I probably don’t have to remind you that Kermit’s and my newest Facebook friend, Chicago Tribune sports “columnist” Rick Morrissey is a simplistic boob. I probably don’t have to remind you of that, because Rick takes it upon himself to remind us several times per week.
It has to be exhausting, really.
And beyond the impressive effort he puts into crafting his head-scratching nonsense is the consistency with which he produces it.
You really do have to hand it to a guy who can place himself squarely on the wrong side of any argument.
Don Quixote charged at windmills.
Rick Morrissey charges at common sense.
With similar results.
Statistics are sucking the life out of baseball.
Wait, it’s statistics that are doing that? I thought it was dopes like you who refuse to learn to apply even the most rudimentary of the so called “advanced statistics.” You know really complicated ones like on base average and slugging percentage. Ones that have only been around for 100 years.
I know this to be true because some Cubs fans are concerned Curtis Granderson struck out too many times last year. Being worried about Granderson’s strikeout total is like being worried about Gisele Bundchen’s arches.
“Some” Cubs fans are concerned that Granderson struck out too many times last year, because (this is going to blow your mind, Rick) he struck out too many times last year. He struck out 141 times in times in 160 games last year. He also struck out too many times in 2008 (111 in 141 games), in 2007 (141 times in 158 games) and especially in 2006 (he led the American league with 174 in 159 games.) It’s called a flaw, and since he’s only played four full seasons in the big leagues, it’s a flaw he hasn’t fixed.
You should be more concerned about it, and more concerned about stealing Rick Reilly’s tired act of making Gisele jokes. I’d say you’re better than that, but clearly, you’re not and never have been.
Let’s stay focused here, folks.
You’re the one doing the writing, Ricky. You focus. We know it’s not your strong point. (Nor is coherence.)
The Tigers center fielder is a wonderful baseball player, and the Cubs should pursue a trade for him with the relentlessness of a Justice Department probe.
Oh, you wanted to use a different “probe” joke there, didn’t you? And, I’m not sure he’s a “wonderful” player. He’s a good, solid, player. He’s better than anything the Cubs have had in center field for more than a few months at a time since Bobby Dernier’s blonde afro was roaming out there (hopefully, with Bob Dernier under it).
His career numbers will tell you he’s a good performer — .272 average, .344 on-base percentage and 299 RBIs in a little more than four full seasons –
Wait, are you trying to make a case FOR him or against him? Why would you use three stats that are all just average? You can shake a tree and a .270 hitter will fall out of it (and it’ll probably be Kevin Mench because that dumbass is always in the tree, and his enormous head screws with his balance). A .344 on base average isn’t much to get too giddy about. And he only averages 72 RBI per 162 games played. You know who drove in more than 72 runs last year?
Eighty-seven players drove in more than 72 runs last year. That list included immortals like Alberto Callaspo, Clint Barmes, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Marlon Byrd.
Why wouldn’t you use numbers that show what Granderson does well? For instance in his career he’s led the American League in triples twice, including a whopping 23 in 2007. He’s slugged over .500 once (excellent for a centerfielder) and better than .450 three times. He’s only been caught stealing 16 times in 83 attempts in his career. He’s considered an excellent defensive centerfielder.
But thanks for the batting average, on base average and RBI. And I’ll give you a dollar if you can explain how to calculate on base average without having an intern look it up for you.
– but they won’t tell you the whole story. The numbers won’t tell you he’s the self-effacing leader others pretend to be.
The numbers you gave us won’t even tell you part of the story. But I disagree because Chuck Wasserstrom of our very own Cubs has come up with a metric to calculate the intangibles that horrible hack columnists like you love so much.
It’s a metric that measures Terrificness + Hustle x Enthusiasm/Relentlessness + Intangible-goodyness + Outstandingness divided by Try-hardy-ness. And there’s some cosine and tangent stuff in there that I never understood. It’s science!
And as you would expect, Granderson scores really high on the THERIOT scale. My god, if he would just grow his hair out so he could part it in the middle and feather it on the sides, Curtis Granderson might become the grittiest goddamned player in the history of baseball. Tell us more, Rick! Tell us!
The numbers will have something to say about his ability as an outfielder, but they will come up short in terms of eloquence.
Oh, great stuff! Wait, what? Eloquence? Who are the Cubs trying to trade for, Curtis Granderson or Longfellow? Your obsession with how good a grown man in with his tongue just took this column some place we don’t want to go. Hike your khakis back up and continue your lackluster column writing.
And there’s not an on-field statistic that reflects how popular the charismatic Granderson is with teammates and fans.
Goddamnit. I just explained Wasserstrom’s THERIOT formula, didn’t I? Wait, you’re right. Wasserstrom forgot charisma! That dope. He’s going to have to go back to the drawing board. It might take some time. He was this close the other day to coming up with a way to measure what kind of impact Canadian knock-knock jokes have on improving the morale of a clubhouse. He and Ryan Dempster have been putting in lots of overtime working on that. They’re close. Close, I tell you!
He’s the local kid made good — from Thornton Fractional South to Illinois-Chicago to the Tigers.
Wait, he’s local? Well, they must get him, then. That never goes bad. Does it Todd Hundley?
Todd, where were you? Were you in the kitchen? What’s in your hand?
No, I don’t know how much alcohol there is in window cleaner, why do you ask?
And now, after a disappointing season, the Tigers are in dump-salary mode and might be willing to trade the 28-year-old.
Did you notice that the Tigers disappointing season included three more wins than the Cubs had? And that if their 28 year old center fielder hadn’t seen drops of 31 points to his batting average, 38 points to his on base average and 78 points to his slugging average from the year before, they might have won that one extra game they needed to actually make the playoffs?
I’m not even going to go into Granderson’s stats against lefthanded batters, just know that if I did I would include the words “helpless”, “baby seal” and “fucking embarrassing.”
If you’re the Cubs, who have thrown good money after bad on the likes of Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley the past several years, you should jump at the opportunity to acquire Granderson, who will make “only” $5.5 million next season.
Oh, no. Rick. Really? They don’t pay you for this do they? Because if they do, the Tribune wasted a lot less money the last few years on Alfonso Soriano and last year on Milton Bradley than they are on you.
Never mind that Soriano has a higher career batting average, slugging average and OPS than Granderson, or that he averages 11 more homers and 21 more RBI (oh and 15 more stolen bases) than Curtis.
Also, never mind that Bradley hasn’t posted a single season on base average less than Granderson’s career average since 2003.
Sure, Milton’s a complete turd, and Soriano is starting to careen down the back side of his career, but facts are, that an injured Soriano was on pace to pretty closely duplicate the 2009 numbers of your boyfriend.
So if your argument is “the Cubs love to waste money on outfielders, why not waste it on a nice one?” Go find another argument. (Hint, hint, there are a lot of good ones about why getting Granderson would be an excellent move for the Cubs. You haven’t found one yet.)
If you’re looking for talent to go with effort, he’s your guy.
Oh boy. Here we go again.
“He’s always trying to make himself a better player, and he rarely makes the same mistake twice,”UIC coach Mike Dee said. “If he has a fault, sometimes he will work himself to death. He’s the ultimate grinder when it comes to doing the right thing and preparing properly.”
Apparently rarely is 141 times. And it was 174 times in 2006.
For the Cubs, the cost of doing business with the Tigers could be putative closer Carlos Marmol and minor league shortstop Starlin Castro, whose abilities have taken on mythical proportions the last few months. How those particular names have come to be linked to a possible Granderson deal is unclear, but who are we to get in the way of a good trade rumor?
Never mind the fact that since Marmol served as the closer at the end of the season and went 11-11 in save chances in August and September you can probably cram that “putative” up your pooper.
And I love that the investigative journalist in you wonders why Marmol and Castro’s names came up as possible trade targets of the Tigers and your effort to find out is comprised entirely of you throwing up both hands and going “Huh?” Nice work.
The mere mention of Marmol and Castro has caused an uproar among some of the Cubs faithful. They must be forgetting Marmol at times has been a can’t-bear-to-look horror flick on the mound and that the 19-year-old Castro hasn’t played more than 31 games above Class A.
You mean some Cubs fans don’t think it’s a great idea to trade a low-cost closer (when no other option exists on the team’s current roster) and a 19 year old who has already advanced to AA? What is wrong with these people? This is Curtis Granderson we are talking about! He went to UIC! Apparently they have a baseball team! He loves puppies and ice cream! He once helped an old woman brush the snow off of her car! For shame! Give the Tigers whatever they want! Who needs E-ramis Ramirez? He’s a punk. He wears sunglasses when he bats. Give him to Detroit, too.
There are very few can’t-miss prospects, especially ones who are 19. It would be silly to allow a kid who has shined in the Arizona Fall League to get in the way of acquiring Granderson. How many times have Cubs fans been told about a sure thing coming up through the minors?
I would think every can’t miss prospect has been 19 at some point. And it would be silly to trade a player you think can fill one of the hardest positions on the field for an outfielder who will be 29 when the season starts, who is entering the expensive part of his career, and who needs to be platooned because he can’t hit lefties.
And arguing that every Cubs prospect sucks so they should all be traded isn’t really an argument. Well, it is an argument. One made by idiots.
Don’t make me bring up Felix Pie.
Cue the Yakety Sax music.
Felix is an ancient 24 years old. And last year was the first time he was given extensive playing time.
Here were his numbers for the second half of 2009.
.290 BA, .346 OBA, .497 SLG, .842 OPS, 7 HR, 21 RBI
Here were Curtis Granderson’s second half numbers last year.
.243, .314, .455, .769, 12, 28.
Felix isn’t that good. But he was better than Granderson once he got to play last year.
I forget again, Rick. Are you arguing for or against a trade?
If you’re not willing to part company with Marmol, how about other prospects in addition to Castro? How about Josh Vitters?
You need to be kicked right in the ass. You want to include the Cubs other 19 year old prospect on the left side of the infield. Why do you hate the Cubs? Why do you hate our brains? Why must you torment us all?
Granderson did not have a great season this year, but here’s betting it was an aberration.
Hah, here we go! Rick’s going to turn it around and use some stats to show how Granderson’s big drops in average, on base and slugging were all a one-time deal! I’m ready!
If you’re concerned about his low numbers against left-handed pitching, give him a rest against lefties. If you’re scared of Granderson’s 141 strikeouts last season, there’s no law that says he has to bat leadoff. But he’s certainly not the worst option there. And it probably would help if managers and coaches stopped trying to make him into a power hitter. Just let him do what he does best.
On and off the field.
That is your argument?
Don’t play him against lefties!
Bat him someplace where it won’t really matter if he strikes out?
But don’t make him a power hitter? Who tried to do that? Do you really think Jim Leyland walked up to Curtis and said, “Screw trying to get on base, just try to hit balls out of our enormous friggin’ ballpark. Then go pound some Budweisers!”
The fact that Granderson’s 2009 drop offs mirrored similar drop offs from 2007 to 2008 aren’t the reason you can’t come up with a real argument here, are they, Rick?
Oh, who am I kidding? You didn’t even notice.
“They didn’t have a table big enough for everybody,” Dee said. “They put the kids at one table and they put the adults at another. We all sat down, and I looked to my left and I looked to my right to ask Curtis a question. He wasn’t sitting with us. He decided he was going to sit with the kids because he knew that was a big deal to them. I’ll never forget that. I was amazed he would do that on his own.”
When Granderson was a rookie with the Tigers, Dee called to ask if he wanted to meet for lunch in Milwaukee before a Tigers-Brewers game. The UIC coach has four nephews who idolize Granderson. So Dee, his two brothers, his two sisters-in-law and the four kids got together with the young Tiger at a restaurant.
Oh, well, that changes everything. He sat with some kids!
Maybe he just didn’t want to talk to his old college baseball coach, because he was tired of having to explain why he strikes out all the time?
If the Ricketts family wants to make a splash — and why wouldn’t it? — here’s a perfect opportunity. Granderson is a talent who cares. He does a lot of community work. He even has a new children’s book out. What’s there not to like?
You know how the Rickettses can make a splash? By winning some baseball games. And by not trading away their best prospects for a good, but not great, player who could very well have already peaked. And, who is owed almost $24 million over the next three seasons.
But hey, he wrote a children’s book!
Why didn’t you say so? Talk about burying the lede.
What’s there to lose that hasn’t been lost 101 times before?
I don’t know, maybe a shortstop? (One, who, by the way, has struck out fewer times in almost 1,000 career plate appearances (110), than Granderson did in 2008.)
And we wonder why newspapers are dying. Honest to god, this isn’t even one of Morrissey’s worst columns. This one was almost coherent compared to most of them.
I’ll say it again. Curtis Granderson is a nice player, but his value–given his age, his production decline, and his growing salary–do not warrant trading a top prospect for him. But chances are nobody’s going to trade a top prospect for him. Which means, if the Tigers still want to trade him, they’ll have to take less than a top prospect. That’s how this crap works.
I’m glad he’s a great guy. I’ve always been impressed by him when I’ve seen him interviewed. That might qualify him to replace Bob Brenly some day on the TV broadcasts, but it does squat for helping him at the plate.