Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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As expected, Round 1 of the three-day town-hall meetings between fans and a panel made up of Sox general manager Ken Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen could best be described as uneventful.

A big reason why was the organization only opened up the first night to the fans that paid for the two-day hotel package. Sure, there were a few fireworks in the opening minutes, mostly with radio broadcaster Ed Farmer playing “bad cop,’’ but by the end of the session it was a love-fest, with fans all but running up and hugging Williams and Guillen.

Even worst was the opening ceremonies, which resembled a bad high school pep rally. The first E1 was also registered, with announcer Gene Honda having the crowd sing Happy Birthday to newly-acquired outfielder Nick Swisher.

One problem – It wasn’t Swisher’s birthday.

Round 2 starts Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and even Guillen expects things to get a bit uglier this time around.

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18 Comments

Mariotti's a gas bag so Sox fans shouldn't bother reading him. I see all I need to see from the headlines of his columns.

The depth on this team is unreal & players will emerge as the starters in ST.

LF/CF - N Swisher/Quentin/Owens/Ozuna/A-Ram/Anderson
3B - Crede/Fields/Uribe
SS - OC/Uribe
2B - Dinhar/Uribe/A-Ram/Ozuna
1B - Konerko/N Swisher/Thome/Fields
DH - Thome/Fields/Konerko/Uribe
C - AJ/Hall
RF - Dye/Quentin/Ozuna/A-Ram/Anderson/N Swisher

Kenny is sure to do everything he can to further bolster then lineup, rotation, & pen by trading Crede, Konerko, & Uribe. There are sure to be takers.

BOYCOTT SOXFEST!!!!!

DO NOT SPEND ANY MONEY AT CELLULAR ONE THIS YEAR!!!

REINSDORF---WILLIAMS----AND GUILLEN ARE USING US AS FOOLS!!!!!

WAKE UP SOX FANS!!!!!! BOYCOTT!!!!

I don't get the White Sox brass and all this hostility toward the fans. I am the biggest Sox fan but all this hosility is one of the reasons why I can not step foot into the cell.

As far as Farmer goes that was totally unprofessional. The fANS HAVE A RIGHT TO SAY WHAT THEY WANT.

The Sox are an average team. They still have the same problem that existed last year and that is team speed. If this team does not hit Home Runs then they will not win.

Also the White Sox pitching has gotten worse. I can not believe that there are Sox fans who will not trade Paulie to Angels for Figgins and Kendrick or to the Giants for either Lowery or Cain. Lowery and Cain are both a thousand times better pitchers then Danks and Floyd.

Mark my words the White Sox will still be looking for a 4th and 5th starter by June.

At first blush I thought: "What the hell is going on? Why aren't the SOX getting agressive and signing Hunter or Rowand?"

Then they get Swisher (every bit the talent that Rowand is with a lot lower price tag); they get Cebrerra (no more weakness at short); they sign Dotel (Best set-up man prospect they've had for years; they bring in a couple of outstanding (unproven) other guys, and you know - they just might be back on top. Sacrificing Garland will prove to not be much of a sacrifice; The only REAL problem will be not keeping both Crede and Fields in the same lineup.

They are as solid a lineup as you can get. AllStars? Not all of them, but then again name the 2007 starters for Colorado.

The best is yet to come and 2008 will prove they are in the race with the rest of the division. As for Detroit - they are the AL Central's equivalent of the Yankees. All hit - not much pitch.

It'll be a race - but it WILL be a race. I like the SOX chances a lot better than I did at the end of last season.

PAUL

What the hell are you smoking????

Be in what race? Against High School baseball teams??

The White Sox cannot even dream of comparing themselves against the Tigers--Cleveland---Did you notice what place we came in last year?? LAST____ oh im sorry---3 games in front of the ROYALS!! That is LAST PLACE!!!

Oh, youre right. It will be a race----a race that will not include the white sox. The white sox will be in the basement looking up!!! Hello Kansas City.

Keep supporting them and see what you get. The white sox DO NOT RESPECT US AS FANS---NEVER DID!!! LOOK AT THE WAY THEY TALKED TO US---BOYCOTT THEM AND DO NOT SPEND ANY MONEY AT US CELLULAR FIELD IN 2008!!

C'mon folks - let's try our best to not act like spoiled children here. If you don't like the WS, go to another park, or don't watch baseball at all. But enough of this elementary-school themed boycott talk... there's certainly enough drama in baseball without all of this ridiculous Mariotti-infused paranoia. Look, I'll grant everyone one thing - Reinsdorf will never bring another trophy back to the South Side unless he starts spending money. We had a great team in 2005, and I firmly believe there has not been a better team since - in all of baseball - than the one that swept through most of the playoffs en route to the (pen)ultimate prize. But that's not to say that Jerry didn't get lucky - I mean, he had a sensible GM and great staff on his side to help steer the way - but in terms of not spending any money and still coming away with the prize. Well...you have to admit that luck played a big part there. Unfortunately, the fruition of a ring ceremony while maintaining a conservative fiscal approach is every owner's *** dream... and this mindset is definitely prevalent in the Windy City on both sides of town. So there's your biggest problem. And yes, because of that little quirk we missed out on a potential blockbuster deal - naybe a couple - this offseason. But you have to be pretty happy with what Kenny's been able to do, even with the proverbial tight pocketbook. And I still like the coaching staff and players... and yes, I love the park. Overall, I think the Sox have a good offensive and defensive core that will require some more tweaking before it's ready to go - another legitimate starting pitcher (despite the fact that I think Floyd will surprise many people this year), some speed on the base paths, and other bullpen guy to name a few. But I have good feelings about this team. And I won't mind rubbing some of your naysaying noses it it come October.

Years ago there were 16 major league teams totalling 400 players. Today there a 30 major league teams totalling 750 players. That means you have 350 minor leaguers in the majors now. Given those facts it's not surprising many ball players need drugs to compete.

I'm not a big fan of Williams but it's not easy when you're in the toughest division in baseball. I'm sure Wiiliams would be considered a genius if all he had to do was put together a team to win the Cubs division.

I am a die hard Cubs fan, but also a die hard Bulls fan and I think Juan has a point about your ownership they are like the Tribune cheap and go after has beens. If the Cubs would not have let go of some key players they might have ended that drought before it came to a 100. That ownership needs to change for the Bulls and for the Sox's sake cause that young talent is just being wasted. REINSDORF is trading away all the Sox's youg minor league talent for a championship when Boston is all stocked up on talent and no one will beat them again this year. I just hope if he trades the Bulls young talent away its for a Kobe or a Wade or Labron not a scrub!

The Sox need to start spending money? I believe they currently have the fourth highest payroll in the league behind the New Yorks and Boston. Sorry Jermaine, your comment is completely invalid.

Has everyone lost their collective minds? I realize we want a good team and I see Kenny Williams workig towards that in fact he made very many valid points at the 3rd Town Hall Meeting at Soxfest.
I have to tel you though, I asked for a World Series win in 2005, the White Sox delivered and like hungry locusts we want more, more, more. Give the team some space and stop being an armchair General Manager it will happen.
Anyone who reads Mariotti's column really needs to think about his agenda he never has anything nice to say ever and I think he is a waste of paper.

Who is this Juan guy? Hey juan you seem pretty gullable man!Jerry Riensdorff is probably one of the cheapest billionaies ive ever seen!! The White sox will suck just like The Bulls Do! Because they dont wanna spent money and bye the way Jay Marriotti has more sports knowledge the you will have in your lifetime so......Sox and Bulls Fans...Protest the Reinsdorff ownership also the McKaskeys and the Tribune.I cant Believe the owners are shafting us Chicago fans because were soooo..loyal and we dont protest these cheap ways.

I think the title of this blog "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" is misplaced. It ought to head up each and every one of Mariotti's columns, particularly the ones which have to do with either Reinsdorf, the Sox, or both. He has lost all credibility in his "broken record broken record broken record", non-stop bashing of all things Reinsdorf. His columns have become painfully boring now simply because they are so predictable. It's a shame the Sun-Times editorial board lowers the bar of journalistic integrity when it comes to him. All of the other columnists throughout the newspaper seem to ascend to a decent level of writing. Why isn't he required to do so as well?

Jermaine,

Do you know how to read? I did not say that the Sox will come in first. Look at the post.

Maybe you should put down the smoke.

mike from fort wayne....

nice grammer. jay has about as much sports knowledge as you do writing skills. as far as the sox being cheap, look at the numbers. they are always top 5 in the league as far as payroll. I think thoughts of a good payroll have been skewed by the outlandish spending of new york, boston, and now the angels. we can't look at them as the rule, but as the exception. it is just not right to carry a payroll like that. the sox have been above average on payroll for years now.

All you critical Saturday morning softball experts are wearing a little thin. KW is making progress in putting this team together. He is not done. So slow down, take a deep breath, and let's see what kind of rabbit Kenny pulls out of his hat next. Think about this, in 4 or 5 years or so how would you like to pay a 36 to a 38 year old player 15-18 million for mediocre play? Kenny is building the 2008 team in a way that does not financially mortgage the team's future. So guys, suck it up & think a little more about what you are saying. And some of you guys have severe anxiety problems and should see a shrink.

Everyone - People who write blogs saying they HATE sox and are going to boycott the sox are funny. We won the world series, and most of the people saying the sox are bad THEN are the same people saying they are bad now.

I was one of them. In the 2004-05 offseason when we traded Carlos Lee, I took down my Sox stuff and said I am done. My wife told me to stop being silly. I said no way, I knew better... then what happened. I went to all the sox playoff and world series games at the cell in 2005. During every game I still had the same mindset, they stink, they are going to lose. Only after we gave up 2 in the 9th in game 2, did i start to "let it go" all that mad at the world stuff and i believed and yelled, "go white sox, go white sox, so loud the couple at the series told me to be quiet. A minute late, Scotty P hits the homerun and boom, I no longer cry while watching the closing minutes of THE NATURAL. I lived it... Kenny Williams, Jerry Reinsdorf, Ozzie, Paulie, Joe CRREDDEE... the Passion, they all gave us something, something we all said they could not. Now, 2 years later, we are boycotting them and saying how bad they are? Do we learn nothing? I don't understand Sox fans. This "negative" stance has nothing with being a better baseball fan... I do not like the Cubs, but at least they trust their owner, and begin each season with HOPE. Heck thats why we watch baseball every season, the HOPE of what if. Yet all I read is how bad the Sox are, from sad reporters like Jay Mariotti, who I am convinced is best friends with Kenny Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf and only puts on the "act" to sell papers, I mean who can be that negative, Jay is more Sox fan than anyone I know, his cup is totally half empty. Anyway, I have two little sons and I am going to raise them to believe in hope, to believe anything is possible on the baseball field, and I can say this because a tiny little leadoff man hit a homerun in game 2 of the world series, in the bottom of the 9th... come on folks, this is the white sox glory days, one bad season should not ruin what they have going on... if you really want to be that negative - I am sure Jay Marittoi has a softball team you can be a fan off instead of the sox.

Im with the rest. I will BOYCOTT the White Sox in 2008. I will not step foot in US celllar field in 2008---and i urge all to do the same!!!!

Yes----I will not be attneding any games either!!!!!

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