White Sox Owner Jerry Reinsdorf Better Stay Out of Chicago Cubs Business

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIFebruary 13, 2010

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 12:  Jerry Reinsdorf, Chairman of the Chicago White Sox speaks to staff members prior to the start of Game Two of the American League Championship Series against Los Angeles Angels of Anaheimon October 12, 2005 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

White Sox general manager Kenny Williams is known for saying, "He better stay out of Chicago White Sox business." That was a reference to Frank Thomas commenting on the team when he was no longer playing for them.

Perhaps Kenny should tell his hypocritical owner, Jerry Reinsdorf, to stay out of Chicago Cubs business.

Reinsdorf has been raising a stink in Arizona because of a proposed surcharge to help with building the Cubs a new $84 million spring training facility to keep them in Mesa. The charge would be added to tickets sold for the other 13 teams that play in Arizona.

Reinsdort told the Phoenix Business Journal that he was opposed to the plan to institute the surcharge.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith crticized Reinsdorf for his opposition to the charge.

"Is this the same Jerry Reinsdorf that skipped out on Pima County taxpayers who had spent tens of millions of dollars to provide him with a taxpayer-funded stadium to come to Glendale, where Maricopa County taxpayers provided him a Taj Mahal spring-training facility?" Smith said.

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In addition, who can forget when Reinsdorf blackmailed the State of Illinois into building the White Sox a new stadium back in the '90s with a threat to move to St. Petersburg, Florida?

It didn't matter which team you rooted for. Cub fan or Sox fan, you were stuck with the tab either way.

Even though the Cub facility in Mesa is only twelve years old, it's outdated compared to many of the facilities in Arizona, including that of the Sox.

The Cubs have been the biggest draw in Arizona throughout the years, and they bring in a ton of revenue to the area. Many of their fans bought homes or retired there just to be able to catch the spring games.

The Cubs also contemplated moving to Naples, Florida before deciding to stay in Arizona, where they have been for over 50 years.

That could have been thought of as a threat, too, along the Reinsdorfian way of doing things. However, with the Cubs having new owners, they were just trying to explore all avenues and do what was best for the ball club.

If there was an ulterior motive behind looking into Florida when other clubs were moving out, I guess we'll never know.

But what is the motive for Reinsdorf? He doesn't mind public funding as long as it benefits him.

Is it because this would benefit his archrival, the Cubs, that he is so against this?

The Cubs are far more popular.

It seems like White Sox ownership takes after its fans when it comes to the real or perceived slights they feel when it comes to their team.

A few years back, there used to be a billboard right across the street from Wrigley Field that said, "For real baseball, take the "L" nine miles south."

Does that sound like an organization with insecurity issues?

To the Cubs, the Sox don't even exist.

They don't market against the White Sox. They market their own team and the experience of going to a Cubs game.

Is this another slam at the Cubs organization by Reinsdorf and his legion of henchman?

After the Sox won the World Series in 2005, Kenny Williams mentioned that he was hoping to repeat to turn this into a Sox town, again, acknowledging the reality of the situation.

Sox manager Ozzie Guillen rips Wrigley Field every year before the "Crosstown Classic" comes to the north side of town.

Jerry Reinsdorf needs to back down from his stance against this charge, and accept the fact that if it wasn't for the Cubs, he probably wouldn't be in Arizona with his lovely new ballpark.

He needs to quit thinking about what the Cubs are doing and worry about his own team.

This is just sour grapes from an owner who feels like a second class citizen because his team will always be second to the Cubs in the hearts of the fans.

That's just the way it is, and the way it always will be.


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