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TheOldRoman
10-27-2005, 06:59 PM
Boston Gammons had very wise words last night on Sportscenter. He was talking about just how great we were, and the ramifications of this title. He said that the Sox will take the path of the Angels. I thought about that for a couple of months now, and I fully agree with him.

The Angels were not an afterthought in SoCal, but they were definately second fiddle to the Dodgers up until they won the series in 02. They took a pretty low budget team, and won it all. That increased their popularity, which increased merchandising, increased season tickets, general ticket sales, and public interest. As they made more money, they put more money into the team. They signed Vlad in 04, which brought them a big ticket superstar, and further increased their exposure. Their payroll was over $100mil this year. They were a great team, and they set a franchise record for attendance. Gammons said he believes the Sox will draw 3mil in '06 (ducks to evade attendance banning).
I believe this title goes farther than one year. It had definately increased interest. I can attest to that because I stood in line in the Orland Park Dick's Sporting goods for over an hour to buy hats and shirts today. Season tickets will be up, and Reinsy will have playoff revenue to spend. Payroll will probably be $85-90mil next year. We have a great nucleus, and we will still have the best pitching in baseball next year. I am not saying we will win it all again next year, you never know, but we are in a position to be in the playoffs again, and to make noise for the next several years. The city's other team is spinning its wheels in mud, and we have a great opportunity to take back the city.

The thing that really hit me today was the young kids this effects. My next door neighbors are Macedonian immigrants. They have two boys, I believe ages 11 and 9. In previous years the boys (who were born here) were always outside wearing David Beckham t-shirts and kicking a soccer ball around. Well, the last few months, those kids have been tossing around a baseball on the front lawn. Today, one of the boys came up to me, excited to see my championship hat, and said "Go Sox. Oh my god, did you see the fireworks?" A generation of Sox fans was lost with the switch to SportsChannel. This generation looked doomed just two years ago, but I think this championship creates another generation of Sox fans. We are not only taking young fans away from the other team, but we are creating our own.

This goes beyond just one title. What does everyone else think it means?

oldcomiskey
10-27-2005, 07:06 PM
I live in north Mississippi and everybody I knew called me last night after the game---alright, not everybody--it just seemed that way. I know several yankee fans here that will convert with just a little prompting. Point being--if I can convert folks in the mid south to a team that was dead in the water as far as playoff possiblilites not long ago, imagine what chicagos youth is thinking. But be careful what you ask for. Beware of KONG here folks---get ready for the bandwagon to explode with people

antitwins13
10-27-2005, 07:08 PM
I guess I don't care about converting fans. I don't buy into the whole team value is tied up in attendence/fanbase philosphy.

The_Floridian
10-27-2005, 07:15 PM
Great post.

I agree that this has definitely turned the tide in the Sox favor. Not only has it given Chicago the championship the other club couldn't with all of their money and national attention, but it finally shone a clear light on how this team has been getting the shaft from the local media for the past 20 years.

Now people know about this team, and they know about what it took for them to get here. The Sox may not be the number one team in town at the start of next season, but if they make another playoff run while the other team is re-tooling in June, a major swing shift will be in the making.

This is a team that's geared for long term success. They weren't assembled with a large payroll to win immediately (see: 2001 D-Backs, 2004 Red Sox). Those kind of teams need to be retooled very quickly because they've already maxed out their spending and haven't incorporated their minor leaguers into the system. The White Sox have done it smart. They've gotten their younger players (McCarthy, Anderson, Jenks, etc.) into the action and invested in players who will play their guts out. I see them being up there for a while. A very long while.

Hoo ah. :gulp:

TheOldRoman
10-27-2005, 07:21 PM
I guess I don't care about converting fans. I don't buy into the whole team value is tied up in attendence/fanbase philosphy.
Did you read my post? I am not talking about that either. I am talking about creating a new generation of fans. Our team value isn't tied up in "attendance/fanbase", but it is something we need to consider. In creating a new generation of fans, we created a new generation of people who will go to games, watch games on TV, buy merchandise, come on this website to bitch and moan (:D:), and most importantly, put money into the pockets of ownership, which can then use it to improve the team.

MiamiSpartan
10-27-2005, 07:49 PM
Very good posts. I think it makes a ton of sense. Many young kids are going to start following the White Sox, since they have won so recently. I think the gap in popularity will definately close.

I had forgotten about them going to SportsChannel. I think it moved many people over to the cubs, since it was so much easier to watch them play. Same thing happened to the Black Hawks, except there was no other choice to follow.

I'm looking forward to the changes the next few years bring!
GO SOX!

miker
10-27-2005, 07:54 PM
It will attract some people, but it will still be a battle because the number of people who are attracted to good baseball will always be less then the number of who are attracted to tourist attractions like The Urinal at Clark and Addison. However, basking in the glow of a World Championship, I'm not overly concerned about it right now.

Frank the Tank
10-27-2005, 08:12 PM
I think this will boost our popularity in the short-term, but I think Ozzie is right when he says it will take a lot more than 1 World Series to be the #1 drawing baseball team in chicago. However, I definetly think the gap is closing. White Sox fans will never fill the cell when the team is having a bad season like the cubs do almost every year. White Sox fans still work and will have a hard time selling out Tue Wed and Thurs. games. However, we have a lot of good things going for us:

1. World Series winner
2. Ballpark is great
3. Increased media attention
4. A more upscale neighborhood around the cell in the works

If we produce consistent playoff caliber teams, I could see us drawing 2.5-2.7 million annually.

Ol' No. 2
10-27-2005, 08:18 PM
Build steadily. That's the key. They added several thousand season ticket holders. If they were to put out a stinko team next year, all those added ST holders would bail out the following year and they'd be right back where they started. Some just bought the ST to get playoff tickets, and they will not renew, but if they continue to put a good product on the field, the base will continue to expand. Once new fans come into the park and find out that there isn't a mugger hiding behind every tree, tattooed trailer trash in all the seats and the UD isn't 5000 feet high, they'll keep coming back. They're not going to win the WS every year, but I believe they are set up for a nice run of contending teams.

Whether they'll become more popular than the Cubs, I couldn't care less.

Flight #24
10-27-2005, 09:11 PM
Without goin all Wanny on things - the pieces are all in place. Think about how things have changed over the past 1-2 years:

- Hiring fan favorite Ozzie
- Changing the makeup of the team to be one the fans and Chicago specifically can really appreciate
- Setting up a dominant pitching staff for at least one more year
- Winning it all (most important)
- And not to be overlooked, adding Brooks Boyer - a man who clearly knows volumes more about how to effectively market a team than the previous guy

If they bring back everyone with possible minor exceptions (Carl, Timo, Marte), they'll be in position to build on the goodwill created. They'll also have a team that should contend next year. If they somehow add offense, then even better.

You know Brooks is going to have the joint jumping on opening day to the strains of "Introducing your World Champion Chicago White Sox", setting things off on a good foot. Add in the hoped-for Frank chase for 50o HR to a contending team and you should have very nice increase in attendance & buzz next year, which will begin to turn those bandwagoners into longer-term fans and also dispell the cloud of negativism that used to exist around the cell.

Lip Man 1
10-27-2005, 09:17 PM
I don't think we will be able to answer that question until some time has passed. It does give ownership a chance to start pushing the franchise into the 'major' market category if they wish. It should make things more attractive (all things being equal) to free agents, if the Sox like PHG has long suggested, decide to push their season ticket base it will definitely help and it should also increase advertising revenue.

It can be a boon to the franchise but again it all depends on how it is handled.

Lip

itsnotrequired
10-27-2005, 09:26 PM
Did you read my post? I am not talking about that either. I am talking about creating a new generation of fans. Our team value isn't tied up in "attendance/fanbase", but it is something we need to consider. In creating a new generation of fans, we created a new generation of people who will go to games, watch games on TV, buy merchandise, come on this website to bitch and moan (:D:), and most importantly, put money into the pockets of ownership, which can then use it to improve the team.

Bingo. Think of how many of the younger people on WSI chose the Sox because of Frank Thomas.

Today's bandwagon fan = tomorrow's die-hard fan...

Hendu
10-27-2005, 09:32 PM
While I think that the Angels are probably a good parallel to the Sox, there is one big difference. Right after the Angels won the series in '02, they got a new owner whose first moves were to reduce ticket prices and beer prices, and increase payroll. They also struck marketing gold with the Rally Monkey, cool new uniforms and encouraging fans to wear red to the games, and the 'A Team' marketing campaign.

It will take some good moves by JR and Brooks to turn the Sox into an Angels-type franchise. But the most important thing to build on the success of this season is to keep winning, just like the Halos have done.

jabrch
10-27-2005, 09:40 PM
My next door neighbors are Macedonian immigrants. They have two boys, I believe ages 11 and 9.

The WHite Sox are the preferred baseball team for Macedonian pre-teens. Hey, it's a start!!!

I agree with you - this could be a springboard for the future. Just look at the upped season ticket base already for next year. That alone will put us over 2.5mm (duck) Fans other than the diehards will come if this franchise gives them something to come to. We need to resign AJ and PK and bring in at least one more high impact player (BJ Ryan would be nice). Then we could really build something that could last a few years. Thome can be had cheaply - if he can still play, he'd be a tremendous value.

Southsider101
10-27-2005, 09:40 PM
...
The thing that really hit me today was the young kids this effects. My next door neighbors are Macedonian immigrants. They have two boys, I believe ages 11 and 9. In previous years the boys (who were born here) were always outside wearing David Beckham t-shirts and kicking a soccer ball around. Well, the last few months, those kids have been tossing around a baseball on the front lawn. Today, one of the boys came up to me, excited to see my championship hat, and said "Go Sox. Oh my god, did you see the fireworks?" A generation of Sox fans was lost with the switch to SportsChannel. This generation looked doomed just two years ago, but I think this championship creates another generation of Sox fans. We are not only taking young fans away from the other team, but we are creating our own.

This goes beyond just one title. What does everyone else think it means?

Well put Old Roman. David Beckham may be an outstanding soccer player, but when will he ever play a game in Chicago outside of an exhibition? The impressions that are made at the ages of 9-12 years are indelible. I have a feeling that your neighbor kids will be Sox fans for a long, long time.

robiwho
10-27-2005, 10:22 PM
Before going to bed in the wee hours this morning, I was thinking about how different being a Sox fan is going to be for my kids. They're just 4 and 7 now, but they already know how important baseball and the Sox are to our family. They're going to grow up being fans of a team that won the World Series in their lifetimes. I grew up hearing about how my great-grandparents saw the Sox win the Series in 1917. My parents were still in elementary school in 1959. This is a huge difference and I can't even imagine what it's going to be like for them.

I live in the near west burbs, and it always felt pretty much divided loyalty-wise in this area. The past few weeks it seems like every kid at the elementary school my son attends and the junior high next door has been in Sox gear. Last Friday was Sox Day at my son's school. I had to stop by the office to pick something up and when I got there the principal was on the PA leading the entire school in a "GO GO SOX" chant. It was amazing.

My next door neighbors -- who aren't Chicago natives, but who I always thought had blue sympathies -- have three young sons. Last week their four-year-old stopped me to show off his Sox shirt and tell me that Scott Podsednik was his favorite player. As we all know, these loyalties start early. I still get a little misty-eyed when I hear names like Oscar Gamble and Chet Lemon -- the first Sox team I loved.

The White Sox have just added an uncountable number of kids to their fanbase -- kids who will bug their parents to take them to a game next year, and buy them a Konerko jersey.

Big changes are coming, my friends.

GregoryEtc
10-27-2005, 10:26 PM
Sure the World Series title will go a ways to bring in more lifetime Sox fans...
but not as much as the GREEN SEATS WILL! :)

Knoxville Sox
10-27-2005, 11:00 PM
The major impact will be on the kids in Chicago and surrounding area. I suspect that there were many new fans created in that youth population back in 1959, joining those who were long-suffering Sox backers. Those fans were the foundation of the club's survival during all the threatened franchise moves to the likes of Milwaukee, D.C., or Tampa in the decades after that special season. And I think the Chicago kids who throw in their lot with the Sox during this Championship year will do much to preserve what will be left to them in the decades to come.

Outside that Chicago area, I don't know what kind of impact this will have. The White Sox do not have the mythic aura of the Yankees. They don't have the national sympathy that the Red Sox still stoke and maintain. They don't get the national television audience the Braves and Loveable Amoebas receive with their superstation outreach. What makes the White Sox special (and unique in American sports) is their tight identity with a section of a city and its population. Pride in place and in past is important to a long-term Sox fan in a manner that no other community in this nation has known since the Dodgers left Brooklyn. That is not easy for an outsider to grasp. You have to dig a bit deeper to get what makes the White Sox a special franchise. Not many fans are up to that task. Those who are will be as smitten as I was a couple of years ago and will join the hardcore. Those who don't get it will buy a cap or a jersey and then take off as soon as Steinbrenner buys another set of World Series championships.

Watch those local and regional kids. They will grow to be part of the heart and soul of a special American team. That is the impact of 2005.

Flight #24
10-27-2005, 11:01 PM
We need to resign AJ and PK and bring in at least one more high impact player (BJ Ryan would be nice).

I've seen this a couple of times. Off topic, but Ryan's a closer and will almost certainly want to be paid as such. With Jenks in the fold, spending big bucks on a non-closer reliever (or spending it on a closer and putting a cheap stud closer into a non-closer role) might not be the best use of resources.

elrod
10-27-2005, 11:15 PM
The effect this has had in the North suburbs is unbelievable. Until a couple weeks ago, it was a shock to see anybody with a Sox hat on. Today I dropped my son off at school on the edge of Evanston/Wilmette and every other kid was wearing a Sox hat or Sox jersey. My wife, who teaches there, said the class decided on their own to call today "White Sox Day". All the kids were outward Cub fans until recently. Now they are Sox fans. There was one kid who was always a diehard Sox fan, however. He was sort of annoying - not very sociable. A lot of kids rooted against the Sox early on in the playoffs not because they loved the Cubs but because they wanted to tick this kid off. We all know people like this. Well, today, the kid, who actually went to Game Two of the World Series, and didn't show up to school yesterday, got a round of applause from his fellow students when he came into class today. It was as if everybody recognized that this kid was the one real, legit diehard fan, and the rest of the class was just bandwagonning it, and they were showing their appreciation for him and all he'd gone through. Very touching, especially for third-graders.

ChiSoxPatF
10-27-2005, 11:39 PM
Don't overlook the huge possibility that the other Chicago baseball franchise is seeming more likely every day that it may be sold from the Cubune. If the franchise splits from their generous superstation life support system and the largest newspaper in the city, there is no telling how quickly the fanbase can shift without being inudated every day with propaganda.

This could be a golden oppurtunity coupled with the World Series title to trade "Second Team in Second City"-status they so love to throw in our face like we did Matt Karchner for Jon Garland.

tacosalbarojas
10-27-2005, 11:44 PM
Bingo. Think of how many of the younger people on WSI chose the Sox because of Frank Thomas.

Today's bandwagon fan = tomorrow's die-hard fan...
You mean like Brandon McCarthy?

DenverSock
10-27-2005, 11:49 PM
Outside that Chicago area, I don't know what kind of impact this will have. The White Sox do not have the mythic aura of the Yankees. They don't have the national sympathy that the Red Sox still stoke and maintain. They don't get the national television audience the Braves and Loveable Amoebas receive with their superstation outreach. What makes the White Sox special (and unique in American sports) is their tight identity with a section of a city and its population. Pride in place and in past is important to a long-term Sox fan in a manner that no other community in this nation has known since the Dodgers left Brooklyn. That is not easy for an outsider to grasp. You have to dig a bit deeper to get what makes the White Sox a special franchise. Not many fans are up to that task. Those who are will be as smitten as I was a couple of years ago and will join the hardcore. Those who don't get it will buy a cap or a jersey and then take off as soon as Steinbrenner buys another set of World Series championships.

I think, that I, most unfortunately have the answer to that and your intuition is correct. As a non-Chicagoan, who adopted the team in his college days at the University of Chicago I can identify with the team. But the average American can not. To paraphrase you, the Yankees have a mythic aura The Red Sox stoke sympathy, etc. If they win 3,4,5 World series in a row they'll be popular for a short time but they'll fade after it. Remember the Oakland Athletics and their mini-dynasty in the '70's? I saw green and yellow jerseys and caps everywhere in those days. The popular teams were ones with mythopoeic histories in media capitals like the Dodgers and the Yankees. The Red Sox were loved for being the Anti- Yankees. The Superstations reach starting in the '80's changed that and added new teams. Had the White Sox kept Harry Carry and been on WGN perhaps old Comiskey Park would have the place in the American psyche now occupied by Wrigley Field. It was not to be.

As you have said, the Sox are identified with a section of a city and the descendants of the people who once lived there. It is a working man's team only in that the majority of it's fans are the sons and grandsons of the laborers who were its first fans. they no longer reside solely on the South Side of Chicago. They have been spread to every corner of ChicagoLand and across the country and even the World. When I lived abroad I still followed my Sox. But, wherever they live now they still live the ethos of their forefathers. They still identify with their roots. To most of the world's baseball fans this is not theirs. They can go to Dodger Stadium or Petco Park as a corporate Perk. We do not go to see the Sox that way, hence our attendance figures. We are now the flavor of the Month. When we lose, and we shall, we shall also fade from conciousness of the masses outside. But we shall remain. And that is what is important.

jabrch
10-27-2005, 11:55 PM
I've seen this a couple of times. Off topic, but Ryan's a closer and will almost certainly want to be paid as such. With Jenks in the fold, spending big bucks on a non-closer reliever (or spending it on a closer and putting a cheap stud closer into a non-closer role) might not be the best use of resources.

1) Ryan said he'd consider not being a #1 closer if a team was a legit contender.

2) Ozzie doesn't just go with one guy - he goes with the hot hand.

3) Ryan would be out of the AL East

4) WE ARE THE DEFENDING WORLD CHAMPS!!!!

It may not happen - but I'd settle for Eddie Guardado if it doesn't.

Knoxville Sox
10-28-2005, 12:12 AM
DenverSock, the Sox culture reminds me of English soccer fans with regard to this community association. An example is West Ham United. West Ham is situated on the East End of London, the home base of dockworkers and other members of the Cockney working class. They are very strongly identified with that community. Indeed, the club have repeatedly rejected offers to move to more appealing locations just outside their traditional base of support. They are not the most popular club in London. But those who hear the call are some of the best and most avid fans of their sport in England. Their frustrations, successes, and heroes seem to match those of the White Sox closely.

DSpivack
10-28-2005, 12:52 AM
No one has mentioned what is probably the most important part of franchise-building: The farm system. People may complain of the Yankees taking others free agents, but in Pettite, Jeter, Williams, Rivera, Posada, and more, many of the stars on the 1996-2000 teams were homegrown. It seems to me the last couple years the Sox farm system has really grown; sure, there are trades and signings in the offseason that help, but we won this year with the likes of Rowand, Crede, Buehrle, Garland [we didn't draft him, but I'd consider him close enough], and Cotts [come to think of it, that's it on the 25-man roster, plus Pablo or something].

DenverSock
10-28-2005, 10:51 AM
No one has mentioned what is probably the most important part of franchise-building: The farm system. People may complain of the Yankees taking others free agents, but in Pettite, Jeter, Williams, Rivera, Posada, and more, many of the stars on the 1996-2000 teams were homegrown. It seems to me the last couple years the Sox farm system has really grown; sure, there are trades and signings in the offseason that help, but we won this year with the likes of Rowand, Crede, Buehrle, Garland [we didn't draft him, but I'd consider him close enough], and Cotts [come to think of it, that's it on the 25-man roster, plus Pablo or something].

You're right about both the Yankees and the White sox. KW said that he wanted as many men as he could get who had been White Sox in the past in order for them to connect with the team and the community. He wanted guys who had come up in the organisation,or least had played for the team. Hence all the guys you mentioned plus Ozzie Guillen as manager, Raines as first base coach, etc.

Meanwhile, all the guys you mentioned as Yankees came up during Steinbrenner's suspension leavin a good five years for development. Then they won for about five years during which Steinbrenner was Monkeying with the team again and now they can't win it all. If KW has his way we could at least see the post season a lot in the ensuing years.

:KW

DenverSock
10-28-2005, 10:53 AM
DenverSock, the Sox culture reminds me of English soccer fans with regard to this community association. An example is West Ham United. West Ham is situated on the East End of London, the home base of dockworkers and other members of the Cockney working class. They are very strongly identified with that community. Indeed, the club have repeatedly rejected offers to move to more appealing locations just outside their traditional base of support. They are not the most popular club in London. But those who hear the call are some of the best and most avid fans of their sport in England. Their frustrations, successes, and heroes seem to match those of the White Sox closely.

I think you're right. There are some more complex aspects to both relationships to be sure. But the base of the fanbase is the Southside Irish.

1951Campbell
10-28-2005, 11:14 AM
This is a team that's geared for long term success. They weren't assembled with a large payroll to win immediately (see: 2001 D-Backs, 2004 Red Sox). Those kind of teams need to be retooled very quickly because they've already maxed out their spending and haven't incorporated their minor leaguers into the system. The White Sox have done it smart. They've gotten their younger players (McCarthy, Anderson, Jenks, etc.) into the action and invested in players who will play their guts out. I see them being up there for a while. A very long while.

Hoo ah. :gulp:

I think long-term success is a distinct possibility as well.

The interesting thing will be to see if other teams copy the Sox' pitching and defense-intensive style. Some teams--like the Red Sox, for example--don't appear to have come to terms with a post-steroid era in MLB. I think the days of softball teams are over, but has every GM in baseball thought of the implications? It seems not.

Actually, another interesting thing is...what about Moneyball? Will GMs see the Sox as a refutation of Moneyball or just an aberrant exception?

I don't know who will win the World Series in 2006, but I will predict it will be thhe Sox or a very similarly-assembled team. That should tell what I think about post-steroid baseball and Moneyball, at the very least.

VenturaSoxFan23
10-28-2005, 12:38 PM
KW said that he wanted as many men as he could get who had been White Sox in the past in order for them to connect with the team and the community. He wanted guys who had come up in the organisation,or least had played for the team. Hence all the guys you mentioned plus Ozzie Guillen as manager, Raines as first base coach, etc.


First White Sox program this year in the coaches' section-

Ozzie: "I want to pick my own coaches."
KW: "Which ones do you want, your friends or guys you know who can coach?"
Ozzie: "Both."

Jurr
10-28-2005, 01:05 PM
The one fear I have about this whole thing is complacency. This organization took a long sigh of relief and got the monkey off it and the city of Chicago's back. Now what?

You can always get better, and I hope that management and the fans don't get so caught up in what a certain player or players did in 2005 that they overvalue what that player is worth in the future. We all have some very strong feelings about most of the players on this roster now. However, if it means getting better and continuing to grow, the Sox are going to have to possibly lose some guys to upgrade.

If they keep that "moving forward" philosophy going, we're going to be very good for a long time.