Bernstein: Reinsdorf's Age Fueling Sox's Urgency?

Jerry Reinsdorf reminds his executives often of the need to win now.

Dan Bernstein
December 09, 2019 - 1:45 pm
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(670 The Score) BREAKING NEWS:  Jerry Reinsdorf is old.

The principal owner and chairman of the board of the White Sox has existed on the planet for 83 years, nine months and 14 days, and while he remains in excellent health, he's still aware that it would be better to have another World Series title on the South Side sooner rather than later. And it seems he wants those in control of such things to get on with it.

In a story from USA Today regarding the current Winter Meetings, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn commented on Reinsdorf's role as the team transitions from its deliberate multi-year reconstruction into a new competitive phase ready to begin this season.

"Look, Jerry is known for his loyalty, which is a tremendous attribute," Hahn told Bob Nightengale. "But it's extremely important he is on board and comfortable from what we're doing from a rebuild standpoint. When we set out to do this three years ago, he was outstanding and unwavering in maintaining our long-term vision.

"But at the same time, there's more than one conversation every week when he reminds us how old he is and wondering how much longer he has to wait to get to the promised land. He's ready to get to the winning stage."​

More than once a week? Seriously? Does that mean just two on average or more like seven? Or 12? And how much new ground can each next conversation cover? I love that Reinsdorf is doing this, because how often must he think Hahn or executive vice president Ken Williams need to be reminded? It's not like they're just going to suddenly forget the fact, allowing it to radically alter their timetable for some transaction or personnel decision. We can only imagine how these surprisingly frequent exchanges actually occur.

"Rick, it's Jerry -- you know, the 83-year-old guy? Flight's delayed, so we'll be in late."

"Kenny, Jerry. Just a reminder that I'm 83 and want to win another championship. Have a nice weekend."

"Note to management: Tomorrow at 11:45 we'll meet in the main conference room for your regular Thursday update on how old I am, which I can tell you preliminarily is about a week older than I was at the time of last Thursday's meeting."

"Lunch is here, guys. They brought a soup I didn't order, which I guess comes with it. I'm not going to eat it, so if either of you want it, feel free. It's good, actually, but I just don't want it. Also, I'm 83 years old."

(via text) "U GET PLAYERS YET? I'M OLD AF (Older Man emoji)"

Perhaps there's the equivalent of an OSHA-required days-without-incident tracker that instead is just a large atomic clock in the baseball operations office that displays Reinsdorf's age, and all he has to do it point at it with either a stern glare or a wryly cocked eyebrow, depending on the intended tone. Or he sets down his "World's Greatest Grandpa" mug on a targeted desk with a bit more force that necessary to drive home a point.

Even wanting this to be so top of mind just once per week would be notable, because four times per month you'd think would inform their decision-making sufficiently to drive urgency, and yet he's doubling that, at a minimum. This is spectacular.

We also notice he's apparently not doing the same with the guys running the Bulls.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.