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View Full Version : The Moron column count '02: Flubs 6 Sox 1


cheeses_h_rice
03-28-2002, 11:40 AM
Well, it had to happen -- Jay Moronotti actually mentions the Sox in a halfway positive light in today's Sun-Times. And he makes like a dark cloud over the Flubbies' upcoming season. Very surprising. (I'm serious.) By my count, he's actually been more positive about the Sox than the Flubbies!

I give this column a "4" for the Sox, since he says they'll win the Central, and a "2" for the Flubs, since it's the most negative stuff I've read from the Moron since the Great Collapse of '01.

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

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

Flubs 6/23/3.83
Sox 1/4/4


:moron

Cheeses, I had to. You should see the wedgies the other sportswriters in town give me when I stop off at Murphy's for a cold one.



http://www.suntimes.com/output/mariotti/cst-spt-jay281.html
Opening arguments on closer

March 28, 2002

BY JAY MARIOTTI SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST


From the team that brought you Mordecai ''Three Fin-ger'' Brown comes Antonio ''Six Finger'' Alfonseca. Yes, the Cubs have acquired a character who has six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, which explains the nickname ''Pulpo'' (octopus in Spanish) and once prompted former manager Jim Leyland to coin a memorable phrase in celebratory slang.

''Hey, Pulpo, give me six!'' Leyland said.

Problem is, none of these features necessarily will help the Cubs. In the vernacular of spring, Alfonseca is a desperation acquisition, one of those classic boom-or-bust moves that have defined the Andy MacPhail era. Will he be the good-results closer who produced 73 saves the last two seasons for the Florida Marlins? Or will he be the injury-prone headache who is coming off back surgery, angers opposing teams with fist-pumping and chest-thumping antics, rarely saves a game without putting one or two runners on base and-- isn't this lovely?--arrived in camp late after a woman in the Dominican Republic filed a civil suit (since dropped) that accused him of touching her improperly? Beyond that, he didn't sound particularly thrilled about the deal upon leaving Marlins camp Wednesday. If the season hinges on Six Finger, I have only one thing to say.

Beer man, double my order.

All of which leads to this conclusion: The Cubs, the one team in sports certain to drive you daffy, will drive you daffier than usual this season. I'd like to predict they'll win the National League Central, but I can't, not when the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros look better and more reliable. I'd like to forecast a wild-card berth, but I can't, not when the other divisions are stocked with contenders. I'd like to guarantee Corey Patterson will grow up, Moises Alou will stay healthy, Todd Hundley will locate his swing, Bill Mueller will return better than ever and Delino DeShields will be a slick leadoff hitter and second baseman. But what do you want me to do, lie?

They'll be just good enough to remain in contention, thanks to Sammy Sosa and a potentially terrific starting rotation, and they'll be just flawed enough to make you sick in August. The White Sox have their own concerns, but they stand a better chance of reaching October simply because of an easier path in the American League Central, where the Cleveland Indians have been downsized and the Minnesota Twins are in contraction limbo. If the Sox' batting order somehow were meshed with the Cubs' rotation, you could plan a parade starting on Addison, turn-ing south onto the Kennedy, blending into the Dan Ryan and exiting at 35th Street. But there surely would be civic laws against such a hybrid, not to mention an outbreak of fistfights.

Once again, it will be an eventful season on both sides of town. That I can promise. If nothing else, the Cubs and Sox have been increasingly entertaining in recent seasons, always inspiring talk and inflaming parochial passions. Maybe they haven't won a World Series in a collective 177 seasons, but the ballclubs do have a way of humoring us with various characters, goofballs and jerks. Last season, David Wells showed up fat, morphed into a fathead, wrecked the clubhouse with his rip job on Frank Thomas and did just about nothing for his $9.25 million. About the same time, Julian Tavarez, who thankfully was dumped in the trade that brings Alfonseca and potential starter Matt Clement, became the poster child for homophobia by insulting San Francisco's gay community. We've seen Albert Belle mope, Tony Phillips lose his mind, a number of Cubs rebel against Sosa, Randy Myers keep grenades in his locker and, long ago, Jack McDowell play a rock concert at Oz Park on the afternoon of a start.

Meet the latest conversation piece. To be at his best, Alfonseca says he must be mad at the world. ''I'm always angry in the ninth inning. I'm like a snorting bull,'' he says. To call him demonstrative is a soft description, whether he's pounding his chest, pointing at the sky or twirling his arm like a rodeo star with a rope. More than once, opposing players have pointed back and challenged him. "I do my job,'' he explains, ''and I do whatever I want.''

Like any other hot potato athlete, Alfonseca's popularity in Cubdom will depend on his performance. If he saves games, they'll love him and adopt him as a cult hero, which I assume would include wearing those foam hands with one extra finger. If he stinks, they'll abuse him. His presence, at an un-Tribune-like $3.55 million, gives Kyle Farnsworth breathing room to emerge as the eventual closer. If Alfonseca is on, it sounds like a fine plan. It also will help that he's reuniting with his former pitching coach, Larry Rothschild.

Just realize he's not exactly Mariano Rivera. When he compiled a major-league-leading 45 saves in 2000, Alfonseca had a 4.24 ERA, the highest for a saves leader in a half-century. Opposing hitters batted .306 against him. ''The high-ERA stuff about him, that's true,'' said Chicago native John Boles, a former Marlins manager. ''And when they talk about the high batting average, so what? It's the result that counts.''

It's always an adventure with this guy. Two weeks ago, he sliced a finger on his pitching hand when he broke a glass. Which finger, you ask? Between the fourth and fifth, actually. ''Those are the kind of injuries that kill you--the freak things,'' said Marlins manager Jeff Torborg, who moved from the Montreal Expos with owner Jeffrey Loria.

Feel fortunate to be in a large market. Only because the Marlins are cutting payroll could MacPhail and vice president of player personnel Jim Hendry pull off this one, relinquishing Tavarez and three trivial minor-leaguers. Give the Cubs their props for increasing their payroll and trying to win now. Maybe they'll fall short, but at least they'll keep a local pattern alive.

Another year, another character.

rmusacch
03-28-2002, 12:43 PM
He may say the Sox are going to win the division but he makes it sound like the only reason they are going to win the division is because it is so weak and the Indians are torn apart and the Twins are in contraction limbo.

hold2dibber
03-28-2002, 01:08 PM
Which is probably true -- I'm thinking 87 or 88 wins will probably take the division

RKMeibalane
03-28-2002, 01:50 PM
The Moron will never say anything positive about the Sox. If he thinks they'll win the division by default, it's not surprising to me. It's a good thing the article has been posted here, so we can make fun of him later in the year when he says he expected the Cubs to contend for the NL Central Crown, or whatever.

Chisox353014
03-28-2002, 04:01 PM
Here we are 4 days before Opening Day, and the Moron has now written exactly one paragraph about the Sox. Can you even count this as a 1 in the "columns written about" tally? It's more like a .25. Although I am also shocked that he wrote something complimentary about the Sox (even in a backhanded way), his pre-season scores clearly show who he thinks is the more important story in town; 5 all-Flub columns and 1 column split 75/25 in the Flubs' favor. That means about 96% of his coverage has been of the Flubbies so far. I would say this experiment is already proving it's hypothesis.

BTW, It certainly sounds like he's setting up the potential for Alfonseca to be his David Wells for 2002. He must have something against chubby pitchers. Weird considering how fat his own head is.
:moron
"Not everyone can be as trim and buff as me"

cheeses_h_rice
03-28-2002, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by Chisox353014

BTW, It certainly sounds like he's setting up the potential for Alfonseca to be his David Wells for 2002. He must have something against chubby pitchers. Weird considering how fat his own head is.


Are you insulting :fluffy ?

CubKilla
03-28-2002, 05:25 PM
Your giving Moronotti a 1 for the Sox because he mentioned the White Sox in one paragraph..... right? Or did the fluffmeister write a Sox article that I missed? Just wondering. If this is the case, I'd say it's 6-0. Mere mention shouldn't count as a tally. Unless, of course, you included mere mentions in your hypothesis. Then who am I to disagree?

cheeses_h_rice
03-28-2002, 05:34 PM
Originally posted by CubsF'nBlow
Your giving Moronotti a 1 for the Sox because he mentioned the White Sox in one paragraph..... right? Or did the fluffmeister write a Sox article that I missed? Just wondering. If this is the case, I'd say it's 6-0. Mere mention shouldn't count as a tally. Unless, of course, you included mere mentions in your hypothesis. Then who am I to disagree?

I didn't want to get into deciding how much of each column was about the Sox or the Flubs, but I do see your point about this being about 25% about the Sox and 75% about the Flubs. Still, the Flubs made a major trade yesterday while the Sox made a minor one; can't blame the man for writing about the team that was more impacted by yesterday's activity.

:moron

Cheeses, are you sticking up for me?


No, Jay, really, I'm not.