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View Full Version : Baseball Attendance in Chicago (aka "Who lost China?")


Iwritecode
11-02-2004, 02:45 PM
Flight:

Care to see how big of a blip on the radar the Cubs were in the 50's and through most of the 60's? Chicago WAS NOT 'always a Cubs town...'

And I guess the video that I have from September 1983 (WLS-TV) with comments about the Cubs closing the upper deck for lack of attendence is a mirage.

Lip

From 1950 - 1969 the Cubs outdrew the Sox 4 times including 1968 & 1969.

From 1970 - 1979 the Cubs outdrew the Sox 8 times out of 10.

That means that between 1968 and 1979 (you could even include 1980) the Sox outdrew the Cubs TWICE. It seems to me that we should be blaming the owners in THAT time period for "giving the city to the Cubs".

From 1980 to present the Cubs outdrew the Sox 18 times out of 25. The only years the Sox had better attendance were 81, 82, 83, 84 (I'm sure this was due to a change in ownership and a division title), 91 & 92 (due to a new stadium).

Yes, the Cubs had better attendance in 1993. :o:

Granted, JR hasn't done a whole lot to get the city back from the Cubs, he sure didn't give it to them.

Kilroy
11-02-2004, 02:54 PM
From 1950 - 1969 the Cubs outdrew the Sox 4 times including 1968 & 1969.

From 1970 - 1979 the Cubs outdrew the Sox 8 times out of 10.

That means that between 1968 and 1979 (you could even include 1980) the Sox outdrew the Cubs TWICE. It seems to me that we should be blaming the owners in THAT time period for "giving the city to the Cubs".

From 1980 to present the Cubs outdrew the Sox 18 times out of 25. The only years the Sox had better attendance were 81, 82, 83, 84 (I'm sure this was due to a change in ownership and a division title), 91 & 92 (due to a new stadium).

Yes, the Cubs had better attendance in 1993. :o:

Granted, JR hasn't done a whole lot to get the city back from the Cubs, he sure didn't give it to them.
Careful. Lip doesn't react well to facts that don't support his position...

jabrch
11-02-2004, 02:58 PM
Careful. Lip doesn't react well to facts that don't support his position...
Well we all know JR is cheap - and that is the root of all evils. He gave away the city, ruined the team's reputation in the eyes of the players and the and continues to make money hand over fist at the fans expense.

Hangar18
11-02-2004, 05:40 PM
[QUOTE=Flight #24]

The attendance from the 50s and 60s has little to no bearing on the situation when JR & co took over. Much like the attendance in the 20s doesn't. The fact remains, that in the decade prior to current ownership, the Cubs were the more popular team. QUOTE]


:reinsy
" Heh heh, told you guys so, this was ALWAYS a cubs town, from 1900 til now .... Im fighting a losing battle here kids."

LAWSfan
11-02-2004, 06:35 PM
This is my opinion of what happened in Chicago since 1981. From 81-83 Dallas Green came in and pissed off everybody who was a Cub fan. He didn't want to be known as a lovable loser. Or the Cubbies or whatever. He wanted to win and win now. He brought tons of Phillies coaches and player to bring that winning attitude. He hired Lee Elia who ripped the jobless, drunken Cub fan. At the sametime, cable TV took off and WGN was at the forefront. They were on almost every cable TV company's lineup. The Cubs were on TV. America might not have cared but America watched.

Then stars aligned and the Cubs won the NL East in 84. That brought the Cubs into the national spotlight. Baseball was worried about lost TV money with no lights at Chewing Gum Field. The Cubs lost in devasting fashion but the Cubs were known all over the US. (One reason I disagree that even with Hoyt going in Game 5 in the 83 ALCS, that a WS appearance was all but wrapped up. I think cub fans felt the same way in 84 (Ace of the staff going in Game 5. The Ace who pitched a great game 1.)

Anyways, while this was going on the White Sox weren't on TV much after the 83 season. Even the 83 season, as great as it was, had a negetive ring to it. Winning ugly isn't exactly a name people can be attracted to. I think it was doug Radar who gave the 83 Sox that name.

The Cubs had a young, talented player who could be the face of the team even if he was a quiet star. Sandberg the quitter gave the Cubs a face. The White Sox? Filled with older, aging veterans. Pudge, Bull? I think Kittle could have given the White Sox a face but he didn't live up to his ROY year.

DumpJerry
11-02-2004, 06:44 PM
I have always been proud of the fact we outdrew the Flubs in 1984 when they were on the way to the post season.

PaleHoseGeorge
11-02-2004, 06:58 PM
I had to split this discussion from that other thread because it's hopelessly filled with speculative nonsense, outright lies, and the usual bull**** from the usual suspects.

:cool:

So, who lost Chicago's baseball attendance wars?

Here's the short answer. Art Allyn lost the attendance wars for the Sox, with lots of help from Jerry Reinsdorf, post-1984.

Now here's the long answer.

From 1950-59, the Sox beat the Cubs in average attendance 8 of 10 times. In the Golden Era of Go-Go Sox baseball (1951-1967) the Sox beat the Cubs 16 of 17 times. Furthermore the average Sox attendance during this period was a whopping 46 percent greater than the Cubs!

Chicago has always been a Cubs town? Bull****, Jerry Reinsdorf.

1968 changed everything, NOT 1969 as the ****ing idiots in the media would have everyone believe. '68 was the year Art Allyn started playing home games in Milwaukee's County Stadium because a used-car salesman and a few other cheeseheads were crying in their beer over losing the Braves and knew a sucker when they saw one.

:tool
"This ballpark has low miles, Art. Only used by an old lady to and from church on Sundays."

Starting in 1968 the Sox were also-rans for attendance 10 of the next 13 years. 1968 is also the year Allyn pulled the Sox off WGN and stuck them on some low-grade UHF station that half the TV sets in Chicago could barely watch through all the signal interference and snow.

The only notable exception to the Sox general decline was the late-70's when Bill Veeck's marketing acumen squeaked out small advantages for the Sox in 1977 and 1978. However, as bad as this stretch from 1968-1980 was for the Sox, the advantage the Cubs had was much smaller than the one the Sox had enjoyed over the Cubs. They averaged just 28 percent more fans per season.

Next started the Cubune/Reinsdorf era.

Reinsdorf delivered on his "first-class organization" promise and signed free agents like Carlton Fisk, Greg Luzinski, and Floyd Bannister. From 1981 to 1984, the Sox beat the Cubs every year in attendance. In fact the Sox beat the Cubs by a significant 31 percent and this includes the year the Lovable Losers finally reached the playoffs (1984).

Gee, I'm really surprised to discover how large a hole this blows into all the Reinsdorf apologists' arguments about needing to come to the ballpark first to afford a champion on the South Side.
:kukoo:

Of course Jerry's first-class organization was replaced with Hawk as GM and a drumbeat to build Jerry a new ballpark. From 1985-1990, the Cubs beat the **** out or Reinsdorf's Sox, drawing an incredible 52 percent more fans per season than Jerry's Sad Sack Sox.

It gets worse.

A publicly-financed ballpark and a set of competitive teams (gee, there's that "winning" thing again!) put the Sox back in the driver's seat for 3 of the next 4 seasons, 1991-94. However the advantage was never very large, an average of only 14 percent more attendance for the Sox. And then the strike came and the bottom fell out...

From 1995 - 2004, the Cubs have beaten the Sox like a drum for attendance, averaging 52 percent more attendance every season. That's 10 consecutive seasons of beating the Sox, the longest streak ever for either team going back to the days when J. Lou's widow, Dorothy Comiskey, owned the Pale Hose.

You guys want to dismiss Jerry Reinsdorf for this mess? Tell your story walking.

jabrch
11-02-2004, 07:09 PM
You guys want to dismiss Jerry Reinsdorf for this mess? Tell your story walking.
I don't see anyone dismissing JR from anything. I just don't see reason for the vicious factless hate that comes from the anti-JR camp on a regular basis. That's all. There is plenty of blame to go around - no reason to pile it all on JR's shoulders.

Ol' No. 2
11-02-2004, 07:12 PM
Reinsdorf delivered on his "first-class organization" promise and signed free agents like Carlton Fisk, Greg Luzinski, and Floyd Bannister. From 1981 to 1984, the Sox beat the Cubs every year in attendance. In fact the Sox beat the Cubs by a significant 31 percent and this includes the year the Lovable Losers finally reached the playoffs (1984).

Gee, I'm really surprised to discover how large a hole this blows into all the Reinsdorf apologists' arguments about needing to come to the ballpark first to afford a champion on the South Side.Nice job, but to be fair on this point, Fisk signed a 5-yr deal for the princely sum of $3.5M (not per year). A guy like Beltran will probably get 20+ times that. It's one thing to go out on a limb for $700k/yr. Comitting to $15M+/yr is not remotely the same thing. Even when you factor in the increased ticket prices, it takes A LOT more tickets to pay for a Carlos Beltran than it did for Carlton Fisk.

Daver
11-02-2004, 07:13 PM
I don't see anyone dismissing JR from anything. I just don't see reason for the vicious factless hate that comes from the anti-JR camp on a regular basis. That's all. There is plenty of blame to go around - no reason to pile it all on JR's shoulders.
Who is the CEO of the White Sox Professional Baseball Club?

Who has final say in all decisions?

Who do you toss the blame at if not the ultimate decision maker?

PaleHoseGeorge
11-02-2004, 07:21 PM
I don't see anyone dismissing JR from anything. I just don't see reason for the vicious factless hate that comes from the anti-JR camp on a regular basis. That's all. There is plenty of blame to go around - no reason to pile it all on JR's shoulders.
Nobody piled it "all on JR's shoulders." Reading is a skill, jabrch.
:cool:

PaleHoseGeorge
11-02-2004, 07:22 PM
Nice job, but to be fair on this point, Fisk signed a 5-yr deal for the princely sum of $3.5M (not per year). A guy like Beltran will probably get 20+ times that. It's one thing to go out on a limb for $700k/yr. Comitting to $15M+/yr is not remotely the same thing. Even when you factor in the increased ticket prices, it takes A LOT more tickets to pay for a Carlos Beltran than it did for Carlton Fisk.
Have you checked out ticket prices since 1981? How about TV/Radio deal money?

Oh, and the team is worth over 10-times what it was back then, too.
:cool:

Ol' No. 2
11-02-2004, 07:31 PM
Have you checked out ticket prices since 1981? How about TV/Radio deal money?

Oh, and the team is worth over 10-times what it was back then, too.
:cool:I'll take your word for it that the team is worth 10x what it was then. If that's true, it's a pretty good guess that revenues are 10x what they were then, too. But comparing a Carlos Beltran to Carlton Fisk is 20x the salary (probably more). Any way you look at it he would represent a much larger risk.

PaleHoseGeorge
11-02-2004, 07:34 PM
I'll take your word for it that the team is worth 10x what it was then. If that's true, it's a pretty good guess that revenues are 10x what they were then, too. But comparing a Carlos Beltran to Carlton Fisk is 20x the salary (probably more). Any way you look at it he would represent a much larger risk.
Reinsdorf's purchase price in 1981: $20 million.
Value of the Sox franchise today (conservative): $200+ million.

santo=dorf
11-02-2004, 07:35 PM
Nobody piled it "all on JR's shoulders." What about Lip?:?:

PaleHoseGeorge
11-02-2004, 07:52 PM
What about Lip?:?:
What about him? He knows and quotes his facts better than anybody who is trying to piss on him for rightly calling a spade a spade.
:cool:

jabrch
11-02-2004, 08:36 PM
Who is the CEO of the White Sox Professional Baseball Club?

Who has final say in all decisions?

Who do you toss the blame at if not the ultimate decision maker?
He is the CEO and Chairman of the Board. But that doesn't mean he can circumvent the boards policies or the shareholders interests, does it?

Daver
11-02-2004, 08:41 PM
the team's value is not relevant since he can not take debt out of the team's equity per the MLB owners debt arrangements.
You might want to take a closer look at the 60/40 rule, and how it is used.

Daver
11-02-2004, 08:42 PM
He is the CEO and Chairman of the Board. But that doesn't mean he can circumvent the boards policies or the shareholders interests, does it?
You are arguing that he is merely a figurehead?

You have anything to back that up other than your opinion?

PaleHoseGeorge
11-02-2004, 09:21 PM
You are arguing that he is merely a figurehead?

You have anything to back that up other than your opinion?
Some people are dangerously close to winding up on my ignore list for some of the outrageous game-saying they've done the past few days... as if typing some words into their computer makes their point valid, or even cogent.

Hangar18
11-03-2004, 11:48 AM
I don't see anyone dismissing JR from anything. I just don't see reason for the vicious factless hate that comes from the anti-JR camp on a regular basis. That's all. There is plenty of blame to go around - no reason to pile it all on JR's shoulders.
I do ........ PHG's Post says it all. His APATHY has led us down the drain .....
YES, I do pile all of this on Uncle Jerry. Just like he deserved the credit
in 1981 thru 1984, he deserves the blame. Justly.

jabrch
11-03-2004, 12:03 PM
You are arguing that he is merely a figurehead?

You have anything to back that up other than your opinion?
No - I am arguing that a CEO/Chairman of the board is obligated to act in the best interest of his partners and his board members.

jabrch
11-03-2004, 12:05 PM
YES, I do pile all of this on Uncle Jerry.
I KNOW you do - and I am NOT surprised.

Hangar18
11-03-2004, 12:22 PM
I KNOW you do - and I am NOT surprised.

:reinsy
"Listen Hangar, you people Forced me to design the Stadium that way.
and you guys are the ones that stopped coming after 1994, what was I
supposed to do? Keep trying to win? Sheesh. Say, anyone
Seen Bud with my Coffee? Where is that guy! "

:tool
" Sorry Jerr, coming right up! 2 sugars right? "
:reinsy
" Yes, 2 Sugars. And schedule yourself a press conference, tell
everyone that you are going to be FAIR when it comes to awarding future
all-star games. If they say what was wrong with the original process,
just say you have an important meeting to go to and run ........... "

Lip Man 1
11-03-2004, 01:09 PM
PHG and Daver and Hangar:

Many thanks for your insightful posts. It's nice to know that not all Sox fans have been 'dumbed down,' by 24 years of mediocrity.

As for me the next benchmark I'll be watching for is the reaction of the **** (Friends of Uncle Jerry) when the payroll stays flat or if some reports are true, goes down.

I'm sure the excuses will start once again about attendance,' 'profit margin,' and 83 wins being 'above average' because you have to grade baseball teams on a curve and other palpable tripe. meanwhile the number of years without a title increases, the number of years without a World Series appearance increases and the market share of the Sox in Chicago will continue to dwindle.

LOL

But seriously, we'll see...maybe Uncle Jerry will toss the masses a bone this off season. Anything can happen. We'll see.

Lip

gosox41
11-03-2004, 01:14 PM
PHG and Daver and Hangar:

Many thanks for your insightful posts. It's nice to know that not all Sox fans have been 'dumbed down,' by 24 years of mediocrity.

As for me the next benchmark I'll be watching for is the reaction of the **** (Friends of Uncle Jerry) when the payroll stays flat or if some reports are true, goes down.

I'm sure the excuses will start once again about attendance,' 'profit margin,' and 83 wins being 'above average' because you have to grade baseball teams on a curve and other palpable tripe. meanwhile the number of years without a title increases, the number of years without a World Series appearance increases and the market share of the Sox in Chicago will continue to dwindle.

LOL

But seriously, we'll see...maybe Uncle Jerry will toss the masses a bone this off season. Anything can happen. We'll see.

Lip
I'd say I look forward to what you'd say when payroll goes up, but I don't since you're still going to say it's not enough.

I do look forward to seeing how you react when this thread is brought back up in April and the Sox have a higher payroll. Who cares what Foltman, Rogers, Merkin or whoever says unless they back it up with some evidence.


Bob

gosox41
11-03-2004, 01:16 PM
You might want to take a closer look at the 60/40 rule, and how it is used.
There is the likelihood that Sox ownership doesn't want to take out any debt at all which would negate the value of the team on paper as well as the 60/40 rule if the Sox don't intend to use it.


Bob

Dan H
11-03-2004, 01:19 PM
In my book, Through Hope and Despair, I write about the problems the Sox have had since 1967. I put blame on all owners since 1967 and cite many bad decisions made by management. Of course Jerry Reinsdorf is not exempt from this. But no matter what, the 1994 strike had a devastating effect on this team, and Reinsdorf and the other owners cannot escape blame for that. The Sox had a chance to really turn things around for a long time. They blew it.

Iwritecode
11-03-2004, 01:30 PM
In my book, Through Hope and Despair, I write about the problems the Sox have had since 1967. I put blame on all owners since 1967 and cite many bad decisions made by management. Of course Jerry Reinsdorf is not exempt from this. But no matter what, the 1994 strike had a devastating effect on this team, and Reinsdorf and the other owners cannot escape blame for that. The Sox had a chance to really turn things around for a long time. They blew it.

That's exactly what I was trying to say. JR isn't exempt from the blame for this mess but he's surely not the sole reason IMO.

Lip Man 1
11-03-2004, 01:42 PM
Code:

He exasperated a difficult situation with his brain dead decisions and comments over the past 24 years so that the franchise is now on, in my opinion, the criticle list.

Lip

Lip Man 1
11-03-2004, 01:47 PM
Bob:

What's going to happen is if the payroll goes up, is that we're going to argue about whether it went up enough to get the job done. (i.e. get to a World Series)

We're also going to argue if the payroll being raised due to arbitration awards is the same as spending money to increase the talent level through the acquisition of outside players.

And we're going to argue if a slight payroll raise in fact is worth anything at all. Your position is that if they raise it a dollar it proves your point. My position is that if they raise it a dollar it's the same as doing nothing because a slight raise doesn't change the dynamic of the team enough is that they can win.

And I'm sure some folks are going to argue about whether payments to players no longer on the team should count towards payroll or not.

Unless the parties can agree on the EXACT PARAMETERS the argueing will continue.

Lip

Flight #24
11-03-2004, 01:53 PM
Bob:

What's going to happen is if the payroll goes up, is that we're going to argue about whether it went up enough to get the job done. (i.e. get to a World Series)

We're also going to argue if the payroll being raised due to arbitration awards is the same as spending money to increase the talent level through the acquisition of outside players.

And we're going to argue if a slight payroll raise in fact is worth anything at all. Your position is that if they raise it a dollar it proves your point. My position is that if they raise it a dollar it's the same as doing nothing because a slight raise doesn't change the dynamic of the team enough is that they can win.

And I'm sure some folks are going to argue about whether payments to players no longer on the team should count towards payroll or not.

Unless the parties can agree on the EXACT PARAMETERS the argueing will continue.

Lip
It shouldn't be all that complicated. (Payroll-4/1/05) / (Payroll-4/1/04) = % change in payroll.

You can argue whether the final % is meaningfully different, high enough, etc. But the ratio above is what counts. It's a separate question what they do during the season, but I'd have a hard time understanding arguments that acquiring players with multi-year deals shouldn't count as increasing long-term payroll.

Iwritecode
11-03-2004, 02:10 PM
Code:

He exasperated a difficult situation with his brain dead decisions and comments over the past 24 years so that the franchise is now on, in my opinion, the criticle list.

Lip

So he made a bad situation worse. I agree with that.

Ol' No. 2
11-03-2004, 02:12 PM
It shouldn't be all that complicated. (Payroll-4/1/05) / (Payroll-4/1/04) = % change in payroll.

You can argue whether the final % is meaningfully different, high enough, etc. But the ratio above is what counts. It's a separate question what they do during the season, but I'd have a hard time understanding arguments that acquiring players with multi-year deals shouldn't count as increasing long-term payroll.It won't matter what the percentage is. The payroll was increased for 2004 by 20%, but people still complained because his motives weren't pure enough.

Flight #24
11-03-2004, 02:15 PM
It won't matter what the percentage is. The payroll was increased for 2004 by 20%, but people still complained because his motives weren't pure enough.
Not to mention that if they DO increase payroll dramatically, then something external happens (injuries, etc.) and the team slumps with a corresponding slump in revenues, and attempt to reduce payroll to compensate will be met with "see - he wasn't serious about payroll increases". Apparently the only way to be "serious" is to continue to increase payroll regardless of the imapct on attendance.

jabrch
11-03-2004, 02:18 PM
It won't matter what the percentage is. The payroll was increased for 2004 by 20%, but people still complained because his motives weren't pure enough.That's the funniest thing. That no matter what he does, people will incessantly bitch that it isn't enough. I just wonder why people spend so much time and money on a baseball team that all they do is bitch about? Unless bitching is what really makes some people happy...

I'm tellling ya - I want a rebuilding with 5 straight years in last place. Truly rebuild. Nuff of this second place stuff. Iwritecode is right - the only thing worse than last place is second place.

Lip Man 1
11-03-2004, 03:05 PM
This from the same ownership group that 'rebuilt' after 1985, 'rebuilt' after 1995, 'rebuilt' after 1997?

This ownership group isn't capable of rebuilding (nor I would say reloading)

Lip

gosox41
11-03-2004, 03:08 PM
Bob:

What's going to happen is if the payroll goes up, is that we're going to argue about whether it went up enough to get the job done. (i.e. get to a World Series)

We're also going to argue if the payroll being raised due to arbitration awards is the same as spending money to increase the talent level through the acquisition of outside players.

And we're going to argue if a slight payroll raise in fact is worth anything at all. Your position is that if they raise it a dollar it proves your point. My position is that if they raise it a dollar it's the same as doing nothing because a slight raise doesn't change the dynamic of the team enough is that they can win.

And I'm sure some folks are going to argue about whether payments to players no longer on the team should count towards payroll or not.

Unless the parties can agree on the EXACT PARAMETERS the argueing will continue.

Lip
More likely what will happen is there will be arguing as to how much JR can really afford and why he doesn't spend it. The discussion doesn't lead to much talk about whether the team is good enough for the post season.

You're still upset about 2004 payroll but haven't acknowedged how losing Thomas and ORdoenz to a combined 200 games hurt the Sox chances of making the playoffs.

SHould be an interesting argument as to whether arbitration awards count towards payroll. They do. Players make money. The team pays them money. The player who wins arbitration is on the Sox payroll. It's still spending money anyway you look at it.

And while a $1 raise in payroll does prove my point, it would also be a slap in the face. I've heard more substantial things then $1.

But I can guarantee that there will never be agreement here. If it were up to you JR would spend as much as Steinbrenner and you won't rest until it happens. It's always going to be more, more , more.


Bob

gosox41
11-03-2004, 03:11 PM
That's the funniest thing. That no matter what he does, people will incessantly bitch that it isn't enough. I just wonder why people spend so much time and money on a baseball team that all they do is bitch about? Unless bitching is what really makes some people happy...


I've wondered the same thing. But in some cases, these people that are complaining aren't spending any money on the team, and of course that is their right to do it.


Bob

Flight #24
11-03-2004, 03:11 PM
This from the same ownership group that 'rebuilt' after 1985, 'rebuilt' after 1995, 'rebuilt' after 1997?

This ownership group isn't capable of rebuilding (nor I would say reloading)

Lip
I believe the difference is that the Sox have generally "rebuilt" from a position of roughly average and done it while not dropping significantly below average for any extended period of time. What jabrch is referring to is an extended period where the team is terrible but therefore able to stockpile young talent (i.e. high draft picks), and then have a better shot at being a top team because they combine talent with available $$$ (since their young guys would be cheap). Ala the A's & Twins of the mid-late 90s.

jabrch
11-03-2004, 03:21 PM
I believe the difference is that the Sox have generally "rebuilt" from a position of roughly average and done it while not dropping significantly below average for any extended period of time. What jabrch is referring to is an extended period where the team is terrible but therefore able to stockpile young talent (i.e. high draft picks), and then have a better shot at being a top team because they combine talent with available $$$ (since their young guys would be cheap). Ala the A's & Twins of the mid-late 90s.
And that, Flight, is not rebuilding. How did Oakland/Minnesota/CHC, etc. get good? By getting top draft picks for an extended period of time. The Cubs didn't win 88 and 90 games in two years just cuz they spent money - they had top 5 overall draft picks in Wood, Prior and Patterson who panned out. What's the highest we picked in any period of time? And how'd that turn out? Borchard, right? And we took the guy everyone agreed was the best talent in the draft, and JR spent HUGE money on him - and it didn't work. JR is cheap - i know. But the reality is that we have never REBUILT in recent memory. We never dumped Frank. We never dumped Magglio for prospects. We never dumped Buehrle for prospects. We finished second place cuz we kept lots of talent - we just didn't win.

But alas, JR is cheap. KW is stupid, the Sox will never win cuz we don't outspend the Yankees. It's the same old song and dance.

Ol' No. 2
11-03-2004, 03:29 PM
I believe the difference is that the Sox have generally "rebuilt" from a position of roughly average and done it while not dropping significantly below average for any extended period of time. What jabrch is referring to is an extended period where the team is terrible but therefore able to stockpile young talent (i.e. high draft picks), and then have a better shot at being a top team because they combine talent with available $$$ (since their young guys would be cheap). Ala the A's & Twins of the mid-late 90s.I don't buy the whole high draft picks argument. Baseball is not like football or basketball. How many of the top players today were even first-rounders, much less high first-rounders? Sure you can point to a Mark Prior or Joe Mauer, but these guys are a small minority. For every one like that you can find 5 Mark Buehrles who were drafted in later rounds but went on to have great careers. However, when you can allow the team to be bad, you can allow young players playing time to mature. You also can leave them in the minors longer to learn to play rather than rushing them up to fill a hole created by a departing FA. IMO, that makes a much bigger difference than draft position.

jabrch
11-03-2004, 03:35 PM
I don't buy the whole high draft picks argument. Baseball is not like football or basketball. How many of the top players today were even first-rounders, much less high first-rounders? Sure you can point to a Mark Prior or Joe Mauer, but these guys are a small minority. For every one like that you can find 5 Mark Buehrles who were drafted in later rounds but went on to have great careers. However, when you can allow the team to be bad, you can allow young players playing time to mature. You also can leave them in the minors longer to learn to play rather than rushing them up to fill a hole created by a departing FA. IMO, that makes a much bigger difference than draft position.
you have a far greater chance of drafting a Mark Prior with the #1 pick than you do with the #15 pick. And then in a case like Buehrle who was taken many rounds later, you have a better chance of grabbing him picking first in each round than 15th in each round. That said, you can't always find a Piazza in the 42nd round or a Mattingly in the 23rd round. If it were that easy...

Look at the mid/small market teams that have succeeded with payrolls under 75mm. Nearly all of them have gone through true rebuilding stages where they were at the bottom of the standings for an extended period of time.

Flight #24
11-03-2004, 03:41 PM
I don't buy the whole high draft picks argument. Baseball is not like football or basketball. How many of the top players today were even first-rounders, much less high first-rounders? Sure you can point to a Mark Prior or Joe Mauer, but these guys are a small minority. For every one like that you can find 5 Mark Buehrles who were drafted in later rounds but went on to have great careers. However, when you can allow the team to be bad, you can allow young players playing time to mature. You also can leave them in the minors longer to learn to play rather than rushing them up to fill a hole created by a departing FA. IMO, that makes a much bigger difference than draft position.
You are correct, however the chances of getting a "difference maker" are a lot higher if yo're picking in the top 5 or 10. Not to say you can't go get them later, but the chances are a lot lower, more swing & misses.

Also, a team committed to keeping guys in the minors longer is basically saying that they'll commit to not filling holes and therefore lose until they think their prospects are "seasoned enough". Or fill the hole with an impact FA, who will, of course, cost more $$$ and take on a long enough contract that it'll probably render that prospect irrelevant/trade bait unless they change positions.

Regardless, it requires being willing to endure some losing in the name of longer term franchise development.

Ol' No. 2
11-03-2004, 04:04 PM
You are correct, however the chances of getting a "difference maker" are a lot higher if yo're picking in the top 5 or 10. Not to say you can't go get them later, but the chances are a lot lower, more swing & misses.

Also, a team committed to keeping guys in the minors longer is basically saying that they'll commit to not filling holes and therefore lose until they think their prospects are "seasoned enough". Or fill the hole with an impact FA, who will, of course, cost more $$$ and take on a long enough contract that it'll probably render that prospect irrelevant/trade bait unless they change positions.

Regardless, it requires being willing to endure some losing in the name of longer term franchise development.I agree with the last part, but I'm not sold on the importance of draft position. How many of the top players were drafted in the 2nd or later rounds? I don't know the answer, but I'd venture to say most of them. That means that everybody passed on them at least once - even those with late draft positions. There are very few drafted players who are locks to be good in the majors, and I don't see the teams that have them doing much better than anyone else. Otherwise, the Pirates and Brewers would soon have WS teams. I think it's WAY more important to have good scouting than to have good draft position.

Flight #24
11-03-2004, 04:14 PM
Otherwise, the Pirates and Brewers would soon have WS teams. I think it's WAY more important to have good scouting than to have good draft position.
No one's saying that you can do it without good scouting, but good scouting and high draft picks makes for a much more attractive and IMO successful combination than good scouting and low draft picks. I know for example that the A's have had significant success with high draft picks and some success with mid-low picks. Same for the Twins.

I don't know of a team I'd consider highly successful that hasn't had either multiple high picks or significant $$$ to spend in FA, but that's not based on any actual analysis.

Ol' No. 2
11-03-2004, 04:30 PM
[QUOTE=Flight #24]good scouting and high draft picks makes for a much more attractive and IMO successful combination than good scouting and low draft picks.QUOTE]Isn't that along the lines of saying it's better to be healthy and rich than to be sick and poor?:wink: The real question is, which has a bigger impact? In football, most of the team consists of first three round picks. Guys picked in later rounds have very little chance of making it. The situation in baseball is entirely different. A lot of top players today were picked in later rounds. Of course it's better to have a high pick than a low one. But I don't think the difference is that great. In fact, given the uncertainties, I'd say that the number of draft picks is more important than the position. Oakland built their team as much on having lots of compensation picks as on having high picks.

MisterB
11-03-2004, 05:13 PM
I don't buy the whole high draft picks argument. Baseball is not like football or basketball. How many of the top players today were even first-rounders, much less high first-rounders? Sure you can point to a Mark Prior or Joe Mauer, but these guys are a small minority. For every one like that you can find 5 Mark Buehrles who were drafted in later rounds but went on to have great careers. However, when you can allow the team to be bad, you can allow young players playing time to mature. You also can leave them in the minors longer to learn to play rather than rushing them up to fill a hole created by a departing FA. IMO, that makes a much bigger difference than draft position.Well, the Sox definitely haven't had much luck lately with early-round draft picks. Before this year's performance by Rowand (drafted 1998) , the last 1st round pick to have anything resembling an above-average season for the Sox was Alex Fernandez (drafted 1990). If you widen that to the top 5 rounds the only other names you add in that time period are James Baldwin and Ray Durham (also drafted 1990). The Sox have had better luck with low round picks (Buehrle) or undrafted latin players (Ordonez, Lee).

Hitmen77
11-05-2004, 10:19 AM
From 1950 - 1969 the Cubs outdrew the Sox 4 times including 1968 & 1969.

From 1970 - 1979 the Cubs outdrew the Sox 8 times out of 10.

That means that between 1968 and 1979 (you could even include 1980) the Sox outdrew the Cubs TWICE. It seems to me that we should be blaming the owners in THAT time period for "giving the city to the Cubs".

From 1980 to present the Cubs outdrew the Sox 18 times out of 25. The only years the Sox had better attendance were 81, 82, 83, 84 (I'm sure this was due to a change in ownership and a division title), 91 & 92 (due to a new stadium).

Yes, the Cubs had better attendance in 1993. :o:

Granted, JR hasn't done a whole lot to get the city back from the Cubs, he sure didn't give it to them.You're last sentence seems to imply that JR has just kept the status quo - hasn't made things better or worse. But, he has taken a bad situation and made it worse.

Yes, the Sox had attendance problems before JR took over, but it really did seem to me that the Sox had a larger slice of the Chicago fan base when JR bought the team in 1981. Reinsdorf has repeatedly made awful moves during his ownership to help drastically tip the balance in this town towards the Cubs. He has squeezed all the character and relevance out of this franchise during his tenure.

voodoochile
11-05-2004, 10:34 AM
I don't see anyone dismissing JR from anything. I just don't see reason for the vicious factless hate that comes from the anti-JR camp on a regular basis. That's all. There is plenty of blame to go around - no reason to pile it all on JR's shoulders.
Okay...

Explain to me how ranting about past ownership groups will solve the problem.

You admit JR is part of the problem, yet want to talk about people long gone and dead to mitigate his part of the blame.

For me it is simple. I cannot do a damned thing about what happened before the current ownership group bought the team. I can whine about it. I can cry about it. I can even rant about it. But, nothing can change what came before.

Now as to the current problem with ownership. Maybe I can point out how pathetic a job they have done at building and maintaining the fanbase. Maybe that will mean something if they ever prove they care enough to listen. Maybe down the road, someone in the Sox organization will look up and say, "He's (they're) right. We need to get serious or get out." Probably not, but at least it has a chance to work and hopefully with enough of us talking about the problems in the management office, the media picks it up and then JR has to finally answer the hard questions about the decisions HE has largely made that have cost this team I care about so dearly.

Hope that helps explain why I for one blame JR and don't care what previous ownership groups did or did not do.

Hitmen77
11-05-2004, 11:13 AM
:reinsyI'd like to thank everyone on WSI who has the guts to tell the truth - that I am NOT responible for the Sox attendance woes. As I have said, this has always been a Cubs town. Since I bought the team over 20 yrs ago, I have made many attempts to make the Sox the #1 team in town, but it's been an uphill battle due to the ineptness of past ownership. Here's what I've done to help make this a Sox town:

- First, I insulted and alienated the previous owner, Bill Veeck. Based on my strict read of profit margins, he was a terrible owner and deserved to be disowned by the Sox. After this, he became a fixture at Wrigley in his final years. I'm sure it hurt the Cubs to be associated with such an unprofessional "showman".

- Next, I fired that scum Harry Caray. Some fans expressed outrage over this, but quite frankly, we don't need fans who follow some drunken announcer and sing with him during the 7th inning stretch. Again, the Cubs foolishly embraced him. I think they regret this move. They rejected their stodgy, family image in favor of this "regular guy" can't-beat-fun-at-the-old-ballpark attitude. That's bad for business!

- I was shocked to discover that we were giving Sox telecasts away to TV viewers FOR FREE! My God! What were previous owners thinking? I quickly rectified this by putting the Sox on pay TV and slapping a $20/month fee for the right to watch the team. Sure, some fans were angered, but you can't argue that $20 for 25 games a month is a real bargin compared to the cost of coming to the ballpark and seeing a game in person. The Cubs foolishly stuck with free TV. Their ownership just had its head in the sand over the pay TV issue - what were the Cubs thinking?

- Comiskey Park was falling apart, so I made sure that the Sox got a new, state-of-the-art, ultra modern stadium with lots of plastic and exposed concrete. Our surveys showed that people hated non-symetrical ballparks with retro character. So, we gave them what they wanted. Some complained about the height of the upper deck, but those seats were not profitable enough - we needed skyboxes upon skyboxes stacked below the upper deck because that's where the money is. In order to maximize profits, we assured that no private businesses located near the park so that all the entertainment money was spent inside the park.

- As owner, this really wasn't my call, but I have to note that my GM wisely traded Sammy Sosa to the Cubs. This helped us obtain a star in George Bell! Another gain for us against Cubs dominance!

- In 1994, I led a hardball confrontation with the players - which led to a strike cancelling the World Series. Sure, the season ended with the Sox in 1st place, but it was worth it.

- in 1997, we set our sights on the future and started a rebuilding program on July 31 that year with the Sox hopelessly 3 games out of 1st place. Some short-sighted fools complained about the so-called white flag trade, but I think history will show that this move resulted in a new winning dynasty on the South Side.

Despite all of this, I just cannot overcome the incompetence of Sox ownership during the 60s and 70s. Plus we just have to admit that the Cubs are too tough to compete with. You think you'd be a better owner than me? Ha! I'd like to see you compete with a team that has had household names such as Harry Caray and Sammy Sosa! I'd like to see you try to top the Cubs' nationally known 7th inning stretch tradition! I'd like to see you compete with the Cubs' 1910s era historic ballpark! I'd like to see you compete with a team that used free TV to build a huge following among younger viewers! So, quit whining and start appreciating the fiscal responsibilty and all the 82 win seasons I have brought to the Sox over the last 20 years.

Lip Man 1
11-05-2004, 12:48 PM
Hitmen 77:

A tour de force comment!

Lip

voodoochile
11-05-2004, 01:13 PM
Hitmen 77:

A tour de force comment!

Lip
Yeah, too bad it's so long, or it would be POTW worthy...:bandance:

Hangar18
11-05-2004, 01:13 PM
Hitmen 77, Ive been LAUGHING for a few hours now, reading that !!

Hitmen 77's post about the Chairman is a Digital Bullseye, and a Virtual HOW-TO manual on how to NOT win a Championship, Alienate a Fanbase, and let your direct competitor in the same city, become more "popular".

Iwritecode
11-05-2004, 02:54 PM
Hitmen 77, Ive been LAUGHING for a few hours now, reading that !!

Hitmen 77's post about the Chairman is a Digital Bullseye, and a Virtual HOW-TO manual on how to NOT win a Championship, Alienate a Fanbase, and let your direct competitor in the same city, become more "popular".

From what I can tell, they were more "popular" even before JR had shown up.

JR has just increased the discrepancy of how MUCH more popular they are. It's not like the Sox of the 70's or 80's were ever in the position that the Cubs are now.

You can't lose something you never had..

Hitmen77
11-05-2004, 03:06 PM
Yeah, too bad it's so long, or it would be POTW worthy...:bandance:
Unfortunately, there were too many Reinsdorf gems to comment on. There I go, blaming JR for everything again!:redface:

Hitmen77
11-05-2004, 03:29 PM
From what I can tell, they were more "popular" even before JR had shown up.

JR has just increased the discrepancy of how MUCH more popular they are. It's not like the Sox of the 70's or 80's were ever in the position that the Cubs are now.

You can't lose something you never had..
I disagree. Just because the Cubs were already more popular in the years leading up to JR's ownership doesn't mean we had nothing to lose. When I was a kid back in the 70s, the Cubs were more popular, but I remember the Sox having a bigger slice of the city's fans and had alot of character and charm that just didn't exist on the North Side.

JR has whitewashed all the charm and character out of this franchise and has left potential new fans with few good reasons to choose the Sox over the Cubs in terms of allegiance. His double disasters of the '94 strike and the '97 white flag trade drove away alot of Sox fans FOREVER. Now, he's painted the team into a corner in today's economics where a diminished fan base can't support the team's efforts to compete with big market teams.

Dan H
11-07-2004, 02:55 PM
Hitmen 77 said it all. How any fan can absolve Jerry Reinsdorf of blame is beyond me. His group has owned the Sox for a quarter of a century. Is there any time that he can be held accountable?

All I cany say is this: If this ownership isn't truly serious about going to World Series, it shouldn't complain about attedance or anything else. They have had time. They have had the Illinois taxpayers build a stadium for them. They have had a decade since the 1994 strike to turn this thing around. Instead of blaming the fans, the media, the Cubs, they should finally take responsibility for what they have done. They surely have done enough.

ewokpelts
11-07-2004, 06:09 PM
Hitmen 77 said it all. How any fan can absolve Jerry Reinsdorf of blame is beyond me. His group has owned the Sox for a quarter of a century. Is there any time that he can be held accountable?

All I cany say is this: If this ownership isn't truly serious about going to World Series, it shouldn't complain about attedance or anything else. They have had time. They have had the Illinois taxpayers build a stadium for them. They have had a decade since the 1994 strike to turn this thing around. Instead of blaming the fans, the media, the Cubs, they should finally take responsibility for what they have done. They surely have done enough.:reinsy

"me? take responsibility?! dan...your on crack...."

Gene

Fenway
11-07-2004, 11:00 PM
PLEASE consider the reality of events back when

The riots of the inner cities ( circa 1966-69 ) hurt White Sox attendance BIGTIME. Fans were scared to travel to the south side. It was probably a major MISCONCEPTION but it is what people thought.

Also consider how badly Arthur Allen ran the WS in those days. Bill Veeck SAVED your franchise.

He was forced to sell to Einhorn and JR............but it did keep the WS in Chicago

voodoochile
11-07-2004, 11:46 PM
PLEASE consider the reality of events back when

The riots of the inner cities ( circa 1966-69 ) hurt White Sox attendance BIGTIME. Fans were scared to travel to the south side. It was probably a major MISCONCEPTION but it is what people thought.

Also consider how badly Arthur Allen ran the WS in those days. Bill Veeck SAVED your franchise.

He was forced to sell to Einhorn and JR............but it did keep the WS in Chicago
How much of that fear and resentment still lingered in 1981? 1983? How about 1991 when the new stadium opened and the subsequent run of playoff contending teams? 1991 the Sox set a record for attendance that was only broken these past two seasons by the flubbies. Amazingly so after the previous 8 years, the fans still hadn't quit on him and the team and the city proved it would follow a winner - ANY winner.

The last decade in particular has seen JR make some very stupid decisions and comments which (rightfully so, IMO) have baseball fans questioning his real motives.

A.T. Money
11-08-2004, 12:55 AM
So.....

When is Reinsy gonna sell?

Dan H
11-08-2004, 09:57 AM
All this thread proves is that the attendance issue is a complicated not just a matter of bandwagon jumping fans. By the way, we never had China.