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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
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5) discussing politics
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Taking a Bite out of Crime Dog
2003-02-13 11:46
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Wow. Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, writing for ESPN.com, really laid into Fred McGriff today. I think it actually surpasses some of the worst things IÕve written about Eric Karros.

Though I hardly think McGriff will send the Dodgers into October, RogersÕ piece smashes past rational analysis into irrational diatribe.

Having watched McGriff play for the local Cubs since they acquired him during the 2001 pennant drive, Rogers writes:

It seemed an ideal situation to add a proven run-producer like McGriff, who came to Chicago on July 29, with the Cubs 3Z games ahead of Houston and 7Z ahead of St. Louis. But it turned out to be a zero-sum move.

McGriff put up numbers, but the Cubs sunk to third in the Central, going 28-31 after the deal. That formula was followed again in '02.

McGriff, who will be 39 when he reports to Dodgertown, hit 42 home runs and drove in 144 runs in his 195 games with the Cubs. Yet the team that had a .583 winning percentage when he arrived played .430 baseball with him on the roster.

This follows four seasons when he was The Man for the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays, willing them to a 235-354 record. That's a personal .407 winning percentage for the last five years. This is a one-man tribute to the Cleveland Spiders.

ItÕs odd enough to attribute the CubsÕ 2001-2002 downfall so single-mindedly to McGriff, especially when the only numbers you cite are positive ones. (ItÕs not that negative ones canÕt be found, so why not bring them in?)

But to pin McGriff with the cringeworthy seasons of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, an organization teeming in rotten players and management, is downright obtuse. And again, Rogers provides no numbers to back up this assessment.

This was more than a critical article. This was a mean article. Whether or not Rogers has a personal axe to grind against McGriff, his article reeks of it. Whatever his motives, I would think Rogers would at least want to avoid that appearance. But either he doesn't care, or he doesn't get it.

***

Rob NeyerÕs Hot Stove Heater on the Dodgers, on the other hand, was on the money. I particularly love his point that everyone feared that when Fox bought the Dodgers, the Dodgers would spend their way to pennant after pennant - but no one imagined they could spend their money so foolishly.

My biggest disagreement with the Neyer article Š and itÕs really minor Š is he suggests that when the inevitable injury strikes one of the Dodgers position players, like McGriff or Brian Jordan, no one on the bench will be good enough to fill in.

I agree that the bench is lousy, but I donÕt know that McGriff and Jordan are so much better that they canÕt be covered for a decent stretch. I think that along as Shawn Green stays healthy, the Dodger offense will be what it is no matter what Š pretty damn mediocre. Only if Green were to be hurt would a true collapse occur.

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