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JermaineDye05
12-23-2006, 09:46 PM
http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/cs-061223rogers,1,1115531.column?coll=cs-whitesox-headlines

this guy must be hoping for one hell of a bonus, guess he must have swimming pool waiting in the wings. Should be the happ happ happiest christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with danny f-in K for Rogers.

Fake Chet Lemon
12-23-2006, 09:50 PM
I think it's a fair article.

DeuceUnit
12-23-2006, 09:52 PM
Very fair. This entire season coming up is one big damn gamble right now.

cbotnyse
12-23-2006, 09:53 PM
Any trade is a gamble. I wouldnt call it a "scary leap." :rolleyes:

PaleHoseGeorge
12-23-2006, 09:54 PM
But don't forget McCarthy went 7-1 with a 1.88 ERA in 16 starts between Triple A and the big leagues in the second half of 2005, including wins at Texas and Boston that helped keep the Sox's wheels on the tracks. During that stretch, there wasn't a pitcher in baseball as consistently good.

It is exactly this sort of selective analysis that makes Phil Rogers the most dangerous -- and silliest -- baseball commentator in Chicago. He gets PAID to write this nonsense.

Anyone who passed even one college-level statistics course could explain why Phil Rogers is full of ****.

I'm sure tomorrow's Cubune is just chocked full of more goodies like this one... I can hardly wait!!!

ilsox7
12-23-2006, 09:57 PM
I thought parts of the article were good, but the following is way off, IMO:

On the surface, the McCarthy deal is another part of the Williams/Jerry Reinsdorf plan to replace, rather than re-sign, Buehrle, Garland and Vazquez (along with the recently departed Freddy Garcia) before the 2009 season. This is a despicable plan, not just because it puts economics ahead of competitiveness but because it guarantees that guys who brought a World Series parade to Chicago are going to be leaving town too soon, maybe still in their primes.

If Phil did not notice, Mark and Javy were quite mediocre last year. Jon is already signed for a couple of more years as is Jose. What KW is doing is stockpiling the system so that he can either replace mediocre pitchers with good pitchers or trade prospects for other pieces, if Mark and Javy are no longer mediocre.

As for the whole economics argument, where is his evidence? The Sox are increasing payroll in 2007. What they are NOT doing is spending recklessly on other mediocre baseball players. Some of the contracts this winter are going to haunt teams 3 years from now. The Sox will not have that problem. This paragraph also wreaks of 1985 Bears syndrome. As much as I love the guys who won it all in 2005, that should have no impact on the future of this team. The Sox need to do what's best to win in the future, not appease the memories of 2005.

julio-cruz
12-23-2006, 10:04 PM
Yeah, then Dr. Phil goes on in the 'stakes rising for Buehrle article- saying that the Cubs rotation is "set" along with a "deep bullpen". Set at what Phil? Complete mediocrity? Bruce Levine got it right (for once) when he called Phil a tabloid journalist. lol

MrX
12-23-2006, 10:06 PM
If Phil did not notice, Mark and Javy were quite mediocre last year. Jon is already signed for a couple of more years as is Jose. What KW is doing is stockpiling the system so that he can either replace mediocre pitchers with good pitchers or trade prospects for other pieces, if Mark and Javy are no longer mediocre.

That's not short-sighted enough. The obvious way to go is to give huge sums of money to garbage, which in turns raises the price tag of the one good pitcher you have that's a free agent the following year and cripples your franchise for the foreseeable future.

DrCrawdad
12-23-2006, 10:08 PM
http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/cs-061223rogers,1,1115531.column?coll=cs-whitesox-headlines

this guy must be hoping for one hell of a bonus, guess he must have swimming pool waiting in the wings. Should be the happ happ happiest christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with danny f-in K for Rogers.

Phil's article needs this photo...

:whoflungpoo

DrCrawdad
12-23-2006, 10:10 PM
I thought parts of the article were good, but the following is way off, IMO:



If Phil did not notice, Mark and Javy were quite mediocre last year. Jon is already signed for a couple of more years as is Jose. What KW is doing is stockpiling the system so that he can either replace mediocre pitchers with good pitchers or trade prospects for other pieces, if Mark and Javy are no longer mediocre.

As for the whole economics argument, where is his evidence? The Sox are increasing payroll in 2007. What they are NOT doing is spending recklessly on other mediocre baseball players. Some of the contracts this winter are going to haunt teams 3 years from now. The Sox will not have that problem. This paragraph also wreaks of 1985 Bears syndrome. As much as I love the guys who won it all in 2005, that should have no impact on the future of this team. The Sox need to do what's best to win in the future, not appease the memories of 2005.

VERY WELL SAID!

THANK-YOU!!!

UserNameBlank
12-23-2006, 10:10 PM
It is exactly this sort of selective analysis that makes Phil Rogers the most dangerous -- and silliest -- baseball commentator in Chicago. He gets PAID to write this nonsense.

Anyone who passed even one college-level statistics course could explain why Phil Rogers is full of ****.

I'm sure tomorrow's Cubune is just chocked full of more goodies like this one... I can hardly wait!!!

True, and he's not the only sportswriter who has been heavily critical of KW's moves this offseason.

That said, two years from now everyone here might be agreeing with him. It is more likely that Garcia and McCarthy have good major league seasons next year than it is for Gio/Danks/Broadway/Heager/Phillips/Sisco etc.

While none of these moves can really be judged for at least two years or so, if these guys turn out to be busts this offseason will be the type that keeps Sox fans from showing up to the park over the next 3-5 years. Very, very risky moves by KW.

DrCrawdad
12-23-2006, 10:11 PM
Yeah, then Dr. Phil goes on in the 'stakes rising for Buehrle article- saying that the Cubs rotation is "set" along with a "deep bullpen". Set at what Phil? Complete mediocrity? Bruce Levine got it right (for once) when he called Phil a tabloid journalist. lol

It's gotta hurt when a writer from VineLine calls you a tabloid journalist.

JackParkman
12-23-2006, 10:17 PM
In some ways, the article is a fair analysis of the deal. The Sox obviously are taking a risk here that the unknown potential of Danks will eventually pay greater dividends than the known ability of McCarthy.

Where it becomes complete cr*p, however, is when Phil implies that the real reason for the deal wasn't baseball or economics, but rather that Kenny is "scared" of McCarthy's candor.
Sure, Phil. Nothing frightens Kenny Williams more than the words of one Brandon McCarthy.

ilsox7
12-23-2006, 10:20 PM
In some ways, the article is a fair analysis of the deal. The Sox obviously are taking a risk here that the unknown potential of Danks will eventually pay greater dividends than the known ability of McCarthy.



How is McCarthy's ability known? What do you base that on? And what do you consider McCarthy's ability to be? (All serious inquiries)

PaleHoseGeorge
12-23-2006, 10:24 PM
In some ways, the article is a fair analysis of the deal. The Sox obviously are taking a risk here that the unknown potential of Danks will eventually pay greater dividends than the known ability of McCarthy.

Where it becomes complete cr*p, however, is when Phil implies that the real reason for the deal wasn't baseball or economics, but rather that Kenny is "scared" of McCarthy's candor.
Sure, Phil. Nothing frightens Kenny Williams more than the words of one Brandon McCarthy.

You're being way too generous to both McCarthy and Rogers.

The "known ability" of McCarthy was that he didn't like pitching out of the bullpen, didn't do it very well, and sometimes pitched well when given a start. He also didn't throw as many strikes as he should.

Rogers "implied" nothing about the real reason Williams traded McCarthy. He flat-out states, "[McCarthy] is a guy who will say what is on his mind, and that made him something of a square peg for the Reinsdorfian round hole."

Time to call a spade a spade. McCarthy, true to his youth, was inconsistent. Rogers, true to his bosses, is casting this trade in the worst light possible. He had more complimentary things to say about $21 million spent on Jason Marquis!
:o:

cbotnyse
12-23-2006, 10:27 PM
You're being way too generous to both McCarthy and Rogers.

The "known ability" of McCarthy was that he didn't like pitching out of the bullpen, didn't do it very well, and sometimes pitched well when given a start. He also didn't throw as many strikes as he should.

Rogers "implied" nothing about the real reason Williams traded McCarthy. He flat-out states, "[McCarthy] is a guy who will say what is on his mind, and that made him something of a square peg for the Reinsdorfian round hole."

Time to call a spade a spade. McCarthy, true to his youth, was inconsistent. Rogers, true to his bosses, is casting this trade in the worst light possible. He had more complimentary things to say about $21 million spent on Jason Marquis!
:o::thumbsup:

UserNameBlank
12-23-2006, 10:27 PM
How is McCarthy's ability known? What do you base that on? And what do you consider McCarthy's ability to be? (All serious inquiries)

McCarthy certainly is far from proven but he has had limited success in MLB. While I normally disagree with Jon Daniels and the moves he makes, he did make an excellent point in the trade article. He said something to the effect of the biggest jump one can make in pro sports is going from Triple A to the majors. Brandon has done that, and at the very least, barring injury, has proven that he is capable of getting major league hitters out.

We all know he has a straight fastball that is crushed when he doesn't locate it exactly where he wants it. We all know that he relies heavily on his changeup and is vulnerable without it. Danks, err, we have some scouting reports. We have some minor league stats. Nobody knows how he will fare in a pressure situation, in a pennant race, in the major leagues, against one of the top offenses in baseball. At least Brandon showed that he is mentally capable of gutting it out.

ilsox7
12-23-2006, 10:32 PM
Brandon has done that, and at the very least, barring injury, has proven that he is capable of getting major league hitters out.



Has he really, though? He was so-so at best last year. He was awful when he was first called up in 2005. Then he had 5 tremendous starts. I don't doubt Brandon can be a pretty damn good pitcher going forward, but people painting him as a sure-fire 15 game winner for the next 5 years are doing so based on very little information. I could just as easily say that Danks is going to show up to spring training, blow everyone away, win rookie of the year and go on to a great career. Could it happen? Sure. But I am not basing it on much. If 2006 told me anything, it told me that Brandon does in fact have difficulty getting MLB hitters out, just as most young pitchers do.

DrCrawdad
12-23-2006, 10:35 PM
You're being way too generous to both McCarthy and Rogers.

The "known ability" of McCarthy was that he didn't like pitching out of the bullpen, didn't do it very well, and sometimes pitched well when given a start. He also didn't throw as many strikes as he should.

Rogers "implied" nothing about the real reason Williams traded McCarthy. He flat-out states, "[McCarthy] is a guy who will say what is on his mind, and that made him something of a square peg for the Reinsdorfian round hole."

Time to call a spade a spade. McCarthy, true to his youth, was inconsistent. Rogers, true to his bosses, is casting this trade in the worst light possible. He had more complimentary things to say about $21 million spent on Jason Marquis!
:o:

George, you nailed it!
http://www.wpclipart.com/office/office_clipart/bullseye.png

TheOldRoman
12-23-2006, 10:39 PM
Phil Rogers continues to be a cartoon character. If he had any shred of morality or journalistic integrity left, he would be ashamed of himself right now. Instead, he is walking through the Tribune Towers getting high fives from the brass. Maybe he was worried Hendry would call him into the principal's office for another closed door meeting?

This article is a joke, wrapped in a lie, and stuffed into a pile of ****. Leave it to the Cubune to have no clue what they are talking about, and leave it to countless clowns to agree with them. Somewhere, Hangar is screaming "Rogers for president".

I will say it again - Reinsdorf has showed that he will spend when the fans come out. They did in 06, and payroll will increase for 07. Even if they do "dump" Buehrle, Garland, and Vazquez, payroll will STILL increase for 08. If they aren't paying those guys, who are they going to pay? Only the White Sox can slash payroll while simultaneously increasing it.:rolleyes:

Flight #24
12-23-2006, 10:43 PM
So Phil Rogers wants us to believe that a very smart businessman in JR is telling Kenny: "Buehrle's out of here, so instead of keeping a guy who's shown signs of being a quality major league starter and who's a potential cheap replacement, you'd better swap him for a guy who's got a higher ceiling but is much more unproven at the major league level?"

:kukoo:

Does Phil really believe that JR & KW are that dumb or that Sox fans are? (Answer: neither, he KNOWS that Flub fans are and that his bosses will eat up any kind of tripe as long as it's slanted the right way.)

If you're really going to be getting rid of guys like Buehrle, you hang onto guys like McCarthy as if your life depended on it. If anything, the fact that the Sox are willing to deal a guy like Brandon makes me believe they're more seriously considering resigning at least one of their current guys and so they're willing to swap a guy who's shown something for a guy who hasn't done anything in the bigs but who has a higher ceiling.

UserNameBlank
12-23-2006, 10:54 PM
Has he really, though? He was so-so at best last year. He was awful when he was first called up in 2005. Then he had 5 tremendous starts. I don't doubt Brandon can be a pretty damn good pitcher going forward, but people painting him as a sure-fire 15 game winner for the next 5 years are doing so based on very little information. I could just as easily say that Danks is going to show up to spring training, blow everyone away, win rookie of the year and go on to a great career. Could it happen? Sure. But I am not basing it on much. If 2006 told me anything, it told me that Brandon does in fact have difficulty getting MLB hitters out, just as most young pitchers do.

First, I have to say that personally I never thought as highly of Brandon as most people here do. I thought he would become a decent pitcher, but just watching him throw that straight fastball up in the zone freaked me out everytime I saw it. Even when it ended up in a K I still didn't like it. He doesn't have the velocity or movement to do that IMO.

In 2005 when he was sucking he went back down to AAA. There, IIRC, they changed a flaw in his mechanics because he was tipping his pitches. I don't count that in terms of evaluting him because just about every pitcher goes through some short period of time where he tips his pitches. Brandon recovered nicely, came back up to the bigs, and shut down big to lineups in big situations. That says more to me than anything.

When he went to the pen in 2006 he looked lost much of the time, but he still did have a few nice outings intermixed with the hammering he took. He didn't use his changeup and that was a big reason.

The biggest thing to me though was this: here is a guy who in one year went from IIRC low A or Rookie League (can't remeber which one) to AA, totally dominating everyone. A few months later he is in ST looking like a stud, almost makes the team despite El Duque entrenched as the fifth starter, and then all of the sudden just a short while after that he is on the Sox starting games. He finishes 2005 with the Sox and rides along for the playoffs. Then the next year he is in the bullpen and struggling. See the problem?

The kid was rushed into the bullpen after succeeding at every single level he has been at. Besides some longballs in Charlotte and tipping his pitches for a couple starts on the Sox, Brandon was lights out until his development was stunted last year. The kid is young and was really looking like a stud, and if not for all the great things written about Danks and Massett, I'd be totally pissed off by this trade. Brandon has proven about as much as he possibly could have and I like his mental makeup a lot. Just hate that damn high straight fastball.

ilsox7
12-23-2006, 10:59 PM
First, I have to say that personally I never thought as highly of Brandon as most people here do. I thought he would become a decent pitcher, but just watching him throw that straight fastball up in the zone freaked me out everytime I saw it. Even when it ended up in a K I still didn't like it. He doesn't have the velocity or movement to do that IMO.

In 2005 when he was sucking he went back down to AAA. There, IIRC, they changed a flaw in his mechanics because he was tipping his pitches. I don't count that in terms of evaluting him because just about every pitcher goes through some short period of time where he tips his pitches. Brandon recovered nicely, came back up to the bigs, and shut down big to lineups in big situations. That says more to me than anything.

When he went to the pen in 2006 he looked lost much of the time, but he still did have a few nice outings intermixed with the hammering he took. He didn't use his changeup and that was a big reason.

The biggest thing to me though was this: here is a guy who in one year went from IIRC low A or Rookie League (can't remeber which one) to AA, totally dominating everyone. A few months later he is in ST looking like a stud, almost makes the team despite El Duque entrenched as the fifth starter, and then all of the sudden just a short while after that he is on the Sox starting games. He finishes 2005 with the Sox and rides along for the playoffs. Then the next year he is in the bullpen and struggling. See the problem?

The kid was rushed into the bullpen after succeeding at every single level he has been at. Besides some longballs in Charlotte and tipping his pitches for a couple starts on the Sox, Brandon was lights out until his development was stunted last year. The kid is young and was really looking like a stud, and if not for all the great things written about Danks and Massett, I'd be totally pissed off by this trade. Brandon has proven about as much as he possibly could have and I like his mental makeup a lot. Just hate that damn high straight fastball.

I agree with a lot of this. I am just trying to stress the point that Brandon is not a sure thing to be a lights out starter next year or thereafter. While I agree the bullpen is different than a spot in the rotation, the goal is still the same: get hitters out. Brandon did a poor job of that last year. It created a lot of doubts, IMO. Still, he has a bright future, just as Danks and Masset have.

I think Brandon has the ability to throw up an ERA less than 5.00 next year and win his fair share of games. But I also think there is a good chance whoever is the #5 for the Sox will do the same thing.

The Dude
12-23-2006, 11:07 PM
You're being way too generous to both McCarthy and Rogers.

The "known ability" of McCarthy was that he didn't like pitching out of the bullpen, didn't do it very well, and sometimes pitched well when given a start. He also didn't throw as many strikes as he should.

Rogers "implied" nothing about the real reason Williams traded McCarthy. He flat-out states, "[McCarthy] is a guy who will say what is on his mind, and that made him something of a square peg for the Reinsdorfian round hole."

Time to call a spade a spade. McCarthy, true to his youth, was inconsistent. Rogers, true to his bosses, is casting this trade in the worst light possible. He had more complimentary things to say about $21 million spent on Jason Marquis!
:o:

Right on PHG! It's good to read your posts again by the way.:gulp:

Beer Can Chicken
12-23-2006, 11:11 PM
http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/cs-061223rogers,1,1115531.column?coll=cs-whitesox-headlines

this guy must be hoping for one hell of a bonus, guess he must have swimming pool waiting in the wings. Should be the happ happ happiest christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with danny f-in K for Rogers.

It think its a fair and accurate article.

INSox56
12-23-2006, 11:14 PM
most of it is fair, but two things continue to jab at me. One, his insisting that he absolutely KNOWS for sure that KW is planning on losing all of our pitchers...where the hell has he ever said that? And two, saying that McCarthy's openness to the media and simple, no bs answers scared KW off and that that attitude is anti-reinsdorff? GFAFB Phil. I have agreed with most everything you've ever said, good and bad...but this mariotti-esque attacking of reinsdorff and insistence of things that are not backed by any fact whatsoever are a bit annoying.

UserNameBlank
12-23-2006, 11:15 PM
I agree with a lot of this. I am just trying to stress the point that Brandon is not a sure thing to be a lights out starter next year or thereafter. While I agree the bullpen is different than a spot in the rotation, the goal is still the same: get hitters out. Brandon did a poor job of that last year. It created a lot of doubts, IMO. Still, he has a bright future, just as Danks and Masset have.

I think Brandon has the ability to throw up an ERA less than 5.00 next year and win his fair share of games. But I also think there is a good chance whoever is the #5 for the Sox will do the same thing.

I agree. There is no way to say he's a sure thing but for some reason, on this site, people (not you but others) have this strange thing going on where they overvalue someone and don't want to trade him even for a superstar, and then when KW trade him he is automatically a genious. I don't get that. I trust KW but I really was scratching my head after this move.

I also agree that it was his job to get hitters out, and while he did, it seemed like most of the time when he was successful it was in situations that weren't so dire. I don't have the exact stats, but when he'd come in with runners on in a tight game he seemed to get hurt more often than not. It really sucked watching him pitch last year, but the thing is the whole time everyone could see Brandon just wasn't comfortable coming out of the pen. Did KW make a move to allow Brandon to go back to AAA and start? Nope. He left him in there. If Brandon were older and had more experience I would find him more accountable, but considering his quick ascension to the bigs I blame Kenny more than I blame him.

Also, I think Arlington could really **** with Brandon. Out of every possible destination, this has to be the worst. Not only does he play in a home-run friendly park, he also has to deal with the Texas climate. There will be real durability concerns with him because of this on top of the mental beating he'll take when he gives up a bunch of longballs. Either this will make Brandon a better pitcher or it will really screw with him, but no one knows right now. I will say though that if Brandon's ERA and win total for Texas looks bad next year it will have a lot to do with other factors as I think he'd be a much better pitcher in the Cell.

Whether or not any of these other guys can step in and produce remains to be seen, but I don't like the way this is looking for 2007. The Sox have a good enough team as it is to be a strong contender for the division title, and if some of these guys fail then KW will be pressed to waste options and spots on the 40-man looking for a quick in-house solution during a pennant race. KW could also be forced to make a bad trade around the deadline and end up losing some of the arms he has stockpiled.

ilsox7
12-23-2006, 11:19 PM
Also, I think Arlington could really **** with Brandon. Out of every possible destination, this has to be the worst. Not only does he play in a home-run friendly park, he also has to deal with the Texas climate. There will be real durability concerns with him because of this on top of the mental beating he'll take when he gives up a bunch of longballs. Either this will make Brandon a better pitcher or it will really screw with him, but no one knows right now. I will say though that if Brandon's ERA and win total for Texas looks bad next year it will have a lot to do with other factors as I think he'd be a much better pitcher in the Cell.



On top of this, there is some talk out of Texas that they expect him to be their #3 starter. :o:

I wish him the best, but to me, it seems like last year and the current situation are setting Brandon up for failure.

Vernam
12-23-2006, 11:24 PM
The word "despicable" jumps off the page of Rogers's column. How dare he? :angry: His employers are one year away from a century of futility, but it's the Sox ownership who are ****ing their fans over? *****.

The gloves are off. If that tool ever resurfaces here, I trust that people won't fawn over him as they have in the past. I see no difference between him and Knue, though Rogers is clearly the more dangerous of the two. **** off, Phil.

Vernam

UserNameBlank
12-23-2006, 11:25 PM
On top of this, there is some talk out of Texas that they expect him to be their #3 starter. :o:

I wish him the best, but to me, it seems like last year and the current situation are setting Brandon up for failure.

I agree. I know as a pro athlete he always has to say the right things, but man, he has to be thinking "Jesus Christ, what next?"

I do think he would make for a heck of a pitcher in Seattle, San Diego, or Detroit though. In an enviornment like that he could be a 200+ IP horse, but I don't know if he'll be able to make it in Texas. On the bright side, maybe he'll suck and we can get him back for cheap? Wishful thinking, but you never know.

DrCrawdad
12-23-2006, 11:27 PM
But Williams concluded that the potential reward in adding two power arms for one polished workhorse was worth a roll of the dice. Good luck on that. - Phil Rogers

"One polished workhorse?" Was Rogers actually referring to McCarthy as a "polished workhorse?" How and why is a 23 yr old pitcher with 150 IP in two years a "polished workhorse?"

UserNameBlank
12-23-2006, 11:29 PM
The word "despicable" jumps off the page of Rogers's column. How dare he? :angry: His employers are one year away from a century of futility, but it's the Sox ownership who are ****ing their fans over? *****.

The gloves are off. If that tool ever resurfaces here, I trust that people won't fawn over him as they have in the past. I see no difference between him and Knue, though Rogers is clearly the more dangerous of the two. **** off, Phil.

Vernam

Despite the jabs here and there it was a fair, decent article. Why do these guys always have to draw conclusions and then state their opinions of their own conclusions? I thought the point of an article was to read it and draw your own conclusion? Go to myspace if you want to write a ****ing blog.

DrCrawdad
12-23-2006, 11:29 PM
The word "despicable" jumps off the page of Rogers's column. How dare he? :angry: His employers are one year away from a century of futility, but it's the Sox ownership who are ****ing their fans over? *****.

The gloves are off. If that tool ever resurfaces here, I trust that people won't fawn over him as they have in the past. I see no difference between him and Knue, though Rogers is clearly the more dangerous of the two. **** off, Phil.

Vernam

As of 11:29PM Phil was here visiting...

progers13
12-23-2006, 11:41 PM
I shouldn't do this, but it's the holiday season and every party needs a pinata, so ... when did I write something nice about the Cubs' Jason Marquis signing? I like that they are spending money and adding numbers but it's not exactly a great way to build a baseball team. I don't recall writing a single thing about the Marquis signing, as a matter of fact.

But here's my question: It really doesn't bother any of you guys that the White Sox see every member of their World Series rotation as replaceable at the end of their current contracts?

They aren't advertising it, because it wouldn't be a great campaign, but they are not willing to sign pitchers for more than three years. That apparently means they're not even going to attempt to re-sign Buehrle or Garland, and sealed the fate of Garcia. To me this is a big deal, and I can't believe that it wouldn't be for you guys.

I admire the way they have handled their economics in the past. And I don't endorse throwing money at players. But when they're your own guys, they're durable, reasonably consistent (Buehrle's second half, 2006 aside) won you the fricking World Series, shouldn't you go the extra mile?

spiffie
12-23-2006, 11:41 PM
Hell, even if we do get rid of all of the current starters is that a bad thing over the next couple of years? I pointed out in passing in another thread that by 2009 we could theoretically have a high-level pitching staff that costs around $10 million combined. Imagine the rotation of:
Gonzalez
Danks
Floyd
Broadway
Haeger
and the bullpen of:
Jenks
MacDougal
Thornton
Aardsma
Massett
Sisco

Add in having Fields at 3B, and an OF of Sweeney, Anderson, and Owens, and suddenly you have the cash to put anyone you want in free agency at other positions. Maybe you spread the cash around to Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Zambrano, and Joe Mauer. Who knows? But to automatically say "the Sox are planning to get rid of all of these guys" seems to me like it has just as much potential for good as for bad.

tebman
12-23-2006, 11:43 PM
This is absolutely amazing:

Few professional athletes are as open, honest and friendly as McCarthy, and that might have scared Williams a little. He is a guy who will say what is on his mind, and that made him something of a square peg for the Reinsdorfian round hole.
Does he really believe that Ken Williams is "scared" of Brandon McCarthy? To quote a former Tribune public editor, "get a grip."

Rogers' house team hasn't won a championship in 100 years, and they put the marketing manager in charge to turn the team around. The White Sox have won the World Series and consistently fielded better teams, and yet he thinks that the Sox' general manager is scared of what a 23 year-old pitcher might say.

Yeah, Phil, that's the eggnog talking all right. :rolleyes:

spiffie
12-23-2006, 11:45 PM
I shouldn't do this, but it's the holiday season and every party needs a pinata, so ... when did I write something nice about the Cubs' Jason Marquis signing? I like that they are spending money and adding numbers but it's not exactly a great way to build a baseball team. I don't recall writing a single thing about the Marquis signing, as a matter of fact.

But here's my question: It really doesn't bother any of you guys that the White Sox see every member of their World Series rotation as replaceable at the end of their current contracts?

They aren't advertising it, because it wouldn't be a great campaign, but they are not willing to sign pitchers for more than three years. That apparently means they're not even going to attempt to re-sign Buehrle or Garland, and sealed the fate of Garcia. To me this is a big deal, and I can't believe that it wouldn't be for you guys.

I admire the way they have handled their economics in the past. And I don't endorse throwing money at players. But when they're your own guys, they're durable, reasonably consistent (Buehrle's second half, 2006 aside) won you the fricking World Series, shouldn't you go the extra mile?
I'm not sure as a fan there's a guy, outside of maybe Garland, I would want extended any longer. Vazquez is a head case who I wish was gone before the 2007 season. Buehrle lives in constant danger of being thrown off by Questec, teams stealing his signs, velocity troubles, and being banned from tarp sliding, to say nothing of the fact that if his control slips a hair he's suddenly hittable as hell. Contreras will be 38 at the beginning of the 2008 season, which is not exactly something I want to lock up for another three years.

If in 2009 the rotation is all young guys, and the total payroll is $50 million, then I'll gladly do what I did for years when I felt used by management and stop giving them my hard-earned money. But right now, I don't find any reason to feel particularly bad, other than nostalgia and blind affection for individual players, about the idea of these guys moving on.

RoobarbPie
12-23-2006, 11:52 PM
But here's my question: It really doesn't bother any of you guys that the White Sox see every member of their World Series rotation as replaceable at the end of their current contracts?



We've all grown somewhat attached to Buehrle, Garland, Contreras, etc... for bringing us a championship. However, if you don't have a solid 3 year plan for going for the WS and sustaining success, then you end up doing what the Cubs are doing right now and overpaying for mediocre pitching. With these trades, Kenny has options now that he didn't have before - he's not digging himself in a hole like others have done recently.

ilsox7
12-23-2006, 11:52 PM
But here's my question: It really doesn't bother any of you guys that the White Sox see every member of their World Series rotation as replaceable at the end of their current contracts?

They aren't advertising it, because it wouldn't be a great campaign, but they are not willing to sign pitchers for more than three years. That apparently means they're not even going to attempt to re-sign Buehrle or Garland, and sealed the fate of Garcia. To me this is a big deal, and I can't believe that it wouldn't be for you guys.

I admire the way they have handled their economics in the past. And I don't endorse throwing money at players. But when they're your own guys, they're durable, reasonably consistent (Buehrle's second half, 2006 aside) won you the fricking World Series, shouldn't you go the extra mile?

If they have the ability to replace the pitchers in the rotation and make the team better going forward, then I fully endorse such a philosophy. IMO, Freddy has lost a lot. And all signs point to him getting a big deal next winter that he will not be worth.

In your other column today, you mentioned Mark may be in line for Zito money (or just shy of it). If that's the case, then I'd be very, very hesitant to give him 5 years at $15M or more per. I hope like hell Mark rebounds in 2007, but guys with his type of stuff often seem to have difficulty finding it once they've lost it.

As for Jon, he is signed for another 2 years. I don't see the sense in sitting down with him now and negotiating another contract when they just did that less than 12 months ago.

Jose is quite a bit older. He has also mentioned on several occasions that he has enough money for his family for many generations and that the White Sox feel like home to him. If he has another 2 good years, then the Sox may very well lock him up for a couple of more years. But he'll be pushing his late 30's (at least) by then.

I guess what I do not understand about your columns is that barring any more trades, the 2008 Sox will have Jose, Jon, and Javy in their rotation. The last 2 guys will probably be whoever wins the #5 job in 2007 and one of the 5-6 very good prospects in the system now. The stockpiling of 5-6 good prospects makes it quite likely at least one of them will be ready to go in 2008. If you're lucky (or skilled) enough to have more than 1 ready, then you can look to not offer Javy arbitration or trade for other pieces.

Finally, I think you're placing too much value on the memory of 2005. Everyone around here cherishes it beyond what most people can even comprehend. But if getting rid of a piece of the 2005 team gives us a better chance to win a World Series in 2007, 2008, and/or 2009, then I am all for it. If I ever want to remember someone from that 2005 team, I'll pop in my World Series DVDs, read one of the many books about the season, or read old posts here.

UserNameBlank
12-23-2006, 11:53 PM
I shouldn't do this, but it's the holiday season and every party needs a pinata, so ... when did I write something nice about the Cubs' Jason Marquis signing? I like that they are spending money and adding numbers but it's not exactly a great way to build a baseball team. I don't recall writing a single thing about the Marquis signing, as a matter of fact.

But here's my question: It really doesn't bother any of you guys that the White Sox see every member of their World Series rotation as replaceable at the end of their current contracts?

They aren't advertising it, because it wouldn't be a great campaign, but they are not willing to sign pitchers for more than three years. That apparently means they're not even going to attempt to re-sign Buehrle or Garland, and sealed the fate of Garcia. To me this is a big deal, and I can't believe that it wouldn't be for you guys.

I admire the way they have handled their economics in the past. And I don't endorse throwing money at players. But when they're your own guys, they're durable, reasonably consistent (Buehrle's second half, 2006 aside) won you the fricking World Series, shouldn't you go the extra mile?

Yeah Phil, KW should go the extra mile, which is exactly what he is doing. The Sox aren't going to re-sign Crede at $10-12 mil per year, Dye at like $16 mil per year, Buehrle, Garland, Garcia, and Vazquez all at like $13-16mil per year a piece, Iguchi at $7 or 8mil per year, etc. You know why? Because he can't. The Sox aren't the freakin' Yankees over here.

A lot of Sox fans are skeptical of the recent trades, and rightfully so, but calling KW's philosphy - or at least your own unverified opinion of his philiosphy - despicable, is well, despicable.

No one knows if these guys are going to work out or not but you could at least write about the concerns, risks, and potential benefits without condemning the organization. Three years from now KW could be controlling the best rotation in baseball or he could be looking for a new job.

That said, I'd like to see at least a couple of extensions this offseason to offset all the trades. If KW can lock up Buehrle and maybe Iguchi I'd feel better about this offseason. I wouldn't mind another trade though, especially if it is Vaquez, so long as KW picked up a decent starter in some other deal.

spiffie
12-23-2006, 11:57 PM
Finally, I think you're placing too much value on the memory of 2005. Everyone around here cherishes it beyond what most people can even comprehend. But if getting rid of a piece of the 2005 team gives us a better chance to win a World Series in 2007, 2008, and/or 2009, then I am all for it. If I ever want to remember someone from that 2005 team, I'll pop in my World Series DVDs, read one of the many books about the season, or read old posts here.
I think what we're seeing in action here is the difference between the Cub and Sox cultural mindsets. The Cubs have spent so much energy now on marketing the Cub experience, and the Cub history, that romanticism of that sort is an integral part of the mindset. Thus the idea that Sox fans wouldn't be outraged at the leaving of their towering heroes from the first team to win the WS in generations is unfathomable to that mindset.

TheOldRoman
12-24-2006, 12:01 AM
Contreras will be 38 at the beginning of the 2008 season
Maybe you are onto something. You seem to be the only person forcasting him to age 3 years in the next 15 months. He just turned 35.

Daver
12-24-2006, 12:03 AM
I shouldn't do this, but it's the holiday season and every party needs a pinata, so ... when did I write something nice about the Cubs' Jason Marquis signing? I like that they are spending money and adding numbers but it's not exactly a great way to build a baseball team. I don't recall writing a single thing about the Marquis signing, as a matter of fact.

But here's my question: It really doesn't bother any of you guys that the White Sox see every member of their World Series rotation as replaceable at the end of their current contracts?

They aren't advertising it, because it wouldn't be a great campaign, but they are not willing to sign pitchers for more than three years. That apparently means they're not even going to attempt to re-sign Buehrle or Garland, and sealed the fate of Garcia. To me this is a big deal, and I can't believe that it wouldn't be for you guys.

I admire the way they have handled their economics in the past. And I don't endorse throwing money at players. But when they're your own guys, they're durable, reasonably consistent (Buehrle's second half, 2006 aside) won you the fricking World Series, shouldn't you go the extra mile?

There are two pitchers in the Sox current rotation that I would want back when their contracts are up, Buerhle and Garland, Garland moreso than Buerhle, I'll hold back judgement on Vazquez depending on his performance in 2007. Of the pitchers acquired for Brandon McCarthy, the one no one mentions is the one that intrigues me the most, Jacob Rasner, he has the potential to be a number one starter in 2009/10, and he was a throw in for a career minor league outfielder.

How many contracts for pitchers that exceeded three years have actually worked out for the teams that gave them in the last five years?

Without checking I bet you could count them on one hand.

JB98
12-24-2006, 12:04 AM
I shouldn't do this, but it's the holiday season and every party needs a pinata, so ... when did I write something nice about the Cubs' Jason Marquis signing? I like that they are spending money and adding numbers but it's not exactly a great way to build a baseball team. I don't recall writing a single thing about the Marquis signing, as a matter of fact.

But here's my question: It really doesn't bother any of you guys that the White Sox see every member of their World Series rotation as replaceable at the end of their current contracts?

They aren't advertising it, because it wouldn't be a great campaign, but they are not willing to sign pitchers for more than three years. That apparently means they're not even going to attempt to re-sign Buehrle or Garland, and sealed the fate of Garcia. To me this is a big deal, and I can't believe that it wouldn't be for you guys.

I admire the way they have handled their economics in the past. And I don't endorse throwing money at players. But when they're your own guys, they're durable, reasonably consistent (Buehrle's second half, 2006 aside) won you the fricking World Series, shouldn't you go the extra mile?

Phil, my main beef with your column is you called McCarthy a "polished workhorse." He hasn't done anything to earn that title. Let's see him throw 200 innings in a season at the major-league level. This deal today is prospects-for-prospects, IMO.

I hated the Garcia trade. HATED IT. I wanted something back that could help us immediately in 2007. I'm disappointed that didn't happen.

I would like to see them extend Buerhle. I would have been fuming if Garland was the guy who got traded. Guys who throw 200 innings EVERY YEAR are gold in baseball. I was upset that we parted with one of them for nothing in return. If Kenny had traded two of them, THEN I would be pissed.

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 12:04 AM
Maybe you are onto something. You seem to be the only person forcasting him to age 3 years in the next 15 months. He just turned 35.

I think that's a fairly optimistic age for Jose. Maybe he really is 35, but there seems to be a strong concensus out there that he's a few years older. Regardless, he'll be 37 or 38 when his current contract ends.

Vernam
12-24-2006, 12:06 AM
I shouldn't do this, but it's the holiday season and every party needs a pinata, so ... Oh goody, I was going to bake more cookies, but taking a whack at Phil is way more fun. :cool:

when did I write something nice about the Cubs' Jason Marquis signing? I like that they are spending money and adding numbers but it's not exactly a great way to build a baseball team. I don't recall writing a single thing about the Marquis signing, as a matter of fact.In our book, calling the Cubs' rotation "set" qualifies as praise of Marquis, especially in comparison to your vile comment about the Sox' management as "despicable." Biased much?

But here's my question: It really doesn't bother any of you guys that the White Sox see every member of their World Series rotation as replaceable at the end of their current contracts?No, what would bother me is a GM who clings to pitchers' performance of two or three years ago as a reliable indicator of what they'll be capable of three or more years from NOW. That's exactly how your franchise got into the toilet where it resides. Um, no thanks.

They aren't advertising it, because it wouldn't be a great campaign, but they are not willing to sign pitchers for more than three years. That apparently means they're not even going to attempt to re-sign Buehrle or Garland, and sealed the fate of Garcia. To me this is a big deal, and I can't believe that it wouldn't be for you guys. I'm tempted to change the subject to what the Cubs are "selling," but that would be too damn easy. You might not guess it from the sports radio phone calls, but Sox fans are a pretty discerning lot. We're not easy to hoodwink, and we don't cling blindly to hope when the team doesn't merit it. Isn't that the big knock against Sox fans, that they're not as loyal as the Cubs' fans? Bull****. We're loyal as hell. Kenny Williams is little more than one year past the city's first championship in any of our lifetimes. That earns him a lot of slack with most of us. Sorry to disappoint.

Re-sign Garland? He has two more years on his deal! Re-sign Buehrle? Let's see how he does in 2007. Your latest "On Baseball" digest is choice -- we should open the coffers up to Buehrle because he might have another year like 2004? Because he was key to the 2005 championship? The Sox are to be condemned because they don't believe in signing pitchers for longer than three years? It's called fiscal prudence, and they have no choice but to practice it, despite your and your colleagues' efforts to goad the team into participating in the ridiculous spending that Hendry has helped trigger.

How is that Kerry Wood contract working out for you guys, by the way? Kind of jealous the Sox just got more in return for their 2006 sixth starter than the Cubs could get for their Messiah, Mark Prior?

I admire the way they have handled their economics in the past. And I don't endorse throwing money at players. But when they're your own guys, they're durable, reasonably consistent (Buehrle's second half, 2006 aside) won you the fricking World Series, shouldn't you go the extra mile?Sentiment has no place in decisions like that, and you're smart enough to realize it. I don't want our rotation in 2007 -- much less 2010 -- predicated on what anyone did in 2005. I wish those guys (Contreras, Buehrle, Garland, Garcia) all the best. They'll get their money, so stop worrying about 'em, Phil. And while you're at it, quit insulting our intelligence. Most Sox fans will feel just fine if our season-ticket money goes to keeping the team consistently in contention instead of in a state of frozen animation hoping 2005 will never end.

Vernam

progers13
12-24-2006, 12:07 AM
No, they're not the Yankees, and yes, you always have to make tough choices. The White Sox face more than their share the next couple years, which speaks to the nice job they've done assembling talent. As for running down the organization, I don't think I've done that. I have criticized some decisions, just as I criticized just about every move the Cubs made last winter. It's my job to decipher this stuff the best I can.

One thing I know is that reliable rotations are really tough to build. I'd have no problem with the White Sox picking and choosing among the starters, identifying two or three to build around, and trying to get those guys signed. It does make sense to bring in some young guys to keep costs down and keep fresh faces flowing onto the roster. But replacing everyone except your oldest starter -- Jose Contreras -- in a 24-month period strikes me as seriously over the top.

Two quick points: The Sox haven't signed a pitcher for more than three years since Jaime Navarro in 1996 (which has worked out fine, yes), and have made it clear they aren't going to change that unwritten policy with the current group of starters. And, two, Jon Garland was essentially traded the day after Freddy Garcia; the Sox flinched when they found out Taylor Buchholz had previously had surgery on his labrum. I was really surprised they'd consider trading Garland with two years to go on his contract, but they came darn close.

Would they have traded McCarthy after already trading Garcia and Garland? I hope not.

gf2020
12-24-2006, 12:10 AM
It really doesn't bother any of you guys that the White Sox see every member of their World Series rotation as replaceable at the end of their current contracts?

They aren't advertising it, because it wouldn't be a great campaign, but they are not willing to sign pitchers for more than three years. That apparently means they're not even going to attempt to re-sign Buehrle or Garland, and sealed the fate of Garcia. To me this is a big deal, and I can't believe that it wouldn't be for you guys.

I admire the way they have handled their economics in the past. And I don't endorse throwing money at players. But when they're your own guys, they're durable, reasonably consistent (Buehrle's second half, 2006 aside) won you the fricking World Series, shouldn't you go the extra mile?

We had Garland, Garcia, Buerhle and Contreras in the rotation this year and we stayed home this October. The best you can really expect of that group is to maintain their current pace and most likely, especially in the cases of Garcia and Contreras, they are likely to decline to varying degrees. If we couldn't win a title with them at their most healthy and with a great offense in 2006, why would be able to do so in 2009 or 2010?

I was a little upset and confused by the McCarthy trade when I first heard about it, but I would be downright infuriated if Kenny Williams signed Garcia to a 4 year, 50 million dollar deal.

UserNameBlank
12-24-2006, 12:11 AM
I think what we're seeing in action here is the difference between the Cub and Sox cultural mindsets. The Cubs have spent so much energy now on marketing the Cub experience, and the Cub history, that romanticism of that sort is an integral part of the mindset. Thus the idea that Sox fans wouldn't be outraged at the leaving of their towering heroes from the first team to win the WS in generations is unfathomable to that mindset.

I think people take the whole Sox fan vs. Cub fan thing way too far. Baseball knowledge and experience aside, hardcore Cub fans don't have any different mindset than hardcore Sox fans. Both groups demand success year after year, complain when they don't get it, overreact to personel decisions, and think they know everything. The only difference is the Sox don't have a bunch of morons working in their front office.

Had the Cubs won the WS in 2003, I doubt anyone would care who left the team so long as the next years' team repeated. If not, every move that season and that offseason would be criticized just as much as it is here.

SABRSox
12-24-2006, 12:13 AM
Hey Phil, where was all this love for players when Frank Thomas left town?

Sorry, but I'm not shedding a tear for Brandon McCarthy, who didn't really do all that much during his time here. And I'm not shedding a tear for Freddy Garcia. Sure, he pitched great in 2005, and he was magnificent during that game in Anaheim I had the privilege to watch in person last September, but these players are hardly Sox greats.

Buehrle, maybe I'll lament his absence, I like him a lot as a player, but certainly not as much as the Big Hurt, whom the sportswriters in this town rode out on a rail. He was the greatest Sox ever. His leaving was way more upsetting than Freddy "I only come to pitch in the big games" Garcia. Where was all this love then? Huh? If anyone deserved this treatment it was Frank.

And if you truly want to criticize, criticize the Jim Hendry's of the baseball world. His idiocy in contract negotiations is the reason for this so-called "mess."

JB98
12-24-2006, 12:16 AM
No, they're not the Yankees, and yes, you always have to make tough choices. The White Sox face more than their share the next couple years, which speaks to the nice job they've done assembling talent. As for running down the organization, I don't think I've done that. I have criticized some decisions, just as I criticized just about every move the Cubs made last winter. It's my job to decipher this stuff the best I can.

One thing I know is that reliable rotations are really tough to build. I'd have no problem with the White Sox picking and choosing among the starters, identifying two or three to build around, and trying to get those guys signed. It does make sense to bring in some young guys to keep costs down and keep fresh faces flowing onto the roster. But replacing everyone except your oldest starter -- Jose Contreras -- in a 24-month period strikes me as seriously over the top.

Two quick points: The Sox haven't signed a pitcher for more than three years since Jaime Navarro in 1996 (which has worked out fine, yes), and have made it clear they aren't going to change that unwritten policy with the current group of starters. And, two, Jon Garland was essentially traded the day after Freddy Garcia; the Sox flinched when they found out Taylor Buchholz had previously had surgery on his labrum. I was really surprised they'd consider trading Garland with two years to go on his contract, but they came darn close.

Would they have traded McCarthy after already trading Garcia and Garland? I hope not.

If they had traded Garland, I'd be throwing this damn computer out the window. But they didn't. It would be insanity to trade a pitcher that is 36-17 the last two years, throws 200 innings every year, is still young and is under contract for two more seasons. In this market, he's a bargain at No. 3 starter.

I think you'd see some serious outrage here if two of the veterans had been unloaded in the same offseason. Certainly, everyone here is in the mindset that the Sox need to go for it all in 2007, especially with the uncertain contract status of both Dye and Crede. Maybe management is thinking something else, but I sure hope not. All the stuff about Garland maybe came close to happening, but it didn't happen. So I can't agree with the assessment that management is white-flagging or packing in next year in order to build for the long haul.

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 12:17 AM
Which two or three would you pick, Phil? Jon is already locked up for 2 more years. Why not let some time go by and see how things play out with him?

Jose is not exactly a spring chicken, so why not at least see how he looks this year?

Javy, well, I like Javy more than most here. But we really need to see if a year of Coop has harnessed his potential.

As for Mark, I think if he has a good/great 2007, the Sox may be willing to violate their unwritten policy. Didn't they do the same thing with Konerko by giving him 5 years? Didn't that show that JR will occasionally break his own unwritten rules? I think the biggest question with Mark is not whether the Sox would break their unwritten rule, but whether Mark can pitch at an All-Star caliber again.

Also, just how reliable is this rotation? Did last year scare anyone else? What if Mark's future really is what we saw in 2006? What if Javy is always going to be a 5 inning pitcher? Are these really guys we want to lock in now for 4 or 5 years, potentially crippling this team for the future?

Vernam
12-24-2006, 12:18 AM
As for running down the organization, I don't think I've done that. I have criticized some decisions, just as I criticized just about every move the Cubs made last winter. It's my job to decipher this stuff the best I can.Just today you wrote, "This is a despicable plan, not just because it puts economics ahead of competitiveness but because it guarantees that guys who brought a World Series parade to Chicago are going to be leaving town too soon, maybe still in their primes."

Care to rephrase one of those statements? Either you erred in saying you haven't "run down" the Sox, or your "despicable" comment is surely something you want to take back.

Vernam

Flight #24
12-24-2006, 12:19 AM
Would they have traded McCarthy after already trading Garcia and Garland? I hope not.

2 things Phil (and by the way, while I don't think very highly of your article to put it mildly, I commend you for showing up to take the heat):

1) Kenny's on record as saying that he both refuses to go through "5st starter roulette" of a few years ago, and that he does NOT have any payroll constraints. I.e. it's his decision as to what guys are worth or if there's better value elsewhere. That's exactly what I want my GM to do. I'd love to keep Jon, Mark, etc. But if my GM thinks that he can get the same performance out of another guy at a lower price and then upgrade elsewhere, that's exactly what I want him to do.

2) I seriously doubt they would have traded Brandon had they traded Jon. Similarly, I think one of the advantages they now have with their plethora of power arms is the ability to take more chances with their veteran starters. So if they give a 4-5 year deal and the out years don't work out, they have the ability to swap in a Rasner type of guy, which mitigates the risk inherent in the contract. In fact, if you know Mark's a goner, doesn't that mean you keep Brandon, who's at least given some indication that he can be a solid major league starter rather than taking a higher-upside/higher-risk shot on Danks? Why isn't that angle being discussed in the local media?

And a bonus question:
3) Given KW's penchant for "chasing" guys and ending up acquiring them combined with his tendency to go for the throat with big deals, why no talk that this stockpiling may well presage another deal? For example, it's been rumored that Tampa will only trade Crawford/Baldelli for multiple good young pitchers. The Sox now have a plethora of them.

progers13
12-24-2006, 12:19 AM
Yes, the Tribune Co. owns the Cubs, but that doesn't make them my team. It's a complicated concept and a losing argument for me, but I thought I'd throw this in here so that no one thinks I'm accepting your position. And why is there the need by so many people to think that what is written or said about one team has anything to do with the other?

I didn't write the White Sox should give Buehrle a Barry Zito contract right now. I wrote they are in a difficult position because his numbers can be compared to Zito. And I'm not saying that Garland or Vazquez should be extended now. But assuming all these guys pitch well next season, you'd want to look toward building around at least two guys from the Buehrle-Garland-Vazquez mix beyond 2008. These guys aren't fossils.

It really surprises me that I'm more sentimentally attached to the likes of Buehrle and Garland than so many of you guys seem to be. All they are is everything you'd want a pro athlete to be -- except cheap.

UserNameBlank
12-24-2006, 12:21 AM
No, they're not the Yankees, and yes, you always have to make tough choices. The White Sox face more than their share the next couple years, which speaks to the nice job they've done assembling talent. As for running down the organization, I don't think I've done that. I have criticized some decisions, just as I criticized just about every move the Cubs made last winter. It's my job to decipher this stuff the best I can.

One thing I know is that reliable rotations are really tough to build. I'd have no problem with the White Sox picking and choosing among the starters, identifying two or three to build around, and trying to get those guys signed. It does make sense to bring in some young guys to keep costs down and keep fresh faces flowing onto the roster. But replacing everyone except your oldest starter -- Jose Contreras -- in a 24-month period strikes me as seriously over the top.

Two quick points: The Sox haven't signed a pitcher for more than three years since Jaime Navarro in 1996 (which has worked out fine, yes), and have made it clear they aren't going to change that unwritten policy with the current group of starters. And, two, Jon Garland was essentially traded the day after Freddy Garcia; the Sox flinched when they found out Taylor Buchholz had previously had surgery on his labrum. I was really surprised they'd consider trading Garland with two years to go on his contract, but they came darn close.

Would they have traded McCarthy after already trading Garcia and Garland? I hope not.

Contreras, when healthy, is a bargain. If it was Game 7 of the WS tomorrow, I'd take him on the mound over any one of the Sox 2006 starters. He is just the most unhittable pitcher they have when he's on. Age is of course a factor, and because of this his value isn't going to be as high as Garland's, Mark's, or Javy's because of that.

I think everyone was surprised that KW would be willing to trade Garland, but I guess he really liked Hirsch. As far as another starter being traded, I think there might be rumors about other pitchers but the only way I see that happening is if KW gets a young MLB starter in return. There were rumors about a Santana for Crede deal, and if that is ever revisited I could see that move going down and leading to the dealing of another starter.

Pitching is a valuable commodity, as valuable as they come, but I wouldn't object to another SP being traded in the right deal. Not only would the Sox be in awesome position for the future, but they could perhaps swing a deal for a real young superstar - someone of the Miguel Cabrera type. I know it sounds really far off, but if the Marlins were interested, the Sox certainly have the pieces right now to make such a deal.

spiffie
12-24-2006, 12:22 AM
Maybe you are onto something. You seem to be the only person forcasting him to age 3 years in the next 15 months. He just turned 35.
My bad. I thought he was born in 1969. He'll be a young and sprightly 36 1/2 at the start of the 2008 season.

infohawk
12-24-2006, 12:23 AM
As for the whole economics argument, where is his evidence? The Sox are increasing payroll in 2007. What they are NOT doing is spending recklessly on other mediocre baseball players. Some of the contracts this winter are going to haunt teams 3 years from now. The Sox will not have that problem. This paragraph also wreaks of 1985 Bears syndrome. As much as I love the guys who won it all in 2005, that should have no impact on the future of this team. The Sox need to do what's best to win in the future, not appease the memories of 2005.
Amen to that! It's one thing to celebrate the past. It's quite another to idolize it. Too many teams that have experienced success sputter because they try to replay the last season during the current season. It's like military generals always trying to fight the last war. Trying to recreate the exact same formula from a past success blinds people to the changes that could actually lead to even more success.

The Sox still have four veteran starters, three of whom fueled the World Series Championship run. While they traded one away along with his heir apparent, they have managed to bring in a veritable stable of young, electric-armed major league-ready pitching depth. There will be a lively competition for the fifth slot in the rotation. It's not like the Sox will be auditioning cast-offs, waiver wire fodder and double A pitchers.

The biggest improvement will be the bullpen, which I will always insist cost us the playoffs in 2006. The veteran rotation Phil is lauding didn't exactly light it up last year and the Sox still won 90 games. The bullpen was the difference. The offense actually performed pretty well. They didn't execute the little things as well as in 2005, but it's always been a bit of a myth that the Sox won with small ball. They hit a lot of homers, particularly multi-run homers in 2005. Not to mention they did a superior job of keeping opponents from scoring a lot of runs. The offense actually performed better last year, but had more pressure to score additional runs because the starting pitching wasn't as good and, most importantly, the bullpen was giving it up left and right. How many times did the Sox get a lead and immediately surrender it back?

I would love to get a Carl Crawford-type player, but I think it's an exaggeration that the Sox have significant problems in leftfield and centerfield that absolutely "must" be addressed. Scott Podsednik and Brian Anderson weren't the primary reasons the Sox didn't make the playoffs. Buerhle's inconsistency, Vazquez's sixth inning blues, Contreras' post-injury problems and the general suckage of Cotts and Pollite had far more to do with it. Freddy didn't have a particularly good season either, and is the perfect example of why the "wins" statistic is meaningless. He lucked out tremendously with great run support during many of his starts.

Look, I like Phil Rogers, but there's a reason he's a journalist and KW is a GM -- with a World Series ring to boot! One more thing, Phil wrote an article prior to the 2003 season arguing that the Sox had an exceedingly good chance to make the playoffs that season because they had three or four pitchers who had thrown at least 200 innings the year before. His thinking was that, since the previous two or three World Series champions had multiple 200 inning guys, he must have stumbled across some hidden key to success. Well, we know how 2003 turned out, don't we?

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 12:26 AM
Yes, the Tribune Co. owns the Cubs, but that doesn't make them my team. It's a complicated concept and a losing argument for me, but I thought I'd throw this in here so that no one thinks I'm accepting your position. And why is there the need by so many people to think that what is written or said about one team has anything to do with the other?

I didn't write the White Sox should give Buehrle a Barry Zito contract right now. I wrote they are in a difficult position because his numbers can be compared to Zito. And I'm not saying that Garland or Vazquez should be extended now. But assuming all these guys pitch well next season, you'd want to look toward building around at least two guys from the Buehrle-Garland-Vazquez mix beyond 2008. These guys aren't fossils.

It really surprises me that I'm more sentimentally attached to the likes of Buehrle and Garland than so many of you guys seem to be. All they are is everything you'd want a pro athlete to be -- except cheap.

So if you are not thinking they should extend any of the guys now, what makes you think they won't consider it at a later date? As I previously said, the Sox have violated preiously unwritten rules (Konerko). So why is that not possible again?

As someone else mentioned, with the stockpile of young arms, it makes it more likely the Sox may give a 4 year deal to Mark if he shows his stuff in 2007. I guess I just do not see how with having 4/5 of the 2007 rotation (assuming the #5 is one of the young guys) under the Sox control for 2008, how that means they are not locking up a reliable rotation.

As for the sentimental aspect of it all, I guess I am just more focused on putting the absolute best team on the field. Especially in this day and age, I root for the logo. I have some favorites on the Sox, sure, but if trading or not re-signing one of them makes the team better, I am all for it. I can still look back at their time with the Sox with pride and buy them a beer at the bar if I ever see them (as I did with John Rooney in July).

TheOldRoman
12-24-2006, 12:26 AM
It doesn't bother me at all that KW won't follow the other GMs and give out ridiculous contracts. This was an odd year for free agents. The talent pool was really bad, and after a few teams throwing around money like drunken sailors (Cubs and Red Sox), the market exploded. Unless anyone foresees all teams' payroll increasing 50% in the next few years, salaries will settle down a little. If trash like Carlos Lee is getting $16 million a year, what would a legitimate power hitter get? A-Rod is a bargain compared to that. Pujols might get $30 million a year when compared to Lee. Will that happen? I don't think so. In the coming years, when top talent hits the market, they will probably get the similar contracts to Lee and Soriano. In the meanwhile, Soriano will get slower, and won't match his career high OBP of last year. And the Astros will be peddling a 350lb Carlos Lee to any team willing to take his salary.

Reinsdorf has shown that he will spend money if the fans come. Fans came in 05, he spent in 06. Fans came in 06, he will spend more in 07. The fans will come out again in 07, so he will spend more in 08. If the Sox do get rid of all four starters, where are they going to spend the $100+ million? They WILL spend it, so they aren't slashing payroll. It woudldn't bother me a bit to see Garland or Buehrle succeed elsewhere if we had a bargian basement front line rotation with Miguel Cabrera in LF or another top player brought into the fold.

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 12:28 AM
I think everyone was surprised that KW would be willing to trade Garland, but I guess he really liked Hirsch.



Since I am pretty much turning into KW's biggest supporter around here, I thought I'd mention that I was SHOCKED he was shopping Garland. I would havea very, very difficult time supporting a trade of him.

progers13
12-24-2006, 12:29 AM
"Despicable'' is a strong word, and yes, sometimes I use strong words. Writers will do that. But I said the plan was despicable, not the organization. There's a difference.

As for Frank Thomas getting run out of town, no, I don't think so -- not by writers, anyway. Ken Williams had more issues with him than any of us. Personally, my feelings for Frank were conflicted, and I'm sure what I wrote about him hasn't been consistent. Great hitter, poor front man for an organization (not necessarily part of his job description) and a guy whose body unfortunately gave out on him. He did not have serious contract issues until his body did start giving out on him. He was treated very fairly by his organization.

DrCrawdad
12-24-2006, 12:30 AM
Yes, the Tribune Co. owns the Cubs, but that doesn't make them my team. It's a complicated concept and a losing argument for me, but I thought I'd throw this in here so that no one thinks I'm accepting your position. And why is there the need by so many people to think that what is written or said about one team has anything to do with the other?

...It really surprises me that I'm more sentimentally attached to the likes of Buehrle and Garland than so many of you guys seem to be. All they are is everything you'd want a pro athlete to be -- except cheap.

As was said by someone else here, thanks for coming by.

Please explain your reasoning behind calling McCarthy a "polished workhorse." When I read that initially I assumed you were talking about Garcia, but on a 2nd read it seems as though you're referring to 23 yr old with 150 odd IP in two years. That does not strike me as a "workhorse" and I'm not sure if "polished" is due at this stage either.

spiffie
12-24-2006, 12:31 AM
Yes, the Tribune Co. owns the Cubs, but that doesn't make them my team. It's a complicated concept and a losing argument for me, but I thought I'd throw this in here so that no one thinks I'm accepting your position. And why is there the need by so many people to think that what is written or said about one team has anything to do with the other?

I didn't write the White Sox should give Buehrle a Barry Zito contract right now. I wrote they are in a difficult position because his numbers can be compared to Zito. And I'm not saying that Garland or Vazquez should be extended now. But assuming all these guys pitch well next season, you'd want to look toward building around at least two guys from the Buehrle-Garland-Vazquez mix beyond 2008. These guys aren't fossils.

It really surprises me that I'm more sentimentally attached to the likes of Buehrle and Garland than so many of you guys seem to be. All they are is everything you'd want a pro athlete to be -- except cheap.
I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say this has nothing to do with your bosses, as I've seen a lot of people who don't get Trib paychecks saying the same thing only with a lot more profanity and venom.

I think the thing that's being misinterpreted is our attachment to players. I love Mark Buehrle as much as a heterosexual man can love another man who he has never met. Same with Jon Garland. But I have loved a lot of White Sox players who are not with this team any more. And I still love a lot of them. I love Freddy Garcia for what he meant to the 2005 team, and I am hopeful he does well every game he pitches unless its against us. But what I truly love is this organization, this shared history, this community of players, organization, and fans. And if an individual, even one as likeable and meaningful as Buehrle or Garland, can through being let go make for a better team, I will support that to the bitter end. And as of now, I have seen no meaningful argument that letting these guys go would be a bad baseball decision. The argument has been wrapped up in sentimentality and talk of economics, but at no point has the question come up for whether a $70 million rotation of Buehrle, Contreras, Vazquez, Garland, and a fifth young guy would be a better baseball decision than one where most if not all of these guys are gone. Outside of Garland, there's not one guy there I am sure I would really want under contract for $12-18 million a year come 2010 or 2011, which is where a contract extension for any of them would likely have to go out towards.

Brian26
12-24-2006, 12:32 AM
But when they're your own guys, they're durable, reasonably consistent (Buehrle's second half, 2006 aside) won you the fricking World Series, shouldn't you go the extra mile?

First of all, it takes a stand-up guy to answer criticism in person, so you've once again earned my respect (the other time was at the book signing last March).

Second- I don't necessarily think the Sox are not going to re-sign Buehrle and Garland. The Sox haven't had to deal with a pitcher hitting free agency since Bartolo Colon, and didn't they offer him four years and the richest contract in team history? I have a feeling Buehrle and Garland will be retained, and Contreras and Vazquez will walk. Just my gut feeling...

UserNameBlank
12-24-2006, 12:32 AM
Since I am pretty much turning into KW's biggest supporter around here, I thought I'd mention that I was SHOCKED he was shopping Garland. I would havea very, very difficult time supporting a trade of him.

Same here. Infield defense is one of our biggest assets and Jon takes full advantage of that.

gf2020
12-24-2006, 12:32 AM
It really surprises me that I'm more sentimentally attached to the likes of Buehrle and Garland than so many of you guys seem to be. All they are is everything you'd want a pro athlete to be -- except cheap.

How many times has Buehrle made a comments in the media about joining the Cardinals? Four? Five? This is at a time when he is being paid millions of dollars by the team I support to play a game that many would pay for free. I want pro athletes who are loyal to their employers and show respect for the fans who cheer for them. I love Buehrle and think he can win be a 300 game winner someday, but let's get some perspective. Why should I grow sentimentally attached to someone like that?

I understand why somebody in the media would like someone like McCarthy and be sorry to see him go. But why should fans care if they deal somebody who complained about their role in the media? I could give a crap about if someone is a great quote. I'm also curious how Brandon qualifies as a) polished and b) as a workhorse.

spiffie
12-24-2006, 12:35 AM
As for Frank Thomas getting run out of town, no, I don't think so -- not by writers, anyway. Ken Williams had more issues with him than any of us. Personally, my feelings for Frank were conflicted, and I'm sure what I wrote about him hasn't been consistent. Great hitter, poor front man for an organization (not necessarily part of his job description) and a guy whose body unfortunately gave out on him. He did not have serious contract issues until his body did start giving out on him. He was treated very fairly by his organization.
I can think of a lot of media guys who I wish would read the bold part of this quote and learn from it.

Mohoney
12-24-2006, 12:35 AM
But here's my question: It really doesn't bother any of you guys that the White Sox see every member of their World Series rotation as replaceable at the end of their current contracts?

They aren't advertising it, because it wouldn't be a great campaign, but they are not willing to sign pitchers for more than three years. That apparently means they're not even going to attempt to re-sign Buehrle or Garland, and sealed the fate of Garcia. To me this is a big deal, and I can't believe that it wouldn't be for you guys.

This is what I have a problem with. You are asserting, IN PRINT, that every single member of the 2005 team, when they get to 1 or 2 years remaining on their contracts, is going to be traded off in a "salary dump". You allude, IN PRINT, to a blatant unwillingness on Reinsdorf's part to spend money.

You have NO FACTS to back this up, but you run with it anyway. On top of it, you just so happen to spin this "cheap Sox ownership" conspiracy theory in a paper that IS A BUSINESS PARTNER OF THE CHICAGO CUBS.

Sorry, Mr. Rogers, but I'm going to need some actual proof (perhaps starting with, I don't know, the 2007 payroll ACTUALLY GETTING LOWER THAN THE 2006 PAYROLL), or else I'll start making assertions of my own, starting with this: everything you guys print about the Sox, besides box scores, is nothing more than a nutty-brown pile of bull****.

oeo
12-24-2006, 12:38 AM
One thing I know is that reliable rotations are really tough to build. I'd have no problem with the White Sox picking and choosing among the starters, identifying two or three to build around, and trying to get those guys signed. It does make sense to bring in some young guys to keep costs down and keep fresh faces flowing onto the roster. But replacing everyone except your oldest starter -- Jose Contreras -- in a 24-month period strikes me as seriously over the top.

They replaced everyone?

Excuse me, but how do you know that all the starters will be let go? You have about as good idea about that as you did about the Sox trading McCarthy (aka NONE). If any of us have learned anything about Kenny Williams, it's that he's never doing what everyone thinks he's doing. The guy built a championship team, I have full faith in him that he can sustain it.

progers13
12-24-2006, 12:39 AM
No, Brandon McCarthy hasn't racked up big-league innings, but he's a horse, and he's awfully polished for a young age. He led his minor leagues in innings and strikeouts in 2002 and '03 and would have again in '04 had his 174 innings not been spread out over three levels. He finished extremely strong after a stressful '05 and physically handled the move to the bullpen OK in '06 although it doesn't seem to have helped his development. I think the point I was making is that he's a much safer choice than Danks or Masset, although there's much to be said for both.

progers13
12-24-2006, 12:41 AM
Dave, good catch on Rasner, although I'm not surprised you were on top of that. I mention him in my column.

JB98
12-24-2006, 12:42 AM
First of all, it takes a stand-up guy to answer criticism in person, so you've once again earned my respect (the other time was at the book signing last March).

Second- I don't necessarily think the Sox are not going to resign Buehrle and Garland. The Sox haven't had to deal with a pitcher hitting free agency since Bartolo Colon, and didn't they offer him four years and the richest contract in team history? I have a feeling Buehrle and Garland will be retained, and Contreras and Vazquez will walk. Just my gut feeling...

I think the organization feels they have to see what Buerhle does this year before they offer him a deal, and I can live with that. Personally, I'd extend him now. That's just how much faith I have in him. Buerhle and Garland are guys who grew up in the Sox organization. For that reason, I'd like to see them remain in Silver and Black over the long haul. In today's baseball, that's probably a little too idealistic.

Contreras and Garcia were pretty much mercenaries. Trading Garcia in of itself wasn't a big deal to me. I was just unhappy with the package we got in return. Like I said, this McCarthy deal is prospects-for-prospects. I don't see him as a "polished workhorse." I saw him as somebody that we were hoping would live up to the hype.

Daver
12-24-2006, 12:42 AM
No, Brandon McCarthy hasn't racked up big-league innings, but he's a horse, and he's awfully polished for a young age. He led his minor leagues in innings and strikeouts in 2002 and '03 and would have again in '04 had his 174 innings not been spread out over three levels. He finished extremely strong after a stressful '05 and physically handled the move to the bullpen OK in '06 although it doesn't seem to have helped his development. I think the point I was making is that he's a much safer choice than Danks or Masset, although there's much to be said for both.


You're assuming his replacement is limited to Danks, or Masset, where the fact is his replacement could be Haeger, Phillips, Floyd, Danks, or Sisco.

SABRSox
12-24-2006, 12:43 AM
As for Frank Thomas getting run out of town, no, I don't think so -- not by writers, anyway. Ken Williams had more issues with him than any of us. Personally, my feelings for Frank were conflicted, and I'm sure what I wrote about him hasn't been consistent. Great hitter, poor front man for an organization (not necessarily part of his job description) and a guy whose body unfortunately gave out on him. He did not have serious contract issues until his body did start giving out on him. He was treated very fairly by his organization.

You're right about Kenny's issues with Frank, and I'll give you that it was ultimately Kenny's decision to not retain Frank, but you can't be serious about the writers.

The roided up Sosa got more love than Thomas ever did from the writers in this town. Even after Sosa was outed in front of that house committee for the lying, cheating roider he is, Thomas still never got the respect he deserved. I swear, some writers in this town seemingly took pleasure in Frank's shortcomings and injuries.

Anyway, what this has to do with the current Sox plan is that I'm not going to let sentimentality cloud my judgement of this team unless it's a player of Frank's caliber, and frankly, none of the guys on the current roster come close to that. Buehrle is the closest, but he's got about another 100 wins in a Sox uniform to get there.

gf2020
12-24-2006, 12:49 AM
Well, Phil, I think it's really cool that you would come here and defend your point of views with the fan base. Even though I vehemently disagree with your characterization of this particular organizational mindset, I still love your work. Despite a lot of errors in its first printing, your book on the title team was a great read. Sometimes I am so hyped up for your Sunday column that I look for it via googlenews Saturday mornings.

I find it somewhat ironic that you are more sentimental about White Sox players than a lot of us, but maybe that's because you were a lot closer to the team than a lot of us. I just think a lot of us have seen what little good sentimentality has done for any baseball team, no matter the caliber of the players involved. I just keep thinking of the Angels GM who reacted to his World Series title by saying that he wanted his team to be "more of the same" and has sat out a few postseasons since then.

progers13
12-24-2006, 12:49 AM
I didn't write that they were being cheap or that they were going to replace everybody on the '05 team. I have written that they're not going to re-sign Buehrle after 2007 and Garland and Vazquez after 2008, and I haven't had anyone with the team say that's not right. They have said they're not going to do four or five year contracts for pitchers, even if it's the going rate. Maybe they will keep Buehrle and Garland. But the time to do that is before they reach free agency, not after. You shouldn't expect they'll keep them after they hit free agency just because they kept Konerko that way.

tebman
12-24-2006, 12:50 AM
Yes, the Tribune Co. owns the Cubs, but that doesn't make them my team. It's a complicated concept and a losing argument for me, but I thought I'd throw this in here so that no one thinks I'm accepting your position. And why is there the need by so many people to think that what is written or said about one team has anything to do with the other?

I didn't write the White Sox should give Buehrle a Barry Zito contract right now. I wrote they are in a difficult position because his numbers can be compared to Zito. And I'm not saying that Garland or Vazquez should be extended now. But assuming all these guys pitch well next season, you'd want to look toward building around at least two guys from the Buehrle-Garland-Vazquez mix beyond 2008. These guys aren't fossils.

It really surprises me that I'm more sentimentally attached to the likes of Buehrle and Garland than so many of you guys seem to be. All they are is everything you'd want a pro athlete to be -- except cheap.
Phil, thanks for posting. We appreciate it.

Having said that, I'm sure you understand why we get testy when something is published in the Cubs' corporate sibling that suggests that the White Sox should be spending bigger money like some other teams (ahem) are doing.

You mentioned Navarro -- a mistake that the Sox have vowed not to repeat. In fact, going all the way back to Floyd Bannister, the Sox front office has been gun-shy about long contracts for pitchers, and for good reason. You should know better than we do that pitchers are too easily damaged. You're mystified that we don't seem to have enough sentimental attachment to Garland and Buehrle and the rest of the '05 staff, but we do! It's just that we have a stronger attachment to long-term success, and Ken Williams has shown that he has a realistic plan to do that.

We love our players. But we also love attending World Series parades, even if Rick Morrissey thinks half of the crowd were Cub fans.

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 12:53 AM
I didn't write that they were being cheap or that they were going to replace everybody on the '05 team. I have written that they're not going to re-sign Buehrle after 2007 and Garland and Vazquez after 2008, and I haven't had anyone with the team say that's not right. They have said they're not going to do four or five year contracts for pitchers, even if it's the going rate. Maybe they will keep Buehrle and Garland. But the time to do that is before they reach free agency, not after. You shouldn't expect they'll keep them after they hit free agency just because they kept Konerko that way.

I think the Buehrle-Konerko situations are very similar. The Sox would not sit down with PK b/c they had some questions about his ability going into 2005. I think the same rings true about Mark going into 2007. The Sox also but the bullet with PK after 2005 b/c he was one of the faces of the franchise, had a great year, and led them to a title.

Is it certain that if Mark has a great year the Sox will re-sign him? Not at all. But I also think it would be irresponsible to give him 4-5 years at $15M per right now. There are too many questions surrounding him to do that. But there is recent precedent the Sox will break unwritten rules in certain circumstances. There is a chance Mark will be one of those circumstances.

Brian26
12-24-2006, 12:54 AM
Maybe they will keep Buehrle and Garland. But the time to do that is before they reach free agency, not after.

For what its worth, Kenny was quoted in an mlb article by Scott Merkin on the Sox official site that (before the Freddy trade) he was negotiating with one of his two starters due to be FA after '07, but he was asked to keep the negotiations private, and he wished to due that out of respect for that player.

Garcia was traded a few days later. Putting two and two together, I'd like to think he's working on something with Buehrle.

Mohoney
12-24-2006, 12:59 AM
I didn't write that they were being cheap

Yes, you did.

"This is a despicable plan, not just because it puts economics ahead of competitiveness but because it guarantees that guys who brought a World Series parade to Chicago are going to be leaving town too soon, maybe still in their primes."

I'm sorry to bust chops, but come on. You did write this.

progers13
12-24-2006, 01:00 AM
Dave, yes, there are other choices to replace McCarthy, but when you're trading McCarthy don't the guys you get have to be better for it to be a wise move? And with a team trying to get to the World Series, shouldn't their 2007 readiness be a big issue? That's how it seems to me. I do like watching young pitchers, and the White Sox now have a bunch of them. I think Phillips could be a huge surprise, and Haeger definitely has a chance. Ditto Broadway, McCullough, maybe even a Lucas Harrell or Jack Egbert.

I'm not a very sentimental guy. But I do have tons of respect for Buehrle and Garland, and hate that it seems like the White Sox are closing the door to keeping them long term. And I've also covered many, many also-ran teams with shaky starting pitching. I think it's a big, big risk to dismantle a reliable rotation, which is what the White Sox seem resigned to doing.

UserNameBlank
12-24-2006, 01:01 AM
"Despicable'' is a strong word, and yes, sometimes I use strong words. Writers will do that. But I said the plan was despicable, not the organization. There's a difference.

What is the difference? If the plan an organization follows is desicable then how would the organization not be despicable, at least right now?

Look, economics are always a factor. Competitiveness and economics go hand in hand. Signing several players to outrageous contracts is not economical, nor does it make a team competitive.

KW has said himself that he is not trying to slash up the payroll. The point is, economics right now in baseball are going to ruin other teams to the point where they are not competitive. It makes sense, on both sides, for KW to take advantage of this and get top prospects who are projected to meet or exceed the production of players who the Sox can not afford or will not want to overpay for.

All that aside, the McCarthy deal was about Danks and Massett and the tingling feeling KW gets deep down inside when he thinks of those players in Sox uniforms. Brandon is no scrub and KW knows he gave up a good player.

As for the Garcia trade, a lot of people really doubt Gavin Floyd and that is the reason people are still unhappy with that move. But, even though as of right now I still don't know whether I like the trade or not, if KW thinks Floyd will become a good pitcher I am glad he made the move.

Brian26
12-24-2006, 01:02 AM
Phil,

Here's the 4th to last paragraph from Scott Merkin's December 4th article on Whitesox.com.

Link (http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20061204&content_id=1750901&vkey=news_cws&fext=.jsp&c_id=cws)

All of this consternation in regard to McCarthy's status might eventually become a moot point if a package is offered to Williams getting him to part with a starter. Buehrle and Garcia both have one year left on their respective contracts, but Williams begged off a question Monday in regard to contract extensions being broached with either pitcher. It's an indirect approach Williams rarely takes, but he was honoring an agreement made with one of the two pitchers not to talk about the negotiations.

progers13
12-24-2006, 01:05 AM
Seems to me you're reading more into what I said -- that the White Sox were putting economics ahead of competitiveness -- than I really meant. Maybe I didn't quite say it right. It seems to me they're trying to do two things at once -- rebuild, reconfigure, whatever you want to call it, and seize this window to get back to the World Series. It's hard to do two things at once, and I think they're asking too much of themselves. Outside of signing Toby Hall, I'm not sure the White Sox have made a move yet this winter that will give them a better chance in 2007.

buehrle4cy05
12-24-2006, 01:05 AM
It's not that I don't like the return KW is getting in these trades, it's the fact that I believe he could be getting more. Who knows, maybe two years down the road Danks is a staff ace, but if Tampa Bay was willing to talk about Carl Crawford if the White Sox put up McCarthy, I would have liked to see KW pursue that.

UserNameBlank
12-24-2006, 01:07 AM
Dave, yes, there are other choices to replace McCarthy, but when you're trading McCarthy don't the guys you get have to be better for it to be a wise move? And with a team trying to get to the World Series, shouldn't their 2007 readiness be a big issue? That's how it seems to me. I do like watching young pitchers, and the White Sox now have a bunch of them. I think Phillips could be a huge surprise, and Haeger definitely has a chance. Ditto Broadway, McCullough, maybe even a Lucas Harrell or Jack Egbert.

I'm not a very sentimental guy. But I do have tons of respect for Buehrle and Garland, and hate that it seems like the White Sox are closing the door to keeping them long term. And I've also covered many, many also-ran teams with shaky starting pitching. I think it's a big, big risk to dismantle a reliable rotation, which is what the White Sox seem resigned to doing.

Didn't KW say similar things about Garland and Jose last year before he extended them? The guy is a ****ing mental ninja, no mere mortal can ever expect to think along the same lines as him.

And no, Danks and Massett do not have to be better than McCarthy right now. This trade will be fully evaluated in a few years. Also, I think McCarthy might have a rough time in Texas, so it may well turn out where one Sox prospect ends up with about 11 wins and an ERA near five, with the same type of numbers posted by McCarthy. This could be somewhat of a wash, too, with the Sox getting extra pieces as well.

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 01:10 AM
Didn't KW say similar things about Garland and Jose last year before he extended them? The guy is a ****ing mental ninja, no mere mortal can ever expect to think along the same lines as him.

And no, Danks and Massett do not have to be better than McCarthy right now. This trade will be fully evaluated in a few years. Also, I think McCarthy might have a rough time in Texas, so it may well turn out where one Sox prospect ends up with about 11 wins and an ERA near five, with the same type of numbers posted by McCarthy. This could be somewhat of a wash, too, with the Sox getting extra pieces as well.

I'll buy Phil a case of beer if he can some how fit "KW is a mental Ninja into an upcoming column."

rdivaldi
12-24-2006, 01:12 AM
Seems to me you're reading more into what I said -- that the White Sox were putting economics ahead of competitiveness -- than I really meant. Maybe I didn't quite say it right. It seems to me they're trying to do two things at once -- rebuild, reconfigure, whatever you want to call it, and seize this window to get back to the World Series. It's hard to do two things at once, and I think they're asking too much of themselves. Outside of signing Toby Hall, I'm not sure the White Sox have made a move yet this winter that will give them a better chance in 2007.

I really can't see how the average Joe reading that would come away with any other interpretation except that the White Sox are putting the bottom line ahead of winning. Considering the fan base's history of anger about Reinsdorf being cheap, you can see where these posts are coming from.

spiffie
12-24-2006, 01:13 AM
Seems to me you're reading more into what I said -- that the White Sox were putting economics ahead of competitiveness -- than I really meant. Maybe I didn't quite say it right. It seems to me they're trying to do two things at once -- rebuild, reconfigure, whatever you want to call it, and seize this window to get back to the World Series. It's hard to do two things at once, and I think they're asking too much of themselves. Outside of signing Toby Hall, I'm not sure the White Sox have made a move yet this winter that will give them a better chance in 2007.
You don't feel the moves that brought them Aardsma and Sisco for the bullpen make them a better team for 2007? It seems to me those are both underrated but critical to at least attempting to bring stability to a very shaky bullpen from last year.

progers13
12-24-2006, 01:13 AM
As for Kenny's cryptic comments about an extension, the belief is he was talking about talks with Buehrle, which apparently broke off about the time he started getting rocked last season. Maybe it will turn out that the Sox are lucky they didn't do a deal. But if Buehrle bounces back, do you think the Sox are going to outbid other teams to keep him? Do you worry about how these financial concerns are going to impact Buehrle and Garland over the next two years? How about the teammates who like their ability and company? It doesn't seem like a good situation, and it all comes back to the unwillingness to sign a pitcher for four or five years, even if that's the going rate.

Daver
12-24-2006, 01:13 AM
Dave, yes, there are other choices to replace McCarthy, but when you're trading McCarthy don't the guys you get have to be better for it to be a wise move? And with a team trying to get to the World Series, shouldn't their 2007 readiness be a big issue? That's how it seems to me. I do like watching young pitchers, and the White Sox now have a bunch of them. I think Phillips could be a huge surprise, and Haeger definitely has a chance. Ditto Broadway, McCullough, maybe even a Lucas Harrell or Jack Egbert.



Is McCarthy a proven MLB starter?
The answer is no.

Are the players recieved for him proven MLB players?
The answer is no.

It is a gamble, but Kenny gambled big when he assembled the rotation for 2005, and it worked out.

The Sox do not draft power pitchers, they prefer to let other teams gamble on them and then trade for them after they have proven they are injury free. I don't have a problem with this approach, many teams have drafted power pitchers with their first three rounds, only to lose all of them to injury.

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 01:14 AM
Phil,

Here's the 4th to last paragraph from Scott Merkin's December 4th article on Whitesox.com.

Link (http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20061204&content_id=1750901&vkey=news_cws&fext=.jsp&c_id=cws)

All of this consternation in regard to McCarthy's status might eventually become a moot point if a package is offered to Williams getting him to part with a starter. Buehrle and Garcia both have one year left on their respective contracts, but Williams begged off a question Monday in regard to contract extensions being broached with either pitcher. It's an indirect approach Williams rarely takes, but he was honoring an agreement made with one of the two pitchers not to talk about the negotiations.

Wow. This is really interesting and something I totally missed. It'd be great if Phil or some of the media could do a little digging here.

SABRSox
12-24-2006, 01:16 AM
Here's what everyone seems to be forgetting about McCarthy. He gave up HR's at an incredible rate. He was approaching Eric Milton status in terms of HR's surrendered, and in a HR park like U.S. Cellular, that's a recipe for disaster.

Maybe he could have corrected that problem, but that's always been the big knock against him, and while I hoped for the best, I'm not sure he could have ever beat that.

So we got 3 very high ceiling guys for him. I don't see what's wrong with that. And honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if one of Haegar, Floyd, Danks, Gio, etc. outpitch McCarthy this season.

UserNameBlank
12-24-2006, 01:16 AM
Seems to me you're reading more into what I said -- that the White Sox were putting economics ahead of competitiveness -- than I really meant. Maybe I didn't quite say it right. It seems to me they're trying to do two things at once -- rebuild, reconfigure, whatever you want to call it, and seize this window to get back to the World Series. It's hard to do two things at once, and I think they're asking too much of themselves. Outside of signing Toby Hall, I'm not sure the White Sox have made a move yet this winter that will give them a better chance in 2007.

Well, we can't tell all this yet, but the 2006 Aardsma > 2005 Cotts, plus we got another LH bullpen arm. Gload had no place in the lineup with the team needing a true backup CF, and Sisco was a very nice present from KC for taking him off our hands. McCarthy, Garcia, and a minor league OF, while they combine to form one hole in the starting rotation, got us 5 pitchers, four of which are starters, that have good stuff and are at most one year away from contributing at the ML level.

I'd say so far KW hasn't done anything to give anyone the idea that the Sox don't care about 2007. As far as whether there will be significant improvements or not to the '07 team with all these new arms, no one knows. But I'm happier with these guys than I would be with Cotts/Politte/Riske/Hermanson/Nelson/Montero/Lopez/Tracey/Logan, etc.

UserNameBlank
12-24-2006, 01:19 AM
I'll buy Phil a case of beer if he can some how fit "KW is a mental Ninja into an upcoming column."

I will too, because then I will have proof that, at least sometimes, the Cubune speaks of truth.

progers13
12-24-2006, 01:20 AM
Ilsox, Heineken or Rolling Rock would work fine ... I laughed when I read the phrase "mental ninja.''

My opinions -- getting Sisco for Gload was a no-brainer good deal for the White Sox but Sisco is more likely to spend '07 at Charlotte than in Chicago, and right now I think there's a better chance for Cotts to bounce back than for Aardsma to be an impact reliever. Cotts in '05 was something special. I know, I know ... that was '05, one whole season ago.

SABRSox
12-24-2006, 01:20 AM
I'll buy Phil a case of beer if he can some how fit "KW is a mental Ninja into an upcoming column."

Unfortunately you're more likely to read "KW is a mental midget" in that rag...

Brian26
12-24-2006, 01:23 AM
As for Kenny's cryptic comments about an extension, the belief is he was talking about talks with Buehrle, which apparently broke off about the time he started getting rocked last season. Maybe it will turn out that the Sox are lucky they didn't do a deal. But if Buehrle bounces back, do you think the Sox are going to outbid other teams to keep him? Do you worry about how these financial concerns are going to impact Buehrle and Garland over the next two years? How about the teammates who like their ability and company? It doesn't seem like a good situation, and it all comes back to the unwillingness to sign a pitcher for four or five years, even if that's the going rate.

Well, I think you're applying 1994 logic to a 2006 situation. The precedent was with the Bartolo Colon offer (correct me if I'm wrong, but they were offering at least four years, and I think the Angels got him for the same yearly salary but added an extra year). The Paul Konerko re-signing would be example #2. The climate has changed since the early 90's. I think the Sox can re-sign both Buehrle and Garland to anchor the young staff.

UserNameBlank
12-24-2006, 01:24 AM
Here's what everyone seems to be forgetting about McCarthy. He gave up HR's at an incredible rate. He was approaching Eric Milton status in terms of HR's surrendered, and in a HR park like U.S. Cellular, that's a recipe for disaster.

Maybe he could have corrected that problem, but that's always been the big knock against him, and while I hoped for the best, I'm not sure he could have ever beat that.

So we got 3 very high ceiling guys for him. I don't see what's wrong with that. And honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if one of Haegar, Floyd, Danks, Gio, etc. outpitch McCarthy this season.

I don't ever see Brandon significantly lowering his HR rate. He likes to throw that arrowball up and in the lefties, apparently forgetting that these guys can turn on a 90mph straight fastball. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to Arlington. If I were Daniels, I'd have asked for Garland instead.

spiffie
12-24-2006, 01:24 AM
Ilsox, Heineken or Rolling Rock would work fine ... I laughed when I read the phrase "mental ninja.''

My opinions -- getting Sisco for Gload was a no-brainer good deal for the White Sox but Sisco is more likely to spend '07 at Charlotte than in Chicago, and right now I think there's a better chance for Cotts to bounce back than for Aardsma to be an impact reliever. Cotts in '05 was something special. I know, I know ... that was '05, one whole season ago.
Have they said anything about Sisco ending up in Charlotte or is that just your guess on the matter? It seems possible, but considering the state of the pen it's hard to imagine him not at least getting a look in spring training.

As for Cotts, I think he likely will do well next year. Mostly because he's not here. The atmosphere for Neal had grown toxic by the end of last season. There was no fair chance for him to get back in 2007 with the White Sox. He needed a change of scenery. As for Aardsma, I don't think anyone is asking him to be an impact reliever, but a steady 5th or 6th guy out of the pen would seem to be the reasonable expectation.

Mohoney
12-24-2006, 01:25 AM
Seems to me you're reading more into what I said -- that the White Sox were putting economics ahead of competitiveness -- than I really meant. Maybe I didn't quite say it right.

You have to admit that the tone was pretty forceful. You went so far as to refer to it as "despicable".

It seems to me they're trying to do two things at once -- rebuild, reconfigure, whatever you want to call it, and seize this window to get back to the World Series. It's hard to do two things at once, and I think they're asking too much of themselves. Outside of signing Toby Hall, I'm not sure the White Sox have made a move yet this winter that will give them a better chance in 2007.

It makes sense to think that way, and if the article contained an opinion like this, then I would have no problem with it. It was the comment about putting economics before competitiveness that totally rubbed me the wrong way, especially considering the fact that the newspaper it was printed in is a sister entity in the same corporation with the team on the other side of town.

Surely you can see how statements like that can come off looking like sour grapes when they're contained in the Tribune.

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 01:25 AM
Ilsox, Heineken or Rolling Rock would work fine ... I laughed when I read the phrase "mental ninja.''

My opinions -- getting Sisco for Gload was a no-brainer good deal for the White Sox but Sisco is more likely to spend '07 at Charlotte than in Chicago, and right now I think there's a better chance for Cotts to bounce back than for Aardsma to be an impact reliever. Cotts in '05 was something special. I know, I know ... that was '05, one whole season ago.

I'm serious, I will walk over a case of Rolling Rock/Heineken (or something even better, being my beer geek self) to the Tower if you can fit that phrase in. I work right across the street!

progers13
12-24-2006, 01:26 AM
Dave, you're right about him gambling and winning in the old days. But back then he didn't really have anything to lose. I'm surprised he and Chairman Reinsdorf have the cajones to try to find another winning combination rather than keeping the one together that had worked before. Like I wrote, if it works, Williams is worth his weight in World Series rings.

SABRSox
12-24-2006, 01:26 AM
I'm leaving you with this vision of the future. At the very worst, Masset is going to give Mark Prior a run for his money in towel drills...

B7kSurM3HXY

UserNameBlank
12-24-2006, 01:31 AM
Ilsox, Heineken or Rolling Rock would work fine ... I laughed when I read the phrase "mental ninja.''

My opinions -- getting Sisco for Gload was a no-brainer good deal for the White Sox but Sisco is more likely to spend '07 at Charlotte than in Chicago, and right now I think there's a better chance for Cotts to bounce back than for Aardsma to be an impact reliever. Cotts in '05 was something special. I know, I know ... that was '05, one whole season ago.

If Cotts bounces back he will be along the lines of what we expect out of Aardsma, which is an ERA in the 3.50 range or better and an ability to get a big strikeout with runners on. I don't think anyone expects him to come storming in to the bullpen like Jenks, Thornton, and MacDougal all did when they first arrived.

IMO Aardsma is going to be eased in by Ozzie much like Thornton, and then will be given a lot of 1-out appearances. From there, his success will dictate how often he is used.

IowaSox1971
12-24-2006, 02:07 AM
I shouldn't do this, but it's the holiday season and every party needs a pinata, so ... when did I write something nice about the Cubs' Jason Marquis signing? I like that they are spending money and adding numbers but it's not exactly a great way to build a baseball team. I don't recall writing a single thing about the Marquis signing, as a matter of fact.

But here's my question: It really doesn't bother any of you guys that the White Sox see every member of their World Series rotation as replaceable at the end of their current contracts?

They aren't advertising it, because it wouldn't be a great campaign, but they are not willing to sign pitchers for more than three years. That apparently means they're not even going to attempt to re-sign Buehrle or Garland, and sealed the fate of Garcia. To me this is a big deal, and I can't believe that it wouldn't be for you guys.

I admire the way they have handled their economics in the past. And I don't endorse throwing money at players. But when they're your own guys, they're durable, reasonably consistent (Buehrle's second half, 2006 aside) won you the fricking World Series, shouldn't you go the extra mile?


If you don't recall writing anything about the Marquis signing, then that shows a Cubs-Sox double standard right there. Giving a guy like Marquis a three-year, $21 million contract is a much more questionable move than trading McCarthy for some very good prospects. Why the silence on the Cubs' Marquis move and the darts thrown at the Sox for the McCarthy move?

For the most part, McCarthy was lousy last season. He often gave up big hits in key situations. Yes, he might have been miscast as a reliever, but he still did not pitch well, and perhaps the league is figuring him out. Or, he could be a big winner in 2007 as a starting pitcher. Or, perhaps the guys obtained for McCarthy are just as good as he is. We'll just have to see. That should have been the tone of your column. Instead, you chose to use the word "despicable" to describe what the Sox are doing.

What's so "despicable" about getting rid of a basically still-unproven major league pitcher for two very good pitching prospects, along with another hard-throwing minor-league pitcher? If the Cubs had made this trade, would the column have had such a negative tone? Judging from the silence on the Marquis signing, would it have even been written?

I am not a big fan of this trade, but Kenny Williams made many moves in 2004 and 2005 that I didn't necessarily agree with, and the result was a World Series title. I know from reading your columns that you didn't agree with a lot of these moves either, but then right after the 2005 Series was over you wrote a book about how the Sox were built. That seems like a double standard, too.

VenturaIsAGod
12-24-2006, 04:57 AM
I didn't get to read any of this 'til this morning, and I don't want to echo anyone else's sentiments outside of saying thanks to Phil for discussing his story in a hostile environment.

I do, however, have to agree with Phil when he says we didn't improve the team for '07. I'm definitely on board for Kenny's plan for the future, and I don't think we're worse than last year, but the fact is we missed the playoffs. Knowing that we could have gotten Soriano (last year) or Crawford (this offseason) for McCarthy kind of hurts because both of those guys could/could've helped us right now.

Once again, Phil, thanks for hanging out with a bunch of angry and paranoid Sox fans.

voodoochile
12-24-2006, 05:50 AM
I shouldn't do this, but it's the holiday season and every party needs a pinata, so ... when did I write something nice about the Cubs' Jason Marquis signing? I like that they are spending money and adding numbers but it's not exactly a great way to build a baseball team. I don't recall writing a single thing about the Marquis signing, as a matter of fact.

But here's my question: It really doesn't bother any of you guys that the White Sox see every member of their World Series rotation as replaceable at the end of their current contracts?

They aren't advertising it, because it wouldn't be a great campaign, but they are not willing to sign pitchers for more than three years. That apparently means they're not even going to attempt to re-sign Buehrle or Garland, and sealed the fate of Garcia. To me this is a big deal, and I can't believe that it wouldn't be for you guys.

I admire the way they have handled their economics in the past. And I don't endorse throwing money at players. But when they're your own guys, they're durable, reasonably consistent (Buehrle's second half, 2006 aside) won you the fricking World Series, shouldn't you go the extra mile?

Since the only one gone from said roatation is Garcia and the rest are signed for at least 2 years, where is the direct evidence that they are actually looking to deal them?

Yes, they traded two pitchers, one who would have definitely started next year and one who projected to be the 5th starter next year.

You can technically can Hernandez a part of the WS rotation, but since he didn't start a game in the playoffs, it isn't a truly accurate description.

How long should a team hold on to pitchers because they once won a WS title for the fans? 2005 was great, the object is to do it again. Would those 5 starters have won it all in 2007? 2006 says, "no". Are the Sox more set up to make several runs at the big prize over the next 5 years? Probably and the object is to get that chance.

Since no one knows who the 5th starter is this year, or whether the other 4 starters will bounce back to 2006 form no one can predict how 2007 will turn out. The Sox might win 95 and make the playoffs or they might win 85 and seriously turn to a remake of the team. With money to spend and lots of talent to call on both in the minors and through potential trades, the Sox are not seriously downgraded from the team that won 90 games last year. How that plays out is anyone's guess and the key word is guess.

The part that I and many Sox fans take issue with is the seeming "crystal ball" comments about how the Sox are looking to trade (read: dump) their talented players in what is described by many media types as a salary dump simply to line the owners' pockets.

KW has proven he is willing to trade any player at any time to make the team better. He has NOT proven he is willing to tear apart the team simply to make a bigger buck. At the least he deserves the benefit of the doubt at the most he deserves every fan/writer to pull up a chair with some popcorn and say, "Go get 'em, KW! Fleece the other teams and bring me home another winner."

To 2007 and beyond, GO SOX! :gulp:

DaleJRFan
12-24-2006, 06:19 AM
Since the only one gone from said roatation is Garcia and the rest are signed for at least 2 years, where is the direct evidence that they are actually looking to deal them?

Yes, they traded two pitchers, one who would have definitely started next year and one who projected to be the 5th starter next year.

You can technically can Hernandez a part of the WS rotation, but since he didn't start a game in the playoffs, it isn't a truly accurate description.

How long should a team hold on to pitchers because they once won a WS title for the fans? 2005 was great, the object is to do it again. Would those 5 starters have won it all in 2007? 2006 says, "no". Are the Sox more set up to make several runs at the big prize over the next 5 years? Probably and the object is to get that chance.

Since no one knows who the 5th starter is this year, or whether the other 4 starters will bounce back to 2006 form no one can predict how 2007 will turn out. The Sox might win 95 and make the playoffs or they might win 85 and seriously turn to a remake of the team. With money to spend and lots of talent to call on both in the minors and through potential trades, the Sox are not seriously downgraded from the team that won 90 games last year. How that plays out is anyone's guess and the key word is guess.

The part that I and many Sox fans take issue with is the seeming "crystal ball" comments about how the Sox are looking to trade (read: dump) their talented players in what is described by many media types as a salary dump simply to line the owners' pockets.

KW has proven he is willing to trade any player at any time to make the team better. He has NOT proven he is willing to tear apart the team simply to make a bigger buck. At the least he deserves the benefit of the doubt at the most he deserves every fan/writer to pull up a chair with some popcorn and say, "Go get 'em, KW! Fleece the other teams and bring me home another winner."

To 2007 and beyond, GO SOX! :gulp:

This post should be carved into stone. Way to go, Voodoo.

dickallen15
12-24-2006, 07:23 AM
Yeah, then Dr. Phil goes on in the 'stakes rising for Buehrle article- saying that the Cubs rotation is "set" along with a "deep bullpen". Set at what Phil? Complete mediocrity? Bruce Levine got it right (for once) when he called Phil a tabloid journalist. lol
Is that the same Bruce Levine who staked his "reputation" on the White Sox signing Omar Vizquel?

ChiSoxJay
12-24-2006, 07:36 AM
You're being way too generous to both McCarthy and Rogers.

The "known ability" of McCarthy was that he didn't like pitching out of the bullpen, didn't do it very well, and sometimes pitched well when given a start. He also didn't throw as many strikes as he should.

Rogers "implied" nothing about the real reason Williams traded McCarthy. He flat-out states, "[McCarthy] is a guy who will say what is on his mind, and that made him something of a square peg for the Reinsdorfian round hole."

Time to call a spade a spade. McCarthy, true to his youth, was inconsistent. Rogers, true to his bosses, is casting this trade in the worst light possible. He had more complimentary things to say about $21 million spent on Jason Marquis!
:o:

Nicely put...McCarthy had a few good starts 2 years ago and was lit up out of the pen quite often last season. I think both Danks and Floyd have a much higher ceiling than McCarthy. Only time will tell!

cbotnyse
12-24-2006, 08:10 AM
Is McCarthy a proven MLB starter?
The answer is no.

Are the players recieved for him proven MLB players?
The answer is no.

It is a gamble, but Kenny gambled big when he assembled the rotation for 2005, and it worked out.

The Sox do not draft power pitchers, they prefer to let other teams gamble on them and then trade for them after they have proven they are injury free. I don't have a problem with this approach, many teams have drafted power pitchers with their first three rounds, only to lose all of them to injury.My thoughts exactly on the trade.....and I think progers knows exactly what team you are referring to. :rolling:

JackParkman
12-24-2006, 08:12 AM
How is McCarthy's ability known? What do you base that on? And what do you consider McCarthy's ability to be? (All serious inquiries)

McCarthy has proven that he is a major-league pitcher. That's his known ability. Whether that's as a top-of-the-rotation guy or not remains to be seen, but I think most of us would be very surprised if he's not in a major-league uniform for the next 5-10 years, barring injury.
As another poster said far more eloquently than I (much) earlier in this thread, the jump from AAA to the majors is the hardest. McCarthy has made that jump, and, IMO, he's made it successfully. Doesn't mean he's a future #1 guy or anything of the sort, but I think he'll stick around for a while.

Flight #24
12-24-2006, 08:40 AM
No, Brandon McCarthy hasn't racked up big-league innings, but he's a horse, and he's awfully polished for a young age. He led his minor leagues in innings and strikeouts in 2002 and '03 and would have again in '04 had his 174 innings not been spread out over three levels. He finished extremely strong after a stressful '05 and physically handled the move to the bullpen OK in '06 although it doesn't seem to have helped his development. I think the point I was making is that he's a much safer choice than Danks or Masset, although there's much to be said for both.

Doesn't that point counter the general tenor of Sox-related articles of late? If you're pretty sure that you're going to be replacing 3-4 veteran starters in the next 2 years, isn't it absolutely critical to jump on the safe choice rather than the high-risk/high-upside one? Or do you really think Kenny Williams is willing to gamble to that degree on the one thing that he has repeatedly said is the most important: starting pitching?

Until yesterday, the general thinking was that McCarthy was untouchable because he was young & cheap and they'd be replacing the other guys because they were expensive and hitting the market. Now that they've traded him, to me that either says that they just like Danks better (i.e. it's a baseball move, not a financial one) and/or that McCarthy's expendable because they think they can keep one or more of the veterans.

In neither case is the "Sox are going cheap" mantra that keeps being fed to the masses appropriate. But that doesn't seem to stop anyone (including you) from parroting that in your pieces.

soxtalker
12-24-2006, 08:45 AM
I shouldn't do this, but it's the holiday season and every party needs a pinata, so ... when did I write something nice about the Cubs' Jason Marquis signing? I like that they are spending money and adding numbers but it's not exactly a great way to build a baseball team. I don't recall writing a single thing about the Marquis signing, as a matter of fact.

But here's my question: It really doesn't bother any of you guys that the White Sox see every member of their World Series rotation as replaceable at the end of their current contracts?

They aren't advertising it, because it wouldn't be a great campaign, but they are not willing to sign pitchers for more than three years. That apparently means they're not even going to attempt to re-sign Buehrle or Garland, and sealed the fate of Garcia. To me this is a big deal, and I can't believe that it wouldn't be for you guys.

I admire the way they have handled their economics in the past. And I don't endorse throwing money at players. But when they're your own guys, they're durable, reasonably consistent (Buehrle's second half, 2006 aside) won you the fricking World Series, shouldn't you go the extra mile?

This has been a very entertaining thread to read through this morning, and I'm sorry that I wasn't able to take part in it last night. The back-and-forth discussion with Phil has been much more interesting and informative than we can normally have in just reacting to his (and other writers') columns.

There is one issue that I've wanted to raise for awhile, and this seems like the right thread. I suspect that one of the reasons that Sox fans have reacted so negatively to Phil's columns is that they won't be at all happy if he is right. I'm not saying that this is the only reason -- posters have articulated their objections quite well -- but I think that it is one of the reasons. There have been many posts asking for Phil to come up with proof, as well as many who have suggested that KW is really going to use these young pitchers to acquire proven major league talent. I think that people on WSI were generally quite comfortable with the approach KW has taken over the past few years of using prospects to acquire veterans, but there is considerably less comfort with the reverse approach. Whether KW is actually doing this to the degree that Phil suggests is open for debate. But if he is, there will be much concern on this board.

JackParkman
12-24-2006, 09:05 AM
I'm leaving you with this vision of the future. At the very worst, Masset is going to give Mark Prior a run for his money in towel drills...

B7kSurM3HXY

Yeah, but can he match the Woods-Prior combo's Hall of Fame numbers in simulated games? I doubt it.

ode to veeck
12-24-2006, 09:41 AM
Rogers, true to his bosses, is casting this trade in the worst light possible.
:o:

surprise surprise!

As pointed out Rogers regularly misuses a few bits of data to paint the wrong picture on a regular basis, e.g. his rants on Hurt, etc., which makes him far more annoying or dangerous than say Moronatti, who everyone on the planet (including his employers) knows is totally full of **** and himself.

SOXSINCE'70
12-24-2006, 09:47 AM
I forgot that Brandon McCarthy was our "messiah".

I don't mind negative criticism about the Sox,but progers
and his dumbass bosses go out of their way to kick the
Sox when a trade is made.The trade may be good,
or it may fail miserably.Let time tell the story.

But what else should I expect from a rag that
tried to give Chicago a new word for its vocabulary
(Soxtober:rolleyes: ) and failed miserably??

Sports hacks in this city need to heed the
words of the late Jack Webb's Sgt. Joe Friday
when it comes to reporting news;
JUST THE FACTS.

champagne030
12-24-2006, 09:47 AM
Doesn't that point counter the general tenor of Sox-related articles of late? If you're pretty sure that you're going to be replacing 3-4 veteran starters in the next 2 years, isn't it absolutely critical to jump on the safe choice rather than the high-risk/high-upside one? Or do you really think Kenny Williams is willing to gamble to that degree on the one thing that he has repeatedly said is the most important: starting pitching?

Until yesterday, the general thinking was that McCarthy was untouchable because he was young & cheap and they'd be replacing the other guys because they were expensive and hitting the market. Now that they've traded him, to me that either says that they just like Danks better (i.e. it's a baseball move, not a financial one) and/or that McCarthy's expendable because they think they can keep one or more of the veterans.

In neither case is the "Sox are going cheap" mantra that keeps being fed to the masses appropriate. But that doesn't seem to stop anyone (including you) from parroting that in your pieces.

Kenny has also stated he didn't want to go back to the 5th starter roulette and he's doing just that. He also said he wouldn't make a deal for the future that would hurt us for the present and he just did that.

I really like what we received for McCarthy, but Danks won't be pitching in Chicago in '07 and Masset isn't going to make the bullpen so much better as to balance out the loss of going from McCarthy to the black hole.

We've amassed quite a cache of arms and talent for '08 and beyond, but for '07 we have gaping holes at 5th starter and the front half of the bullpen.

Edit: I guess Danks may pitch in Chicago this season, but he shouldn't. I suppose he could be the winner to fill the black hole this season, but he's not ready.

ode to veeck
12-24-2006, 09:57 AM
There are two pitchers in the Sox current rotation that I would want back when their contracts are up, Buerhle and Garland.

Exactly, and given Kenny had, in the more recent past, pulled off jem trades like reading the value of a digruntled Contreras on the yanks and trading "proven workhorse" aka "flash in the pan" Loaiza for him, and the Lee-Pods deal that greatly enabled the '05 wire-to-wire start, I'm willing to give him a little rope and hope his two-fer deal works out for the Sox.

progers13
12-24-2006, 10:05 AM
Two quick points on the morning after:

The first will never be believed by you guys, but here goes -- the fact that Tribune Co. owns the Cubs does not affect anything I write about them, the White Sox, the other 28 teams or anything to do with MLB (I do, however, understand the perception, and look forward to the time that the Tribune Co. no longer owns the Cubs). If I have any bias it is toward the American League, because it is the one I watched most as a kid and have covered most over the last 20-plus years; it's also the better of the two leagues.

And secondly, I write about the Cubs planning to turn over four spots in the rotation in the next two years (every one except the guy who is the oldest, Contreras) because that is what I have learned to be their strategy in reaction to the runaway pitching market. No one with the White Sox has ever told me I'm wrong -- and if it meant keeping Buehrle and Garland until they were old, gray and ineffective, I would be happy to eat humble pie. I have enjoyed the exchange.

Daver
12-24-2006, 10:08 AM
Phil,

Have a good Christmas.

infohawk
12-24-2006, 10:39 AM
I have to say that Phil deserves a tremendous amount of respect for coming to WSI to defend his article. Sometimes I agree with him, sometimes I don't, but he is a terrific, stand-up guy. As far as I'm concerned, he is a very welcome member of this community.

fquaye149
12-24-2006, 10:39 AM
It really surprises me that I'm more sentimentally attached to the likes of Buehrle and Garland than so many of you guys seem to be. All they are is everything you'd want a pro athlete to be -- except cheap.

We had a whole year to be sentimental about 2005, all the while our good ol' boys were pitching us to 3rd place. I'm all out of sentimentality.

I love Buehrle as much as anyone. I mean that completely irrational baseball love usually reserved for Konerko. When (and since he seems to be St. Louis crazy I certainly mean When) he leaves I'll be very unhappy. But I'd be a lot more unhappy with a plethora a of 3rd place (and even 4th with a resurgent Indians team!) because Kenny was "loyal" to the team that "brought him a WS"

slavko
12-24-2006, 10:39 AM
And secondly, I write about the Cubs planning to turn over four spots in the rotation in the next two years (every one except the guy who is the oldest, Contreras) because that is what I have learned to be their strategy in reaction to the runaway pitching market. No one with the White Sox has ever told me I'm wrong -- and if it meant keeping Buehrle and Garland until they were old, gray and ineffective, I would be happy to eat humble pie. I have enjoyed the exchange.

Your slip is showing.

fquaye149
12-24-2006, 10:47 AM
Two quick points on the morning after:

The first will never be believed by you guys, but here goes -- the fact that Tribune Co. owns the Cubs does not affect anything I write about them, the White Sox, the other 28 teams or anything to do with MLB (I do, however, understand the perception, and look forward to the time that the Tribune Co. no longer owns the Cubs). If I have any bias it is toward the American League, because it is the one I watched most as a kid and have covered most over the last 20-plus years; it's also the better of the two leagues.

And secondly, I write about the Cubs planning to turn over four spots in the rotation in the next two years (every one except the guy who is the oldest, Contreras) because that is what I have learned to be their strategy in reaction to the runaway pitching market. No one with the White Sox has ever told me I'm wrong -- and if it meant keeping Buehrle and Garland until they were old, gray and ineffective, I would be happy to eat humble pie. I have enjoyed the exchange.

Herein lies the problem: you must think a moron like Hendry is running these trades:tongue:

But seriously---here's the problem Phil: you act like it's a foregone conclusion that we're looking to move our rotation and that it's an economics issue.

That may or not be true, but JR's comments were more along the lines of that we will be unable to resign our pitchers.

Free-agency is not a matter of if you're willing to pay fair-market value. These days it's if you're willing to go WELL ABOVE fair market value AND (in the case of certain pitchers, Kenny Rogers, for instance) if the player WANTS to come pitch for you.

US Cellular has the reptuation of a hitter's park, the Sox won't go over 3 years, and rightly so, and one of our pitchers is a boyhood diehard of a very competitive team 3 hours south.

It seems to me that even if they wanted to (and who's to say they SHOULD want to) resign Buehrle and Garland (Contreras? HA....sign a guy who was injured last year through his 41st birthday?) in a couple years, they are probably going to have a difficult time doing so.

Extensions? There's nothing worse than offering an extension and having it turned down. Look at Magglio's ****ing drama to see what a crapfest that is.

Tragg
12-24-2006, 11:09 AM
Phil

I think it's really cool that you post on this board and discuss your column.

Thanks a lot, I enjoyed reading all of the discussion, and have a great holiday.

BeviBall!
12-24-2006, 11:35 AM
Phil, you're a good man for coming on here to chat with us. A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

Now, please note my above plesantries. Those holidays occur in December/January. Also note that we are 3 months away from opening day and that a lot can still happen in regards to the White Sox roster between now and then.

Anyone claiming to fully understand what the Sox are doing right now is foolish. We could be stockpiling arms to be competetive for the next decade. We could be stockpiling young arms to make a major deal for 2007. Who knows?

As a journalist, I'm sure you're under pressure to move stacks of trees and to do that you have to project and run with what's in front of you at the time. As fans, we don't have to. Most of us can sit back and let the rest of the off-season, and regular season, unfold before we judge and weigh in with our final grades.

Saracen
12-24-2006, 11:39 AM
Phil, you're a standup guy for discussing your column here. Much appreciated. Have a great holiday.

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 12:11 PM
Edit: I guess Danks may pitch in Chicago this season, but he shouldn't. I suppose he could be the winner to fill the black hole this season, but he's not ready.

Just curious what you base this on? I've read quite a bit about Danks and it has ranged from: he was ready last year but the Rangers were being ultra cautious to he will be best served to be put off until 2008. So, it depends on what opinion/scout/publication you read. But KW and his staff may very well think Danks will be just as ready as Brandon was for 2007. You or I do not know that.

eurotrash35
12-24-2006, 12:13 PM
Wow, he came into the lion's den to defend his article? That's pretty sweet.

Nice little affirmation of the awesomeness of WSI. :cool:

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 12:14 PM
McCarthy has proven that he is a major-league pitcher. That's his known ability. Whether that's as a top-of-the-rotation guy or not remains to be seen, but I think most of us would be very surprised if he's not in a major-league uniform for the next 5-10 years, barring injury.
As another poster said far more eloquently than I (much) earlier in this thread, the jump from AAA to the majors is the hardest. McCarthy has made that jump, and, IMO, he's made it successfully. Doesn't mean he's a future #1 guy or anything of the sort, but I think he'll stick around for a while.

While I hear what you're saying, my point is that what Brandon has done in MLB hasn't exactly instilled a ton of confidence in his abilities. I think he'll be a good, solid pitcher going forward. But I see no reason why one of the talented arms we've acquired, or one of the arms who pitched some in MLB for us last year, won't be able to do a fine job at the #5 spot. You make some good points though!

Hitmen77
12-24-2006, 12:47 PM
Two quick points on the morning after...


And secondly, I write about the Cubs planning to turn over four spots in the rotation in the next two years (every one except the guy who is the oldest, Contreras) because that is what I have learned to be their strategy in reaction to the runaway pitching market. No one with the White Sox has ever told me I'm wrong -- and if it meant keeping Buehrle and Garland until they were old, gray and ineffective, I would be happy to eat humble pie. I have enjoyed the exchange.

But, knowing the way Kenny Williams has operated the last couple of years, my question is has anyone with the Sox told you you're wrong? I agree there is a risk that the Sox might let all their current veteran starters walk or be traded. But I'm not so sure that is so certain. This time last year, everyone was talking about Jon Garland being as good as gone. Once he signed an extension, Contreras was certain to be the odd man out. Seems to me that the Sox did a good job with those two situations on keeping a tight lid on negotiations and they just let the rumors swirl. With Beuhrle, unless the Sox or Buehrle come out and say anything specific, I just believe that none of us really know what's happening.

Buehrle is the only pitcher where the Sox need to get something done contract-wise before the season starts before it starts to look certain that he'll be gone. For Javy and Garland, we're still a year away from that point. Alot can happen between now and next offseason.

I agree with you that the Sox are taking a big risk with the McCarthy trade. I am worried about whether this will turn out ok. But, I'm not questionning Williams's motives. I don't think this is about being cheap or rebuilding at all. I believe him when he says that he feels this is the best way to build a consistent winner. However, I'm not sure whether KW is right - we'll have to wait and see how this all plays out.

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 12:53 PM
I didn't get to read any of this 'til this morning, and I don't want to echo anyone else's sentiments outside of saying thanks to Phil for discussing his story in a hostile environment.

I do, however, have to agree with Phil when he says we didn't improve the team for '07. I'm definitely on board for Kenny's plan for the future, and I don't think we're worse than last year, but the fact is we missed the playoffs. Knowing that we could have gotten Soriano (last year) or Crawford (this offseason) for McCarthy kind of hurts because both of those guys could/could've helped us right now.

Once again, Phil, thanks for hanging out with a bunch of angry and paranoid Sox fans.

1. You really would rather have traded McCarthy for 2 months of Soriano than young pitching?

2. It would have taken McCarthy and then some to get Crawford. Brandon alone would not have made that come to fruition.

Ol' No. 2
12-24-2006, 12:58 PM
Two quick points on the morning after:

The first will never be believed by you guys, but here goes -- the fact that Tribune Co. owns the Cubs does not affect anything I write about them, the White Sox, the other 28 teams or anything to do with MLB (I do, however, understand the perception, and look forward to the time that the Tribune Co. no longer owns the Cubs). If I have any bias it is toward the American League, because it is the one I watched most as a kid and have covered most over the last 20-plus years; it's also the better of the two leagues.

And secondly, I write about the Cubs planning to turn over four spots in the rotation in the next two years (every one except the guy who is the oldest, Contreras) because that is what I have learned to be their strategy in reaction to the runaway pitching market. No one with the White Sox has ever told me I'm wrong -- and if it meant keeping Buehrle and Garland until they were old, gray and ineffective, I would be happy to eat humble pie. I have enjoyed the exchange.While we consistently hear about how Trib writers are not beholden to corporate interests, the consistent slants in the articles say otherwise. Article after article in the Trib, written by different writers, all repeat the corporate talking points: the Sox are tearing the team down. There is NO objective evidence to support that. While it might reasonably be a conclusion formed by any individual writer, it becomes rather suspicious when all the writers toe to the same refrain while you never hear such things from Sun-Times writers.

A few weeks ago we saw this headline:

Sox retain control of Crede, but future iffy.

Could you possibly point me to the corresponding headline which said:

Cubs retain control of Zambrano, but future iffy.

I must have missed it.

champagne030
12-24-2006, 01:00 PM
Just curious what you base this on? I've read quite a bit about Danks and it has ranged from: he was ready last year but the Rangers were being ultra cautious to he will be best served to be put off until 2008. So, it depends on what opinion/scout/publication you read. But KW and his staff may very well think Danks will be just as ready as Brandon was for 2007. You or I do not know that.

You're right KW may think Danks is ready, but I doubt it.

I saw Danks pitch in Oklahoma City during the middle of August. He actually pitched 4 innings of no run ball. I think he had 4/5 walks and 6/7 K's. He seemed to have great stuff, but his command was not ready for MLB hitters. Sure, I could have seen him on a bad day, but he struggled with his pitch count and this is backed by the fact he rarely pitched past the 5th inning in AAA. He walked too many batters and didn't attack when ahead in the count. McCarthy may have been a 190 inning guy this season, but Danks is not ready to pitch that many innings at this point, considering his age and command. I've seen his overall stats at many different places and it bears out what I saw in person that his command is not there to be a viable 5th starter for a team with a division championship as a goal.

Edit: The bold is meant for '07.

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 01:07 PM
You're right KW may think Danks is ready, but I doubt it.

I saw Danks pitch in Oklahoma City during the middle of August. He actually pitched 4 innings of no run ball. I think he had 4/5 walks and 6/7 K's. He seemed to have great stuff, but his command was not ready for MLB hitters. Sure, I could have seen him on a bad day, but he struggled with his pitch count and this is backed by the fact he rarely pitched past the 5th inning in AAA. He walked too many batters and didn't attack when ahead in the count. McCarthy may have been a 190 inning guy this season, but Danks is not ready to pitch that many innings at this point, considering his age and command. I've seen his overall stats at many different places and it bears out what I saw in person that his command is not there to be a viable 5th starter for a team with a division championship as a goal.

Good points. But also keep in mind, from everything I've read, the Rangers held him back throwing his curve, I believe it was. And I think that is supposed to be his best pitch. They wanted him to really focus on developing a change-up. That's why some of those stats may not be a good measuring stick. But I also see it being a very good possibility that Danks is not ready in 2007. I still think between Floyd, Haeger, Danks, Broadway, etc someone will step it up in spring training and do the job if no one else is required.

santo=dorf
12-24-2006, 02:45 PM
Same here. Infield defense is one of our biggest assets and Jon takes full advantage of that.
How do you figure? :?:

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 02:48 PM
How do you figure? :?:

His sinker induces a lot of groundballs. Crede, Uribe, Iguchi, and PK are pretty darn solid. Especially that left side of the infield, where Jon induces some hard-hit grounders.

santo=dorf
12-24-2006, 02:51 PM
His sinker induces a lot of groundballs. Crede, Uribe, Iguchi, and PK are pretty darn solid. Especially that left side of the infield, where Jon induces some hard-hit grounders.

that's a myth.

Look at the numbers.

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 03:00 PM
that's a myth.

Look at the numbers.

As far as I could tell, for 2005, the average groundball:flyball ratio in the AL was 1.59. Jon's ratio was 1.82. Therefore, he is above average when it comes to inducing groundballs versus flyballs.

palehozenychicty
12-24-2006, 03:22 PM
First of all, it takes a stand-up guy to answer criticism in person, so you've once again earned my respect (the other time was at the book signing last March).

Second- I don't necessarily think the Sox are not going to re-sign Buehrle and Garland. The Sox haven't had to deal with a pitcher hitting free agency since Bartolo Colon, and didn't they offer him four years and the richest contract in team history? I have a feeling Buehrle and Garland will be retained, and Contreras and Vazquez will walk. Just my gut feeling...

Mine as well. Since 2000, these two guys have been the constants in the rotation and will be for awhile.

santo=dorf
12-24-2006, 04:38 PM
As far as I could tell, for 2005, the average groundball:flyball ratio in the AL was 1.59. Jon's ratio was 1.82. Therefore, he is above average when it comes to inducing groundballs versus flyballs.
What's your source on that?

MLB.com
GO/AO (line drives, popups, flyouts)
1.09 last season, 1.38 in 2005. Career: 1.27
To put some perspective on this, Garcia always had an incorrect rep of being a "flyball pitcher" while he was on the Sox. People were calling him one in 2005 when his GO/AO was 1.46, better than Garland.

True groundball pitchers include Webb, Westbrook, Lowe, Halladay, Wang, Felix Hernandez, and Tim Hudson to name a few.

spiffie
12-24-2006, 04:40 PM
As far as I could tell, for 2005, the average groundball:flyball ratio in the AL was 1.59. Jon's ratio was 1.82. Therefore, he is above average when it comes to inducing groundballs versus flyballs.
Actually, according to espn.com (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?playerId=4235) Jon's G/F ratio was 1.44 in 2005 and 1.13 in 2006, with his career being at 1.29. Among qualifying starters in the AL he ranked 23rd in 2006. Incidentally, that was the lowest out of our three remaining starters, as Contreras was 20th and Buehrle was 16th.

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 04:58 PM
Actually, according to espn.com (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?playerId=4235) Jon's G/F ratio was 1.44 in 2005 and 1.13 in 2006, with his career being at 1.29. Among qualifying starters in the AL he ranked 23rd in 2006. Incidentally, that was the lowest out of our three remaining starters, as Contreras was 20th and Buehrle was 16th.

OK, so three of us all found different numbers. I honestly cannot remember which website I found mine at, but I'll throw those out the window since I know it was not ESPN or MLB.

The original point was that Jon throws a lot of groundballs and therefore benefits from a good infield. If you go by his 2006 rank (according to these numbers) he is in the top 1/3 of AL starters when it comes to inducing groundballs. To me, that means he takes advantage of having a good infield by inducing groundballs.

spiffie
12-24-2006, 05:09 PM
OK, so three of us all found different numbers. I honestly cannot remember which website I found mine at, but I'll throw those out the window since I know it was not ESPN or MLB.

The original point was that Jon throws a lot of groundballs and therefore benefits from a good infield. If you go by his 2006 rank (according to these numbers) he is in the top 1/3 of AL starters when it comes to inducing groundballs. To me, that means he takes advantage of having a good infield by inducing groundballs.
The problem is compared to the league average he doesn't induce that many grounders. The AL avg last year was 1.15. Jon was at 1.09. I know last year was slightly below average, but even his average is just slightly more than league average. He's not Brandon Webb or Chien-Ming Wang who are getting 3 to 4 grounders per flyout.

santo=dorf
12-24-2006, 05:12 PM
The original point was that Jon throws a lot of groundballs and therefore benefits from a good infield. If you go by his 2006 rank (according to these numbers) he is in the top 1/3 of AL starters when it comes to inducing groundballs. To me, that means he takes advantage of having a good infield by inducing groundballs.
Sorry, but your logic has some holes in it.

Out of 39 qualified AL starters (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/pitching?split=0&league=al&season=2006&seasonType=2&sort=groundToFlyRatio&type=pitch3&ageMin=17&ageMax=51&state=0&college=0&country=0&hand=a&pos=all) Jon was was 23rd in G/F. That is not in the top third. In terms of the number of groundballs induced, Garland was 6th.

Now let's have some fun. Ted Lilly is a flyball pitcher. We know that. He was 36th in GO/FO. He had 227 outs due to flyballs.

Jon Garland had 277 outs due to flyballs. Does that make Garland a flyball pitcher? :?:

Didn't think so. Look at the rates. As usual, Garland is average.

southside rocks
12-24-2006, 05:12 PM
I didn't write that they were being cheap or that they were going to replace everybody on the '05 team. I have written that they're not going to re-sign Buehrle after 2007 and Garland and Vazquez after 2008, and I haven't had anyone with the team say that's not right. They have said they're not going to do four or five year contracts for pitchers, even if it's the going rate. Maybe they will keep Buehrle and Garland. But the time to do that is before they reach free agency, not after. You shouldn't expect they'll keep them after they hit free agency just because they kept Konerko that way.

Maybe I'm missing something, but is it possible that Kenny Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf see the recent prices paid for FA pitchers to signal a cycle of overpaying for mediocrity?

Is it possible that they guesstimate this trend to continue for the next few years?

Might KW and JR at this time look at their starters and decide that when their contracts expire, Buehrle will not be worth $18-$20 million a year for 4-6 years, and Garland's performance will not justify a 5-year $100 million contract?

Therefore, is it possible that AT THIS TIME, KW and JR do not plan to extend those starters on the terms that are prevalent in the market -- but that if prices drop in the next year or so, they would be very willing to re-negotiate reasonable contracts for any and all of the current starters?

You're saying that they're determined to let Buehrle, Garland, and Vazquez go at the end of their contracts. I wonder if they might not be waiting to make that decision based on what the market is when those contracts run out.

So no, I'm not freaking out now over their 'wait and see and stockpile young arms' approach. I think it's very smart. I think it will enable them to avoid the Cubs' insane approach of throwing tons of money at mediocre talent.

Of course as a fan I have a sentimental attachment to the starters who won the World Series in 2005. And how attached are they to me, to the franchise, to the city? Would Buehrle give KW and JR a hometown discount if the Cardinals came calling? You think so? I don't.

Have a merry Christmas.

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 05:16 PM
Sorry, but your logic has some holes in it.

Out of 39 qualified AL starters (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/pitching?split=0&league=al&season=2006&seasonType=2&sort=groundToFlyRatio&type=pitch3&ageMin=17&ageMax=51&state=0&college=0&country=0&hand=a&pos=all) Jon was was 23rd in G/F. That is not in the top third. In terms of the number of groundballs induced, Garland was 6th.

Not let's have some fun. Ted Lilly is a flyball pitcher. We know that. He was 36th in GO/FO. He had 227 outs due to flyballs.

Jon Garland had 277 outs due to flyballs. Does that make Garland a flyball pitcher? :?:

Didn't think so. Look at the rates. As usual, Garland is average.

I guess it makes no sense to me that there are only 39 qualified pitchers in the AL. Given that each team runs 5 starters out there, how does that amount to 39 guys? It seems like a flawed statistic or flawed methodology.

ChiTownTrojan
12-24-2006, 05:27 PM
Probably because there is a minimum number of innings to qualify. Most teams don't have 5 guys stay in their rotation all year long. There are injuries and demotions all the time. The Sox have been very lucky in this regard the past couple years.

ilsox7
12-24-2006, 05:28 PM
Probably because there is a minimum number of innings to qualify. Most teams don't have 5 guys stay in their rotation all year long. There are injuries and demotions all the time. The Sox have been very lucky in this regard the past couple years.

But still, only 39 guys? That's less than 3 qualifiers per team!

I will admit that it appears Jon is not as much of a groundball pitcher as I thought, but I still cannot find reliable statistics on the topic.

PaleHoseGeorge
12-24-2006, 06:58 PM
You go to sleep around here and a whole new war breaks out.
:wink:

Originally Posted by progers13
As for running down the organization, I don't think I've done that. I have criticized some decisions, just as I criticized just about every move the Cubs made last winter. It's my job to decipher this stuff the best I can.
Just today you wrote, "This is a despicable plan, not just because it puts economics ahead of competitiveness but because it guarantees that guys who brought a World Series parade to Chicago are going to be leaving town too soon, maybe still in their primes."

Care to rephrase one of those statements? Either you erred in saying you haven't "run down" the Sox, or your "despicable" comment is surely something you want to take back.

Vernam

I would use this as Exhibit A why posting at WSI is one-thousand times more difficult than writing a newspaper article. Phil is caught on the wire here and gets raked by machine gun fire like nothing he ever felt in that lame Cubune "Letters to the Editor" section. Nicely played, V.

I'll add my voice to the chorus thanking Phil for showing up and defending himself. Every Sox Fan knows too well what sort of weasel works at the other rag in town -- too scared to even show up in the clubhouse, forget about a forum like this one.

Thanks Phil, and happy holidays!

TomBradley72
12-25-2006, 01:32 PM
But here's my question: It really doesn't bother any of you guys that the White Sox see every member of their World Series rotation as replaceable at the end of their current contracts?

Phil: First of all...you deserve alot of credit for posting here and having a dialogue with the WSI members.

To answer your question...does it bother me? Not necessarily. By 2009...we'll be four years removed from the World Series...in contemporary MLB that's an eternity. For example, the World Series champion four years ago were the Angels...their top 4 starters were: J. Washburn, R. Ortiz, K. Appier and J. Lackey...only lackey was part of their rotation in 2006. I think the concern about our rotation in 2009 is nearly 100% irrelevent..so much can happen over the course of the 2007 and 2008 seasons. What would have made your point valid would be a little research around the frequency of World Series champions holding on to their rotations for four full seasons following a championship...is it common? are the White Sox unusual or typical in how they are approaching this? and what does that say about JR and KW's approach?

With the history of quality baseball in this town (or lack thereof..especially on the north side)...how our rotation is shaping up three years from now is pretty low on the priority list. Only time will tell if KW's aggressive approach to acquiring high quality young arms was the right strategy.

With that said...Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Phil...any and all "hot stove league" debates are a gift from my perspective.

itsnotrequired
12-25-2006, 01:39 PM
For example, the World Series champion four years ago were the Angels...their top 4 starters were: J. Washburn, R. Ortiz, K. Appier and J. Lackey...only lackey was part of their rotation in 2006.

Hell, you don't even have to go back as far as 2001. Only Schilling and Wakefield were still pitching for the Red Sox in 2006.

Lprof
12-25-2006, 02:12 PM
Any trade is a gamble. I wouldnt call it a "scary leap." :rolleyes:I think you are missing the key point here: Kenny has traded three solid major league performers, including one 17 game winner, off of a contender and received back NOT ONE SINGLE PLAYER WITH ANY DEGREE OF PROVEN SUCCESS AT THE MAJOR LEAGUE LEVEL. Indeed, based on their minor league records or failures in the majors, one could call most of them suspects, rather than prospects. I don't know how anyone could say our team is better for 2007 than before the trades. And as for 3009 and 2010? Please--minor league pitchers are always long shots--remember Scott Ruffcorn? Can't miss my butt. And none of these guys has the minor league success that Ruffcorn had. But let's assume one or more of these guys will be a solid performer in 2009--will Dye, Thome, or Crede be here? Are we going to spend the money to bring in comparable free agents? The answer is very clear; we go to the park at a 3 million clip, and this crap is the way they reward us. This is the year to go for it, and we seem to be trading for the future. I just don't get it.

ilsox7
12-25-2006, 02:16 PM
I think you are missing the key point here: Kenny has traded three solid major league performers, including one 17 game winner,

Who are the other two?

itsnotrequired
12-25-2006, 02:24 PM
I think you are missing the key point here: Kenny has traded three solid major league performers, including one 17 game winner, off of a contender and received back NOT ONE SINGLE PLAYER WITH ANY DEGREE OF PROVEN SUCCESS AT THE MAJOR LEAGUE LEVEL. Indeed, based on their minor league records or failures in the majors, one could call most of them suspects, rather than prospects. I don't know how anyone could say our team is better for 2007 than before the trades. And as for 3009 and 2010? Please--minor league pitchers are always long shots--remember Scott Ruffcorn? Can't miss my butt. And none of these guys has the minor league success that Ruffcorn had. But let's assume one or more of these guys will be a solid performer in 2009--will Dye, Thome, or Crede be here? Are we going to spend the money to bring in comparable free agents? The answer is very clear; we go to the park at a 3 million clip, and this crap is the way they reward us. This is the year to go for it, and we seem to be trading for the future. I just don't get it.

Good grief, why do so many people think that Reinsdorf is laughing to himself and saying "Those South Side rubes! Now that I have their money, I can finally go cheap with the team and buy that new boat I've had my eye on! Ha ha ha!"

Do you know for a fact these prospects won't pan out? Do you know for a fact that Kenny isn't packaging them for some other deal? Kenny is rolling the dice here. It might work out, it might not but I for one believe that KW is doing what he can to keep the team a consistent playoff contender for years to come.

ilsox7
12-25-2006, 02:32 PM
Good grief, why do so many people think that Reinsdorf is laughing to himself and saying "Those South Side rubes! Now that I have their money, I can finally go cheap with the team and buy that new boat I've had my eye on! Ha ha ha!"



It's becoming painfully obvious that some of the **** the media spews is actually believed by a fair amount of the public.

Lprof
12-25-2006, 03:36 PM
Who are the other two?I consider both Gload and McCarthy to be "solid major leaguers"; I didn't say stars, or even starters, but solid contributors to a successful major league team. Does anybody we received satisfy that criterion? Also, what I failed to mention is that not only have we not gotten back proven major league talent, we still have holes at the bottom of the order.

itsnotrequired
12-25-2006, 03:38 PM
I consider both Gload and McCarthy to be "solid major leaguers"; I didn't say stars, or even starters, but solid contributors to a successful major league team. Does anybody we received satisfy that criterion? Also, what I failed to mention is that not only have we not gotten back proven major league talent, we still have holes at the bottom of the order.

The Sox got Sisco for Gload. Do you not consider him a "solid major leaguers"?

Lprof
12-25-2006, 03:39 PM
Good grief, why do so many people think that Reinsdorf is laughing to himself and saying "Those South Side rubes! Now that I have their money, I can finally go cheap with the team and buy that new boat I've had my eye on! Ha ha ha!"

Do you know for a fact these prospects won't pan out? Do you know for a fact that Kenny isn't packaging them for some other deal? Kenny is rolling the dice here. It might work out, it might not but I for one believe that KW is doing what he can to keep the team a consistent playoff contender for years to come. "consistent playoff contender for years to come"--does that include this coming year? Are we a better team for this coming year now than before the trades? Who, of the minor league pitchers Kenny got, is going to help us this coming year? No, I don't know they won't pan out; heck, I hope I am dead wrong. But it is a question of playing the odds. I wish I could have your apparently blind faith in KW. I hope things become more clear to me at the end of spring training as to what the plan is; all I have to go on now, however, is what he has done, and it sure seems strange.

Lprof
12-25-2006, 03:41 PM
The Sox got Sisco for Gload. Do you not consider him a "solid major leaguers"?Did you see what Sisco did last year? Most inherited runners aloud; era over 7--for a relief pitcher??? Actually, I like Sisco, but I am basing that mostly on the year before. I will say, however, that of the four big trades (I failed to mention Cotts, but that one seems like a reasonable gamble) the one for Sisco seems the most reasonable. It is more the other two I find strange.

Daver
12-25-2006, 03:44 PM
I consider both Gload and McCarthy to be "solid major leaguers"; I didn't say stars, or even starters, but solid contributors to a successful major league team. Does anybody we received satisfy that criterion? Also, what I failed to mention is that not only have we not gotten back proven major league talent, we still have holes at the bottom of the order.

Brandon McCarthy is not a proven MLB starting pitcher, and he looked terrible out of the bullpen in 2006.

Ross Gload is a bench player at best.

ilsox7
12-25-2006, 03:47 PM
Brandon McCarthy is not a proven MLB starting pitcher, and he looked terrible out of the bullpen in 2006.

Ross Gload is a bench player at best.

At least I'm not alone in my thinking.

jabrch
12-25-2006, 03:53 PM
At least I'm not alone in my thinking.

Most people agree with you. It's the vocal minority of scared boobs that keep crying about replaceable baseball players.

Lprof
12-25-2006, 04:57 PM
Brandon McCarthy is not a proven MLB starting pitcher, and he looked terrible out of the bullpen in 2006.

Ross Gload is a bench player at best.The irony here is incredible. Just a week ago, people were defending KW's trade of Garcia, because it opened a spot in the rotation for our phenom, McCarthy. Now, apparently, he isn't all that much. I guess I am one of the "scared boobs" (really convincing form of argumentation) who doesn't understand these trades. But don't you all find it strange that KW got back no one who is a proven major leaguer? Perhaps more trades are to come, so I probably should be reserving judgment, but I am going on what we have to this point.

nedlug
12-25-2006, 05:19 PM
It's all been said, really. The problem is that some people are taking it too far.

I am definitely troubled that we don't have a 5th starter. Yes, the last two trades may make us better in 08 & 09. However, I am very troubled that we are entering the season without a bona fide, ML-experienced starter.

I am not going to renounce this season, but it's definitely troubling. It's what I believe, of course, but anyone who's completely fine with the rotation as it currently stands is looking through rosy glasses.

Daver
12-25-2006, 05:29 PM
The irony here is incredible. Just a week ago, people were defending KW's trade of Garcia, because it opened a spot in the rotation for our phenom, McCarthy. Now, apparently, he isn't all that much. I guess I am one of the "scared boobs" (really convincing form of argumentation) who doesn't understand these trades. But don't you all find it strange that KW got back no one who is a proven major leaguer? Perhaps more trades are to come, so I probably should be reserving judgment, but I am going on what we have to this point.

Lets suppose Brandon started the season as the fifth starter, based on his numbers last year, he would give up 85 HR's and have an ERA above 6, there are six guys under contract to compete in ST for that job, and I think the Sox can get those numbers out of any of them, barring any further player movement.

dickallen15
12-25-2006, 05:29 PM
The ironic thing is the White Sox organization, Williams in particular, is who is responsible for all of the McCarthy hype. If they don't want to hear negative feedback when they send these types of guys packing, maybe Williams shouldn't hype him up so much. Williams is getting very arrogant. He won a WS, and now he has all the answers. Just ask yourself how the White Sox would have fared in 2005 if he did get his original plan accomplished, which included Ben Davis catching, Jared (sp?) Wright in the rotation, Vizquel at SS, and Uribe playing SS,3B and 2B, with Willie Harris seeing a lot of playing time. He lucked out. I'm not complaining about his lucking out, but it hardly makes him a genius.

Daver
12-25-2006, 05:31 PM
The ironic thing is the White Sox organization, Williams in particular, is who is responsible for all of the McCarthy hype. If they don't want to hear negative feedback when they send these types of guys packing, maybe Williams shouldn't hype him up so much.

Every single team in MLB hypes their prospects, not just the Chicago White Sox.

jabrch
12-25-2006, 05:39 PM
The ironic thing is the White Sox organization, Williams in particular, is who is responsible for all of the McCarthy hype. If they don't want to hear negative feedback when they send these types of guys packing, maybe Williams shouldn't hype him up so much. Williams is getting very arrogant. He won a WS, and now he has all the answers. Just ask yourself how the White Sox would have fared in 2005 if he did get his original plan accomplished, which included Ben Davis catching, Jared (sp?) Wright in the rotation, Vizquel at SS, and Uribe playing SS,3B and 2B, with Willie Harris seeing a lot of playing time. He lucked out. I'm not complaining about his lucking out, but it hardly makes him a genius.

I bet you KW doesn't care much what a bunch of idiot fans think about the trades. He hyped up McCarthy - and then traded him for the #2 ranked LH SP prospect in the minors. That's a damn good job. Brandon was a #3 type SP at his best.

Nobody ever said KW is a genius. I hear a lot of people saying KW is not a genius - but nobody saying his is a genius. (kinda strange). What he is is a GM who has done a very good job inheriting a pretty mediocre farm system, creating a World Series winner, and has at the same time restocked the farm, while keep the team a contender for the World Series. Genius? Hell no. Best GM the Sox have today? Yup.

Over the past few weeks he has strengthened the bullpen, added 2 top 10 SP prospects, and built farm depth. All he has really given up, at the end of the day off of our 2006 team, was 1 SP and 1 RP. (McCarthy was a bad RP last year - remember that). Sure - McCarthy could have been a decent SP - but he was by no means a lock to deliver; given how poor he was last year.

jabrch
12-25-2006, 05:41 PM
Every single team in MLB hypes their prospects, not just the Chicago White Sox.


The trick is to get other teams to believe your hype and overpay for them. I'm assuming KW believes he did that getting Masset and Danks for McCarthy.

Lprof
12-25-2006, 06:32 PM
Every single team in MLB hypes their prospects, not just the Chicago White Sox. I am not talking about the team; I am talking about people on this web site, who were talking about how great Mccarthy was (also, people on the SCORE). And as a starter, at the end of 2005, McCarthy WAS very good. But defenders of KW cannot have it both ways: Either it was ok to trade Garcia because it opened up a spot for our budding superstar, in which event the trade of McCarthy looks ridiculous, or McCarthy was never very likely to replace Garcia's wins, so it was a mistake to trade Garcia for two unproven, even suspect, minor league pitchers.

Lprof
12-25-2006, 06:35 PM
I bet you KW doesn't care much what a bunch of idiot fans think about the trades. He hyped up McCarthy - and then traded him for the #2 ranked LH SP prospect in the minors. That's a damn good job. Brandon was a #3 type SP at his best.

Nobody ever said KW is a genius. I hear a lot of people saying KW is not a genius - but nobody saying his is a genius. (kinda strange). What he is is a GM who has done a very good job inheriting a pretty mediocre farm system, creating a World Series winner, and has at the same time restocked the farm, while keep the team a contender for the World Series. Genius? Hell no. Best GM the Sox have today? Yup.

Over the past few weeks he has strengthened the bullpen, added 2 top 10 SP prospects, and built farm depth. All he has really given up, at the end of the day off of our 2006 team, was 1 SP and 1 RP. (McCarthy was a bad RP last year - remember that). Sure - McCarthy could have been a decent SP - but he was by no means a lock to deliver; given how poor he was last year.But you are missing the key point here: He gave those up WITHOUT HELPING THE TEAM FOR NEXT YEAR. When we are likely to have Crede, Dye and an effective Thome for no more than a year or two, I frankly don't care about building up the farm system right now. Isn't it KW who was always saying, "the only World Series you can win is this year's"?

Daver
12-25-2006, 06:43 PM
I am not talking about the team; I am talking about people on this web site, who were talking about how great Mccarthy was (also, people on the SCORE). And as a starter, at the end of 2005, McCarthy WAS very good. But defenders of KW cannot have it both ways: Either it was ok to trade Garcia because it opened up a spot for our budding superstar, in which event the trade of McCarthy looks ridiculous, or McCarthy was never very likely to replace Garcia's wins, so it was a mistake to trade Garcia for two unproven, even suspect, minor league pitchers.

Since when do I speak for every member of this forum?

Trading Garcia was probably a fait accompli when he came out and said he really only prepared to pitch in big games, anyone that approaches his job with that attitude ain't gonna be around long.

Would I have been OK with Brandon as the fifth starter for 2007? Yes, but it would be knowing he is not a proven MLB starter. Will I be comfortable knowing Charlie Haeger is going to be the fifth starter for 2007? Yes, knowing he is not a proven MLB starter. The point is, if Charlie fails in that role, there are 5 other guys that are close to be ready to take that role, had Brandon done it, there would be two.

Oh, and I highly doubt that anyone employed by WSCR knows jack**** about baseball.

itsnotrequired
12-25-2006, 06:46 PM
Oh, and I highly doubt that anyone employed by WSCR knows jack**** about baseball.

And this is something we all can agree on.

:thumbsup:

Hitmen77
12-25-2006, 11:21 PM
The ironic thing is the White Sox organization, Williams in particular, is who is responsible for all of the McCarthy hype. If they don't want to hear negative feedback when they send these types of guys packing, maybe Williams shouldn't hype him up so much. ...

So...you want our GM to stop hyping our prospects? :?: How is that a good strategy when trying to work trades with other teams?

SouthSide_HitMen
12-26-2006, 01:05 AM
Oh, and I highly doubt that anyone employed by WSCR knows jack**** about baseball.

:farmer

"I went golfing yesterday with my good buddy Charlie Weis who all of you know as the head coach of the Notre Dame Football Squad. I was playing without socks, s-o-c-k-s, not s-o-x.... yada, yada, yada"

Ed Farmer and Steve Stone are the exceptions to the rule (though you have to listen to Ed's endless non baseball banter and Steve's high nasal voice).

I couldn't fathom listening to that station outside of White Sox broadcasts (which are in and of themselves brutal) and downloads of Steve Stone's guest appearances.

maurice
12-26-2006, 02:04 PM
I've said a lot about these nonsensical articles elsewhere and have just 2 more things to add:

(1) I strongly suspect that Rogers wrote a prototype of this article in anticipation of Garland being traded. When McCarthy was traded instead, he made very few changes and ran the article. This explains many of the nonsensical statements in the article ("workhorse," "despicable," dismantling WS staff, etc.), and it also explains Phil's inability to reasonably explain these statements. I have no evidence in support of this claim and admit that it's just a theory. The previous statement shows that I am substantially more honest than Phil Rogers.

(2) Phil repeatedly asks why we disagree with his claims that JR / KW's master plan is "despicable." We repeatedly answer that there is no factual basis for his claim. His response? The Sox never told me I was wrong. He obviously is implying that we are correct when we say that nobody ever told him that he was RIGHT. Since he's talking about events that may or may not occur one or more YEARS in the future, it would be irresponsible for anybody to tell him that they'll definitely re-sign Garland, etc. OTOH, the fact that nobody has DENIED what he's saying is completely meaningless.

You're the one making the claim, Phil. The burden of proof is on YOU. (For example, if somebody wrote that Dan McGrath likes to kills puppies, and he doesn't deny it, that is not REMOTELY evidence that McGrath likes to kill puppies. On the contrary, it could be evidence that he doesn't want to dignify or further publicize the slander by making a response.) I'd be amazed if they don't teach this in journalism school.

Thank you for confirming that you have no evidence in support of your claim, Phil. Now stop making it. The fact that you already have made it repeatedly is what I find to be "despicable."

soxtalker
12-26-2006, 02:35 PM
I've said a lot about these nonsensical articles elsewhere and have just 2 more things to add:

(1) I strongly suspect that Rogers wrote a prototype of this article in anticipation of Garland being traded. When McCarthy was traded instead, he made very few changes and ran the article. This explains many of the nonsensical statements in the article ("workhorse," "despicable," dismantling WS staff, etc.), and it also explains Phil's inability to reasonably explain these statements. I have no evidence in support of this claim and admit that it's just a theory. The previous statement shows that I am substantially more honest than Phil Rogers.

(2) Phil repeatedly asks why we disagree with his claims that JR / KW's master plan is "despicable." We repeatedly answer that there is no factual basis for his claim. His response? The Sox never told me I was wrong. He obviously is implying that we are correct when we say that nobody ever told him that he was RIGHT. Since he's talking about events that may or may not occur one or more YEARS in the future, it would be irresponsible for anybody to tell him that they'll definitely re-sign Garland, etc. OTOH, the fact that nobody has DENIED what he's saying is completely meaningless.

You're the one making the claim, Phil. The burden of proof is on YOU. (For example, if somebody wrote that Dan McGrath likes to kills puppies, and he doesn't deny it, that is not REMOTELY evidence that McGrath likes to kill puppies. On the contrary, it could be evidence that he doesn't want to dignify or further publicize the slander by making a response.) I'd be amazed if they don't teach this in journalism school.

Thank you for confirming that you have no evidence in support of your claim, Phil. Now stop making it. The fact that you already have made it repeatedly is what I find to be "despicable."

Well, I'd rather he NOT stop making the assertion and writing articles like this. Phil has come on this board and tried to explain why he has the opinions that he has. That made it clearer that a large part of what we read was opinion based on his years of covering the team and talking to management. I don't know how others read the sports articles, but I don't find that a big surprise. On top of that, he quoted KW pretty accurately. Plus, it is clear he cares a lot about the team and the people on it. We don't have to agree with them, but it is good to get a variety of opinions from people who cover the team.

fquaye149
12-26-2006, 02:43 PM
Well, I'd rather he NOT stop making the assertion and writing articles like this. Phil has come on this board and tried to explain why he has the opinions that he has. That made it clearer that a large part of what we read was opinion based on his years of covering the team and talking to management. I don't know how others read the sports articles, but I don't find that a big surprise. On top of that, he quoted KW pretty accurately. Plus, it is clear he cares a lot about the team and the people on it. We don't have to agree with them, but it is good to get a variety of opinions from people who cover the team.


where in this thread did he make that clear? I'm confused.

I get the impression that it's a lot closer to what Maurice described than what you just described.

I respect that he came on the board, but he pretty much skirted all the difficult questions and then started backtracking and playing word games....

It's not easy to come on this board and face the crossfire, and for that I respect him more than pretty much any journalist in this town...but what he's been writing lately is very suspect and makes it hard for me to as easily discount the "cubune propaganda" claims as it was in the past

tebman
12-26-2006, 02:55 PM
Two quick points on the morning after:

The first will never be believed by you guys, but here goes -- the fact that Tribune Co. owns the Cubs does not affect anything I write about them, the White Sox, the other 28 teams or anything to do with MLB (I do, however, understand the perception, and look forward to the time that the Tribune Co. no longer owns the Cubs). If I have any bias it is toward the American League, because it is the one I watched most as a kid and have covered most over the last 20-plus years; it's also the better of the two leagues.

And secondly, I write about the Cubs planning to turn over four spots in the rotation in the next two years (every one except the guy who is the oldest, Contreras) because that is what I have learned to be their strategy in reaction to the runaway pitching market. No one with the White Sox has ever told me I'm wrong -- and if it meant keeping Buehrle and Garland until they were old, gray and ineffective, I would be happy to eat humble pie. I have enjoyed the exchange.
Phil, thank you. I missed the last few dozen posts on this thread because of the holiday, so I didn't see your last message until today (12/26, 2:30 p.m.).

I'm assuming that's a (Freudian? :D: ) slip at the top of the second paragraph, because it doesn't make sense otherwise. And what you write may well be true, but so what? As has been said in this thread by several posters, long-term contracts for pitchers is simply not a good idea. With rare exception, pitchers wear out quickly. That's what makes it so easy for us to defend KW's acquisition of a bunch of young pitchers and at the same time shake our heads at the Cubs for throwing crazy money at Ted Lilly and hanging on to Kerry Wood when it's apparent that his future is weak.

Clearly what got us charged up was the word "despicable" and the suggestion that the Sox were dumping salary instead of building the team. And, of course, our automatic suspicion of something published in what Andy McPhail said was the Cubs' "house organ."

Look, Ken Williams stood up against the popular wind and hired Ozzie Guillen, traded Carlos Lee, didn't sign Magglio Ordonez, and put up with insults in that hagiography of Billy Beane. And then his team won the World Series. As far as we're concerned, Williams is entitled to the benefit of many doubts. His strategy is sound and the White Sox are poised to compete in the toughest division in baseball. At this moment, that's okay with me. Has he been flawless? Of course not, but he's done a hell of a lot better than most of his peers.

The front-line pitchers we're debating about in this thread let us down last season -- that's exactly why the Sox need to keep restocking the roster with pitchers! Who knows? As much as we love Buehrle, he might continue his fizzle, and Contreras might suddenly start pitching his age. If KW doesn't have a Plan B, what then? Ken knows what he's doing.

Thanks again for the conversation, Phil. We hope you come back, and we hope (like you do) that your bosses come to their senses and sell the superfluous ball team that's giving us all heartburn.

Happy New Year, and Go Sox!

progers13
12-26-2006, 03:08 PM
Mo, simmer down, please.

Ol' No. 2
12-26-2006, 03:23 PM
Phil, Here's a study in contrast. On Dec 24, here's what you had to say about the Cubs stocking up on young pitchers:
One of the best things about the Cubs' winter is they added pitching without losing the arms they already had. The competition for jobs in the Triple-A rotation will be fierce, and there should be quality reinforcements available when needed.
On the same day, here's what you had to say about the Sox doing the same thing:
On the surface, the McCarthy deal is another part of the Williams/Jerry Reinsdorf plan to replace, rather than re-sign, Buehrle, Garland and Vazquez (along with the recently departed Freddy Garcia) before the 2009 season. This is a despicable plan, not just because it puts economics ahead of competitiveness but because it guarantees that guys who brought a World Series parade to Chicago are going to be leaving town too soon, maybe still in their primes.
There is not a reason in the world why Carlos Zambrano is any more likely to re-sign with the Cubs than Mark Buehrle is with the Sox, yet we don't see anything close to the ceaseless carping about it.

You can protest the accusations of bias all you want, but your own words betray you.

maurice
12-26-2006, 03:30 PM
It's not easy to come on this board and face the crossfire, and for that I respect him more than pretty much any journalist in this town...

Ditto. FWIW, I've praised Rogers many times in the past, especially for the efforts he makes to research before he writes. He's definitely one of the hardest working sports media folks in this city. I don't believe that Rogers literally is taking orders, but he's leaving himself wide open here. (While it is not an indictment of any individual Trib employee, the Trib's disparate handling of Sox stories and Cubs stories is well-documented on this site, and a thorn in the side of any objective Trib employee--yes, such a creature does exist.) Besides, what good is the Internet if you can't use "strong words" and go off on a rant every once in a while (or, in my case, every couple of days)?

I will now proceed to "simmer down." Happy Holidays, Phil.

Flight #24
12-26-2006, 04:00 PM
Would it be absolutely ludicrous to think that just maybe, Kenny's thinking goes along the lines of:
- If Buehrle is Buehrle of old, I want to resign him, but there's enough doubt that I'm not going to do anything until I get some indication of that.
- I've got Jon for 2 more years, and who knows where the market will be by then.
- I've got Javy for 2 more years and who knows where the market will be by then, plus while he seemed to turn the corner in '06, there's plenty of questions about his ability to sustain that.
- In any case, it does me absolutely no good to announce that I'm dying to resign guys. It does me a ton of good from a negotiating standpoint, however to make strong statements even if I'm willing to back off of them, just to make sure Mark & Jon & Javy know I'm serious, or at least think I'm serious. Look back to my comments on Jon & Jose just a year ago for evidence of how that works.

The point to Phil is that there are any number of ways to spin the Sox stories in a positive or negative way, but there's consistently one spin coming out of the Trib tower. I wonder why that is?

Hope your holidays are going well!

Ol' No. 2
12-26-2006, 04:12 PM
Would it be absolutely ludicrous to think that just maybe, Kenny's thinking goes along the lines of:
- If Buehrle is Buehrle of old, I want to resign him, but there's enough doubt that I'm not going to do anything until I get some indication of that.
- I've got Jon for 2 more years, and who knows where the market will be by then.
- I've got Javy for 2 more years and who knows where the market will be by then, plus while he seemed to turn the corner in '06, there's plenty of questions about his ability to sustain that.
- In any case, it does me absolutely no good to announce that I'm dying to resign guys. It does me a ton of good from a negotiating standpoint, however to make strong statements even if I'm willing to back off of them, just to make sure Mark & Jon & Javy know I'm serious, or at least think I'm serious. Look back to my comments on Jon & Jose just a year ago for evidence of how that works.

The point to Phil is that there are any number of ways to spin the Sox stories in a positive or negative way, but there's consistently one spin coming out of the Trib tower. I wonder why that is?

Hope your holidays are going well!I think it's simpler than that. If Buehrle has a good year and he decides to go the FA route, he could command a contract similar to what Zito is going to get. The questions are:

1. Should Kenny pay that much to re-sign Mark?

2. Should he have an alternative in place if he can't or won't?

Truth be told, Hendry is considering the same kind of options on Carlos Zambrano. Every other team makes these same kind of contingency plans. In the Cubs' case, it's smart baseball management. In the Sox' case, it's despicable.:rolleyes:

southside rocks
12-26-2006, 04:19 PM
I think it's simpler than that. If Buehrle has a good year and he decides to go the FA route, he could command a contract similar to what Zito is going to get. The questions are:

1. Should Kenny pay that much to re-sign Mark?

2. Should he have an alternative in place if he can't or won't?

Truth be told, Hendry is considering the same kind of options on Carlos Zambrano. Every other team makes these same kind of contingency plans. In the Cubs' case, it's smart baseball management. In the Sox' case, it's despicable.:rolleyes:

I know that's true because I read it in the Tribune! :D:

progers13
12-26-2006, 10:14 PM
Who said anything about the Cubs being smart?

Regarding Zambrano, I think there's a pretty good chance of the Cubs re-signing him because they don't put artificial restrictions on themselves and they are certainly throwing money at their problems these days. If they lost him at the top of his game, there would be plenty of criticism to go around. I can't see their fans getting mad at the Chicago media if it became critical of the Cubs front office for poor-mouthing the team's ability to re-sign Zambrano (or any other consistent contributor).

While the Soriano, Lilly and Marquis contracts are huge risks, it is really hard to criticize an ownership group for spending money. (However, I'll point out that I was very critical of the Cubs a year ago for trading three pitchers for Juan Pierre and for giving up draft choices to sign Howry, Eyre and Jones; and I did criticize them for giving Jones three years when he figured to be little better than Jeromy Burnitz, who they were letting walk).

If I ducked any questions, I didn't mean to. Ask 'em again and I'll give you an honest answer.

That is, unless I'm working on the "prototype'' of my column on the Buehrle trade. Or the Garland trade. Or the Vazquez trade (although I'll be a little less upset about that one since he wasn't part of the World Series team). Just joshing you, Maurice.

dickallen15
12-26-2006, 10:25 PM
If Vazquez has another year in 2007 like he did in 2006, would the White Sox really want to offer him arbitration? I know he's technically under the team's control for 2 years, but realistically aren't we looking at his final season in a White Sox uniform? If he has a good year, I just don't see the White Sox paying a guy like him $15 million for 1 season.

progers13
12-26-2006, 10:40 PM
That seems like a reasonable question to me, as he could be an expensive to very expensive proposition in arbitration -- and after '07 the other teams (Yankees and Diamondbacks) aren't going to help pay his salary. Or you could try to sign him to a contract extension at this time, say another two or three years at $10-12 million. If that doesn't get it done, then let your fans know what you tried to do and then decide between keeping him for one expensive year with arbitration in '07 (like Atlanta did with Maddux in '03), trading him or letting him play out his contract. Maybe the Sox have the nerve to do something really ballsy -- trade one of these guys at the July 31 deadline because you believe you can replace him with one of the kids you've assembled. This really could be interesting.

rdivaldi
12-26-2006, 10:48 PM
While the Soriano, Lilly and Marquis contracts are huge risks, it is really hard to criticize an ownership group for spending money.

You lost me here Phil. It is really easy to criticize an organization for spending money foolishly. Unless Trib. Co. has a Steinbrenner-esqe payroll in mind, they've really handcuffed themselves when the trading deadline rolls around.

To draw a parallel, there were dot-coms in the late 90's that prided themselves on spending cash even if it was driving them into multi-million dollar debt. As long as the stock price went up, all was good, some of the 20-something CEO's were even quoted saying that they thought that they looked bad if they weren't "burning" through their cash.

Well, we all know how that ended.

Spending money wisely = good
Spending money foolishly = bad

Rip 'em in a column I say. You have a good baseball mind, don't let them off the hook.

fquaye149
12-27-2006, 02:29 AM
You lost me here Phil. It is really easy to criticize an organization for spending money foolishly. Unless Trib. Co. has a Steinbrenner-esqe payroll in mind, they've really handcuffed themselves when the trading deadline rolls around.

To draw a parallel, there were dot-coms in the late 90's that prided themselves on spending cash even if it was driving them into multi-million dollar debt. As long as the stock price went up, all was good, some of the 20-something CEO's were even quoted saying that they thought that they looked bad if they weren't "burning" through their cash.

Well, we all know how that ended.

Spending money wisely = good
Spending money foolishly = bad

Rip 'em in a column I say. You have a good baseball mind, don't let them off the hook.
bingo

I saw that quote from Phil and thought "are you serious???"

Then I realized he works for the Tribune and it all seemed a lot more understandable

Mohoney
12-27-2006, 09:07 AM
Williams is getting very arrogant. He won a WS, and now he has all the answers.

Therein lies all the KW supporters' point. Confidence in your plan, even to the point of arrogance, IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL for a GM at this level in any sport. A gun-shy GM (Pat Gillick in Seattle is a perfect example of this) rarely, if ever, wins the big one.

Looking from a "win now" perspective, I think that if we were to have went into 2007 with the same exact team as 2006 (they did win 90 games), it wouldn't have been that bad, but I'm certainly not lamenting anybody we let go. I just don't see how getting rid of Cotts (praise the lord he's gone!), McCarthy (take a step back and look at how those longballs kind of screwed us), or Garcia (in his walk year, so it makes at least some baseball sense to move him now and get something) drops us that far below 90 wins. In fact, between all those subpar performances from Cotts and McCarthy out of the bullpen, I think we've actually improved on our 90 wins. In fact, I'll go out on a limb right now and say that 2007 Aardsma > 2006 McCarthy and 2007 Sisco > 2006 Cotts.

The key to this season won't be our 5th starter. It will be Buehrle rebounding from a dog**** 2006, Podsednik rebounding from a dog**** 2006, and Uribe learning some semblance of plate discipline (I know Anderson was a sinkhole, but Uribe was a sinkhole, too). I think that Buehrle and Pods are both quality enough ballplayers to bounce back, and I'm glad that Buehrle's option was exercised and Pods signed his 1 year deal. Hell, I'm ready to see Anderson play 130+ games in CF because I think he'll improve, too.

As for Uribe, I'm just praying that his D gets back to 2005 level, his good stretches at the dish come when they're really needed, his horrid stretches are neutralized by guys like Pods, Crede, BA, or Iguchi getting on a hot streak, and he gets at least the faintest understanding of where the strike zone is.

INSox56
12-27-2006, 09:18 AM
Therein lies all the KW supporters' point. Confidence in your plan, even to the point of arrogance, IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL for a GM at this level in any sport. A gun-shy GM (Pat Gillick in Seattle is a perfect example of this) rarely, if ever, wins the big one.

Looking from a "win now" perspective, I think that if we were to have went into 2007 with the same exact team as 2006 (they did win 90 games), it wouldn't have been that bad, but I'm certainly not lamenting anybody we let go. I just don't see how getting rid of Cotts (praise the lord he's gone!), McCarthy (take a step back and look at how those longballs kind of screwed us), or Garcia (in his walk year, so it makes at least some baseball sense to move him now and get something) drops us that far below 90 wins. In fact, between all those subpar performances from Cotts and McCarthy out of the bullpen, I think we've actually improved on our 90 wins. In fact, I'll go out on a limb right now and say that 2007 Aardsma > 2006 McCarthy and 2007 Sisco > 2006 Cotts.

The key to this season won't be our 5th starter. It will be Buehrle rebounding from a dog**** 2006, Podsednik rebounding from a dog**** 2006, and Uribe learning some semblance of plate discipline (I know Anderson was a sinkhole, but Uribe was a sinkhole, too). I think that Buehrle and Pods are both quality enough ballplayers to bounce back, and I'm glad that Buehrle's option was exercised and Pods signed his 1 year deal. Hell, I'm ready to see Anderson play 130+ games in CF because I think he'll improve, too.

As for Uribe, I'm just praying that his D gets back to 2005 level, his good stretches at the dish come when they're really needed, his horrid stretches are neutralized by guys like Pods, Crede, BA, or Iguchi getting on a hot streak, and he gets at least the faintest understanding of where the strike zone is.

gillick = phillies. :wink:

barney27
12-27-2006, 09:19 AM
I think it's a fair article.
McCarthy isn't exactly a known quantity like Rodgers says he is. He could flop in his first year as a full time starter. Lets just play wait and see. Huge upside for huge upside is all that was traded.

Mohoney
12-27-2006, 09:46 AM
Maybe the Sox have the nerve to do something really ballsy -- trade one of these guys at the July 31 deadline because you believe you can replace him with one of the kids you've assembled. This really could be interesting.

And the negative spin continues. If we're in contention, why would we move one of these guys if they're pulling their weight? Maybe because it fits the plan that was labeled "despicable" by the Cubune in December?

I really hope we win the ****ing World Series again. It might even mean more to me than the '05 title because it seems to be the only way that this whole spin of "arrogant Williams, cheap Reinsdorf" will end. It would be an even bigger middle finger to this obviously biased media than '05 was. If we win it TWICE, they have to just clam up the spin and be objective for once, don't they?

The Tribune sports section is like a puppy that refuses to be housebroken. We rubbed their nose in the poop in '05, but they still refused to dial down the hype. They were THE ONLY 6TH PLACE TEAM IN BASEBALL IN '06, the Cardinals rubbed their nose in the poop, and THEY STILL HYPE THIS TEAM right now. According to the Tribune, every year is "the year" when they write offseason articles.

Any sports media conglomerate with any sense wouldn't be caught dead taking the Cubs seriously until the All-Star break AT THE EARLIEST. They finished BEHIND THE PIRATES last year!

Screw it. I'm done trying to make sense of any of this. I hope the Tribune keeps doing what they're doing if that's what makes them happy. Go ahead and keep cranking out the bird cage liner, as long as you don't protest when people start refusing to take you seriously.

Mohoney
12-27-2006, 09:49 AM
gillick = phillies. :wink:

I'm talking about when he was in Seattle in the mid and late '90s. They didn't call him "Stand Pat" for nothing.

progers13
12-27-2006, 09:53 AM
Please. Go back and look at our coverage of the White Sox in 2005. It was the best in the city, by far. I was never prouder of what I do, never had more fun doing it, than during the White Sox's 11-1 run through the playoffs.

itsnotrequired
12-27-2006, 09:58 AM
Please. Go back and look at our coverage of the White Sox in 2005. It was the best in the city, by far. I was never prouder of what I do, never had more fun doing it, than during the White Sox's 11-1 run through the playoffs.

Unfortunately, many on this board believe that anything related to the Tribune is pure evil and they can never get one right.

Mohoney
12-27-2006, 10:00 AM
Please. Go back and look at our coverage of the White Sox in 2005. It was the best in the city, by far. I was never prouder of what I do, never had more fun doing it, than during the White Sox's 11-1 run through the playoffs.

Let me start by saying that, in my opinion, you're a far better writer than most of your colleagues, including other cities. However, I don't trust anybody else in your sports department at all when it comes to writing a fair editorial about baseball.

My rant was directed more to Paul Sullivan (horrible, horrible writer) than it was to you, but that comment about a midseason trade didn't exactly strike me as having much merit.

lakeviewsoxfan
12-27-2006, 10:02 AM
Please. Go back and look at our coverage of the White Sox in 2005. It was the best in the city, by far. I was never prouder of what I do, never had more fun doing it, than during the White Sox's 11-1 run through the playoffs.



Yes the coverage was really good in October if you discount the headline of marijuana usage around Comiskey. Phil I believe you are the best baseball writer this town has and you have so much more credibility than other mediots in this town, but please do not try to tell us that there is no spin on your stories that is just plain wrong.

NorthSideSox72
12-27-2006, 10:06 AM
4 things...

1. Don't confuse Phil Rogers with "the" Trib. Rogers is a columnist, and he writes what he wants to write (within reason). The Trib doesn't feed him his lines. So regardless of what Rogers may write, that isn't some sort of "spin" by the Trib.

2. The Trib actually is so careful about not doing what you all seem to fear, that they count column inches to make sure the Cubs and Sox, in the long term, get similar amounts of coverage during the year (post-season aside, if one team is in and the other is not).

3. The beat writer is where the tone is key, and frankly, the Sox beat writer is pretty negative as a rule. He is also not a very good sports writer, or journalist in general. The Cubs beat writer tends to be more positive. This, again, I doubt is spin, but its the one place I'd be willing to say MIGHT be influenced by management - hire the more positive guy for the Cubs. Or, it might be coincidence. Or, it might be that the Sox have had a lot more winning teams in recent years, so the analysis is more piercing, whereas for the Cubs, that hope is all they have. Or, or, or...

4. The Trib is a world class paper. The Suntimes is not. They are just not in the same league as newspapers. And the Trib is by leaps and bounds the best paper in the region, let alone the city.

Mohoney
12-27-2006, 10:17 AM
4 things...

1. Don't confuse Phil Rogers with "the" Trib. Rogers is a columnist, and he writes what he wants to write (within reason). The Trib doesn't feed him his lines. So regardless of what Rogers may write, that isn't some sort of "spin" by the Trib.

2. The Trib actually is so careful about not doing what you all seem to fear, that they count column inches to make sure the Cubs and Sox, in the long term, get similar amounts of coverage during the year (post-season aside, if one team is in and the other is not).

3. The beat writer is where the tone is key, and frankly, the Sox beat writer is pretty negative as a rule. He is also not a very good sports writer, or journalist in general. The Cubs beat writer tends to be more positive. This, again, I doubt is spin, but its the one place I'd be willing to say MIGHT be influenced by management - hire the more positive guy for the Cubs. Or, it might be coincidence. Or, it might be that the Sox have had a lot more winning teams in recent years, so the analysis is more piercing, whereas for the Cubs, that hope is all they have. Or, or, or...

4. The Trib is a world class paper. The Suntimes is not. They are just not in the same league as newspapers. And the Trib is by leaps and bounds the best paper in the region, let alone the city.

You have honestly seen absolutely no bias in the Tribune's sports section?

NorthSideSox72
12-27-2006, 10:21 AM
You have honestly seen absolutely no bias in the Tribune's sports section?
As I said, the only bias that I'd give a "maybe" to is the fact that Gonzalez, the Sox beat writer, is a poor journalist who leans towards a negative view, and the Cubs' beat writer appears more positive. Is that intentional? I have no idea. Maybe. maybe not.

But aside from that, no, I have not noticed any material bias. I've tried to find it - the illustrious Hangar has pointed me to all sorts of "examples", but none of them seemed to me like anything other than reader bias and paranoia.

itsnotrequired
12-27-2006, 10:24 AM
You have honestly seen absolutely no bias in the Tribune's sports section?

*cue Hangar18 MediaWatch*

The Trib will write about topics that help sell papers. For years, the Cubs were what people wanted to read about. Whether this is a "chicken and the egg" situation is clouded. The Sox had more attention last season (according to Crain's) but the Cubs have been doing far more this offseason than the Sox so lots of articles about the Cubs over the last couple months doesn't bother me in the least.

NorthSideSox72
12-27-2006, 10:27 AM
*cue Hangar18 MediaWatch*

The Trib will write about topics that help sell papers. For years, the Cubs were what people wanted to read about. Whether this is a "chicken and the egg" situation is clouded. The Sox had more attention last season (according to Crain's) but the Cubs have been doing far more this offseason than the Sox so lots of articles about the Cubs over the last couple months doesn't bother me in the least.
This is two great points that I wish people would pay attention to. One, the Trib (paper, not TribCo) is motivated to make money. They'll write what sells papers. They try to keep it even in the long run so they don't alienate either fan base, but the reality of this past fall is that there is more Cubs news to be told. Now the last week or two, big deals for the Sox, and they are being covered.

Second point, as you said, the Sox at times do have more coverage than the Cubs. Sometimes vice versa. They can't count column inches on a daily basis and even it out at a mirco level like that - that is impractical and stupid. But in the long run, it tends to even out.

oeo
12-27-2006, 10:30 AM
McCarthy isn't exactly a known quantity like Rodgers says he is. He could flop in his first year as a full time starter. Lets just play wait and see. Huge upside for huge upside is all that was traded.

Rogers admitted on Chicago Tribune Live that he loves McCarthy, that's the reason he's talking him up. Luckily our GM doesn't let personal feelings get in his way (unless he doesn't like you :tongue:).

I think what Rogers' problem is, is personal attachment (like a lot of people here), and not so much actually thinking these trades have made the team worse. Just my opinion, though.

Ol' No. 2
12-27-2006, 10:36 AM
Please. Go back and look at our coverage of the White Sox in 2005. It was the best in the city, by far. I was never prouder of what I do, never had more fun doing it, than during the White Sox's 11-1 run through the playoffs.I can't complain about the coverage DURING the playoffs (what choice did you have, really?), but it certainly was pretty heavily slanted in the months BEFORE the playoffs, where "choke" was a daily feature. Dan McGrath got caught trying to defend this on Chicago Tribune Live when he was asked how many times they used that term the previous year when the Cubs really did choke their chances away. The answer: "None".

The truth is, the worst examples of bias are usually in the headlines, which prompted the longest-running series of threads ever on WSI. I know that headlines are written by editors and not writers, but it's pretty hard to see how a bias on the part of the editors cannot filter down.

Hitmen77
12-27-2006, 10:38 AM
Yes the coverage was really good in October if you discount the headline of marijuana usage around Comiskey. Phil I believe you are the best baseball writer this town has and you have so much more credibility than other mediots in this town, but please do not try to tell us that there is no spin on your stories that is just plain wrong.

...and let's not forget that the Tribune ran an article (by Rick Morrissey) in March that claimed half the people at the World Series victory parade were Cub fans.

I know the Trib and the Trib staff go to great pains to explain that they are non-biased. Yet, we see articles like this time and again. So, forgive us Sox fans for being just a little skeptical.

oeo
12-27-2006, 10:38 AM
I can't complain about the coverage DURING the playoffs, but it certainly was pretty heavily slanted in the months BEFORE the playoffs, where "choke" was a daily feature. Dan McGrath got caught trying to defend this on Chicago Tribune Live when he was asked how many times they used that term the previous year when the Cubs really did choke their chances away. The answer: "None".

The truth is, the worst examples of bias are usually in the headlines, which prompted the longest-running series of threads ever on WSI. I know that headlines are written by editors and not writers, but it's pretty hard to see how a bias on the part of the editors cannot filter down.

The post you quoted made me laugh when I read it. Like what else were they going to talk about during the 2005 playoffs? How the Flubs made 4th place?

Wow...you covered the Sox when the whole nation was covering the Sox. :rolleyes:

Hitmen77
12-27-2006, 10:51 AM
4 things...

1. Don't confuse Phil Rogers with "the" Trib. Rogers is a columnist, and he writes what he wants to write (within reason). The Trib doesn't feed him his lines. So regardless of what Rogers may write, that isn't some sort of "spin" by the Trib.
I agree.

2. The Trib actually is so careful about not doing what you all seem to fear, that they count column inches to make sure the Cubs and Sox, in the long term, get similar amounts of coverage during the year (post-season aside, if one team is in and the other is not).
I find this hard to believe. What is this statement based on? Did someone from the Trib claim this or was there an analysis that showed this to be true?

3. The beat writer is where the tone is key, and frankly, the Sox beat writer is pretty negative as a rule. He is also not a very good sports writer, or journalist in general. The Cubs beat writer tends to be more positive. This, again, I doubt is spin, but its the one place I'd be willing to say MIGHT be influenced by management - hire the more positive guy for the Cubs. Or, it might be coincidence. Or, it might be that the Sox have had a lot more winning teams in recent years, so the analysis is more piercing, whereas for the Cubs, that hope is all they have. Or, or, or...
The current Cubs beat writer (Paul Sullivan) used to be the Trib's Sox beat writer and he was alot more negative about the Sox than Mark Gonzalez is.

NorthSideSox72
12-27-2006, 10:58 AM
I find this hard to believe. What is this statement based on? Did someone from the Trib claim this or was there an analysis that showed this to be true?

The current Cubs beat writer (Paul Sullivan) used to be the Trib's Sox beat writer and he was alot more negative about the Sox than Mark Gonzalez is.
About the column inches, I know this has been studied internally at the Trib, and there is an attempt there at evening things out over time. Its information I have from someone at the Trib.

About Sullivan, was he really more negative than Gonzalez? I am not so sure. Seems about the same from my fuzzy recollection, but I could be wrong on that. Either way, Sullivan is a superior writer and journalist when compared to Gonzalez.

lakeviewsoxfan
12-27-2006, 11:01 AM
I agree.


I find this hard to believe. What is this statement based on? Did someone from the Trib claim this or was there an analysis that showed this to be true?


The current Cubs beat writer (Paul Sullivan) used to be the Trib's Sox beat writer and he was alot more negative about the Sox than Mark Gonzalez is.

Sullivan is a nit wit

southside rocks
12-27-2006, 11:03 AM
About the column inches, I know this has been studied internally at the Trib, and there is an attempt there at evening things out over time. Its information I have from someone at the Trib.


I don't think the attempts are very successful. Take a look at Jeff McMahon's website -- he does keep track of this stuff. http://www.cubune.com/

He found this:

For example, during the White Sox championship season, a season in which they held first place from opening day until the last game of the World Series, how many stories did the Tribune publish that mention the Sox, and how many did it publish that mention the Cubs? It's a fair question with an unfair answer. During the 2005 regular season, roughly April 1- Oct. 1, the Tribune published almost 800 more stories that mention the Cubs:

2005 Season
Cubs: 2,824 Tribune stories
White Sox: 2,047 Tribune stories

Okay, what about 2006? In 2006 the White Sox were baseball's reigning champions, and they remained in contention until the final week of the season. The Cubs, meanwhile, slipped securely into last place. Last place. But during the 2006 regular season, the Tribune published almost 600 more stories that mention the Cubs:

2006 Season
Cubs: 2,556 Tribune stories
White Sox: 1,975 Tribune stories


If you actually read the Trib and Sun-Times daily for a few months, you will see what he's talking about. There is a distinct difference in the coverage given to the two teams.

cbotnyse
12-27-2006, 11:06 AM
As I said, the only bias that I'd give a "maybe" to is the fact that Gonzalez, the Sox beat writer, is a poor journalist who leans towards a negative view, and the Cubs' beat writer appears more positive. Is that intentional? I have no idea. Maybe. maybe not.

But aside from that, no, I have not noticed any material bias. I've tried to find it - the illustrious Hangar has pointed me to all sorts of "examples", but none of them seemed to me like anything other than reader bias and paranoia.The bias definitely exists, but it has to exist. The Tribune Company owns the damn Cubs! How can it not be bias? I never even minded it because of that fact. It is what it is.

Vernam
12-27-2006, 11:12 AM
Please. Go back and look at our coverage of the White Sox in 2005. It was the best in the city, by far. I was never prouder of what I do, never had more fun doing it, than during the White Sox's 11-1 run through the playoffs.It was shocking, I'll grant you. :cool: The Trib's coverage of the World Series win was so enthusiastic, it forced a lot of the more-paranoid Sox fans underground. For just a while, obviously . . .

The honeymoon lasted throughout the 2006 season, by my estimation, until Hendry's reckless spree and Kenny's somewhat inscrutable trades prompted another spate of articles that struck many of us as illogical -- fawning praise of a GM who is thrashing about as he goes down for the third time, and scathing criticism of his counterpart who engineered a championship barely one year ago. Phil, I hope you'll understand that the shift in tone looks suspicious in light of the news that Tribune Co. is looking to sell off its assets. I think the New York Times was the first to point out that Hendry's signing of Soriano was inextricably linked to the expected sell-off. On November 20, Murray Chass wrote:

News reports in recent weeks have indicated that the Tribune Company may sell its newspapers and its baseball team. A deal the Cubs have concluded with a free agent lends credence to that likelihood. If Tribune intended to hold onto the Chicago Cubs, the Cubs would not be signing Alfonso Soriano to an eight-year contract for $136 million.
Last I checked, the Times is not partial to the White Sox, so let's assume that was an unbiased observation regarding the Trib/Cubs' intent. :wink: Is it truly far-fetched to be suspicious when a constant stream of negative Sox articles begins in the same context (i.e., impending sale of the Cubs)? Who's being naive here? The Sox' 2005 success and Cubs' 2006 failure did serious harm to a valued Tribune property. Among Chicago baseball fans, there is a finite number of "swing voters," and they clearly voted with their feet in 2006.

Corporations are known for one thing: Relentless pursuit of the bottom line. Dennis Fitzsimons was so unnerved by the empty seats at Wrigley that he fired Larry MacPhail, a consummate corporate insider. The New York Times directly linked an on-field development (Soriano's signing) to corporate priorities. So I'd say Sox fans have ample reason to wonder how a lowly beat reporter -- say, Paul "Meet Me in Dean Wormer's Office" Sullivan -- might succumb to direct or indirect pressure to avoid harming a valued Tribune asset.

I have tended to defend your writing, because it appeared untainted in comparison to what emanates from your colleagues Morrissey, Van Dyck, and Sullivan. My impression is that the beat writers are more prone to sucking up to their bosses than most of the columnists are. But the vehemence and wild speculation of your recent Sox columnns have made them hard understand, much less defend. Some people at WSI are evidently willing to believe you care so much about the Sox that you're taking Kenny's trades very personally. I'm just not one of those people. But your postings here are certainly commendable, for the nerve it takes to face such criticism and for the good-natured way you've taken it.

Vernam

digdagdug23
12-27-2006, 11:27 AM
It was shocking, I'll grant you. :cool: The Trib's coverage of the World Series win was so enthusiastic, it forced a lot of the more-paranoid Sox fans underground. For just a while, obviously . . .

The honeymoon lasted throughout the 2006 season, by my estimation, until Hendry's reckless spree and Kenny's somewhat inscrutable trades prompted another spate of articles that struck many of us as illogical -- fawning praise of a GM who is thrashing about as he goes down for the third time, and scathing criticism of his counterpart who engineered a championship barely one year ago. Phil, I hope you'll understand that the shift in tone looks suspicious in light of the news that Tribune Co. is looking to sell off its assets. I think the New York Times was the first to point out that Hendry's signing of Soriano was inextricably linked to the expected sell-off. On November 20, Murray Chass wrote:


Last I checked, the Times is not partial to the White Sox, so let's assume that was an unbiased observation regarding the Trib/Cubs' intent. :wink: Is it truly far-fetched to be suspicious when a constant stream of negative Sox articles begins in the same context (i.e., impending sale of the Cubs)? Who's being naive here? The Sox' 2005 success and Cubs' 2006 failure did serious harm to a valued Tribune property. Among Chicago baseball fans, there is a finite number of "swing voters," and they clearly voted with their feet in 2006.

Corporations are known for one thing: Relentless pursuit of the bottom line. Dennis Fitzsimons was so unnerved by the empty seats at Wrigley that he fired Larry MacPhail, a consummate corporate insider. The New York Times directly linked an on-field development (Soriano's signing) to corporate priorities. So I'd say Sox fans have ample reason to wonder how a lowly beat reporter -- say, Paul "Meet Me in Dean Wormer's Office" Sullivan -- might succumb to direct or indirect pressure to avoid harming a valued Tribune asset.

I have tended to defend your writing, because it appeared untainted in comparison to what emanates from your colleagues Morrissey, Van Dyck, and Sullivan. My impression is that the beat writers are more prone to sucking up to their bosses than most of the columnists are. But the vehemence and wild speculation of your recent Sox columnns have made them hard understand, much less defend. Some people at WSI are evidently willing to believe you care so much about the Sox that you're taking Kenny's trades very personally. I'm just not one of those people. But your postings here are certainly commendable, for the nerve it takes to face such criticism and for the good-natured way you've taken it.

Vernam

Bravo, Vernam. Very well said, and much better than I would have done.

tebman
12-27-2006, 11:35 AM
The Sox' 2005 success and Cubs' 2006 failure did serious harm to a valued Tribune property. Among Chicago baseball fans, there is a finite number of "swing voters," and they clearly voted with their feet in 2006.

Corporations are known for one thing: Relentless pursuit of the bottom line. Dennis Fitzsimons was so unnerved by the empty seats at Wrigley that he fired Larry MacPhail, a consummate corporate insider. The New York Times directly linked an on-field development (Soriano's signing) to corporate priorities. So I'd say Sox fans have ample reason to wonder how a lowly beat reporter -- say, Paul "Meet Me in Dean Wormer's Office" Sullivan -- might succumb to direct or indirect pressure to avoid harming a valued Tribune asset.

This is really the source of our gripe with the Tribune. The ones running the company, and by extension the newspaper, are marketing people. That's why the Cubs were bought in the first place: WGN radio and TV wanted assurance that they would keep long-running, money-making program material, which the Cubs provided. But because the newspaper is so deeply identified with the company and its broadcast partners, these questions will always come up. Add to that the undercurrent of demographic snobbery that drives the North Side vs. South Side schism, and we've got a recipe for resentment.

The debate about trades for pitchers is a good one. It's just a shame it has to be colored by the Tribune's corporate behavior. I hope for the sake of the genuine journalists who work at the newspaper that TribCo sells the Cubs -- then we can get back to real hot-stove arguments instead of worrying about Wall Street motives.

Oh, and FWIW, I like the trade. :tongue:

NorthSideSox72
12-27-2006, 11:57 AM
I don't think the attempts are very successful. Take a look at Jeff McMahon's website -- he does keep track of this stuff. http://www.cubune.com/

He found this:

For example, during the White Sox championship season, a season in which they held first place from opening day until the last game of the World Series, how many stories did the Tribune publish that mention the Sox, and how many did it publish that mention the Cubs? It's a fair question with an unfair answer. During the 2005 regular season, roughly April 1- Oct. 1, the Tribune published almost 800 more stories that mention the Cubs:

2005 Season
Cubs: 2,824 Tribune stories
White Sox: 2,047 Tribune stories

Okay, what about 2006? In 2006 the White Sox were baseball's reigning champions, and they remained in contention until the final week of the season. The Cubs, meanwhile, slipped securely into last place. Last place. But during the 2006 regular season, the Tribune published almost 600 more stories that mention the Cubs:

2006 Season
Cubs: 2,556 Tribune stories
White Sox: 1,975 Tribune stories


If you actually read the Trib and Sun-Times daily for a few months, you will see what he's talking about. There is a distinct difference in the coverage given to the two teams.
I'll tell you what. I'll take a look at this site. But if these counts are anything like the ones Hangar used, the bias present was in the person doing the counting, not the newpaper itself.

voodoochile
12-27-2006, 12:14 PM
I'll tell you what. I'll take a look at this site. But if these counts are anything like the ones Hangar used, the bias present was in the person doing the counting, not the newpaper itself.

I sincerely doubt they counted them themselves manually. Not hard to do a search for bodies or headlines that include the word cubs. The list returned should have a count attached to it.

NorthSideSox72
12-27-2006, 12:15 PM
I don't think the attempts are very successful. Take a look at Jeff McMahon's website -- he does keep track of this stuff. http://www.cubune.com/

He found this:

For example, during the White Sox championship season, a season in which they held first place from opening day until the last game of the World Series, how many stories did the Tribune publish that mention the Sox, and how many did it publish that mention the Cubs? It's a fair question with an unfair answer. During the 2005 regular season, roughly April 1- Oct. 1, the Tribune published almost 800 more stories that mention the Cubs:

2005 Season
Cubs: 2,824 Tribune stories
White Sox: 2,047 Tribune stories

Okay, what about 2006? In 2006 the White Sox were baseball's reigning champions, and they remained in contention until the final week of the season. The Cubs, meanwhile, slipped securely into last place. Last place. But during the 2006 regular season, the Tribune published almost 600 more stories that mention the Cubs:

2006 Season
Cubs: 2,556 Tribune stories
White Sox: 1,975 Tribune stories


If you actually read the Trib and Sun-Times daily for a few months, you will see what he's talking about. There is a distinct difference in the coverage given to the two teams.
OK, so, I looked all the way up and down that page, and tried a few links on the right, and nothing led to the information you provided here. Where is that? And does he link to the articles at all, showing what he considers Cubs and Sox articles?

NorthSideSox72
12-27-2006, 12:18 PM
I sincerely doubt they counted them themselves manually. Not hard to do a search for bodies or headlines that include the word cubs. The list returned should have a count attached to it.
And that would be a very innaccurate way of determining things. The word Cubs versus the word Sox would have all sorts of crap. Plus, even if they turned out to be correct references, does that make those articles ABOUT one team or the other? You'd have to read them to see.

This is what made Hangar's media watch such a joke. He'd come on the site, post a daily article count for the Trib (say, Cubs 4, Sox 2), and it would turn out 1 of the Cubs articles was actually about both teams and an upcoming game they had, and the other would be an article about some guy on some other team and a one-liner mentioning his previous teams. Thus, the count was actually 3-3.

voodoochile
12-27-2006, 12:30 PM
And that would be a very innaccurate way of determining things. The word Cubs versus the word Sox would have all sorts of crap. Plus, even if they turned out to be correct references, does that make those articles ABOUT one team or the other? You'd have to read them to see.

This is what made Hangar's media watch such a joke. He'd come on the site, post a daily article count for the Trib (say, Cubs 4, Sox 2), and it would turn out 1 of the Cubs articles was actually about both teams and an upcoming game they had, and the other would be an article about some guy on some other team and a one-liner mentioning his previous teams. Thus, the count was actually 3-3.

You could specify Cubs with a capital C and that would limit the number of mistakes. Also, the Sox search would contain all articles that mention the Red Sox or any other team with Sox that got mentioned.

Or you could do a search first and then check them to throw out articles that don't count.

Frater Perdurabo
12-27-2006, 01:21 PM
Sometimes, it's valuable to remember some of the "common sense" we learned as kids.

When it comes to Tribune media bias, we just need to remember the old adage,

"If it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, if it smells like a duck, if it flies and swims like a duck, if it farts and craps like a duck, it must be a duck."

The Tribune, by its very nature, can't help but promote the Cubs.

maurice
12-27-2006, 01:30 PM
Sullivan HAS to be crazy pro-Cub . . . otherwise he and McGrath will get called down to the principal's office again.

If they lost [Zambrano] at the top of his game, there would be plenty of criticism to go around.

Probably true. OTOH, the criticism would not occur until after they lost him. Then, years later, after winning multiple Cy Youngs with another organization and after his skills have deteriorated, Zambrano will return to much fanfare and absurd exaggeration . . . unless the Trib sells the Cubs before then.

southside rocks
12-27-2006, 01:36 PM
OK, so, I looked all the way up and down that page, and tried a few links on the right, and nothing led to the information you provided here. Where is that? And does he link to the articles at all, showing what he considers Cubs and Sox articles?


He has embedded links in stories; the links are in highlighted type. The link to the story that I quoted is embedded in a piece titled "Tribune Up To Its Old Tricks." Here's the link to the story that is the source of my quote:
http://www.cubune.com/2006/11/those-storied-cubs.html

I have never mistaken Jeff McMahon for Hangar18, and I say that with all due respect to Hangar. :wink:

If you have questions about McMahon's methodology, I would suggest you e-mail him those questions. My impression is that he is responsive to such queries.

I agree with Cbotnyse's comment that this is pretty much just the way it is in Chicago. I don't have a tinfoil helmet on, and I am not screaming that there is an injustice that must be redressed here; but I have lived on the far south side all of my life, and followed the Sox for 40 years, and read all Chicago newspapers for at least that long; and I absolutely see a big difference in coverage of the Sox and Cubs by the Tribune.

That's why I subscribe to the Daily Southtown. :D:

progers13
12-27-2006, 02:01 PM
One thing about the Tribune: We really cover the heck out of baseball. We have four full-time baseball writers, all with at least 15 years experience, and the daily allotment of resources by our editors acknowledges that Chicago is a first-class baseball city. Yes, people follow the Bears, especially in good years (like this one), but put interest in the two teams together, and the 162 home games a year, and I think you have to conclude baseball is the lifeblood of Chicago sports. I'm really happy I work for a paper that understands it's a 12-month a year passion these days. And, yes, I wish we would sell the Cubs. It's an indefensible position (albeit one many newspapers have gotten themselves into; did you know the NY Times has owned a piece of the Boston Red Sox -- how weird is that?) But it's also silly to go on thinking there's this big conspiracy that starts at the top and goes down to guys like me, Sully, Vandy and Gonzo. My favorite example of how we can't win is how the Tribune had the first guys in town to raise hard questions about Sammy Sosa (me, Skip Bayless and then Rick Morrissey) and Jay Mariotti accused us of orchestrating a "smear campaign'' to hold down Sammy's value. As I recall, Jay later came around to taking a rather harsh position against Sammy, but he was genuflecting when the Tribune was asking hard questions. Anyway, this is fun, isn't it?

Flight #24
12-27-2006, 02:08 PM
Phil - Just curious, but why no mention of the fact that Kenny Williams just a year ago made numerous comments to the effect that they wouldn't be able to retain Garland & Contreras beyond '06, only weeks (days?) before resigning both of them? Seems to me that he's quite good at sending players messages through the media, including "We'll pay you a lot, you don't ask for the moon, and we'll get a deal done. Otherwise I'm 100% willing to move on".

What's absurd to me is that for some reason, you and the other local media have forgotten the vast number of times when KW has explicitly said that he doesn't want to revisit the "5th starter roulette" of a few years ago, and that he prioritizes pitching over pretty much anything else. You somehow find it easy to believe that the same guy who's reiterated that ad nauseum the past few years somehow is willing to deal away any & all veterans for prospects.

And in the McCarthy case, it's not even that - it's youth for youth, and finances, etc don't play into it at all! Doesn't that make it a pure baseball decision rather than part of some Reinsdorfian "despicable" plan? I'm fine if you think Kenny made a bad trade, he's not infallible. But the whole twisting of any possible questioninig of Sox moves into a JR-led conspiracy is what stinks here.

southside rocks
12-27-2006, 02:18 PM
But it's also silly to go on thinking there's this big conspiracy that starts at the top and goes down to guys like me, Sully, Vandy and Gonzo.

There's a difference between a conspiracy and a mindset. You belittle some genuine concerns and valid observations of Sox fans when you equate them to conspiracy theories.

Frater Perdurabo
12-27-2006, 02:37 PM
One thing about the Tribune: We really cover the heck out of baseball. We have four full-time baseball writers, all with at least 15 years experience, and the daily allotment of resources by our editors acknowledges that Chicago is a first-class baseball city. Yes, people follow the Bears, especially in good years (like this one), but put interest in the two teams together, and the 162 home games a year, and I think you have to conclude baseball is the lifeblood of Chicago sports. I'm really happy I work for a paper that understands it's a 12-month a year passion these days.

I've got Phil's back on this one. It's true that the Trib's baseball coverage is excellent. I don't bother with the smegma that is the Sun-Times, and The Dallas Morning News has declined significantly during the past few years (the DMN cares more about high school football than the MLB, and they canned their best baseball writer, Gerry Fraley, along with a ton of other senior sports writers, just so they could afford to promote more incompetent middle managers and vice-presidents).

Phil, can you answer a question for me? Without compromising your own employment, can you tell me the extent to which columns are edited (in comparison to "straight" sports game stories)? Can you discuss any incidents in which you disagreed with how a column of yours was edited?

Just out of curiousity, if owning the Cubs is "indefensible," to what extent do you and your peers "gripe" up the chain of command to put pressure on the corporation to sell the team? Have you and your colleagues ever written and signed a petition? Written to the Tribune Company's board of directors and/or shareholders?

More discerning WSI posters don't really think there is a "vast Cub-wing conspiracy" in the Tribune sports department to promote the Cubs. However, we do laugh at George Knue's contention that an impenetrable wall/moat separates the editorial operations from Tribune's corporate interests. How can any of you be completely objective about the company that puts food on your table?

I commend you for repeatedly writing that the Tribune's ownership of the Cubs is indefensible. But your status and level of respect among baseball writers (you could get a job in any city for any paper in America), affords you a certain level of liberty to criticize. But what about all the copy editors, reporters, re-write folks, agate type compilers and page designers who don't have your level of status? They wouldn't dare not propagate the company line, especially in a climate of corporate uncertainty when Tribune is bleeding cash and probably is poised to cut jobs to save money.

jandm859
12-27-2006, 02:40 PM
we can argue about these deals all day. but the bottom line is this. we have done absolutely nothing to improve the team for 2007. two major holes in the line up (left field and center) and four proven starters. done nothing to help with bullpen, which was suppose to be a major priorty, except fill it with minor league guys and guys who have never did anything in the majors.

Ol' No. 2
12-27-2006, 02:46 PM
One thing about the Tribune: We really cover the heck out of baseball. We have four full-time baseball writers, all with at least 15 years experience, and the daily allotment of resources by our editors acknowledges that Chicago is a first-class baseball city. Yes, people follow the Bears, especially in good years (like this one), but put interest in the two teams together, and the 162 home games a year, and I think you have to conclude baseball is the lifeblood of Chicago sports. I'm really happy I work for a paper that understands it's a 12-month a year passion these days. And, yes, I wish we would sell the Cubs. It's an indefensible position (albeit one many newspapers have gotten themselves into; did you know the NY Times has owned a piece of the Boston Red Sox -- how weird is that?) But it's also silly to go on thinking there's this big conspiracy that starts at the top and goes down to guys like me, Sully, Vandy and Gonzo. My favorite example of how we can't win is how the Tribune had the first guys in town to raise hard questions about Sammy Sosa (me, Skip Bayless and then Rick Morrissey) and Jay Mariotti accused us of orchestrating a "smear campaign'' to hold down Sammy's value. As I recall, Jay later came around to taking a rather harsh position against Sammy, but he was genuflecting when the Tribune was asking hard questions. Anyway, this is fun, isn't it?Only the most hard-core conspiracy theorists would believe there's overt pressure on writers to slant their stories. It's far more subtle (and insidious) than that. Upton Sinclair was no fool:

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."

Tribune ownership of the Cubs has put the Trib writers in an impossible position. No matter how hard you try, it's always human nature to be reluctant to publicly criticize your employer. I can point to example after example, but the more potent bias is in the thousand subtle (and perhaps unconscious) word choices in writing an article that cast one team or the other in a positive or negative light. I seriously doubt you would EVER characterize anything the Cubs' brass did as "despicable".

digdagdug23
12-27-2006, 02:47 PM
I've got Phil's back on this one. It's true that the Trib's baseball coverage is excellent. I don't bother with the smegma that is the Sun-Times, and The Dallas Morning News has declined significantly during the past few years (the DMN cares more about high school football than the MLB, and they canned their best baseball writer, Gerry Fraley, along with a ton of other senior sports writers, just so they could afford to promote more incompetent middle managers and vice-presidents).

Phil, can you answer a question for me? Without compromising your own employment, can you tell me the extent to which columns are edited (in comparison to "straight" sports game stories)? Can you discuss any incidents in which you disagreed with how a column of yours was edited?

Just out of curiousity, if owning the Cubs is "indefensible," to what extent do you and your peers "gripe" up the chain of command to put pressure on the corporation to sell the team? Have you and your colleagues ever written and signed a petition? Written to the Tribune Company's board of directors and/or shareholders?

More discerning WSI posters don't really think there is a "vast Cub-wing conspiracy" in the Tribune sports department to promote the Cubs. However, we do laugh at George Knue's contention that an impenetrable wall/moat separates the editorial operations from Tribune's corporate interests. How can any of you be completely objective about the company that puts food on your table?

I commend you for repeatedly writing that the Tribune's ownership of the Cubs is indefensible. But your status and level of respect among baseball writers (you could get a job in any city for any paper in America), affords you a certain level of liberty to criticize. But what about all the copy editors, reporters, re-write folks, agate type compilers and page designers who don't have your level of status? They wouldn't dare not propagate the company line, especially in a climate of corporate uncertainty when Tribune is bleeding cash and probably is poised to cut jobs to save money.

This is where my problem comes from, too. Not that I think there is a vast conspiracy, but at the very least it seems a tad unethical to have a major programming and print conglomorate that also functions as primary shareholder of an athletic organization. The two entities may function autonimously of each other, but the name is the unifier.

I will also agree with Frater on the point of coverage, and there seeming to be no lack thereof in covering the sport of baseball. From the pages of the Trib when the Sox won the ALDS, ALCS, and the WS, all of the copies are sealed in my attic for posterity. I can say nothing of the sort for any other newspaper from around my area, or those that are surrounding. However, the point Frater makes is valid, in that, not many would believe that there really is a loyalty that lies more with the soul of baseball, and not biting the hand that feeds you.

hawkjt
12-27-2006, 03:14 PM
Phil; thanks for coming on and helping create this classic thread. I agree with all that have indicated that you are the best baseball writer in town.

Now; How confident are you that Mark B. will be worthy of a 15 million dollar salary next year? and in 2 years?

If you could assure me there is good reason to believe that- I agree with signing him now.

I am seeking assurances here- reassure me,ok?

Ol' No. 2
12-27-2006, 03:23 PM
Phil; thanks for coming on and helping create this classic thread. I agree with all that have indicated that you are the best baseball writer in town.

Now; How confident are you that Mark B. will be worthy of a 15 million dollar salary next year? and in 2 years?

If you could assure me there is good reason to believe that- I agree with signing him now.

I am seeking assurances here- reassure me,ok?Phil Rogers' criticism of the Sox seems based on their reluctance to sign pitchers to big-money long term contracts. I'll ask the same question I've been asking here for the last month.

Over the last 5 years or so, how many long-term big-money contracts for pitchers have turned out to be good deals?

I'm struggling to come up with one. But it's no trick to come up with a dozen or more that have been disasters. So next logical question to ask is: "How can Reinsdorf's well-known reluctance to sign pitchers to long term contracts be considered a bad thing?"

JohnTucker0814
12-27-2006, 03:43 PM
Phil Rogers' criticism of the Sox seems based on their reluctance to sign pitchers to big-money long term contracts. I'll ask the same question I've been asking here for the last month.

Over the last 5 years or so, how many long-term big-money contracts for pitchers have turned out to be good deals?

I'm struggling to come up with one. But it's no trick to come up with a dozen or more that have been disasters. So next logical question to ask is: "How can Reinsdorf's well-known reluctance to sign pitchers to long term contracts be considered a bad thing?"

Exactly I can think of several bad ones:

A.J. Burnett
Carl Pavano
Jaret Wright
Bartolo Colon

just to name a few...

Vernam
12-27-2006, 03:50 PM
Over the last 5 years or so, how many long-term big-money contracts for pitchers have turned out to be good deals? I agree 100 percent. The Angels' deal for Colon might be a good one, but he did disappear in the '05 playoffs.

I'd go back even farther to Wayne Garland, the first million-dollar free agent pitcher. Ever since then, the big busts far outnumber the occasional success story like Maddux (when the Braves signed him, not when the Flubs did!). It's a terrible way to spend money, IMO.

Vernam

tebman
12-27-2006, 04:00 PM
I agree 100 percent. The Angels' deal for Colon might be a good one, but he did disappear in the '05 playoffs.

I'd go back even farther to Wayne Garland, the first million-dollar free agent pitcher. Ever since then, the big busts far outnumber the occasional success story like Maddux (when the Braves signed him, not when the Flubs did!). It's a terrible way to spend money, IMO.

Vernam
Exactly! Underneath all the (admittedly interesting) discussion in this thread about the Tribune Company's motives, is this point: long-term contracts for pitchers is a bad idea. The White Sox are wise in their strategy to stockpile pitchers and not sign current studs to more than a couple of years at a time.

In Kenny we trust, etc.

gosox41
12-27-2006, 04:48 PM
If I ducked any questions, I didn't mean to. Ask 'em again and I'll give you an honest answer.

.


I have a couple of questions. You've been critical of the Sox for not resigning any of there 5 2006 starters.

But one can make an argument that (assuming there healthy) when these guys become free agents in the next year or 2, they can each get a 4-5 year contract worth $13 mill-15 mill per year.

Are you saying you think all these guys are locks to remain performing at their peak levels. The Sox may have to shell out about $75 mill per season to keep these 5 guys around. That's 75% of the teams payroll in 5 guys. Most of those 5 guys had statistically worse seasons in 2006 then in 2005.

1. Is this good baseball sense? Is it smart to tie up almost 75% of the teams payroll in starting pitching?

2. Since we don't have the benefit of hindsight right now, please go on record of which of the Sox 2006 starters are going to be performing at or near the same level for the next 4-5 years and would justify a big contract.

I'm curious about your opinion when you consider Contreras may be over 40, Buehrle had back problems and Garcia has violent mechanics and could blow out his elbow.

When thinking of answers, remember that you have a fickle fan base that demands a competitive team and that your career depends on winning while on a realustic budget.

Thanks,
Bob

maurice
12-29-2006, 02:17 PM
If anything, recent history suggests that the best way to win the World Series is to develop young players and to "buy low" with respect to players outside your organization (aka "the KW method"). With very few exceptions, the teams that tried to essentially purchase a World Series by "buying high" and overpaying for players have failed.

Even the Yankees were more successful before they adopted the "buy high" approach. They won their most recent championships on the backs of young players and relatively inexpensive veteran acquisitions.

Lprof
12-29-2006, 03:13 PM
we can argue about these deals all day. but the bottom line is this. we have done absolutely nothing to improve the team for 2007. two major holes in the line up (left field and center) and four proven starters. done nothing to help with bullpen, which was suppose to be a major priorty, except fill it with minor league guys and guys who have never did anything in the majors.Wow--that really sums it all up pretty nicely.

maurice
12-29-2006, 03:17 PM
My Lord. Even Phil Rogers thinks that KW improved the bullpen.
:rolleyes:

Lprof
12-29-2006, 03:18 PM
And the negative spin continues. If we're in contention, why would we move one of these guys if they're pulling their weight? Maybe because it fits the plan that was labeled "despicable" by the Cubune in December?

I really hope we win the ****ing World Series again. It might even mean more to me than the '05 title because it seems to be the only way that this whole spin of "arrogant Williams, cheap Reinsdorf" will end. It would be an even bigger middle finger to this obviously biased media than '05 was. If we win it TWICE, they have to just clam up the spin and be objective for once, don't they?

The Tribune sports section is like a puppy that refuses to be housebroken. We rubbed their nose in the poop in '05, but they still refused to dial down the hype. They were THE ONLY 6TH PLACE TEAM IN BASEBALL IN '06, the Cardinals rubbed their nose in the poop, and THEY STILL HYPE THIS TEAM right now. According to the Tribune, every year is "the year" when they write offseason articles.

Any sports media conglomerate with any sense wouldn't be caught dead taking the Cubs seriously until the All-Star break AT THE EARLIEST. They finished BEHIND THE PIRATES last year!

Screw it. I'm done trying to make sense of any of this. I hope the Tribune keeps doing what they're doing if that's what makes them happy. Go ahead and keep cranking out the bird cage liner, as long as you don't protest when people start refusing to take you seriously.I'm not a real big fan of the Tribune's baseball coverage, and think the Sox often get screwed, quite on purpose. However, I don't think that's really the point here. I, too, hope the Sox win in '06, but for all those who have been defending KW this offseason, can you please tell me exactly what he has done to help the team this coming season? If you feel that's ok because he has built for the future, that's fine, just a different philosophy from those who have been critical. But I don't see why this one has to be a matter of the Trib sticking it to us. There is a plausible argument here that at least to this point, KW has not handled it right.

Lprof
12-29-2006, 03:23 PM
My Lord. Even Phil Rogers thinks that KW improved the bullpen.
:rolleyes:I suppose it is all relative, when you compare it to what we put out there last year. But please name for me one established, successful middle reliever KW has added for next year during the offseason. Could Sisco or Floyd work out? Sure. But until we see differently on the field (as, it is true, we did with Thornton), they are at best question marks. I contrast them with McDougall, who was a great pickup, assuming he is healthy. Maybe I am forgetting someone else added this offseason in the bullpen--oh yeah, Aardsma; not a bad pickup. I sort of liked that trade, but it was hardly the addition of a proven middle reliever. So where, then, is the great improvement to the bullpen? There are a lot of new people, and of course one or more could work out, but at the very least, the jury is still out on that.

Flight #24
12-29-2006, 03:34 PM
Phil Rogers' criticism of the Sox seems based on their reluctance to sign pitchers to big-money long term contracts. I'll ask the same question I've been asking here for the last month.

Over the last 5 years or so, how many long-term big-money contracts for pitchers have turned out to be good deals?

I'm struggling to come up with one. But it's no trick to come up with a dozen or more that have been disasters. So next logical question to ask is: "How can Reinsdorf's well-known reluctance to sign pitchers to long term contracts be considered a bad thing?"

It kind of depends on how you look at it. If you look at is over the life of the deal and expect the guy to perform commensurate with his salary in every year, then you're probably right. If, however, you're happy with overpaying a guy in years 4 & 5 (or 3 & 4 as the case may be) if they were a big part of getting you to the playoffs in years 1 & 2 (and hopefully a WS), then I don't think you'd end up with the same result.

IMO if the "cost of doing business" is eating dead years at the back end of contracts, then it's something the Sox are going to have to end up doing. Because much like how there aren't many, if any, long-term contracts for pitchers that work out in the out years, there also aren't many, if any championship teams with completely home-grown rotations.

KW's banking on either having all of his youth develop or there being a substantial market correction in a year or 2. Both of those are greater question marks than relying on guys like Mark, Freddy, & Brandon over the next 2 years to get this team to the playoffs.

In the end, I think the Sox are going to HAVE to go out on a limb for a veteran starter - if they don't want to give the years, then they'll have to do something like the Dodgers did with Furcal and give some extra $$$ on shorter deals (which IMO is not a bad strategy at all with pitchers).

(Oh yeah, and I don't think KW is done for the offseason yet, so I'm not drawing any conclusions about the moves to date, only about the likelihood of success if they pursue a "let all the vets go because it's fiscally responsible" strategy.)

CaptainBallz
12-29-2006, 03:40 PM
I suppose it is all relative, when you compare it to what we put out there last year. But please name for me one established, successful middle reliever KW has added for next year during the offseason. Could Sisco or Floyd work out? Sure. But until we see differently on the field (as, it is true, we did with Thornton), they are at best question marks. I contrast them with McDougall, who was a great pickup, assuming he is healthy. Maybe I am forgetting someone else added this offseason in the bullpen--oh yeah, Aardsma; not a bad pickup. I sort of liked that trade, but it was hardly the addition of a proven middle reliever. So where, then, is the great improvement to the bullpen? There are a lot of new people, and of course one or more could work out, but at the very least, the jury is still out on that.

Don't forget going into the '06 season we had the sure things Cliff "The Dream" Politte and Neil "Please Give Me Javy's Baserunners" Cotts, who were the dependable veteran workhorses that you seem to want for the '07 team.
As we've seen last year, "on paper" doesn't mean a god damn thing. There's nothing about this roster now that screams "we're doomed". So what's the use of belly-aching about all the unprovens when, to your own admission, they could very well work out fine?

PaleHoseGeorge
12-29-2006, 06:42 PM
...all those who have been defending KW this offseason, can you please tell me exactly what he has done to help the team this coming season? If you feel that's ok because he has built for the future, that's fine, just a different philosophy from those who have been critical. But I don't see why this one has to be a matter of the Trib sticking it to us. There is a plausible argument here that at least to this point, KW has not handled it right.

The only "plausible argument" I can make is some people (including several collecting paychecks at the Cubune) can't fathom what makes a championship team.

It was completely "implausible" the 2006 Sox team was any weaker than the 2005 team that won the world championship:

The DH was improved with a healthy Thome capable of putting up numbers better than what Frank Thomas had managed the last several seasons working through injuries, or Carl Everett could ever hope to achieve.
The rotation was stronger with the addition of Vazquez over the terminally-risky Orlando Hernandez.
A better bench with Cintron and Mackowiak
All other everyday players back except one (Rowand) replaced by a rookie. This is still far fewer question marks than the Sox pushed forward with to start the 2005 season: Uribe, Jenks, and Garland (the guy so shaky, he was slotted #5 in the rotaion!).And yet, somehow, the 2006 Sox only won 90 games, six fewer than the 2005 Sox, and missed the playoffs entirely. I'm MORE CONFIDENT entering the 2007 season than I was entering the 2005 season.

THE SEASON ISN'T PLAYED ON PAPER ANYWHERE BUT THE BASEBALL PROSPECTUS... and the Cubune's payroll department where $300 million equals 3 million idiots through the gate.

That's what makes the Baseball Prospectus for losers... and the Urinal, too. Next question.

:cool:

jabrch
12-29-2006, 10:45 PM
The only "plausible argument" I can make is some people (including several collecting paychecks at the Cubune) can't fathom what makes a championship team.

It was completely "implausible" the 2006 Sox team was any weaker than the 2005 team that won the world championship:

The DH was improved with a healthy Thome capable of putting up numbers better than what Frank Thomas had managed the last several seasons working through injuries, or Carl Everett could ever hope to achieve.
The rotation was stronger with the addition of Vazquez over the terminally-risky Orlando Hernandez.
A better bench with Cintron and Mackowiak
All other everyday players back except one (Rowand) replaced by a rookie. This is still far fewer question marks than the Sox pushed forward with to start the 2005 season: Uribe, Jenks, and Garland (the guy so shaky, he was slotted #5 in the rotaion!).And yet, somehow, the 2006 Sox only won 90 games, six fewer than the 2005 Sox, and missed the playoffs entirely. I'm MORE CONFIDENT entering the 2007 season than I was entering the 2005 season.

THE SEASON ISN'T PLAYED ON PAPER ANYWHERE BUT THE BASEBALL PROSPECTUS... and the Cubune's payroll department where $300 million equals 3 million idiots through the gate.

That's what makes the Baseball Prospectus for losers... and the Urinal, too. Next question.

:cool:

Great post PHG. Very well said.