Note to Phil Rogers: Worst. Article. Ever.
I just read what could arguably be the worst article I've ever seen. It combined all the element essential to a terrible article including: a nonsensical theme, a lack of research, and poor conclusions. In short, it's so bad it's basically perfect. Let's go to the tape.
Central thesis: Hendry's trade of DeRosa and subsequent acquisition of Uncle Milton was bad.
Opening line: A quote from a reader (assuming this guy can read. I'd like to think this "reader" was shouting from a church bell tower somewhere and Rogers took notes) who Rogers said "makes a good point" and is "our kind of guy." I'm assuming "our" refers to "Me and my Monkey".
"Having followed the Cubs
pretty closely since 1954, many of the team's personnel moves have
baffled me -- [for example] 'Miksis will fix us,' " Norton wrote. "I'm
again baffled as to why the Cubs would sign Milton Bradley, a player
with a long history of obvious emotional issues that affect his ability
to play, and a seemingly endless series of injuries.
"I'm also totally puzzled as to why the Cubs 'traded' Mark DeRosa. It looks as if the real 'trade' was DeRosa for Bradley -- not as bad as Brock for Broglio, but in the same class."
Well, two things. One, I'm fairly confident that Milton's struggles can be more closely attributed to a gimpy groin and low BABIP, but okay. I'll allow for a minute that his fitful rage, the one that keeps Uncle Milton sitting at home on a Friday chewing on phone books, is the reason for this year's poor performance. But a history of emotional issue affecting his play? Which part of his play did it affect? The part that allowed him to lead the AL in OPS last year? Maybe the part that has allowed him to be one of the best hitters in baseball over the last several years? Actually, those might be the same part. I dunno. My head hurts.
Part number two is also pretty baffling. DeRosa was traded for Bradley? Could we also say that Jason Marquis was traded for Bradley? Actually, Phil does sort of imply that. More maybe it was Marquis and DeRosa for Bradley, four bats, and a year's membership pass to the Art Institute. I'm not entirely clear. My initial impression was that we traded DeRosa for three young pitcher, but that can't be true.
So yeah, Milton signing gets an "F" and probably deserves it given that we can safely base a three year, 30 million dollar deal on the first 30 days. Makes sense to me. But he also give the DeRosa trade an "F". Fair enough, we can easily judge a trade for three minor leaguers on 30 days as well. What does Phil says when assigning a failing grade (yes, that trade also got an "F")? Let's see.
There was no compelling reason to trade DeRosa, who hit .285 with 21 homers and 87 RBIs a year ago. Manager Lou Piniella wanted to get more left-handed-hitting into the lineup and Mike Fontenot
was available to play second base. But DeRosa, who went to the Indians
for three minor-league pitchers, could have gotten 400-plus at-bats
moving between right field and second base while backing up at third,
first and in left.
The Cubs are missing DeRosa, who has five homers and 18 RBIs.
In this case, we ignore the fact that DeRosa's hitting .235 for the Indians. Actually, in this case, we give his stats from last year (which are very good) to show that he's a good hitter. I wonder why Milton's stats from last year don't make an appearance in this article? It's almost like he's massaging the stats to make them tell a certain story. Nah. That's crazy talk! Oh, he also doesn't mention that Uncle Milton has a higher OBP that DeRosa this year. Not that it matters, but I'm just sayin'.
But what's confusing is that Rogers makes it appear that DeRosa was traded simply to clear room on the 40 man roster for Milton. It's almost as if DeRosa wasn't traded for three young pitchers. If only there was a way to find out what happened last off-season with DeRosa.
To the internets!
According to the tubes, Mark DeRosa was traded for Jeff Stevens, Chris Archer, and John Gaub. Those three pitchers are posting ERAs of 0.00, 1.59, and 1.59, respectively in the Cubs minor league system. And not that it matters (because, remember, DeRosa was traded for Milton), but Gaub has been described as a left handed Carlos Marmol, is already dominating AA, and had 100 strikeouts in 64 innings last year (and 9 in 5 innings this year). How would Cub fans feel if the Cubs had traded Marmol for a .235 hitting utility player?
Based on the early returns, it seems like the DeRosa trade deserves an "A".
Would I like to have DeRosa on the team? Sure, why not. He's a very good player. Would I like to have Milton hit over .100? Sure. Sadly, that ship has sailed and Milton will never be any better than he is right now. But what I'd really like is a comulnist who takes the same five minutes it took me to do the research and include all the information in an article, to not cherry pick stats to make his point because he wants to make a point based on facts. Bring the axe back from the grindstone and stick your nose down there. Do the work! Come on Phil, I know you can do it!
Okay, well, you actually probably can't. But still. This article was too much. This article was nothing more than a bag of half-truths and misleading statements intended to convince Cubs fans to not like Bradley. It's really the kind of thing that would make me cancel my subscription to the Trib. That and the fact that the Sunday comics are total crap now. And print is dead, there's that too.
To you, Phil Rogers, I say Boo.