Blog Entry

Mediocre Chicago Baseball

Posted on: May 8, 2009 12:20 pm
Before reading ... I am a Cubs fan and I like the Sox.

Both the White Sox (currently 12-14) and the Cubs (15-12) are off to inauspicious/mediocre/uneventful starts and it is starting to bug me. The White Sox are not very talented and the Cubs are the most apathetic team in MLB.

There are reasons why the White Sox are not going to be very good this season, they do not have very much talent and they have old players on the verge of breaking down. The Cubs, on the other hand, look like the same team from last season and I have already decided they will not win the World Series this year. Why won't they win it? Because the personnel refuses to make adjustments and I do not think they care.

Lets go over the White Sox roster...

Their best player is easily the slugging Carlos Quentin. Face it Cub fans, the guy is a monster and could start for the Cubs, not in LF, but over Milton Bradley (and I am one of the few Milton Bradley fans) or Kosuke, and Carlos would start in RF.

The rest of the Sox OF is barely above average. An aging Jermaine Dye is still mashing but is injury prone and I do not even want to think about the Sox CF position. It is so bad the best part about the Sox CF is his wife.

The Sox 2nd best player is Alexei Ramirez (pronounced Alex-A or Alex-Ay, not Alex-Ee) and he is struggling mightily, although I expect him to come around by season's end. Remember, playing SS has a lot more responsibility than 2B.

The rest of the South Side IF is below average. Josh Fields is a decent player right now but will never hit over .280, at least he is drawing walks and getting on base because he is useless when he does not hit HRs. Paul Konerko is another aging vet that is producing (over .300, good OBP, good RBI) but brings little on defense and nothing on the bases. The Sox 2B position is one of the worst in MLB. That now makes two positions (CF and 2B) the Sox have the worst player in MLB at, not good. The DH is, of course, Mr. Incredible, Jim Thome. Another aging vet, but he is not producing much and is spending more time on the trainer's table than on the field. Thome is likely going to retire after this season. The Catcher is AJ Pierzynski, a player better known for his game management than he is for his bat.

The White Sox offense is average at best. They do have good players (Quentin, Dye, Konerko, AlexA, and even Thome) but their glaring holes in CF and at 2B considerably pulls their team down. Kenny Williams needs to address his team's weaknesses but is likely to stand pat and wait for his kids in the minors to grow up.

The White Sox pitching staff is not bad but it still has some holes (all teams do). Their bullpen is one of the best in MLB and it was so good last season (with similar pitchers), Hall Of Famer Joe Morgan called it, "the best bullpen EVER!" (Morgan should have been fired for that comment).

The starters include Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd and their best pitcher and second best pitcher in Chicago, John Danks. After Danks it is awful. Bartolo Colon should not be on a MLB team and Jose Contreras' career is likely over. I do not care what Colon's numbers are this season, he should not be on an MLB team and neither should Jose Contreras.

It seems White Sox GM Kenny Williams had the idea of having about 8 good players on his team and surround them with role players who care about winning. That could work but their 5 worst players are awful and that will lose them at least 10 games this season. The White Sox do have some good young players in their farm system, but this year their spots will be occupied by aging vets.

Now to the fun part...let's talk about my favorite team in the world...the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs are a team full of apathetic high-priced talent. High-priced talent is a double-edged sword. Very rarely, can a team have all kinds of high-priced talent (sorry, I'll stop saying high-priced) and maintain the vigor needed to win a title.

The Cubs OF is good but their overrall best player is one of the dumbest players in MLB, my man, Alfonso Soriano. He drives me nuts sometimes but when he gets hot, look out. He can hit any pitch (except the outside slider) anywhere and hit it 500 feet, and that is why I love the guy.

The CF position currently consists of Kosuke and Reed Johnson. Kosuke started off hot (I have heard that before) and looks good so far and Reed is a role player. I do not expect much out of Johnson but Kosuke is making $12 million and we (the Cubs) need him to hit .300 if we want to win the World Series. Milton Bradley is insane and will come around, but he will not do what he did last season, which was lead MLB in OPS (an important stat).

The Cubs IF includes two all stars (Aramis and Lee) and two college teammates/role players (Fontenot and Theriot). Aramis, like Manny Ramirez or my friend Andre, will always be himself and you can count on Aramis to be Aramis. He will never exude the effort needed to be great, he will always be damn good and that's it. He will swing his hardest with two strikes and never protect the plate, which drives me nuts but I have learned to deal with Aramis and I am fine with him as long as he hits close to .300, 30 HR, 100 RBI.

Derek Lee has started to lose fans at a considerable rate. His routine 6-4-3 double plays with runners in scoring position and less than 2 outs have driven fans to the point where his outstanding defensive play does not outweigh his lack of offense. Derek Lee needs to learn how to hit (he is killing me in fantasy).

Other than the bullpen, the Cubs worst positions are up the middle (SS, 2B, CF). Baseball has been around for over 150 years and the key to winning titles is strength up the middle, good work Hendry. I love Mike Fontenot and Ryan Theriot, I think they are good little ball players, I think Mike Fontenot will hit more HRs than Derek Lee this season, I think The Riot has improved his offense substantially. That does not mean they do not have glaring deficiencies. The Riot and Fontenot both went to LSU, a school known for their offensive prowess (they call it Guerilla Ball down there) but both players are awful on defense and they will lose the Cubs more games than they will win.

Geo Soto won the Rookie Of The Year last season and it looks like that will be his best season as a pro. His game management is good and he is getting pull happy at the plate (a recipe for disaster). Geo will likely hit 15 HRs, hit close to .270, and drive in 80 but it is safe to say last season will be his best season as a pro.

The Cubs starting pitching has been good. Zambrano is not the ace we thought he would be a few years ago, but we are still paying him ace money and he is now on the DL. He is a fan favorite and is an expensive fan favorite. Ryan Dempster is starting to find the strike zone, thank god, it has been missing since October. Ironcially, the Cubs best pitcher is, by far, Ted Lilly (he might be the best pitcher in Chicago). All he does is go 7 strong, strike out 10, lay down a few sacrifices, and get the W (sounds like Dempster last season). If the playoffs started today, with a healthy Zambrano, Lilly would be starting game 1, no doubt about it. I do not want to discuss the Cubs bullpen, it is that bad.

In conclusion...

The White Sox have a few good players but are a few years away from contending again. They will build around AlexA, CQ, Danks, Floyd and the stud Beckham. The Cubs had a great opportunity to win the title last season and now that window is closing. I do not see many changes on the South Side, as they are waiting for the kids to come up, but there might be some changes on the North Side, including Zambrano and the bullpen.

My prediction...

84 W for the White Sox 3rd place

90 W for the Cubs 2nd place

- both not going to playoffs

Category: MLB

Since: Oct 5, 2007
Posted on: May 13, 2009 3:01 pm

Mediocre Chicago Baseball

I do think Soriano is worth every penny, he is the only player worth a damn on that team right now. Carlos will be making close to $15 Mil in the near future.

Since: Aug 19, 2007
Posted on: May 12, 2009 8:01 pm

Mediocre Chicago Baseball

Carlos Quentin hasnt done that Ill give you that but tell me you dont believe Sorianos worth what 18 mil a year??? Carlos Quentin will be a star for years to come I believe and no disrespect to Soriano Id take Quentin at what a mil or less over Soriano and his inflated contract everyday and twice on Sunday.

Since: Oct 5, 2007
Posted on: May 12, 2009 1:49 pm

Mediocre Chicago Baseball

Carlos would start in RF for the Cubs because he is a much better fielder than Soriano. Soriano has been to 8 straight All-Star games (including this season). Talk to me when Carlos Quentin does that. This looks like Soriano's best year as a Cub.

Since: Aug 19, 2007
Posted on: May 11, 2009 3:16 am

Mediocre Chicago Baseball

Their best player is easily the slugging . Face it Cub fans, the guy is a monster and could start for the Cubs, not in LF     &nb

Are you really saying that Soriano is better than Quentin??? Soriano hits homers in bunches,yes but when does he hit in the clutch?? Better yet what has he done in the playoffs other than disappear, also he is a below average fielder if you ask me he shoud still be at 2nd base not the outfield. See me at the end of the year when your cubs fans are again booing Soriano and  the streak hits what 102 years??? Carlos Quentin  is a much better clutch hitter than soriano and although not a great fielder by any means he is still a better outfielder than Soriano will ever be.     &n
bsp;     &

Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: May 10, 2009 11:17 am

Mediocre Chicago Baseball

and dont forget the Cubs worst problem.....GM Jim Hendry.  Just another truly pathetic off season he had.  He actually looked at that bullpen and said.....'hmmm, i think we can win with that'.   And dont get me started on his love affair with overpaid, underperforming  'star' free agents.....

Hey, Hendry.....Look at the Yankees....bad pitching combined with overpriced, fat and happy, 'stars'  does not produce championships. 

Since: Aug 19, 2007
Posted on: May 9, 2009 12:28 am

Mediocre Chicago Baseball

I dont think either team is a lock to make the playoffs. Both teams have holes in the starting rotation. I think the Sox have really 2 solid starters(Gavin Floyd hasnt convinced me yet). On the other hand what do the Cubs have? Z yes hes solid but hotheaded. Dempster is overrated in my book in his career is he even a .500 pitcher?? Ted Lilly is actually a more viable option as a solid starter he eats innings and keeps you in games. Harden I think is the best pitcher on either staff but VERY injury prone. As for the starting lineups I dont really feel there is anything to predict a playoff run,some good even very good players but no first ballot HOFs sans maybe Thome. I think youre right we have 2 very mediocre teams here in Chicago and have a feeling it will be another disappointing season if the Hawks dont make a long playoff run.

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: May 8, 2009 7:43 pm

Mediocre Chicago Baseball

There are some good points made here but i disagree with your assessment of the Cubs. Like it or not the Cubs are still the team to beat in the NL central. Theres no question that STL will be trouble all year long much like MIL last year, but it is way too early to be handing them the division. April was a REALLY bad month for the Cubs and i have to say that for such awful play coupled with a few nagging injuries it is amazing to walk into may at .500. I can only imagine the ugliness when the team starts firing on all cylinders...which is gonna happen. I give the Cubs 90-94 wins this season just beating out STL for the division.

Since: Jan 31, 2009
Posted on: May 8, 2009 6:41 pm

Mediocre Chicago Baseball

The White Sox will win the wild card, they barely will, but they have enough.

Since: Oct 5, 2007
Posted on: May 8, 2009 6:27 pm

Mediocre Chicago Baseball

My Man,

I appreciate your input, comments, and for reading my ... whatever this is.

After I wrote this I said to myself, "I bet Paul Konerko has a better season than Lee."

Derek Lee sucks but his defense and athletecism make him an everyday player and a better baseball player than Paul Konerko.

Jermaine Dye is one of the best RFs offensively in MLB but his defense and base running abillity are below average. He can make nice plays in the field but his aging legs hurt him in the field and on the bases.

Kosuke is garbage.

I struggle with my opinion on Fontenot and Theriot. I like them but it is not because they are good. I like them because they are little guys and they both know how to hit as all .

Chris Getz would start for the White Sox, Royals, Twins, Mets, Nationals, and Padres. That is 6 teams out of 29. Let's do the math: (I am using my new Blackberry calculator) he is better than 20% of the league which is well below average.

Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2009 5:05 pm

Mediocre Chicago Baseball

I like the idea of this blog, but if you're going to write something like this, don't be biased and know your facts:

1. Konerko will have a better season then Lee. Look at the way Lee has been hitting the ball. He's just as old as Konerko yet you failed to mention him as an "aging vet", but of course included Konerko. Actually, Lee is a year older then Konerko. Know your facts. And come on, lets get past the fact that Lee is not an All-Star caliber player anymore.

2. Jermaine Dye is not slowing down. Just because he is aging doesn't mean his skill is going down. After a monster 06' campaign his numbers faltered in 07', but came back to a respectable level in 08'. He can easily attain his 08' numbers again.

3. Kosuke Fukudome will never be worth the money the cubs put into him. You know it. I know it. He just isn't an MLB player. Known for his notorious fast start, his last 10 games he's hit a solid .224. Its the Fukudome we've all come to know. He'll never be able to put together a .300 season. Its that simple.

(Being a Sox fan, I'm incredibly glad he didn't sign with us)

4. Sox 2nd base is the worst in the MLB? Really? Chris Getz is a rookie 2b batting a modest .290 with 1 fielding error and your going to tell me that is the worst in the MLB. Now you really need to take a look at your facts.

5. "Other than the bullpen, the Cubs worst positions are up the middle (SS, 2B, CF). Baseball has been around for over 150 years and the key to winning titles is strength up the middle, good work Hendry. I love and , I think they are good little ball players,"

Please tell me where this paragraph makes any sense. You first declare 2b and ss as their worst positions then go ahead and say that you have strength up the middle.

6. Milton Bradley. Please tell me, other then last year, when Milton Bradley has been insane? He's never played more then 141 games, and that was in 2004. Your logic is way off here.

If your going to go criticize the Sox just too make then look worse then your joke of a team cubs, at least try not to make up your facts.

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