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Chicago Tribune Takes Izturis Propaganda Too Far

As you probably know, the Tribune Company owns both a Chicago newspaper and the Cubs.  Sometimes, this conflict of interest gets out of hand.  A perfect example would be today's analysis of the Cubs' acquisition of Cesar Izturis.  Let's break down the work of the three guilty sportswriters (their writing in bold).

Phil Rogers: In Izturis, the Cubs have landed themselves an excellent all-around player.

Shouldn't an all-around player not be among the worst hitters in baseball?

He won a Gold Glove in 2004 and began '05 as one of baseball's best hitters, collecting 75 hits through May—the first Dodger to do that in the era of divisional play.

This is the first of several times the sportswriters mention Izturis's good two months among the 2364 at-bats of his career as a sign that he can hit.  How selective is that stat?  How about the rest of 2005, when Izturis hit .173/.218/.222?

Mike Downey: A year ago or so, Izturis looked like the best shortstop in the National League, period.

This is misleading, since the NL didn't have much shortstop depth in 2005.  Still, what about Felipe Lopez, Rafael Furcal, and Jimmy Rollins?

Dave van Dyck: But all of them predict he will be a perfect No. 2 hitter behind Juan Pierre.

What makes a good No. 2 hitter?  Probably the ability to get on base in front of the big guys, right?  Izturis has a truly awful career OBP of .295.  That's worse than Neifi Perez, for those scoring at home.  This guy is a professional outmaker.  But hey, at least he makes good contact.  Just like Neifi and Placido Polanco.  Truth is, the words "on-base percentage" are never uttered in today's Tribune in reference to Izturis.  In fact, they left it out of his career stats.

Somebody needs to start a petition or something to get the Cubs to acknowledge on-base percentage.  This is no longer some stat-nerd movement.  This is a fairly obvious problem that even the casual fan understands.  The Cubs' team OBP of .319 is by far the worst in the league.  The Cubs could actually field a lineup soon featuring Izturis (.302), Ronny Cedeno (.280), Jacque Jones (.315), Juan Pierre (.323), and Phil Nevin (.309).  That has to be some sort of record.  Maybe Neifi can get in the lineup at third base.  Somebody get Jeff Francoeur and Angel Berroa on the phone - history is being made!

CubDumb said it best:

"What the Sox and their fans can really enjoy is the greatest baseball con ever executed in this city:


What they saw was a justification to keep running the organization the way they always had: Collecting and developing speed, for instance. And ignoring, or quite possibly holding in contempt, the ability to get walked."

As a lifelong Cubs fan, I can honestly say that I hate this team. 


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You should have posted more of Phil Rogers propaganda... It was totally hilarious. He goes on to call this the best deadline deal of any team

Yeah...Rogers had a lot of ridiculous stuff in there.

lifelong fan...whatever. A real fan never hates their team. Get frustrated by the lack of production in terms of wins? Sure. But hate them? No.
Take Rich Hill for instance, starting tonight against the D-Backs. He's been awful this year, everyone knows it. But instead of sitting here talking about how much I "hate" him, I'm watching the game and pulling for him to do well, cause he's on my team and I want everyone on my team to do well.

I'm just saying...ignore the friggin numbers and just sit back and root for your team to do well every once in awhile.

Here's the choice bits you didn't have

All from Phil Rogers

"credit the deal making skills of Jim Hendry for bringing the Cubs the best return of any of baseball's sellers at the deadline for waiver-free trades"

"When the weekend's flurry of trades ended on Monday, no one had done a better job getting a return on his investment than Hendry, who struck a major blow for the Cubs uncertain future by landing Itzuris"

This guy is the kiss-ass of the Year. I hope he got his raise he was wanting

I don't agree with that at all. While I'm faithful to the Cubs and I desperately want them to win, I hate this collection of players and management. No one wants Rich Hill to succeed more than me. Hill is one of my favorite players. Criticizing them does not mean I want them to fail. Too many Cubs fans either love everything they do or just shrug when they do stupid stuff. Why don't we deserve a team run by smart people that has a chance to win?

The Cubs management is even dumber than you can imagine. being a fan and seeing it from the outside is bad enough. Try seeing it sorta from the inside. I used to work for the Peoria Chiefs. But I quit 4 months into this 2nd run with the Cubs

If I'm a cub fan (thank god Im not) I want to see Rich Hill in the bullpen where he belongs.

RotoAuth- This is a good job of calling out the bullshit newspaper media forcefeeding the fans with propaganda.

Rogers forgets to mention that the cubs sent over 2mil with Maddux, and Iztuis makes 3mil next year, so you are paying 5mil for this guy next year. A fair deal? Yes. The steal of the deadline??? Not hardly.

steal of the deadline how about abreu and lidle for a couple low level prospects and a 27 year old reliever.


CJ Henry is hardly a low level prospect. He's just very raw and may or may not develop. He's the typical High risk, high reward prospect

Usually the word 'steal' doesn't include a 20+ million dollar expenditure, Kyle.

"Why don't we deserve a team run by smart people that has a chance to win?"

[insert Mets management crack]

Tim, they'd do better if you were working for them.

oh, dholzer, ya gotta understand. it is *so* possible to hate your fave team. I grew up with the 70s and 80s stros, and they are some of the worst teams in baseball history. did I hate them? hail yeah!

but it is still possible to stay dedicated at the same time. you cannot blame a franchise for the stupdity of the manager (and gm and ownership and...jeebus, how can anybody root for the cubs?!? Even harry is dead! this team is freaking horrible!).

errr, jeez, this post made me so depressed, I even hate the stros again.

You have no right BFD. You were in the Series last year! I would probably quit my job if the Cubs made the Series.

roto, you're worse than my wife! (you have no right. you can't do that. blah blah blah.)


PS: props to you (and the rest) for the deadline coverage.

I think that we completely deserve a winning team, and of course I am totally disappointed in what's happened this year. But as far as I can see, the Cubs are still giving their all, and I respect that effort, even when you know your season is effectively over.

That said, like any Cubs fan, I absolutely dread Glendon Rusch coming into a game, Neifi at the plate, Jacque in the field.

But there are a few building blocks...Murton, Barrett, Lee, Ramirez..

I'm a big fan of Murton...if he can find a little more power and put up 20 HR a year, he would be a nice little 2 hole hitter.

By the way, nifty little performance by Hill with the wind blowing out at Wrigley...on the same level, props to Barrett for getting out there and calming him down when he needed it.

The Tribune did go overboard today. Phil rogers is an absolute clown. But, how can anyone involved with this website get on anyone else's case for printing propaganda?

"But, how can anyone involved with this website get on anyone else's case for printing propaganda?"

Surely you aren't comparing a RUMOR MILL to a MAJOR NEWSPAPER where such claims may be construed by the lay public as fact?

And another thing... nobody REALLY cares if Roto is wrong. We brush it off. But for a baseball team to be so willfully disingenuous and/or ignorant doesn't only hurt the fans, it damages the team. If they actually convince themselves of the tripe they write, it could damage the team for years.

Lets just hope this REALLY IS PROPAGANDA.

Speaking of Rich Hill...yyyyyyyyyeaaaaaaah.

Cub fans:

If you want your team to win, stop going to games for a while. Then, ownership won't be so worried about pissing off fans that they hold on to:

Pierre (maybe)

blow it up, and start over. just look at the marlins.

ok i totally see you're point with the whole propaganda, but calling this a bad trade is also dumb. we, in this city, need to stop looking at the offensive side of things. there is no doubt that Izturis can catch the ball (Gold Glove) and make all the throws, Tommy John surgery or not. That's the thing that the Sox had, not the scrappy run scoring. So if he keeps up his .980 fielding percentage, his 4.40 range factor, then there is no reason for the Cubs to complain. One of the acquisitions that the Cubs didn't make was Rafael Furcal, who makes 13 million. For 3.2 million (even 5.2 with maddux's money), we get a gold glove short stop, who runs well, plays hard, and wont hurt the team. Furcal may have a little more pop, and better speed and a high OBP, its not a bad move.

What would Maddux give us for the next two months? A everyday chat with Rich Hill, Sean Marshall, Angel Guzman, Carlos Marmol and Jae Kuk Ryu? I see two of those having jobs next year, with the cubs spending on a few arms.

We now have people that catch the ball up the middle, an athletic, rangy middle infield. Combine that with Derrek Lee and Ramirez (look at his stats, awesome progress) and you have a great defense for wrigley field. We're going to hit next year with Ramirez, Lee, Barrett, Jones, Murton, so taking some offense away for Izturis is the right move here. Not the steal of the year, but hats off to Jim Hendry, another good move.

"with the cubs spending on a few arms."

good luck picking up the scraps.

Also, I feel I should mention my thouhts on Izturis, since that is the subject of the thread. Izturis can't hit... AT ALL. His GG defense won't be able to make up for that deficiency. He's only had one year that might be considered just sub par, and that was in 2004, when he put up a convenient .711 OPS.

Then again, I'm not sure what Maddux could have brought back in a trade, but you'd think you'd be able to secure someone comparable to Nuke LaLuche without Annie Savoy's underwear.

Love it how Paul Sullivan doesnt succumb to the pressures the higher-ups besiege on the Trib writers. While these pussies nod their heads and submit "newspaper columns," Sullivan gets into screaming matches with Hendry and MacFail when they try to tell him he's being "too critical".

While I have zero use for Guzman or Ryu, I think that Marshall and Marmol have had some good moments this year, and if you look at the numbers, haven't really thrown the ball any worse than Maddux did, especially the last couple of months of Maddux.

Prior throwing almost 6 no hit innings against the Mets last week was an encouraging sign that he could possibly get back to somewhere close to what he was. Even Hill had a good outing tonight.

Hill strikes me as a guy who has been striking out a ton of Triple A guys basically on his curve, and when he's been in the majors, he's trying too hard to reproduce the K numbers of the minors, and by doing that, gets behind on hitters and gets burned. If you noticed tonight, everytime he started trying to strike everyone out, Barrett kept going out and telling him to just throw strikes and challenge hitters. Maybe all Hill needs is for Barrett to beat that into his head for awhile and he'll be fine. Optimistic, i know, but hey, i'm looking for the small victories at this point.

Izturis is actually, given his astounding glovework, adequate at SS. The problem is putting his statistical clones at 2B, 1B (without Lee), and the OF, where defense counts for far less.

That's what I'm sayin...I still think the importance of Lee missing is still being underrated. Imagine either Ortiz or Ramirez going down for basically the whole season for Boston. Boston goes from title contender to a distant 3rd in their own division. And that's not even thinking about Lee's glove. Not that the Cubs were going to the playoffs with Lee healthy, but not this bad. Just a devastating injury.

Can someone plz purge the Cubs management from top to bottom? they are almost as much of a disgrace to baseball as the Pirates these days. and while both are stupid, the Cubs are wasting more money while being stupid

>Chicago Tribune Takes Izturis Propaganda Too Far

Seems to me there's a critical question not being asked here:

What did the Sun-Times writers have to say on all of this?

If they also had positive things to say, then perhaps the conclusion is that Chicago sportswriters are morons, not Cub lackeys.

Not sure there, though the Daily Southtown was much more objective on Izturis's abilities from what I read.

ok ok ok....

The cubs management is bad. But the PIRATES management is HORRIBLE!!!

Its not even fair to compare the two teams because while the cubs are having probelms winning, the pirates are a LAUGHING STOCK. There trading deadline moves MAKE NO SENCE.

The cardinals tried to get Craig Wilson and Dave Lichtifeld insisted on Anthony Reyes. That is a joke.

Then that idoit trades him for Chacon. Pisses me right off, he could have at least got a B+ prospect from the cardinals, what a dumbass.

Oh, its fair to compare them, and not hard to say that the Cubs are more of a laughing stock with their high payroll and pitiful performance.

Stop packing Wrigley and force change.

a new owner and some front office changes is all we cubbies need


"we, in this city, need to stop looking at the offensive side of things."

Dude, the Cubs whole problem is that they can't get on base or score runs. They are in last or near last in every offensive category. Pitching and defense are irrelevant if you can't score enough to win regardless.

"We're going to hit next year with Ramirez, Lee, Barrett, Jones, Murton, so taking some offense away for Izturis is the right move here."

Just like you are hitting with Ramirez, Lee, Barrett, Jones, Murton this year? Seriously, this team has major flaws, and the only real guys worth keeping are Lee, Ramirez, Barrett, Zambrano. Other than that, everyone is underperforming or overrated.

Sorry, not trying to pick on Cubs fans or you personally, but I couldn't let these two statements go. The Cubs can't afford to continue to be optimistic and hope for career years out of all their players. They need to get guys that have proven they can do it.

They need to start by reviewing a little stat called OBP.

Roofacius (California): Steven, What are your thoughts about the Maddux-Izturis deal? I don't understand it from the Cubs standpoint as they have Ronny Cedeno who is a promising young short stop. Was this a good move for both teams?

SportsNation Steve Phillips: I like the deal for the Cubs, a lot. I like Izturis as a player and I think for an aging Greg Maddux, it was a great return to bring back a former Gold Glove SS. My guess is they'll play Izturis at second in the future. I think it's a move in the right direction for the Cubs as they move to the future. Maddux hasn't been very good after his extraordinary month of April. Overall, I think they have to be pleased with getting Izturis back.

You can bet that if Steve Phillips ever gets a GM job again.. he's going to be a Cubs GM ;)... he he'll keep the Cubs going in the current direction....

The other teams should all dump their scrappy scrubs to the Cubs and get some good prospects in return.

wait...are you telling me Izturis won't hit 30 home runs? But seriously, Izturis is a DECENT player and i think hes going to be part of the new look cubs--all speed, some defense, and no offense! (ronny cedeno, neifi perez, juan pierre...felix pie????)

I think getting Izturis was a good move for the Cubs. Maddux was not going to help the team this year and had pitched very poorly recently. In terms of Izturis the Cubs can see if he works out at short like he did when he was gold glove shortstop. If he doesn't he's gone, but you should take this last two months of the year as an experimentation time. The biggest mistake the Cubs did was not fire Baker at least a month or so ago.

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