Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Farney Looking Sane by Comparison

When you read sports fan blogs, you have to be prepared for some highly volatile and reactionary opinions. Fans let emotions take hold of their better judgement and it clouds their senses of reason and logic. It comes with the territory, but it does occasionally make people sound more insane that Ryan Freel, who has a midget named Farney living in his head.

The Cubs are stumbling at the moment so, of course, there has been some chatter about how the calendar could be turning to July and the Cubs don't already have the playoffs clinched in such a crappy division. Instead of marvelling at the fact that Cubs fans aren't all partying like its 1989 because the Cubs are only 3 1/2 games back (as they probably would be in almost any other year of being this close to winning a division), the blogosphere is all riled up and throwing out some less than orthodox solutions to the Cubs problems.

One lunatic thinks that the solution is to cut Carlos Zambrano.

"Get Carlos Zambrano out of here, even if the Cubs have to give him away. He's not the guy you want as the ace of a curse-busting team, and at this point, it's wishful thinking that he'll ever mature into that guy.

Proving that I did not attend Kellogg, Wharton or even the Acme School of Business, I offer this proposition for Jim Hendry: First thing Monday morning, put Zambrano on waivers. If anyone claims him and the $62.75 million left on his contract, which runs through 2012, immediately trade him for whatever is being offered, from a bag of balls to a 32-year-old minor-leaguer."

Now, I understand the frustration and this fan clearly has let his emotions get the best of him when he.... wait. Hold on.... seriously?

OK, sorry folks, I'm being told that this was actually written by Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune. My bad. Anyway, this obvious neophyte to journalism and the game of baseball in general clearly has been swayed by.... what? You are f---ing kidding me. He's been doing this for how many years?

Well, um, it turns out that according to Phil Rogers' bio, he "is in his third decade covering major league baseball, and has done it for the Tribune since 1997."

Well, I officially have no explanation for how a grown man, who has been paid to report and write on baseball related topics for thirty years would ever come to the conclusion that the way to make a team better would be to cut a player that Baseball-Reference.com compares most similiarly to, among others: Brandon Webb (Cy Young winner), Pete Vukovich (Cy Young winner), John Lackey, A.J. Burnett, Josh Beckett, and the pre-DeRosa Cub fan's favorite trading target, Jake Peavy (Cy Young winner).

Clearly, the best way to begin building a World Series winner would be to trade a pitcher with Cy Young talent for a "bag of balls." Yes, this would be much better than trading a utility player for three decent pitching prospects.

So, that was a bad example. Perhaps we should look instead to a crazy lady who wants to fire Lou Piniella because he is the one batting sixty points below his career average and walking every other opposing batter he faces. At least, she argues, Lou is not motivating his players to perform better than the horrible performances they have trotted out there so far.

It is just like a blogger to run to a ridiculous conclusion that the 66-year old Lou can't control a team, but the 65-year old Lou was the master of his clubhouse. You see, it's this kind of crazy arguments that give us fellow bloggers a bad name amongst the professional media. Amateurish, sensationalistic hackery makes us all look.... what's that? No. You have got to be shitting me. This piece of crap was written by a professional journalist? Sigh...

It turns out that the anti-Lou sentiment is courtesy of Carol Slezak of the Suntimes. According to her bio, she "has been a Sun-Times Sports Columnist since 1996." The bio was posted in 2001, so I'm hoping she has some more accolades since, but I don't care enough to look for them.

Alright, sorry again everyone, but you know what they say: third time's a charm. So I went to Chicago Now and found an honest to goodness blog that amongst some other crazy sentiments like elevating Carlos Marmol to the closer role to solve Kevin Gregg's excessive wildness (and a later retraction), the author, "Kap," proposes a trade to the Orioles for Aubrey Huff and George Sherrill that would only cost Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija, and a "high level prospect not named Josh Vitters."

Seeing as the Cubs' only high level prospects in the system not named Josh Vitters are actually on the current MLB roster, I have to assume that the prospect to go would be Jake Fox in this scenario.

I looked up Aubrey Huff on Baseball-Reference.com and saw that he is comparable to Vernon Wells and Raul Ibanez. Those are two decent players. Who else? Jacque Jones, Preston Wilson, and Glenallen Hill also pop up on the list. That list is kind of all over the place, but it serves a purpose to point out that Jake Fox (even if he isn't involved in the trade - he would be the one sacrificed off the MLB roster to make room for Huff) could probably give us production at this level, expecially if we set the bar at Jacque Jones.

So the issue becomes whether one half year of George Sherrill is worth parting with two pitchers that could possibly replace Rich Harden in the rotation next year at a very cheap rate. Possibly, but again, the issue this season really has not been the pitching. The bullpen has not been good, but it has been decent lately. The problem is that we don't score any damn runs and they either are protecting a slim lead or trying desperately to not allow any more to score. I just don't see how this trade would make a big enough impact to jeopardize future rosters that may be under more of a salary squeeze than we have currently become accustomed.

Don't get me wrong, Kap's heart is in the right place, but he seems to be jumping off a cliff when it really shouldn't take too much patience to have this team start performing better. Perhaps he isn't as familiar with the current ownership situation. There really is a lot going on behind the scenes, and he may have missed that new ownership probably isn't going to be in place anytime before the end of this season. I'm sure he would probably be a little more rational if he had some insider info that would come from, say, working in Tribune Tower instead of typing away in his mother's.... what? He works where? He broadcasts on what radio station? Oh, for f---'s sake. Come on!

Well, based on what we have seen from the respected professional journalists in Chicago, I guess the season really is that bad and we should all just kill ourselves. Now please excuse me while I go take my toaster into the shower.


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