Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Steve Rosenbloom Explains Why He Doesn't Care For Cubs' Latino Players

Steve Rosenbloom should not be allowed to type words into his computer or speak out loud to other people.  The fact that he is paid to do so as a so-called sports journalist is absolutely mind-boggling.

I've pretty much left Rosenbloom alone here in Aisle 424 because, frankly, his simplistic musings and childish name-calling are low-hanging fruit and just plain too easy a target.  What fun is that?  I mean, unless you are Steve Rosenbloom and that is as high as you can reach.

For instance, if I were Steve Rosenbloom and I were to use my Rosenbloom brain to make fun of a stupid fucking piece-of-shit blog that was named "Rosenblog," I would change the name to "Rosenbleargh" (vomit sounds are funny!) and then seemingly pause for laughter, but really I just won't have anything else to say.

But today, Steve turns his ire on Carlos Zambrano and turns up the "Lazy Latino" noise that the Chicago media loves.  But even for Chicago media, the line he draws between the white players and the Latino players in this post is staggering.  I found myself reading it in an Archie Bunkerish Brooklyn accent as a means to convince my brain it was simply parody rather than actual beliefs by a supposedly educated man who makes his living crafting words in the 21st century.

At the end of it, all I could think of was this:

But Steve is intent on sharing his irrationality and petty, juvenile jokes in an effort to run Zambrano out of town.

"Problem was -- and is -- Zambrano won’t waive his full no-trade rights. It’s the kind of contract perk that general manager Jim Hendry gave everybody who stopped by the Cubs money buffet, a clause that reeks of stupidity and weakness on the part of both the player and the team, and here’s why:

If a player is getting $91.5 million, he ought to be both good enough to earn it and strong enough to deal with the potential inconvenience of getting traded if, say, he really isn’t good enough to earn it, right, Carlos?"

First off, let's point out that Steve apparently doesn't know that ALL players, regardless of skin color, with ten years in the league and at least five with the same team have no-trade rights automatically.  Jim Hendry could have given Aaron Miles a full no-trade clause and it would have no bearing on whether Zambrano has the right to veto a trade or not.  He meets the 10-5 requirement, so he has no-trade rights. Period. It's in the contract with the players union.

Try Googling something once in awhile, Steve, and fuck you for making me defend Jim Hendry.

Secondly, if your employment status at the Tribune gave you the rights to veto being sent to cover a cow-pie hurling contest in Buttfuck, Alaska, you'd probably take it and use it, Steve.  By the way, I heartily encourage the Tribune to do just that since I don't think he has those rights, the Tribune's coverage of dung hurling has been lacking and Rosenbleargh (callback!) seems to be an expert at it (Hiyooo!).

There are then a lot more words bemoaning Zambrano's unwillingness to pack his family up and move to a new city just to make Rosenbloom happy, and then bewilderment over the Cubs signing a player for $10 million using only his batting average to make fun of it.  You know, like a reasoned, learned sports expert would.  
I can't rehash the whole thing without going clinically insane so I'll do us all a favor and skip down to where Steve paraphrases Steve Stone's comment on WSCR as a means to explain how the signing of Carlos Pena to a supposed ludicrous contract (it isn't) is somehow Zambrano's fault:
"The Cubs signed Pena to provide a strong Latin presence in a clubhouse screaming for something more adult than Zambrano’s screaming. But it’s more than Zambrano. There’s Alfonso Soriano, who supposedly ruined Felix Pie by teaching him every bad party habit. There’s Aramis Ramirez, who refuses to dive for balls, and isn’t that a great example? There’s a history here that goes back to kicking out Mark Grace and turning over the clubhouse to Sammy Sosa, the ultimate team play -- no, wait, never mind."

Uh, no intense offended there.

So even though Rosenbloom is attributing the racially charged accusations to Steve Stone, he gloms onto them and gives them his full endorsement. What's more, he takes one bitter, angry man's opinion and runs with it like it is a cold fact. Somewhere even Al Yellon is surprised at the lack of journalistic methods and ethics.

You won't find many bigger critics of Alfonso Soriano than Dave Kaplan, but I have heard Kaplan say on numerous occasions that the players all love Soriano because he has a tremendous work ethic and is a great guy in the clubhouse.  The only thing that ruined Felix Pie was his inability to judge a ball from a strike.

But yeah, Aramis Ramirez, that lazy fuck.  He never dives for a ball.

Except when he does and tears his shoulder out of his socket in the process, you dickbag.  You know who dives a lot?  Ryan Theriot.  You know what else?  Ryan Theriot fucking sucks.  I hate you so much. 

Take a look at that photo of Ramirez sprawled on the ground in Milwaukee in 2009, Steve.  When was the last time you were in that much agony while in the process of doing your job?  Try reading your old posts and you might get an idea.  That usually does it for me. Boom! Roasted!

Remember when the Cubs turned the clubhouse over to a guy that ended up finishing second to Barry Bonds in total WAR and had the statistical best season of his career in 2001 instead of letting an aging, womanizing, bar-hopping white guy run out the clock?  What stupid morons they were!

If you're going to talk about Hendry's stupid contracts, why not trot out his signings of mediocre-to-crappy middle relievers to multi-year deals?  Oh yeah, they were all white guys.  I bet when Hendry gives Marmol a huge extension, you'll be the first to jump up and down screaming and yelling when Marmol walks the bases loaded, hits a batter to tie the game, and then gives up a bases-clearing bloop double like it's a big fucking surprise.
So Rosenbloom's whole point is to make a point of telling people that Hendry signed Carlos Pena to be a baby-sitter for the younger Latinos so they won't turn into the lazy, selfish jerks that those people seem to become.
I bet if you asked Rosenbloom, he would call Carlos Pena a credit to his race.


wpbc said...

wow. just wow.

Doc Blume said...

I'm in the minority of Cubs bloggers who actually want Z to be traded...but, Tim, you are dead on in your evaluation here...and Rosenbloom isn't the only one in the media who's been continuously like this. I'm somewhat surprised as Rosenbloom typically doesn't rock the boat. In fact he rarely says anything of remote interest to me.

I feel that this whole "Z to the Yankees" thing was created by the Chicago media to try to ship Zambrano out of town. All that does is hurt everything including Zambrano's value on the market. But characterizing Z as he has is just disgusting.

SK said...

Thanks for writing this. Excellent.

Southside Phil said...

You had me at: "Steve Rosenbloom should not be allowed to type words into his computer or speak out loud to other people."

Aisle 424 said...

Doc, whether Z should or shouldn't be traded is practically irrelevant in the context of Rosenbloom's post. He clearly drew a line in the sand differentiating the white players from the Latino players and then talked down about them as thought they were children. That is the sort of shit people used to pull about black people when they were trying to justify owning slaves. It is unbelievable this appeared in print.

At least when the other media members talk about the lazy Latinos it is at least thinly veiled behind comments about "players today" or "modern athletes." Rosenbloom might as well say, "here is the problem with the Latinos on this team, and the Cubs are taking steps to make sure the younger impressionable Latinos don't turn out the same way."

I'm still shocked.

Mercurial Outfielder said...

Outfuckingstanding, 424. That Rosenbloom column is the most proudly racist thing published by an American newspaper in quite some time.

Aisle 424 said...

Thanks, MO. My only regret is sending over even a small amount of traffic to his pathetic excuse for a blog. His editors are probably telling him to keep up the good work.

Kimmy said...

And this is the reason I love Aisle 424. We are aware, as Die Hard Cubs fans where our team is at. For Steve to speak so ignorant, makes me actually think of Keith Olbermann. Let's rant and then complain when someone calls you on your idiocy. I am glad I read it from your site, cause if I read it on his, I would have left a nasty comment. Thanks Tim.

cwolf said...

I have nothing to add to the comments already posted but I have to throw in a "Great Post, 424".

Corms said...

This post is spot on in its analysis, but there appears to be a factual error. According to his page at Baseball Reference Z had 8.042 years of service time prior to the 2010 season so right now he would only have 9.042 and wouldn't have 10/5 rights.

Aisle 424 said...

He was called up in 2001 and the rules say a player has to be on a ML roster for 10 years so this would be his tenth year, thus my assumption. It appears he would technically gain his 10 years on August 20th as that is his 10 year anniversary of being called up.

Damn my Google machine! No wonder Rosenbloom doesn't use one. Good catch, Corms.

Rosenbloom is still a total dick though. I've fact-checked that pretty thoroughly over the years.

Mercurial Outfielder said...

It's also worth noting that two players in this town gained 10-5 rights last year and were rumored to have invoked them/told them teams they would invoke them: Paul Konerko and Mark Beuhrle. Odd that there was no bile coming from Rosenbloom about them.

Doug said...

My only issue is that you have a problem with Hendry. Overall he's a pretty fantastic GM.

Aisle 424 said...

At this point, Doug, I don't know what to think of Jim Hendry. He has been the GM since 2002 and before that he was Director of Player Development or something like that under MacPhail. In that time, the Cubs have not developed a single consistent all-star level position player. Not one. There isn't even any that "got away." Soto is the best position player in that time and we still don't really know what to expect from him. That is not a track record I would call fantastic.

However, I will concede that when you compare the job done by Jim Hendry to the job done by Steve Rosenbloom, Hendry is fantasmagorically awesome at his job.

Don said...

Oh boy, a lot of the BCB crowd seems to agree with Rosenbloom. Unbelievable.

Doug said...

Well, they haven't developed any stars, no, that's true, but you know what Hendry did? (And he was farm director FYI) He got us the #1 farm in baseball. Then he took over as GM and he traded the pieces he used to make the #1 farm for people like Aramis Ramirez (Bobby Hill) and Derrek Lee (Hee-Sop Choi) and those worked out splendidly.

The Soriano contract sucks, but that's Crane Kenney's fault. He added two years to the deal, Hendry only wanted to offer 6 years.

The Zambrano contract isn't good, but it's not like Z has sucked and he's still only 29 years old.

He has made some great signings:
Marquis (more than earned his money)

And trades:
Traded DeRosa for a couple relievers and our #2 prospect Chris Archer. DeRo hasn't done anything except win a World Series while on the DL.
Traded Lilly + Theriot for Theriot (DeWitt) making 400K instead of 2 mil plus a couple pitching prospects.
Traded Derrek Lee for some prospects when Lee had done less than nothing all year.
Even the Juan Pierre deal hasn't been that bad. Yeah, Nolasco is a guy that saberheads love (I am one, I'd know) but you know what, just like there are guys like Z who will consistently do better than their FIP there are guys who will do worse. I'm convinced of this fact. Nolasco has a career 4.45ERA and only one good season in his career. He allows a ton of HR in Florida's park. He'd never have survived Wrigley and his career WAR from Baseball-Reference is -0.1, meanwhile Pierre gave us a WAR of 3.3 in his only season with us.

Even Milton Bradley, Hendry managed to pawn him off for Silva who put together a nice year for us. Hendry has done a fantastic job, he's just been exceedingly unlucky.

FrankS said...

BCB is a follow the leader kind of place. If you express a different opinion, the minions will shout you down into submission.

Regarding Rosie not crapping on Beuhrle and Konerko, hasn't been established that Steve is a White Sox fan? And both of those guys are fan and sportswriter friendly. And it could have something to do with them not being Latino or foreign born. I can't say for sure.

As for Hendry, I really wish he'd just go away. With the budgets and resources he has had, he should have been able to set up a perennial contender. Instead we have constant peaks and valleys. He isn't getting the job done.

Doug said...

Just gonna completely ignore the fact that he's set up multiple perennial contenders? 2003-2005 were all perennial contenders. He got screwed by people turning out to be incredibly injury prone. Nothing he can really do about that except start over.

Hence 2006.

Then 2007-2009 he set up team after team to be very good. They were in 07, they were in 08 and in 09 they were pretty darn good too. They just had one too many things go wrong, like Rammy missing half the year and Soriano having the worst year of his career and Soto having a monster down year. If even one of those things doesn't happen the Cubs probably challenge for that division.

What was he really gonna do about 2010 except hope that the talented group he put together would bounce back? He got screwed yet again with a massive underperforming first half from Rammy and a horrible year from D-Lee. Nobody could have seen that coming.

For all but one year in his tenure Hendry has put enough talent on the roster to compete. Things have just gone wrong too many times.

Aisle 424 said...

Hendry is not a terrible GM, but he also is not fantastic. He has been with the team since 1995 in some capacity where overseeing the farm system was at least part of his job description and the farm system has been largely a flop.

Yes, he turned Hee Seop Choi and Bobby Hill into Lee and Ramirez, but they failed miserably elsewhere. You notice he hasn't been able to use the farm system as trade bait as easily lately because people from other clubs don't trust the talent down there. That is on Hendry.

He also got 2 years of contention after spending something like $300 million in the offseason after 2006. That 2009 team was held together with duct tape and Lou Piniella's will power.

So he hasn't been good at developing players from the farm system (yes a few pitchers have been developed, but even that number is a bit low for 15 years worth of work) and when he was allowed to spend with no restrictions, he put together a ticking timebomb of a team that needs millions more dollars spent to realistically get them back into contention.

He has had some strange things happen, but he has also had longer than most GMs to get things going in the right direction and yet the Cubs are consistently bumfuzzled when it comes to having a cohesive plan.

He has made some interesting moves so far and I'm interested to see what he does next, but I'm not going to go so far as to forgive him completely for his role in jacking ticket prices through the roof and presenting us with a hugely flawed and fragile product in return.

Doug said...

That "spending 300 million" is a load of garbage. He spent about 40 million. 300 million over the life of ALL the contracts, sure, but let's not pretend the team payroll is 300 million.

And how hasn't he been able to use the farm to do things lately? He got Rich Harden for a bunch of guys who have, to this point, not done jack.

Sure, the specs haven't panned out, but guys like Soto, Theriot, Colvin, Marmol, Wells, Zambrano, Woody and Prior even came up and did very well for us for quite a while, not really Hendry's fault injuries killed them. Guzman too. Among others, have all come out of that farm system and done a great job and made huge contributions to this team. Hendry knows when to trade prospects, if he wanted to he could have traded some of our specs for Matt Garza, could have traded a bunch for Greinke. Isn't it possible it's because he is very good at knowing what guys are actually going to have success?

He's also done a great job with contracts, even though he'll never be given credit for it.

I don't want to go on for another 2 hours, but Hendry is one of the better GMs in the league. Are there a few guys I'd take over him? Sure. But there really aren't that many.

Hendry wins trades.
Hendry puts talent on the field.
Hendry does an above average job on contracts.

I can't ask for anything more out of a GM. It's not like he can go down and control the players bodies, all he can do is put a lot of talent in one place, which he's consistently done since taking over as GM.

Kin said...

I'm somewhere between Tim and Doug. While Hendry has made some boneheaded moves (what GM hasn't...), he's basically been the best Cubs GM of our lifetimes. Which might not say much, but we could do worse. However, it'd be nice if he'd pick up Moneyball or The Book and learn how to evaluate players better. That's my short speech.

Thank goodness Kerry Wood is back to bring up the whitey ratio in the clubhouse.

Aisle 424 said...

I don't know how old Kin is, but I would say that Dallas Green was the best GM in my lifetime.

But $300 million is $300 million. The remnants of some of that spending is still handcuffing the Cubs today. That is on him.

The only reason I am not pissed that he still has a job is that it has become clear that not all of his moves in that time period were entirely his decision (Soriano in particular). So I am willing to let him try to unbury himself.

However, if I had been the Ricketts, I would have taken a wrecking ball to the front office and spent whatever it took to put together a top-flight front office that didn't have emotional ties to the Cubs' past.

Kin said...

I can get on board with Dallas Green. I'm pretty sure I'm younger than you. I was 10 years old when the Cubs went to the NLCS in 1989 and I don't really remember 1984 all that well. So I should probably amend to say that Jim Hendry is the best Cubs GM that I can remember in my lifetime hehehe.

FrankS said...

If there is one inexcusable thing that Hendry ever did, it was signing Milton Bradley to a 3-year contract. And as far as the injury excuse goes, part of a GM's job is to be prepared for injuries.

Yeah, he's the best GM the Cubs have had in the last 20 years. Boy, that's setting the bar awfully low. Who's his competition, Ed Lynch?!? I'd be curious to see if Hendry would be in high demand if he were available.

MattA said...

Thanks to League of her Own for providing a link to a blog I'd never seen before. The goal of any GM is to win the World Series. The Cubs haven't even gotten there. Bottom line: Hendry has had enough time but has failed. I will concede that he has an ability in getting trades and contracts done. I've read numerous tomes that other GM's like dealing with him, and not because they're putting one over on him. And the contracts I believe are not just from him throwing boatloads of money at players. Maybe the Cubs need a kind of co-GM with someone evaluating talent for which Hendry shows little ability.
As far as Prior goes (mentioned by a previous poster), he was not a product of the Cub's farm system. He was developed at USC, IIRC. In fact, he never had injury problems until the Cubs got ahold of him.
Finally, Grace also bragged about getting an underage Wood drunk the night before he was scheduled to pitch and some people want him to replace Santo? Talk about going from bad to worse.
Thanks for letting me get all this off my chest. I'll be back often.

Aisle 424 said...

Welcome, Matt. Vent all you want.

FrankS said...


Did you get a good deal of traffic from the attention at BCB? I still can't believe you got a public reprimand for using the word "asshat." Perhaps douche would have been more acceptable?

Schwa said...

Just because one person called him out on swearing does NOT mean that everyone at BCB shudders at the sight of the word 'asshat'. There are plenty of us over there that have no problem swearing (if you read anything I write at THG you'd see I'm one of 'em). But it's Al's site and he's not a big fan, so people watch their language there out of respect.

Anyway, while I don't agree with you on your take of Rosenbloom's article, I do think you're a good writer, 424.

PS - Love the Billy Madison clip; it's a classic.

Aisle 424 said...

Initially, I got as much traffic from Julie's site as I did from Al, but the BCB crowd keeps clicking over. It's the strangest thing.

As for use of "asshat," Al can run his site however he wants to. I think he tends to treat his readers like children (which is maybe why it doesn't bother him that the Latino players get treated like children by the press and a large number of fans), but as Schwa said, it's his site.

So I'm happy a few more people have seen this site, and maybe some of them will stick around, though my guess from reading the comments at BCB is that most will not and that's cool too.

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