Friday, July 08, 2005

$2.8 Million Loafer Another Reason to Stay Away From No-Name Ballpark

I’ve never been in the habit of feeling sorry for million-dollar baseball players, and I’m not about to have any sympathy for Corey Patterson, the Chicago Cubs-and-soon-to-be-Iowa Cubs centerfielder who is being paid $2.8 million a year.

The only people I feel sorry for—well, kind of sorry--are the Chicago fans, who sell out Wrigley Field every day to watch lousy baseball. At least they’ve been able to wipe away some of their frustrations by booing Patterson every time he comes to the plate this season.

Now that opportunity is gone.

Patterson has been given what may be a one-way ticket to Des Moines and Sammy Sosa is screwing things up in Baltimore, so all the Chicago faithful can do the rest of the summer is boo Dusty Baker, who doesn’t seem to have a clue about anything.

Baker, the Chicago manager, and general manager Jim Hendry evidently are tired of babysitting Patterson, who was supposed to be the best young prospect in the Cubs’ outfield [sorry, Sammy] since Lou Brock.

Now Baker and Hendry have thrown Patterson into the middle of the mess known as the Iowa Cubs—who play in a place where a beer costs $5.75 and the entire operation is terrible, from top to bottom.

Thank goodness the local team doesn’t play again until July 14. That will give the big club time to swing a trade for Patterson. You know he doesn’t want to be in Des Moines, and I don’t want him here.

You think I want to pay $4 to park so I can watch that bum go at half-speed?

There are more than enough underachievers hanging around downtown already.

Even Triple-A pitchers are smart enough to know they don’t have to throw strikes to Patterson. He’ll swing at anything, whether it’s a pitch 2 feet over his head or whether it bounces 2 feet in front of the plate.

Patterson is an undisciplined hitter who has never been willing to learn.

He loafs on the bases.

He thinks he’s a power hitter, but isn’t.

He won’t run.

He doesn’t want to lead off.

His nonchalance drives me nuts.

I say trade him to Tampa Bay or some other American League team, where the only time the fans in Chicago can boo him is when he comes to town for a three-game series at Comiskey Park.


It kind of tells you something about the players on the Iowa Cubs’ roster when the big club calls up two guys from Double-A West Tennessee to replace Patterson and leftfielder Jason Dubois.

Surely you’re excited about watching big-time baseball names Adam Greenberg and Matt Murton on WGN-TV, aren’t you?


Just goes to show you. All you see at No-Name Ballpark [Sorry about that, Sec!] in Des Moines are has-beens and never-weres.

Speaking of has-beens, I wonder how Des Moines can get along without Trenidad Hubbard?


Some people are wondering if Dusty Baker will be back for the final year of his Cubs contract in 2006. Me? I wonder if he’ll still be around by Labor Day, 2005.


Another guy I wonder about is Larry Rothschild, the big club’s pitching coach.

With Kerry Wood, Mark Prior and Greg Maddux in the dugout masquerading as Cy Young Award winners, injuries [at least to Wood and Prior] and Rothschild’s wonderful pitching lessons have turned them into flops.

I’ve never heard of a staff becoming so ordinary in such a hurry.

Where’s Leo Mazzone [the Atlanta Braves’ pitching coach] when Chicago needs him?

When Mazzone needs a young pitcher destined for a 15-3 record and a 2.10 earned-run average, he snaps his fingers and gets one from Triple-A.

No wonder the Braves let Maddux go so he could retire a Cub. They knew something.

Oh, well, Baker has his own problems.

Can Rothschild survive this horror show on the mound and in the bullpen? I doubt it.


Strange, isn’t it, that Matt Clement now has a 10-2 record for the Boston Red Sox.

This is the same Matt Clement the Cubs let get away as a free agent after the 2004 season.


The only positive thing about this sadsack baseball season is that we don’t have much longer to wait for football. Those Kirk Ferentz and Dan McCarney press conferences can’t come soon enough.

Vol. 4, No. 357
July 8, 2005