Posted on: August 5, 2011 12:54 pm

Rasmus Trade Logic

I'm not a Blue Jay fan or hater and to me, the real question is: Why did the Jays trade for Rasmus at all since they already have a glut of similar players? They don't need him and if anything,  they should have flipped him or Travis Snider or Eric Thames for pitching prospects as soon as they got Rasmus but that's what clueless MLB franchises do---they keep reshuffling the cards to create the illusion of hope for their fan base.  Toronto is yet another franchise hamstrung by inept Owner/GM/Manager combos in the utterly rudderless company of the Dodgers (see Divorce Court & bullpen drama & 20Mil for...Juan Uribe???), the Cubs (Alfonso Soriano's 8 years/$136Mil deal that runs through 2014, gave the recently departed for a bag o' balls Kosuke Fukudome a four-year, $48 million contract; thought it wise to ink the maniacal Milton Bradley to a three-year, $30Mil deal) and the Astros, whose Manager Brad Mills inserted speed merchant Jason Bourgeois in the 3 hole after dealing 3rd place slugger Hunter Pence and speed merchant/lead off man Michael Bourn.  Should have been the other way around, right? But then the muddling Mills mucks things up further when he goes and sits the lefty swinging  Bourgeois the next day against a righty pitcher! Yes, the Blue Jays admin belong in this clown car not just for the yo-yo-ing of Travis Snyder, their train wreck of a bullpen and the waiting til he got injured to further delay Lawrie's much needed ascension to the bigs, but for there recent past buffooning, albeit under a diff GM (but still the same ownership), of $10Mil per annum to Alex "Blame It On" Rios and $126Mil (u heard me) thrown at the feet of Vernon "Ain't Earnin' That" Wells. Toronto's biggest obstacle isn't the Beasts of the AL East (The Evil Empire Yanks, Red Sawx Nation or Tampa's Cool Rays), it's Toronto.

Posted on: June 10, 2010 10:39 am


Tuesday was Hawk Nite at U S Cellular Field.  The Chicago White Sox celebrated 25 years of legendary broadcaster Ken "Hawk" Harrelson bringing the gas and the play-by-play into the living rooms all across the SouthSide.

Wednesday was Hawk Nite in all of Chicago when it was no longer for Pronger, who grabbed some bench instead of pucks as the Blackhawks captured the coveted Stanley Cup with a scintillating 4-3 overtime sudden death victory over the PF's.  What in the name of my sweet Anti Niemi is goin' on here?  Did I just say "the Blackhawks captured the Stanley Cup" ?  That's right, Hawkaroo fans, I did because they did and who did for they, you say? The new legends of Chicago sports lore: Taser. Captain Conn: Jonathon Toews and Kaner, Kid Kup, Sippy, The Mulletnator, PK (Philly Killer): Patrick Kane .  When Sippy did a stutter step, pump fake, Hester Head bob and blew in on the frozen Flyer netminder, he got there with speed, guile and bad intentions.  All those moves, just like all the moves of Coach Q in this series and all the moves by Rocky Wertz and John McDonough (and since departed team architect Dale Tallon), all the moves by Hawk fans dancing and singing Chelsea Dagger after every Hawk score, were designed with one goal in mind.  And when Kid Kup fired fast and furious and found the five hole, his goal attained the whole goal: Lord Stanley's quaffer. So so long to another title drought in Chicago although I guess to some, 49 years isn't REALLY a drought, right Cubbies?  And say hello to our little friends.  These men yet boys, Captain Conn and his trusty sidekick, Sippy.  They had to wait to win the Cup so they could legally drink from it.  What a n-ice future we have in the Windy City.  Just think how many times we might win the chalice of choice.  A Toews 20 pounds heavier, will he ever lose a face-off?  Kane  bulked up to 160 pounds, uncrosscheckable, I tell ya!  And another decade or so of still Sharper shooting, Eagerer hitting, Boland more people over, and brawnier Brower power? Are you cartooning me?  Imagine Keith WITH teeth, a slicker Seabrooke, and, heaven forbode: a MORE buff Big Buff?  How about a Marion Hossa sans the monkey on his back?And, remember, he's a rookie and only 26 so we howzabout annudder decade of honey pot guarding by Anti The Pooh, rolling around til, "Oh bother, I sheem to be shhhhtuck between the pipeshhh---it mushhhht have been that lashhht shhhhtick shhhhave that I shhhelebrated with by shhhippinh a big shhhhmackeral of honey from the Shhhtanley Cup!  At leashhht being shhhtuck in the netshhh meanshhh no more goalshhh for our foeshhh!"  Sound like some kinda kid's story?  You know, a movie kid's love, one they'll play over and over even though the story ends the same and they know it.  Just like Kid Kup knew it on that Wild Wednesday evening,  Hawk Nite, the first of many, MY FRIENDS!!! And we will enjoy watching the kids grow up with their favorite show ending the same every year:  HAWKS WIN, HAWKS WIN, HAWKS WIN---You can put it on the board, Yesssss!!!
Posted on: February 1, 2010 10:54 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2010 10:59 pm

It's Air Bears After Martz Signing!

My beloved Bear, who have a front office that hibernates in most winters, awoke from their stupor and made a move that might signal a move into the 21st century of professional football in Chicago.  They hired Mike "The Mad Bomber" Martz as their offensive coordinator.  Say what you will about Martz's arrogance and stubborness, this is second only to the discover of fire.  The NFL has been on a yearly pilgrimage to reward the pass, protect quarterbacks amd wide receivers and raise scoring.  Nearly all rule and field changes since the late '80's were made to aid the offense and put the ball in the air.  Despite all the talk of the value of running the football, the fact is that the last time the league average carries per game per team exceeded 30 rushes was 1988!  Hey, read my lips---1988, the first Bush was just settling in the Oval Office, MJ's Bulls still hadn't won a title yet and Derek Rose was just born that year.  Things have changed all over the world and at last, they will change in Chicago.  But ya gotta run to win, right?  Wrong!  The Colts behind Peyton Manning are favored to win the Super Bowl again and they were dead last in the Nfl in rushing.  They were, however, 2nd in the league in passing and 7th in scoring.  Meanwhile, the Bears still have many of their team passing records held by Sid Luckman who starred for them over 60 years ago.  They brought in the big arm last year in Cutler but Ron Turner's Offense For Dummies lived ups to it's billing.   With the trade for Jay Cutler and the addition of Air Martz, Bear fans might actually see 15 yard completions on 3 and 9, eschewing the draw play for 4, the pass in the flat to their stumpy fullback for a pick-up of 1 or the wide receiver screen for a loss of 3.  The red zone might feature empty backfield formations with 5 receivers instead of 3 tight end sets.  And we might actually see Cutler roll out and throw---hhhhuhhh? On the run???!!!  As for the argument that Martz abandons the run and the running back in his offense, in 2001, Marshall Faulk was 2nd in the NFL in rushing yards, 1st in catches for running backs with 83 (11th overall and 2 more than leading Ram receiver Tory Holt's 81 grabs).  Faulk led the league in touchdowns with 21 (12 rushing and 9 receiving) and finished second by 22 yards in total yardage with 2,147 yards.  The Redskin's Stephen Davis led the league in carries (356) and carries per game (22.3) but caught just 1.8 balls per game so his 24.1 touches per game trailed Faulk's 24.5 touches per game (18.6 carries/5.9 catches) which was 2nd only to the Charger's Tomlinson's 24.9 touches per game.  I'm not suggesting that the Bear's will match that '01 Ram's team in production---I am merely pointing out that Martz's offense utilizes the back as much or more than any in the league but in a more diverse way.  Much is being said about how voluminous the Martz playbook is.  How can the Bear's core of young receivers and backs pick-up such detail in one off-season.  Hey, what about the opposition?  For the first time EVER, the Bears will have more to game plan for than any team in the NFL.  This brings us back to personnel.  Martz like a blocking tight-end.  Greg Olson, Cutler's Late Nite sidekick, is a receiving tight end who avoids blocking like it's H1N1.  Martz will waste this asset, the naysayers cry.  And, we don't have any Holt's or Isaac Bruce's in our receiving department.  A passing attack like Martz caters to the elite receiver which we ain't got.  And, and, and---we don't have a 1st or 2nd round pick in the upcoming so no hot shot college wide-out will be running routes by the lakefront come fall.  What to do, what to do?  Aha, I've got it!  Deal Greg Olson and 5th round pick to, say, Denver for the young (the 26 years old as of 3/23/10) malcontented, mega-talented, monsterous (6'4", 230 pound), NFL record holder for receptions in a game (21, set last year with a Kyle Orton chucking the pill to him), wide receiver and former Cutler fave a flavor, Brandon Marshall.  Denver won't deal him---Marshall had 101 catches and 10 TD's in 15 games last year, are you crazy?  No, the Broncos think Brandon is, tho, which is why they would love to deal him for a starter like Olson who is familiar with their QB Orton.  Now ya got something.  Marshall, Hester, Bennet, Knox, and Aromoshadu give you a lethal cache of size in Marshall and the 6'2" Aromoshadu, blazing speed in Hester and Knox and the versatile Bennett, who can play in the slot or on the outside.  Couple them with the sure-handed and hopefully newly mended and healthy Matt Forte out of the backfield along with the fine blocking, good receiving tight end in Desmond Clark and suddenly the Bears could be more explosive than their divisional foes,   the possibley Favre-less Vikes, the talented Aaron Rogers led Pack with their pourous O-line and the green but coming fast Lions with 2nd year QB Matthew Stafford .  Jerry Angelo made the big QB trade last year and the big O-Coordinator signing now so the big WR is next then it's time for the Greatest Show On Bad Park District Turface.  Yeah, it's Super Bowl week but move over Peyton Manning and your crazy good Colts and New Orleans with your who dat Saint's and your brilliant Drew Brees 'cuz next year Mike Martz is here and Da Monsters of the Midway might just meet ya in the big game as the Air Bears!

Posted on: January 9, 2010 12:30 am

Bulls Del Negro Must Go!

Vinny Del Negro's nightly, "We got good looks...we just didn't hit some open was just one of those nights...blah, blah, blah, blaaaaaaah."  The thing is, in the internet/sports talk radio/press-conference-style-Q&A-after-EVERY-stinkin'-game-even-those-coached-by-Vinny-D
el-Negro, we fans start to piece together things as people closer to the fire share snippets and knowing looks with each other so frequently that viewing audience is catching more and more of them on camera.  Kendall Gill, local studio analyst and former NBA player, in dissecting the last play the Bulls ran with the game clock running down and a chance to tie, pointed out that Luol Deng, who took and missed an elbow three, has a thumb injury.  Gill wondered if Deng should have been the option for a three point shot given his injured hand.  I'll take it a step further---even with two good hands, Deng shouldn't be shooting threes of any kind let alone one of such consequence.  And just one more step back---Deng or anybody, including Rose, should not be shooting an elbow three.  If a three is in order, at least take it right in the middle of the floor.  Ya see, Vinny, the odds increase when you're shooting straght on as opposed to shooting from angles.  This is the very type of head scratching play Del Negro draws up game-in and game-out, mostly out.  Repeatedly. he has proven that he has no clue as to how to optimize this mediocre teams limited capabilities.  He leans on Derek Rose's play making prowess all game long then in crunch time, he takes the ball out of Rose's hands in favor of lesser players.  The other night in the closing moments of a close game, Vinny had Rose in-bounding the ball.  I couldn't help but wonder how often MJ was called upon to fill such a bit role in a key moment.  Not even the mystical Zen-master Phil Jackson could have convinced himself or His Airness that his calling is to roll out the red carpet, not walk on it.  In Hoosiers II, Del Negro sticks with the call to use Jimmy Chitwood as the decoy and the rest ain't history.  He is fast replacing the vacuous Terry Bevington, he who as White Sox manager once summoned a reliever from an empty bullpen, as the all-time leader in coaching buffoonery.  John Paxson must be hiding beneath his desk these days like George Costanza with an alarm clock just waiting for his work day to end and the media leaves so he can come out and go home.  Dim is what I want when the movie is about to start, not what I'm looking for in my favorite team's head coach or front-office leader.  It's time for the light bulb to come on and for Pax and Jerry to get an idea on how to run a franchise, not run it into the ground...again.  The first rule of thumb is to not hire a coach with no experience and even less creativity but since you did that, the second rule is to fix the problem caused by ignoring that mistake before all those Bull fans stop "loving it live" at the United Center.
Posted on: June 17, 2009 5:09 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2009 5:40 pm

The Real Threat of Steroids Remains

In Chicago, reaction to Sammy Sosa's inclusion on the list of 104 major league baseball players who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs back in 2003 has been a loud, "So? Everyone knew he was breaking the rules."  Hosts of sports talk radio showgrams and listeners alike are weighing in on Sammy et al "breaking the rules" like they were caught siphoning monopoly money.  Hey, everyone enjoyed the home run derby race Shammy had bashing 'em out with Big Mac in 1998; afterall, it "saved" baseball, right?  Yesterday, in interviews before the onset of the Crosstown Classic interleague showdown betwixt my beloved White Sock and the Hubbala Bubbala Cubbala's, ChiSox manager Ozzie Guillen said that the steroid era should be dealt with "one time" (all at once) and baseball moves on, the game will continue," the old 'The Game is BIGGER than the players.'  For his part, Cub skippee Lou Piniella pleaded ignorance, citing, "I don't know the difference between steroids and a reefer."  The old managerial Lou-step.  'A Reefer,' Lou? What is this,  a baseball noir.  What's next: 'Youz mugs ain't oughtta try pinnin' me down on this, see?  I won't take the rap on this, see?  I wasn't anywhere around it, see?  I was down in Florida at the time, see?  And even a blind man could see them Devil Ray teams of mine weren't enhancing any performances, see? So, unless youz mugs wanna take the Big Sleep in the bottom of the Big Tank in the Shedd Aquarium. youz lay off, see?' 
But Lou, PED use is not merely "breakin' the rules," see?  It's not batting outta order.  It's not missing the cut-off man or not picking up the third base coach or missing a sign.  It's not lying about your age, using a corked bat, or doctoring the ball.  It's not just "breakin' the rules."  It's illegal, it's against the law, it's a crime.  The real problem is the threat, the possibility, and yes, the LIKLEHOOD that THE GAME was comprimised beyond just the heightened performances of the participants.  When illegal, controlled substances are puchased, they are purchased from career criminals.  Career criminals are much like regular career businessmen in that they are always looking for opportunities for diversity and alternative revenue streams.  So, when even a low-level drug dealer discovers that one of his customers or end-users is Joe Ballplayer, he sees the chance to improve his lot in life beyond the sale of some muscle sauce.  He has Joe in a pickle because he has the goods on Joe.  Maybe he tells Joe that their little secret is safe if Joe just strikes out in a key situation in the next game.  Maybe Joe feels the heat and helps the dealer out, just this once.  But Dealer isn't about to let this fish off.  He knows the clock is ticking on his 15 minutes and so maybe he tells Joe, "Hey, you don't have to look bad at the plate---next game, just have an off day in the field.  Ya know, break in on a line drive and it goes over your head and 2 runs score.  Or, maybe you don't go 2nd-to-home on a single or you stumble trying to steal or you get picked off or you hang a curve with the bases loaded or you uncork a bad throw...or...or..."  Or, maybe the dealer wants to move up in class and play for the big boys and he sees the dope he has on Joe B as his ticket up the criminal food chain. The wheeler dealer peddles his little black book to a more powerful crook in a more organized outfit who has bigger plans for the 411 on Joe Ballplayer.  He has Wheeler inform Joe about a new deal, "We want to make sure nothing untoward happens to you or your family so we want to sell you our protection.  So, not only are you gonna have an off year, you are gonna tell us who is hurting, especially pitchers.  Or whhich other players juicing.  Or who likes to play the ponies or online poker.  Or...or...or"  More easily agitated on the 'roids, an upset Joe snarls, "Or what?" The Wheeler to the wind-up, he kicks and deals, "Or else." 
Sceptical? Can't happen?  You watch too many late night Bogart movies, you say?  Well I reply, do you REALLY think that of those 104 Joe Ballplayers, that ALL of them made uneventful purchases through their trusty, scrupulous personal trainers or from patriotic, stand-up dealers or from automated roadside juice vending machine stands in the Dominican?  Sorry, sportsfans, but you know and I know that the probability is that at least some of the players got caught up in the net of Itchy Brother and once reeled in, you stay on the hook even AFTER you're off the sauce.  "Protection" is not just for game day, or a series or a season, it's forever.  So the steroid pitches, catches, at-bats, games, series, and seasons may be over, but odds are, the steroid era plays on.  We now know there was a test where scores of players were found dirty.  We now know there is a list with those names. And we can do more than collectively channel our inner child and have him tug on Joe Ballplayer's pleats and plea, "Say it ain't Sosa, Joe."  We need to stop talking about the steroid stain on our national pastime in past tense because it is stained by people who take blood oaths, who don't just break rules, they break knees and necks and they are real people with real guns posing real threats, not to virtual players in video games but to real players, real people with real families who are STILL in real trouble with these real bad guys.  Much more is at stake than Hall of Fame plaques for a few of the more notable cheaters.  To look away as if all that happened is in the past and it was just some players "breaking the rules" is uncaring and untrue and will only end in the real tragedy of broken lives.

Posted on: June 12, 2009 5:47 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2009 5:48 pm

White Sox Trades

Ok, we just took 2 of 5 with the Tiggerz.  It's not like we can't claw our way back in this thing, sneak into the playoffs, steal a road game, get to the ALCS and WIN THE WORLD SERIES! Sorry, I'm a SouthSide baseball fan so I deal with realities and the realities are that we win a ring every 88 years whether we want to or not and this year likely ain't gonna drive that average down.  So what do we do?  Well, Kenny & Co just tipped their hand a l'il bit in the 2009 draft.  First pick: Jared Mitchell, centerfield speedster, the future leadoff man.  2nd pick, Joshua Phegley, C, Indiana University, booming bat backstop whose selection seems to say either he or Tyler Flowers catches and the other is either your DH or firstbaseman, splitting these slots with Paul Konerko or maybe Brandon Allen .  So in 2 years, in 2011, our line-up, starting rotation and closer and set-up man will look like this:

Jared Mitchell, CF
Jordan Danks, RF
Carlos Quentin, LF
Paul Konerko, 1B
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Gordon Beckham, 3B
Tyler Flowers, DH
Josh Phegley, C
Chris Getz, 2b

Mark Buehrle (L)
John Danks (L)
Gavin Floyd (R)
Aaron Poreda (L)
Clayton Richard (L)

Matt Thornton (L)
Scott Linebrink (R)
DJ Carrasco (R)

Wait a minute here, Buck...Where's Jermaniac, Do-tel, Thome, Fields and Big Bad Bobby Jenks?

The answer is like the old joke:
Q: Howcome farmer's have smelly thumbs?
A: (hook thumbs under armpits) "We'll I'll tell ya."

See, Big Jim will move on after this year when his contract expires and since it is hefty, he can only DH and is on the wrong side of 35, he likely can't be moved this year.  But many can so we start by dealing Bobby Jenks and Josh Fields to Tampa for OF Desmond Jennings or to Philly for OF Michael Taylor.
Then, we ship Jermaine Dye  to Beantown for Daniel Bard & Michael Bowden or to Seattle for Eric Bedard & Adrian Beltre and then we send Richard and Dotel to the Angels for 3b/SS Brandon Wood.  Now we've got the following:

Desmond Jennings / Michael Taylor, RF
Gordon Beckham, 2B
Carlos Quentin, LF
Paul Konerko, 1B
Alexei Ramirez, CF (Jared Mitchell in minors)
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Tyler Flowers, DH
Brandon Wood, SS
AJ Pierczynski/ Josh Phegley, C

Mark Buehrle (L)
Eric Bedard (L)
John Danks (L)
Gavin Floyd (R)
Michael Bowden (R)

Matt Thornton (L)
Scott Linebrink (R)
Daniel Bard (R)
Aaron Poreda (L)
DJ Carrasco, (R)

Branden Allen, 1B
Chris Getz, 2B
Brian Anderson, OF

We will have morphed into a very young, talented team with a ton of team speed on the field and in the wings, emerging power bats and a boatload of position flexibility.  Alexie can play SS, 2B, CF,  Beckham can handle 2B, SS, or 3B,  Wood can man SS or 3B and Jennings, Taylor and CQ can play the corners and even CF in Jennings case.  C'mon Kenny, I know you can pull off at least some of these moves or, hopefully, better ones.  And then we can all cinch it up, hunker down and pass out the rings for years to come and it will be, "White Sox baseball, catch lasts forever!!!"

So you've seen my picks to stick and click now howz about yours, MY FRIEND!?! 

Posted on: June 3, 2009 1:25 am
Edited on: June 3, 2009 1:35 am

Poll Question: What Will Happen to Chris Davis ?

On another blog, Steve Garner's Fantasy Wind-up in USA Today, I asked the following question about Texas slugging firstbaseman Chris Davis.

2009, 48 games, 165 AB's, 23 R's, 32 Hits, 4 2B, 12 HR's, 23 RBI, 11 BB, 77 K's,  .194 BA, .253 OBP, .436 SLG,  .689 OPS  

In a keeper league, is Ranger Chris Davis still Ranger 1B Chris Davis in 2 years or is he: (a) traded after replaced by Justin Smoak (b) Ranger DH (c) Ranger 3B after Michael Young retires (d) back in AAA after shattering MLB single season strikeout record (e) running a mall kiosk selling baseball-bat shaped hand fans.

Steve's response:

Now THAT'S the best question of the day! And on top of that, it's a great question. I have to figure with one of the best hitting coaches in the game, Rudy Jaramillo, there in Texas, Davis is going to get the best help in turning things around. The most likely answer is B. But if you're talking 10 years down the road, D is the clubhouse leader.


So where do you think Chris Davis ends up short-term/long-term?  Many like me, Zager & Evans thought we had a big bat set in our line-ups thru the year 2525 but now, Davis might be through by the all-star break. Your thoughts?  Or comments? Rants? Vents?

As Harry Carey used to say before he sang the "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" at White Sox games, "Hey! Let me hear ya!"

Posted on: May 29, 2009 12:05 pm
Edited on: May 29, 2009 12:21 pm

Weiters Festivus For the Rest of Us

Transaction : The Baltimore Orioles have called up catcher prospect Matt Weiters to make his MLB debut tonight at home against the Detroit Tigers.

"Tra-la-la-bomm-dee-ay, there is no school today, we're all gonna watch Matt Weiters play, tra-la-la-boom-dee-ay!!!"

"Look, up in the sky, it's a Bird the size of a Plane---It's Weitersman!!!"

"You may ask yourself - where's my moon , my levee , my dream? Well it’s here, with you, tonight at Camden Yards.  Step forward and watch Matt Weiters today, you can serve your country tomorrow." - President Barock Obama (paraphrased)

Break out the pole, air the complaints and watch Matt perform feats of strength---it's Weiters-fesivus for the rest of us!!!

"And every mother's child is going to spy, To see if Weiters really know how to fly."

Annie had Carlos Zambrano in our Secret Weiters. She got him some Weiters-hosen and is gonna have him wear it over his unform when he pitches---that should settle him down.

I just hope Boston's Dice-K doesn't chuck the Gyroball and develope a Wieters Beater Heater.

Some marketing/advertising possibilities we at Team Weiters are entertaining:

- Dr Scholl's: Weiters Feeters Odor Eaters

- Beemer automobile ad campaign featuring Matt Weiters driving by adoring fans watching, waving & chasing his car with a song in the background sung to the Gatorade Michael Jordan ad tune "I Want To Be Like Mike," but only it's entitled "I Want To B MW".

- Shoe ad for "WeitersSkeeters"

- Change Wheaties cereal brand name to Weiters with Matt's pic on every box.

- Have Matt host the new baseball steroids crime show, Weiters Cheaters Investigeaters, aka, Weiters C I

-In Baltimore, Micky D's unveils a new seafood item, The McDonald's Happy Cakes which are crab cakes whose mood did a 180 when Matt Weiters got called up.

- Matty hosting his own late night talk show, Great Nite with Matt Weiters with a promo by John Madden who proclaims with his hands out and his mug filling a wide angle lens, "I didn't retire  'cuz Brett Favre retired, I retired to spend my life on the road in my bus with Brett Favre following Matt Weiters."

Finally, Craig Ferguson will undoubtedly lead off his monologue tonite, the nite Matt Weiter's makes his baseball debut, "It's a great day for America everybody, Matt Weiters had arrived---a Tall, switch-hitting catcher---remind you of anybody?"

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or