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View Full Version : The Moron column count '02: Flubs 17, Sox 6


cheeses_h_rice
05-13-2002, 01:24 PM
:moron

*Sniff*. All these accusations of Sham-ME using Flintstones Chewable Vitamins and getting tipped pitches really hurts his feelings. Please make it stop!

__

I give this one a 3. Who really cares?

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 17/61/3.59
Sox 6/19/3.17

http://www.suntimes.com/output/mariotti/cst-spt-jay13.html

It's time for a stop sign

May 13, 2002

BY JAY MARIOTTI SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

So much for cheap theories that a pitch-tipping flap would revive the Cubs. They are looking like the worst team $76 million can buy, with a disgraceful four-letter word--quit--starting to creep into the picture. It would behoove these stragglers to just play ball tonight, try to avoid last place and ignore the bubbling controversy.

Even if they're right and the Cardinals are wrong.

Now we know why Sammy Sosa has hit 258 home runs since April of 1998. Each time, he has been tipped off to a pitch by a snooping co-conspirator, and each time, he has responded like a kid with a cheat sheet and ripped the ball out of the park. Without this help, Sosa obviously would be washed up, out of the majors and pumping gas in the Dominican Republic.

Please. What Tony La Russa and the Cardinals are doing, in accusing the Cubs of the baseball equivalent of an insider-trading scandal, is what ballclubs do when they're struggling. They vent, get desperate, play mind games and try to distract fans from the real problems. And what the Cubs are doing, in threatening retaliation at Busch Stadium, is what ballclubs do when they're struggling. They vent, get desperate, play mind games and try to distract fans from the real problems.

If Cubdom is stuck watching another stinker season, at least it will be temporarily entertained by a bitter sideshow between these I-55 arch-rivals. You and I might think the ongoing verbal crossfire is silly, but in the macho world of a major-league clubhouse, it means war. The latest warning was issued by Kerry Wood, who said he is prepared to use his 95 mph fastball to do what's necessary tonight in the wake of last week's episode. No one is entirely certain baseball has a commissioner, but if Bud Selig is coherent, he might want to make sure his lieutenants keep close eyes on the next three games. The weapon used in such conflicts is a hard, round object, and if thrown in the wrong place--say, the temple area of a batter's face--it can ruin a career or kill someone.

Too much has been said to pooh-pooh any potential developments. The conflict began when Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, responding to Sosa's first home run in 28 career at-bats off St. Louis ace Matt Morris, accused Cubs first-base coach Sandy Alomar of tipping off Sosa. Morris chimed in immaturely after his 3-2 victory, saying, ''Somebody might get a fastball in the ear if that's the way they want to do it. It's bush-league baseball. He's an All-Star and they're tipping off location. Come on.'' That caused Cubs manager Don Baylor, who loves feuding with other managers and teams (ask Bobby Valentine), to call Duncan ''a liar'' and La Russa ''paranoid.''

Baylor hoped the incident would rouse his team. Naturally, the Cubs responded by losing three straight to the awful Milwaukee Brewers, including a 13-4 loss Sunday, which again showed the manager is woefully incapable of firing up his clubhouse while feeding the ever-growing Baylor Must Go campaign. Worse, the Cubs head to St. Louis after the Cardinals staged their biggest comeback win in 10 years, the sort of prod the Cubs need but won't get in their current funk.

The hope is they don't release their anger this week in ways they regret. Wood added spice to a boiling pot by advising Morris not to do ''something stupid,'' which made its way to the Cardinals clubhouse in Cincinnati. La Russa, a lawyer and a b.s. artist more than a fighter, senses the anger in the air and spent the weekend trying to defuse the situation. He didn't do a real good job.

''We have a classic competition that's as good as there is between any two teams in baseball,'' La Russa said. ''We don't want to do anything to take away from the competition on the field. One of the things that will take away from it is a lot of conversation about it. So I'm not going to have a lot to say about it except to say for 100 years, teams have looked for edges. If you're a pitcher, you doctor the ball. If you're an offense, you tip location from second base or the coach's box. It's part of the game.''

He also took offense at Baylor's sniping of Duncan. ''It's OK to say Dunc is mistaken. But don't call him a liar. That's not right,'' La Russa said.

It would be naive to think the Cubs, Cardinals and 28 other teams don't tip pitches from time to time. A signal system is a sneaky part of the game behind the game, the one players rarely discuss. The other day, charges flew during the Boston-Tampa Bay series, resulting in a purpose-pitch episode in which the Devil Rays' Ryan Rupe threw at Nomar Garciaparra after suspicions Garciaparra was stealing a catcher's signs from second base just before a Red Sox grand slam. There's a difference in the honor code, though, between the accepted practice of stealing signs and the dirty-pool practice of tipping pitches. Which is why Baylor reacted strongly to Duncan's accusations and pointed out La Russa's history of mind games, which includes a recent pointed finger at Milwaukee third-base coach Gary Allenson.

All the while, here is Sosa in the middle of the muck, discredited once again. It's unfair enough that he has to deal with reckless and unsubstantiated talk of steroids use, including a recent rant by a Chicago radio host that has the attention of Sosa's people. Now, a rival is accusing him of using spies. Will the man ever get his due?

Knowing Sosa, he will respond as he often does, with a homer off Morris. He's the coolest one in the lot, even as La Russa, in addition to the cheat claims, intentionally walks him seven times in three games. Sosa already has 15 homers, defying a pattern of slow power starts and putting him on a 70-plus pace. Silly words won't affect his performance. But they do hurt his feelings.

''What is amazing is that the people who don't [use tipped pitches], they always pick on those people,'' Sosa said. ''The people who really do those things, they don't say anything. To be honest, I don't need to pick up pitches to hit.''

I believe him. Unfortunately, it's about the only faith I have in the Cubs these days.

Moses_Scurry
05-13-2002, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice

All the while, here is Sosa in the middle of the muck, discredited once again. It's unfair enough that he has to deal with reckless and unsubstantiated talk of steroids use, including a recent rant by a Chicago radio host that has the attention of Sosa's people. Now, a rival is accusing him of using spies. Will the man ever get his due?



When he stops using steroids maybe?? When he stops stealing signs?

DVG
05-13-2002, 04:26 PM
I absolutely cannot believe that Mariotti made a reference to
Sosa's hurt little feelings. He sounds like a frickin' day care cen-
er operator scolding the other kids for picking on little Sammy.