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By Daniel I. Dorfman-
(CBS) Wednesday night the White Sox honored former Mayor Richard M. Daley with the team’s Roland Hemond Award and deservedly so. While you can certainly argue with some of the decisions Daley made during his 22 year reign as Chicago’s chief executive, no one can deny he had a passion for the city and worked hard to see it thrive.
While it has been a couple of months since he left office, I couldn’t help but wonder what advice Daley would give to local sports executives if they were to approach him about the headaches
at their respective franchises.
Kenny Williams and Jim Hendry might talk to Daley about the massive contracts they gave out to Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano. Those deals are causing long term problems for their teams as those players are producing very little and no other team wants to have anything to with them.
I could just hear Daley telling the baseball general managers those contracts reminded him of his Hired Truck Program. People were making big money for nothing or next to nothing.
As a suggestion, Daley might then suggest to Williams and Hendry that they do with those contracts what he did with Meigs Field. In the middle of the night, tear up the contracts and put big “x”s in them. Then dare the players to take them to court. They probably won’t be as successful as Daley was in holding up legal challenges, but what do Williams and Hendry have to lose?
Daley’s advice would not be limited to baseball. I could see Jerry Angelo finding some down time in Bourbonnais and tell Daley he was worried about the offensive line of the Bears this year. That unit did allow 56 sacks last season, the most in the NFL. With Olin Kreutz gone and a rookie in Gabe Carimi slated to be at right tackle, there could be more trouble ahead in 2011 for Jay Cutler.
It’s plausible Daley could ask Angelo this question.”Jerry, any chance the NFL might allow some wrought iron fencing to be strategically placed around Solider Field to impede defenses?” Of course
that was the kind of fencing Daley loved to put everywhere. Angelo would tell Daley that was not an option so the former mayor would suggest putting together an offensive line filled with people with a lot of political patronage and connections. Maybe the owners of the other teams will be afraid to truly defy the Bears at that point for fear of messing up big government contracts. Angelo would be confused at first, but then figure it was worth a shot.
Finally, Jerry Reinsdorf might come to his old friend Daley asking how to make up a lot of lost income because it was beginning to look increasingly clear there wasn’t going to be an NBA season in 2011-12 due to the lockout.
Daley would respond by giving what he thought was a relatively easy solution to correct that problem. The former mayor would advocate that whenever the NBA does start up again, spectacular plays by Derrick Rose will now be privatized like the parking meters. Every individual super move by Rose, be it a hellacious dunk or one of his great drives through the lane, will cost a lot more to watch.
Bulls officials might be concerned that if they actually sell these plays in advance to get their budget in order as a one time only fix, in the long run it would turn out to be a lousy deal. Daley would refuse to admit any of that was even a possibility.
After all of these meetings and phone calls concluded, Daley would believe his ideas were timeless.