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View Full Version : Phil Rogers picks Sox to go to World Series, Rips Scrubs


Saracen
03-27-2003, 12:43 AM
A beautiful thing:

Book It: Sox Will Succeed (http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/columnists/cs-030326rogers,1,7836925.column?coll=cs%2Dhome%2Dhea dlines)

DrCrawdad
03-27-2003, 12:56 AM
...When you spend a ton of money, you ought to win a lot of games. That's a good place to bring the Cubs into the discussion.

ESPN and other outlets have been saying nice things about Dusty Baker and his new team all spring. This is more than a little puzzling to those who watch them regularly. The Cubs were the biggest flop in the majors in 2002, spending $76 million to go 67-95. They addressed only one of their many needs in the off-season (installing new guts in the bullpen) and have had a miserable spring.

Yet there they are on SI's ranking of the 30 major-league teams—a proud No 14. That's one spot higher than the White Sox, who won 81 games last season, have since added Bartolo Colon and Billy Koch and are wrapping up a quietly productive spring.

Amazing.

Take 94 years of getting them next year, add ivy, Sammy Sosa and Baker and you have yourself a product with presence, if not shelf life.

And unless the subject is bad ballparks or unpopular superstars, the White Sox remain perpetual afterthoughts. But there's no comparisons between these rosters...

More than I remember in previous years, the Cubs are getting more and more praise and predictions. Rogers is taking the less followed path in predicting the Sox over MN and for dissing the Cubs. For the Sox stake, I hope Rogers is correct.

Phil, I can't imagine that the article will endear you to your peers and those higher up the corporate ladder there at the Cubune.

Here's to you.

:gulp: :gulp:

jeremyb1
03-27-2003, 02:11 AM
its also nice that by questioning the cubs chances of success phil should be less subject to cries of simply catering to the home town crowd. obviously being a sox fan has something to do with it but i couldn't agree with phil more.

i fail to see how you can take a team that won 81 games last season while underacheiving, factor in an improved pen, the addition of a 20 game winner, the likely progress of talented young pitchers, and the addition of young position players such crede and jimenez as well as the widely supported potential for a breakout season from carlos and at least marginal improvement from frank and not predict this team to win at least six more games that last season. six more wins would mean the sox win 87 games and are at least neck and neck with the twins thoughout the season.

Vsahajpal
03-27-2003, 04:17 AM
13-39 (.333) with a .976 OPS is a bad thing? ***?

I'm not sure how SI ranking the Cubs as a middle of the pack club is "touting" them.

Remember Juan Cruz's 2002 season? The kid pitched well early, allowing three earned runs or less in eight of his first nine starts, but the Cubs scored only 3.3 runs per game behind him. Eventually he grew frustrated and crumbled.

Huh? He actually pitched much worse early, and finished well (2-1, 2.32 ERA, .198 BAA after the All-Star Break).

hold2dibber
03-27-2003, 08:13 AM
Originally posted by Vsahajpal
13-39 (.333) with a .976 OPS is a bad thing? ***?

I'm not sure how SI ranking the Cubs as a middle of the pack club is "touting" them.

Remember Juan Cruz's 2002 season? The kid pitched well early, allowing three earned runs or less in eight of his first nine starts, but the Cubs scored only 3.3 runs per game behind him. Eventually he grew frustrated and crumbled.

Huh? He actually pitched much worse early, and finished well (2-1, 2.32 ERA, .198 BAA after the All-Star Break).

The "touting" is the fact that they rank them higher than the Sox. I am not quite as optimistic as some (including Phil Rogers) about the Sox' chances this year, but it seems like an absurd stretch to me to suggest that the Cubs will win more games than the Sox. The Cubs won what, 67 games last year? And they jettisoned their 2nd best run producer (McGriff) but improved their bullpen. I agree that a full year of Prior will help. But Alfonseca is hurt, Hill has been a bust and Choi is unproven. The Sox added Colon, Daubach, White, Gordon and have Crede for a full year. And they won 14 games more than the Cubs last year.

Soxboyrob
03-27-2003, 09:15 AM
Originally posted by Vsahajpal

Remember Juan Cruz's 2002 season? The kid pitched well early, allowing three earned runs or less in eight of his first nine starts, but the Cubs scored only 3.3 runs per game behind him. Eventually he grew frustrated and crumbled.

Huh? He actually pitched much worse early, and finished well (2-1, 2.32 ERA, .198 BAA after the All-Star Break).

Before you get too excited about Juan Cruz, remember he had a 1.47 WHIP last year. On a few occasions, he got two guys out in an inning, yielded baserunner by error, and then the whole world crumbled around him....walk, hit, walk, hit, HR, double, walk,....of course, this had no bearing on his ERA. His WHIP is very high for a guy w/ his ERA. Either he's a much better pitcher than his WHIP indicates or he's worse than his ERA is telling us.

Cruz has great "stuff" but I wouldn't be counting on him to yield any actual results just yet. Too green and unsure of himself just yet for my tastes.

Hullett_Fan
03-27-2003, 10:20 AM
IMO, the only thing holding us back is (still) the rotation.

Stewart will be a fine number 5 starter and possibly better than a healthy Wright. Though he will be exhausted by July. Loaiza is a wild card. Hopefully he'll be an average 4th. Anyway, the Sox will be in contention through Aug when I truly believe we need to pick up a real 4th starter in order to get to the World Series as Rogers predicts.

czalgosz
03-27-2003, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
The "touting" is the fact that they rank them higher than the Sox. I am not quite as optimistic as some (including Phil Rogers) about the Sox' chances this year, but it seems like an absurd stretch to me to suggest that the Cubs will win more games than the Sox. The Cubs won what, 67 games last year? And they jettisoned their 2nd best run producer (McGriff) but improved their bullpen. I agree that a full year of Prior will help. But Alfonseca is hurt, Hill has been a bust and Choi is unproven. The Sox added Colon, Daubach, White, Gordon and have Crede for a full year. And they won 14 games more than the Cubs last year.

The Cubs were a better team than their record showed last year - I believe their pythagorean W-L was 76-85. But that's still not very good. In order for them to seriously contend, they'll have to improve that by about 12 games.

They can do it - if Prior pitches all year like he did last year, and if Choi has a breakout year and if Alou can stay healthy and good, and if Bellhorn's year last year wasn't a fluke (and Baker keeps him at third) and if Wood stays healthy all year, and if they get production out of some guys who haven't shown much recently.

That's a lot of ifs. Way more than the Sox have.

MRKARNO
03-27-2003, 11:34 AM
I think that .500 would be a success for the Cubs this year. They are in one of the more difficult divisions this year. Houston's pitching is great and they have a "murderers row" type of lineup now that they added Kent. (Berkman, Biggio, Bagwell, Kent, Yikes!)

The Cardinals are very good as they always are and this year will be no different.
If Griffey improves, Cincinatti should be pretty darn good as well. Even Pittsburg isn't horrible this year with our old pitching.
Also, the out of division competition is very good. I think that the Cubs are gonna get beat up in that division this year. I think a 3rd place finish would be the best they should expect. A 4th place finish should be the middle expectation. If they end in 5th, they had a dissapointing season.
The Cubs are still a year or two away from even contending for a playoff spot, so all of this talk about them going to the World Series has me really bothered. Their hitting overall is mediocre at very best. Terrible at worst. Their pitching has potential, but we haven't seen Wood very healthy for a while. None on their staff won more than 12 games, which I think is mentioned in the article.
The Sox on the other hand has almost everything it takes to get to the World Series. Top of the Line pitching. I think everyone underrates Garland, Loaiza, Wright and Stewart and how valuable they can be. Everyone seems to have it out for Loaiza and I think it's because he might not have worked for other teams, but I think that this is his career year. We'll see. The hitting is good at worst. Amazing at best. The sky is the limit for the sox. Missing the playoffs would be a HUGE dissapointment.

My tip for Sox fans: Dont listen to the following:

:boston

:moron

Vsahajpal
03-27-2003, 11:41 AM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
The "touting" is the fact that they rank them higher than the Sox. I am not quite as optimistic as some (including Phil Rogers) about the Sox' chances this year, but it seems like an absurd stretch to me to suggest that the Cubs will win more games than the Sox. The Cubs won what, 67 games last year? And they jettisoned their 2nd best run producer (McGriff) but improved their bullpen. I agree that a full year of Prior will help. But Alfonseca is hurt, Hill has been a bust and Choi is unproven. The Sox added Colon, Daubach, White, Gordon and have Crede for a full year. And they won 14 games more than the Cubs last year.


Lmao, that's the problem with Rogers. The comparison to the Sox is brutal, the fact is they ranked the Cubs 14th, period. That isn't touting them. It is slighting the Sox.

Alfonseca's injury is really a blessing. I don't believe Hill has been a bust, he did fairly well last season. He'll be up pretty soon.

Does unproven mean bad...? Thank you Don Baylor. His defense alone makes me happy he is around. And despite what Rogers says, I feel pretty good about his offensive potential.

Vsahajpal
03-27-2003, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by Soxboyrob
Before you get too excited about Juan Cruz, remember he had a 1.47 WHIP last year. On a few occasions, he got two guys out in an inning, yielded baserunner by error, and then the whole world crumbled around him....walk, hit, walk, hit, HR, double, walk,....of course, this had no bearing on his ERA. His WHIP is very high for a guy w/ his ERA. Either he's a much better pitcher than his WHIP indicates or he's worse than his ERA is telling us.

Cruz has great "stuff" but I wouldn't be counting on him to yield any actual results just yet. Too green and unsure of himself just yet for my tastes.

My point was (contrary to what Phil said) Cruz pitched much better in the 2nd half. Gather all the peripherals you want, and you'll see that Mr. Cruz didn't "crumble," as the season progressed.

As for your second point, based on said second half, and the half dozen times I've seen him live this Spring, I'm not worried about your tastes.

Vsahajpal
03-27-2003, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by czalgosz
The Cubs were a better team than their record showed last year - I believe their pythagorean W-L was 76-85. But that's still not very good. In order for them to seriously contend, they'll have to improve that by about 12 games.

They can do it - if Prior pitches all year like he did last year, and if Choi has a breakout year and if Alou can stay healthy and good, and if Bellhorn's year last year wasn't a fluke (and Baker keeps him at third) and if Wood stays healthy all year, and if they get production out of some guys who haven't shown much recently.

That's a lot of ifs. Way more than the Sox have.

I agree, and quite frankly they probably have more ifs than what you mentioned. The Stark article was pretty silly.

.500 at best.

czalgosz
03-27-2003, 11:53 AM
Originally posted by Vsahajpal
I agree, and quite frankly they probably have more ifs than what you mentioned. The Stark article was pretty silly.

.500 at best.

The shame of it is, the Cubs could finish .500 and even though it would be a major acheivement, people would be disappointed. Everyone's set their expectations way too high for that team.

Unregistered
03-27-2003, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by czalgosz
The shame of it is, the Cubs could finish .500 and even though it would be a major acheivement, people would be disappointed. Everyone's set their expectations way too high for that team. Really? I always knew the Cubs to be the team that everyone was happy with as long as 2 million people went through the Wrigley turnstyles and Shammy hit 50 dingers...

Vsahajpal
03-27-2003, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz
The shame of it is, the Cubs could finish .500 and even though it would be a major acheivement, people would be disappointed. Everyone's set their expectations way too high for that team.

Agreed

SuckerforSox
03-27-2003, 12:14 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz
The shame of it is, the Cubs could finish .500 and even though it would be a major acheivement, people would be disappointed. Everyone's set their expectations way too high for that team.

Not only that but they would still get more press in this town than the Sox would while winning the division. Pathetic.

Phil's article was absolutely great though. It was so nice to se someone actually look at what each team has to offer and give an acurate assessment of the teams. I have been wondering all spring what any of these writers, national or local, have been looking at when analizing the Cubs.

Phil's World Series prediction is a bit of a stretch maybe, but at least he sees that they should be in the hunt, and the Cubs have been using smoke and mirrors all spring to get everyone excited.

Foulke You
03-27-2003, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by Unregistered
Really? I always knew the Cubs to be the team that everyone was happy with as long as 2 million people went through the Wrigley turnstyles and Shammy hit 50 dingers...

I was thinking the same thing :D:

pudge
03-27-2003, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by Vsahajpal



I'm not sure how SI ranking the Cubs as a middle of the pack club is "touting" them.



I don't think he's just talking about SI, there have been several publications, including the ESPN and MSNBC articles on how the Cubs could be the next Angles... just think how dumb that is... the Angels had an awesome bullpen, a spunky offense, and solid starters, the Cubs only have (possibly) solid starters, they are no where near what the Angels were last year. I remember watching the Angels in May and thinking, "Man, if they can just get the game in the hands of their bullpen, they could win the West." Well, they didn't win the West but they won the WS. At any rate, there is a hell of a lot of "touting" going on about the Cubs. Phil was justified in making that comment.

FoulkeFan
03-27-2003, 02:09 PM
And why don't any of the expers ever mention that the Cubs lost their best pitcher (Jon Lieber)? That couldn't possibly affect the best starting rotation in the NL Central, could it?

jeremyb1
03-27-2003, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz
The Cubs were a better team than their record showed last year - I believe their pythagorean W-L was 76-85. But that's still not very good. In order for them to seriously contend, they'll have to improve that by about 12 games.

They can do it - if Prior pitches all year like he did last year, and if Choi has a breakout year and if Alou can stay healthy and good, and if Bellhorn's year last year wasn't a fluke (and Baker keeps him at third) and if Wood stays healthy all year, and if they get production out of some guys who haven't shown much recently.

That's a lot of ifs. Way more than the Sox have.

i agree that the cubs were better than their record last season but so were the sox. we had 87 pathagorean wins. i can't really figured out how the cubs improved themselves more than us. they may have improved just as much but we did win 14 more games than they did last season.

czalgosz
03-27-2003, 03:24 PM
My problem isn't that the Cubs are overrated - putting them in the middle of the pack seems about right. My problem is that the Sox are underrated. To elevate the Twins to this pinnacle of greatness while relegating the Sox to the also-rans shows how many sportswriters have absolutely no idea what they're talking about.

Vsahajpal
03-27-2003, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
i agree that the cubs were better than their record last season but so were the sox. we had 87 pathagorean wins. i can't really figured out how the cubs improved themselves more than us. they may have improved just as much but we did win 14 more games than they did last season.


I don't think they improved as much as the Sox, simply because they had more holes to fill. IMO, the Sox needed a legit frontline starter, they acquired such a player for table scraps. I don't know if Koch will be better than Foulke, but acquiring Gordon and White will certainly offset the loss of Osuna and then some. I thought the pen was fine last year, with the emergence of Damaso Marte. If Wunsch regains his form, the bullpen is a huge asset. And Arnaldo Munoz will be knocking on Jerry's door pretty soon too.

The Cubs didn't really fill their biggest need. They did improve the pen, the bench, and the defense, but that was mainly addition by subtraction.

All in all, I don't understand what makes the Cubs a chic pick this year, they'll definitely improve their team, but the playoffs aren't even within shouting distance.

SI had their ranking right, middle of the pack. But to slight the Sox was silly. They're definitely one of the top teams in the major leagues. That's where my problem lies. And you don't really need to involve the Cubs to prove it. That's my other problem.

voodoochile
03-27-2003, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by Vsahajpal
I don't think they improved as much as the Sox, simply because they had more holes to fill. IMO, the Sox needed a legit frontline starter, they acquired such a player for table scraps. I don't know if Koch will be better than Foulke, but acquiring Gordon and White will certainly offset the loss of Osuna and then some. I thought the pen was fine last year, with the emergence of Damaso Marte. If Wunsch regains his form, the bullpen is a huge asset. And Arnaldo Munoz will be knocking on Jerry's door pretty soon too.

The Cubs didn't really fill their biggest need. They did improve the pen, the bench, and the defense, but that was mainly addition by subtraction.

All in all, I don't understand what makes the Cubs a chic pick this year, they'll definitely improve their team, but the playoffs aren't even within shouting distance.

SI had their ranking right, middle of the pack. But to slight the Sox was silly. They're definitely one of the top teams in the major leagues. That's where my problem lies. And you don't really need to involve the Cubs to prove it. That's my other problem.

I agree. The Sox were underrated. The flubbies were about right and will go as far as their starting pitching can carry them, no further.

It is interesting that the guys who are spending the most time paying attention to the Sox (Chicago media) are the ones predicting them to have a good season while it is the national media which has them down in the pack.

DrCrawdad
03-27-2003, 06:23 PM
Originally posted by Vsahajpal
...The Cubs didn't really fill their biggest need. They did improve the pen, the bench, and the defense, but that was mainly addition by subtraction.

All in all, I don't understand what makes the Cubs a chic pick this year, they'll definitely improve their team, but the playoffs aren't even within shouting distance.

SI had their ranking right, middle of the pack. But to slight the Sox was silly. They're definitely one of the top teams in the major leagues. That's where my problem lies...

The Cubs spent some money this off-season, and made a few decent pick-ups. If I were a Cub fan though I would have liked to see them seriously pursue Thome and see if they could have signed him for two years.

Wood-Clement-Prior-Zambrano all have the potential to be good. Of course it's just that potential, maybe they'll live up to the hype, maybe they won't. IMHO though what the Cubs needed were a few hitters who get on base and don't strike out at alarming rates.

In the end, the team that wins is the team that scores the most runs in a given game. The number of strike-outs the pitchers induce or how high they push the radar gun matters only if it is helping your team win.