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:
THEY MADE THE CUBS BELIEVE THAT CRUSTY-OLD-SCHOOL-GRINDER-LIL’-BALL IS WHAT WINS YOU A WORLD SERIES.
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.