He doesn’t care about you. He has never cared about you. He will never care about you. You all know who I’m talking about, and the you is all of us. No matter what cute little hashtag you use, how many emails you send to members of the organization, or what online petition you try to start, Jerry Reinsdorf doesn’t care. In fact, he’s probably laughing about it all.
In the end, Jerry Reinsdorf will exercise his right as the controlling owner of our White Sox and do whatever the hell he wants. So if he wants to do nothing but implement a level of cronyism that would make people in Washington D.C. blush, he is going to do it with no regard for anyone else in his organization or us as fans. This is our reality until that day comes where he no longer controls our favorite baseball team.
For years I’ve been telling anyone who would listen that Jerry Reinsdorf is the greatest impediment to the White Sox being a successful organization. Many of you chose to cast blame on Rick Hahn, Kenny Williams, Nick Hostetler, Chris Getz, and others. The problem has always been Jerry Reinsdorf and the last month has exposed that for all to see. So to those of you that have finally come to grips with this fact as a result of this whole debacle, what took you so long?
So you as a fan can be upset about the process with which Tony La Russa became the White Sox manager, or about the fact that he is still the manager despite the public revelations of a second DUI arrest a mere 24 hours before his hiring became official. That angst simply doesn’t matter anymore. This train has left the station and there is no going back. It’s very clear that Jerry wants to right some imaginary wrong from three decades ago, regardless of public perception or pushback from those within his organization. Nothing short of La Russa deciding to walk away from this team will change that, so collectively we must move on to other more important things. Again, let’s be crystal clear about something: Jerry Reinsdorf will not fire Tony La Russa a second time.
What Matters Now
So here we are now with a young, exciting team that should go into 2021 with serious aspirations of winning the World Series. Yet, all we keep hearing about is a manager’s off-field issues and an owner willingly disregarding those issues in the face of tremendous public outcry from the fan base and media members both locally and nationally. What we should be hearing more about is how that owner is going to put his buddy turned manager in the best possible position to win his fourth World Series title with a third different franchise.
Defenders of Jerry Reinsdorf love to talk about his loyalty and how committed he is to winning, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. Well, this is an opportunity for him to prove both once and for all. If he was going to hijack the process of replacing Rick Renteria by simply installing his buddy, then he needs to put his foot on the gas and do something he’s never shown a willingness to do and build a winner at all costs. He needs to give his pal every resource available to have a viable World Series contender. That means he needs to stop setting aside $100 bills to line the inside of his coffin and build the best 26-man roster he can for Tony La Russa.
Folks, this is the single most important thing we should be focused on at this point. The manager has been decided, now it’s all about building the best possible roster. It is imperative for this owner, now more than ever, to prove how committed he is to winning another World Series. I wrote recently that I felt Tony La Russa wouldn’t be coming out of retirement to do this without some type of assurance from his buddy that he was going to put him in a position to be successful, and I still believe it. Now is the time for action.
It is time for some funds to be withdrawn from the Reinsdorf Family Trust and sent to George Springer. It’s time to take some more funds and go get one, if not two, quality starting pitcher(s). Round out the roster around the edges by bringing in more quality proven relievers and quality Major League-caliber utility options. This is what truly matters at this point. Prices on the open market should generally be depressed this winter, which is music to Jerry Reinsdorf’s ears. This isn’t the time to talk about losses from no fans attending games in 2020, it’s time to build a World Series contender.
Block Out The Noise
All the fluff that has surrounded this team in the last few weeks is irrelevant at this point. Tony La Russa will be managing this team in 2021, like it or not. The quality of that team is the only thing that needs to be considered going forward. For all the consternation that has been swirling online within the fan base recently, the White Sox still have a team that is on the cusp of being a viable championship contender.
Some of you reading this have said recently that you won’t go to games or support this team as long as Tony La Russa is here and, while that would be your right, I’m not buying it. We are in too deep at this point to turn back. You can be disappointed, sure. But the overwhelming majority of you will be locked in once the team reports to Glendale in a few months. Besides, any significant decline in revenues from decreased attendance (if it really happened) would just give Reinsdorf an excuse to take funds away from the payroll again.
Tony La Russa wasn’t my pick to be the manager of the White Sox. I think his recent actions are selfish and pathetic but he has a good friend controlling his fate. That friend ultimately will decide whether this experiment is a success or failure, and he will do so through his willingness to assemble a quality baseball team. How we got to this point no longer matters. Only one thing matters now: building the best baseball team possible and winning.