Community  

 
 Message Boards  

 WSI Photo Gallery  

Post of the Week  

 Chat  

 

 

  2013 White Sox  

 Season Schedule  

 

2005 Championship

 

WSI Extras  

 WSI Interviews

  Audio Memories

  2002 Disaster!

2001 Season Fun!

2000 Champions!

Fun & Games

History & Glory

Sox Greats
Sox Quotables
Sox Fight Songs
Old Comiskey Park

     

   
WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Missing Maggs!
by Hal Vickery

For a week that saw the Sox move to a two game lead over the Twins, it really hasn’t been a pleasant experience.  Most of the unpleasantness has centered around the status of Sox right fielder Magglio Ordoñez. 

There has been a segment of Sox fandom that has advocated trading Magglio Ordoñez for a starting pitcher.  Now those advocates are going to see the consequences of such a move, at least offensively, for the next four to seven weeks as Maggs recuperates from arthroscopic surgery to his knee.   

The only good news about this whole thing is that Joe Borchard, according to Sox GM Kenny Williams has “turned a corner” and apparently will soon be ready to take his place on the big league squad. 

To those advocating an Ordoñez trade, a look at the statistics is revealing.  In 42 games, Maggs has hit .311, third to Juan Uribe and Willie Harris who precede him in the batting order.  His on base percentage of .370 trails only Frank Thomas, Uribe, and Paul Konerko.  His 8 home runs trail only Thomas, Konerko, and Jose Valentin.  Finally, his 34 RBI trail only Konerko.  That kind of offensive production is hard to replace. 

-------- 

Even before the announcement that Ordoñez would require arthroscopic surgery, a rumor from New York made the start of the week almost unbearable.  It seems that writer Jon Heyman of the Long Island daily Newsday published a report that contract negotiations between the Ordoñez and the Sox had broken down a month ago. 

Interestingly enough, the rumor was picked up first on the WSI message boards before anyone in the local media picked up on it, but when they finally did, they did so with a vengeance.  The writer was interviewed on WSCR. 

The first thing I noticed while listening to the interview is that every reference to the alleged breakdown in negotiations that the writer made started with the phrases, “I think” or “I believe.”  No mention was made of who his sources might be, even in the most general terms.  Were they close to Ordoñez or to the Sox?  No one really knew, and Heyman wasn’t offering that information. 

No one in the local media for the next 48 hours or so even questioned why a writer based in New York would have sources that would have such information while no one in Chicago even had a hint of such a huge story. 

By Tuesday night, Ordoñez had obviously had enough.  He categorically denied every aspect of the story.  Still it hasn’t died.   

As recently as Thursday, Sun-Times columnist Greg Couch included this little tidbit in his column:  “Maggs called the report ‘a lie.’ Maybe it was. Or maybe, if you are suspicious and untrusting of the Sox, you wonder if this was the team's little trick to save face while ditching a superstar who deserves a fat raise.” 

Couch then goes on to raise point out that Heyman was the writer who broke the story of the Ordoñez for Garciaparra story and concluded that Heyman must have a source close to Ordoñez in order to have broken both that story and the current rumor.  Couch neglects the other possibility, that his source for the former story was with the Red Sox, and his source for the second story was a different person who actually didn’t know what he was talking about. 

Couch then speculates that the Sox could be using the story of a big offer as a way to make an excuse to the fans, essentially, “Hey!  We made a big offer and the evil, greedy player turned us down.” 

This is the one thing that I will concede to Couch.  I wouldn’t put it past the Sox to do something like that.  After all, they made their “biggest offer ever to a pitcher” last year to Bartolo Colon, who turned it down.  Later it was revealed that the deal had all kinds of conditions on it such as deferred payments. 

The problem, though, with Couch’s speculation that Heyman had it right is that George Ofman of WSCR is saying that the report of the Sox last offer, supposedly matching Magglio’s demand of $70 million over five years, was actually still only a four-year deal.  Somebody got it wrong.  The question is, was it the local reporter or the guy from New York? 

-------- 

One aspect of the Ordoñez situation was definitely amusing.  After the Heyman story came out a regular emailer to The Score, “Aggravated White Sox Fan Bob,” was the first to speculate that if the Sox had indeed made a 5 year, $70-million offer, that it was loaded with deferred payments and incentive clauses.   

In his email he stated that he was speculating, and Mike Murphy, the program host did nothing to intimate that the email was anything but speculation.   

Still, within 24 hours, listeners were calling other shows stating that there were reports that the Sox had loaded the contract with (you guessed it) deferred payments and incentive clauses.   

I happen to know “Aggravated.”  He is a fan, and in this particular instance he had no more information than anyone else.  He seemed rather amused that what he wrote somehow got twisted into “fact” by other listeners. 

The moral of the story, I think, is that listening is a skill that many people have not developed.  In addition, critical thinking is another skill many of us are sadly lacking.  The sportsblab hosts who took the calls in which “Aggravated’s” email was misinterpreted did not even bother to ask where the callers had seen or heard these reports. 

I guess confusing issues with the facts just isn’t what sportsblab radio is all about. 


Editor's Note: Hal Vickery has been a White Sox fan since 1955 when he was five years old. For much of that time he also had a secondary rooting interest in the Cubs, which he has shown the good sense to abandon. When not cheering for or writing about the Sox, Hal teachers chemistry and physics at North Boone High School, in Poplar Grove, IL. Hal commutes there daily from Joliet, where he lives with his wife Lee, and their dog, Buster T. Beagle. Hal's opinions are not necessarily those of North Boone High School, his wife, or Buster T. Beagle. You can write Hal at hvickery@svs.com.

More features from Hal Vickery here!

Have a Thought about
Missing Maggs?

You Can Put it on the Board -- Yes!



1 to 1 of 1

Search For:
Search in:
And in:
Any Words All Words

News Categories

Totally biased Sox news from White Sox Interactive!

EXCLUSIVE Sox features from WSI.

Full Sox coverage featuring the unique WSI slant!

The Totally Biased Game Recap, another WSI EXCLUSIVE!

YOUR chance to be featured at White Sox Interactive!

The funniest and most-noteworthy posts from the Sox Clubhouse message board.

The internet's largest FREE Sox news database, sorted by month.

The internet's largest FREE Sox news database, sorted by day.


WSI Spotlight

72 Sox Celebration Recap

72 Sox Where Are They Now

Ears and Appendices

Sox & the A-word

Part 2: Sox and the Media

Sox and the Media

A Second City Trophy

In Defense of Sox Hitting

Sox Quest

On the Brink

WSI News System Page Views: 22,982,602