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View Full Version : The Moron column count '02: Flubs 21, Sox 7


cheeses_h_rice
05-22-2002, 10:14 AM
Yet Another Mark Prior / Fire Don Baylor Column, by Jay Mariotti.

What, exactly, was the point of him writing this article? I could've sworn he wrote the exact same thing yesterday. I give this one a 3 just like I did yesterday. Congrats on the Moron for getting his Flubbie to Sox coverage ratio back up to a solid 3:1! We obviously know who the more newsworthy team is this year -- the Flubbies!

And doesn't this quote:

If Prior is half as good as baseball people think, he'll own the town with Brian Urlacher. Face it, the Bears and Cubs are the high-interest franchises.

sound exactly like something you might read from a Flubbie troll on the ESPN boards?


:moron

I got off the Sox bandwagon as fast as I got on it, cheeses, and I'm never looking back so long as the Tribune Company can sell me on their illustrious vision of "next year."

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 21/71/3.38
Sox 7/22/3.14

http://www.suntimes.com/output/mariotti/cst-spt-jay22.html


It's a fine mess he's gotten into

May 22, 2002

BY JAY MARIOTTI SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST



Might he rather stay in the minor leagues? Pitch at Sec Taylor Stadium? Ride a bus to Huntsville? Eat at Old Country Buffet? Bunk in a flophouse? Wash his own clothes?

Do anything but inherit the disgraceful despair of Wrigley Field?

If Mark Prior's first day in Cubbie blue was a hint of coming events, he'll have no more success spreading magic dust than decades of humiliated predecessors. His debut news conference quickly deteriorated Tuesday into another unwatchable, bags-on-heads charade against taffy-hitting Pittsburgh, which represents Exhibit Y (or is it Z?) of Don Baylor's obvious motivational bankruptcy and why he shouldn't be managing this dead-to-rights ballclub. Here the Cubs had a room full of renewed excitement and energy created by Prior's arrival, with a few teammates actually providing levity by hanging his photo from the Sun-Times back page-- ''The Can't-Miss Kid''--on the clubhouse wall.


''The game's meant to be fun,'' said Prior, taking the razzing in stride.

But nothing was fun about the on-field response, a 12-1 loss to a small-town team whose payroll is almost half that of the Cubs. Fortunately, Prior was on his way to pick up his girlfriend at the airport and didn't have to stay for the slumber party, which is all anybody needed to know about the doubleheader and the continuing southward stench of a lost season. He planned to tune in at his new place, but if he was smart, he flipped to Comedy Central. Prior will need a very large funny bone to survive his new gig. Those close to him are concerned, given his monstrous hype, that he'll be sucked into the losing spiral and fall short of initial expectations.

Their concern is warranted.

It's sad, but typical, to see Cub-itis slow the momentum of the Prior train. How nice if they had followed their comeback victory in Milwaukee with a doubleheader sweep of the Pirates, thus giving Prior a chance to sustain momentum in his first big-league start. Instead, they again play like they don't care to be there. Forgive me for pointing this out again, but coaxing the best effort from a $76 million outfit is the primary responsibility of Baylor.

How much longer does Andy MacPhail plan to wait before changing managers? As I often say about Chicago sports, the average life expectancy in this country is only 73. Even the *****foots and Tribune missionaries who skewered me for suggesting it last week must acknowledge the ongoing absurdity of keeping Baylor. You can't charge $24 for a bleacher seat and produce the same wretched baseball every day. Someone has to be removed for change's sake, and if it can't be MacPhail--whose wasteful spending and horrendous record surely have caught the eye of on-high Tribster Dennis FitzSimons--then it must be Baylor. It's the epitome of arrogance to stick with the status quo simply because the vast majority of Wrigley tickets have been sold for the summer months. The ballclub is still responsible for appeasing fans. And right now, as the upper-ups know, most of them want the hide of Sleepy Don.

Not that MacPhail is listening. He is spending way too much time complaining to national writers about big, old meanies like me. Because he won two championships in Minnesota and comes from an esteemed baseball family, media think of him as an outstanding executive. They somehow ignore that the Cubs haven't won a playoff game or division title in his tenure, a trend that won't change this year. True, there are high school teams that hit better than the Cubs. And the $27 million left fielder is back to being Moises Ow-lou, injuring himself while gallantly trying to make a catch. Still, there is too much talent for the club to be dozing on a daily basis. And there are too many big-time bats for Baylor, a supposed hitting guru, to stand there and watch. Maybe the Cubs aren't all that, but they're better than this.

Baylor has lost the team. Only MacPhail seems to disagree, figuring we're the dumb ones. ''It's become a feeding frenzy,'' he moped to Sports Illustrated's sympathetic Tom Verducci. ''I have tried to explain to people, 'Don't lay it on Don's doorstep.''' Why? Oh, maybe because MacPhail hired Baylor and paid him a handsome salary on a deal that still has this season and next remaining. In most towns, the media don't rely on the baseball boss to form their judgments about a manager. In Chicago, too many opinion-makers are hypnotized by MacPhail.

I'll try my best not to let the latest Wrigleyville bummer affect my viewing of Prior tonight. After all, this could be a slice of sports history. Do you feel as old as I do? Suddenly, Michael Jordan is the wrinkled and antiquated enemy, Frank Thomas is a hot-and-cold designated hitter, Kerry Wood is a feisty veteran with a mouth and someone we knew little about one year ago--Prior, as in dire--is the arriving prodigy trying to apply a tourniquet to an eternally bleeding franchise.

So it goes around here, where our timeline as Chicagoans is measured by sporting sensations. What I sense is change in the air, a new generation of stars who will try to match the city's legendary passion with overdue pomp and prosperity. If Prior is half as good as baseball people think, he'll own the town with Brian Urlacher. Face it, the Bears and Cubs are the high-interest franchises. Sammy Sosa will be a god as long as he hits home runs and blows kisses, but we're also looking for new blood. Prior should become the face of a Cubs team that needs to dump Alou, Fred McWhiff, Jason Bere and Todd Hundley and launch the youth movement.

''Obviously, I wish the circumstances were a little different,'' said Prior, debuting with a team that loses twice as much as it wins. ''On paper, it's a great team. I don't know what's going on here on a day-to-day basis, but I do wish we were winning a little bit more.''

Welcome to Cubdom, kid. Des Moines never sounded better.

Soxheads
05-22-2002, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice
Des Moines never sounded better.

Iowa kicks ass. :D:

Tragg
05-22-2002, 10:44 AM
Does he really think that the major problem with that team is Don Baylor?

I see a team with Sosa and Lieber and Alou (when healthy), a promising fireball pitcher whose arm the prior manager ruined 4 years ago, and a bunch of aging stiffs who reached their peak 10 years ago and a few overhyped young players who may or may not turn out to be good.

cheeses_h_rice
05-22-2002, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by Tragg
Does he really think that the major problem with that team is Don Baylor?

I see a team with Sosa and Lieber and Alou (when healthy), a promising fireball pitcher whose arm the prior manager ruined 4 years ago, and a bunch of aging stiffs who reached their peak 10 years ago and a few overhyped young players who may or may not turn out to be good.

:moron

Yep. Like I said, it's all Baylor's fault.

DVG
05-22-2002, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice
Yet Another Mark Prior / Fire Don Baylor Column, by Jay Mariotti.

What, exactly, was the point of him writing this article? I could've sworn he wrote the exact same thing yesterday. I give this one a 3 just like I did yesterday. Congrats on the Moron for getting his Flubbie to Sox coverage ratio back up to a solid 3:1! We obviously know who the more newsworthy team is this year -- the Flubbies!

And doesn't this quote:



sound exactly like something you might read from a Flubbie troll on the ESPN boards?


:moron

I got off the Sox bandwagon as fast as I got on it, cheeses, and I'm never looking back so long as the Tribune Company can sell me on their illustrious vision of "next year."

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

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

If Prior is half as good as baseball people think, he'll own the town with Brian Urlacher. Face it, the Bears and Cubs are the high-interest franchises.



Hm. First, he plants the idea that the Sox might be contracted in
people's heads, now this. I think he is secretly on the Tribune
payroll.