Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Class Act

I just finished reading a rather unextraordinary column is Slate about recent plagiarism scandals in the academic world. It's pretty uncontroverial even if it does seem to hand Doris Kearns Goodwin a pass when it comes to her transgressions. Maybe her plagiarism was unintentional, but she did reach a private settlement with the plagiarized author and did not subsequently publish a correction.

The most striking thing about the article is the final paragraph, where the author states:
For all the media hysteria that standards had fallen, it should be noted that Bellesiles was stripped of his job, Ellis suspended for a year, and Goodwin bounced from the PBS NewsHour and the Pulitzer Prize board. These were all perfectly appropriate punishments. Ambrose, as an author who simply didn't care about his scholarly reputation anymore and who could get paid handsomely for cookie-cutter best sellers, seemed distressingly beyond penalty. But, a lifelong smoker who had testified in court on behalf of big tobacco, he died of lung cancer in October 2002.

Is is just me or is that last sentence quite over the top and vile?

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Sox Trade Lee

If the Sox were going to trade any of their big right handed hitters, I always thought it made the most sense to trade Carlos Lee. Without a doubt, Carlos Lee is a good ball player. But his trade value to the Sox was greater than his true value on the field.

Or so I thought until Kenny Williams pulled the trigger and traded El Caballo to the Brewers for light-hitting Scott Posednik and a relief pitcher. Without a doubt the Brewers came out on top talent wise in this deal. I would like to believe even Kenny Williams realizes this. So the key to this trade is the $6 million in salary that the Sox just unloaded. Rumors are that the Sox plan on picking up another starting pitcher.

This deal will need to be judged in light of any free agent signing the Sox make with the money they saved unloading Carlos. The Cheat runs the numbers here.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Great Article, Great Blog

If your into college basketball I would suggest reading this great article on last week's Illinois-Wake Forest game. And if your into Big Ten basketball, definitely check out the site where I found the article, Big Ten Wonk.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Friday Football Picks

Last week against the spread: 2-1
Pick of the week: 1-0
Last week straight up: 3-2

YTD against the spread: 12-3 (.800)
YTD Pick of the week: 4-1 (.800)
YTD straight up: 15-9 (.625)

I finished 2-1 against the spread for the third stright week. My only blemish was picking the Spartans against Ohio State. Their backup QB had started the season by losing a home game to Rutgers so I should have known better. But he played okay against Michigan. At least until losing a 17 point lead in the final 6 minutes.

So let's recap:

he lost at home to Rutgers. Ok.
blew 17 point lead to Michigan. Ok
put money on him against Ohio State. Huh?

Okay in retrospect it looks dumb. But like our President, I won't dwell on my past mistakes, I'll just move on to my next one.

Look for Wisconsin (-8) to blow the Spartans out this week. It will be a shame if an undefeated Wisconsin team doesn't make it to the national championship game. A USC/Wisconsin match up would be great. Unfortunately, if it happens, it won't be in the Rose Bowl.

Without a doubt, the Badgers are head and shoulders above the rest of the Big Ten and there is no way the Spartans can hang with them. This is my pick of the week.

One funny note, my wife saw the headline "Big Red Menace" in the Sunday Trib and thought they were insulting the Badgers (she's an alum). I had to let her know the headline was actually a compliment, although I do understand how someone who spent four years of her life in Madison may find the headline "Big Red Menace" threatening.

My only other pick is Northwestern (+13.5) over Michigan in Ann Arbor. I don't think the Wildcats will win but they should keep it close.

Straight up: Iowa over Minnesota, Purdue over OSU, Indiana over Penn St. I'm tempted to pick Indiana with the spread (they're 3 point home underdogs). But it's hard enough just picking them to win. I'm not ready to put money on 'em.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Friday Big Ten Picks

Last week against the spread: 2-1
Pick of the week: 0-1
Last week straight up: 2-3

YTD against the spread: 10-2
YTD Pick of the week: 3-1
YTD straight up: 12-7

I try never to pick against home teams that are over ten point underdogs. That's really the only rule I try to follow when I pick against the spread. But last week I not only picked Iowa (-11) over Illinois in Champaign, I made it my pick of the week. It ended it being my only loss against the spread as I finished 2-1 for the second week in a row. The football gods were in an especially foul mood as the Illini ended up beating the spread by scoring a touchdown with under a minute left. Final score 23-13.

This week I see three more games that have nice spreads. The first is Wisconsin (-6.5) over Minnesota in Madison. Minnesota has proven they can score but have not proven they can win on the road. They have lost on the road to Michigan, MSU and Indiana (yikes!). I have hard time imagining them staying close to the Badgers coming off a bye week.

I'll also take Nortwestern (+3.5) over Penn State. How in the world is Penn State the favorite? This team is about to hit bottom. This is my pick of the week.

I'll also take Michigan State over Ohio State in East Lansing. Ohio State beats two bad teams at home and all of the sudden they can hang with a good team on the road? I don't think so. Take the Spartans (-1.5), even with the loss of Stanton at QB.

The rest straight-up: Illinois over Indiana, Purdue over Iowa.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Election Night Coverage

Now I know people don't stop by this site for media criticism. In fact, not many people stop by this site period. But since I was up late watching the results last night I thought I would offer my take on the coverage, from best to worst:

1. NBC News. This is our household's regular news source (as my wife has a crush on both Brokaw & Russert) so I think familiarity is the main reason I found their coverage thebest of all the networks. Their take on on events is usually pretty predictable but the coverage still manages not to be boring. And NBC News seems to have a heads up on the competition when it comes to graphics. The scrolls at the bottom were easy to read and I liked that they had a box on the right side of the screen that continually updated the national vote.

2 MSNBC News. MSNBC comes with much of the same features as the network broadcast including the same viewer friendly graphics. I'm also a big fan of Chris Matthews. I'm not sure why, as I disagree with him on most issues. But I find him sincere and enjoy the guests he brings to his roundtable.

Last night I was particularly impressed by Joe Scarborough. I haven't been a big fan of his but he is starting to grow on me. I thought he dominated the roundtable discussions last night and pretty much set the tone for an expected Bush victory before it was the CW. As for Ron Reagan, he doesn't have a clue, but is useful as comic relief.

3. Fox News. I used to be a big fan of Special Report with Brit Hume but can no longer stay up past 11pm to watch it. He is definitely sympathetic to the conservative point of view but only looks "right wing" when compared to other news organizations.

Fox did a good job with the scroll and graphics, coming in only a notch below those of NBC. Like MSNBC, I always enjoy the roundtable guests on Fox. Last night they included Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke, Bill Kristol and Juan Williams. I do sometimes feel sorry for Juan Williams, as he is the lone liberal voice on the set. Of course, he doesn't help matters by saying so many stupid things.

They also had Michael Barone giving tremendous insight into where the votes were coming from in each state which enabled him to shed some light on the unrealistic claims of a late surge carrying Ohio for Kerry.

4. CNN. There was a huge difference in quality between the top 3 and bottom 3. I'll give CNN spot 4 just ahead of ABC. The graphics on CNN were just miserable. The bottom scroll had the candidate names in what I would call a normal size font next to some large sized percentage numbers. It was just a mess. By midnight I was too tired to figure out what the hell they were showing down there. Also, I didn't really find the the TV sets showing the results from each state all that helpful. I'm actually surpised how poorly CNN does with these type of events.

Also, they get demerits for not calling Ohio for Bush even after 99% of the vote was counted.

5. ABC. Pretty bad. I thought there was a lack of expert opinion on the broadcast. As for their graphics, they would often just show states as too close to call and without raw vote totals. This is just plain stupid as the raw vote totals do tell much of the story.

6. CBS. I only watched about 5 minutes of CBS but it was easily the worst I saw. Just bad graphics and a lack of seriousness. But I guess that's only because I find Dan Rather funny. Also, the five minutes I watched had local elections scrolling at the bottom of the screen. Like I care who won the Will County state's attorney race. Whatever.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Friday Big Ten Picks

Last week against the spread: 2-1
Pick of the week: 1-0
Last week straight up: 4-1

YTD against the spread: 8-1
YTD Pick of the week: 3-0
YTD straight up: 10-4

My unbeaten streak came to an end last week as Michigan upset Purdue. Of the three games I picked, that was the game I was least confident about. Oh well, I can live with 2 out of 3 each week. Iowa squeaked out a win at Penn St. and Ohio State routed Indiana. Like I said, the Buckeyes aren't that good this year, but Indiana is still Indiana.

I have three more picks against the spread this week. I'll start by taking Michigan State and 11 points against the Wolverines in Ann Arbor. I'm ready to admit that Michigan is good. They were impressive last week and I think they'll win on Saturday. But 11 points seems a bit too much to give a big rival and an improving State team.

Next, I'll take Ohio State (-6.5) against Penn State. Last week's route of Indiana should give the Buckeyes some confidence. And their defense shouldn't have much trouble with the Penn State offense. If this was away I wouldn't be comfortable picking the Buckeyes. But they should safely win by +7 at home.

My pick of the week is Iowa (-11) over Illinois down in Champaign. This goes against my usual rule of not picking against huge home underdogs. But after last week's humiliating loss against the Gophers and rumors of Ron Turner being fired (about time) I can't see Illinois putting together much of a challenge. Iowa by 20.

I'm tempted to take Minnesota (-17) over Indiana, but I don't want to violate my rule twice in the same week. I'll just take them straight up along with Purdue over Northwestern.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


I thought last night’s Smallville, where Clark and Lionel Luther switched bodies, was the best episode so far this year. I always find it entertaining when actors switch characters. Last night reminded me of my college days when I watched David Canary play both the rich, manipulative Adam on All My Children, as well as his dim-witted twin brother Stuart. Don’t even get me started on David Canary portraying Adam pretending to be Stewart. Classic stuff.

Anyway, I thought both the Tom Welling (Clark) and John Glover (Lionel) did a great job of picking up the mannerisms of each character. It was especially funny watching Lionel (in Clark’s body) hit on all the pretty young high school girls. But the highlight was him asking Clark’s mom for a hug.

My wife was not as enthused by the episode, as she found it disgusting watching this old man lusting after Smallville’s teen population. But given the fact the he just went from the body of a dying old man in prison to a buff young stud, I think you can cut the guy some slack. Hell, if you put me back in high school in Tom Welling’s body and I ---- well, I better not go there seeing as I have in-laws that read this site.

But I’ll just say that I thought old Lionel was quite restrained in chasing after the girls. I mean all this guy could think about was trying to get his hands on his $57 million. Come on Lionel, you are supposed to be a criminal genius/businessman and you can’t figure some way to turn your new found superhuman powers into unending riches? You had to have the $57 million that was sitting in your bank account?

But that’s a minor quibble. I don’t watch the show for it’s compelling logic.


Friday, October 22, 2004

The Bear's Offense Sure Looks Sick

But I don't that qualifies them to receive flu shots.

Friday Big Ten Picks

Last week against the spread: 2-0
Pick of the week: 1-0
Last week straight up: 2-2

YTD against the spread: 6-0
YTD Pick of the week: 2-0
YTD straight up: 6-3

My streak continued last week as both Wisconsin and Iowa covered the spread. I lost the Wisconsin-Purdue game straight up as I thought Purdue would pull it out. But hey, I said it would be close and it was. I think Michigan State routing Minnesota surprised everyone.

My pick of the week is Iowa over Penn St. Penn State is favored by 2.5 at home but I see them as a 3 point underdog. I think bettors are paying too much attention to the fact that the Nittany Lions played Purdue close and not enough attention to the beating Iowa gave Ohio State last week. Iowa should win straight up and against the spread.

I’ll also look for Purdue to cover this week as they are 4.5 points favorites over Michigan at home. Michigan is better than I gave them credit for a couple of weeks ago but I still think Purdue is the better team. Michigan also had trouble against the passing game of San Diego St. Given that fact, Purdue shouldn’t have too much trouble moving the ball through the air. Boilermakers by 7.

After going against Ohio State twice in the last two weeks (and winning), I expect them to cover against Indiana at home (13 points). Ohio State is not very good this year, but come one, were talking about Indiana. Ohio State by 20.

Straight up I’ll go with Wisconsin over Northwestern but I think it might be closer than the 12 point spread. I’m not sure what to think of Minnesota. But they shouldn’t have many problems beating Illinois. By 17 points? Like I said, I’m not sure what to think.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Comparing Netflix and Blockbuster

A few months back I decided to switch my DVD service from Netflix to Blockbuster. Netflix had raised their rates to 21.99 while Blockbuster monthly rates stayed at 19.99.

I figured that they were both basically the same service competing on price. So switching seemed to be the rational thing to do.

But I have to warn you that it is not the same service.

First, most of the new releases at Blockbuster are not immediately available. Now, I ran into this problem a few times at Netflix (although not in the last six months), but most of the movies in my queue at BB say either short wait, long wait, or very long wait.

In addition, the turnaround time in receiving movies through the mail seems to take a little bit longer with BB. I've noticed that Netflix had a Chicago mailing address while BB is out of state. Does Netflix have warehouses set up at different locations to speed delivery? I don't know, but they are definitely quicker than BB.

Finally, Netflix has a more user-friendly web-site. The difference in quality isn't that great, but enough to be noticeable.

I was actually quite surprised to find that BB's service was inferior as I thought a company with the resources of Blockbuster would be able to match the service of an upstart like Netflix.

Now I'm not sure if I made the right decision as the hassle of waiting for movies probably isn't worth the two bucks I save.

But just now I received an e-mail from Blockbuster notifying me that they are reducing their rate to $17.49 a month. I believe that's pretty much an admission that their service basically sucks. Now the question is whether I want to pay an extra $4.50 for the quality of Netflix.

One last note. Some people claim that each service is able to hold onto to customers by letting them rate movies that the service then uses to recommend future titles. While it is true I have spent more time than I like to admit on Netflix rating movies, I always found their recommendations of little use. I'm not sure this will too great of an effect in preventing users from switching.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Friday Big Ten Picks

Last week against the spread: 4-0
Pick of the week: 1-0
Last week straight up: 4-1

I only have two picks against the spread this week. Ohio State goes on the road to play Iowa. This will be a battle between two teams that thus far have had disappointing seasons. The Buckeyes are favored by 2 on the road. After losing on the road in Evanston and at home against the Badgers, I just don’t see them as favorites in a Big Ten road game. Well maybe against Indiana, but not Iowa. Iowa should cover and win.

The big game this week will be down in West Lafayette as the Big Ten’s last two undefeated team, Wisconsin and Purdue, face off. I think it will be a close game. A great Badger defense vs. a great Boilermaker offense. I think a 7 point spread is too high so put your money on the Badgers. You should at least be able to walk away with a push so I’ll make this my pick of the week. As for straight, I think Purdue will pull this one out.

Michigan takes on the Illini down in Champaign and arrive as a 18.5 point favorites. Now that seems like a huge spread to give a Big Ten team playing at home and I’m tempted to go with the Illini. But Illinois is a pretty bad team. And bad teams are unpredictable. They can sometimes stay close in home games but are just as likely to give up hope and lose by 30. Stay away from this one.

The final game has Minnesota going into East Lansing as 9.5 point favorites. Like last year, the Gophers took on the Spartans after a tough loss to Michigan. I think the Gophers will at least split the two games this year, but I’m not comfortable with 9.5 point spread. Minnesota straight up, no prediction against the spread.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Election Season

I'm in agreement with the Democratic Party on a number of issues (mainly social). But I find it terribly difficult to vote for anyone on the Democratic side.

There are many reasons, and Stephen Green nails one of them. Here's his response to the lefts latest tactic of falsely claiming voter fraud and intimidation so they can lay the groundwork of litigating the results of this election if things don't go their way:

Now, I know this is an angry essay. However, I don't mean to imply that all Democrats are evil and all Republicans are sweetness and light. Far from it. But for the first time in 16 years, I'm going to vote Republican straight down the line. If I have to punish a couple of local Democrats I'm fond of, then so be it, but I have to try to get a point across: The national Democratic Party is bad for this country.

I don't say that because of their policies, which I probably agree with more than I do the Republicans. But because their tactics would cause more harm to this country than the Federal Marriage Amendment, the Republican budget deficit, and Congress's corporate tax giveaways, combined.

As they say, read the whole thing.

Now this latest election tactic is one of many things that I find repugnant about the Democratic Party. But it's only an extension of what infects the party at its core: the belief that the other side is evil. When a party becomes completed seeped in self-righteousness, continually demonizes those that disagree with them, and sees itself as a victim of everything under sun, it is only a matter of time before they start believing it's okay to grab power by any means necessary. I guess that time has arrived.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Has anyone else been the least be perturbed by how racy Smallville has been this season?

It started with the introduction of the Lois Lane character. For a while I thought the character was in her mid-20's. She's pretty hot, but not in the cute high school girl sort of way.

(hot pic via Devoted to Smallville)

So it was very surprising to find out she will be spending a fifth year in high school this season! She's supposed to be 18?

But I guess grown women playing high school girls on TV is a pretty common phenomenon. But hot and heavy shower scenes, like the one on last week's episode, probably shouldn't be on a 7pm family show. The girl on girl kiss was a bit more innocent (it wasn't sexually motivated - she just needed to deliver a hallucinogen through a fluid secretion. Good Stuff!).

I don't even want to get into the storyline of a school employee having a relationship with a student.

Now this week's episode is based on all the kids taking some sort of an aphrodisiac and getting all hot and horny.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a prude. But everything has its time and place. I just think it would be nice to have a show that's interesting enough for adults to watch and wholesome enough to be seen in front of children. That's what Smallville used to be. But if the last few episodes are any indication, the show is no longer suitable for kids under 13.

Hot Streak

Wow, I've been on a roll with my college football predictions. Two weeks ago I predicted Northwestern would upset Ohio State which they did. That inflated my ego so I thought I would go ahead and predict all the Big Ten games last week. I finished 4-0 against the spread, correctly predicting Wisconsin, Penn State, Minnesota, and Michigan State to cover.

I went 4-1 overall as I also predicted the Gophers to win straight up, which they failed to do, losing by 3.

So I guess I'll post my predictions earlier this week to give all you gambling types a heads up.

Speaking of gambling types, Aaron Gleeman is complaining about how tired he is today because he stayed up watching the Yankees-Red Sox game. Poor boy had to get up and go to class. Well, I managed to stay up to watch the game last night and it ended by 11.

Now when I was in college I also struggled to make morning classes but it was rarely from staying awake to 11 watching baseball. It was usually because I was staying up to 4 in the morning doing an assortment of activities, most of them legal.

So if Gleeman was tired this morning it means either:
a. he had other things going on, like downing a six pack, that he failed to mention.
b. he's a girlie man.

Now I know how they grow these Paul Bunyon types of up in Minnesota and Wisconsin so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and guess a.

But if he's tired now I don't suggest working full time, going to school part time, and having a baby at age 30.

And speaking of school, Kellogg was just again rated the number 1 b-school by Businessweek. The Wall Street Journal rated us sixth in the nation last month but the Businessweek rating seems to be the one that gets all the headlines. Anyway, for the price of tuition, we damn well better be number 1!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Big Games in the Big Ten

Well it's October. There's no baseball in Chicago and there Bears have a bye
week. But the Big Ten has some interesting games. Wisconsin, Minnesota and Purdue all go into enemy territory this weekend with spotless records.

Wisconsin goes into the horseshoe this weekend to take on the Buckeyes. Ohio State will try to bounce back from their overtime loss to Northwestern last weekend (which I predicted)but I don't see it happening. Ohio State is favored by 3.5. Since I don't think they will score more than 10, put your money on the Badgers.

Minnesota goes into Ann Arbor this weekend as a 3.5 point underdog just like Wisconsin. Minnesota should have beaten the Wolverines last year and will this year. Ohio State and Michigan versions 2004 just aren't every good It's just a matter of time before the oddsmakers start believing it.

Purdue goes to Happy Valley as 11 point favorites.

Did you hear that sound? I think Penn State just hit bottom. I actually feel sorry for old Joe. This is one of the few instances where the school would have shown more compassion by firing the coach. Put the old man out of his misery!

Anyway, while I expect Purdue to win I don't think they will cover. So take the line on the Lions.

No pick on the Northwestern-Indiana game. Northwestern will win but I'm not sure about making up 11.5 points.

I'll end it with my pick of the week. Illinois is a 7 point underdog against Michigan State. Take the Spartans, the money, and run.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

When Does College Basketball Start?

Thanks to the Cubs final week meltdown Wrigleyville should be much quieter this October. Unfortunately, the Bears have been decimated by injuries (yes they have lost exactly 1/10th of their players) and the college teams range from bad (Illinois) to mediocre (Northern, Northwestern).

I guess I should do some type of post mortem on the Sox. But really, the season has been over for a couple of months and I'm not sure I'm up for it. We'll see.

I will say that most things that I hear coming from writers and other pundits is borderline ridiculous. One of the big arguments I hear is that the Sox need some more players who can play "small-ball".

Now you don't have to be a stat-head to realize the Sox do not have a problem with offense. Playing without their two best offensive players for more than half of the season the finished third in the AL in runs scored. They also outscored the first place Twins by 85 runs (865-780).

So, when I hear Ozzie Guillen say the Sox offense will be better next year because they are planning on getting players who can bunt and execute the hit and run, I feel like bashing my head against a brick wall.

The Sox do need another quality starter and some bullpen help. I would like for them to make a run at Matt Clement, whose market value may have been hurt by his late season injuries.

But I hold out no hope that Kenny Williams can identify the problems this team has or find any solutions.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Friday Again?

Maybe I should call this ChiSox Weekly? Anyway, another rundown.

What a difference a week makes. Last Friday I wrote how good the Cubs were looking. They have gone 2-5 since and now have only a small chance of tying for the wildcard and extending their season.

Boo-hoo, I'm all torn up. Good luck trying to trade Sammy (as ESPN radio is reporting). I don't think any team is going to take on that salary for a guy hitting .250 with less than 40 homers on the downside of his career.

Anyway, I hope my nephew's birthday party Sunday doesn't turn into a wake (would you believe I'm the only Sox fan in the family). Hopefully, all the giddiness will be out of my system by then and I can feign sympathy.

the Sox will in fact finish with at least a .500 record for the 5th year in a row. That's only impressive when you consider the fact that this is the first time the Cubs have had back to back winning seasons in my 30 years on this Earth.

The Bears were able to move the ball last week against the Vikings but weren't able to score TD's in the red zone. That, and the fact that the officials had some real BS calls and non-calls, prevented the Bears from pulling off the upset.

It wasn't a bad effort at all considering the Bears were without Urlacher, Brown, Tillman, Azumah, Gray and Boone on defense.

Unfortunately, Rex Grossman is now out for the season, along with Brown, while Urlacher and Tillman will not play this week against the Eagles. I don't think they'll be keeping this one close.

Okay, the Wildcats have an absolutely horrible defense. So I don't think it makes much sense to rile up the Buckeyes by calling their offense mediocre. With that said, OSU has not looked good. I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict a big upset in Evanston tomorrow.

The Illini did fare better than I predicted last week but still lost at home to Purdue 38-30. This week they face Wisconsin and will not be putting 30 points. I predict Illinois going down by a score resembling 28-17.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 24, 2004

Sports Notes

Well it looks like the Cubs will be advancing on to the playoffs. With the Dodgers and Giants facing off six times over the next 10 games there is a high probability that the Cubs will finish ahead of one of these two teams, if not both, to capture the wildcard.

Sure, a lot can still happen. But the Cubs would have to start playing some bad baseball again for them not win the Wild Card. But they are finally playing up to their potential and I don’t see that happening.

The Sox will try to finish with a .500 record for the 4th straight year (I need to double check this). Mediocrity shouldn’t be a goal, but you think they would be losing 90 games a year for all the criticism they receive.

The Bears will try to stop the Vikings offense without their two best secondary players, FS Mike Brown and CB P’nut Tillman (not to mention CB Jerry Azumah who has been out since the preseason).

Losing Brown hurts, but Tillman’s loss is much worse. Brown has been a big playmaker on the defense. But it’s a lot easier replacing a safety than a cornerback, especially a number one corner like Tillman.

You can’t hide a cornerback, especially against the Vikings. It might get ugly watching special teams player Todd McMillon and rookie Nathan Vasher trying to replace Tillman.

But the offense should be able to move the ball and prevent this game from becoming a blowout. It would be nice to get a win to go 2-1 before facing the Eagles, but I don’t think its going to happen.

Northwestern will also travle to the Metrodome to open their Big Ten schedule. Northwestern has a horrible defense while the Gophers have a great offense, so this one might also get ugly. I mean 50 points 500 yards ugly.

I can guarantee you that Illinois will get their asses pasted when they open their Big Ten schedule this weekend. The sad thing is, I don’t even know who they play.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I'm Back

Ok, I was gone a little bit longer than expected. But I'm back a plan on making daily posts from here on through the elections. Since the Sox seem to be done, I'll probably be posting more on the Bears and politics.

But speaking of the Sox, Mark Buerhle caught a lot of grief from Twins fans (who just obsess over the Sox) for suggesting the Twins only have two good pitchers and will take a quick exit in the playoffs.

Now no Sox player should be talking shit to a team they just lost the division to for the third straight year. But with that said, Buerhle is right.

The Twins think small which is why they probably will make a quick exit in the playoffs. They should have tried to trade for another starter at the deadline. They had minor league assets necessary to go after top players, even ones who weren't necessarily being shopped.

But instead, they were sellers instead of buyers at the deadline, dumping Minky on the Red Sox for a minor leaguer.

Huh? I know the Twins must operate with a heavy emphasis on developing minor league talent but at some point you need to take a chance and go all in. They can't expect to win the division every year. With the Indians and Tigers improving the Central should be more competitive next year and beyond.

And oh yeah, the Sox might be pretty good too. They had a decent year at the gate and should have more revenue coming in through their new cable venture with Comcast. Expect them to be active in the free agent market this year.

Thursday, September 02, 2004


I probably won't continue regular posting until September 14th. In the meantime, please check out all the Sox blogs on the right, including a new listing, South Side Adventures.

The new site has both game analysis and in depth coverage of the minor leagues making it a welcome addition to the Sox blog army.

Also, if you're in to college basketball, check out a new site aptly named College Basketball.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Gymnastics, Bias & Lies

I didn’t watch the men’s gymnastics. I don’t care about men’s gymanstics. But I do feel somewhat bad for Paul Hamm.

For those of you not aware, he is being pressured to give his gold medal to a Korean competitor (non-communist variety) because of judging error.

The Korean’s high bar routine had a baseline score of 10.0 but they mistakenly put it at 9.9. That extra .10 of a point would have been enough to land him the gold.

But he lands the gold only if you make a lot of assumptions.

First, the high bar was on the second of six events. The scores for those first two events certainly had an effect on the strategies, mindset, and routines of all the competitors. The rest of the event didn’t happen in a vacuum.

It’s sort of like saying a missed field goal in the first quarter caused you to lose a football game because you end up losing by two points. That would be true if you missed it in the last seconds, but not early in the contest. The whole dynamic of the event will change depending on the actions and results that start the contest.

Secondly, because the gymnastic results are subjective in the first place, it’s possible the judges would be less lenient with a routine that starts with a 10.0 baseline. It’s quite likely that the judges not only take off deductions for technical reasons, but also give scores in relation to how well the other competitors scored. For example, the judge may give gymnast A a 9.8. He thought gymnast B was better so he gave him a 9.825.

It's also likely the judges knew what position each competitor was in going into the last rotation. They knew what Paul Hamm needed to win. If they thought he was the best overall gymnast, they would give him score high enough to win.

The bottom line is that there is no way you can say with any certainty that the Korean deserved a gold medal. And I think it’s insane that the International Gymnastics Federation would send a letter to Paul Hamm asking him to give up his gold.

But then I start to think that maybe I’m biased. If I was on the other side would I demand he turn over the gold?

Which brings me to another topic that has nothing to do with the Olympics. The most popular story on the blogosphere. The Kerry Christmas in Cambodia story.

You probably already know the basic outline. First, the Kerry camp has backed off the original story since Nixon wasn’t even in office at the time Kerry said he remembered sitting there taking enemy fire while the president denied any American troops were there. This has been followed by many numerous other explanations such as:

He was near the border.
He went there a couple of times on covert missions.
He went over the border one time.
John O’Neill was in Cambodia. (I don’t know what this has to do with anything)

Given that none of these scenarios have anything to do with the memory Kerry had “seared” in him, or no one has backed up his claim of being in Cambodia, and he has been avoiding the press ever since the charges came out, I can’t help but think he lied about the whole thing.

Again, am I biased? A lot of reputable liberals say of course he was there. The whole controversy is made up. He might have gotten the date wrong, that’s all.

But I don’t think I’m biased. If the shoe was on the other foot I don’t think I would argue otherwise. I’m sure I would argue the whole thing was unimportant, as many moderates have, but I wouldn’t disparage the accusers or call them liars. It’s a discredit to the many liberal bloggers out there that they have done exactly that.

Team Play

I'm pretty tired of columnists writing about the soft side of sports. You know, team play, emotions, chemistry.

Morrissey writes in his column today that the Sox struggle because they don't know how to play like a team.

Please. I'm not buying it.

First, there is not much team play in baseball. Most situations call for individual effort by players. And nothing I have seen suggests to me that players are trying to pad their stats instead of winning ballgames.

While this group has underachieved, but they haven't has a losing record since 1999. The reason they haven't done better has nothing to do with teamwork, or lack of offense, but some bad luck and less than stellar pitching.

Morrissey also thinks that the Sox need to become more like the Twins. While it would be great to have some of the talent that the Twins do in the farm system, the last thing they need to do is become more like the Twins. I mean for crying out loud, the Twins about to win their division and they trade away one of their veterans for a minor leaguer. You think they would try and get some people to help them in the playoffs. Their conservative tendencies have given them the Central crown the last three years, but has left them behind other contenders like NY, Boston, Oakland and Anaheim.

The bottom line is that this season would have been much different if Maggs and Frank didn't go down with injuries. But those are the breaks. I don't want to make excuses, but I don't see how you can blame their struggles on a lack of team play while ignoring the effect of these injuries.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Aaron Rowand, Sox MVP

With injuries to their two best players, Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez, it's not suprising that the White Sox have fallen off the pace in the AL Cebtral. What is suprising is that in their absence Aaron Rowand has emerged as the team's best hitter.

After his second two homer game in the last week, Rowand is now hitting .309 with 27 doubles, 18 homers, a .358 OBP and .565 slugging %.

How did this happen? How did Aaron Rowand go from 4th outfielder on the White Sox to arguably the top all-around ball player in the AL Central? Consider that:

Rowand's .565 slugging % is 7th best in the AL.

He has stolen 13 bases while only being caught twice.

He has the best zone rating among all AL centerfielders.

His only weakness this year has been his lack of plate discipline as he only has 20 walks and a .358 OBP. That's certainly not an awful on base percentage, but it is the only area preventing him from becoming one of the top hitters in the game.

He actually started out slow this year and was being platooned with Willie Harris in center until he turned things around in June. His ave/obp/slug splits by month are:

Apr 225/268/453
May 283/338/483
Jun 375/420/641
Jul 337/387/547
Aug 295/348/689

And for those of you who think he might only be taking advantage of hitter friendly Cellular field, his road numbers are better than his home numbers:

H 284/345/543
A 333/372/586

The Chicago papers have finally noticed the great season that Rowand is having and the Trib just featured him in a front page article. It should only be a matter of time before the national media begins to take notice.

I'm not completely sold that we can expect Rowand to put up these numbers on a yearly basis. But he's only 26 and this might be the first of many special seasons Rowand has on the south side.

UPDATE: The Cheat's Chisox Blog beat me to the punch and wrote about Rowand the other day. However, I disagree with the Cheat's criticism of Rowand's hitting with men in scoring position which I don't think is anythong more than luck. It's interesting to look back on but does little to predict future performance.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The Village

After watching another Sox loss I have the urge to write about something other than baseball. So I decided to give a movie review.

I was actually able to get to theater for the first time this year. The baby slept at grandmas (thank you Grandma Nance and Papa Marv) and my wife and I were able to go see The Village.

Anyone who has seen a commercial knows the basic plot of the movie. The village is surrounded by a forest inhabited by some type of monster/animal/whatever. The villagers have a truce with these creatures by which they are not to enter the forest and the creatures will not enter the village.

I thought the movie did a nice job of portraying village life and showing the constant fear with which these villagers lived. Joaquin Phoenix plays the main character of the movie and requests to leave the village in order to get supplies from one of the towns beyond the forest. He is also involved in a love triangle with Williams Hurt's two daughters, one who is in love with him while he is in love with other. I guess that's about all the plot I can tell you before giving too much away.

The only trouble I had following the plot was when why my wife kept asking me if one girl was the Chief's daughter. Since there was no Chief, I assumed she meant William Hurt who seemed to be the village leader. It wasn't until the middle of the movie when she kept asking about the Chief that I figured out she meant Brendan Gleeson who we saw in the movie, The General, which she mistakenly remembered as The Chief. I hope by bringing this to your attention you don't experience the same problem.

M. Night Shyamalan has been criticized for being a one trick pony by trying to force plot twists on all his movies, but I think that criticism is unwarranted. While this movie certainly has plot twists, I never got the feeling that he was trying to pull on over on the audience as he did in the Sixth Sense. The plot simply unfolds and the full story is revealed to the audience.

This movie does have some holes, and will leave you asking "why would aliens invade a planet 2/3rds water if it kills them" type questions. But I enjoyed the movie and thought it was better than both Signs and Unbreakable. It's never boring and has a great cast including Joaquin Phoenix, Sigourney Weaver, Adrien Brody playing the town idiot, Brendan Gleeson, William Hurt and Bryce Howard.

This is definitely the best movie I saw in a theater this year. I also watched two movies on video this week, The Triplets of Belleville and Along Came Polly. If the Sox keep losing I might give a couple more reviews.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

A New Myth Begins

Twice in the last two weeks, Minnesota bloggers have stated something to the effect that the Sox have gone into their annual fade. Now this came as a surprise to me since I followed the Sox closely the past few years and could have sworn they were a better second half team. It’s not the finishes that have killed them but rather their poor starts.

So I went ahead and took a look at their monthly splits going back to the 2000 division championship team. Below are the records for the Sox for games after August 1 with their overall record in parentheses.

2000 31-26 (95-67)
2001 32-26 (83-79)
2002 30-24 (81-81)
2003 29-24 (86-76)

For the past 4 years, the Sox have had a winning record over the last two months of the season. The only year in which their winning percentage over the last two months was worse than their overall percentage occurred during the 2000 division championship season.

The only year in which you could argue they faded was last year when they lost 2 out of 7 against the Twins in September. But overall, they went 41-27 after the All-Star break and it would be hard for me to characterize that as “fading”.

SethSpeaks goes as far as saying the Sox choked which implies that they should have won and were facing an inferior team. I wholeheartedly agree but am surprised to hear that from a Twins fan.

So to recap, this annual Sox fade only exists in the minds of Twins fans who seem oddly obsessed with what happens on the South Side of Chicago. I say oddly, because even though they pay attention they can’t get simple some facts straight.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Keep Hope Alive

There’s a fine line between hope and despair. It seems I’ve found that line at five games back.

The Sox spent most of the last week six games behind the Twins. And this team, without Frank and Maggs, sure didn’t seem capable of gaining six games on the Twins in the standings.

I pretty much stopped worrying about how many games behind the Sox had fallen. Not that I stopped caring. It was still painful watching the Sox blow a 5-3 9th inning lead against the Tribe. But I didn’t go to bed thinking about another wasted opportunity to gain a game on the Twins.

But now the Sox actually managed to win their last two series and gained two games on the Twins in the process. Sitting 4 games back, I’m again plotting all the scenarios by which the Sox can gain ground on the Twins, and now also the Indians.

So hope is alive. The Sox need to play good baseball for a twenty game stretch and they’ll back in the mix. I’m not sure they’re capable but I can at least ponder the possibility.

Given that the Sox haven’t been able to manage any long win streaks this year, the Sox will most likely need help from both the Twins and Indians. So go Yanks, go Rangers and go White Sox.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Bad Contracts

I know the White Sox have signed some bad long term contracts in the past. But I had no idea that we were still paying a 52 year old $1.65 million this year.

Answer: 34,3,2

Question: How many bases, respectively, have Barry Bonds, Frank Thomas, and Sammy Sosa stolen over the last four years?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Classy Move

The Atlanta Braves showed that they are class organiztion by taking out a full page ad in the Tribune congratulating Greg Maddux on his 300th win.

Do you think the BoSox will take out a full page ad congratulating Nomar on winning the World Series?

It's really amazing how much trash has come out of Boston since the Nomar giveaway. But I guess when you get your ass handed to you in a trade you need to justify it anyway you can.

Monday, August 09, 2004

The New Jose

The Contreras for Loaiza trade has paid immediate dividends for the Sox after Contreras' second consecutive strong start. Yesterday, he only gave up 2 hits through 7 innings before running into some minor problems in the 8th. He gave up 3 more hits but only one run as he was helped out of a jam by some bad Cleveland baseruning.

It’s only two starts (14 IP, 10 hits, 3ER, 2BB, 12K) but it looks like Contreras has some wicked stuff. I guess we’ll get a better idea of what we have when he faces off against Boston at Fenway on Friday night. His lack of success against Boston is the only reason he's pitching for us right now.

At the time of the trade, Loiaza had an ERA .80 lower than Contreras. As of now, that difference is down to .20 (4.97 compare to 5.17). I predict that Contreras will in fact end the year with a better ERA than Loaiza and that Contreras will get his below 5.00 while Loaiza will end up above it.

It's been a disappointing two weeks, but getting Contreras for what remains of Loaiza might be the best thing that happens this season.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Sox Pick Up Alomar

Is this some sort of sick joke? We traded for Roberto Alomar? Again?

I've never been more embarassed to be a Sox fan. Kenny Williams has made some bad trades, but this is beyond explanation.

One, we have very little chance of making the playoffs. We are currently 5.5 games behind the Twins in the division and 4.5 games behind the A's in the wildcard. Without Frank and Magglio it's not very likely we'll play much better than .500 ball down the stretch. I'm not saying we should give up on the season. But it would be silly to waste any prospects trying to add a veteran for the stretch run.

So we give up cash and a player for the Roberto Alomar? Roberto F***ing Alomar?

Two, we already have two second baseman who can put up the same, if not better, numbers than Alomar. Has Kenny boy looked at Roberto's stats over the last three years? F***ing pathetic.

I actually was starting to give Kenny a bit of credit for making the trade for Contreras. It improved the Sox in the future while still letting them compete now.

But this trade, along with overpaying for Garcia, shows that Kenny Williams has no f***ing clue.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Good Trade

As usual, much of the reaction of the blogosphere has come down against the White Sox. But I think Kenny Williams made a nice little trade sending Loaiza to Ney York for Jose Contreras and cash.

I've read more than one Yankee commentator call it a steal. But the numbers hardly bear that out. Loaiza has actually been pretty mediocre this year and downright awful the past couple months. Take a look at his ERA splits:

April 3.71
May 3.68
June 5.35
July 6.89

Even worse, take a look at his opponents batting average splits:

April .228
May .259
June .306
July .333

At this rate, hitters will be flirting with .400 against Loaiza by September.

Contreras hasn't been pitching well this year either. But his problems stem mainly from a lack of control. I would say Contreras is more likely to turn things around.

The bottom line is that I don't think that the Sox are any worse off this year for making this trade and definitely improved their ballclub beyond 2004.

As for the future, the Sox now have four starting pitchers signed for the 2005. Garcia and Buerhle are both good, Garland is consistently mediocre, and Contreras may have the best talent of all four. It's definitely not as good as the pitching talent assembled on the North Side, but it should be the top rotation in the AL Central for the next few years.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Tribune Corporation Spins For Kerry

As far as newspapers go, the Chicago Tribune is somewhat moderate.  But since they bought the LA Times a few years back, Chicago readers are occasionally treated to some vintage liberal journalism - California style.

Actually, I usually don't even pay attention to the byline.  But sometimes I read articles that are so biased that I know it was imported from LA.  Today the Trib has an article by three LA Times reporters Janet Hook, Mary Curtius and Greg Miller, headlined "Bitter debate, then conflicted vote". 

This article is basically defending Kerry against the flip-flopper label.  He's not unwilling to take a principled stand, he's just conflicted.  I swear the article could be a press release from the DNC. 

It actually bashes Bush early, albeit indirectly.  It has Barbara Boxer wondering, "Why would you trust the president?", implying that Kerry would be and was misled.

It then goes on to describe Kerry's thought process: 

A look at how Kerry made up his mind on the war vote makes clear how conflicted he was before he cast his vote. The concerns that plagued him--the questions he asked at public hearings, the caveats and reservations he voiced on the Senate floor before casting his vote...

Later we find out that:

Kerry announced that his gut told him to vote for the resolution. But his speech on the Senate floor was riddled with reservations and caveats.

So there you have it.  Kerry voted for the resolution but had lots of reservations about it.  He even stated them on the Senate floor!
Now I'm sure if you go back and look at the questions each Senator asked in a meeting, or the speeches they gave on the Senate floor, they would all have caveats and qualifications.  It's called covering your ass and it's something politicians do quite often.
And none do it better than Kerry.  In fact, I'm sure it was especially easy finding material that had Kerry expressing doubts about the resolution since he seems to be on all sides of every position at one time or another. 
The article also states that the problem isn't that Kerry is a flip-flopper, only that he looks like one. As a Stanford University political scientist is quoted, "The strategic blunder is that he's allowed Bush to make the case that this guy is all over the map."  Whatever.
The article actually quotes Kerry telling the Boston Globe that "I have the ability either way to make substantive arguments for what I'm doing."  
That should be his campaign slogan. 

Forget About It

In my last post I tried to find a silver lining in losing to the Twins.  But yesterday's game was truly depressing.  I'm not sure I'll ever see six straight batters reach base safely while only scoring one run again. 

I hope I never see it again.

There is a lot of baseball left but Sox fans cannot like what they saw these past three days..  I'm just going to try and forget this series ever happened.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Were There Any Positives?

Yesterday was another loss, and the media have notched up the hysteria to another level. 

Marriotti might have the dumbest line I ever read, "Now it's the Twins who are teaching harsh, sobering lessons as contenders emerge and sphincters do what sphincters do."  Since he has his head up one most the time I guess he knows what he's talking about.

Morrissey thinks the Sox are soft and have no heart.

Whatever.  The Sox went up against the best pitcher in the AL last night.  No one has scored more than two runs off him in his last 11 starts.  They guy has been unbelievable. And you know what, the Sox hitters did a good job against him.

This may sound crazy since they only had two hits.  But they were patient and took a lot of pitches.  By the time Santana got in some trouble in the 7th he had thrown 105 pitches and had to be taken out. 

That's smart baseball.  Maybe you get lucky and are able to knock in some runs.  But going up against a top pitcher like Santana, the best strategy is try to get to the bullpen as soon as possible.

The Sox did that last night.  Unfortunately, Garcia wasn't able to pitch out of a jam in the 5th and the Sox fell behind. 

But even though they lost, they played smart.  I don't want to read this crap about heart, toughness and emotions.  That crap is for sportswriters meeting a deadline.  And I think it has very little to do with the result of last night's game.

The Sox played smart.  I can't ask for anything else.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Here We Go Again

It's that time of year again.  When one loss sends the media and talk radio listeners into full hysterics.  All of the sudden the Sox have "trouble" beating the Twins, even though we lead the season series 7 game to 4. 

Columnists singing the praises of Guillen and the Sox all year are flipping faster than John Kerry losing a primary.

I think things are even worse when it comes to the Cubs.  It must have been all those expectations at the beginning of the year.  The papers sure will look stupid with their preseason articles on possible World Series pitching matchups between the Yankees and Cubs.

But let's have a reality check.  There are over 60 games left.  The Sox sit 1.5 games out of a playoff spot and the Cubs are 2 games back.

The Cubs have, without a doubt, the best starting pitching in baseball.  Even if they continue manufacturing runs as often as Michael Moore tells the truth, the pitching should carry them to the playoffs.

As for the Sox, they will have a much harder time making it to the postseason without Frank and Maggs.  I'd say their chances were slightly less than 50%.  But I won't be surpised if they make it.  And I'm not going to overreact to one loss in July.

In fact I won't overreact to 2 losses either.  Johan Santana, who has been nearly unhittable for the past two months, goes up against our "ace" Freddy Garcia tonight.  We could very well drop the first two games of this series.

But this Sox team has been extremely resilient and I expect them to come out fighting tonight.  And whatever happens the rest of this series I expect that the six games these teams play in September to be meaningful for both ballclubs.

Friday, July 23, 2004


Magglio is back on the DL, may be out for season.  Read the details here

Without Ordonez and Thomas knocking in runs, the Sox will need the starting rotation to step it up a notch.  I think Buerhle, Garcia and Garland can be relied upon, but have my doubts about Loaiza and Schoenenweis.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Division Race

The Sox begin a stretch of 22 games against Central Division rivals tonight.  I think we will no know after these 22 games who will be the Central Division champs.
Cleveland has hung around all season and now find themselves only 4 games out of first, 3.5 behind the Sox.  The Sox and Indians have a two game set starting tonight with each team's top hurlers facing each other.  Tonight it’s Buerhle against Lee, tomorrow Garcia against Sabathia.  I would be happy with a split to end the current 10 game road trip.
The Sox will also face Cleveland in a 4 game set at the Cell starting August 6th.
I don’t think Detroit is really in the mix, but the Sox will face them 7 times in the next 22 games.

The Sox only play the Twins 3 times over the next 22 games.  But more importantly, the Twins start a 13 games stretch against the Sox, Boston, Anaheim and Oakland next Monday.  The Twins have had trouble beating good teams this year.  Let’s hope their troubles continue.  Maybe Minky will come off the disabled list and they’ll send Morneau back down to AAA  Or better yet, maybe they'll trade him to Toronto.

The fun starts tonight

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Crazy Carlos

Hey Carlos.  Chill out man.  Take a break.  A few days off.  Maybe go down to the keys and hang out.  Whatever it takes to make you stop acting like a horse's ass. 
I have no problem with you sending a message and hitting someone after being tagged for a couple of homers.  It would be better not to give up the homers in the first place, but go ahead and take your frustrations out on Jim Edmonds when it happens.
But you need to shut up and lose this attitude about players showing you up because, frankly, you have no right to complain.  You're out there yelling, screaming, pumping your fist, beating your glove - pretty much acting like Ed Norton beating himself in Fight Club
Now I understand that this might because you're completely nuts.  But nevertheless, you've been showing people up since you arrived in Chicago.  And you haven't been here long enough to earn the right.
So give me a break and drop the self righteous bs. 

Monday, July 19, 2004

Sox News

A disappointing loss yesterday ended a disappointing 4 game set against the A's.  The Sox got up early on Mulder, but Loaiza wasn't able to hold the lead. 
Loaiza actually didn't pitch that poorly, but made two mistakes to Dye and one to Crosby.  Rowand almost made a great catch on Crosby's 2-run shot, but he couldn't hold on as he crashed into the fence.  On the bright side, the Twins dropped 3 of 4 to the Royals, which is much worse than losing a series to the A's.  So the Sox were able to knock off 4 of the hardest games of their schedule without losing ground to the Twins.  I would saying losing 3 out of 4 to the Royals was pathetic, but I'm sure if I did, the Sox would end up doing the same. 
In other news, the Sox reacquired Carl Everett.  Unfortunately, the 2004 version does not seem to come with the same features as the 2003 version.  Missing are home runs, hits and rbis.  But I do feel more comfortable with Everett than I do with Borchard taking the at bats left by the Big Hurt's big hurt.
35th Street Mess believes the Everett trade means that we can officially close the books on trying to resign Magglio.  What, you don't thing another team will give Carl more than $4 million next year?  Yeah, me neither.
Everett replacing Maggs in 2005 would certainly be a downgrade.  But I have to add that Magglio probably isn't worth more than the $14 million that he is currently being paid.  If the Sox keep the same budget, I'm sure they will be able spend the money saved to make up for Magglio's absence.  After all, Magglio has put up some great numbers as a player, but he hasn't reached the level of hitters such as Thomas, Ramirez, Guerrero, or Rodriguez that would justify such a big contract.

Monday, July 12, 2004

2nd Half Schedules

It looks like the second half schedule gives the Sox a slight advantage over the Twins. I broke down the AL Teams (and the Phillies) into three groups:

Group A - Playoff Caliber Teams (Yankees, Red Sox, A's, Angels, Rangers, White Sox, Twins and Phillies)

Group B - Not Ready For Primetime (Indians, Tigers, Devil Rays)

Group C - (Blue Jays, Orioles, Royals, Mariners)

Here is how the schedule breaks down:

A - 32
B - 29
C - 17

A - 39
B - 21
C - 15

The Sox have 78 games left with 32 against top teams while over half of the Twins 75 remaining games are against top competition. Advantage Sox.

19 of the Sox "B" games are against the Tigers. It wouldn't be at all surprising for the Tigers to start fading in the second half, especially considering that a quarter of their games are against the White Sox. I hope the Sox can at least do better than their 11-8 record against the 2003 version of the Tigers. Advantage Sox.

Also, 9 of the Twins "C" games are against the Orioles (6 at Canmden), a team that could arguably be in the "B" group. Advantage Sox.

You might quibble with the classifications for the Devil Rays and Blue Jays, but the Sox are done with both and the Twins only have two games left with Tampa. No matter which way you look at it, the Sox have an easier road to the playoffs than the Twins.

Friday, July 09, 2004

The Hardball Times

First I want to say that The Hardball Times has a lot of informative and enjoyable articles. But like most other media that covers baseball, it is way too focused on the Yankees, Red Sox and Twins.

Okay, maybe that last team isn't exactly overexposed in most media outlets. But Twins baseball sure does take up a lot of bandwindth on the internet. This is due to some popular sites like Twins Geek and Seth Speaks, but mostly due to Aaron Gleeman.

Since Gleeman has started penning articles for The Hardball Times his style of writing has been nearly identical to the pieces he published on his blog. Unfortunately, so is the content.

Now if this was any other team I wouldn't care that much, but the Twins are turning into the Sox's biggest rivals. So the last thing I want to read each day is how great Joe Mauer is going to be or how Johan Santana is the best pitcher in the AL.

But more bothersome are the constant jabs at the White Sox. Today he had this to say:

Konerko is having a nice year, sure, but he currently ranks just 9th among American league 1B/DH in Win Shares Above Average (WSAA).

Just looking at Konerko's offense, he trails David Ortiz (who made the AL team) and Travis Hafner (who didn't) by about 20% in Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) and trails ... brace yourself ... Frank Thomas by nearly 25%. Throw in the fact that Konerko was awful last season (.234/.305/.399 in 137 games) and I don't see what the big fuss is about. Clearly The Big Hurt is not an avid THT reader, because he'd know to save his expletive-laced tirades for a good cause, like Bobby Abreu.

Now I'm not sure how many stats Gleeman looked for before finding ones that fit his argument that Konerko wasn't deserving of a spot on the All-Star team. In fact he gets the VORP wrong. He states that Ortiz and Hafner have a VORP 20% higher than Konerko while Frank Thomas has one 25% higher. Now I know Gleeman is very capable at statistics so maybe he is looking at a different numbers, but here are the numbers I see in the link:

Frank .509
Hafner .495
Ortiz .449
Konerko .445

So Konerkerko is about 15% below Frank and Hafner and pretty much even with Ortiz. Oh, and the other three mainly play DH. Konerko actually leads AL 1B in this category.

I mean the category is 1B right? So guys who actually spend most their time playing it should get consideration before a player like Hafner who has spent all of 36 AB at the position.

But the most compelling arguments for considering Konerko for All-Star spot are not found in the stats that Gleeman produces but rather in the ones that he conveniently leaves out. I mean, Win Shares and Replacement Values aren't the first stats I look at when I want to see who is worthy of All-Star status.

Konerko is 9th in the AL in OPS, 3rd highest as a 1B if you include Thomas & Ortiz.

Kornerko is 7th in the league in slugging %, again 3rd highest as a 1B if you include Thomas & Ortiz.

Konerko is 6th in the AL in Home Runs.

Konerko is 4th in the league in IsoP.

Obviously, there is a strong case to made for Konerko to be on the All-Star team. I can only assume Gleeman ignored these stats because of his strong dislike for the White Sox.

But unless Gleeman wants to become a lawyer instead of a journalist, he should present all the facts, not just the ones that fit his argument. Now I have no problems with people who cherry pick facts on a blog dedicated to their favorite team. But I assumed The Hardball Times was more of a journalistic enterprise and would have higher standards.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Huge Win

This losing streak was about to get out of control and it looked like the Sox were about to dig themselves a huge hole before the all-star break. Gee, does that sound familiar.

But the Sox made an impressive comeback against one of the best relievers in baseball, Francisco Rodriguez.

In fact, the Sox twice came back from 3 run deficits today. The bad news is that Esteban Loaiza was the cause of both deficits as he continued his string of bad outings. Hopefully he won't actually pitch in the All Star game. This will not only help rest his arm but might save the Sox from watching their "All-Star" from getting shelled by the NL All-Stars on national television.

In fact, the whole staff could use some rest. With Ordonez coming back, the offense should be fine. It's the pitching staff that has me worried.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Garcia Signs for $27M

Well, the Sox went ahead and signed Garcia to a 3 year deal for $27 million. I'm amazed at how many people think this actually makes the Garcia trade better.

Look, it doesn't matter if Garcia signed a ten year contract for a bag peanuts. The trade was Reed/Olivo/Morse for Ben Davis and 3 1/2 months of Garcia. Garcia could have been signed at the end of the year without giving up Olivo and Reed (although they would have lost draft picks to Seattle).

So the 3 year signing in no way changes the value of the trade, one way or the other. And I'm still sticking with my original opinion of the trade which is that it stinks and will most likely be an embarassment to the organization for years to come.

As for the contract Garcia signed, it is a little bit pricey. I haven't watched Garcia pitch a lot and have not been overly impressed with his two games in a Sox uniform. He definitely has some great stuff, but has left some pitches over the plate that have been hammered in each game.

I hope the trade and contract works out. But I think Garcia may struggle to earn this money at the Cell.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

AL All-Stars

I don't make an effort to watch the All-Star game nor do I generally care who makes the teams. But the player selections the last couple of years has seemed espoecially bad.

This year, Esteban Loaiza, was chosen as the Sox representative even though Mark Buerhle has a better ERA, winning percentage, strikeout ratio, and WHIP. It just doeasn't make sense.

And Frank Thomas is being robbed for the third year in recent memory. He was also deserving in 2000 and 2003. For better or worse Frank Thomas is the most recognizable face on the Sox, and if we have just one representative, it should be him. He has done enough in his career to justify it.

Both Frank and Konerko have been included in Final All-Star contest. But of course by including both players the Sox get screwed over again by having their votes split between the two.

Just another reason not to watch the game.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Stop the Hate

I received an e-mail from the Cubs this morning. It starts:

It's time for Round Two of baseball's best intra-city, Interleague rivalry as the Cubs host the hated White Sox this weekend at The Friendly Confines.

Aren't Cubs fans always saying they are indifferent towards the Sox? That they could care less what we do? Someone better tell it to the Cubs!

Of course, the indifference line is BS, just another way for Cubs fans to try and stick it to the Sox.

Anyways, the e-mail made just confirms what I already knew. They hate us! They really, really hate us!

Monday, June 28, 2004

Bad Trade

I was excited when I first heard about the Garcia trade last night. But then my stomach dropped when I heard who we traded. Does Williams want to be every GM's bitch? He stooping pretty low to take one from the Mariner's Bavasi.

A lot of people are going to judge the Garcia trade on whether the Sox make the playoffs. If they make them then it was worth it. But hell, the Sox can win the World Series, and this trade will still stink. Garcia is a good pitcher, but it should have taken a lot less to get him. And if Bavasi actually thought Garcia's value was that high, Williams should have walked away.

But I doubt Bavasi thought Garcia's value was that high. It's more likely he knew William's wouldn't walk away.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Draft Day

It looks like the Sox picked up Ray Liotta in the second round of the draft. I'll admit, he looked good in Field of Dreams. But I wonder if all the coke he did in Goodfella's has taken a toll on his body.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Well That Was Pleasant

10 run defeats may be humiliating but you can put them out of your mind and forget about them when the next game starts. 1-0 losses suck, but at least you know you put up a good fight. But you can't seem to forget when your team blows a ninth inning lead.

They are the games that fill you with regret, the ones you can't get back. The games will keep popping back in your head as your team fights for a playoff spot. If they make the playoffs you might forget about them. If they don't, you will remember the years down the road.

Looking back at Keith Foulke's tenure with the Sox you wonder why the Sox ever traded him away. His numbers were great. But man did he blow some big ones. And when they come at a critical juncture of the season you simply can't get them out of you head.

Anyway, the Sox will eventually have to move someone else into the closers role this year. It may not happen now, but it's only matter of time. Sure, Koch is throwing better than he did last year, but that's not saying much. Someone who gives up a run every other inning they pitch can't be your closer. I say give Mr. Zero, our Japanese import, at shot at closing duties.

And speaking of humiliating defeats, The View From The Bleachers is having a World Series of Blogs Contest. Pleminary rounds consist of voting for your favorite blog by baseball division. I'm currently getting my ass kicked in the AL Central. I would appreciate it if you could stop by and vote for ChiSox Daily. And vote the Chicago way, early and often!

Update: While reading a post of another AL Central blog (who has already voted twice) I learned that you might have to refresh the page to vote for ChiSox Daily if another division is being polled. Just keep refreshing until the AL Central poll pops up.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Into the 9th

Billy Koch is on to close a 2-1 game. The Sox had a chance to score some insurance runs but failed to score with the bases loaded. They were loaded with 2 outs so there is no shame in not scoring. But they were loaded by Rhodes walking three batters, so maybe Rowand should have just taken the 2-0 pitch. Instead, he swung and grounded out to short.

Oh well, back to the game. Durazo singled to start the inning. Shit. No four run lead to work with this time Billy.


I stayed up until the 7th inning last night but went to bed with the Sox down 4-1. They went on to make a game of it before losing in 12 innings.

In the eighth, Big Frank hit a 2 run shot off ex-Sox, underhander Chad Bradford to make it 4-3. Jose tied it up with a 2 out homer in the ninth.

It's too bad I missed the comeback, but I'm glad I didn't stay up just to see them lose in twelve.

The Sox actually had a few chances to score runs early in the ballgame but ran into some good fielding and bad luck. In the first, Carlos Lee drove a ball to center with Willi Harris on second base, but Kotsay made an amazing Willie Mays style running catch at the wall to end the inning.

In the second, Rowand hit a line drive to second that McLemore caught and then threw to first to double off Korneko. McLemore jumped to catch the liner and started his throwing motion to first even before he landed back on the ground.

In the third, Willie Harris smacked a hard liner to third with Uribe on base. Unfrotunatley it was right at Chavez.

The Sox also got in on the defensive action with a great play of their own in the third. With Melhuse on second base with no outs, Jose Uribe field a grounder at second. But instead of getting the out at first, Uribe used his strong arm to nail Melhuse at third.

The play was probably unecessarily risky as the tag just barely beat Melhuse to the bag. Withou a perfect throw the A's have runners on the corners with no out. But it was a perfect throw and an exciting play.

Friday, May 28, 2004


I will be attending my first game of the year tonight as the White Sox take on the Angels. It's just my luck that a cold front moved in overnight and the temperature is supposed to drop below 50. On top of that, baby Claire woke up at 5:30 AM, so I didn't get much sleep.

But enough complaining, the Sox are in first place. I'll post my thoughts on what I think of the Cell redesign this weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

NL First Baseman On Fire

I was doing a little research to see how the Cubbies were doing on their offseason trade with the Marlins (actually I know how the trade was working out - the Sox fan in me just wanted to enjoy looking at the numbers) and was surprised to see so many NL first baseman tearing the cover off the ball.

Choi has the seventh highest OPS - at .946! Albert Puljos is right in front of him at .950. In fact, 5 NL first baseman have an OPS greater than 1.000, which is more than any other position in either league combined. In fact there are only 15 players who currently have an OPS greater than 1.000 in both leagues.

By position they are:

C - 1 (1 AL)
1B - 5 (5 NL)
2B - 0
3B - 3 (1 AL, 2 NL)
SS - 0
OF - 4 (1 AL, 3 NL)
DH - 1 (Big Frank)

I would expect Casey, Overbay and Wilson to drop below 1.000 in the near future, while Puljos may end up joining Thome and Helton.

Derek Lee, who has career OPS of .818, is currently struggling at .778. While that isn't that far off his career average, he has finished with an OPS above .870 in 3 of his last 4 seasons as a Marlin, which is more in line with what the Cubs thought they would be getting when they made the trade.

Monday, May 24, 2004

One More Thing About This Weekend

One of the main reasons I started this blog was that the newspapers always seemed to leave out important details in their game reports. I haven't been able to watch a lot of games this year, but did catch most of the 9-1 loss on Saturday.

In that game, the sox were down 4-1 in the fourth when Paul Konerko came up with two men on and one out. I don't remember the pitch count, but Konerko tagged a Radke off-speed pitch that hooked just left of the left field fair pole. The Sox were within a couple feet of tying the game at 4.

Konerko ended up striking out and the Sox didn't score. Guillen had his second tier relievers eat up some innings and the Sox ended up losing in a route. But if Konerko keeps that ball fair the whole complexion of the game changes.

To me, that was a key moment of the game and it doesn't even get mentioned in the Trib. Maybe they could print one less Cub article and give the Sox an extra paragraph to print more game details.

A Good Pummeling

At the start of the season, I figured the Sox had a chance to win the division this year, but I sure didn't expcect them to. I predicted that they would again finish second to the Twins.

After this weekend's thrashing of the Twinkies, I am starting to think the Sox will win the division. I know I am probably just setting myself up for another September crash, but what I saw this weekend has changed my mind.

It's not what I saw from the White Sox bats, although it was impressive. It's what I saw from Minnesota pitchers that gives me hope.

Silva, Greisinger, and Sanatana were all hit hard by the Sox. Lohse is being hit hard by other teams. The only dependable starting pitcher they have right now is Radke.

The Twins will not win the division without three strong starting pitchers (and by strong I mean ERA under 4.50). I'm sure most Twins fans were hoping their Big Three would be Santana, Radke and Lohse. Lohse was probably the big question mark going into the season and he has not responded.

But Santana is the big disappointment. And if they don't have Santana, they don't have a chance.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Sox Win, Twins Lose, Thomas Rocks

Only 17,640 turned out last night in Minnesota. I'm surprised all those Sox haters up north didn't come out to jeer. They're probably happy they stayed home after the Sox routed the Twins 10-3.

The Sox have now outscored the Twins 24-10 in their four games this year. Unfortunately, 21 of those runs were scored in two games and the Sox have only managed 2 wins.

I mentioned the other day how frustrating it is watching the Twins comeback to win so many games the last few years. I thought it may have been some type of cognitive bias, but it turns out the Twins have had a awful a lot of these types of wins the last few years.

Black Betsy has the facts here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

G#@D*#@ Twins

The only thing worse than watching the Twins come back from 3 down in the 9th on a grand slam, would be watching them do it against the Sox.

Actually, I didn't watch it. but followed on Watching that crooked number pop up is like a punch in the gut (unless of course its for your team). This wasn't as painful watching them come back against the Angels last year when the the tying run ran over Molina at home, jarring the ball loose and breaking his arm, which then allowed the winning run to score. That play took about five minutes for Sportsline to process! But this one was still painful.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Old School Manager

One thing we know for sure this season is that Ozzie Guillen is an "old school" baseball manager. Meaning he will let his starters throw a lot of pitches and will sacrifice bunt at any time during the game.

The starting pitchers have a few years under their belt, so the extra workload may not be cause for concern.

As for the bunting all the time, it's driving me crazy. A manager can't score any runs for the team, but he can sure cost them runs by sacrificing all the time. If he wants to bunt late in games to try and score an insurance run I have no problem with it. I wouldn't do it, but I don't think it will make much difference in the long run.

But Guillen sacrifices in the first inning to try and "put an early run on the board". And it seems he always sacrifices with runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs, unless Big Frank or Maggs is up.

Yesterday, they were down 5-3 in the sixth, with runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. They game was in danger of being called early because of rain. The Sox needed two runs to tie and a big inning to take the lead. So what does Guillen do? He has Joe Crede attempt to bunt the runners over. As if this wasn't bad enough, Big Frank was the runner on first. Even if he gets to 2nd with one out there is a good chance he won't be scoring on a single.

So Crede lays down a bunt but the Orioles nail Maggs at third, leaving runners on 1st and 2nd, but now with 1 out. Konerko ended up hitting a three run homer so the move didn't hurt the Sox yesterday (but who knows, maybe Crede would have gotten on base and the Sox could have had an even bigger inning).

There's no denying that trading outs for bases will cost the Sox runs over the course of a 162 baseball game season. It is a proven fact.

Just like hitting on 12 even when the blackjack dealer is showing a 2 or 3 is the best percentage move to make on the blackjack table, letting your batters swing away and trying to maximize your run scoring potential is the best move to make on the baseball field. If I see someone making the wrong play on the blackjack table I can walk away and find a new game. Unfortunately, its not as easy to walk away from your favorite baseball team. So it looks like I will have to put up with Guillen giving away outs all year, and hope whatever "motivational" skills he brings to the table makes up for it.

Interview With Kerry's Triceps

For those of you out of town, the Chicago Tribune publishes a dumbed down version of the paper called Red Eye. It sells for half the price (25 cents) and tries to inject some humor into their stories. Today they published an interview with Kerry Wood's triceps.

Unfortunately, their attempts at humor usually leave much to be desired which isn't all that surprising. After all, if these were good writers, they would be writing for the Trib, right?

On a side note, once the the Tribune started publishing Red Eye, the Sun Times immediately tried to undercut the Trib by passing out a dumbed down version of the Sun Times (stay with me here and just assume the Sun Times could be dumb downed any further) called Red Streak. They actually weren't expecting Red Streak to succeed, but rather trying to kill Red Eye so the Sun Times could have the dumbed down market for themselves. It doesn't look like the strategy has worked and now the Sun Times has increased their newstand price to match the Trib at 50 cents. It will be interesting how many people still prefer the ST at the same price as the Trib.


The first big series of the year starts today, if it stops raining, against the Twins. Seth at SethSpeaks has a player by player match-up. For the most part, they are hard to quibble with, but the last two are howlers. Seth gives a "slight advantage" to Big Frank over Lew Ford at DH. I know Ford is off to a hot start, but he wasn't even on the major league roster to start the season. And since he is DH'ing, it doesn't matter that Ford is a bettr defensive player. Advantage Sox.

He also only gives Ordonez a "slight advantage" over Jacque Jones. I guess you could call a higher career OPS of 120 points slight, but I wouldn't!

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


I have always wanted to do two things on this blog. One is to add comments. The second is to post pictures. Well the blogger upgrade has added the comments and I finally took five minutes to learn how to post (someone elses)jpeg files.

I was going to to put up a picture of Brittney or Xtina, but decided to keep this site PG. So here are your 1917 Chicago White Sox:

Monday, May 10, 2004

New Formats

Blogger has rolled out some upgrades so ChiSox Daily may soon have a new look.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Can We Get Back To Baseball

In today's Tribune, Dusty Baker stated that he wished the Alou peeing story would die quickly and also hinted that he thought a KC star reporter broke a taboo by reporting some Cubs clubhouse antics. It looks like he's talking about this column by Jeff Passan.

There is nothing that awful in the column. I assume Dusty is objecting to the guy writing about Kerry Wood passing gas in the clubhouse. I'll have to agree with Dusty that a player should be free to let one go in the clubhouse without it being reported in the papers the next day.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Can We Rely On Koch?

I was actually thinking the Billy Koch could end up being a decent closer this year. He looked sharp this weekend against the Blue Jays and had only one completely miserable performance so far this year. He was getting some strikeouts, not walking a lot of batters, and hitting 94 on the radar gun. Overall, he looked much better than he did at any time last year.

That was until last night. Koch walked the bases loaded (while getting two strikeouts between the first and second walk) before giving up a 2 run single to Mora. Koch then "saved" the game by inducing Tejada to ground out to Uribe at short, who made a nice play on a hard hit ball.

His ERA now stands at 5.11, but he has gotten 13 Ks in 12.1 IP. I still think he can be an effective reliever for the Sox this year, but I would hate to count him closing an important game.

Monday, May 03, 2004


Moises Alou urinates on his own hands to harden them up prevent calluses. There has to be a better way.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Winning Ugly

The Sox took two out of three against Tampa, but were fortunate to win a single game. Friday they won in the ninth when Ordonez reached on an error, made it to second on a balk, reached third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly.

Yesterday they scored three runs in the ninth to win again in their last at bat. Light hitting Kelly Dransfeldt drove in the tying run with a two out, 0-2 single that scored Russ Gload on a very close play at the plate. Three free passes later, the winning run scored on the always exciting walk-off walk.

But the series against Tampa brought back bad memories of two ominous trends of the 2003 season: the prolonged slumps the offense had throughout the year and lack of inspired play against inferior teams, such as Tampa Bay and Detroit. In the 3 game series against Tampa, the Sox only scored 10 runs on 20 hits, with 3 runs and 3 hits coming in yesterday’s ninth.

I suppose I should be happy with the Sox winning the series, but the Sox will need to play better than this to keep up with the Twins.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Early Returns

Bryan Smith has some critical comments of Kenny Williams in his article at The Hardball Times. He mainly criticizes Williams for not making any major moves this off-season for the Sox and not adding any depth to the roster.

The funny thing is main beef is with not having a backup for Jose Valentin who went on the DL with a pulled hamstring. Smith admits, that yes, Juan Uribe, who is taking over short for the interim, is currently tearing the cover off the ball. But it’s only matter of time before he start’s sucking again. So Kenny is a fool to have him as a back-up.

First, I think it would probably be appropriate to wait to criticize Williams until Uribe's play actually merits such criticism. But the guy is hitting .368/.400/.500 and is making a strong case to replace Harris at second when Valentin returns.

Second, even if Uribe regresses back to his career numbers, who exactly is Williams supposed to pick up as his utility infielder? An above average defensive middle infielder with career numbers of .262/.301/.411 is pretty comparable to what other teams have as a backup.

Smyth also blasts Williams for not replacing Colon, Gordon and Alomar in the offseason. So lets take these one at a time.

Williams was certainly restrained by his budget this offseason which made it hard to find a top line starter. With that said, he did offer Colon a competitive contract. I’m actually glad Colon didn’t accept because it most likely would have meant Ordonez would not be with the Sox right now. So the Sox decided to replace Colon in the rotation with Schoenenweis.

It’s early in the season, but Schoenenweis, who has added a cut fastball this year, has pitched well (3.26 ERA). His early numbers are even more impressive considering two of his starts came against the Yankees. I don’t think he will be able to pitch as well as Colon this year, but it looks like he will be able to give the Sox a lot of innings and keep them in games.

If anything, the trade to get Schoenenweis from the Angels for Gary Glover is starting to look like a good move by Williams.

The Gordon loss was no doubt another blow to the Sox. This loss was in no small part due to the move Williams made before the 2003 season that stuck the Sox with Billy Koch’s contract. Again, Gordon was offered a contract that was competitive to what he ended up receiving from the Yankees. After he left, I’m sure Williams decided to leave the closing duties to either Koch or Marte instead of adding another closer's salary. It looks like Marte will get the job and past performance suggests he could be an effective closer.

But Williams did make other bullpen moves with early positive results. New to the bullpen this year are Cliff Politte, Jon Adkins, Neal Cotts, Mike Jackson and Shingo Takatsu. All but Takatsu are off to solid starts. The other four all have ERAs under 3.00.

Lastly, I don’t have much to say about the loss of Alomar. He played like shit for the Sox last year. Harris may not play much better but he comes a lot cheaper. You are going to have some weaknesses with a $60 million payroll and it looks like 2B will be a weakness for the Sox (unless of course Uribe continues hitting).

Now this is not to say I think Williams is a great general manager. He has made some good moves like signing Loaiza and trading for Colon and some very bad moves such as the trades for Koch and Todd Ritchie.

But just because he didn’t make any major moves in the offseason doesn’t mean he did a bad job. He shouldn’t make moves just to look like he’s doing something. Anyway, I’m not "cursing the GM" now that the Sox have had a couple of injuries. I’m actually impressed that the guys he did pick up, such as Uribe, Ross Gload and Cliff Politte, are producing as much as they are.

If and when these moves start to turn sour, I might change my mind. But until then I’ll give Kenny the credit he deserves.


The Cubs got rained out yesterday so I'm surprised they didn't take the opportunity to skip the 5th spot in the rotation. Instead, they will let Maddux pitch today against the Mets.


But seriously, Maddux has a chance to get on track against a Mets team that is only scoring 4 runs a game. Cub fans will go in a full panic mode if he doesn't pitch well today.

And speaking of runs scored, the Expos have scored a pathetic 26 runs in 16 games. Soccer teams score more than that!