White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf: ‘No recollection’ of advising former Marlins exec to finish second
Second-place teams “are the first losers,” Reinsdorf says.
Former Marlins president David Samson said he received advice from White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf that has more than rankled Sox fans upon hearing it.
Reinsdorf, however, took issue with Samson’s story shared with Miami-based radio host Dan Le Batard.
Samson recalled Reinsdorf advising him to finish second every year.
“Jerry Reinsdorf, when I first got into baseball — I never told this story before — and I like Jerry very, very much,” Samson said. “Sorry, Jerry, but here it comes. He sat me down, I was 32, just in baseball for my first of 18 years. He said, ‘You know what? Here’s my best advice to you: Finish in second every single year because your fans will say, Wow, we’ve got a shot, we’re in it. But there’s always the carrot left. There’s always one more step left to take.’ ’’
That would’ve been around 2000, about 19 years into Reinsdorf’s ownership of the Sox, the same year they won the American League Central after four consecutive second-place finishes and five years before they won the World Series in 2005. The Sox won the division in 2008 but haven’t reached the postseason since.
Reinsdorf, through Sox vice president of communications Scott Reifert, disputed Samson’s story Saturday.
“Jerry said he has absolutely no recollection of ever having said that, that it is certainly not his philosophy for how to run a major-league baseball team and that he has always considered the second-place team to be the first losers,” Reifert said via email.
Samson, outspoken and often unfiltered, was Marlins president from 2002 to 2017. He was fired by Marlins CEO Derek Jeter.