A Messy Break Up
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Dec 11, 2004 12:04AM
Chicagoist hates messy break-ups. And now that Magglio Ordonez has spoken out about the way things ended between him and the White Sox, we see it's no different with ballplayers and the general managers who claimed they loved them. It didn't need to come to this, with each side bad mouthing the other to the press. But that's where it's ended up.
Magglio Ordonez spent 6 seasons as the Sox's regular right fielder, averaging over 30 home runs, 110 RBIs, and batting over .300. Those are some damn good numbers! And he made the All Star Team 4 times. So what did the Sox do prior to last season? They offered him a 5-year, $70 million extension--but with the money deferred out over 20 years. When Mags balked at the deferred money offer, Sox brass began commenting on his knee injury to the press suggesting it may be worse than initially thought.
The Sox later expressed dismay that Mags went to Austria behind their backs to get a second opinion and have additional surgery on the knee. Only now, it's come out that Sox team podiatrist Lowell Weil recommended the Austria trip to Ordonez! Weil seems to be hedging his bets and claiming he never informed the Sox about this because he was acting on the player's best interest. Magglio claims the Sox were aware of the situation and that the Sox received full medical reports of the procedure.
Yet all fall, Sox GM Kenny Williams has been saying that the Sox wouldn't negotiate with Ordonez or his agent Scott Boras because they didn't have information about the status of his injury. By not offering Mags salary arbitration this week the Sox effectively cut all ties.
Now that their separation has become official, Mags is now doing what many a jilted lover does. He's running into the arms of his ex's rival -- the evil Cubs from the North Side. In an interview with the Trib on Thursday, Ordonez said, "Why not the Cubs? I think it would be a good place for me. They have great fans. They're sold out every day. They have great pitching and they have a good chance to win it all. All I want to do is win. Winning is my No. 1 priority." Ouch! Of course, Kenny Williams claims he's already over Magglio...