Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Revisionism

Our good friend Sully takes time from his busy schedule to answer questions from Cub Fans at the Trib’s web site. This question caught my eye:

The end of your column is very annoying. Just what mistakes did Prior make in Chicago? Did he not try to get along better with people like you? His body broke down. It happens. How is that a mistake? --Mike Wuebben, Nutley, N.J.

Good question, Mr. W. Even in New Jersey, readers can sense that the media (i.e., people like Sully) just didn’t seem to like Prior. Maybe it was the past three years of carping about how soft he was, how he wasn’t tough enough to pitch in The Show.

So how does Sully answer?

Aside from his general rudeness and condescending attitude, Prior's biggest mistake was his reluctance to be totally upfront with management about his health. As late as the end of March when he was sent to Triple-A, Prior was insisting he was healthy and could get major league hitters out, implying the demotion was undeserved. He pitched two innings in his first extended spring game before leaving with arm soreness. This led to the medical examinations that preceded the surgical clean-up of his shoulder. So are we supposed to believe he got injured in that two-inning stint? Please.

Hilarious. For three years, Sully and his cohort dumped all over Prior for being a wuss. Now, Sully paints Prior as a guy so desperate to pitch that he lied about being injured in a last-ditch effort to stay with the team.

If I may paraphrase attorney Lionel Hutz: Your honor, are these the actions of a man who’s too soft to pitch?

Of course, there’s plenty of mind-reading going on in Sully’s world here. I’ll venture a little mind-reading of my own – it’s just possible that Prior didn’t feel any soreness before his demotion. Or perhaps he was desperate to help his team and fulfill the expectations of the fans and tried to pitch through it.

I don’t know, and neither does Sully. But this week’s script says Prior is a rude liar, and Sully is nothing if not an efficient typist.

I did allow myself a rueful smile when I saw the last two questions posed to the illustrious scribe:

Paul, I don't know if it's your goofy "Rascals" hairdo or your glasses, but you really should fix one of them, if not both! -- Nancy Chesnutt, Seattle

Paul, how come you never address your unsightly hair in your Q&A columns? Us women out there want to know! --Patti Van Noord, Batavia, Ill.

At least Sully’s enough of a sport to take questions as fatuous and inane as those he poses to the players…

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