way. For generations, the Dodgers have been the no. 1 team and the Angels the no. 2 team in the LA region. But the tables now are turning and the Angels are a force in the region, capable of outdrawing the Dodgers. There's no reason the Sox can't actually grow their fan base - they just haven't; instead, over the past 20 years, through a truly remarkable and hard-to-imagine series of horrific PR blunders, the organization has alienated and shrunk its fan base. But there's no reason it has to be that way. To me, that's the point.

hold2dibber
02-16-2004, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
I can tell you now that I had a hand in this story. Ken e-mailed me and asked if I'd give him a three or four paragraph summery of why Sox fans at so angry at ownership to help dovetail with the work that he had already done for the story.

Which I did. In addition I also e-mailed to him a 'timeline' of the important events both good and bad that have happened since this ownership took over as well as a large section of previously published quotes from an upcoming story for WSI called Jerry Reinsdorf : In their own words.

It was a real pleaseure to have played a very small part in this.

Ken did an exceptional job!

Lip

Lip:

Could you post the text of the summary and the timeline you sent him? I often rail about the various indignities forced upon Sox fans over the last few decades, but I'm sure there's stuff I'm forgetting - it would be helpful and interesting to see it all catalogued in one place. Thanks.

Happy Felsch Fan
02-16-2004, 05:37 PM
Here would be my answer to Rosey in the unlikely event he wanted my opinion.

The Sox love their blue collar underdog image. Sox jerseys and caps can be seen by rappers and retro Sox stuff is prized on the high stakes poker tour. We are the blackness of the night to the Cub sky blue.

We laugh at the fact that the '59 team was not mentioned on the Ken Burns PBS Baseball Series sponsered by the liberal PBS *******. Nellie Fox won the MVP over Mickey Mantle that year.

Our stadium is crap, our owner is in the fine tradition of Comiskey; Veeck was colorful but sold our best players, I miss the old stadium and Wilbur Wood. No mention of Wilbur Wood on the PBS special by the way.

The Sox revolutionized the game with their running style. Lets see more interviews with that bitch about her damn Brooklyn Dodgers or how about five more renditions of, "take me out to the ballgame?"

Sox fans are critical by nature but be careful to paint us all with the same brush. Some are optimistic and some are not. I for one am.

Rowland, Harris and Olivio are exellent young talents. As usual pitching and defense detirmines wins and maybe one of our young pitchers will step up. Things have never looked better. This is our year. The FA's we lost where old retreads anyway with the exception of the Colon who at times was terrible withstanding his innings eating.

In this day and age Chemistry is the most important ingredient to winning with a collection of young players and millionaires. Lets see what Ozzie can do.

Randar68
02-16-2004, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by Happy Felsch Fan
Here would be my answer to Rosey in the unlikely event he wanted my opinion.

The Sox love their blue collar underdog image. Sox jerseys and caps can be seen by rappers and retro Sox stuff is prized on the high stakes poker tour. We are the blackness of the night to the Cub sky blue.

We laugh at the fact that the '59 team was not mentioned on the Ken Burns PBS Baseball Series sponsered by the liberal PBS *******. Nellie Fox won the MVP over Mickey Mantle that year.

Our stadium is crap, our owner is in the fine tradition of Comiskey; Veeck was colorful but sold our best players, I miss the old stadium and Wilbur Wood. No mention of Wilbur Wood on the PBS special by the way.

The Sox revolutionized the game with their running style. Lets see more interviews with that bitch about her damn Brooklyn Dodgers or how about five more renditions of, "take me out to the ballgame?"

Sox fans are critical by nature but be careful to paint us all with the same brush. Some are optimistic and some are not. I for one am.

Rowland, Harris and Olivio are exellent young talents. As usual pitching and defense detirmines wins and maybe one of our young pitchers will step up. Things have never looked better. This is our year. The FA's we lost where old retreads anyway with the exception of the Colon who at times was terrible withstanding his innings eating.

In this day and age Chemistry is the most important ingredient to winning with a collection of young players and millionaires. Lets see what Ozzie can do.


For the love of Christ, people still can't spell Aaron ROWAND's name right!?!?!? There is not 'l', folks.

Daver
02-16-2004, 05:59 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
For the love of Christ, people still can't spell Aaron ROWAND's name right!?!?!? There is not 'l', folks.

I'm still wishing I had never been forced to learn how to spell it in the first place.

hftrex
02-16-2004, 06:01 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Jeremy:


Like Jimmy Piersall said on Chicago radio last month, the attendence figure was incredible given the season the Sox had through June. He went on to say Sox fans are the best in baseball for putting up with this ownership and still coming out in those numbers.

Lip


Jimmy Piersall is a moron.

Randar68
02-16-2004, 06:31 PM
Originally posted by Daver
I'm still wishing I had never been forced to learn how to spell it in the first place.

LOL! Me too, Daver... me too...

Kilroy
02-16-2004, 07:04 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
But what is old news to us as Sox fans has not been well-documented to the outside world. Sox fans get loads of crap when attendance doesn't zoom up any time the Sox have a half way decent team, but nobody reports on the reasons why Sox fans are so alienated and pissed at the organization. I am damn glad to see something written in the national media that reflects the frustrations of Sox fans. It may be old news to you, but I can guarantee you the problems chronicled by Rosenthal are not old news to people in Bakersfield or Baton Rougue who think Chicago is a one-team town.


Boo frickity hoo. Why should Sox fans care what people in Bakersfield or Baton Rouge think? Figure out what's important. Is it what people think of Sox fans, or what Sox fans think of the 25 guys wearing black and white pins on 35th?

The first thing many Sox fans need to learn is that no team ever won **** because they had good attendance. Proof is 8.1 miles north.

Lip Man 1
02-16-2004, 08:24 PM
Hold:

You can find the timeline here at WSI under the headline of The Reinsdorf years

Hftrex: Brilliant response . But that's not showing how his comments were wrong is it?

Kilroy: If you don't like it here you can always become a Cubs fan. Sorry is the BS gets old to you, losing and excuses get old to me too from this organization year after year. Hey nobody's telling you not to have a good time...go out to the park, get drunk, run on the field for all I care. If that makes you happy,go for it. What makes me happy is seeing the Sox in first place in the standings. To me that's whats important.

I think it's funny that you say that you don't care that fans in Bakersfield and Baton Rouge think that Sox fans are basically drunken morons who attack umpires. (metephorically speaking) Yet the moment someone in the national media or on ESPN slams the Sox and their fans, WSI is loaded with pissed off folks posting saying how 'ignorent' the media is. Well this story was one way to educate them.

Pudge: Needless to say Ken isn't relying on me for his stories. He asked for a summery being from the East Coast, on why he's been reading about the off season confrontations between fans and management. Why Sox fans are so angry at the ownership. That's all. If you don't think fans are angry at this organization that I don't think you're looking at the situation honestly.

And to all my many myopic critics, the day the Sox get to the World Series (If I'm still alive....considering how often they gotten there in the past) I'll write the biggest, most positive story you have EVER seen.

Lip

Kilroy
02-17-2004, 01:01 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Kilroy: If you don't like it here you can always become a Cubs fan. Sorry is the BS gets old to you, losing and excuses get old to me too from this organization year after year. Hey nobody's telling you not to have a good time...go out to the park, get drunk, run on the field for all I care. If that makes you happy,go for it. What makes me happy is seeing the Sox in first place in the standings. To me that's whats important.

I think it's funny that you say that you don't care that fans in Bakersfield and Baton Rouge think that Sox fans are basically drunken morons who attack umpires. (metephorically speaking) Yet the moment someone in the national media or on ESPN slams the Sox and their fans, WSI is loaded with pissed off folks posting saying how 'ignorent' the media is. Well this story was one way to educate them.

Typical. Anyone that doesn't just line up behind the Reinsdorf haters must be prime for Cub-dom.

The fact that I don't whine about things that happened 10 even 20 years ago doesn't mean that I accept all that Sox put forth, or that I'm not concerened about the Sox winning. Bottom line is we have plenty to complain about that's happening (or not happening) right now. So going back over the move to OnTv for the 67,000th time seems kinda stupid. But if you've got nothing better to do, and no place else to direct your energy, knock yourself out. But if seeing the Sox succeed on the field is really important to you, talk about that once in a while, instead of your steady stream of venom directed at Sox ownership.

If the folks Bakersfield or Baton Rouge are the sort that would characterize an entire group of people based on the actions of 2 individuals, they probably couldn't read this article that rehashed all the grievances Sox fans have w/ JR.

pudge
02-17-2004, 04:07 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Hold:

And to all my many myopic critics, the day the Sox get to the World Series (If I'm still alive....considering how often they gotten there in the past) I'll write the biggest, most positive story you have EVER seen.

Lip


And I promise to give Lip a big fat wet kiss. On second thought, make that only if we WIN the World Series...

:)

gosox41
02-17-2004, 08:48 AM
Originally posted by CubKilla
The Sox weren't in contention, "all season long." The Sox struggled to stay above .500 the entire first half. The Everett and Alomar deals were completed, by in part, because the NYM and TEX agreed to pay the remainder of their respective '03 salaries. But look at the numbers. You'll see a spike in attendance after the White Sox gave the fans something..... ANYTHING..... to be excited about.

But when the Sox got Colon you would think there would be more adnvaced ticket sales. Instead fans didn't come out until the team started winning. This is a reason why JR holds to the logic he has. He knows that if he spends a ton of money and the team flops he loses that much more. It's not worth the risk to him to get bogged down with big contracts when the team blows because he has very few loyal fans to support him. Part of this is his doing, but that's his logic whether you like it or not.

Bob

hold2dibber
02-17-2004, 09:18 AM
Originally posted by Kilroy
Boo frickity hoo. Why should Sox fans care what people in Bakersfield or Baton Rouge think? Figure out what's important. Is it what people think of Sox fans, or what Sox fans think of the 25 guys wearing black and white pins on 35th?

The first thing many Sox fans need to learn is that no team ever won **** because they had good attendance. Proof is 8.1 miles north.

Man are you missing the point. The missteps of the last 20 years have put the White Sox at a distinct competitive disadvantage. JR has made a mess of things and doesn't appear to have the vision or wherewithal to correct it (i.e., by doing anything and everything to put a consistent winner on the field). If you don't see the correlation between what Rosenthal wrote about and the the lack of success on the field, well, you've got blinders on.

And good attendance does not equal wins, necessarily. But do you think the Sox would have a better chance on the field in '04 if they had had the money (or had decided to spend the money) to sign Graffinino, Stairs, Bautista and Cameron than they have with the current roster?

jeremyb1
02-17-2004, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by Iwritecode
Geez, how many times does this have to be explained??? Attendance is a gradual thing and not affected in the least by payroll. It solely depends on how good the team on the field is. The attendance in 2000 was 1.95 million. The reason for that was because they won the division. The past two years the team has basically sucked. Thus, the attendance dropped all the way to 1.68 million in 2002. It shot back up again to 1.94 last year because the Sox were in contention for half the year. Had they not had such a horrible first half, I'm sure it would have been higher. That is about a 16% increase. Not quite as good as the 20% they had in 2000 (second highest in baseball that year), but not bad either. That proves that if the team wins, we will show up!

Now, here's the part some people don't understand: in order for it to go up again this year, the team needs to win. IF they do, I'm sure we'll break the 2 million mark this year. Then, if they continue to win, the attendance will eventually creep up somewhere between 2.5 - 3 million mark, just like in 91, 92 and 93 when they were (guess what?) WINNING!

Quit expecting them to be #1 in attendance when they haven't done anything to deserve that many people showing up every year. The teams that have high attendance are the ones that have been winning and making it to the post-season the past few years.

Well, except the Cubs I guess...

1) If the only major criteria is winning then why didn't we draw more in '00 when we were the best team in the AL for the entire season. 1.95 isn't bad but it would seem like '00 is as good a regular season as we can hope for and if that's what it takes to make this team a huge draw again, 1.95 isn't all that incredible.

2) If we were "out of contention" early in the season then we couldn't have come so close to winning the playoffs in my opinion. Out of contention would've mean we didn't have a chance. If we put an exciting, talented club on the field why didn't the fans give the team the benefit of the doubt and come out when they were around .500 with a ton of ball left to play.

3) If winning is the only consideration, why should the Chairman be expected to blindly throw money around? Clearly you can win without spending a lot of money ('00 Sox, the A's) and you can lose while spending a lot of money (Mets). Asking someone to risk 20 million the team doesn't necessarily have on moves that may not yield any success and therefore may not yield any increase in attendance is a huge financial risk. What if Colon get 13 million and has a poor season or other players struggle and we don't win? The owner has just lost 13 million dollars without achieving any winning and therefore any success at the box office. The team is now a huge amount of money in the red perhaps and needs to be resusscitated by the commissoners office to stay above ground.

hold2dibber
02-17-2004, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
1) If the only major criteria is winning then why didn't we draw more in '00 when we were the best team in the AL for the entire season. 1.95 isn't bad but it would seem like '00 is as good a regular season as we can hope for and if that's what it takes to make this team a huge draw again, 1.95 isn't all that incredible.

Catching lightening in a bottle and overachieving/surprising people in one given season is not enough to re-capture the many, many fans who have abandoned the team over the last 20 years or to capture the attention of the "casual" fan for whom Chicago baseball = Cubs and the White Sox aren't even an after thought. To affect any real change in attendance, the Sox have to change the very perception of the team and organization, i.e., from an untrustworthy, tightwad, mediocre organization to a first class, committed, winning organization. One good season will get the die hards through the gates more often and might draw marginally more casual fans, but it isn't nearly enough to get the attendance where you would think it should be in a market of this size.

2) If we were "out of contention" early in the season then we couldn't have come so close to winning the playoffs in my opinion. Out of contention would've mean we didn't have a chance. If we put an exciting, talented club on the field why didn't the fans give the team the benefit of the doubt and come out when they were around .500 with a ton of ball left to play.

Because they were horrendous. You're right in that they weren't technically "out of contention" but they were absolutely horrible to watch. They played stupid, unfocused, and completely uninspired baseball. They may have been talented, but they sure as hell weren't exciting until July - they were just the opposite. See also my comments to no. 1, above.

3) If winning is the only consideration, why should the Chairman be expected to blindly throw money around? Clearly you can win without spending a lot of money ('00 Sox, the A's) and you can lose while spending a lot of money (Mets). Asking someone to risk 20 million the team doesn't necessarily have on moves that may not yield any success and therefore may not yield any increase in attendance is a huge financial risk. What if Colon get 13 million and has a poor season or other players struggle and we don't win? The owner has just lost 13 million dollars without achieving any winning and therefore any success at the box office. The team is now a huge amount of money in the red perhaps and needs to be resusscitated by the commissoners office to stay above ground.

So, if I may, your point is that the Sox shouldn't spend in the red to field a better team because they still might not win and they're already losing too much money. So, instead, they field a mediocre (at best) team that will continue to lose more money. What a solution! The Sox are an absolute model of mediocrity on the field over the last 7 or 8 years (2000 being the lone exception). According to you, the result is that they're a "huge amount of money in the red." So how do you propose they fix it? What they're doing isn't producing a winner, isn't generating attendance, isn't doing anything to slow the Cubs' domination of the city, and is causing ownership to lose a ton of money (allegedly). Something's got to give. The obvious way to turn it around, IMHO, is what I said in response to your number (1), above. It's not without risk, I admit, as it will cost money and it might not work. But what they're doing now definitely is not working.

Iwritecode
02-17-2004, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
1) If the only major criteria is winning then why didn't we draw more in '00 when we were the best team in the AL for the entire season. 1.95 isn't bad but it would seem like '00 is as good a regular season as we can hope for and if that's what it takes to make this team a huge draw again, 1.95 isn't all that incredible.


Attendance has a lot to do with the number of season ticket holders they have that year. IIRC, in 2000 there were under 10K. To draw 1.95M they had to average almost 25,000 a game that year. That means they had to have sold an average of over 15,000 walk-up tickets every day! That's expecting a lot no matter who the team is. The season tickets were low because nobody expected anything out of that team. If management would make the moves in the offseason to make everyone sit up and say "Holy crap this team is going to be good", then maybe the season tickets would go up to somewhere around 15-20K or more. Instead they add one or two players and hope everyone else plays at or above their expectations. Then they say, "well, if we're still in contention at the break, we'll add some more players." Good teams do that before the season starts...

Originally posted by jeremyb1
2) If we were "out of contention" early in the season then we couldn't have come so close to winning the playoffs in my opinion. Out of contention would've mean we didn't have a chance. If we put an exciting, talented club on the field why didn't the fans give the team the benefit of the doubt and come out when they were around .500 with a ton of ball left to play.

There was nobody coming out when they were ten games under .500, the team was lifeless and it was still cold in Chicago. After the ASB and the aquisition of Alomar and Everett, the team got back above .500 and started showing some signs of life. That's when the attendance really started getting a boost.

Originally posted by jeremyb1
3) If winning is the only consideration, why should the Chairman be expected to blindly throw money around? Clearly you can win without spending a lot of money ('00 Sox, the A's) and you can lose while spending a lot of money (Mets). Asking someone to risk 20 million the team doesn't necessarily have on moves that may not yield any success and therefore may not yield any increase in attendance is a huge financial risk. What if Colon get 13 million and has a poor season or other players struggle and we don't win? The owner has just lost 13 million dollars without achieving any winning and therefore any success at the box office. The team is now a huge amount of money in the red perhaps and needs to be resusscitated by the commissoners office to stay above ground.

You have to spend money to make money. It's as simple as that. If JR owns the team because he wants to make money instead of win, yet the team continues to do neither (supposedly), then why is he still around? At least if they took a chance they it might work out and the rewards would certainly out weigh the risk. If it doesn't work and they end up in last place, then maybe they can luck out like the Cubs did and get some really good draft picks. How do you think they built 2/5ths of their pitching staff???


The mediocrity year in and year out is just spinning wheels in the mud...

jeremyb1
02-17-2004, 06:51 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
Catching lightening in a bottle and overachieving/surprising people in one given season is not enough to re-capture the many, many fans who have abandoned the team over the last 20 years or to capture the attention of the "casual" fan for whom Chicago baseball = Cubs and the White Sox aren't even an after thought. To affect any real change in attendance, the Sox have to change the very perception of the team and organization, i.e., from an untrustworthy, tightwad, mediocre organization to a first class, committed, winning organization. One good season will get the die hards through the gates more often and might draw marginally more casual fans, but it isn't nearly enough to get the attendance where you would think it should be in a market of this size.

Asking for a lot more than a 95 win season is a lot. Making the club every season without one of the higher payrolls in the game is quite difficult. As far as I can tell, the A's are the only team that has done so and all that's bought them is the 17th best attendance in baseball. I disagree with the "mediocre" label. From eyeballing it, I'd say the Sox combined record over the past 5 seasons is in the upper third of baseball. At a minimum they've had legitimate chances of winning their division three out of the past four seasons. You may be right that it will take several playoff seasons in a row with a large payroll for the Sox to get fans back, but is that necessarily within the team's means? I'm not sure its a given that it is simply because we're opperating in a large market. If the team raised payroll to 80 million to resign Colon, Gordon, Graffanino, and Sullivan this offseason and made the playoffs each of the next two seasons would that raise attendance to 35 million? I'm not so sure it would.

Originally posted by hold2dibber
Because they were horrendous. You're right in that they weren't technically "out of contention" but they were absolutely horrible to watch. They played stupid, unfocused, and completely uninspired baseball. They may have been talented, but they sure as hell weren't exciting until July - they were just the opposite. See also my comments to no. 1, above.

That may be true but it flies in the face of arguments that the team needs to abandon its "tightwad" image and add big name players to get fans to come out. People put forth the idea that the Colon trade had energized the fan base and upped season ticket sales but obviously adding big name players to a good team alone and increasing payroll is no guarantee of attendance.

Originally posted by hold2dibber
So, if I may, your point is that the Sox shouldn't spend in the red to field a better team because they still might not win and they're already losing too much money. So, instead, they field a mediocre (at best) team that will continue to lose more money. What a solution! The Sox are an absolute model of mediocrity on the field over the last 7 or 8 years (2000 being the lone exception). According to you, the result is that they're a "huge amount of money in the red." So how do you propose they fix it? What they're doing isn't producing a winner, isn't generating attendance, isn't doing anything to slow the Cubs' domination of the city, and is causing ownership to lose a ton of money (allegedly). Something's got to give. The obvious way to turn it around, IMHO, is what I said in response to your number (1), above. It's not without risk, I admit, as it will cost money and it might not work. But what they're doing now definitely is not working.

My idea is that the White Sox have a 200 million dollar payroll like the Yankees. I couldn't care less about the Chairman's finances. Its not my money so I say spend as much as humanly possible.

I never stated the Sox were a bunch of money in the red I stated that it seems possible to me that raising the payroll by 20 million dollars would not make the business worthwhile for the owners of the club. Again, if I could do anything I'd raise the payroll in hopes the fans come out but its not my money. Of course I'd risk money I don't have to see if it works. My point is that if I were a businessman and operating the team as a business to make profits - or at least manage not to lose money - for myself and my business partners I would look at the situation differently than many fans seem to. Some fans seem to operate under the assumption that if we have 70 million to spend we should raise the payroll to 90 million because that will cause the fans to come out and we'll get all the money the team spent back. I'm not so sure that's a given. If I was actually risking my own money and sending the team towards bankruptcy I would not be willing to spend money I didn't have in the hopes that raising payroll will lead to an increased payroll and then hoping that more wins bring out many, many more fans. Its a possibility that that would happen but its far from a given in my opinion.

jeremyb1
02-17-2004, 07:00 PM
Originally posted by Iwritecode
Attendance has a lot to do with the number of season ticket holders they have that year. IIRC, in 2000 there were under 10K. To draw 1.95M they had to average almost 25,000 a game that year. That means they had to have sold an average of over 15,000 walk-up tickets every day! That's expecting a lot no matter who the team is. The season tickets were low because nobody expected anything out of that team. If management would make the moves in the offseason to make everyone sit up and say "Holy crap this team is going to be good", then maybe the season tickets would go up to somewhere around 15-20K or more. Instead they add one or two players and hope everyone else plays at or above their expectations. Then they say, "well, if we're still in contention at the break, we'll add some more players." Good teams do that before the season starts...

Like last season when we had a team that contended the season before and added one of the best pitchers in baseball the previous season? That supposedly generated a lot of excitement but apparently not enough.

Originally posted by Iwritecode
There was nobody coming out when they were ten games under .500, the team was lifeless and it was still cold in Chicago. After the ASB and the aquisition of Alomar and Everett, the team got back above .500 and started showing some signs of life. That's when the attendance really started getting a boost.

The low point was 26-34 on June 6th. It didn't look good at that point but we weren't double digits out of first or anything. If adding payroll and exciting talent to the club reengergized the fanbase and showed them we weren't a "tightwad", "mediocre" club I don't think attendance should've dwindled down to nothing. Most of that time we weren't even 8 games under we were 4 or 5.

Originally posted by Iwritecode
You have to spend money to make money. It's as simple as that. If JR owns the team because he wants to make money instead of win, yet the team continues to do neither (supposedly), then why is he still around? At least if they took a chance they it might work out and the rewards would certainly out weigh the risk. If it doesn't work and they end up in last place, then maybe they can luck out like the Cubs did and get some really good draft picks. How do you think they built 2/5ths of their pitching staff???

I would argue that most likely JR and the owners are full of it and he is making a significant amount of money but I can't really say. The other possibility is that he's at break even or losing money because this club has a chance to win. As much as the term "mediocre" is thrown around in this thread, the Sox have been in contention the majority of the past five seasons. I would hardly say that indicates failing to make the playoffs is a forgone conclusion.

hold2dibber
02-17-2004, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Asking for a lot more than a 95 win season is a lot. Making the club every season without one of the higher payrolls in the game is quite difficult. As far as I can tell, the A's are the only team that has done so and all that's bought them is the 17th best attendance in baseball. I disagree with the "mediocre" label. From eyeballing it, I'd say the Sox combined record over the past 5 seasons is in the upper third of baseball. At a minimum they've had legitimate chances of winning their division three out of the past four seasons. You may be right that it will take several playoff seasons in a row with a large payroll for the Sox to get fans back, but is that necessarily within the team's means? I'm not sure its a given that it is simply because we're opperating in a large market. If the team raised payroll to 80 million to resign Colon, Gordon, Graffanino, and Sullivan this offseason and made the playoffs each of the next two seasons would that raise attendance to 35 million? I'm not so sure it would.

So what would you do if you owned this team? It sounds like you are a proponent of doing exactly what they're doing now - patching together a team each year based upon actual revenue (allegedly) and hoping to catch lightening in a bottle. The problem with that plan is that it likely will result, IMHO, with the Sox being further and further marginalized in this town and with the fan base continuing to shrink - so revenues go down, payroll goes down, interest/attendance goes down, etc., etc.



That may be true but it flies in the face of arguments that the team needs to abandon its "tightwad" image and add big name players to get fans to come out. People put forth the idea that the Colon trade had energized the fan base and upped season ticket sales but obviously adding big name players to a good team alone and increasing payroll is no guarantee of attendance.

Again, my contention is that it takes more than trading for a single high priced guy in his contract year to shed a "tightwad" image cultivated over the course of 20 some years. I'll say it again: adding big name players and adding payroll in the short term is not what the team needs to grow the fan base - they need to make people believe that the organization is committed to winning, period. Anyone who suggests that the Sox can undo the damage done over the past 20 years (or the past 10 years) in one season is nuts (short of a World Series win).

My idea is that the White Sox have a 200 million dollar payroll like the Yankees. I couldn't care less about the Chairman's finances. Its not my money so I say spend as much as humanly possible.

I never stated the Sox were a bunch of money in the red I stated that it seems possible to me that raising the payroll by 20 million dollars would not make the business worthwhile for the owners of the club. Again, if I could do anything I'd raise the payroll in hopes the fans come out but its not my money. Of course I'd risk money I don't have to see if it works. My point is that if I were a businessman and operating the team as a business to make profits - or at least manage not to lose money - for myself and my business partners I would look at the situation differently than many fans seem to. Some fans seem to operate under the assumption that if we have 70 million to spend we should raise the payroll to 90 million because that will cause the fans to come out and we'll get all the money the team spent back. I'm not so sure that's a given. If I was actually risking my own money and sending the team towards bankruptcy I would not be willing to spend money I didn't have in the hopes that raising payroll will lead to an increased payroll and then hoping that more wins bring out many, many more fans. Its a possibility that that would happen but its far from a given in my opinion.

That is a completely rational and defendable position, but to be blunt, I think it is short sighted and doomed to fail. Why? Because I think that continuing to operate under the current system will result in a long, slow painful decline for the franchise. The Cubs are poised to be a contender for years to come and finally seem willing to commit to winning - they have a HUGE leg up in the competition for the hearts, minds and wallets of baseball fans and potential baseball fans throughout the state and surrounding areas. If the Sox just continue to tread water, the fan base will continue to shrink, attendance will shrink, payroll will shrink, and the team will get progressively worse and worse. If I were an owner, I would either throw in some of my own capital to try to turn this ship around, or I'd sell now. Because what they're doing now is not going to work and, IMHO, is only going to get worse.

hold2dibber
02-17-2004, 07:34 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
As much as the term "mediocre" is thrown around in this thread, the Sox have been in contention the majority of the past five seasons. I would hardly say that indicates failing to make the playoffs is a forgone conclusion.

'95: 68-75
'96: 85-77
'97: 80-81
'98: 80-82
'99: 75-86
'00: 95-67
'01: 83-79
'02: 81-81
'03: 86-76

Average number of wins in the last 8 years? 83.125. In the last 9 years, since the strike that killed the organizational momentum built in the early 90s, they've been over .500 4 times, under .500 4 times and exactly .500 1 time. That's about as mediocre as mediocre gets.

Man Soo Lee
02-17-2004, 07:35 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Like last season when we had a team that contended the season before and added one of the best pitchers in baseball the previous season? That supposedly generated a lot of excitement but apparently not enough.

The 2002 Sox didn't contend. They were buried before summer and finished 13.5 out.

In another thread, you claimed Colon was only worth 3 extra wins. So, why should anyone have expected them to contend when last season started?

chisox06
02-17-2004, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by Kilroy
Boy, that sure explains a lot. If you wanna write gloom and doom about the White Sox, Lip is the perfect source.

We've lost 6 free agents, and put much of out top talent on the block. There is not a whole lot to be happy about.

Lip Man 1
02-17-2004, 08:24 PM
Jeremy says: "I disagree with the "mediocre" label."

I'm surprised Jeremy. As someone who adors stats and numbers I'd think you would have already figured out that the Sox average record the past six seasons is 83-79.

Let's see one playoff appearance and zero wins thrown in for good measure.

Sounds like mediocrity to me.

But remember the organization does very well for the amount of money they spend!

Lip

TornLabrum
02-17-2004, 11:19 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Jeremy says: "I disagree with the "mediocre" label."

I'm surprised Jeremy. As someone who adors stats and numbers I'd think you would have already figured out that the Sox average record the past six seasons is 83-79.

Let's see one playoff appearance and zero wins thrown in for good measure.

Sounds like mediocrity to me.

But remember the organization does very well for the amount of money they spend!

Lip

Hey! They finished in second place, didn't they? How can that be mediocre?

jeremyb1
02-17-2004, 11:33 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
So what would you do if you owned this team? It sounds like you are a proponent of doing exactly what they're doing now - patching together a team each year based upon actual revenue (allegedly) and hoping to catch lightening in a bottle. The problem with that plan is that it likely will result, IMHO, with the Sox being further and further marginalized in this town and with the fan base continuing to shrink - so revenues go down, payroll goes down, interest/attendance goes down, etc., etc.

Again, my contention is that it takes more than trading for a single high priced guy in his contract year to shed a "tightwad" image cultivated over the course of 20 some years. I'll say it again: adding big name players and adding payroll in the short term is not what the team needs to grow the fan base - they need to make people believe that the organization is committed to winning, period. Anyone who suggests that the Sox can undo the damage done over the past 20 years (or the past 10 years) in one season is nuts (short of a World Series win).

That is a completely rational and defendable position, but to be blunt, I think it is short sighted and doomed to fail. Why? Because I think that continuing to operate under the current system will result in a long, slow painful decline for the franchise. The Cubs are poised to be a contender for years to come and finally seem willing to commit to winning - they have a HUGE leg up in the competition for the hearts, minds and wallets of baseball fans and potential baseball fans throughout the state and surrounding areas. If the Sox just continue to tread water, the fan base will continue to shrink, attendance will shrink, payroll will shrink, and the team will get progressively worse and worse. If I were an owner, I would either throw in some of my own capital to try to turn this ship around, or I'd sell now. Because what they're doing now is not going to work and, IMHO, is only going to get worse.

I don't know what I'd do if I owned the club. Its incredibly hard to say without any knowledge of the club's finances. Its also hard for me to think that way because I'm a fan who will never see that type of money in my life not a business tycoon. I'd probably try to overextend the budget to see if its possible to stimulate interest as it is but my point is that shrewd businessmen may not think that way. It may make a lot more sense for them financially to play it safe and make a solid amount of money instead of taking a huge risk to make a ton of money.

I think that saying this team has cultivated an image of being cheap over 20 years is an overstatement. Up until '95, attendance was outstanding so we're talking less than 10 years of problems with attendance. Also, we made Belle the game's highest paid player in '98. It seems to me that these problems are recent and probably have a lot to do with 1) Sammy's home runs 2) the effect of escalating ticket prices on a largely blue collar fan base and 3) the strike. Our payroll stands at 65 million right now and to make a huge PR splash comparable to what the Angels did this offseason I think you're looking at another 25 million which is quite a bit of money. Its a lot easier to do that if you're a club like Anaheim that is already drawing a lot of fans. Its possible that money is in the budget and that JR is simply pocketing it now but for all I know he's telling the truth and we're operating at close to break even in which case I just don't know if its feasible to spend money you don't have. What happens if the fans don't come?

You could argue things will only get worse but I could see the argument that they can't get much worse. You can argue that there are enough people in Chicago that a second team will always have some minimal support as we have now. The Cubs can only fit so many people into Wrigley and tradition will keep a minimal amount of Sox fans in the fold operating in one of the nation's largest markets. Now I agree that that's a terrible attitude for ownership to have but it might be true. You have to keep in mind that owners are operating as a business first and foremost and its possible that the most profitable or fiscally responsible way of running a club contradicts the fans desires.

jeremyb1
02-18-2004, 12:03 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Jeremy says: "I disagree with the "mediocre" label."

I'm surprised Jeremy. As someone who adors stats and numbers I'd think you would have already figured out that the Sox average record the past six seasons is 83-79.

Let's see one playoff appearance and zero wins thrown in for good measure.

Sounds like mediocrity to me.

But remember the organization does very well for the amount of money they spend!

I don't have the numbers for the rest of baseball but I'm willing to bet an average record of 83 wins is near the upper third of baseball if not close. Certain clubs like the Yankees with their 200 million dollar payroll are also obviously going to finish ahead of us. An average of 81 wins would be average and we're winning two more games than that per season. That means we're 12 games over five hundered over that time period which isn't bad by any means.

jeremyb1
02-18-2004, 12:07 AM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
'95: 68-75
'96: 85-77
'97: 80-81
'98: 80-82
'99: 75-86
'00: 95-67
'01: 83-79
'02: 81-81
'03: 86-76

Average number of wins in the last 8 years? 83.125. In the last 9 years, since the strike that killed the organizational momentum built in the early 90s, they've been over .500 4 times, under .500 4 times and exactly .500 1 time. That's about as mediocre as mediocre gets.

I feel like that time period (and probably any time period for that manner) is going to be somewhat arbitrary. If you start from '00 which you can argue would be logical since we were rebuilding before that or from the time the chairman first owned the club including our stellar records in the early 90s you'd get better results. Still, when you consider how poorly a lot of teams do I'd be willing to bet our record over that time period rates relatively well. You can take a team like the Twins that have bested us recently and we'd rank ahead of them because of their dreadful records in the mid 90s or a team like the Cubs that made the playoffs last season but had a number of dreadful seasons despite outspending us. Teams that rate ahead of us are going to be clubs like the Yankees and Red Sox that have consistently spent more than any club in baseball including the Cubs.

Dan H
02-18-2004, 10:45 AM
Originally posted by pudge
That's great, the media relies on one of the most bitter fans in the history of sports to get its information.

And one of the most knowledgeable ones. What many fans won't face up is that the Sox have done all they can to alienate the people they need the most. Also, putting a so-so product on the field and then demanding blind support won't cut it. Blaming the fans is no solution. Showing some real commitment to winning will help. You have to do better than hope to win the weakest division in baseball.

Lip Man 1
02-18-2004, 11:48 AM
Jeremy:

The reason that I use the last six seasons is because of a 'little' event that took place in July 1997. You may have heard of it, the "White Flag Trade."

You know the deal that was supposed to put the Sox over the top in the future. LOL

and forgive my cynicism..... but 12 games OVER .500

WOW!! YIPEE!! I CAN HARDLY CONTAIN THE JOY.

Now there's a goal we can all rally around!

But remember the numbers say the Sox do very well for the money they spend!

"It's obvious we're disappointed with the way our ballclub has played this year, with our record... no question about it. We were faced with losing Alvarez and Roberto and getting nothing, as we did with Alex (Fernandez). Now we’ve added a half dozen talented young players. Two or three have a chance of being stars, according to our scouts . . . . If they're half right, we're in great shape." -- Jerry Reinsdorf to the Chicago Tribune. August 1, 1997.


Lip

jeremyb1
02-18-2004, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Jeremy:

The reason that I use the last six seasons is because of a 'little' event that took place in July 1997. You may have heard of it, the "White Flag Trade."

You know the deal that was supposed to put the Sox over the top in the future. LOL

and forgive my cynicism..... but 12 games OVER .500

WOW!! YIPEE!! I CAN HARDLY CONTAIN THE JOY.

Now there's a goal we can all rally around!

But remember the numbers say the Sox do very well for the money they spend!

"It's obvious we're disappointed with the way our ballclub has played this year, with our record... no question about it. We were faced with losing Alvarez and Roberto and getting nothing, as we did with Alex (Fernandez). Now we’ve added a half dozen talented young players. Two or three have a chance of being stars, according to our scouts . . . . If they're half right, we're in great shape." -- Jerry Reinsdorf to the Chicago Tribune. August 1, 1997.

I feel like there are a great number of falsehoods in that post, Lip. The argument that the White Flag trade was said to put us over the top is complete conjecture on your part. The quote you mention completely disproves your claim as Reinsdorf claims there is a chance a few of the players would be stars. The logic behind the White Flag deal was probably more along the lines of "we're not going to contend or resign these players so why get prospects better than we'd get through compensation picks and avoid paying their salary the rest of the season". That's not the same as "there's a good chance we'll make the playoffs but we have to give up that opportunity because these prospects guarantee several championships the next few seasons" as you'd seem to suggest.

hold2dibber
02-18-2004, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
I feel like that time period (and probably any time period for that manner) is going to be somewhat arbitrary. If you start from '00 which you can argue would be logical since we were rebuilding before that or from the time the chairman first owned the club including our stellar records in the early 90s you'd get better results. Still, when you consider how poorly a lot of teams do I'd be willing to bet our record over that time period rates relatively well. You can take a team like the Twins that have bested us recently and we'd rank ahead of them because of their dreadful records in the mid 90s or a team like the Cubs that made the playoffs last season but had a number of dreadful seasons despite outspending us. Teams that rate ahead of us are going to be clubs like the Yankees and Red Sox that have consistently spent more than any club in baseball including the Cubs.

The seasons I took were not arbitrary. This thread is about the bitterness that Sox fans feel toward the organization and what the organization needs to do to turn it around. As the attendance figures pretty clearly show, the bitterness many feel towards the organization started in 1995, after the strike. Things were going quite well until that time. Sox fans were alienated at that time and being entirely mediocre since that time obviously has not been nearly enough to un-alienate them.

jeremyb1
02-18-2004, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
The seasons I took were not arbitrary. This thread is about the bitterness that Sox fans feel toward the organization and what the organization needs to do to turn it around. As the attendance figures pretty clearly show, the bitterness many feel towards the organization started in 1995, after the strike. Things were going quite well until that time. Sox fans were alienated at that time and being entirely mediocre since that time obviously has not been nearly enough to un-alienate them.

Clearly though more recent seasons have a larger impact on current attendance than seasons from 9 years ago. If we'd won the World Series two seasons in a row it wouldn't make sense to argue that attendance is low because we didn't play well in the few seasons following the strike.

Iwritecode
02-18-2004, 03:28 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Clearly though more recent seasons have a larger impact on current attendance than seasons from 9 years ago. If we'd won the World Series two seasons in a row it wouldn't make sense to argue that attendance is low because we didn't play well in the few seasons following the strike.

Couple not playing well in the few season following the strike with JR pissing off fans left and right for the past 10 years and you have a lot of Sox fans that are still holding grudges.

Attendance was holding above 2.5 million in 91 - 93. It obviously dropped in 94 & 95 because of the strike. It started going back up in 96 and then the WFT hit and it dropped off again. It continued to go down until 2000. It started dropping again in 01 and 02 but shot back up in 03.

The problem is that whenever the attendance has started to go back up, something has happened (Strike, WFT, team sucks) to cause it to start dropping again the very next year.

If they could manage to show a commitment to winning in the off-season (like last year) and actually win during the season (like 93 or 2000) at the same time and do it a couple years in a row, the attendance would be back up to 2.5M+ within a few years.

hftrex
02-18-2004, 07:41 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
I feel like there are a great number of falsehoods in that post, Lip. The argument that the White Flag trade was said to put us over the top is complete conjecture on your part. The quote you mention completely disproves your claim as Reinsdorf claims there is a chance a few of the players would be stars. The logic behind the White Flag deal was probably more along the lines of "we're not going to contend or resign these players so why get prospects better than we'd get through compensation picks and avoid paying their salary the rest of the season". That's not the same as "there's a good chance we'll make the playoffs but we have to give up that opportunity because these prospects guarantee several championships the next few seasons" as you'd seem to suggest.


Since when has Lip ever been honest? He's so consumed with hatred for the White Sox, he'll write anything if he thinks that it will make the Sox look even worse.

batmanZoSo
02-18-2004, 07:47 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
http://www.foxsports.com/content/view?contentId=2148322

this link should work.


There's no way in holy hell Wrigley is more accesible than Comiskey.

South Sider
02-20-2004, 05:02 PM
After reading this article I wanna say just 2 things

1. Thank You
2. Amen

Despite all of that

Go SOX !!!!!!

stillz
02-20-2004, 05:11 PM
I agree with that sentiment.