Mr. Chairman, It's Time to Get Sox to Point B
SEATTLE - The White Sox had just been expelled from the playoffs when Jerry Reinsdorf visited their Safeco Field clubhouse to console them.
"Next time won't be the first time," the Sox chairman told Magglio Ordonez.
Indeed, next time in the playoffs the nucleus of this team won't be so young, so inexperienced, so uninitiated to October baseball.
"The kids can play, the kids can win," Keith Foulke said, echoing the marketing slogan of the past two years. "The 'kid' thing is definitely dead."
Yes it is, and no, the next time won't be the first time. If there is a next time, that is, which pretty much is up to Reinsdorf.
He is off scholarship now. It no longer is OK to conspire with general manager Ron Schueler to be conservative in the trade market. It's past the stage to be fiscally responsible on the free- agent market.
A decade ago Reinsdorf said he fired Larry Himes because he didn't feel Himes could take the Sox from Point A to Point B? Well, it's time to at least double the Sox $30something million payroll to see whether Schueler can move up the alphabet with money instead of mirrors.
The days of building from within should be over. This terrific season was devoted to evaluating all the prospects in the system. Now it's time to be bolder as the kids become older.
You know, urgently invest money to make money. Purchase champions to win championships. More than anything, impress Chicagoans to capture Chicago.
If it's a Cubs town, now is the time for the Sox to invade and occupy. It's there for the taking, just as it was in the early 1990s before the baseball strike and assorted self-inflicted setbacks squandered Reinsdorf's chance.
In that respect, this time also is next time, another opportunity for the Sox to become all the franchise can be here.
As much as the 2000 Sox accomplished, they didn't quite win Chicago. The major breakthrough never happened. Attendance increased adequately but not dramatically. …