Monday, August 20, 2007

When the "Fag" Fires Back at the "Blizzard"

I've been quieter lately here, because last Saturday I moved out of my parents' basement and into an apartment (which is basement-less, so clearly, less blogging), and setting it up has been kinda hectic. But as long as Jay writes stuff like this, I can take a break from the toils and tribulations of apartment life and get angry enough to throw some disapproval his way. Again, it's about the Sox being bad, so the buzzwords are 1) "Blizzard of Oz" and 2) Record of the Sox since July 2 of last year,

No farewell to Ozzie?
The Sox failure of 2007 should put Guillen on a short leash, but Jerry's kid could get an extension. Sometimes, loyalty is bad business.

Mariotti's failure of 2007 to focus on any aspect of the White Sox besides Ozzie Guillen should put the Chicago Sun-Times on a short leash, but Mariotti could be around for years. Sometimes, stupidity and ignorant ramblings are a bad business.

I mean come on, even ESPN has paid a ton of attention to the Sox and the reasons they're faltering this year. Even if a lot of it had to do with the trade deadline, we have a network that usually ignores the less-popular teams and has to cover the entire league that has been a better source of informed opinions about the White Sox than a columnist that writes for the city's newspaper. No, Ozzie is not a good manager, but the best manager in baseball would not turn the White Sox into a good team, or even a .500 team.

They are, in a word, rotten. Not only have the White Sox underachieved like no other team in baseball, they've sunk to the crusty bowels of the American League Central, now trailing a small-market club in Kansas City that has spent $40 million less. Since July 2 of last season, the Sox are 91-114, meaning Jerry Reinsdorf is getting the least bang for his buck of any owner in the majors.

Obligatory reference #2. I'm going to second Mariotti's motion that whether or not a team makes the playoffs should not be determined by a single-season won/loss record, but by "team record since July 2 of last season" (for the non-frequent readers, of me/Jay, this appears in pretty much every White Sox article he writes).

Oh, and just so you know, the White Sox have not underachieved worth shit. Projected preseason record: 72-90. Winning percentage: .444 Current winning percentage: .443 They have not significantly over or under achieved. They have simply "achieved".

And yet, Jerry still loves Ozzie. You almost want to carve that into a tree and surround it with a heart, or scribble it in marker inside a bathroom stall.

You know what was even better? That time when Ozzie carved "Jay Mariotti <3 Men" into our minds last year!

''I can tell you that right now. Oswaldo Guillen, I love him,'' Reinsdorf said at the owners meetings, reaffirming that his manager's job is safe.

The fact Reinsdorf was asked by an out-of-town reporter, in Toronto, verifies that the Blizzard of Oz's shoddy performance the last two seasons is relevant beyond Chicago.

No, it verifies that news reporters outside of Chicago are still doing their jobs and trying to find news to report on the news for the purpose of news-reporting.

And that's the first of what will be many "reference #1"s. Ozzie Guillen is a Blizzard that lives in the fictional land of Oz. He's the mysterious witch of the south that didn't appear in the movie, where it is always cold, because he's always blowing snow in your face.

How many other managers allow a large-payroll, high-talent team to collapse into a lifeless, embarrassing blob?

Jose Contreras: 6.18 ERA. Old?: Yes
Nick Masset: 7.09 ERA
Mike MacDougal: 5.40 ERA
Matt Thornton: 5.45 ERA
David Aardsma: 6.40 ERA


Bobby Jenks: Weight: 275


(These things are all Ozzie's fault).

If this were happening in New York, Joe Torre's job status would be a constant subject, despite his four World Series titles. If this were happening in Boston, Terry Francona's hide would be smoking, despite his curse-breaking World Series championship. In most large-market situations, no manager can miss the playoffs in successive seasons and waste $100 million payrolls without being held accountable.

Maybe it's Kenny Williams' fault for spending that money where it isn't merited? Ever think of that? Maybe Kenny Williams paid too much for bad players! Kenny Willaims chooses where to spend the money. Kenny Williams. Kenny-Dub.

Jose Contreras: .7 WARP1
Scott Podsednik: .3 WARP1
Alex Cintron: -.7 WARP1

Total salary on the above 3 players who were projected to be bad this year: $13.8M
Total wins contributed: .3 above what 3 minor league players would have done.

But Jerry still loves Ozzie, like Romeo loved Juliet and Desi loved Lucy. But Jerry still loves Ozzie, like Romeo loved Juliet and Desi loved Lucy. Only on the South Side, apparently, does one World Series ring in 88 years of trying merit a free pass for the manager. Never mind that the Sox have lost eight straight games for the first time since the Jerry Manuel era -- he eventually was fired, I believe -- and just finished their first winless road trip involving six-plus games in 16 years. The beloved Blizzard couldn't possibly have anything to do with his team quitting like dogs, even though the manager is responsible for maximizing his talent. Not that the Blizzard agrees with that sports truth.

He doesn't have anything to do with the players being bad. That group of players was projected to lose 90 games this year by PECOTA. They're right on pace.

Except for a flash of destiny in October of 2005, the Sox have been a disappointing team in three of Guillen's other three seasons. I'm not declaring that he necessarily should be fired now -- I repeat: I'm not declaring that he necessarily should be fired now -- but for an owner to openly convey his unconditional love to a manager is dumb business.

You have been declaring that he should "necessarily be fired now" all season long. You have gone home every night and prayed to statues of Jerry Manuel and Terry Bevington that he would be gone. You've purchased a Jerry Reinsdorf voodoo doll to try to get it to happen. You have blamed every single failure of the White Sox on that man. Why are you trying to pretend that these things aren't true now? And you haven't qualified why an owner saying he loves his manager is bad business, not like I'd expect you to explain anything coherently anyway.

Reinsdorf seems to be more interested in protecting Guillen than evaluating the job he's doing. This isn't Milwaukee, Jerry. When a team is in Chicago, the World Series should be an annual expectation, not once in a lifetime.

Yes, for some reason, in Chicago, a city where exactly one World Series has been won in the past 89 years, the World Series should be an annual expectation. Not like in Milwaukee, where they just dick around all day and have sausage races. Chicago is one of those "trying" cities. Making perfect sense as usual, Jay!

And if the Sox keep losing in '08 at the same .443 clip, right down there with some of baseball's sickliest clubs, how can an owner of sound mind possibly bring back Guillen for several more seasons?

If the Sox are projected to lose more than 90 games next year, which is entirely possible, then a lot of sound minds would refuse to fire a manager of an overperforming team.

The Sox likely will try to trade Garland in the offseason, now that the free-agent market has been weakened by the signings of Mark Buehrle and Carlos Zambrano, and my guess is, he'll return to top form with his next team. Why? He never has seemed particularly happy with the Sox, recalling the day last year when Guillen wanted Garland to play OzzieBall -- that is, plunk a Texas batter in juvenile tit-for-tat warfare -- and he responded by twice missing Ian Kinsler.

So....Garland has never been happy with the White Sox because Guillen, one time last year, asked him to hit a guy. And....this lack of happiness is the reason that Garland was very good in the early part of this year and very bad in recent memory, even though the early part of this year was closer time-wise to the event in question that supposedly traumatized him. Cool. Glad I'm on the same page with your completely sane, sensible logic.

You'll hear much about the Sox pursuing Torii Hunter or Aaron Rowand in the offseason. But one free-agent signing won't solve what ails them. The Blizzard has lost his mojo, and whether you take seriously his immature phone calls to radio stations or irresponsible slurs of his imagined enemies, you must acknowledge that the entire package has been turned stale by losing. I've always said Guillen's act would be accepted if he won and rejected if he lost.

Yes, good free agents won't help a team that's like 50% full of minor-league quality players, because the manager has "lost his mojo".

Also: Guillen is losing, and his act is accepted, because he's possibly getting an extension. Accepted by You are possibly the least relevant thing in the world to the mainstream line of thinking. People don't like you Jay, all I hear when I bring up Jay Mariotti's name is "Ugh, I hate that guy, he should be fired. There should be a blog of some sort on the internet that says he should be fired." Chicago, and the world in general, does not share your line of thinking, regardless of what stupid mental images exist in your head of people being mindless drones that drool when you speak and cling to your every word.


Chris W said...

i have to be honest--mariotti is right, but for all the wrong reasons

ozzie needs to be fired for his unwillingness to let young players develop in preference of grindy veterans. rob mackowiack never should have started more than 10 games last year in CF and grindErstad should not have been starting at all this season.

nevertheless, there it is.

the key to this team's success down the road is its young players--richar, fields, anderson, sweeney, and to a lesser extent, owens.

as long as ozzie is manager they won't play, in favor of grindy vets like andy gonzalez.


pnoles said...

For the record, I am aware that there was a "witch of the south" in the L. Frank Baum novel.