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A New Business Plan on the South Side of Chicago?
2004-11-17 23:20
by Scott Long

Since the White Sox hired Ozzie Guillen last year, it seems to me they have positioned themselves to focus on obtaining Hispanic baseball players. Considering the high percentage of quality Hispanic players, plus the growing Hispanic population, it seems like this is a new business model to observe.

Guillen, who can be difficult to understand in English, seems to have great comraderie with fellow Spanish-speaking players, so I would guess he would appeal to Hispanic baseball fans, also. Considering that the White Sox can't really expect to grow their fanbase with native Chicagoans, as most are already Cub fans, appealing to the fastest growing part of the city's population, Hispanics, seems to be a good bottom line decision. (I know Arte Moreno has stated he's trying to market the Angels to Hispanics to increase the team's fanbase.)

Despite "failing" to sign targeted shortstops Omar Vizquel and Christian Guzman, the White Sox seem to be focused on adding more Hispanic players for their dugout. By creating an atmosphere catering to Hispanic players, this would logically seem to make it a more attractive place for them to want to sign with.

Just like some players sign for less to play with a winner or to be in a major market, by creating an atmosphere of comfort for players who speak English as a second language, might this not be a different twist on cutting costs? I'm not sure the White Sox have done this by complete design and I would really doubt they would admit it, even if they did, but it's something worth watching.
(By the way, I haven't read anyone in the major media discuss this concept in any detail and I'm guessing that is the case because of the fear the discussion of race or nationality creates, especially to White-male writers, which is the makeup of almost every baseball writer in the country.)

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