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Lip Man 1

Harry Caray Book...

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On 4/29/2019 at 6:24 PM, pcq said:

Harry did not like the Katzenjammer Kids. Let's not sugarcoat things. 

Who the hell does?

How much beating folks over their heads does it take.. Over 3 decades of this crap..he needs to move on.

Even Veeck couldn't stand to be in the  same ballpark with either of them 

 

Edited by GradMc
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On 4/29/2019 at 10:41 PM, Lip Man 1 said:

Not true at all. In his biography for example Harry wrote that when fans would ask him why did you leave? He answered that he loved Sox fans and Comiskey Park but simply could not stand the owners calling them "assholes."

About a week after the first Cubs/Sox Interleague series in 1997, I was watching a Cubs game when Harry and Steve began chatting about their first experience at the new Comiskey Park.  Harry spoke very highly of the new park, saying how it was a beautiful ballpark and he had a great time.  Then Harry ended the conversation by saying "but it's nothing like that old ballpark where EVERYTHING was better."  That kinda sounded like a shot at Reinsdorf.

On 4/30/2019 at 7:19 AM, pcq said:

Later got fired and run over by a car. 

 IIRC, the Busches fired him because he was drinking a can of Schlitz during a television interview.

On 4/30/2019 at 7:36 AM, zisk said:

When people age they become caricatures of themselves, and Harry was no different. 

 

Other examples of this are Dick Vitale and Hawk Harrelson.

I love Hawk, but it was clearly time for him to retire.

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3 hours ago, Fan O'Faust said:

Bill Veeck negotiated the Sox to be on WGN - a VHF station - for the 1981 season, which was Reinsdorf’s first year as owner.  So Reinsdorf inherited the Sox with the team on WGN AND with Harry Caray in the booth.  

By 1982, the Sox were off WGN and on the ill-conceived SportsVision, AND they let Harry go to the Cubs.  In other words, in less than one year, Reinsdorf managed to perpetrate not one, not two, but THREE franchise-crippling decisions: surrendering WGN solely to the Cubs; putting Sox games on pay TV that hardly anyone bought; and letting Harry go and make the Cubs a national phenomenon with the WGN exposure. 

Harry himself said the Sox would have “owned the town” in 1983 (the year BEFORE the “Sandberg game”) If they had remained on WGN and gotten the massive exposure that went along with the games being on that station (over 30 million homes got WGN).  Instead, the games were literally hidden on SportsVision, with fewer than 17,000 homes being wired for pay TV at the time.  

So that’s what the current owner was up to back in the early days: making one sound decision after another leading to sustained success for the organization.  And by that I mean he’s spent nearly 40 years, up to and including this past offseason, doing nothing of the sort.  Too bad Harry and WGN didn’t qualify for the infamous  “loyalty program” back in those days that we talk so much about these days.  

The bad thing about Sportsvision was it was  introduced before the Chicagoland area was wired for cable. You had to buy a box  and pay a monthly fee for only one TV channel. The Sportsvision fiasco was really the idea of Einhorn. I always thought the failure of Sportsvision wounded Einhorn.  Einhorn was the one who really wanted to move the White Sox to Florida. When the White Sox agreed to stay in Chicago Einhorn sold most of his shares of the White Sox to JR and he left the scene after that.

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On 4/30/2019 at 12:19 PM, WBWSF said:

JR bad mouthed Caray and Piersall a number of times. He has also said bad things about Larry Himes, Bill Gleason and even Dick Allen. A lot of White Sox fans  always  say that JR is very loyal to his workers. That simply is not true. If he doesn't like you, you're gone from the organization.

JR is loyal if he perceives you to be loyal.  SportsVision was a disaster and Harry was right to bail.  I was however sick of Harry & Jimmies antics.  His popularity has grown but I thought he was a jerk.

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Sportsvision put the Sox in baseball hell in Chicago

Edited by Soxfest
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Have read almost two / thirds of the book and it is outstanding. The research is meticulous and I found out many things about Harry I never really knew including his time in Oakland. But I writing this to provide some addition information to the Caray / Reinsdorf meeting at the 1990 All-Star Game at Wrigley Field that was brought up in this thread.

From the book, page 209:

"White Sox president Jerry Reinsdorf had spent the All-Star Game in WGN-TV's Wrigley Field Skybox as a guest of the station. According to press reports Caray walked over to Reinsdorf's table, and said- in reference to the comments Reinsdorf had addressed to Caray and Jimmy Piersall after the White Sox clinched the 1983 Western Division title - "I ought to knock you right on your ass. You called me scum." The report said WGN-TV officials quickly interceded and escorted Caray out of the Skybox."

Another interesting side story in the book. In spring training 1984 Greg Luzinski was opening his mail from the winter when he got one from Caray. Harry wrote, "Hi Greg. For a guy who was on stage before the 1983 playoffs (at the White Sox victory rally), you sure were conspicuous by your absence after them! Some of us stand out in the open and take the heat. Others, like you, hide out in the showers or in the players lounge when things get tough."

 

Harry was referring to the fact that Greg had been unavailable to the media after Baltimore beat the Sox (unlike Jerry Dybzinski who answered every question after his base running mistake potentially cost the Sox the game)    

 

Edited by Lip Man 1
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On 5/7/2019 at 8:34 PM, Lip Man 1 said:

Have read almost two / thirds of the book and it is outstanding. The research is meticulous and I found out many things about Harry I never really knew including his time in Oakland. But I writing this to provide some addition information to the Caray / Reinsdorf meeting at the 1990 All-Star Game at Wrigley Field that was brought up in this thread.

From the book, page 209:

"White Sox president Jerry Reinsdorf had spent the All-Star Game in WGN-TV's Wrigley Field Skybox as a guest of the station. According to press reports Caray walked over to Reinsdorf's table, and said- in reference to the comments Reinsdorf had addressed to Caray and Jimmy Piersall after the White Sox clinched the 1983 Western Division title - "I ought to knock you right on your ass. You called me scum." The report said WGN-TV officials quickly interceded and escorted Caray out of the Skybox."

Another interesting side story in the book. In spring training 1984 Greg Luzinski was opening his mail from the winter when he got one from Caray. Harry wrote, "Hi Greg. For a guy who was on stage before the 1983 playoffs (at the White Sox victory rally), you sure were conspicuous by your absence after them! Some of us stand out in the open and take the heat. Others, like you, hide out in the showers or in the players lounge when things get tough."

 

Harry was referring to the fact that Greg had been unavailable to the media after Baltimore beat the Sox (unlike Jerry Dybzinski who answered every question after his base running mistake potentially cost the Sox the game)    

 

What a chode, that Harry is. 

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Not a Harry fan. He had a serious illness but was not nice to people. He treated Milo badly too.  I don't know how Stone put up with him. 

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On 5/3/2019 at 6:06 PM, Fan O'Faust said:

Bill Veeck negotiated the Sox to be on WGN - a VHF station - for the 1981 season, which was Reinsdorf’s first year as owner.  So Reinsdorf inherited the Sox with the team on WGN AND with Harry Caray in the booth.  

By 1982, the Sox were off WGN and on the ill-conceived SportsVision, AND they let Harry go to the Cubs.  In other words, in less than one year, Reinsdorf managed to perpetrate not one, not two, but THREE franchise-crippling decisions: surrendering WGN solely to the Cubs; putting Sox games on pay TV that hardly anyone bought; and letting Harry go and make the Cubs a national phenomenon with the WGN exposure. 

Harry himself said the Sox would have “owned the town” in 1983 (the year BEFORE the “Sandberg game”) If they had remained on WGN and gotten the massive exposure that went along with the games being on that station (over 30 million homes got WGN).  Instead, the games were literally hidden on SportsVision, with fewer than 17,000 homes being wired for pay TV at the time.  

So that’s what the current owner was up to back in the early days: making one sound decision after another leading to sustained success for the organization.  And by that I mean he’s spent nearly 40 years, up to and including this past offseason, doing nothing of the sort.  Too bad Harry and WGN didn’t qualify for the infamous  “loyalty program” back in those days that we talk so much about these days.  

One correction SportsVision was the brain child of Eddie Einhorn. He was the driving force behind it, not JR.

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On ‎4‎/‎30‎/‎2019 at 9:24 AM, Fan O'Faust said:

On the night back in September 1983, when the Sox clinched the AL West Division, marking their first return to the playoffs in 24 years since the '59 World Series, when the ecstasy of winning had enveloped Comiskey Park and White Sox Nation, in the post game interviews conducted by Hawk Harrelson, Reinsdorf took a moment on live TV to literally say that he hoped Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall were "eating their hearts out wherever they were", and that he hoped people now would "understand what SCUM they were".  

Those were the words from the Chairman on live TV on a night that should have been all about celebrating the rare occurrence known as White Sox playoff-bound baseball.  It was those exact words that would go onto fuel Harry's outrage and disdain towards Reinsdorf ever after.  It was a very classless gesture on Reinsdorf's part, and I don't blame Caray for feeling the way he did about the guy from then on out.  

I remember the unfortunate incident.  After all these years, I had thought it was Einhorn, but I just found a Trib article from '85 (written by the great Bob Logan, Tribune DID have a great sports section in those days) confirming it was JR.  On surface, all Harry did was take a better deal.  Maybe he lobbed a few grenades on the way out, but I don't remember anything outrageous that would have triggered bitterness from EE and JR.  Maybe there was more to it behind the scenes. 

Edited by TBrown54
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On ‎4‎/‎30‎/‎2019 at 9:25 AM, NWINFan said:

He also became an embarrassment when he slobbering over a sexy Cubs ball girl and having her on the Tenth Inning show when she really had nothing to say. She had to be 50 years younger than him.

He was a great announcer. Caray could describe the action in a rapid fire way during his best days.  And he liked having fun even when the Sox were losing. He didn't do the Harrelson moping.

His legacy is a mixed one, but he was a powerful presence in Chicago baseball history.

 

Well said.  And Harry's White Sox years were IMO superior to any Chicago baseball broadcasts in my memory (going back a little over 50 years).  There is no close second.  

Edited by TBrown54
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On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 8:37 PM, Donaldo said:

About a week after the first Cubs/Sox Interleague series in 1997, I was watching a Cubs game when Harry and Steve began chatting about their first experience at the new Comiskey Park.  Harry spoke very highly of the new park, saying how it was a beautiful ballpark and he had a great time.  Then Harry ended the conversation by saying "but it's nothing like that old ballpark where EVERYTHING was better."  That kinda sounded like a shot at Reinsdorf.

 IIRC, the Busches fired him because he was drinking a can of Schlitz during a television interview.

Other examples of this are Dick Vitale and Hawk Harrelson.

I love Hawk, but it was clearly time for him to retire.

I used to love Hawk's late-inning and walk off HR calls, especially in early '90s and '00s when the place was jumping.  But Kenny zapped the life out of the franchise and Hawk with his slow burns became unlistenable. 

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On ‎5‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 11:40 AM, Lip Man 1 said:

I did a long historical piece on SportsVision, the why's and what went wrong. It also includes an interview with one of the first anchors there Mike Leiderman. Here is the link for any interested:

http://www.chicagonow.com/soxnet/2016/01/the-legacy-of-sportsvision/

 

I certainly enjoyed the article!  Also, I think if Veeck had fired Piersall right after his infamous interview (with Royko?), where he insulted Mary Frances Veeck and made a crude reference to baseball wives (which would render him unemployable in these times), Piersall's legacy might have been much different.  But he got a pass and was mostly canonized by local media when he died.  Somewhat of a waste of plentiful broadcasting talents.

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3 hours ago, TBrown54 said:

I remember the unfortunate incident.  After all these years, I had thought it was Einhorn, but I just found a Trib article from '85 (written by the great Bob Logan, Tribune DID have a great sports section in those days) confirming it was JR.  On surface, all Harry did was take a better deal.  Maybe he lobbed a few grenades on the way out, but I don't remember anything outrageous that would have triggered bitterness from EE and JR.  Maybe there was more to it behind the scenes. 

In fact according to Steve Stone and repeated in the book, the Sox offered Harry more money to stay in 1982 than the Cubs offered. Harry simply wanted to get away from the owners and he knew SportsVision was destined to fail because the technology wasn't there yet.

And here is the exact quote from Harry / Jimmy on Royko's show:

September 6, 1981 – It was the beginning of the end for broadcaster Jimmy Piersall in connection with the Sox. Piersall and Harry Caray appeared on the ‘Mike Royko show’ on WLS-TV. Royko asked the duo how they handle baseball wives who disliked the comments they made about their husbands. Caray said, “You know what Mike. I would love to call all the wives together someday and tell them what their husbands say about them across the ballfield.”

Piersall’s answer was more controversial to say the least. “First of all they were horny broads that wanted to get married, and they wanted a little money, a little security and a big strong ballplayer. I traveled, I played. I got a load of those broads too.”

And here is what Jimmy had to say when I interviewed him:

ML: The Mike Royko show saw you and Harry appear as guests on September 6, 1981. During the show you made your comments about player’s wives and got suspended for a time. Now I think I understood what you were trying to say, it just came out politically incorrect, but what amazed me was when you told me that despite all the disagreements, you actually got along very well with Eddie Einhorn and that he complimented you on having a good season in the booth. True? (Author’s Note: Royko asked both Caray and Piersall how they handled the reaction from player’s wives when they criticized their husbands. Caray said “You know Mike I would love to call all the wives together someday and tell them what their husbands say about them across the ballfield.”

Piersall said, “First of all they were horny broads that wanted to get married, and they wanted a little money, a little security and a big strong ballplayer. I traveled, I played the game. I got a load of those broads too.”   

JP: “This all started when a group of the player’s wives, led by Tony LaRussa’s wife, tried to get me fired. As soon as I said it I thought to myself this could be a problem, but I was pissed off about them. The funny thing was Jerry Reinsdorf told me himself that both he and his wife saw the show and that he enjoyed it. Then Tony LaRussa went nuts over it and I was suspended.” 

“The way I was suspended was kind of funny. Eddie Einhorn said he needed to see me. So I went to his office and he’s standing behind his chair, like he was afraid I was going to do something. He told me that I was suspended because the Sox players threatened not to play unless something was done. Yea, I did like Eddie, and he and I got along well.”      

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13 minutes ago, Lip Man 1 said:

In fact according to Steve Stone and repeated in the book, the Sox offered Harry more money to stay in 1982 than the Cubs offered. Harry simply wanted to get away from the owners and he knew SportsVision was destined to fail because the technology wasn't there yet.

And here is the exact quote from Harry / Jimmy on Royko's show:

September 6, 1981 – It was the beginning of the end for broadcaster Jimmy Piersall in connection with the Sox. Piersall and Harry Caray appeared on the ‘Mike Royko show’ on WLS-TV. Royko asked the duo how they handle baseball wives who disliked the comments they made about their husbands. Caray said, “You know what Mike. I would love to call all the wives together someday and tell them what their husbands say about them across the ballfield.”

Piersall’s answer was more controversial to say the least. “First of all they were horny broads that wanted to get married, and they wanted a little money, a little security and a big strong ballplayer. I traveled, I played. I got a load of those broads too.”

And here is what Jimmy had to say when I interviewed him:

ML: The Mike Royko show saw you and Harry appear as guests on September 6, 1981. During the show you made your comments about player’s wives and got suspended for a time. Now I think I understood what you were trying to say, it just came out politically incorrect, but what amazed me was when you told me that despite all the disagreements, you actually got along very well with Eddie Einhorn and that he complimented you on having a good season in the booth. True? (Author’s Note: Royko asked both Caray and Piersall how they handled the reaction from player’s wives when they criticized their husbands. Caray said “You know Mike I would love to call all the wives together someday and tell them what their husbands say about them across the ballfield.”

Piersall said, “First of all they were horny broads that wanted to get married, and they wanted a little money, a little security and a big strong ballplayer. I traveled, I played the game. I got a load of those broads too.”   

JP: “This all started when a group of the player’s wives, led by Tony LaRussa’s wife, tried to get me fired. As soon as I said it I thought to myself this could be a problem, but I was pissed off about them. The funny thing was Jerry Reinsdorf told me himself that both he and his wife saw the show and that he enjoyed it. Then Tony LaRussa went nuts over it and I was suspended.” 

“The way I was suspended was kind of funny. Eddie Einhorn said he needed to see me. So I went to his office and he’s standing behind his chair, like he was afraid I was going to do something. He told me that I was suspended because the Sox players threatened not to play unless something was done. Yea, I did like Eddie, and he and I got along well.”      

Thanks. I never would thought it happened in 1981, after Bill Veeck. I guess I'm older than I thought I was 🙂

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Recalling the trophy award Oct 26 2005 on TV Jerry says Bud when you got me into baseball I never knew it was going to take so long. 

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On 6/14/2019 at 7:27 PM, Lip Man 1 said:

One correction SportsVision was the brain child of Eddie Einhorn. He was the driving force behind it, not JR.

SportsVision had to be the lowest point in my history of being a Sox fan.  What a flop.

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40 minutes ago, poppysox said:

SportsVision had to be the lowest point in my history of being a Sox fan.  What a flop.

It was a low point because as the Sox were essentially being hidden away on SportsVision, the Cubs were beginning to take off on superstation WGN and all of the exposure that went along being on that station at the time.  It was night and day in terms of exposure to the casual fan, and the Cubs ended up gathering up an entire generation of casual fans as a result.  

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On 6/14/2019 at 10:42 PM, Lip Man 1 said:

In fact according to Steve Stone and repeated in the book, the Sox offered Harry more money to stay in 1982 than the Cubs offered. Harry simply wanted to get away from the owners and he knew SportsVision was destined to fail because the technology wasn't there yet.

And here is the exact quote from Harry / Jimmy on Royko's show:

September 6, 1981 – It was the beginning of the end for broadcaster Jimmy Piersall in connection with the Sox. Piersall and Harry Caray appeared on the ‘Mike Royko show’ on WLS-TV. Royko asked the duo how they handle baseball wives who disliked the comments they made about their husbands. Caray said, “You know what Mike. I would love to call all the wives together someday and tell them what their husbands say about them across the ballfield.”

Piersall’s answer was more controversial to say the least. “First of all they were horny broads that wanted to get married, and they wanted a little money, a little security and a big strong ballplayer. I traveled, I played. I got a load of those broads too.”

And here is what Jimmy had to say when I interviewed him:

ML: The Mike Royko show saw you and Harry appear as guests on September 6, 1981. During the show you made your comments about player’s wives and got suspended for a time. Now I think I understood what you were trying to say, it just came out politically incorrect, but what amazed me was when you told me that despite all the disagreements, you actually got along very well with Eddie Einhorn and that he complimented you on having a good season in the booth. True? (Author’s Note: Royko asked both Caray and Piersall how they handled the reaction from player’s wives when they criticized their husbands. Caray said “You know Mike I would love to call all the wives together someday and tell them what their husbands say about them across the ballfield.”

Piersall said, “First of all they were horny broads that wanted to get married, and they wanted a little money, a little security and a big strong ballplayer. I traveled, I played the game. I got a load of those broads too.”   

JP: “This all started when a group of the player’s wives, led by Tony LaRussa’s wife, tried to get me fired. As soon as I said it I thought to myself this could be a problem, but I was pissed off about them. The funny thing was Jerry Reinsdorf told me himself that both he and his wife saw the show and that he enjoyed it. Then Tony LaRussa went nuts over it and I was suspended.” 

“The way I was suspended was kind of funny. Eddie Einhorn said he needed to see me. So I went to his office and he’s standing behind his chair, like he was afraid I was going to do something. He told me that I was suspended because the Sox players threatened not to play unless something was done. Yea, I did like Eddie, and he and I got along well.”      

Hilarious stuff.  JP talking about jock-chasers.  Accurate but it can’t be said publicly.

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On ‎6‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 9:46 PM, TBrown54 said:

I certainly enjoyed the article!  Also, I think if Veeck had fired Piersall right after his infamous interview (with Royko?), where he insulted Mary Frances Veeck and made a crude reference to baseball wives (which would render him unemployable in these times), Piersall's legacy might have been much different.  But he got a pass and was mostly canonized by local media when he died.  Somewhat of a waste of plentiful broadcasting talents.

My favorite Piersall comment during a game:  a very slow Sox runner (Konerko?) was trudging around the bases like molasses, trying to score from 1B on a hit in the gap.  Piersall asked, "anyone catch the brand name of the refrigerator that (the runner) has strapped to his back".

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On 4/30/2019 at 9:24 AM, Fan O'Faust said:

On the night back in September 1983, when the Sox clinched the AL West Division, marking their first return to the playoffs in 24 years since the '59 World Series, when the ecstasy of winning had enveloped Comiskey Park and White Sox Nation, in the post game interviews conducted by Hawk Harrelson, Reinsdorf took a moment on live TV to literally say that he hoped Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall were "eating their hearts out wherever they were", and that he hoped people now would "understand what SCUM they were".  

Those were the words from the Chairman on live TV on a night that should have been all about celebrating the rare occurrence known as White Sox playoff-bound baseball.  It was those exact words that would go onto fuel Harry's outrage and disdain towards Reinsdorf ever after.  It was a very classless gesture on Reinsdorf's part, and I don't blame Caray for feeling the way he did about the guy from then on out.  

The scum statement was one of Reinsdorf's worst moments. The White Sox had just won their first division title and had gone over 2,000,000 in attendance, a first for a Chicago baseball team. Instead of enjoying the moment, he spewed out bitterness. Whatever his differences with Caray, this was not the moment to air them publicly. At times, Reinsdorf blames the media for any bad image he has, but many times he does it to himself. This was surely one of those times, and it was another one of his quotes that stick in the memory of fans for the wrong reason. And then he named Hawk as GM. You have to explain that one to me.

This a good book, but over the years, I lost some of my admiration for Caray. To say the least, he could be insensitive at times.  You can't say a team is playing well when it isn't, but Caray just got full of himself.

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1 hour ago, NWINFan said:

The scum statement was one of Reinsdorf's worst moments. The White Sox had just won their first division title and had gone over 2,000,000 in attendance, a first for a Chicago baseball team. Instead of enjoying the moment, he spewed out bitterness. Whatever his differences with Caray, this was not the moment to air them publicly. At times, Reinsdorf blames the media for any bad image he has, but many times he does it to himself. This was surely one of those times, and it was another one of his quotes that stick in the memory of fans for the wrong reason. And then he named Hawk as GM. You have to explain that one to me.

This a good book, but over the years, I lost some of my admiration for Caray. To say the least, he could be insensitive at times.  You can't say a team is playing well when it isn't, but Caray just got full of himself.

JR on why he hired Hawk:

"Eddie and I would talk to Hawk and (Don) Drysdale at length, and Hawk more so, to identify problems in the organization, we were still neophytes in this business and we were impressed with the way Hawk pointed out our problems. [GM] wasn't something he really wanted him to do, but we urged him to help us out. The mistake was that when you go to a doctor who diagnoses open-heart surgery, you don't have him do the surgery because he diagnosed the problem, you get a heart surgeon. Just because Hawk was able to diagnose our problems did not mean he could solve them. It was a terrible position to put him in, and a year later, he said he wanted out." – Jerry Reinsdorf to the Chicago Tribune’s Melissa Issacson. May 28, 2004.

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