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View Full Version : The Moron column count '02: Flubs 22, Sox 7


cheeses_h_rice
05-23-2002, 11:59 AM
A perfect "5" this time. The Moron is back on the Flubbie bandwagon, folks. It's funny, though: doesn't this sound exactly like his first column after Fred McGriff's arrival last 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 22/76/3.45
Sox 7/22/3.14

http://www.suntimes.com/output/mariotti/cst-spt-jay23.html


Finally, joy in Dudville

May 23, 2002

BY JAY MARIOTTI SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST


You were wowed. I was wowed. Everybody was wowed by Mark Prior except the manager he beat, proving there's always one party-pooper at a blowout bash.

Seems Lloyd McClendon and the Pittsburgh Pirates, small-market shrimps, thought the Prior hype in the Chicago media was a bit overdone. It caused McClendon, one of the world's million or so ex-Cubs, to stew after the game Wednesday night. ''He's not quite the second coming of Tom Seaver just yet,'' he said. ''I'm sure the Cubs are excited about what they have. He's got a great arm and did a good job for them, but six innings don't make a career.''

There's only one problem with McClendon's sour-grapes logic: Prior did perform a little like Seaver. With blue socks pulled high and anticipation stretched higher, the kid did something in his big-league debut that the Cubs don't usually do. He looked damned good, pumping his fists and energizing the spirits of his dormant teammates in allowing only two runs and four hits in a 7-4 victory.

''Pri-or! Pri-or! Pri-or!'' the juiced-up fans chanted, causing their new hero to trot out of the dugout and doff his cap. For now, it looks like a budding long-term romance. Lord knows, Cubdom needs it.

''It was kind of surreal,'' Prior said. ''Once I was sitting in the dugout and seeing how many fans were here, it was definitely an experience I'll never forget.''

So where do they erect the permanent ''K'' board? Somebody got one started on the front of the left-field windscreen, finally making great use of a bad idea. But the letters looked even smaller than the cutting curves and laser-beam heaters pumped by Prior, meaning the Cubs should consider other options. Wherever the location, it will be a fun investment in a potentially new and brave Cubs world. Between Priority Mail and Kid K, what are the limits of speed in Wrigleyville?

Never mind the comments of the Pirates, such as center fielder Chad Hermansen, who said this after managing a single in three at-bats against Prior: ''It was some of the most hyped-up stuff I've ever seen for a guy.'' This was the sort of night where you don't dare throw away the game program. Only Nostradamus can tell us if he'll be the next (pick one) Seaver, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson or Nolan Ryan. But carrying such weighty burdens into the bright lights of baseball's cursed shrine, Prior showed no signs of being unable to handle expectations. And to think he claimed to be jittery. ''I'm always nervous before games, no matter the magnitude,'' he said. Give the kid a lie-detector test.

If he wasn't dominant, Prior was in control, striking out 10 Pirates and prompting a standing ovation when he exited after six innings. He answered any doubts that his poise and savvy might have been overstated. ''I've had some experiences where there have been some high-pressure games, but to say this is a high-pressure game, I don't think so,'' he said, making it sound simple. ''I go out and do a job. For me, the goal is to put up zeroes. If you win every inning, you're going to win every game.''

How old is he--21 or 41?

The only question was why he didn't stay in the game, with cheers turning to boos when Chris Stynes was inserted as a pinch hitter. Only Don Baylor, Manager of the Year, could risk the first feel-good story of a season that has been uncommonly rough even by Cubs standards. In one sense, it's understandable why Baylor wanted Prior to feel good about his maiden voyage and didn't want to push a pitch total that had reached 103. Yet with Prior cruising, why would Baylor expose the prodigy to the impending doom of Cubdom? Next thing you knew, the Pirates were within a run in the eighth, and what should have been a wire-to-wire night of wonderment became the usual test of nerves and arteries. But even the Wrigleyville demons had mercy on Prior, lifting the chokehold for a night.

Somewhere in the huddled swarms, nothing could steal joy from a proud father. Jerry Prior wasn't worried about runs, hits, walks, homers or even a loss. He was concerned only about his tear ducts and when they would start crashing in tidal waves. Just a few years ago, he was consoling a dejected son who was struggling as a college pitcher and convinced he wouldn't reach his life goals. Quickly Wednesday, it became clear the old growing pains officially would melt in a barrage of whiffs and promise.

The elder Prior grew up locally and prepped at Loyola Academy. Thus, he knows the misery of the Cubbie religion. But he also knows the talent, work ethic and intelligence of his kid. Mark and Jerry are a team, and you'll be seeing a lot of the father at the ballpark. ''He's always been there for me, but he's like any other father,'' Prior said. ''He did it for my older brother and sister when they were out of college. He's just looking out for his kids. He didn't raise me to be any great athlete. He just raised me.''

A savior, Prior is not. There is no such creature in Wrigleyville. But his teammates already are sensing a spark. ''We're not going to roll off 15 in a row just because Prior showed up,'' Kerry Wood said. ''But it gives us and the fans something else to look forward to. And he's got great stuff. I think he's gotten to the point where he's used to the attention. I don't think the pressure is going to get to him.''

''He's never showed any signs of being affected by anything,'' said catcher Joe Girardi, who handled Prior well. ''I don't think he's one to get rattled.''

With the eyes of sporting America on him, Prior easily could have wilted. But he struck out six of the nine Pirates he faced and might have approached Kid K's rookie territory--12 or more--if he went nine innings. ''We're similar,'' he said of Wood. ''He throws hard, I throw hard. We attack hitters and basically go out and have a good time. We don't hide anything.''

He just performs. By night's end, even some of the Pirates were coming around. ''For a guy to come in with that much hype, you've got to tip your hat to him,'' Hermansen said. ''He handled it very well.''

Now, go tell the manager.

LuvChiSox
05-23-2002, 12:20 PM
Please, if you're going to post something as vile as that, I'd appreciate a warning! At least I read it BEFORE lunch..

Chisox353014
05-23-2002, 12:45 PM
I would insert the : chunks tag into this post, but that would be overkill. This might be the most overblown puff piece I've ever read.
My only question is: how will the Moron have enough time to service all of his precious Flubbie heroes? Between Sammy Showtime, Kid K, and now (wretch..wretch..heave..blarghhhh!) Priority Mail he's gonna be one busy little monkey.
:moron
"It's gonna be one hot summer at Wrigley!"

miker
05-23-2002, 12:46 PM
Although this surprise no one, it does save me from spending 35 cents to read this drivel.

miker
05-23-2002, 12:53 PM
I may be new here, but is there any way we can shrink that picture of Moron-otti?

It's more disgusting than his alleged "sports journalism".

:smile:

Chisox353014
05-23-2002, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by miker
I may be new here, but is there any way we can shrink that picture of Moron-otti?

It's more disgusting than his alleged "sports journalism".

:smile:
Oh, that picture isn't so bad. LOL....
I'll assume since you're new you haven't seen this picture then yet:
:discomoron
or this:
:barney&sham
or the coup de grace:
:woo-woo

DVG
05-23-2002, 04:58 PM
My only question is: how will the Moron have enough time to service all of his precious Flubbie heroes? Between Sammy Showtime, Kid K, and now (wretch..wretch..heave..blarghhhh!) Priority Mail he's gonna be one busy little monkey.
:moron
"It's gonna be one hot summer at Wrigley!"

Those nicknames remind me. Have any of the lame, vomit-inducing nicknames that he hung on his Cubbies managed
to stick?