Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Monday, October 09, 2006

They Write More Letters

Last week, White Sox Fan used the Trib’s letters to the editor column to tell me to keep my pie hole shut about his team. This week, White Sox Fan decided to he was enough of an expert about my team to offer his two cents.

An Andy Stavrou from Geneva IL describes himself as a “lifelong White Sox Fan,” but he still wants to play the “What If” game for this year’s Cubs.

Most of his musings rehash the Trib eds’ favorite scripts. A few bear commenting on, if only to serve as examples of how hindsight isn’t any damned good if you have no understanding of what was really going on when those real-time decisions were being made...

Mr. Stavrou’s first pondering asks what if Nomar had stayed with the Cubs? And played which position, exactly?

The punditocracy demanded that Ronnie Cedeno take over at short; if Cedeno wasn’t at short and Matt Murton wasn’t in left, it would be more “proof” that Dusty hates him some young players. Now, Jim Hendry has to bring in some Proven Veterans™ to shore up short and left. Things change, huh?

Mr. Stavrou goes on to wonder what if:

Miguel Tejada and Erik Bedard had come to town for Mark Prior and others after Furcal got away.

That would have been a boffo trade for the North Siders, wouldn’t it? Alas, the only side in that trade offer that wasn’t willing to make that deal was the Orioles.

Shoved down the memory hole is that Hendry offered Prior to the Orioles, despite the lamentations of the press and Cub Fans. The Orioles turned that down because they wanted Carlos Zambrano, Felix Pie, and two or three other guys in our minor league system.

I can’t blame the O’s for trying to get as much as they could for a guy like Tejada. But at this point, Hendry said thanks, but no thanks. A good thing to – Hendry got raked over the coals for trading Sergio Mitre. Just imagine how char-broiled he would have been for trading Big Z!

One other thing: Tejada has been taking some heat from the Baltimore press for lack of hustle. This is the same mortal sin committed by Aramis Ramirez. Still, the yokels praise Miggy’s leadership, while lambasting A-Ram’s bad attitude. Bravo for life’s little ironies.

My favorite of Mr. Stavrou’s What Ifs:

They had held on to Corey Patterson or at least got some Major League value for him.

Hilarious! Please, Gentle Reader, look at Corey’s 2005 stat line and tell me: what sort of “Major League value” would you be willing to part with in exchange for that? Chuck (That’s Hedley) LaMar isn’t around any more to fleece. Hendry’s lucky he got more than a box of baseballs in return.

Besides, was Patterson any better than the three guys we had out there? Don’t take my word for it; here are numbers (BA/OBP/SLG):

Patterson: .276 / .314 / .443
Murton: .297 / .365 / .444
Pierre: .292 / .330 / .388
Jones: .285 / .334 / .499

It’s funny how the human mind reasons. Patterson had one really, really good stretch, and didn’t do squat besides that. The Cubs’ trio each had one really, really horrid stretch, and did OK the rest of the way. But when the time comes to evaluate, it’s that one outlying stretch that we remember.

But that’s how they roll at the letters to the editor section. They’ll print anything as long as it reinforces their pleasing scripts, whether it makes any sense or not.

White Sox Fan doesn’t want me to say mean things about his team. I’m more open-minded. As long as you can make a rational argument, feel free to say whatever you want about my team.


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