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View Full Version : Rich Lindberg Returns To WSI


Lip Man 1
02-27-2005, 10:35 PM
If you haven't already I'd strongly recommend reading Sox author / historian and Chicago historian Rich Lindberg's story on the new front page here at WSI.

It's a tour de force historical look at how and why the Sox found themselves in the position of being second class citizens in their own hometown.

For everyone who discusses the media and the lack of respect they give the Sox, this story will be an education for you.

As with many things in life (I sound like Mike Ditka!) some of it was caused by circumstances beyond the Sox control but also a large part of it was caused by the Sox own stupidity and personalities within the Sox organization.

Read for yourself and judge for yourself.

Welcome back Rich!!!!!

Lip

SOXintheBURGH
02-27-2005, 11:06 PM
That was one of the best things I have read in weeks.

Whitesox029
02-27-2005, 11:17 PM
I was able to meet Rich at a program at my local library and heard him speak on Sox history. He's probably the most knowledgable Sox fan there is, and that's saying something!
:)
Oh, and Lip...was that you writing the "fan's perspective" on the Blackhawks on Chicagosports.com? Nice article.

Lip Man 1
02-27-2005, 11:24 PM
029:

I confess...it was I.

Lip

Cubbiesuck13
02-28-2005, 01:20 AM
I really enjoyed both his article and your interview, Lip. I always thought Chicago was a Sox town up until much later than it was. Lots of good info.

minastirith67
02-28-2005, 01:27 AM
That article is amazing and very informative. I really appreciate the fine effort put into that, especially the part on Chicago politics. I would like to read his White Sox Encyclopedia.

:thumbsup:

tadscout
02-28-2005, 01:34 AM
Great article! :thumbsup:

SpammySosa
02-28-2005, 01:57 AM
I read articles like that and realize though I am a lifelong Sox fan,there is so much more for me to learn about their history. Great reading material!

mmmmmbeeer
02-28-2005, 04:29 AM
Outstanding read.

I found it interesting the way that he placed a large part of the blame for these shifts in fan bases on the local media. I wonder though, do you think things are changing a bit? Do you feel that some of the more up and coming writers in Chicago tend to lean towards the southsiders? I believe it's subtle at this point, but I believe that the "lovable loser" label is beginning to hurt that franchise.

ChiWhiteSox1337
02-28-2005, 04:43 AM
Wow, a very good read indeed! It is very interesting to someone such as I who was born in the late 80's once most of the local media turned to the Cubs...

soxfan26
02-28-2005, 06:48 AM
A very well written article. Thanks Rich! :gulp:

Maximo
02-28-2005, 09:11 AM
Excellent article.

DannyCaterFan
02-28-2005, 11:46 AM
I've been a Sox fan since opening day of 1960. Rich hit the " nail on the head" with his historic article. Great reading

Brian26
02-28-2005, 11:52 AM
Lindberg always does outstanding work!

Baby Fisk
02-28-2005, 12:20 PM
An excellent, but depressing essay. :(:

Dan H
02-28-2005, 12:49 PM
This was a great article. The story of the team's problems is a long and comlplicated one. It has not just been about fan apathy and disloyalty. Power, money and the ability to control the media at least to a point, all are big factors.

spawn
02-28-2005, 02:27 PM
That article was outstanding, yet frustrating. The frustrting part is it seems there is nothing we can do to swing the pendulum back to our side, and that sucks!

Fenway
02-28-2005, 02:55 PM
I found it a good read and will concede some valid points about East Coast bias.

The quotes from Ken Burn's come from here
http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/baseball/about/

Burns certainly did not omit the Black Sox from his film but take a deep breath and look at the 2 teams he picked. (both had one thing in common, playing second fiddle to the Yankees)

The Dodgers

New York was the baseball universe from 1947 until 1964. Only in 1959 did 2 non NY teams play in the World Series. Brooklyn was a big part of that. It is where Jackie Robinson broke in and in 1957 greed moved the team to California.

The Red Sox
From the sale of Babe Ruth, through Ted Williams, the Yaz years and into the present the Red Sox have never been short of characters or plotlines.

Not to be harsh but since 1945 not too much of note has happened in Chicago baseball.

I can see how you Chicago folk are fed up with the East. What amazes me is how Philadelphia seems to ignore it completly and they are even closer to NY than Boston.

DC Sox Fan
02-28-2005, 03:00 PM
Philadelphia seems to ignore it completly

Philadelphia fans always have and always will be in their own little world. I can't stand 'em.

BTW- GREAT article!!! :cool:

BigEdWalsh
02-28-2005, 03:10 PM
Not to be harsh but since 1945 not too much of note has happened in Chicago baseball .
:nuts: That's a pretty dumb statment. Dumb enough that I'll leave it at that and not even argue. :dancers:

baseball_fanatic
02-28-2005, 03:32 PM
A very excellent and well written article that does an superb job at discussing the issues at hand. Bravo.

AZChiSoxFan
02-28-2005, 03:59 PM
Philadelphia fans always have and always will be in their own little world. I can't stand 'em.



Totally agree and BTW, I love the picture in your signature, classic.

Fenway
02-28-2005, 04:10 PM
:nuts: That's a pretty dumb statment. Dumb enough that I'll leave it at that and not even argue. :dancers:

since 1945 Chicago with 2 teams has ONE pennant ( White Sox 1959 )

One pennant in 120 seasons of baseball and no World Series championships....so my statement stands
Not to be harsh but since 1945 not too much of note has happened in Chicago baseball .

Fenway
02-28-2005, 04:45 PM
It's a tour de force historical look at how and why the Sox found themselves in the position of being second class citizens in their own hometown.


For those who think East Coast writers never looked at the White Sox in a good way, I take you back 20 years

DOUBLE PLAY IN CHICAGO IT'S TWICE THE BALLPARK FUN, BUT FOR HOW MUCH LONGER? (Boston Globe, August 5, 1985) (http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:BGBK&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=0EADEB039741FA64&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated4&req_dat=0F40413B3B2D7D5C)

and

LEIGH MONTVILLE\ COMISKEY PARK, CHICAGO IS (Boston Globe, October 8, 1983) (http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:BGBK&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=0EB974C3F68F5A79&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated4&req_dat=0F40413B3B2D7D5C)

Worries developed about spectator safety in a declining neighborhood, and suburban fans stayed home. The paint peeled. The team was terrible. Poems were written about the other old lady of Chicago baseball, Wrigley Field, and its ivy, on the North Side. No poems were written about Comiskey Park.

"Tell me the other side of the story," you ask Holtzman, who also sat through all of this.

"It was all overrated," Holtzman says. "I grew up in this neighborhood 50 years ago and I'll tell you this, it's a better neighborhood now than it was 50 years ago. Heck, Mayor Daley only lived a 10-minute walk from here.

"This is a beautiful park. Do you know that it's exactly 36 blocks from Madison Street one way and Wrigley is exactly 36 blocks the other way? Stand on Madison and you have the same distance to go to see either the American League or the National League. Isn't that lovely?"

Lovely is a word to use about the old lady on this night, that is for sure. The restoration efforts of the new owners in the past two years have covered the park with paint, put a mega-scoreboard in center field, restored the grass and made the park as lovely as she ought to be.

She sparkles, she gleams as the White Sox play the Baltimore Orioles in the third game of the American League playoffs. This is her second postseason playoff party in 64 years.

but perhaps the most telling comments came from Montville in the spring of 1984 when the Red Sox announced the formation of NESN. In effect Sportsvision coupled with the Cubs having a banner year on free TV in Chicago doomed the White Sox for another generation.

LEIGH MONTVILLE\ THE VERY AIR HAS ITS PRICE (Boston Globe, March 21, 1984) (http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:BGBK&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=0EB9760FAEB593B9&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated4&req_dat=0F40413B3B2D7D5C)

An only consolation is that one of the first big pay-cable promotions took place last year in Chicago. The White Sox hired Ken Harrelson - remember him? - and Don Drysdale and put most of their games on the pay service. The team had a tremendous season, finishing in the playoffs.


I went to Comiskey Park for those playoff games, expecting to find pandemonium from a crowd that hadn't had a winner in decades. The crowd reaction was reserved.


"Why's this?" I asked.

"Nobody knows this team," I was told. "If you don't buy the cable, you don't see the games. People can't develop a passion for a team of players they've never watched."

HITMEN OF 77
02-28-2005, 06:43 PM
Not to be harsh but since 1945 not too much of note has happened in Chicago baseball.


Yea your right, nothing happened during the Sox 1959 team, '64, '67, '72, '77, '83, '93, '00 teams.

Spicoli
02-28-2005, 07:15 PM
To begin, I enjoyed the article. I hope WSI has more guest articles like this one.


Secondly, with respect to the debate concerning East Coast bias ala Fenway's remarks, what I think it demonstrates if nothing else is that baseball fans too have succumbed to the blatant obviousness of American culture. In other words, unless the story is BIG, i.e., sensational, then it doesn't render a blip on the media's radar screen. It costs us the propensity to appreciate the subtleties of life and the game (e.g., the dominance of the home run in recent years). Thus it seems quite rational to say, nothing has happened in Chicago baseball for 120 years if you mean by "something" only the crudely obvious events that make up your "drama", especially as conveniently framed by the press (what ever happened to reporters who brought us the details and inside stories as opposed to the open-faced scandals and gossip?). But those with finer tastes know that the story is in the details and the many sub-plots and minor characters make a good narrative great. Much has, in fact, happened in Chicago baseball over the past 120 years; unfortunately the audience is transfixed by the smoke and mirrors of the media cronies to see it. That is precisely why ESPN and the lot only present the candy-coated and now tired storyline over and over again as if nothing else meaningful is happening. Their loss...

Lip Man 1
02-28-2005, 09:33 PM
Spawn:

There is something that can be done...win a championship...either by lucking into it like the Marlins...or buy buying it like the Yanks and Red Sox.

If the Sox were to win something meaningful the situation would start to change.

Lip

Brian26
02-28-2005, 09:38 PM
Yea your right, nothing happened during the Sox 1959 team, '64, '67, '72, '77, '83, '93, '00 teams.

I was just reading about that '64 Sox team the other night. Unbelievable heartbreak....

The Sox lost the pennant to the Yankees by one lousy game. This is after the Sox won their last 11 games of the season. The problem- the Yankees won their last 15 games of the season. Incredible.

Lip Man 1
02-28-2005, 09:42 PM
Actually the 64 Yanks went 15-3 down the stretch until they clinched on the next to last day of the season. Then they lost the last game.

The trouble was that by mid September the Sox found themselves 4 games out and just ran out of time trying to catch up.

Lip

Brian26
02-28-2005, 09:47 PM
Actually the 64 Yanks went 15-3 down the stretch until they clinched on the next to last day of the season. Then they lost the last game.

The trouble was that by mid September the Sox found themselves 4 games out and just ran out of time trying to catch up.

Lip

Yeah, I misquoted the book I was reading. Just checked it: The Sox won their last nine in a row, and the Yankees had an 11 game winning steak down the stretch. Was this worse than the '67 finish?

Lip Man 1
02-28-2005, 10:09 PM
In my opinion no...in 64 as stated the Sox were four games out by mid September. It was a situation where the Yanks had to LOSE the pennent, the Sox couldn't win it.


However in 1967 the Sox went into the final week as the clear favorite based on their schedule and the fact that they had five games remaining. They had a game or two in hand over the other contenders who had played more at that point in the season. In 67 the pennant belonged to the Sox unless THEY lost it (and they did...)

By the way Joe Horlen talks a lot about the 67 season and that final week in the interview with him just released on the main page. I recommend it.

Lip

Fenway
03-01-2005, 01:35 PM
I had forgotten about the 1964 White Sox, of course their story was lost by the Phillies completly blowing the 64 pennant.

Teams in the Central time zone just don't get seen as much by baseball fans accross the country ( the Cubs excepted because of WGN )

ESPN is going to show an early game from an east coast park at 7:30 (ET) and from the west coast at 10:30. They will on occasion change the time of a game to 6:30 CDT to take care of the east but the owners of the teams involved don't like the earlier starts. There is no easy solution.

Lip Man 1
03-01-2005, 01:46 PM
Fenway:

Sure there is...East Coast and West Coast games on ESPN on a regular basis.

Central and Mountain games are on ESPN2 on a regular basis or ESPN Classic. (If they can show college basketball on Classic, they can show baseball...)

Lip

Lip Man 1
03-01-2005, 01:48 PM
Also just FYI.

I spoke with Rich last night congratulating him on the article. He told me that it is going to be part of a forthcoming book that he and George Castle are doing on the entire subject of the sports media, what they do, how they do it and WHY they do certain things, why they emphasize certain areas and why they ignore others.

The book will look at the local (Chicago) and national media in this regards.

Should be an interesting read.

Lip

BainesHOF
03-04-2005, 03:47 PM
This is partly what Lindberg wrote:

"In hindsight the threat of a defamation of character lawsuit might have likely achieved the desired result of toning down or silencing Mariotti. The Sox owner seemed to have sufficient grounds for an action.

Never a public relations oriented man to begin with, the shell-shocked Jerry Reinsdorf retreated into his own corner. He was not cut out of the same cloth as Veeck, and he made no attempt to court the media. The privacy of the owner’s suite suited him just fine, and never would he be seen hobnobbing inside the press box unless there was a major storm brewing, like the pending 1994 player’s walkout forcing him to articulate his position among baseball powerbrokers at an impromptu interview session.

The owner was understandably suspicious and mistrustful of nearly every reporter knocking on his door with a tape recorder and a notepad in hand."





I've always enjoyed Lindberg's writing on the Sox, except for his blatant, embarrassing sucking up to Reinsdorf. Mariotti is far from the only person who has a poor opinion of the Chairman. Reinsdorf has no one but himself to blame for so many people disliking and even hating him. He's lucky the Chicago media hasn't been harder on him.

Lindberg is guilty of spinning and revising history when it comes to Reinsdorf. "A defamation or character lawsuit might have likely achieved the desired result..." Huh? Might have likely? What the heck does that mean? "The Sox owner seemed to have sufficient grounds for an action?" That's laughable.

"The owner was understandably suspicious and mistrustful of nearly every reporter..." Again, ridiculous. The word "understandably" shows Lindberg to be nothing but a Reinsdorf apologist.

If Lindberg wants to criticize the media, he shouldn't be such a hypocrite. His own writing falls far short of any kind of reasonable fairness standard when it comes to Reinsdorf.

Lip Man 1
03-04-2005, 04:27 PM
Baines:

Just FYI, read Rich's interview with WSI. He comes down pretty hard on Uncle Jerry. I never thought he was a Reinsdorf apologist.

Lip

Fenway
03-04-2005, 04:37 PM
I can remember when JR came to a cable access studio in Evanston to talk about the White Sox back in 1986. BUT in those days he was not the front man it was Einhorn.

Now from what I have been told Einhorn has been in poor health for the last decade but he is still listed as the #2 man in the depth chart of the White Sox ownership.

Does JR today have the same power as Steinbrenner with New York or is he simply the voice of all the owners?

Board of Directors Jerry Reinsdorf, ChairmanEddie Einhorn, Vice ChairmanFred BrzozowskiJudd MalkinJay PinskySanford TakiffRobert MazerLarry PogofskyBurton UryRobert JudelsonAllan MuchinLee SternCharles Walsh http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/images/trans.gifhttp://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/images/trans.gifOfficershttp://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/images/trans.gifJerry Reinsdorf (http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/team/exe_bios/reinsdorf_jerry.html)Chairmanhttp://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/images/trans.gifEddie Einhorn (http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/team/exe_bios/einhorn_eddie.html)Vice Chairmanhttp://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/images/trans.gifHoward Pizer (http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/team/exe_bios/pizer_howard.html)Executive Vice Presidenthttp://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/images/trans.gifKen Williams (http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/team/exe_bios/williams_ken.html)Sr. Vice President/General Managerhttp://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/images/trans.gifTim Buzard (http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/team/exe_bios/buzard_tim.html)Senior Vice President, Administration and Financehttp://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/images/trans.gifTerry Savarise (http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/team/exe_bios/savarise_terry.html)Senior Vice President, Stadium Operationshttp://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/images/trans.gifLarry Monroe (http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/team/exe_bios/monroe_larry.html)Vice President, Free Agent and Major League Scouting Scott ReifertVice President, Communications Brooks BoyerVice President, Marketinghttp://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/images/trans.gifAllan MuchinCorporate Counsel Gerald PennerSecretary

Lip Man 1
03-04-2005, 04:51 PM
Fenway:

If you mean unlimited authority to do what he thinks best the answer is yes. He is in charge of the day to day operations of the team despite not owning more then 10% of the club. That's still higher then any other investor.

It is specifically written into his contract (as well as with the Bulls) that he can do as he thinks best without having to get approval from other owners except in very unusual circumstances. (I do not know specifically what those would be be I'd assume it would be things like selling or moving the team.)
Lip

The Racehorse
03-04-2005, 06:54 PM
... but great article, Rich. Good to see you back. :cool:

SoxEd
03-04-2005, 07:14 PM
Articles like this one, and the other fantastic features available here in addition to the Utopian Cyberhaven of Ad-free, and troll-free message boards, and all available for NOTHING, are why WSI is my favourite website, bar none.

Ave WSI!

Which reminds me, I really ought to Pony-up some dough to help Keep the Sock Flying (http://whitesoxinteractive.com/Funding/supporters.htm)...

BainesHOF
03-05-2005, 05:49 AM
Baines:

Just FYI, read Rich's interview with WSI. He comes down pretty hard on Uncle Jerry. I never thought he was a Reinsdorf apologist.

Lip

Thanks for the advice. I just got done reading the interview. Interesting. On other occasions Lindberg has gone out of his way to awkwardly defend Reinsdorf, and his latest story on this site is simply odd where it concerns the Chairman. He's clearly going out of his way to slant things in Reinsdorf's favor. I'm disappointed because I'm enjoyed Lindberg's writing otherwise beginning with "Stuck on the Sox" when I was a kid.

I'm just trying to keep it real.