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View Full Version : The Moron column count '02: Flubs 13, Sox 5


cheeses_h_rice
04-30-2002, 09:38 AM
I give this one a 3. He gives the Sox some props, but this trade-Frank talk after ONE lousy series for the team is pure panic.

5=Extremely positive
4=positive
3=equal parts positive and negative
2=negative
1=extremely negative

That makes the totals (columns/points/average points):

Flubs 13/48/3.69
Sox 5/15/3


http://www.suntimes.com/output/mariotti/cst-spt-jay30.html


A trade couldn't hurt Sox

April 30, 2002

BY JAY MARIOTTI SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Anew White Sox promotion asks a loaded question: Which four players in the club's long history belong on a mythical pedestal called Mount Soxmore? The ''Jeopardy'' theme fills your head, but only briefly. Regardless of age, gender or side-of-town affiliation, you're lying if the chiseled visage of Frank Thomas isn't your first thought.

For all his personal warts and maddening melodramas, this is a man who ideally should finish his career at Comiskey Park. You would like to see him approach historic milestones, rectify his wobbly Hall of Fame status and experience the loud ovations and October appearances that generally have bypassed him. In a perfect world, he would be Mr. Sox another five years, then retire on a float down Pershing Road.

But the world is not perfect, particularly on the South Side. The Sox, in a word, are top-heavy. They are a run factory capable of stunning outbursts, but their young and flammable pitching staff is just as capable of floggings, 11-9 losses and three-game sweeps in Oakland. Their style may be fun and entertaining, but it isn't conducive to winning pennants. In an American League with a bunch of bad teams and only a few good ones, the Sox have a chance the next couple of years to make the playoffs and challenge for their elusive World Series--but only if they find another starter or two and better middle relief. Knowing management won't spend money on pitching as long as attendance is lagging, what's the best quick fix in a Reinsdorf economy?

Put Thomas on the trade market. Demand three arms in return. Exhale.

Can you think of a better idea? There is no certainty the Big Hurt, who turns 34 next month, ever will approach his spectacular numbers of yore. He's off to a sluggish start, hitting .250 with four home runs, an uncharacteristic flurry of strikeouts and a different batting stance every night. While we would be amiss to think he won't catch fire, no longer is Thom-as the consistent force who dominated baseball over a seven-year period. Nor is he the cornerstone of the Sox' attack, settling in as a complement to budding superstar Magglio Ordonez and league RBI leader Paul Konerko. Fact is, between his season-ending triceps injury last spring and his struggles in the late '90s, Thomas potentially is looking at--by his standards--a fourth subpar season in his last five. He now seems vulnerable to age, injuries and a gradual decline in skill as a designated hitter.

So Reinsdorf and general manager Ken Williams have a decision. What is more important: keeping Thomas around for the remainder of his career or cashing in on his value as it begins to dip? Given the choice of better pitching or Thom-as, wouldn't the Sox have a better chance with better pitching? The weekend debacle in Oakland should have served as a slap in the head, assuming a three-game home series against Seattle won't have the same effect starting tonight. Against premier competition, a ferocious lineup doesn't matter when your pitchers are shriveling up and your fielders are daydreaming. If the Sox had Oakland's pitching, you would keep Thomas for life. But his bat is an unnecessary luxury, considering the Sox would score in bunches without him.

So far, Thomas has avoided the controversial blowups that have dogged him for years. But his lack of production has caused him to brood after recent games, not a healthy sign given the troublesome contractual clause that continues to lurk. For some ill-advised reason, Thomas agreed to a ''diminution of skills'' provision that allows Reinsdorf to cut his annual base salary to $250,000 and defer about $10 million a year for the remainder of the deal--through 2006--if Thomas' offensive numbers decline to an above-average level in any one season. Last year, the injury prevented the clause from being exercised. But this season, he is on pace for the button to be pushed, which would set in motion Thomas' departure.

Once the clause is invoked, Thomas has the right to become a free agent. It makes sense, then, that Reinsdorf would shop him during the season rather than risk getting no compensation in the offseason. I've never known Reinsdorf to stay patient with an aging commodity unless it didn't cost him much. Thomas is costing him $9.92million this season and more than $10 million each of the next four seasons, a hefty price for a player who rarely wears a fielder's glove. Some might wonder if there's much of a market for a DH whose deal is automatically guaranteed through 2006 if he's traded. Hey, there's always a willing spender or two in a pennant race. Think Boston.

Unlike some years, when Sox fans wanted to personally escort him to Union Station, you sense there isn't a great clamor to trade Thomas. The people showered him with cheers on Opening Day, setting aside lukewarm feelings. Yes, he has been a problem child at times, but he gained large measures of sympathy last year when his father died and he suffered the buffoonery of David Wells, who went on a radio show and cowardly called Thomas a coward without knowing the extent of his injury. In America's most forgiving sports town, they forgave Thomas.

''I want to win for these fans,'' he said. ''I've made my share of mistakes, but I've also given them everything I've got for 12 years.''

The question now is whether his best is good enough. ''Hey, I'm not the only guy in baseball that's struggling,'' he said. "A lot of great hitters are struggling. I've got to keep battling. It'll turn around sooner or later.''

In their current state, the Sox might beat Cleveland and Minnesota for a division title. But with pitching help, they would have a much better shot against the Yankees, Mariners, A's and Red Sox.

I'd rather not trade the Big Hurt. But sometimes, when enemy hitters are hurting you worse, a ballclub simply runs out of options.

sox_fan_4life
04-30-2002, 09:53 AM
Frank Thomas is a great player. In fact he is my favorite player. But Moronotti has a point. Players to get old, their skills do diminish, even so I still think he is great.
Then I wonder, what could the Sox get in return for a trade involving Frank Thomas?

Iwritecode
04-30-2002, 10:03 AM
Why is all this talk of trading Thomas suddenly showing up everywhere? Has the moron been reading the message boards lately or something? First of all, Frank is a five-and-ten man. That would make him very difficult to trade to begin with. Secondly, to trade him we would have to get back at the very least 2 quality starters. How many teams really have the depth to make that trade and need a DH? Obviously it would have to be an AL team. Seattle? Yankees? I just don't see it happening. Lastly, how badly do you want to kill the attendance? Trading the most popular Sox player in past decade would destroy it. If we get to mid-season and it's pretty obvious that we need another arm, we still have plenty of depth in the minor leagues and that includes Canseco. Trading Frank should not be an option.

DVG
04-30-2002, 10:15 AM
Ah. Screamalotti has finally gone after his favorite target, Frank
Thomas. Two things surprise me about this article. First, that he
waited this long to write it, second that he didn't use his usual
fevered style, complete with poison pen and that disgusting
"Big Skirt" crap he hung on him a few years ago. He was actually
lucid. Perhaps he finally remembered to take his medication be-
fore he sat down to write this one.

Cheeses is wrong. This isn't panic, this is calculated. Mariotti
has screamed for years that Thomas should be traded or strung
up, depending on his mood. He has finally found a supposedly
good reason to make his case in his continued efforts to get Thomas run out of town.

Jay is surprisingly somewhat sympathetic to what Thomas went
through last year. He mentions him suffering the "buffoonery"
of the "cowardly" David Wells, who attempted to call Thomas out
last year over the triceps injury. Curiously, Jay never once men-
tions the columnist who, in print, wholeheartedly agreed with Wells' assessment; then, when it came out that Thomas was really hurt, offered a half-hearted one sentence apology in a
column, then proceeded to light into David Wells for daring to
take the tiff beyond clubhouse doors. And if you guessed that
that columnist was Jay Mariotti, you would be absolutely correct.

I'm not for trading Thomas, by the way. He is a White Sox legend, you just don't push someone like that out the door.
More importantly, he still is capable of being a dangerous hit-
ter. Those two homers in Detroit are good examples. I will ad-
mit that I do fear that he is washed up, but I would like to see
myself proven wrong. He is only 34 (I will turn the same age in
September, so I don't feel that he's old and washed up) and he
is too great a hitter to just "lose it." At least I hope not. Barry
Bonds hit 73 home runs at age 37, who could've predicted that?
Not that Thomas will hit 70 home runs (although it would be nice)
but he can still do great things with the bat. Besides, it would be
typical Sox luck to see Thomas regain his stroke and his superstar status after being traded.

As for Rantalotti, I'm not worried about him. If Thomas starts to
hit, he'll come around. He always does. Why, as recently as a
few years ago, he once referred to a certain Chicago Cub out-
fielder as "Roberto Clemente without any brains." I'll give you
one guess as to the target of that "hard-hitting" assessment.
If you were to guess Sammy Sosa, you would be absolutely
correct.

cheeses_h_rice
04-30-2002, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by Iwritecode
Lastly, how badly do you want to kill the attendance?

:moron

Code, are you reading my mind?

Soxboyrob
04-30-2002, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by Iwritecode
Why is all this talk of trading Thomas suddenly showing up everywhere? Has the moron been reading the message boards lately or something? First of all, Frank is a five-and-ten man. That would make him very difficult to trade to begin with. Secondly, to trade him we would have to get back at the very least 2 quality starters. How many teams really have the depth to make that trade and need a DH? Obviously it would have to be an AL team. Seattle? Yankees? I just don't see it happening. Lastly, how badly do you want to kill the attendance? Trading the most popular Sox player in past decade would destroy it. If we get to mid-season and it's pretty obvious that we need another arm, we still have plenty of depth in the minor leagues and that includes Canseco. Trading Frank should not be an option.

Despite being a 5/10 guy, Frank would probably accept a trade due to the fact that being traded would lock in his $10M per season and eliminate his diminished skills clause. That clause has been a sticking point with him. Mariotti has a perfectly good point, but it's not as if Frank has fallen to a point of not being serviceable. He still reaches base at a near .400 OBP clip. That's great and he may still get hot and end up far above that. He's arguably the best player in Sox history and is a shoo-in for the HOF. It would be nice if we could just keep this guy for the remainder of his career in some sort of facet, even if it means moving him down in the lineup, bringing back Hriniak to reteach him how to hit or even platooning the guy sometime in the future. I fear that trading him would bring even more bad publicity. HEADLINES....."SOX TRADE THEIR BEST EVER PLAYER AND FUTURE HALL OF FAMER THOMAS FOR WASHED UP VETERAN PITCHER." The thought of that scares me, just as the thought of Frank killing us while playing on another team scares me.

Cheryl
04-30-2002, 11:02 AM
You know what would be great? One of these: whoever starts these discussions post a url and not the entire column, and his/her opinion about what the moron said this time.

Or:

Give us the ability to ignore threads the way we can ignore individual posters.

Iwritecode
04-30-2002, 11:10 AM
Originally posted by Cheryl
You know what would be great? One of these: whoever starts these discussions post a url and not the entire column, and his/her opinion about what the moron said this time.

Or:

Give us the ability to ignore threads the way we can ignore individual posters.

The column is posted because the moron is notorious for deleting old columns and then changing his mind about something. This way we have proof and can call him on it.

The easiest way to ignore a thread is to not click on it. The title pretty much says what this thread is...

cheeses_h_rice
04-30-2002, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by Cheryl
You know what would be great? One of these: whoever starts these discussions post a url and not the entire column, and his/her opinion about what the moron said this time.

Or:

Give us the ability to ignore threads the way we can ignore individual posters.

You have the ability to ignore threads by not clicking on them; how hard is that?

Seriously, this is the 18th time I've posted an update to the Moron column count. The reason I post the article is that the Sun-Times site only keeps the last few columns, and I want to preserve his fetid opinions for posterity, so that we have a more objective view of what a tool he really is. The same thing served us well in 2001, after Jay's late-July column wherein he termed the Sox's poor season "delicious" and was practically planning his Cubs World Series party.

Sorry if you don't like the way I've done these, but you always have the option of not reading them.

Chisox353014
04-30-2002, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by Iwritecode


The column is posted because the moron is notorious for deleting old columns and then changing his mind about something. This way we have proof and can call him on it.

The easiest way to ignore a thread is to not click on it. The title pretty much says what this thread is...

Yeah, stuff only stays on the Sun-Times website for one month I think. Cheeses wants to keep all his columns archived so we can point out when he inevitably contradicts himself down the road.

And DVG is right. The Moron wrote a scathing column that pretty much called Thomas a big crybaby about his injury before it was even diagnosed. Then all of sudden he went from agreeing with Wells to hating him. What a jag.

voodoochile
04-30-2002, 11:57 AM
Couple of thoughts...

Thomas would probably take the trade if it happened (No thank you) because if he does he gets the money guaranteed and if he refuses, they can threaten to invoke the diminished skills clause to force him to accept it. It is a lot of leverage to hold over a players head. I don't know what we will get for him. The only teams that would want him are teams in a pennant race and why would those teams trade the type of top notch pitcher we crave? I don't see the Sox trading Frank for prospects and I doubt we will get anything else. If it comes down to it though, Atlanta is looking for a 1B and Frank can still play that position, even if he does "throw like a 4-year-old girl". I still vote "no"...

This article itself looks like the moron is hedging his bets and slithering up to the Sox bandwagon. He writes that he likes the team and maybe they are "pennant worthy" in the next few years (gasp). He dumps all of his animosity on Boomer - who conveniently is long gone and hated by many Sox fans. This is just the first step. He is now free to start writing positive columns about guys like Maggs, Konehead, Lofton, Buehrle, Ritchie and anyone else who looks good. Beating up the flubbies in print is going to get old and is going to lose him his fan base sooner rather than later. He has to find something to write about this summer. Heck, maybe the Suntimes "powers that be" told him to stop being an ass after FoulkeFan's letter - it can't have been the only rip job they received and they do have a strong southside sales base. Probably not, but who knows... Whatever the case, guys and gals, watch out, the moron is going to be circling over our bandwagon and waiting to see what happens - sooner rather than later. This is just the opening salvo...

mack10zie
04-30-2002, 11:59 AM
I don't read "The Moron" at all except for stuff posted on the board here, but the idiotic stuff that he says doesn't make me angry or anything, it just makes me wonder how in the hell he actually has a job covering sports considering he doesn't seem to know a damn thing about them.

PaleHoseGeorge
04-30-2002, 12:22 PM
What I would like to see is a list of 3-4 full-page advertisers in the Sun-Times. Maybe these could be included at the bottom of Moron's column, along with a phone number or email address of their customer service department.

Believe me, the Scum-Times loves the attention Moronotti brings them. I'm sure they like people quoting him in full. However, if their biggest advertisers start putting heat on the publisher, they'll sing a much different tune. We aren't just Sox Fans, we are customers of these businesses, and they are PISSING US OFF!

Hit them where they live, Sox Fans.

cheeses_h_rice
04-30-2002, 12:27 PM
Sounds good, except I don't see/read the paper. Anyone know of the biggie advertisers for the Times?

PaleHoseGeorge
04-30-2002, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice
Sounds good, except I don't see/read the paper. Anyone know of the biggie advertisers for the Times?

It's been years since I gave that rag a dime of mine. However, 50 cents might be a good investment towards this cause.

:crossdresser
"Come here often?"

:moron
"Oo-la-laaa!"

cheeses_h_rice
04-30-2002, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


It's been years since I gave that rag a dime of mine. However, 50 cents might be a good investment towards this cause.


I think you mean 35 cents, George.


:knue

With the Tribune, you pay more, 'cos you get more!


:moron

My next gig will be Streetwise, at the rate I'm going...

RedPinStripes
04-30-2002, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice


I think you mean 35 cents, George.


:knue

With the Tribune, you pay more, 'cos you get more!


:moron

My next gig will be Streetwise, at the rate I'm going...

*****! The only Moron Cloumns i read are the ones posted here. I've boycotted teh times because of the moron. I refuse to buy it.