To Figure out White Sox, You Have to Figure out Reinsdorf

Article excerpt

Losing a series to the pathetic Astros should be enough for White Sox management to understand why the franchise is inching from afterthought to irrelevant to oblivion on the local sports landscape.

One difficulty for observers is trying to figure out whether Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf really believes what he says or says it simply to fool you into believing it.

Take the news release the Sox issued last autumn when Rick Hahn was named general manager and Kenny Williams was demoted up to executive vice president.

Reinsdorf said, "You cannot say enough about Ken Williams' contributions to the Chicago White Sox, his contributions to our success a "

Let's stop right there because even Williams is unlikely to say he accomplished enough as Sox general manager from 2001 through 2012.

Reinsdorf presumably is referring to the terrific job Williams did in building the Sox' 2005 World Series champions. He had the best single off-season that any Chicago general manager ever had.

If that indeed is what Reinsdorf meant by Williams' "contributions to our success," no argument here.

Other than that narrow example, however, using the word "success" in relation to anything associated with the Sox in a wider sense would be misleading.

Is Reinsdorf talking about the Sox' two playoff appearances during Williams' 12 years as general manager? Is it the Sox' one World Series championship during the more than three decades since Reinsdorf's group bought the club? Is it the decline in Sox home attendance during each of the past six seasons?

Look, I tend to be hard on both the Sox and the Cubs because I'm a lifelong Chicagoan tired of these two franchises underachieving.

The Cubs aren't even worth talking about now that their latest saviors are preaching patience after the club has gone 105 years without winning a World Series. …