Jerry Reinsdorf is beloved in Chicago, and for good reason. He has brought seven championships to the city (six with the Bulls and one with the White Sox) and displays loyalty when it comes to players and coaches, past or present.
However, it’s obvious between the two teams he owns where is real passion lies. It’s with the Chicago White Sox. All the proof needed really lies within the last month or so. Take a look at the way each team has gone about their business.
White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams has given public pleas to fans about increasing attendance, citing the fact that it’s the only way he can make moves given the team’s financial situation. Despite saying that, Reinsdorf has signed off on deals to bring in Kevin Youkilis, Brett Myers and Francisco Liriano. Sure, the other teams in each deal are contributing some or most of the cash left on those players’ contracts, but it’s certainly an increase in payroll and shows aggression for the present despite many people believing they do not have much of a chance.
The Chicago Bulls have approached things in a totally different manner. Despite owning the NBA’s best regular season record two years running, the plan for the Bulls this off-season was for General Manager Gar Forman to gut the entire bench and find cheaper alternatives in order to avoid two words that apparently make Reinsdorf cringe: Luxury Tax.
That’s really all the evidence needed right there. Despite the Bulls looking like a solid team even with an injury to Derrick Rose, Reinsdorf decided to go on the cheap. On the other hand, despite the White Sox apparently being low on money and playing in a tough American League, Reinsdorf signed off on three big moves.
When one looks at that, it’s easy to see that things don’t quite add up in terms of equally allocating resources. However, when looking back over the years, it’s something that isn’t as surprising as one would thing. Yes, Reinsdorf did win six championships with the Bulls, but his emotions after winning the 2005 World Series with the White Sox showed that the baseball team on the South Side really was “his team.”
Who knows what the reason is? Maybe it’s just that he’s already won six championships with the Bulls and is deciding to hedge all his bets with the Sox. Maybe he’s worried about the upcoming contract negotiations with Tom Thibodeau and Taj Gibson. Maybe he just likes baseball better than basketball. Maybe there are things going on behind the scenes with management that we don’t know about. Whatever the case may be, it’s quite apparent that for now, Reinsdorf’s attention is focused solely on the White Sox and not the Bulls.