• Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor l...

A year ago, when the Chicago White Sox became World Series Champions, the Chicago Sun-Times decided to fire* their columnist Jay Marriotti, but, to the surprise of everyone in the moribund newspaper industry, they decided against finding a replacement, and, what’s worse, they continued to print their paper with a broad white space in lieu of Mariotti’s column. Prompting many concerned readers to write letters to the editor.suntimes.com

Here’s a sample letter that, for reasons unbeknownst to us, was delivered to the UmpBump front desk:

Dear editors at the ST

While I applaud you for eliminating a certain ass out of your columnists lineup, I can’t stand to watch as you continue to print your fine paper with all that blank space. I’m sure your advertising coordinator, or your marketing manager, or someone with half a gram of decency working for your fine publication, realizes that printing empty space on a newspaper is bad business.

I, along with many Chicagoans, grew tired of Mr. Mariotti’s constant clamoring for attention with his loud-mouthed remarks on that ESPN show. Having him sit there in front of a watermarked glass, bearing your logo, was not a connection many in the industry thought wise.

Moreover, his columns were quite puzzling to most of us. One day he’s spewing more vermin than Mr. Vader himself, Dick Cheney, then he goes all felatio on them (even though he insists he’s no homosexual).

We all know how bad of a shape your industry is in, people just don’t read newspapers anymore, and though I have my own opinions as to why that is, having an ass for a columnist is not necessarily good for business.

Ever considered that his stench might rub off on the paper you put out every day?

Again, I congratulate you on your decision to rid your pages of Jay “i’m no fag” Mariotti, but I implore you to find a proper replacement. Especially one that doesn’t lift quotes from his own paper / rival papers, one that actually takes the time to visit the clubhouse of the team he criticizes, and one that does not beat a dead horse when it’s down. Or lay claim to having been there all along, even though people know otherwise.

Sincerely,

Dick Daley

Chicago, Ill.

*For all you fine people not familiar with these here Internets, you might come across insightful features like these, which are obviously satirical in nature, they, of course, should not be considered factual. Except for the ass part.

No Responses to “An Open Letter to the Sun-Times”

  1. Coley, I disagree with your optimism. And here’s why:

    A 33-year old rookie catcher is not a good thing. There’s a reason why it took him so long to get to the bigs. If you want to find a candidate for most overachieving player, look no further than Chris Coste. I’ll bet he bats no better than .250 next year and will be out of baseball in two years.

    You severely overrate Aaron Rowand. Very good defensive centerfielder, no doubt. Offensively? Let’s put it this way. For the last two years, he’s batting .267, OBP of .326, slugging .414 for an OPS of .740. As a reference, people who have had a higher OPS than Aaron Rowand in that span (with at least 800 at-bats) – Scott Hatteberg, Mark Grudzielanek, Jason Michaels, Jeff Conine, Kenny Lofton, Greg Zaun, Kevin Millar, and Tony Graffanino. Abraham Nunez at 3rd? OPS of .650 over the last two years.

    And why do you guys hate Pat Burrell so much? Have you not learned from Bobby Abreu? Sure, neither of these guys are franchise players, but they never should have been considered as such to begin with. That’s not their fault. If Abreu hadn’t been dumped for no good reason, you would have had the two most patient hitters in all of baseball. Abreu leads the majors in most pitches seen per at-bat. You know where Burrell is? Fifth. That’s two of the top-five. You’ve already dumped one. Now you’re dumping the other.
    For all the talk about Pat Burrell and his crapiness, the guy’s on pace to hit 28 homers and 97 RBIs. Why are people advocating benching him? How many guys in the league put up these numbers? Right now, only 35 other guys have as many homers and RBIs as Burrell does. He’s 34th in OBP, one place behind NL leader in batting average, Freddy Sanchez, and one place ahead of golden boy David Wright. He’s 4th on the Phillies in Win Shares. Does he really belong on the bench? Imagine having Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu, with their patience and OBP, hitting in front of Ryan Howard. That scares me a lot more than Utley-Howard-Dellucci. Why wasn’t the batting order Rollins-Abreu-Burrell-Howard-Utley? That’s one of the best 1-5 orders I’ve seen this year.

    And why do Philly fans continually accuse people of being “un-clutch”? From 2002-2005, Pat Burrell had an OPS of .848 with runners in scoring position. That’s better than what he’s put up overall. With 2-outs and a RISP? OPS of 1.019. That’s an Albert Pujols number. Yes, it’s true that his numbers with runners in scoring position aren’t good this year. But you know which of his numbers are? His overall performance with runners on base. OBP of .404, slugging .511 for an OPS of .915. That’s far more than solid. Why isn’t it considered clutch when he rips a double scoring a runner who was on first? Why is that considered less important than hitting a single with a runner on second? And even if he only hits a single with a runner on first, is it his fault that the guy behind him can’t drive him in? Isn’t that the organization’s responsibility to find someone who could? Philly media ripped (unjustifiably) Abreu for the same thing, when it wasn’t true. And it’s not true here, either. It’s selective criticism. Both Abreu and Burrell are fine. They’re not top-ten hitter material, so they’re not going to perform “in the clutch” like they are top-ten. Is that so wrong?

    On a side note, you’d really rather have Moises Alou than Pat Burrell? They pretty much produce at the same level, except that Alou is forty. I don’t see how this is an upgrade. Looking at the list of potential free-agent corner outfielders, the only ones I’d rather have over Burrell are Alfonso “don’t call me Alphonso” Soriano, Carlos Lee, and Jermaine Dye.

  2. Whoah, Paul, I never advocated that the phils should deal Burrell. I just stated the opinion that they probably will. Why will they? First, he has almost completely worn out his welcome with the fans, justly or not. Second, he has chronic problems with his wrist and foot and most baseball people think he would be better off as a DH. Third, while his numbers this season have been pretty good, his numbers in the second half of the season have been abissmal. Why would I rather have Alou? Only one reason: he’d make about half of what Burrell does and the extra cap room might give the Phils the flexibility to upgrade at catcher or 3B.

    You’re right about Chris Coste. He is too old to count on. But John Ruiz, the team’s other catcher, has also been good this season. Of course, I wouldn’t mind if the Phils traded for a better catcher, but I’m not sure who’s available or what we have to trade.

  3. I just looked at Burell’s stats since August 1st.

    Batting Average: .240
    On-Base Percentage: .379
    Slugging Percentage: .426
    On-Base Plus Slugging: .805

    It’s true. It’s certainly not great. You’d expect more pop out of Burrell. But the OBP is still there, and his batting average isn’t so out of the ordinary for him. Moreover, his OPS, even during his supposedly abysmal period, is still better than those of Jimmy Rollins, Jeff Conine, Shane Victorino, Abraham Nunez and Aaron Rowand throughout the year. So seriously, why is he benched? I just feel like Philly’s ire is pointed in the wrong direction. Does Pat Gillick get lambasted? What about David Montgomery? Help me out here.

    Do you think ownership would actually use the money saved if they trade Burrell? Or will they pocket it?

    And I don’t think you can blame Burrell for his contract. It’s not his fault the organization offered so much. Wouldn’t you have taken the deal?

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