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WSI News - News Watch

"Second City" Rogers votes for Mediocrity (again)

filed by George Bova

April 13, 2008

For several years now we at White Sox Interactive have laughed at what Tribune sports editor Dan McGrath holds up as his outfit's "baseball feature columnist".  Phil Rogers doesn't wear a red nose and clown shoes in his Tribune column photo but what he writes in his baseball reports is more than sufficient to get the point across.  "I've got no clue.  Never have.  Never will."

His skills as a baseball analyst are a documented joke.  His practice of reaching for ridiculous levels of hyperbole is nothing but an embarrassment to himself.  Scouting prospects for Rogers mostly involves regurgitating what he reads in Baseball America and the shaky second-hand opinions of would-be scouts who've never seen the talent either.

So what happened today was no surprise to anyone at WSI.

On the very day Javier Vazquez strikes out 9 hitters and shuts down the Detroit Tigers for seven scoreless innings, here is Phil Rogers making another attempt to sell all Chicago's loser fans the idea that the Sox lost in the trade that brought him to Chicago.  What is this man's fascination with losing baseball? 

Vazquez won his second game of the season for the Sox the very day Rogers writes, "Javier Vazquez has replaced Mark Buehrle as the best pitcher on the White Sox staff. But the trade for Vazquez hasn't been a good one for the Sox, who lost 24-year-old center fielder Chris Young in the deal."

While two victories isn't much to crow about, it is precisely one more victory than any starting pitcher on the staff of the ballclub "Second City" Rogers picked to win the National League Central Division. 

While Vazquez's 3.32 ERA isn't much to crow about, it's only 0.12 off the pace of the head case that poses as Rogers' N.L. Central champs' staff ace.  And while this same bozo managed just one win but still has an impressive 18 strikeouts, Vazquez has 23 K's. 

"Second City" Rogers thinks the Sox lost the trade acquiring Vazquez because of Chris Young.  Rogers hasn't seen fit to report that the Sox needed SOMEBODY to play the position two years ago since new DH Jim Thome was already on the roster at the price of trading away previous CFer Aaron Rowand.  Nor has Rogers seen fit to report that Young wasn't good enough to play centerfield for even the lowly D-backs in 2006, a team that lost 86 games. 

What "Second City" Rogers has instead chosen to report for Chicago's loser fans to lap up is the fact Young hit 32 home runs and stole 27 bases last year.  Rogers leaves out the other key stat from Young's season, that he struck out 141 times, a monumental total that would do Sammy Sosa proud.

Chicago's loser fans are left clueless by Rogers that the Sox have gotten off to a quick start in 2008 in large part due to a potent offense led by new leadoff man, Nick Swisher.  What is Swisher's position?  The same center field position Chris Young occupies when he's not striking out at the plate.  The Sox are winning and doing just fine for making Chicago's baseball fans proud, at least the ones that give a damn about winning.  In other words, the ones "Second City" Rogers isn't writing for.

Chicago is "Second City" as long as Phil Rogers is regarded as anything but a joke for a baseball feature writer.  It's the sort of mediocrity only losers could read without laughing.

If McGrath's idea of employing Rogers for the "Chicago-angle" to the wider topic of baseball news, he could do a whole lot better than serving this sort of Second City mediocrity.

Losers go home.


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News Watch

Sep 14... McGrath's Last Gaffe?

July 15... Lipinski resigns; Trib still shackled!

Apr 13... Second City Rogers votes for Mediocrity (Again)

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