Awful Reporting

From this morning's Tribune and Steve Rosenbloom...

If you're rating the last 10 games for each team, the Sox get more style points than the Cubs. Sure, the Cubs went 8-2 while the Sox went 7-3, but the Sox did that on the West Coast, while the Cubs were at home.

Sure, the Cubs played better, won more games, faced teams with a higher combined winning percentage (.488 to .455) and outscored their opponents by a wider margin (+27 to +13), but the White Sox did it while they were sleeping with their road groupies and the Cubs players got to sleep in their own beds. That makes all the difference in the world...because this is the NBA all of a sudden.

The Sox also did it against the one good team that either team
played, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County of
California of the United States of the Northern Hemisphere of Earth,

Haha, see what Steve did there? He took a joke that's three years old and recycled it.

coming back in the last two games to get a split.

Wow, the White Sox split a four-game series on the road versus a good team that just got back its best starter for that series and is still missing Kelvim Escobar, Howie Kendrick and Chone Figgins. That's incredible work there by the White Sox. I mean they managed to play .500 baseball versus a depleted team. Print up the playoff tickets for winning 5 of 6 against two teams with winning percentages at or below .400.

To be fair, The Cubs did play against some lightweights in the last series, the just-below .500 Pirates, the woeful Padres and the Diamondbacks, who just happen to have the best record in baseball.

Now, you can tell me that the Cubs' first opponent on this
homestand, Arizona, is a first-place team, and I'll tell you that the
Diamondbacks play like a last-place team. Like the last-place Padres,
the Cubs' second opponent, for instance. Specifically, the D-Backs play
like slugs outside of the NL Worst.

Haha, NL Worst? Get it? That's a little word play there by Rosenbloom because the Diamondbacks and Padres play in the NL West. See what he did there? And that's why Rosenbloom gets paid the big newpapers dollars.

It's also one of the reasons the newspaper business is crumbling...terrible writing and poor research.

The Diamonbacks have played the second softest schedule in the majors, but Rosenbloom didn't want to seem to bother researching that the White Sox have played a pretty soft schedules themselves. Specifically, the 6th easiest in the majors. BUT THEY MANAGED A SPLIT versus the Angels. Great work, "Hawk" Harrelson is appalled by that level of homerism.

Here's the deal: Against NL Central and NL East teams, Arizona and
San Diego each have won a measly six games. San Diego beats up its own
division, but nobody out west can win outside of its own sandbox.

Except the Dodgers who are 10-10 versus the rest of the NL. And the Diamonbacks were still a respectable 6-7 versus the rest of the NL before the Cubs series. And what about the +52 run differential the Snakes are sporting, 2nd best to the Cubs? But they've beat the crap out of the crappy teams in their division, clearly they're an inferior team.

I guess Rosebloom's article basically boils down to whether a four-game
road split versus the Angels is more impressive than a three-game home sweep
versus the Diamondbacks. And of course it's not. The Diamondbacks are ahead of the Angels in ESPN's RPI Index and way ahead of them in BP's adjusted standings (look for the W3 and L3 numbers). The Angels are just a +6 in run differential compared to the Snakes at +52. The Angels have been fighting injuries all season, while the Diamonbacks were just missing Doug Davis and I guess Chad Tracy, if he even counts.

And would this be a good time to mention the AL Central that Rosenbloom's beloved White Sox are riding on top of? Wait, that's not nearly as clever as NL Worst, and I'd really like a newspaper writing job one of these days. Let's see what I can come up with here...AL Entrail. See, it rhymes with Central and it's considered disgusting. Damn, that's awesome...AL Entrail it is. I can't wait to write for the Trib.


Don't forget that the Pirates, who are just below .500, would be well over .500 if the didn't have to play the Cubs.

And nice write up, Rob.

There is a reason Rosenbloom gets less and less space in the paper.

To be fair...7-3 is a pretty impressive road trip, and the Cubs did miss Webb when the D-Backs came to town.

But, like many (but not all) Sox fans, Rosey would rather tweak Cub fans than talk about the Sox.

Reminds me of Game 2 in the Sox-Astros World Series -- I got to go with work tickets (hey, it's the World Series...)-- the Sox had just won on a walk-off HR by Podsednik, and, on the El ride home, some guy yells "HEY! I wonder what the CUBS are doing right now!" Raucous laughter all around. So - probably the greatest Sox moment in their lifetimes, and Sox fans were still thinking about the Cubs. Sheesh.

The Cubs have more fans and the Sox fans dwell on it. I think Ozzie tries to pull more people into the Sox orbit by pointing to their success. Too bad for the Sox that he comes off as Ozzie.


The Cubs became Chicago's team in the 60's with WGN and winning seasons. The Sox have done nothing to change that.

Hey, anyone got a lineup? It's the only 6pm game doesn't have lineups for yet--does ESPN have some deal with MLB that MLB can't post lineups until ESPN does so that ESPN gets more people watching the beginning of the game? That's the only (hare-brained) reason I can think of.

I don't get the supposed pro-Cubs bias in the Chicago media. If anything, there is a pro-White Sox bias. Just about every columnist in Chicago (Mariotti, Couch, Morrissey, and Mike Imrem in the Daily Herald) wrote a don't-get-too-excited-about-the-Cubs column in the last couple of days. I'm sick of reading columnists say you can't get too excited about this Cubs team because the 1975 Cubs team started 14-6 and finished 75-87. What does 1975 have to do with today?

The media treats Zambrano like they let a mass murderer loose every fifth day. The media treatment of the Edmonds-Zambrano relationship was beyond overblown, as if whether they get along or not will have anything to do with the Cubs winning.

Rosenbloom just destroyed Soriano after he got hurt, insisting the "hop" was the reason why. (For cryin' out loud, if I didn't know any better, he hurt his bleepin' calf while doing cartwheels out there.) The media treats Soriano as the guy who is going to make or break the Cubs.

The media is obsessed with three players: Soriano, Zambrano and Wood.

Ozzie Guillen can rip the Cubs in the media, and people talk about how goofy and "real" he is. If Lou made some comments about how he doesn't like the White Sox, the Chicago media would never forget it.

Throughout the 1950's and the 60's up until 1967, Chicago was a White Sox town. I know, because my dad and his family were Sox fans, and my mother and her side of the family were Cubs fans.  

1967 was the watershed year, because that's when the "Durocher Cubs" became perennial contenders (for a while), and when the White Sox had their last contending season for a few years. Also, by 1963 the White Sox had developed into a team that won with pitching & defense and very little offense, but it got ridiculous in 1966-67.

And then when the Sox blew the pennant the last weekend of the 1967 season by losing their last five games in a row to the lowly Kansas City A's and Washington Senators. That really helped to kill the White Sox with Chicago baseball fans. And with the exception of some of the Harry Caray Years in the 1970's (and the "Southside Hit Men" in 1977), the Sox really never got it back.

But the big thing was that the kids (like me) who went to Wrigley Field on countless summer weekday afternoons and watched the last couple of innings of Cubs games on WGN-TV Channel 9 after getting home from school in the 50's and 60's grew up and reconnected with their Cubness in the 1980's and 1990's. It was like a Russian agent sent to the U. S. as a teenager who becomes a military or political leader as an adult but retains his allegiance to the homeland.

The White Sox never had that, because in the 1950's and 1960's they only televised Saturday and Sunday afternoon home games, and an occasional road game on a Friday or a Saturday night. Once the Sox left WGN-TV for Channel 32 (and later Channel 44) in the late 60's, the Cubs had Channel 9 all to themselves, and when WGN became a SuperStation in the 1970's, it gave the Cubs tremendous national exposure that the Sox could not get on their local UHF station. And the Wrigleyville neighborhood was (is) a more fan-friendly environment than the neighborhood(such as it is) around the Cell. 

And then when Harry Caray switched sides in 1982, well, the destiny of the Sox as Chicago's second-class MLB citizens was sealed.

It looks to be a indefinite permanent situation.

Should I mention Rosey being a sportstalk radio guy...oh, I must have forgotten, didn't he get canned from both WSCR (with chat champ, Dave Baum) and ESPN-1000 (with Sean Salisbury) as a talk host for being BORING?

He seems to be recycled on the radio from time to time, just like his "cynical" humor attempts in the print media...and his marginal expertise in Texas Hold'em, just a fascinating topic on the radio (zzzzzzzzzzz)

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.