White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf doesn’t mind pedding Mitchell & Ness jerseys with Carlton Fisk’s name and no. 72 on ‘em, but he draws the line at phone sex, writes the Chicago Tribune’s Fred “Don’t Call Me Fred Ex” Mitchell.
Carlton Fisk and White Sox management have not always been battery mates, in a manner of speaking. Which makes the organization’s plans to honor the Hall of Fame catcher with a statue to be placed on the left-field main concourse a significant act of public reconciliation.
An official announcement from the White Sox is expected Sunday.
Fisk (above), who starred for the Sox in 1981-1993, says he is humbled and honored to receive such recognition. But a simple phone call from club Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf might be equally meaningful.
“I have heard from [Sox executive] Bob Grim, but I have not heard anything from Jerry Reinsdorf,” Fisk said Friday.
Asked Saturday about his relationship with Fisk, Reinsdorf tried to diffuse any sense of historical tension.
“If I hadn’t been reading in the newspapers that Carlton Fisk and I didn’t get along, I wouldn’t know it,” Reinsdorf said. “We have never had a cross word with each other. And I have seen him periodically over the years. We have always been cordial to each other. As far as I know, there are no problems.”
Fisk haggled over money with Sox management repeatedly and was miffed when he was released during midseason in Cleveland after breaking the career record for most games by a catcher in 1993. Later that year, Fisk was upset when he was denied access to the Sox’s locker room during the playoffs.
Asked to describe the differences in the game compared to when he played, Fisk said, “Obviously, the pay is so much better and the way the players are treated is so much better. You have to battle within the game, but you don’t have to battle outside the game as much anymore. Every year you used to have to battle for the next year.”