Phil Rogers has an early Christmas present for the White Sox:
A column that will enable their inferiority complex.
The gist of the piece is that the Cubs jacked up the current free agent market to levels the poor, poor White Sox can’t possibly hope to match. That, Rogers explains, caused Kenny Williams to unload Freddy Garcia to the Phillies and resign himself to Joe Crede’s likely departure in two years, assuming the team doesn’t move him sooner.
All in all, not a bad column, though this passage was enough to put me off my lunch:
"Andy MacPhail, the long-time Cubs club president, and manager Dusty Baker were fired at the end of a 66-96 season. John McDonough, the marketing genius promoted to interim club president, did what MacPhail never had, persuading his bosses to spend heavily in the free-agent market."
The idea that John “I Know What I Don’t Know” McDonough could persuade the big boys in the Tower to cough up a quarter of a billion dollars on Ramirez, Soriano, DeRosa, Lilly, Marquis, et al, is laughable.
Here’s what John McDonough knows: how to run a Cub Fan Convention, how to dress a Cubby Bear Beanie Baby, who should sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” on ‘70s Night, and how much of Wrigley Field’s carcass he could carve up with commercial signage before the fans screamed, “No more!”
What insight or credibility could McDonough possibly have brought to a debate with Tribune Company bosses on the value of heavy investing in the free agent market?
The reason for the Cubs’ free-spending ways will become apparent one day, perhaps at the end of the ’07 season, when Tribune Company is finally ready to sell the team and, the company must hope, cash in on its first World Series appearance in three generations.
But rest assured, the reason for the spending has NOTHING to do with who's sitting in the Interim President's chair.