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Lip Man 1
10-21-2004, 01:12 PM
As Mickster and I were discussing in another threat the White Sox situation in regards to Alex Rodriguez during the off season after 2000 may have some similarities to the talk about the Sox showing interest in Carlos Beltran.

Both for example have the same agent, both are going to want very high salaried / long term deals. And Jerry Reinsdorf is still the Sox owner. So with that in mind here is 'some' material on those negotiations from almost four years ago.

This is NOT a complete documentation. I'm still attempting to go through the Sun Times archives which is where I remember reading about the Reinsdorf request to meet with Rodriguez without Scott Boras present. I also heard the story on what was then One On One Sports Radio (now The Sporting News Radio Network)

I will attempt to keep updating as I get more material.

Let me thank Sox fan/author and friend to WSI Bob Vanderberg of the Tribune for his help in getting this material! This material reprinted with permission.

Chicago Tribune Copyright 2000 Chicago Tribune
Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2000 Edition: Chicago Sports Final Section: Sports Page: 1 Zone: N Source: Rick Morrissey.


SOX DIDN'T NEED SHORTSTOP ANYWAY --NOW A PITCHER?

This is how it must feel when the last child leaves for college.

It just seems so empty without Alex Rodriguez around here anymore. We lived, we laughed, we loved, and now he's gone from us, just like that.

I'll remember the little things, the everyday acts of kindness that went unnoticed. I'll remember how he tilted his head in a way that made you feel as if you were the only person who mattered. I'll remember how he quietly rescued dogs from the pound (while reminding the staff about the importance of spaying). I'll remember A-Rod rushing into the press conference for the Bears stadium deal, which he brokered, saying, "I've done some doodling and this is how we can solve the upper-deck conundrum at Comiskey!"

I'll cherish these four weeks forever.

A fantasy. A flimsy fantasy is all it was. The most we ever were going to get out of the Rodriguez tease was a month-long diversion to help us through the Bulls-Bears-Blackhawks trifecta of doom. You knew it, I knew it and if the White Sox didn't know it, then they have been hitting the anti-inflammatories a little too hard. Rodriguez was going to sign with the Sox the day Jerry Reinsdorf renounced all worldly goods to join a farm cooperative and become Comrade Jerry.

Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers on Monday and it involved such a big pile of cash that to climb it was to risk altitude sickness. What, the Sox thought they were going to schmooze him into taking $60 million less in exchange for a team with a better farm system and a town with a better quality of life?
Hey, at $25 million a year, the guy can fund the Human Genome Project to see if he will be predisposed toward clinical depression in Arlington, Texas. If he is, then he can buy another $250,000 Ferrari to throw on the fire and warm his heart.

"I thought [the decision] would go to the character of the man," Sox General Manager Ken Williams said. "I thought he would be desirous of being in the best situation."

Don't fall for that tripe. Everyone knew the reality of what this was going to be. Agent of darkness Scott Boras was in charge and this was going to be a bidding war. To try to tug at Rodriguez's heartstrings while offering less money was not only foolhardy but arrogant.

Boras, almost as smart as he is detestable, wouldn't let the Sox get close to Rodriguez--not even a meeting with a thick sheet of Plexiglas to separate the sides, two telephones for communication and a warden watching over the proceedings.

The White Sox are standing still with the same nice team that won 95 games last year while the world champion Yankees improved by signing pitcher Mike Mussina. The worst thing about this is not the Sox's failure to sign Rodriguez and the rest of his Hall of Fame career but the failure to recognize that the franchise needs a No. 1 starter. If that's shortsighted, then fit me with some glasses.

With all the pitchers renting their arms to the highest bidder, the Sox tiptoed after a shortstop who wouldn't take their calls. Mussina, Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle either weren't good enough for the Sox or didn't come cheaply enough (guess which). Kevin Appier, 15-11 last season for Oakland, signed a four-year contract with the Mets for $42 million Monday. He couldn't have helped? Or Darren Dreifort, who re-signed with the Dodgers?

Reinsdorf's philosophy is well known: Why give long-term contracts to pitchers when the human arm is prone to work stoppages? Better to build through the farm system and hope for the best. Not exactly "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain."

What Reinsdorf can't comprehend is that baseball has become one big gamble, with teams betting that free agents will deliver. True, the money isn't funny, it's real. But if you believe the Sox are one starting pitcher away from greatness, then money isn't the problem. It's the answer.

It was the answer, past tense. It's over now. The Sox are running in place. Reinsdorf's answer is that, coming off a division title, he'll settle for life on a treadmill. Just don't expect to gain on the Yankees that way, Jerry.

The Sox did give a one-year contract to first-half hero Cal Eldred, who has enough hardware in his surgically repaired elbow for a ratchet starter set. This is the type of off-season roster move fans have come to expect on the South Side.

A-Rod? We hardly knew him. J-dorf? We know him too well.

Mickster
10-21-2004, 01:33 PM
Lip, nowhere in this article do I see any mention of JR wanting to negotiate a contract without the presence of Boras. :dunno:

As you stated above:
I'm still attempting to go through the Sun Times archives which is where I remember reading about the Reinsdorf request to meet with Rodriguez without Scott Boras present. I also heard the story on what was then One On One Sports Radio (now The Sporting News Radio Network)
No mention about a negotiation? Meeting Arod w/o Boras present is a lot different than negotiating with Arod without Boras present, IMHO.

Flight #24
10-21-2004, 01:37 PM
IMO, most interesting quotes here:



Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers on Monday and it involved such a big pile of cash that to climb it was to risk altitude sickness. What, the Sox thought they were going to schmooze him into taking $60 million less in exchange for a team with a better farm system and a town with a better quality of life?
Hey, at $25 million a year, the guy can fund the Human Genome Project to see if he will be predisposed toward clinical depression in Arlington, Texas. If he is, then he can buy another $250,000 Ferrari to throw on the fire and warm his heart.

....

With all the pitchers renting their arms to the highest bidder, the Sox tiptoed after a shortstop who wouldn't take their calls. Mussina, Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle either weren't good enough for the Sox or didn't come cheaply enough (guess which). Kevin Appier, 15-11 last season for Oakland, signed a four-year contract with the Mets for $42 million Monday. He couldn't have helped? Or Darren Dreifort, who re-signed with the Dodgers?


The first is flat wrong. The Sox had no way of knowing that Texas was going to 250mil. At the time, their offer was within range of the "market rate". The arrogance that Morrissey cites is really more his own arrogance or bias in using an incorrect timeline of historical fact to support his preferred conclusion.

The 2d is intersting because looking at that list: Mussina, Neagle, Hampton, Dreifort all ended up being mediocre at best and most of them were pretty bad (or injured). Not a great use of a big contract. I think Appier falls into that category, but I can't remember. At best, he's been decent.

Lip Man 1
10-21-2004, 01:41 PM
Mickster:

I post what I find. Both that which supports and disputes my opinions. This is material from the TRIBUNE. I haven't gotten started yet on the other papers.

Lip

Mickster
10-21-2004, 01:43 PM
Mickster:

I post what I find. Both that which supports and disputes my opinions. This is material from the TRIBUNE. I haven't gotten started yet on the other papers.

Lip
I'll certainly be interested in any sources, provided that they are reputable, where they mention "negotiations" without Boras present. Scott Boras is a snake. JR and KW know that. I just find it very hard to believe that they would make any attempt of this sort with Arod.

santo=dorf
10-21-2004, 02:45 PM
With all the pitchers renting their arms to the highest bidder, the Sox tiptoed after a shortstop who wouldn't take their calls. Mussina, Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle either weren't good enough for the Sox or didn't come cheaply enough (guess which). Kevin Appier, 15-11 last season for Oakland, signed a four-year contract with the Mets for $42 million Monday. He couldn't have helped? Or Darren Dreifort, who re-signed with the Dodgers?

Reinsdorf's philosophy is well known: Why give long-term contracts to pitchers when the human arm is prone to work stoppages? Better to build through the farm system and hope for the best. Not exactly "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain."

What Reinsdorf can't comprehend is that baseball has become one big gamble, with teams betting that free agents will deliver. True, the money isn't funny, it's real. But if you believe the Sox are one starting pitcher away from greatness, then money isn't the problem. It's the answer.

It was the answer, past tense. It's over now. The Sox are running in place. Reinsdorf's answer is that, coming off a division title, he'll settle for life on a treadmill. Just don't expect to gain on the Yankees that way, Jerry.

The Sox did give a one-year contract to first-half hero Cal Eldred, who has enough hardware in his surgically repaired elbow for a ratchet starter set. This is the type of off-season roster move fans have come to expect on the South Side.

A-Rod? We hardly knew him. J-dorf? We know him too well.
And you know what? JR made the right move by not signing any of those pitchers listed above to a long term deal, and they made the right move by only giving Eldred a one year deal.

nodiggity59
10-21-2004, 03:16 PM
It's interesting because all of the pitchers mentioned in the article above - Neagle, Hampton, Appier, even Mussina - were TOTALLY over paid for. We made such a good decision not to go after those guys. Heck, all of them but Mussina are worse than Buerhle and Freddy at this point.

Lip Man 1
10-21-2004, 06:08 PM
With respect. I can't speak for Rick but I think the point that is being missed is that the Sox are not proactive. That management seems to be 'content' for want of a better word in keeping the status quo and if they happen to win something, great...if not, oh well.

You can substitute other names who were available and DID produce (i.e. Suppan, Rogers whom the Sox lost to the Twins for one million dollars) but the Sox didn't make a move on them either.

That's the overlying point in my opinion. As he said it 'running in place,' doesn't get you any closer to beating the Yankees (or Red Sox or Angels or hell even the Twins) and the record of 83-79 since 1998 bears that out.

Lip

SEALgep
10-21-2004, 06:41 PM
With respect. I can't speak for Rick but I think the point that is being missed is that the Sox are not proactive. That management seems to be 'content' for want of a better word in keeping the status quo and if they happen to win something, great...if not, oh well.

You can substitute other names who were available and DID produce (i.e. Suppan, Rogers whom the Sox lost to the Twins for one million dollars) but the Sox didn't make a move on them either.

That's the overlying point in my opinion. As he said it 'running in place,' doesn't get you any closer to beating the Yankees (or Red Sox or Angels or hell even the Twins) and the record of 83-79 since 1998 bears that out.

LipWith all do respect, I don't think what has been written anywhere above, shows the Sox as not being proactive. We didn't get A-Rod, because we didn't go far and above a reasonable price range, and reasonable still being a hefty contract. We know where that put Texas. Next, the pitchers all listed, have shown they weren't worth the money, as someone has already stipulated, from either poor performance, injury, or both. Now, one can certainly look at that as being non-proactive, or a more accurate conclusion IMO is that the Sox were conscious and correct with what they did. Whether they dodged a bullet, or IYO were just cheap, it ended up being the right move.

fquaye149
10-21-2004, 07:32 PM
EXACTLY!

That is, when KW trades for Foulke we say he's stupid because we know the end result,

But when the White Sox don't sign Hampton or Neagle for a ridiculous amount and they turn out to be not worth it we don't use hindsight to praise them.

But at least we're fair in the treatment of ownership.


Honestly, with the exception of the fifth starter fiasco (which i think was rather unavoidable) I put the blame on the players and Manuel and the fluke of injuries. Not ownership. I wish you all would do the same, but I understand your frustration, certainly.

Lip Man 1
10-21-2004, 08:14 PM
Folks:

You are focusing on exactly the pitchers named in that story. I'm not talking about those specific pitchers but about an overall philosophy. That is what I think is being missed by some.

Lip

fquaye149
10-21-2004, 08:20 PM
^i'm kind of doing the same thing - i'm focusing on the overall negativity (not on your part necessarily, more on the part of fobb's) to disparage the likes of jr and especially KW using hindsight to evaluate bad moves, but not good nonmoves.

Wealz
10-21-2004, 08:50 PM
Folks:

You are focusing on exactly the pitchers named in that story. I'm not talking about those specific pitchers but about an overall philosophy. That is what I think is being missed by some.

Lip
So a bad proactive signing is better than no signing?

SEALgep
10-21-2004, 10:17 PM
Folks:

You are focusing on exactly the pitchers named in that story. I'm not talking about those specific pitchers but about an overall philosophy. That is what I think is being missed by some.

LipBut those pitchers were the ones described. Also, we went after A-Rod, but you ridicule them for not matching a $252 million dollar contract? You can't have it both ways. In these situations, we could have either spent foolishly, or did what we did, the right moves. Do tell what particular situations coincide with what poor philosophy the Sox have supposedly adopted.

Lip Man 1
10-22-2004, 01:33 PM
Seal:

Just a general overall impression for no progress towards a championship and whether you agree with me or not you can't argue about the win/loss record since for example the White Flag Trade.

This team DOES seem to be running in place. Hoping to 'luck' their way to the playoffs/ title. You and I both know it doesn't work that way.

So let me ask you the question...why haven't the Sox won a title under current ownership? I'd like to hear your reasoning.
Lip

SEALgep
10-22-2004, 01:39 PM
Seal:

Just a general overall impression for no progress towards a championship and whether you agree with me or not you can't argue about the win/loss record since for example the White Flag Trade.

This team DOES seem to be running in place. Hoping to 'luck' their way to the playoffs/ title. You and I both know it doesn't work that way.

So let me ask you the question...why haven't the Sox won a title under current ownership? I'd like to hear your reasoning.
LipMoney plays a role, but to use it as the sole reason isn't correct. Especially when considering that the Sox are willing to spend money on certain types of players. A-Rod for instance. To ignore a genuine effort to sign him and then bashing them for not getting it done, to me, it's unfair. There are several reasons why we haven't won a championship.

Lip Man 1
10-22-2004, 01:51 PM
Please expound upon those reasons.

I hear where you are coming from about criticizing the Sox when they do try but I'm reminded of a comment by former Sox pitching coach Johnny Sain (when Chuck Tanner was manager...) "The world doesn't want to hear about the labor pains, the only want to see the baby...'

In other words what have you done...not what have you tried. Unfair? Certainly but that's the world we live in, at all levels and in many different occupations. it's results that matter at the end of the day.

Lip

Flight #24
10-22-2004, 02:09 PM
Please expound upon those reasons.

I hear where you are coming from about criticizing the Sox when they do try but I'm reminded of a comment by former Sox pitching coach Johnny Sain (when Chuck Tanner was manager...) "The world doesn't want to hear about the labor pains, the only want to see the baby...'

In other words what have you done...not what have you tried. Unfair? Certainly but that's the world we live in, at all levels and in many different occupations. it's results that matter at the end of the day.

Lip
Lip - no one's saying they've been successful in terms of playoff appearances, championships, etc. But you consistently point to "cheapness" as the cause, when there's a ton of evidence that that's simply not the case.

As for why they've been unsuccessful, I'll give you a couple of reasons in the last 10 years:

1) The strike ruined what was their best chance in '94, and what was something that could have been built upon to keep the team together from a revenue/attendance perspective

2) Since then, the farm system has been relatively barren with few good players coming up (Maggs, Lee, Buehrle, Foulke). This is especially true of the late 90's and early 00's.

3) Compounding the lack of young talent coming up, bad feelings from the strike reduced attendance, limiting the revenue base that would have been available to sign FAs

4) The Navarro signing was an absolute travesty.

In summary, the strike & Schueler are the primary culprits for the past 10 years. You want to blame JR for those, that's fine. But particularly in Schueler's case, it wasnt "cheapness". Remember, Schu was highly regarded when he came over, and in fact the Sox farm system under him was highly regarded but didn't end up producing much. So it's easy to argue that JR went out and got a guy who was supposed to be good and who was supposedly doing a good job, but after the fact it ends up that he didn't.

Lip Man 1
10-23-2004, 12:39 PM
One of the main questions about Uncle Jerry's ownership for the past 24 years, (with respect Flight the entire package has to be looked at, although I can't argue with some of your points except to add who was a main player in the strike of 94?) is what happened to cause him and Fast Eddie to stop acquiring talent right after the 83 divisional title?

That's the million dollar question. Frankly I can't seem to find the cause (or causes). I've asked my contacts in the media, I've read these boards looking for it, but simply can't seem to pin it down. I've heard some generalities but nothing ever specific.

The generalities were:

1. Uncle Jerry got a dose of reality with the cost of winning after the Sox copped the 83 West title...

2. Uncle Jerry got bit in the ass over the Julio Cruz deal (poor baby!)

3. According to former commissioner Fay Vincent in his book, 'The Last Commissioner' it was about this time that Uncle Jerry and his good friend Proud To Be Your Bud came up with the idea for collusion to stop having to pay free agents. Around 1984.

It's a crucial period. The ownership group had actually turned the franchise around... they were winning, they were drawing fans in large numbers and the opportunities for long term success were there... then suddenly, it stopped.

If anybody has knowledge of this time period I'd appreciate hearing your comments.

Lip

Dan H
10-24-2004, 09:41 AM
A plain fact is that Jerry Reinsdorf has to be held accountable for the team not making it to the World Series decade after decade. He is the CEO; he is the one in charge; he is the one who sets the tone.

Lip is right. The ownership did an incredible job in turning the franchise around in the early '80's. Under Bill Veeck in 1980, the Sox were a losing team that couldn't even break the million mark in attendance. By 1983, the team had won a division and became the first Chicago baseball team to go past two million. It was one hell of an accomplishment.

But what do we remember of the rest of the 80's? Well, there's not too much to remember. During the rest of the decade, the team never contended. In fact, they had only had one winning season from '84-89. We don't remember because we don't want to remember.

The early '90's provided another revival. Another division title and a new stadium that was packed every game. But the strike came and devastated the team. The Sox haven't won a post-season game since.

We can argue all we want about how the Sox spend their money. Sometimes they were right not to sign players, sometimes they were wrong. But their history shows lost opportunities and the ability to build a good team only to see it fall apart in no time. Who can you blame for that? The fans? The Sox have already tried that.

If you not going to take risks in the free agent market, fine. You then better be able to build the team in other ways. The White Sox haven't done that, unless you think winning in the low eighties is success.

Lip Man 1
10-24-2004, 02:08 PM
Dan:

What's really frightening is that some good Sox fans (and I'm not being sacrastic) actually think averaging in the low 80's IS success.

I can only say that decades of relative mediocrity have apparently dulled the senses.

Lip