Go ahead Jerry Reinsdorf, make everyone’s day

Go ahead Jerry Reinsdorf, make everyone’s day

As has often been stated on these pages, Jerry Reinsdorf hates Chicago White Sox fans. And White Sox fans hate him. That’s the only fundamental anyone has to understand to get what’s going on the Southside. Or in this case, Nashville (insert Steve Harvey voice, “Takin’ his punk ass to Nashville…”)

Because Reinsdorf hates White Sox fans, he also thinks they’re stupid. He thinks by making sure he’s photographed and spotted walking out of the mayor of Nashville’s office, every Sox fan and local politician is going to piss themselves and start running around screaming that their beloved Pale Hose may one day soon become the Nashville Phallic Symbols. But Reinsdorf is underestimating just how much bile his supposed fans have for him. Everyone sees through this ruse.

A quick review. The White Sox lease at Guaranteed Rate Field, but really New Comiskey Park, runs out in six years. Don’t worry, it’s not like the Sox pay rent or anything. The Sox have to draw over somewhere in the ’hood of two million fans to owe the Stadium Authority anything, and seeing as how the Sox have been trash for most of a decade, that’s not a worry. And even though their agreement with the Authority says the Sox are supposed to be on the hook for any improvements or renovations at Comiskey, they haven’t been. It’s a sweetheart deal.

But that hasn’t stopped the Sox, and more to the point Reinsdorf, from making noise about wanting a new park, or massive overhaul of the current one, or he might just take his aged ass to another town.

It’s easy to see the landscape that Reinsdorf is looking over. The Rangers just got a new stadium in the Metroplex after only being in their previous one for less than 30 years. He sees Nashville just approved a new football stadium for the Titans after only being where they are less than 30 years. These are things he definitely wants to blackmail the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois over.

The thing is, though, everyone here knows the Sox aren’t moving. Rob Manfred can slither under a couch long enough to let the A’s move from the huge market of the Bay Area to the tiny one of Vegas, but seeing a team move from the No. 3 market to Nashville is going to be a hard enough sell that maybe even the owners might take pause (nah, never mind). It’s an empty threat.

And even if it wasn’t, Reinsdorf is underestimating just what his profile is here. Sox fans love the White Sox. They hate, hate, hate Reinsdorf’s White Sox. He couldn’t have less leverage with what’s supposed to be his constituency. Certainly, a significant number of them, maybe even most, would rather Reinsdorf take his act elsewhere than giving him yet another stadium to keep cursing them with underwhelming teams that he’s only interested in using as an example of how baseball is broken, i.e. he doesn’t want to spend money and doesn’t think anyone else should either.

Reinsdorf’s next move, assuredly, will be to make googly eyes at various suburbs to make the mayor and various councilmen knee-shaky. That’s going great for the Bears, who are now making up suburbs to try to threaten either Arlington Heights or the city into giving them a new stadium. No one’s going to care, and anyone who does will more likely say, “Fine, go.”

Guaranteed Rate is a great place to see a game, no matter what Reinsdorf says in the coming months or years. It’s easy to get to via L or car, the sightlines are great, the food options are out of this world. Reinsdorf will point to the attendance figures signaling that his fans don’t like it. What they don’t like is his half-assed approach to putting a team on the field they can enjoy. They’ve had one collection of players they could get excited about in 15 years. Reinsdorf saddled it with Tony La Russa to make up for a debt only he thought existed.

There’s been no free agents to get excited about. Or huge trades with big names signaling that the Sox were really going for it. They play in the worst division in MLB, by far. They should lord over it while barely breathing hard. Reinsdorf can’t even manage that.

The White Sox aren’t going anywhere. Everyone knows it. The best Reinsdorf can hope for is getting a more sweetheart deal to stay right where he is. Unless he is so desperate to be this century’s Art Modell, and reviled as he dies by a city and sport, except Nashville probably won’t be nearly as fussed about getting a team as Baltimore was to get one back.

Chicago would probably leap up to the top of the expansion lists and it’s likely the city would get to keep the name and logo just like the Browns did. Sox fans would be delighted to be rid of him and to start over.

The only way Reinsdorf can get a new stadium here, or even huge renovations of the current park, is to tell everyone he’ll sell the team as soon as the work is done. That’s not happening, because he can’t lose a deal, ever. His act has been clear for decades.

Go ahead, Jerry. Do your worst. Take this to the end, and maybe, just maybe, everyone will get what they want out of this.

Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky @Felsgate.bsky.social

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.