Originally Posted by Konerko05
I always thought Stone was great with the Cubs, and I was excited when he was joining Hawk.
Since he's been with the Sox, he hasn't really said anything at all. A lot can be blamed on Hawk and his immaturity. More should be blamed on Stone. He still has control over his own actions, and there was plenty of silence he could have filled.
From the get go, he never really wanted to work with Hawk at all. I can't blame the guy, but he knew what he was getting himself into. More effort could have been put forth by Stone to work together. Instead he seemed to pout, and hope the smart fans would know Hawk is making it impossible for him to sound smart. I am sure Hawk probably thinks Stone has an ego problem as well, and I could also see Stone acting like he is better than Hawk. Hawk does nothing to help his cause by constantly repeating dumb phrases with different tones of voice.
So I am pretty much indifferent on Stone coming back. It's nice to have the big name that is respected around baseball who we stole from the Cubs, but we wouldn't miss his insight if the Sox found a professional, compatible partner for Hawk.
I also disagree with everyone saying we need to get rid of Hawk to expand the fanbase. Getting an unrecognizable voice in the booth without a strong identity is going to do nothing to expand the fanbase. Although, Hawk gets plenty of negative attention throughout the country, he is one of the few things in our organization that gives the White Sox a little bit of an identity. In case no one noticed, I think we need that nationally with the state of media coverage. As someone else mentioned, Hawk can also bring in young baseball players as fans, who will learn very early in life many of Hawk's dumb catchphrases. This will give them a reason to turn on a White Sox game.
Also, in regards to the fanbase argument, the Sox television ratings went up this past season again. The problem is not lack of people watching the White Sox, it's lack of people watching the White Sox in the stadium. Getting people in to the stadium has little to do with our announcing team.
I am not totally defending Hawk's behavior at all. I like the guy, and I usually defend him to a degree, but he's slowly losing it. I am just saying Stone is not the talent/angel people are making him out to be in this thread.
Getting Nationality is not going to happen. To be an effective marketer you have to know (1) what you have and (2) who you can sell it to. The White Sox proved in 2005-2006 that they will never be a national team, they won't be media darlings etc. If you can't move into that world coming off a world series title, you never will.
The money they need to make is by picking up fans in the state of Illinois. To pick up more fans, they need to swing fans who are jumping off the Cubs bandwagon during the rebuild, and need to pick up the transplant city fans.
You do not do either with Hawk making the product unwatchable. And that is what Hawk is to any non diehard fan. Crap, he is unwatchable to a lot of the die hards at this point.
Hawk is not the Identity the Sox want. Sox Fans have the reputation, both locally and nationally, as being fickle (nicely put). Because of attendance, we get viewed as fans who just tune out when things are not going right. Hawk is the face of that. He doesn't inspire the fanbase any more, and he turns it off. Announcers do not bring fans to the ball park, but they can turn a consumer away from the entire product. That is what Hawk is doing.