Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Uh Oh, Jay Made A Stupid....

Multiple stupids, in fact. Before reading, be careful. You're about to enter a zone with a very unhealthy concentration of WRONG.

As the most tortured and masochistic fans in sports, you demand love and tenderness in Cubdom. You want hope, optimism, faith. You want 100-year amnesia. You want a combination of Ron Santo, a Wrigley Granny and Eddie Vedder in the bleachers.


You want me to say 98-64,

No one cares what you predict, because it's probably more based on Piniella's post-game speeches than baseball.

a sweep of the Rockies


a Game 7 victory over Johan Santana and a Game 7 win over the Red Sox, after which you can die peacefully.

For such goo (woo!), please call Ronnie Wickers. I cannot help you.

Mentions of Ronnie Woo Woo in Jay's columns are reaching July 2, 2006ish annoyingness levels.

But what I can do is this: You tell me what you want to hear, and I'll follow with what you SHOULD hear. It's called telling the truth, assuming you can handle it.

Jay is about to do this many, many times. We're going to see how often he actually says something truth-related.

You say Kerry Wood will become the toast of Clark Street. I say Huston Street is available on the trade market.

There are two very good reasons to not trade for Huston Street

1) Billy Beane will probably rip you off.
2) Wood, Marmol, and Howry are good enough between them to handle the late innings.

Jay literally thinks teams can just trade for awesome players all the time, and if they don't, then they're fucking up.

You say Wood will be pain-free all season, save 40 games and uphold the confidence of enabler Jim Hendry, who said this after the general manager's pet rock was named the closer: ``For his sake and ours, I hope he stays healthy because that's world-class stuff.'' I say Wood symbolizes All Things Cub in the 21st century and, sadly, will have arm soreness to accompany his world-class stuff by May 1, which is May Day, prompting the electric Carlos Marmol to inherit the role he deserved all along.

Marmol had a very good 2007, but middle relievers tend to be wildly inconsistent from year to year. He's bound to see some regression. Saying that he deserved the role all along is crazy. Cliff Politte had a great 2005 for the White Sox, should he be a closer?

I apologize....not enough "angry" out of me yet. I know, I know. Read on.

You say Sam Zell, in his detached role as temporary Cubs owner, will provide a refreshing change after 27 years of ineptness from previous Tribune Co. chiefs.

I basically live in Cubsville. No one is saying that. What's your "truth", Jay?

I say Zell looks like the billy goat,


actually might be the billy goat


and already is plotting to eliminate the jobs of at least a dozen Cubs players through voluntary separation programs, involuntary layoffs and attrition.

Jay Mariotti: ::closes dictionary:: I have no idea what I am writing.

`Who needs relief pitchers? Let the starting pitcher finish every game,'' Zell will declare. ``And if you're paying eight players to be in the field, all others are superfluous.''

I'm sorry...my eyes must be going. I could have sworn you said at the top of this column you were going to tell me something called the "truth".

::checks again::

Yes, yes, that's what you wrote. It clearly says "truth", not "wildly stupid and un-funny exaggerations." Stop deceiving me!

You say the rotation is loaded with a Cy Young Award candidate in prediction-free Carlos Zambrano, a potential 18-game winner in Ted Lilly and a potential 15-game winner in Rich Hill.

Zam's chances of winning the Cy Young this year are probably something close to 1%, especially low due to the Santana trade. But other than that, there really isn't anything crazy about this sort of optimism.

I say you're right about Zambrano and Lilly,

All of last year, you slammed Zambrano for not being a true ace, now you think he's a Cy Young Award candidate?

but that you deserve to be conked in the head by an errant pitch from Hill, who last was seen walking six of 11 Colorado batters and has a 7.50 ERA in his last four Cactus League starts.

Rich Hill winning 15 games this year is definitely very possible. Spring starts from an established starting pitcher couldn't be less indicative of regular season performance. Please, PLEASE win 15 games this year, Rich Hill.

I'll never forget how this newspaper splashed Hill across the front page last October, wondering if he could save the Cubs. After he allowed three runs and six hits and was yanked after three innings, the Diamondbacks supplied the musical answer amid much Wrigley angst: ``We found our thrill, on Boo-berry Hill.''

Damn you Rich Hill! You pitched poorly in your first postseason start! You'll never win 15 games this year!

You say the Cubs have an awesome lineup.

Jay's right, this actually is a serious problem among Cub fans. Their lineup is severely overrated, mostly because of Soriano and the disease sweeping Chicago that
causes people to think Ryan Theriot is good at baseball.

I say they do as long as Derrek Lee doesn't remain a doubles hitter,

Derrek Lee posted the 2nd highest slugging percentage of his career last year. He also got on base at a .400 clip. You wouldn't take a doubles hitter with a .400 OBP?

Alfonso Soriano rips fastballs instead of muscles


and Aramis Ramirez is kept away from secret cockfighting arenas.

These are such stupid substitutes for actually analyzing these three hitters. For once, will you do your fucking job?

You say it's a sign of special camaraderie when several Cubs pitchers maul a '95 Nissan Sentra belonging to Tim Buss, the team's strength and conditioning coach, and his wife. You say it's very cool that they purchased him a 2008 Nissan Xterra.

How can you possibly argue that it wasn't?

I say it's a metaphor for certain pitchers who will be destroyed accordingly this season and require new replacements.

What the fuck??? This makes no sense.

Among them is a starter, Jason Marquis, who somehow won a rotation job after telling management that he, the great Jason Marquis -- who was left off postseason rosters the last two years -- would request a trade if he was moved to the bullpen. I say trade Marquis to Boston for Coco Crisp, center-field insurance for Felix Pie, while his ERA is still under 5.00.

Jim Hendry: Theo, what do you think of Marquis for Crisp?

Theo Epstein: Umm....gee Jim, ::snicker::, I'm going to have to think about that one. I have 6 starting pitchers, all better than Jason. I have an awesome bullpen. But yeah, I totally have a higher need on my team for a bad pitcher than one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball.

Jim Hendry: You don't have to be so mean...it wasn't my idea, anyway.....Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti totally came up with that idea. It seems that I care so much about what he thinks that I just had to pitch that one to you.

Theo Epstein: HA! Jay Mariotti!?!? That guy's a moron! There's this wicked sweet blog on the internet that constantly says he should be fired. I read it all the time!

You say I'm being mean to Wood. I say I'm rooting harder for him than anyone but family, friends and Hendry.

You are not rooting for him, because you're rooting for you to be wrong, which everyone on the fucking planet knows isn't the case. How did you sneak this lie in there? You're supposed to be telling me the truth!

I'm now about to copy and paste the most worthless paragraph of all-time, and won't comment on it. Read at your own risk.

You say Piniella, in introducing ``Cubbie occurrence'' to the lexicon, has coined a phrase for eternity. I say you're right. Pie's twisted testicle -- has it untwisted yet? -- is a Cubbie occurrence. Zell is a Cubbie occurrence. Blaming the Evil Stoney in '04 was a Cubbie occurrence. Trading Lou Brock and not keeping Greg Maddux in 1992 were Cubbie occurences. All the various animals associated with a century of futility are Cubbie occurrences. Thanks, Lou, for new material. Unless Piniella, too, is a Cubbie occurrence.

Moving right along....

You say Kosuke Fukudome will have no problem acclimating to Cubdom. I say he runs for cover the first time trash is thrown from the bleachers. You say you'll be very cordial to him out there. I say some of you become filled with rage when the mood strikes and will treat anyone like Jacque Jones. I also say you don't want any international incidents when we're trying to land the 2016 Olympics.

You might find this paragraph shocking, as Jay just did something he's never done before. He took an incident that happened awhile ago that has nothing to do with the situation at hand and used it to argue a point which also has freakishly little to do with the situation at hand.

You might find my last paragraph there shocking, as I used something called "sarcasm", which is completely new to my writing style.

He does that shit all the time. In case you guys wanted a recap of that paragraph, filled with things that have so little to do with each other, here it is.

"You say Kosuke Fukudome will blah blah blah, I say blah blah blah run for cover blah blah filled with rage blah blah international incidents blah blah 2016 Olympics".

You say the Milwaukee Brewers are frauds. I say slugger Prince Fielder, who last year became the youngest major-league player to hit 50 home runs, is now a vegetarian after reading his wife's book, ``Skinny Bitch: A No-nonsense, Tough-love Guide for Savvy Girls who Want to Stop Eating Crap and Start Looking Fabulous.''

See? They're not frauds! Prince Fielder is gonna lose weight!

You say I'm making this up. I say it's impossible to make up something this weird

Last year, you said that there was black magic associated with a baseball that rolled in from the bullpen towards third base because "baseball" starts with the letter 'b'. You also said that Torii Hunter is better than Nick Swisher, a statement that I consider equally weird.

You say the Sun-Times got Punk'd when a Tribune intern, Katie Hamilton, won this newspaper's video contest condemning Zell's attempt to sell Wrigley's naming rights. I say Hamilton is more clever than most writers at the sleepy broadsheet. I also say the Tribune is too cheap to give her a raise, and that Zell is contemplating laying her off because she has had her day in the Sun(-Times).

Oh yeah Jay, I forgot to tell you. Irrelevance called, it wants its nonsense back.

You say the Cubs are winning it all. I say they'll repeat as division champs, their first back-to-back claiming of cloth since 1907-08, but lose in the playoffs. You say I'm being negative. I say you need to get a life one of these centuries.

Jay seems to think that winning a playoff series is an impossibility for a given team that makes the playoffs. Why, Jay, can the Cubs win their division and then have a 0% chance at beating another baseball team in a best-of-five series? There's a shit-ton of luck involved....it's not like the NBA, you can't say things like, "oh, the Cubs, they're only an NLDS team, nothing more." One day I want you to wake up and realize that.

On a side note, I saw the comments left on this article. Everyone really, really dislikes you, Jay! And I mean we're talking threats of physical violence!


larry b said...

This was a real doozy. You did a good job with it. As an aside, why don't we get more comments with threats of physical violence? Where are all the rabid fans of the journalists we attack, telling us they're going to rip off our collective nuts?

Oh yeah, I forgot. No one gives a shit about us.

pnoles said...

Funny, I've never been in a situation before when I've been wishing people would threaten to like, tar and feather me.

pnoles said...

As another note, I can't believe I missed this the first time through.....Coco Crisp as Felix Pie INSURANCE????? Let's look at how Coco Crisp matches up against Felix Pie.

Better hitter? Check.

Better defense? Check.

ZOMG faster? Check

Better at having a last name that resembles a dessert? Nope

Anonymous said...

Better at having a name the resembles a cereal?


TOTALLY not Jay Mariotti said...

FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCKERS I SWEAR TO GOD IF I EVER FIND YOU WANDERING ON THE STREETS I WILL KILL YOU SO BAD YOU'LL WISH YOU WERE ALREADY DEAD (hey that's pretty good i ought to write that one down and save it for a later column i mean totally not a column haha what the hell are you talking about). I HOPE YOU ALL DIE OF PANCREATIC CANCER, ESPECIALLY LARRY B AND HIS FUCKING FIXED SHIFT KEY.

larry b said...

That's the spirit!

Anonymous said...

going to have to disagree w/you on Crisp vs Pie, pnoles. i think jay's actually in the right. i'd say the bosox would be willing to try and get a guy like marquis for the right price... out of the "6 better pitchers than marquis," one is on the DL until at least the all-star break, and the other is actually not better. marquis is better than wakefield, unless a 42 year old (knuckleballer or no) who had a very similar ERA and WHIP is preferable to the 29 year old. not to mention buchholz and lester are in their early 20s and could regress (please ask edwin jackson how those "awesome early impressions" go), plus beckett's starting the season on the DL and has had problems staying healthy in the past.

marquis is a reasonable 4th/5th starter. yes, i'm aware that there's usually an adjustment for the worse going from the NL to the AL, but he's the sort of starter a lot of teams like to have available. if everything goes absolutely perfect you now have a top-notch mop-up guy and long reliever. barring that, you've got a backup plan.

now, i admit that some of the same concerns would also apply to moving crisp (who is, you forgot to mention, the 4th OF for the red sox now that ellsbury has been given the CF starting job). especially since the ever-fragile JD Drew is in RF. however, brandon moss appears ready to move into that 4th OF role, and... christ, you know what, fuck it, this is getting way to goddamn long and would go on far longer if i kept at it. i'm posting what i've got now because i wrote it so goddammit you get to read it.

marquis isn't that bad, crisp isn't that good, pie is the wave of the future in cf, and pnoles smells vaguely of stale cheetos and cheap malt liquor (i heard he got it from his mom).

seacrest, out

Tonus said...

"You say I'm making this up. I say it's impossible to make up something this weird"

I think that Jay was actually referring to his column when he wrote this part.

pnoles said...

anonymous...while you made some good points, I'm still on the other side of the fence. Yes, Schilling is on the DL and Beckett is out for a short while, but even assuming Schilling doesn't throw a pitch this year, Marquis has very little use to the Red Sox. First off, believe it or not, Wakefield's projections for 2008 are rosier than Marquis's. I actually can't think of a better 5th starter in baseball than Wakefield (feel free to prove me wrong, I didn't think too hard about it). As for the bullpen/swingman role, the Red Sox have Julian Tavarez already for that, and he's doing it about as well as Marquis would. Kyle Snyder is a good low-leverage guy. Even if Boston didn't have those two guys eating innings, Marquis is a very replaceable commodity, and the Sox could easily call up Devern Hansack to do pretty much the same thing that Marquis would do.

You referenced Edwin Jackson....Edwin Jackson is the outlier and not the norm. Yeah, he had that great game against Randy Johnson and then his career went to shit, but that really doesn't happen to top prospects like Jackson very often. Buchholz is like the #2 or #3 prospect in baseball, and and it's near-certain that he'll be an above-average MLB starter this year. Lester is a less certain commodity, but he'll probably outpitch Marquis this year.

I know I didn't mention that Crisp was not the starter. I pretty much assumed everyone reading this blog knows about Tacoby Bellsbury. Brandon Moss can't handle center field, and if it was Ellsbury that couldn't play, you wouldn't see Moss starting. True, Moss is a better hitter than Crisp, but here's the deal. Crisp is an amazing defensive CF and an adequate MLB hitter. Even if he's not starting, guys like him have value as defensive replacements and pinch runners. The only thing that Marquis would do is increase the clutter of the already-crowded swingman role. And yes, if something happens to JD Drew, it'd be nice to have another option besides Brandon Moss. Trading Crisp actually would make a good bit of sense for the Red Sox, as most other teams could get more value from him than the Red Sox currently do, but receiving Marquis for him would make very little sense, as they have too many guys that can fill his potential role better or equally as good.

Chris W said...


Pnoles was pretty nice to you. But here's the facts, plain and simple--

Boston is not going to give up a player with value to them and other teams to a player who wouldn't even have value IF HE WAS WILLING TO PLAY THE POSITION APPROPRIATE TO HIM.

Marquis wants to start. He is just plain not good enough to start--not even for a lousy team. He certainly can not possibly start for the Red Sox...and that's not even harping on the NL to AL stat adjustment (which shouldn't be ignored).

Sorry anonymous...or should I say Mrs. Marquis, but Marquis is absolutely worthless and is a middle reliever at best...a AAAer at worst.

pnoles said...

Agreed with Chris W.

I feel like I left out an important part of my argument above--why Jason Marquis is a bad pitcher (as opposed to serviceable) who should not start for a contender.

Marquis's uncharacteristically good start to last season masked his shortcomings. When I look at his stat line from last year, one number really jumped out at me....his EqHR/9 was 0.9, the lowest it has ever been in a full Jason Marquis season. Marquis did outperform his typical GB/FB level last year, but not by much. Wrigley is no pitcher's haven, so what we saw last year was unsustainably good luck on how few of his fly balls left the yard. His BABIP was also a little lucky as well, at .275. Groundballers usually can sustainably achieve such feats (see Wang, Chien-Ming), but Marquis was helped by a very good defensive infield. Ramirez, DeRosa, Theriot, and Lee combined for +30 FRAA over the course of the season. That'll boost any groundballer's stats.

Finally, I get to the absolute biggest problem with Jason Marquis, his K/BB ratio. Of the 142 MLB pitchers to post at least 100 innings last year, Marquis ranked 123rd with a 1.43 K/BB ratio, wedged right in between studs like Brian Burres and Vincente Padilla. In short, Marquis' peripherals do not match up well with his ERA and WHIP from last season, and it's reasonable to conclude that he's worse than a 1.39 WHIP, 4.60 ERA pitcher. He's marginally above replacement-level, and with the high standards the Red Sox have for pitching, he wouldn't fit in. Mariotti was stupid to suggest it.

Anonymous said...

same anon as above.

for one, my argument - even if it did have merit 24 hours ago, choose either way - is certainly fucked all to hell now that Moss was sent back to the minors, so hooray for that.

other items of note:

1) just curious where you got your BABIP for Marquis - i generally use fangraphs and they have him at .280 instead of .275. different values, or simple typo? not that it particularly matters to me either way, i'm just curious if your source actually does differ from mine on that data point.

2) i'm not as sold as you are that marquis is really quite that bad... well, actually let me restate. i'm not sold that wakefield is really all that good. wakefield's '07 season was his best in fielding-independent ERA since 2003, and by a fairly sizable margin (5.23, 4.93, 4.99, 4.63 his last 4 seasons). again, the guy's 42 years old. i know knuckleballers age much better than their peers, but again, you're comparing him with a guy who's 29. i don't disagree that wake's been a very good 5th starter. though as far as better ones, off the top of my head i'd rather have the jason schmidt/youth grouping from the dodgers, though they're shockingly injury-prone as an entirety (3 or 4 of the dodgers' young arms have also had major injury issues in the minors). off topic, sorry. anyway.

3) you're probably right that the team could get more for crisp than marquis. i say probably because if teams want a fast, crappy-hitting CF the dodgers can send them juan pierre for a pile of cow dung and we'll call it even. this is, however, wishful thinking on my part. and i do think he's still expendable, though obviously less-so if the bosox are sending moss back down.

4) i was actually under the impression ground-ball pitchers had HIGHER BABIPs than not, given the same LD% as a comparable fly-ball pitcher. though grounders are easier to turn into outs than line drives, they're still more likely to go for hits than fly balls, are they not?

5) i'd still rather have pie than crisp for the next 10 seasons. possibly even just for the next 1 season. and i'd definitely rather have pie right now. i'm partial to cherry (ZOMG A JOKE ABOUT HIS NAME DID YOU SEE THAT GUYS NOBODY HAS EVER DONE THAT IN THE HISTORY OF EVER I'LL BET)

6) i am not mrs. marquis. i do, however, give him hand jobs from time to time to take the edge off when i'm not busy prancing around in my parents' basement in a suit made of the skin from the girl next door.


Andrew said...


"You referenced Edwin Jackson....Edwin Jackson is the outlier and not the norm. Yeah, he had that great game against Randy Johnson and then his career went to shit, but that really doesn't happen to top prospects like Jackson very often."

This was sarcasm, right?

Out of every 10 top prospect pitchers, I would say 3 become long term above average major league starters, and that's being generous.

Let's look at some of the top starting pitching prospects of the 90's... John Halama, Ben McDonald, Todd Van Poppel, Frankie Rodriguez, Bill Pulsipher, Paul Wilson, Kirk Saarloos, Dave Eiland, Matt Anderson, Kip Wells, Kris Benson, Jason Grilli, Matt Anderson, Jeff Weaver, Casey Daigle, Casey Fossum... I could literally go one for HOURS.

You could argue it's changed in recent years, as guys like Beckett, Kazmir, Bedard, Verlander and Sabbathia have developed into what they were heralded to be - but for each of them there are several more who DIDN'T pan out like they were supposed to. And even more guys, like Santana, Webb, Harang, Halladay, Shields and Wang who come out of nowhere to find success at the MLB level.

Nick said...

Fire Jay Mariotti.