Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another Triumph from the Tower of Ideas

Way back in April, Sully was johnny-on-the spot with a quick blog post trumpeting the fact that the Cubs putzed away a seven-run lead against the Pirates. As I noted at the time, Sully didn't bother to add a follow-up post mentioning the minor fact that the Cubs eventually won the game in extra innings. However, he did helpfully add that the last time the Cubs came back from a seven-run deficit was 22 June, 1999 against Colorado, when they turned a 9-1 Rockies lead into a 13-12 Cubs win.

By an amazing coincidence, the Cubs came back from a 9-1 deficit to defeat the Rockies 10-9 Friday. No, there was no in-game blog post from Sully to tell fans about the amazing turn-around. And, no, there was no mention in Sully's game story about how many years it had been since the Cubs had prevailed despite digging themselves a deep early hole.

Sully did manage to work a reference to the 100th anniversary of the Cubs' last World Series victory into his story. In the second paragraph, no less.

This came a day after Sullly spent the first three paragraphs of Friday's game story rehashing last May's lost weekend. You may remember it -- it started with Carlos Zambrano playing Whack-a-Barrett and ended with Lou Piniella throwing a hissy-fit on the field.

As any j-school graduate could tell you, those lead paragaphs should contain the most important information in the whole piece. Why is year-old information more important than what happened yesterday? Jeebus only knows. It's just how Sully rolls, I guess...

Labels: , ,

From the Top Down

Jim offered the opinion that Orlando Cabrera is a whiny baby.

He very well could be; such behavior lends credence to the theory. But perhaps he's also following the lead of White Sox management.

After all, Cabrera's manager had a cry-fest because people in Chicago didn't love his team enough. Boo hoo, cried Ozzie. We're horse[bleep], and we're going to be horse[bleep] the rest of our lives, no matter how many World Series we win. We are the bitch of Chicago. We're the Chicago bitch.

And then there's Ozzie's boss. You may recall the rain falling from Kenny's eyes back in March. Stamping his feet, Kenny sobbed, There's only one sports team in Chicago that will get a pass. I won't name them. But it ain't us.

With team leadership behaving in such fashion, is it any wonder Cabrera behaved as if there were no shame in (a) whining to the official scorer and (2) whining to the press that Ozzie don't love him enough?

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 30, 2008

Voted Early, Will Vote Often Later

Just finished turning in my first ballot for the 2008 All-Star game. Sure, I'll share it with you, thank you for asking.

American League

C: Joe Mauer. I hadn't realized this, but neither Mauer nor Victor Martinez has homered yet this year. But Mauer still has a .408 OBP, and that's all I need to know.

1B: Justin Morneau. If I would have had to make a prediction before the season, I would have said that of Dr. Morneau and Kevin Youkilis, Youkilis would have the higher OBP and Morneau the greater slugging percentage. How wrong I would have been. All things considered the two are about even and I like both, so I'm going with "who was born in Canada" as my tiebreaker. One could make a case for Jason Giambi here, but I won't.

2B: Ian Kinsler. Kinsler wins out at a weak position over Brian Roberts. Kinsler has a better slugging average and the two have virtually identical OBPs. Roberts is a terrific basestealer, but Kinsler has stolen 15 in 15 tries this year and is 49-55 for his career. Tough to beat that.

3B: Alex Rodriguez. This is the All-STAR game, after all. Who else can you even make a good case for?

SS: Derek Jeter. Remember when this was the centerpiece position in the AL? A-Rod, Jeter, Nomar, Tejada...now it's as empty as it can be. Jeter gets the nod over Michael Young on career achievement, kind of like Oscars voting.

I always vote outfielder by position; one LF, one CF, one RF. I know I don't have to do that, but I'm a stubborn cuss.

LF: Manny Ramirez. I could vote for Milton Bradley, but I don't like Milton Bradley. I could vote for favorite son Carlos Quentin, but I'd like to see him do this for more than two months. I could vote for Hideki Matsui, but...well, Manny is Manny, and that has positive connotations as well as negative ones. He's still a dangerous, dangerous hitter.

CF: Josh Hamilton. I hope that his story just keeps getting better. Not just for his sake, but for mine too, because I love watching him. He gets the vote here over two of my of my other favorite players, B.J. Upton and Ichiro Suzuki. This may be the first time ever I haven't voted for Ichiro.

RF: Magglio Ordonez. Kenny Williams was wrong, Ozzie Guillen was wrong, and I was wrong. If the Sox had it to do all over again I'd still recommend doing just what they did, but I'm still glad to see things work out so well for Mags.

DH: David Ortiz. Coming around after a slow start. Still fun to watch, but I wouldn't count on this lasting much longer.

It's getting late, so I'll finish tomorrow with the lesser league.

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Orlando Cabrera Has A Hissy Fit

Those mean official scorers are charging him with errors! And his manager is mean, too, because he won't waste time calling the scorer to ask that the calls be changed. Also, they make him take naps during the day and clean his plate before getting dessert.

Cabrera is a good player, but he looks like a short timer with the Sox. Both his manager and his GM are apparently losing patience with him quickly. Dick Williams once said that Terry Kennedy had an equipment problem--he needed a diaper. Cabrera appears to have the same need.

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 23, 2008

Best. Promotion. Ever.

I want one of these SO bad...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 22, 2008

About Time

MLB has decided to try to remove some of the wasted time from games by actually enforcing some existing rules. What a concept...what's next, making umpires observe the rule book strike zone, or eliminating the phantom double play?

Seriously, this a move that is very welcome. If you've ever sat through a Steve Trachsel start, you'd welcome it to. Or for that matter, watched the between pitch antics of Nomar Garciaparra (or many, many others). I know that hitting is timing, and pitching is upsetting timing, but it's not about timing plate appearances with a sundial.

In his New Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James made an excellent point that many times the interests of one party in a game are at odds with the interests of the game itself. The interest of the game in this case is to provide an arresting and riveting entertainment and not the interest of Steve Trachsel trying to defeat the opposing batter not through great stuff or clever pitch selection but by boring him into giving up.

I'm glad to see that stadium "entertainment" personnel have also been put on notice. While they're at it, can you also require them to turn it down a few notches?


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Telling Figures Indeed

Record of the New York Yankees prior to the injury to overpaid, overrated, choking loser Alex Rodriguez: 14-14, 4.25 runs scored per game.

Record of the New York Yankees after the injury to overpaid, overrated, choking loser Alex Rodriguez: 6-10, 3.75 runs scored per game.

Yep. it's all his fault when they lose.

Labels: ,

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Baseball in general, and watching the Tampa Bay Rays? Check. Comics? Check.

A Sports Illustrated cover drawn by comics artist Mark Bagley featuring super Carl Crawford lifting a stunned Derek Jeter over his head while Bizarro watches?

Almost too good for words.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oh Happy Day

Saints be praised -- the Rays are in first, the Yankees are in last.

Tampa manager Joe Maddon may only want his guys to celebrate for a half hour, but I'm gonna savor this until at least tomorrow morning. Woo hoo!

Labels: ,

So It's Come to This

Jim Hendry has signed the dessicated remains of Jim Edmonds. Ugh.

I don't hate Edmonds like some other folks do. Even so, if Edmonds gives us anything approaching Neifi-like production I will be surprised.

I guess if the team was that desperate for a centerfielder, this move is marginally better than disinterring Hack Wilson and sticking a bat in his hands. But only because overtime pay for the grave diggers would have cost more money than what we're on the hook for with Edmonds...

Labels: ,

Thank You, God, for the Sixteen-Team NL

Interleague play starts this weekend. But for once in my life I'm grateful for the sixteen-team National League. Because thanks to the unwieldy set-up envisioned by Baron Budhausen and his crew, it means that my heroes will play the Pirates this weekend, and not participate in the annual marketing scheme that interleague play is at its heart.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It Would Be Funny If It Weren't So Pathetic

Shorter Mike Downey: Boo-hoo! The White Sox are in second place, and no one loves them as much as they love the Cubs! Boo-hoo! Life is so unfair!

This is standard-issue nuttery from Downey. I try not to mock stuff like this (because it's like shooting fish in a Dixie cup), but there was one particular passage that made me laugh and laugh. The ridiculousness of it just begged for a whuppin'.

After blathering about how the Sox started the week merely a game out of first place, and about all the good young talent on the team, and some self-pitying mewling about how nobody loves his heroes, Downey comes back with this:

For a team that has been in first or second place for most of this season, the Sox have not been the talk of the league. They aren't even the talk of their own town.

Cubs, Cubs and More Cubs—that's what you hear here.

A day doesn't go by without somebody gushing about how great the Cubs look. (Whereas the last time I looked in the standings, the Cubs were only 1 1/2 games ahead of the so-so Houston Astros and 4 1/2 up on the p.u. Pittsburgh Pirates.)

And this is the point at which Downey's logic collapses like the house of cards it is.

No, not because I think the White Sox stink. Rather, it's because the facts have a pro-Cubs bias.

Downey's facts are right about the Cubs' lead over divisional rivals Houston and Pittsburgh. But Downey is disingenuous presenting this information, because he doesn't actually tell you what the teams' records actually are.

Heading into today's action, here's the NL Central standings:

Chicago 23-15 ---
Saint Louis 23-17 1
Houston 22-17 1.5
Milwaukee 19-19 4
Pittsburgh 18-20 5
Cincinnati 16-23 7.5

Meanwhile, the White Sox -- the team Downey refers to as a "nice surprise" and deserves a "standing ovation" for being a game out of first place, is 18-19.

You read that correctly. Mike Downey says that a .500 team is a "nice suprise."

Eagle-eyed readers may also notice that those so-so Astros would be three games up in the standings on the Pale Hose. And the "p.u." Pirates -- merely a half-game behind.

And that's the team Downey is telling the rubes they should be cheering for. Not those no-good, rotten, over-rated Cubs.

The White Sox have an interesting team this year, which is more than I could say about last year's version. But right now, they're a .500 team with decent pitching and a middling offense. If Cleveland and Detroit continue to fritter away their seasons, that could be enough to keep them in contention all year. You know, pretty much the same scenario that last year's Cubs squad took advantage of.

Downey's an admitted White Sox partisan, so it's not surprising that he should make this little trip in the waaaaaaaaah-mbulance. The truly sad thing -- a guy who is honored with a Hall of Fame ballot cannot advance the discourse about our National Pastime more than this.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Stay Classy, Reds Announcers

As reported over at Hire Jim Essian...

Labels: , ,

Saddle Up

If you want more proof that the blow-up doll "controversy" is more like making a mountain out of a grain of sand, look no further than Mike Downey and Big Mouth Morrissey getting up on their high horses in this week's Trib.

Downey pretty much calls out the Sun-Times as a bunch of hypocrites for getting up in arms about the dolls while at the same time running adverts for strip joints and pictures of Playmates.

Meanwhile, Big Mouth says:

I don't want to sound like a mother demanding her child eat all of his food because of the starving children in China, but 22,000 people died in a recent typhoon in Myanmar, and we're worried about two blowup dolls in a major-league clubhouse?

Congratulations, Big Mouth -- you've just rationlized your livelihood away. I mean, bad stuff happens every single day in the world. Really bad stuff that makes worrying about any form of entertainment (movies, sports, TV) inconsequential.

When a "controversy" is so lame that it produces two columns this banal, it's time to close the door on it. Please, let's just move on, OK?

Labels: , , ,

Why, Indeed?

Following up (sort of) on Jim's post about Trump's crack-back on Alex Rodriguez, we find Fox Sport.com's Tracy Ringolsby offering this nugget o' joy:

If Alex Rodriguez really is the "franchise player'' that should have the richest contract in baseball history, can someone explain why he has never played in a World Series game? He won't turn 33 until July 27 and has finished among the top 10 in MVP voting in nine of his 12 full seasons, but he ranks third among active players in terms of games played without a World Series appearance.

His one-time Seattle teammate, Ken Griffey, Jr., is at the top of the active chart, and Frank Thomas ranks second.

Not to say that a player has to be in a World Series to be considered one of the game's most talented, but the bottom line for history isn't the bottom line in a checking account but rather the success of a team. Team success is tied to championships.

Nice of him to toss in that last bit. I guess Ringolsby can admit that A-Rod is talented, even if he isn't clutch enough to make it to the World Series.

But to address his original question...why has A-Rod never played in a World Series game?

Can it be all his fault? Since signing that record contract, Rodriguez' OPS+ have been 160, 158, 147, 131, 173, 134, and 177.

For those of you who aren't guys sitting in their basements "spilling food on ourselves" (as Ozzie described it), OPS+ measures how productive a batter is relative to the league average. So in 2007, when Rodriguez was all chokin' in the clutch and stuff, he was 77% better than the average player.

I'm no rocket scientist, but I think most people would think that is pretty good. Perhaps a guy who's 77% better than the league average would be someone you'd want on your team.

So why hasn't Rodriguez been in the Fall Classic? Call me crazy, but I think these might be contributing factors, that no sane person could blame on Rodriguez' obsession with the almighty dollar:

** In 2001, out of all the Rangers' starting pitchers, the lowest ERA was Doug Davis' 4.45. Rick Helling, Kenny Rogers, and Darren Oliver starting 82 games (more than half the season) between them, and posted ERAs of 5.17, 6.19, and 6.02.

** The 2002 Rangers got their pitching together a little. Very little The league-worst 669 walks allowed may have contributed to a team ERA of 5.15.

** The '03 Texas team narrowly missed an ignominious Triple Crown -- they finished with the worst ERA (5.67) and most HR allowed (208), but managed to squeeze into thirteenth place in walks allowed (603).

Few teams have made it to the Series with pitching that bad.

** In 2004, the Yankees rolled to a 101-61 record before getting rolled themselves by Boston in the ALCS. Rodriguez put up a .258/.378/.516. Why couldn't he be as clutch as that nice Derek Jeter (.200/.333/.233)?

** Rodriguez had a famously bad 2005 ALDS versus Anaheim. So did Mike Mussina, Randy Johnson, Al Leiter, and Tanyon Sturtze. Not that anyone noticed...

** Rodriguez had a more-famously bad 2006 ALDS against the Tigers. That nice Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada were the Yankees who did squat (the team totals were .246/.289/.388). Chalk it up to four games of life sucking for the Yankees at the worst time.

** Last year, the boo-birds were all over A-Rod's .267/.353/.467 as Cleveland clobbered the Bombers in four games. Perhaps sub-par compared to what we've come to expect from Rodriguez. But perhaps the Tribe found it easier to win the best-of-five series after clobbering Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang in both his starts.

To sum up -- why hasn't Rodriguez been in a World Series? Several reasons: the Rangers were a really, really bad team when he was with them. And in his four years in New York, the Yankees have either run into better teams or just picked the wrong time to have a crappy week.

Hope this clears things up...

Labels: , ,

The Donald Runs His Mouth

Sweet Jumping Jebus on a pogo stick! Who in the hell cares for a single minute what Donald Trump thinks about Alex Rodriguez? How surprising that a boob like Trump thinks that Derek Jeter is a winner and Rodriguez is a loser. Rodriquez has never won a ring, so how could he be any good? It's all his fault when the Yankees don't win, you know, because he is a failure in the clutch. And Jeter, he just knows how to win.

Please explain to me the fascination that America seems to have with a jackass like Trump, an egotistical, money worshiping, mean spirited creep. Why is this news?

And here's a puzzler for you: if Derek Jeter is all-powerful, how is it that his Yankees have won no World Series titles since 2000? Rodriguez didn't show up until 2004, so it can't all be his fault. Or can it?

Labels: , , ,

The Dolls Clubhouse

I'm sure that I'll be taken to task by someone for my insensitive and incorrect views, so this is all I'm going to say about the blow up doll incident. The members of the Chicago White Sox are all adults, and adults do things like this. Because they are friends, and friends like to laugh among themselves, and at themselves.

I'm not sure that it was funny, but my sense of humor is probably a bit more refined.

We move closer and closer every day to the time when MLB clubhouses are no longer accessible to the media. I'm not sure that this would be an entirely bad thing.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hard to Believe

From an AP story picked up by the Arlington Daily Herald:

Investigators say Sox fan James Falakos had been drinking when he pushed a Cubs fan into a window at a Domino's Pizza restaurant, breaking the glass.

What? White Sox Fan getting drunk and violent? That's unpossible!

I kid, of course...

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Return of the Horse[bleep] Tuesday Night Link Dump

Well-rested after a week's vacation, what is widely considered in my house to be the greatest Tuesday Night Link Dump on the Internet tubes returns!

** After a terrible, no-good, rotten day Sunday, Ozzie decided to unclench a little:
Guillen was less critical of media members whom he accused by being too fickle after the first five weeks of the season.

"I don't worry about the media," he said. "I can go to the moon, and people will ask me a question. I went to Spain last year because I don't want to talk about baseball, and people were talking about baseball in bars.

"Wherever I go, people want to know what's going on."

Sounds like somebody got some QT with the blow-up dolls. I kid, I kid!

** MLB continues its efforts to atone for its shameful, shameful past:

As part of its 2008 First-Year Player Draft next month, Major League Baseball will hold a ceremonial selection of players from the Negro Leagues. Participation in the draft is voluntary, but most of the 30 clubs are expected to take part as baseball continues its efforts to keep alive the history of the Negro Leagues.

The ceremonial event will be streamed live by BaseballChannel.TV at 1 p.m. ET, directly preceding the start of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft at 2 p.m. ET. Both events will take place at The Milk House at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla. Fans are encouraged to attend and admission is free, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.

"You don't ever want to forget your history," [MLB Executive Vice President Jimmie Lee] Solomon said Tuesday. "The whole gist of what we've been trying to do in this area of diversity -- in this era of inclusion -- is to go full circle: look at our present and examine our past and rededicate ourselves to the true essence of what the American pastime should be."

We've been critical of Baron Budhausen and his cronies here, but I'm more than happy to give him props for stuff like this. If only we didn't have to have stuff like this...

** Voting for the All-Star Game is now open. Because there's no better time to figure out who's having the best season than the first week in May. No props to the Baron for this form of early voting...

** Maybe Jim can add to this, because he's paid for MLB TV while I stick to good ol' reliable Gameday Audio:

According to the customer service at Major League Baseball, the MLB.TV Premium package, which lets customers watch baseball games on their computers at higher bandwidths than the basic package and allows users to watch up to six games at once, is a "bonus."

The rep also claims that the difference between 800k and 1.2Mb video speeds, both of which are available to Premium subscribers, is negligible, and in any case, their product info pages says they're not obligated to provide the 1.2Mb package.

** MLB.com's Mike Bauman wrote the Brew Crew was "for real" after their exciting win Thursday against the Cubs.

Since then, the Crew has dropped four in a row to Houston and Florida.

Note to Mr. Bauman: please don't ever write that the Cubs are "for real." Thank you.

** ESPN.com goes into the details on why the Brewers weren't "for real" since 1983.

** Finally, it wouldn't be a Tuesday Night Link Dump without a You Tube musical interlude. To honor those nutty funsters in the White Sox clubhouse, without any further ado, here's your own -- your very own -- Dirk McQuickly!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Stuff That Gets Blown (Up) Out of Proportion

Props to the AP for coming up with the most amusing headline of the day:

Never a doll moment for White Sox

Negative props to the media as a whole for keeping this story afloat. One could say that they were blowing it out of proportion...

As a Cub Fan, I've witnessed the media make a huge deal out of some real stupid [bleep] (if I may quote Ozzie Guillen). From Dusty's toothpicks to Sammy's boom box to Lou's next big blow up, there's nothing the media loves more than something stupid that gets people riled up. This blow-up doll story is on par with that other stuff.

Oh, it's tasteless (as is the concept of the "Slump Buster"). But GM Kenny Williams has addressed the issue, and assures us it shan't happen again. That's good enough for me.

Anyway, if the Sox were really serious about busting their slump, they wouldn't mess around with ordinary blow-up dolls -- they'd go right for the good stuff. One of these things was a staple in the locker room of Madison's former pro hockey team. At least it was until a very tough loss in the playoffs...

Labels: , ,

Yankee Fan Was Right

A-Rod is a wimp!

Alex Rodriguez passed out during the birth of his first daughter.

“The one nurse had a cold cloth on his head. The other nurse had the blood pressure on his arm. And my mother was like rubbing his back. And he is passed out on a couch. And I am there, in the middle of labor,” Cynthia Rodriguez, wife of the New York Yankees star, said on an episode of the YES Network’s “YESterdays” that is scheduled to be broadcast Wednesday night.

“And really, I am not being paid much attention to besides the doctor and a couple of nurses,” she said. “And he is there moaning. In between pushing, I am going, `Honey, are you OK?’ and `Are you breathing? Are you OK?’"

Look for plenty of jokes about this for the next eleventy bajillion years...

But speaking as a guy who was also nearly overcome by the miracle of childbirth, I have to ask: why does Yahoo consider this the sixth-most important baseball story of the evening?

Labels: ,

Monday, May 05, 2008

Stay Classy, White Sox Players

From what was once marketed in Chicago as The Bright One:

A clubhouse prank by the White Sox before Sunday's game against the Blue Jays drew some attention in Toronto and forced Ozzie Guillen to address why there were blow-up dolls in his clubhouse.

The prank, apparently designed as a "slump-buster" to get the Sox offense out of a rut, included two blow-up dolls with bats strategically placed. The incident was reported in today's National Post in Toronto and on www.suntimes.com/sports in the "Inside the White Sox" blog by Joe Cowley.

"I’m not going to make the players apologize," Guillen said. "I don’t think that was a big deal. It’s our house. I don’t think we did anything wrong and I don’t think we did anything to make people upset. We did something to have fun and stay loose."

Here's the official reaction from the front office. I think there's a sentence hidden in there somewhere:

[Sox spokesman Scott] Reifert expects some dialogue about the situation when the team returns.

"I'm sure when the team gets back from the road trip there will be some conversations," he said. "Generally in a clubhouse that kind of thing is kept kind of quiet in the clubhouse in terms of results."

Labels: , , , ,

We're Going to Be Horse[bleep] the Rest of Our Lives

An artist's recreation of Ozzie Guillen's pity party Sunday night:

The whole thing is utterly hi-frickin'-larious on so many levels. An unnamed reporter set Ozzie off by having the audacity to joke that perhaps some A-ball outfielder might be called up to help the big club generate some offense. Ozzie's reponse:

Tired of ''all the managers in the press box and at home, watching the game on TV and spilling food on themselves,'' Guillen became the story before a 4-3 loss Sunday to the Toronto Blue Jays. In what never rose to the emotional level of some of his previous rants, Guillen made his feelings known about the perceived treatment he and his organization get in the Windy City.

''Right now, everyone in Chicago is making lineups, 'Call up this guy, call up that guy,''' Guillen said. ''If we had 50 people allowed on the roster, we could do that. That's what ticks me off about Chicago fans and Chicago media -- they forget pretty quick. A couple of days ago, we were the [bleep]ing best [bleep] in town, now we're [bleep].''

Because, as we all know, Ozzie is the only manager who's ever had his lineup questioned. Ever.
Asked why that is, Guillen pulled no punches.

''Because maybe the manager is an ass[bleep],'' he replied.

Finally -- Ozzie says something I can agree with 100%.

Here's where Ozzie truly takes a turn into Bizarro World.

Guillen said that the only way the perception of the Sox ever would change is by winning, but even after they did in 2005, it hasn't taken long for it to wear off.

''We won it a couple years ago, and we're horse[bleep],'' Guillen said. ''The Cubs haven't won in 120 years, and they're the [bleep]ing best. [Bleep] it, we're good. [Bleep] everybody. We're horse[bleep], and we're going to be horse[bleep] the rest of our lives, no matter how many World Series we win. We are the bitch of Chicago. We're the Chicago bitch. We have the worst owner -- the guy's got seven [bleep]ing rings, and he's the [bleep]ing horse[bleep] owner.''

One thing everyone associated with the White Sox will tell you is that they just don't care about what those darned Cubs do, 'cause their team is enough to keep the occupied. I'll run the risk of mind-reading and say that many of those people are lying through their teeth. Ozzie's boss cried about it earlier this year; now, Ozzie takes his turn.

Who the hell brought up the Cubs? And what do they have to do with someone making a weak joke about adding some pop to the lineup?

What does it say about Guillen that a dumb question from a reporter should spin completely out-of-control like that? It's not like he defended his decision-making; instead, he was able to move from the dumb question to "Everybody hates me" to "Everybody hates my team" to "Everybody loves those other guys more."

Sweet zombie Jesus -- and they said that Dusty was sensitive!

If Guillen lived in the real world instead of whatever Ozzie-verse he inhabits, he'd realize that (a) every manager in the Major Leagues gets asked stupid questions about his lineups, his rotation, his bullpen, the hotshot prospects tearing it up in the bush leagues, etc., etc. and (b) whatever sins (real of imagined) Chicago has committed against his team are committed in equal measure against those other guys.

Anyone who can read the web sites of the two Chicago dailies would see that. Guillen's been around the block -- he should realize that the only thing the media loves more than a winner is a loser they can beat up on. The only thing they hate are boring, mediocre teams that are hard to write about.

The Sun-Times didn't include this nugget o' joy, but the Trib's Mark Gonzales records it for posterity:

"How about the Cubs celebrating that Lee Elia bull[bleep]? How many times do I curse people out? I will make a lot of money with my [stuff]. I have to keep going because in the future Ozzie will need money, and I can say, 'Here, give me money, here's the 10-year anniversary of my time I called [Jay] Mariotti stuff and the time I went on the radio and cursed out Mike North.'

"Yeah, we have to celebrate all that [stuff] too. But I won't be around for 10 years, believe me."

I know it's hard for Guillen to keep tabs on what's going on in what I like to call Reality...but the Cubs didn't "celebrate" Lee Elia at all. The media loved it, and brought it up every change they got. Elia took the opportunity to apologize (I never thought he owed Cub Fans one, but I'll accept it on behalf of all of us if it makes him feel better) and sell some stuff to benefit some charity.

There was no Lee Elia Day at Wrigley. He didn't throw out the first pitch, or sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." He did go to a game, but he had to get a ticket from a friend to get in the park -- no comp seat from his ex-employers (damn cheapskates).

Then again, when has Guillen allowed the facts to get in the way of his gab?

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Day Review

Greetings, Comrades! Join Commissar Jim on the reviewing stand as we salute the glorious achievements for April of the Workers and Peasants of Major League baseball! All hail Markakis, Lennon and Trosky!

**Imperialist Tool Dave van Dyck wonders how the White Sox are able to lead the league in runs per game while ranking last in the AL in batting average. Van Dyck gives the credit to the discredited capitalist tricks of "timely hitting" and "manufacturing runs." The enlightened proletariat knows that the real reason is the unlike last year, the White Sox have players at the top of the lineup gloriously drawing walks and being on base when someone jacks one out of the park. All hail Kenny Williams for the Nick Swisher and Carlos Quentin trades!

**Decadent Yankees beware! The downtrodden masses in Tampa are now a powerful insurgent force ready to contend on the AL Eastern Front. Heroes of the People Upton, Crawford, Longoria, Shields, and Kazmir will no longer submit to the iron heel of the oppressor. The Rays have cut almost two runs per game off of their runs allowed since last year, without their staff leader, Scott Kazmir, having thrown a pitch this season. Kazmir will make his first start on Sunday.

**Hero of the Kansas City revolution Zach Greinke is the new Greg Maddux. The people do not suggest that he will win 350 games, but watching Greinke is like watching vintage Maddux--the command, the intelligence, the location, the way he makes getting hitters out look easy. The Royals are not a good team, yet, but they are on the march, and at least are entertaining, which they have not been in a long time.

**Imperialist Dodgers and other NL West running dogs, the Diamondbacks will bury you! The NL West was never a four team race. The Arizona Diamondbacks have always been champions. The Snakes have scored the second most runs in the NL while allowing the fewest, and that's not a fluke. Good young hitters, a strong defense, one of the league's best rotations, and a strong bullpen--that covers it, fellow workers!

**Commissar Jim awards Pirates GM Neal Huntington high honors and the people's fame forever for being a man of his word. Huntington's open letter to Pirates fan this spring promised that he would rule with an iron fist and that poor performance would no longer be tolerated. He backed up his promise last week by having Matt Morris taken out behind the ballpark and shot. Death to the enemies of rebuilding in Pittsburgh! Morris was the most visible symbol on the field of the ineptitude of the rule of Dave Littlefield, and needed to go.

On to May! The people demand baseball!