Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Spring Reruns

As I’ve written here too many times before, there’s nothing the baseball punditocracy loves more than a good script. Because if you’ve got a good script, you’ve got half your column written. And that means you can get back to the hotel bar and do some damage to your expense account that much sooner.

But just as the players use training camp to work themselves into mid-season form, so do the writers. And sometimes that means dusting off a favorite script and plugging it into a current story.

So I can’t really hold it against Sully for dropping this into the lead of his story in today’s Trib:

Corey Patterson spent a few years in the minor leagues being promoted as the next great Cubs outfielder, only for impatient fans to run him out of town because they wondered when he was going to live up to the buildup.

Actually, that’s a lie – I really can hold it against Sully.

This was a favored script immediately after the Cubs sent Patterson off to Baltimore last year, especially after his one good month last year. Those mean Cub Fans were so mean to poor Corey – he’d be a star for sure if Cub Fans weren’t so mean!

Of course, this script also completely disappears the conduct of Sully and his cohorts in the Chicago media. You know, that group of people that circulated stories that Patterson was lazy because he didn’t want to play winter ball. And that he was stubborn and uncoachable because he wasn’t bunting for base hits. And that he was a bad guy in the clubhouse because he didn’t glad-hand with the press as much as their buddy, Mark Grace.

Who cares about that stuff – Patterson was run out of town by Cub Fans! If only they could be a little more patient!

[Aside: If you follow what the scribes in the hopelessly biased Chicago Tribune say, Cub Fans are suffering from some severe bi-polar disorder. They’re either impatient with players who don’t produce Hall of Fame numbers immediately, or they’re apathetic boobs who don’t care what happens on the field as long as the Old Style is flowing. It tricky the way it works…]

And then there’s Dr. Phil, who goes even further back into the script archive than Sully for this chestnut:

HEE SEOP CHOI - Devil Rays

The guy the Cubs kept over Mark Grace in 2001 is still kicking around after failing to emerge as a big-league regular. He hasn't really been the same since he was knocked silly in the 2003 collision with Kerry Wood.

Five years on, Dr. Phil is still bitter that his buddy Grace wasn’t brought back. If Dr. Phil didn’t have an axe to grind against the Cubs, he could have phrased it differently. Like:

The guy the Cubs traded to get Derrek Lee in 2004.

Alternatively, if he wanted to show how dumb some other team was:

The guy the Marlins kept instead of Derrek Lee in 2004.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for either of those takes to become Officially Accepted Scripts. We’ll see the New York Times admit that Whitewater was a bunch of hooey before the Trib disavows this tripe…

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