Wednesday Afternoon

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Today’s Lineup

Pods, CF; Fields, LF; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; AJ, C; Uribe, SS; Erstad, RF; Gonzo, 3B; Richar, 2B.  Vazquez pitching.

Fan Appreciation

In his reply to my post of last night, Tom Quaid commented about MLB play beginning again post 9/11 and the huge banner displayed by Sox fans when the New York Yankees played here at US Cellular Field.

If you go to the Fan Forum section of, you’ll see a special feature we are running over the next two weeks on White Sox fans.  We have compiled a number of interesting, hopefully moving stories about Sox fans and their connection to the team.  The first one debuted yesterday — appropriately, we think — and is about the couple who created the memorable sign in the outfield that night … Chicago "hearts" New York.

The idea actually came from the great feedback I received here when I asked for suburban mom fans to submit their experiences here at the ballpark.  The response was overwhelming, so we thought there might be something to this connection with fans, and we looked for a way leading up to Fan Appreciation Day to tell some terrific stories.  Keep checking the site for additions every day or so.

As for the winning experience story, you can read that (and see the photos, in the last edition of the game program, page 155.  The winner was Marie McDowell with a story of taking her daughter, Kelsey, and son, Matt, to Sox games.

If you are interested in submitting a story for the Fan Forum section, email it to by Wednesday, September 19.

Impressive Support

On the first day of school for our kids, there was Senator Barack Obama proudly sporting his White Sox baseball cap.  Given his current pursuit and the way our season has gone, I give the man a lot of credit for loyalty.

You Knew It Was Coming

Usually, I try to ignore the rantings and hysterics of one specific funny-that-he’s-not-featured-as-often-as-he-used-to-be columnist in town, mainly because he truly is irrelevant to Sox fans (you have told us so through the years in mountains of feedback), but you had to laugh at today’s offering.

We all know this column has been written for quite some time, months maybe, and someone was just waiting to hit the send button.  The jist of the matter, to save you having to read the same stuff that has been written over and over again in that space, is that the White Sox are irrelevant nobodies, and that the extension of Ozzie just reinforced our status in town.

My guess is that quite a few people would disagree with that opinion.

But a few thoughts to mull around (full disclosure: I do realize that by even writing this I also am guilty — as many of you have pointed out — of making the columnist way more relevant than he truly is) …

Didn’t Ozzie’s extension just guarantee the hater five more years of easily re-written columns?  If all politics is local, shouldn’t he be happy about five years worth of re-printing the same drivel? (Someone also did point out to me that this might also be like five more years of job security for PR types, so I may have a personal bias here).

Notice that the columnist always includes Jerry Reinsdorf’s age as an issue?  Really, who is obsessed now?

He writes that "They’ve conveniently ignored that a $109 million payroll, without major injuries or calamity, has produced a ghastly 61 wins this season …"

At least he can’t call us cheap anymore.  No one here is blaming our season on injuries (we should be good enough to overcome them), but how can you ignore losing Joe Crede, Scott Pods, Darin Erstad and Jim Thome to injuries for large chunks of time and not say it impacted our season?  Whatever.

And most of us who have watched Sox games in 2007 would probably categorize our bullpen woes, particularly in May and early June, as a calamity.

Another recurring rhetorical question … if we truly aren’t relevant to Chicago, White Sox fans or his diminishing-daily readership, then why write the column in the first place?

Finally, I am not sure that newspaper columnists of any type, particularly this one, should be challenging the relevancy of professional sports franchises given the way that industry is heading.  This might be a column to save.  It might be interesting and fun to see in three years who is still relevant as manager of the White Sox and if a certain columnist has been able to keep his relevancy (and job) by printing the same old worn-out rants and day-old information on costly newsprint as technology, new media and a new world of one-on-one, direct communications race past staggering newspapers.  How come now, every time you go to a newspaper website, you see and read blogs?

My favorite columnist may not have been rooting for Ozzie to get an extension, but my guess is he better be rooting that the automobile industry and grocery stores don’t quit advertising in newspapers any time soon.

A battle of relevancy to the very end.

(Note:  I love newspapers and value them greatly in my life.  The problem is my kids and their friends don’t.  The newspaper industry is struggling to maintain its relevancy in this era, hence the irony of today’s topic.  Humans thrive on information, and I believe there always will be a need for great reporters doing great work … they just might be delivering that information in a wireless, deadline-less, ever-changing world.  The dinosaur is the columnist who doesn’t interview anyone, rarely even attends games and sits at home offering only his opinion on the day’s issue.  He is in danger because any idiot with a computer can match him in opinion and output and maybe even have more readers.  I certainly am proof of that … at least the idiot part.  And please, Mr. Columnist, no hateful, curse-filled voicemails.  Tomorrow is an off day.) 


Scott, the guy is a dope. Stop making blogs about him, we all know he spews nonsense. Stop making blogs about him and giving him the satisfaction.

Your dismissing of the future of newspapers is a bit sophomoric. Comparing blog readership to circulation of the Tribune, Sun-Times, Daily Herald and The Southtown is laughable.

Hey Saluki Dave – It is sophomoric to believe newspaper circulation; readership; advertising revenue; and sales are going to return to what they were… is laughable. Scott is right about the future of the papers – don’t stick your head in the sand – look at Wall Street numbers if you don’t believe it. I would not be surprised if the future of our favorite non-fan is writing to an online audience ONLY – for free.

I am glad Ozzie got the extension, as contrary thinking is usually good, bad yr, you get an extension, Ozzie has baseball character as everyone knows, that said he did not manage that well this year, mostly it was the horses given to him to run with. Baseball for me is about the way the Angels play the game, and Ozzie keeps saying that is what he wants but we get further and further from that , so we will see.

The Sox should go after Brandon Phillips from the Reds. He is only signed to a one year contract through this year and they need a good Second Basemen

salukidave, I don’t find Scott’s comments sophomoric at all. I can’t tell you the last time I bought a paper. I read all my news on-line, get breaking news in my e-mail, etc. With all the technology today, by the time you read the paper, the news is old. I never see the kids today reading the paper as I did when I was younger, as they grow up, newspapers, as we know them are going to become obsolete.

Well, disappointed that the White Sox PR man saw necessary to respond to the Mariotti thing. I know, ‘fair and balanced’ he ain’t, but not always 100% wrong. And did you ever hear of turn the other cheek? Just say no. And yeah, I don’t see young folks reading papers, but I see them dressing like adults (to put it mildly) at age 12, obsessed with iPods, with cellphones glued to their ears rehashing MTV forgettables and reality TV outcomes and doing ridiculous things like killing a father of two for a 73 customized impala, a cellphone and wallet, only to ditch the car (upon realizing it may be hard to fence) (happened to a guy i knew just a month ago now). I’d rather they read the newspaper. Spare me the organization propaganda and do what you’re paid to, represent the White Sox in a professional capacity.

As far as Ozzie, mixed on it, good to see they’ll spend, and hope this year is an anomaly, but hope it wasn’t a ‘principle’ decision. Look at the Bears and the decisions made regarding Grossman vs. Griese last year, and the decisions on T. Jones and Benson this year. Made more on principle than on what’s been going on lately. I know, the ending isn’t written on the examples above, but 5 years, a lot can change, I hope they left themselves an out.

Much as I like Ozzie and the vets from the 2005 team, somethings change over time. A 70 mil payroll (correct me if I’m wrong) gets a world series but a 109 mil payroll gets you an inverted win vs loss column with a big chunk of the same guys on your squad (only so much can be blamed on the bullpen). I can’t call it, but that 5 years and the smugness of where the organization is heading is predicated on this year (including all games in which Westbrook did not pitch to us) was a fluke (unlikely), that spiraling free agency costs won’t call your bluff (on the spending money thing), that Williams will strike the right balance on raw talent and vets. I just hope the PR guy is right on his ‘direction’ of the organization, because these things are hard to accurately predict. And 5 years is a long time, especially if the manager has unforeseen difficulties with the rookies or new players off free agency. If the contract was fairly and pragmatically arrived at… fine. But, it’s a fine line to wishful thinking, getting off with a guy who is already known locally and maybe cheaper than other options out there. I’m just saying, and sorry about the run on nature of this entry. Long story short, there’s a fine line between reality and the company line, I hope you guys took all things into consideration.

Oh, and as far as the direction of major league baseball, how long did it take to get outta that funk from 94? They didn’t see that coming did they (owners or players). Lesson two, don’t take things for granted? America’s national past-time used to be baseball, now its the NFL and college ball.

Sorry about my rant and all the football and newspaper ****, it was all pretty far afield. Look, Mariotti’s OWN name goes on the stuff he writes. That takes guts. He has his opinions? Fine. Use that to push your organization to do better. Call his work drivel and comment on his professional prospects, subjective and probably mere conjecture. And all you got is back and forth. Pointless….

On Ozzie, look, he’s got a ways to go. We saw Ozzie AND his team at their best in 2005, everyone’s actions made the difference between Cleveland passing us or hoisting the trophy up for the folks in Chicago. Things may be bad now, but what impact has Ozzie had? People say he didn’t throw the team under the bus soon enough. Bull, while he talked about a run, he said he was doing all he could and that he and Walk and Coop couldn’t hit/field/pitch for their players. He said ‘they can fire me, I did what I could’.

Look at Joe Torre, lately the Yanks have started slower and slower in recent seasons. This year being the slowest. In regards to his job, Torre merely said it was Steinbrenners Club and he calls those shots. About his team being out of things two months into it, he said he’s trying some new things and that these guys WILL get into their groove. When questioned on if he had a rebuttal to players comments, he didn’t feel a need to comment.

While Ozzie doesn’t have the Yankees under his guidance, he could be pushing for a strong fourth place finish. I saw moves he made in games that I wondered what was he doing. Seen him in the dugout looking just as emotionless as his team. I was really surprised by the five year deal, it’s like psychological tactics by management that all is well. Maybe they’re right, but wasn’t it Ed Stanky or one of those old timers that would ask the guys on the bench about the game? Keep their minds in it? What does Ozzie do, besides make the occasional headline calling people out? Was the contract made with Ozzie the Media Attraction in mind or Ozzie the Manager Who’s gonna Win US some games in mind? In the bad times you gotta be able to stand up and get your team going, the negative stuff will only work for so long. I’m no ballplayer, but I seen enough business environments to see it’s true everywhere. And I’d venture the guess that the ballplayers stand less to lose than folks like you or me. Just seems that the contract was in response to the media in Chicago…

I was taught that if someone uses “but” in a sentence, ignore anything before the “but” because he didn’t mean it. “No one here is blaming our season on injuries(we should be good enough to overcome them), but losing Joe Crede, Scotty Pods, Darin Erstad and Jim Thome to injuries……Blah, blah, blah. I’ll tell you what impacts a season. Signing guys that are hurt every year, like Crede, Pods, Erstad and Thome.

Mooney, where did you see that on Phillips? I don’t see him on the 2008 free agent list. Is he arbitration eligible

This column from Friday’s Daily Southtown is very interesting. In fact, if true, it’s downright shocking
that some in the organization still think the Sox are “close” and that major off season changes don’t need to be performed:,141LAD1.article

Mark Liptak

Reading Sports Illustrated and Sporting News earlier this year and I believe they had the White Sox finishing 4th and 3rd in their division (respectively). Also earlier this year, one of the above publications predicted Ozzie getting fired and either Joe Girardi or Joe Torre winding up in black pinstripes. Glad they don’t have listings for odds….

Read that article, and Kenny’s talk of changes just sounds unimpressive. Still waiting for the groundbreaking changes he ominously hinted at this year.

Oh well. Who’s pitching today and tomorrow (Saturday)?

I hope somebody’s on the phone with Terry Ryan.

I couldn’t read the entire column, but I read enough to decide it’s time to cancel my Sun-Times subscription. I can’t be part of any support, no matter how small, for that kind of idiocy.

From now on, it’s the Daily Southtown only for me! And by the way, their Paul Ladewski had a very good column about JR making the right move by re-signing Ozzie. Read it here:,141LAD1.article

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