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http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sp...-home-headlines

 

Reinsdorf waves white flag early on South Side

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

By Bob Vanderberg

Tribune staff reporter

 

January 27, 2004, 8:31 PM CST

 

 

Rather quietly in recent weeks, two players who earlier this winter had been thought of as possibilities for the White Sox—pitcher Sidney Ponson and center fielder Jay Payton—signed with other clubs.

 

Payton went to the Padres, Ponson back to the Orioles, his original team. Payton signed a two-year deal worth $5.5 million, Ponson a three-year contract for a total of $21.5 million.

 

How foolish of Sox fans to expect Jerry Reinsdorf to pay $2.75 million per season to a center fielder who—dare we suggest it?—might be even better than Aaron Rowand. Or to expect him to shell out $7.5 million per for a pitcher who might add experience and victories to a rotation of Mark Buehrle, Esteban Loaiza and sure-fire Hall-of-Famers Jon Garland, Scott Schoeneweis, Danny Wright, Jon Rauch and Robert Person.

 

That there was zero reaction in Chicago to the Payton and Ponson signings shows just how far off the map the Sox have fallen this winter. Surely Ozzie Guillen must feel betrayed, although the new manager should be used to this ownership's act by now. After all, he was here for the gory episodes of July 1997, when the Sox rewarded Robin Ventura for his ahead-of-schedule return from a broken ankle by trading off one-sixth of a division-contending roster for a gaggle of minor-leaguers.

 

Since his return to the South Side, Guillen has watched ownership run up the White Flag before the season even starts. He had every right to believe that at least two or three of the team's free agents would be re-signed.

 

Instead, all have departed, almost all for less than break-the-bank money: Bartolo Colon, Roberto Alomar, Carl Everett, Tom Gordon, Scott Sullivan and even Tony Graffanino, Chairman Reinsdorf's "favorite player." (One wonders how much of a favorite Graffanino really was if the chairman couldn't go any higher than $850,000 a year to keep him.)

 

If anything has become clear over the last couple of months, it is this: Now is the time for Reinsdorf and his ownership group to seek a buyer—someone who would be dedicated to making the White Sox viable again, someone who would put money into the team, someone who would laugh at the idea of a $58 million payroll for a baseball team in the nation's third-largest market, someone who would find ludicrous the concept that the Sox can't compete with the Cubs.

 

The rule in pro sports is you have to spend money to make money. But when it comes to the Sox these days, the only people spending money are the season ticket-holders: For a lower-deck seat between the bases Friday through Sunday, they're spending $11 more per ticket than they did only two years ago.

 

Ten years ago this summer, the White Sox were coming off a division title and seemed on their way to another one—not to mention a total home attendance of about 2.7 million—when a work stoppage driven by hard-liners, chief among them Reinsdorf, shut things down until the following April.

 

Say what you will about the sterility of Reinsdorf-Thompson Field at U.S. Cellular Comiskey Place, the Sox drew—in the last three home games before the '94 strike began—41,218, then 42,300 and finally 42,507 for a weekend series sweep of the still-developing Seattle Mariners.

 

The upper deck hasn't become any steeper or higher since that marvelous weekend. What has happened? Three kicks in Sox fandom's gut, that's what.

 

The strike: You don't push for a work stoppage when your team has a legitimate shot at the World Series, particularly when that team hasn't been to a World Series since 1959 and hasn't won one since 1917.

 

Rehiring Terry Bevington: After a decent Sox team managed to drift out of contention in 1996 under the overmatched Bevington, most assumed he would be dumped at season's end. Names like Leyland and La Russa were bandied about as replacements. Instead, the club gleefully announced "Bev" had been rehired for 1997, thus deflating the spirits of Sox supporters everywhere.

 

The White Flag: The following July, the Sox traded a still-productive Harold Baines—to make room in the lineup for Mario Valdez (Mario Valdez!)—and their two best pitchers (Wilson Alvarez and Roberto Hernandez) and another serviceable arm (Danny Darwin) for seven minor-leaguers, only one of whom (Keith Foulke) made a lasting impact. The deal came with the Sox hopelessly behind first-place Cleveland by 3½ games.

 

Now comes this glorious off-season. While the Cubs bring in Derrek Lee and LaTroy Hawkins and pursue Greg Maddux, the Sox bring in guys who last season either were out of baseball or out of the country. Ah, but who needs quality replacements when all you lost from the 2003 team were the No. 1 starting pitcher, the second baseman, the center fielder, the top setup reliever and the top utility man?

 

Should anyone be surprised that interest has dropped so precipitously? The only way to restore it is through new ownership. The fear, however, is that current ownership has turned off so many Sox fans and diminished interest to such a degree that any prospective buyers might ignore the throngs of 1994 and the preceding years and accept the goofy notion "Chicago always has been a Cubs town" and the South Side ballclub is forever doomed to second-class status.

 

In that case, Reinsdorf should move the team to Indianapolis. If he's going to have a small-market team, he might as well operate in a small market. There's a nice new ballpark there that seats about 15,000, perfect for the typical Sox crowd. And the city is close enough for Sox fans here to drive down for a weekend series every now and then.

 

Best of all, the Sox brass wouldn't have to worry about those dreaded Cubs anymore.

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It's nice to see that we're not insane and that everyone else has the same beefs with the organization as us. It's a shame that this is how things are going to be.

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Which one of us wrote the aricle?

 

I would never want to see the Chisox move, but If they ever did I would love to see Indy have an MLB team. White Sox games would be 2 hours away vs. 3 as they are now. :bang

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That was a hell of an Article. One of the only things that could help us fans is fans of the team in the Media and no Not Hal Vickery or the asskissers at the Cubbune. Someone needs to put pressure on Reinsdork to sell and to get his worthless cheap colective ass outta baseball and outta chicago if possible :headbang

 

Reinsdorf :fyou :fyou :fyou :fyou :finger

 

:dips*** :dips*** :dips*** :dips***

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Which one of us wrote the aricle? 

 

I would never want to see the Chisox move, but If they ever did I would love to see Indy have an MLB team.  White Sox games would be 2 hours away vs. 3 as they are now. :bang

Careful, someone might call you a selfish, money-grubbing bastard with no respect for history/the millions of broken-hearted souls.

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Sell the Sox JR!

 

Same article here. Different title suggesting JR to sell the whitesox. Isnt there anything we can do as SOX fans to kick him out? Hopefully all we articles we get here are like this to drive JR mad and sell the team. Hey if JR wants to bring a world series here so why not be a team player, let a new owner come in and try to win it all.

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All these "white flags are falling!" goons need to be reminded that, as it stands right now, Sox payroll is only 2 Mill away from being an ALL-TIME franchise HIGH. (By comparison, 1999-2000 teams averaged 29 Mill)

 

And unlike 2001 when that powerhouse Tribe team roamed the fields, it will take LESS to beat the overrated Royals this year.

 

JR sucks, it's a given.....but certain unreasonably pessimistic and bilous Sox fans suck even more.

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Hopefully JR will get da subtle hint sooner or l8er. But he blames da fans for not showin up enough to warrant a larger payroll, and the fans blame him cos he always wants to make a profit on ownin this team. If we're talkin bout possible new owners put me down for Roman Abramovich the Chelsea Owner, I would guarantee u he would spend like the Yankees to win a world series.

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All these "white flags are falling!" goons need to be reminded that, as it stands right now, Sox payroll is only 2 Mill away from being an ALL-TIME franchise HIGH.  (By comparison, 1999-2000 teams averaged 29 Mill)

 

And unlike 2001 when that powerhouse Tribe team roamed the fields,  it will take LESS to beat the overrated Royals this year.

 

JR sucks, it's a given.....but certain unreasonably pessimistic and bilous Sox fans suck even more.

That's due to inflation pretty much. With ticket costs and otha things risin every year, da payroll has to go up as well of course.

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That's due to inflation pretty much. With ticket costs and otha things risin every year, da payroll has to go up as well of course.

Between 1988 and 1997, Sox payroll went up by 900%

 

Please check the inflation/ticket prices trend and get back to be.

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This 2004 White Flag is more fabricated Cubune BS, you know, where their writers put down the Sox in every possible column?

I agree--I think we're not competing to win the world series, but I think the Sox are in it to win the Division this year...Also I think the bullpen is getting noticebly stronger...Pretty much I chalked this one up to a slow newsday, and they needed to counter a nice article about Mr. Zero with this crap. I was so mad when I read it I spent 20 minutes looking for the author's e-mail...

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Between 1988 and 1997, Sox payroll went up by 900%

 

Please check the inflation/ticket prices trend and get back to be.

And how much was that Albert Belle Related? Payroll still sucks i don't care if it's the all time high but things go up too. Don't tell fans to go to the ball park to watch spare parts and other teams castoffs cause el cheapo don't wanna spend cause he wants to see the ballpark full. Well Cheapo spend some money and you'll see the result not the other way around. I wonder who in the hell is Reinsdork adviseres.. Ohhh yeah no one, cause he's to cheap to pay one.

 

SELL JERRY, SELL :bringit

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All these "white flags are falling!" goons need to be reminded that, as it stands right now, Sox payroll is only 2 Mill away from being an ALL-TIME franchise HIGH.  (By comparison, 1999-2000 teams averaged 29 Mill)

 

And unlike 2001 when that powerhouse Tribe team roamed the fields,  it will take LESS to beat the overrated Royals this year.

 

JR sucks, it's a given.....but certain unreasonably pessimistic and bilous Sox fans suck even more.

IT'S ALL THE SOX FANS FAULT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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they need to change something, cause what they are doing now sure isn't working. it seems like reinsdorf is happy just accepting that the cubs are the team in chicago. and that won't get us anywhere. ownership needs to give a rats ass about the team, and they don't.

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This 2004 White Flag is more fabricated Cubune BS, you know, where their writers put down the Sox in every possible column?

The guy who wrote this also wrote "From Lane and Fain to Zisk and Fisk", "'59: Summer of the Sox" and "Minnie and the Mick." Obviously a long time White Sox fan, he's no Cub propagandist. I really liked the Bevington reference. When he was rehired I was speechless, because I knew they were throwing away at least one more year. Kind of like I feel now.

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I read the article and don't see it as Sox bashing, Reinsdorf bashing yes, but not the team or the fans. I think it is basically what most posters have said and that's that we have an owner not willing to spend to win. If we were developing from within to win, that is beefing up the farm system and developing our players, I would be more inclined to accept the loss of players like Colon, Graffy, Everett, et al. However, we trade prospects for established stars and then let them leave to free agency. Something is not adding up here. I think that if Jerry Reinsdorf wants to own a small market team and conduct his affairs in that manner than he should attempt to buy the Brewers, who are the orphans of his most cherished friend and cohort in baseball cheapness, Bud Selig. Then we could encourage Mr. Trump to buy the Sox. A switch like that is not unheard of in baseball history. I think moving the Sox to Indy is a bit much though and detracted from what was a pretty right on type article. Maybe the press led by these so called knowledgable baseball reporters/experts could start researching and writing on the Reinsdorf regime and at the same time call for new and enlightened ownership on the Southside.

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I love this article and the ones I posted earlier this week from the Daily Herald. They are dead on and the pressure is mounting for the SOx to do soemthing. I do not think JR will sell the team anytime soon. I believe they are making money or perks or something, in addition the Brewers are for sale and so are the Dodgers. The Sox won't sell as until these teams are bought. In fact they won't sell at all.

 

We are very dedicated fans but managment needs to recognize this fast. It may come tumbling down for them soon if they don't

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The guy who wrote this also wrote  "From Lane and Fain to Zisk and Fisk",  "'59: Summer of the Sox" and "Minnie and the Mick." Obviously a long time White Sox fan, he's no Cub propagandist. I really liked the Bevington reference. When he was rehired I was speechless, because I knew they were throwing away at least one more year. Kind of like I feel now.

Also, the fact that he implies that this has never been a Cubs town until just recently also tells me that he isn't blasting the Sox franchise as a whole, JUST current leadership.

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Also, the fact that he implies that this has never been a Cubs town until just recently also tells me that he isn't blasting the Sox franchise as a whole, JUST current leadership.

Exactly. I have talked to people about this and most people that were around say that this was a sox town until the early 80's. The upperdeck in Wrigley was closed down for most games through the 70s becuase they couldn't draw enough. I don't know if this is totally true, just going by what I have been told by people I have discussed this with. Would anyone like to share their knowledge of this?

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Exactly. I have talked to people about this and most people that were around say that this was a sox town until the early 80's. The upperdeck in Wrigley was closed down for most games through the 70s becuase they couldn't draw enough. I don't know if this is totally true, just going by what I have been told by people I have discussed this with. Would anyone like to share their knowledge of this?

It's always been a slightly more Cubs town, just like the nation as a whole outside of Yankee Stadium is slightly more towards the NL but it was always close enough that when one of the teams was going well the balance would tip in that direction. That is until July of '97, since then the Cubs have had a run of incredible dumb luck while the Sox only luck is that they've kept shooting themselves in the foot when they were aiming for the head.

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The Wrigley Field Experience was completely different back in the moid-to-late 70s/early 80s. The neighborhood was crappy. Bleacher seats were $6.00 and it was not considered to be very desirous seating. Heck, they used to open the gates after the 7th inning and let the neighborhood kids in for free.

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Exactly. I have talked to people about this and most people that were around say that this was a sox town until the early 80's. The upperdeck in Wrigley was closed down for most games through the 70s becuase they couldn't draw enough. I don't know if this is totally true, just going by what I have been told by people I have discussed this with. Would anyone like to share their knowledge of this?

I can confirm this, SSI, and like him or not, a watershed moment in the fortunes of the Sox and Cubs was when Harry Caray left (or was pushed) and the Sox tried to go to a sort of pay TV in a market that had very little cable TV.

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