White Sox' New Philosophy a Breath of Fresh Air

Article excerpt

If chemistry is for clubhouses in baseball, philosophy is for front offices.

The White Sox' philosophy changed over the winter and became a concoction referred to as "All in."

Sox' second baseman Gordon Beckham said Thursday afternoon, "That's a marketing thing."

Yes, it is ... and so much more.

Sox management operated for a long time under the strategy that any increase in player payroll would depend on an increase in attendance.

Suddenly last winter, Sox' chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Kenny Williams decided to raise the payroll in the hope a more expensive team would attract more fans.

In other words, the Sox invested money to make money, or at least to break even contending for a championship.

So far so good.

The Sox' won their home opener 5-1 over Tampa Bay on Thursday and went 4-2 for the season's first week.

If this is what a $128 million payroll translates into all season, the Sox' new philosophy will work out just fine.

The business model is new to the Sox' and would be to Chicago baseball if the Cubs hadn't spent crazily while the Tribune was trying to sell the club.

Forever, it seemed, the Cubs cried poor because Wrigley Field didn't generate enough revenue, and the Sox cried poor because mediocre attendance didn't.

Even when the Sox won the World Series in 2005, payroll was somewhere around 13th out of 30 major-league teams.

Now the Sox are in the top five just a bit ahead of

the Cubs ($125 million) and behind only the Yankees ($202 million), Phillies ($172 million), Red Sox ($162 million) and Angels ($139 million). …