Puddle Jumping: Writing Revolution, a Prediction and Pujols Thoughts


One of the greatest things to come out of the online sports-writing/blogging movement* is the ability for so many talented “non-mainstream” writers to publicly react to the works of the more established media.

*I pondered revolution but that seemed a bit too strong and presumptuous. I kicked around a number of other words but nothing fits. FanSided, SB Nation and countless independent blogs/sites are churning out quality insightful content, but it lacks a proper definition in and of itself.

Anyway to Mitch Albom I say get used to the new reality.

It wasn’t all that long ago that Albom could write something like he did about Cabrera and it would have gone largely uncriticized. Sure, many would have read it. Many would have swallowed the elixir he was selling as truth and go about their daily lives. If any reader did take the time to think about his stance and come to the conclusion that Albom took some liberties with the facts, they still likely would have shrugged their shoulders and gone on with their daily lives. Maybe, just maybe, an impassioned reader would have taken the time to write a letter to the editor. Maybe that letter would have landed on the back pages of a future edition of the daily paper.

Then again maybe not.

Thankfully it doesn’t work that way anymore. Thankfully we live in a world where shoddy journalism and faulty logic can, and does, get publicly called out and reacted to in an immediate and well-thought out fashion.

I thought John’s article was brilliantly written and his feelings well-presented, but as his peer and friend I’m more than a little biased. Fortunately some less-biased readers reacted to what John had to say. One of those was “Rogo” who left the following:

Blogs have gotten the reputation from the mainstream media over the years of jumping the gun and not reporting facts.

The coverage of the Cabrera situation has proven that it is the exact opposite nowadays, at least in this situation. The media has been disgusting throughout this with blogs being the only voice of reason.

All of this comes on the heels of Rob Neyer’s departure from ESPN to join SB Nation where he referenced the “us versus them” mentality that he got tired of at the media giant.

We know that some of our writers are every bit as talented and knowledgeable as anyone you’ll find working for newspapers or the Big Boy websites.

The “our” in that statement of course refers to some of the writers under the SB Nation umbrella but there is no doubt in my mind that our own John Parent (and many other writers who are a part of the FanSided Sports Network) fall into that same category.

The shift in how the public gets information about their favorite teams – or any topic of interest – continues to evolve. In a lot of ways it parallels the scouting versus stats argument. It gets portrayed as old school versus new school, but just as it is in the scouting/sabermetrics debate, you need both to get the most complete picture. I think the “blogs” get that. Some members of the mainstream media get it too, but the majority of them don’t. Paid or unpaid, we are all writers. It should be a case where it’s not us and them, but rather a case where it is an all-inclusive “we.”

For now we continue to exist as the “them.” We are the underdogs. We are David facing Goliath. Most of us don’t want it to be a case of “us versus them,” but it is what it is. At least for now. We’re not going anywhere and change .. well … that remains a constant.

We don’t all have to agree, but we should all present facts as facts and opinions as opinion. We should all hold our work to a high standard (as high as each of us are capable of). When we do see things differently, we should be respectful in presenting our thoughts. Speaking of which …

Point and counter-point.

It’s a beautiful world and we are all better off when we get to see things from multiple perspectives. I personally think signing Orlando Cabrera was a bad move, but not for the reasons that Sheldon Ocker covers. For me it’s all about Cord Phelps. Kipnis is pushing his way to the majors and Phelps – who is an intriguing prospect in his own right – has a small window to prove he belongs in the majors as an everyday player. I was hopeful that the Indians would open that window for him in spring training and let him win the job. Instead they bring in Cabrera who does little for their present and absolutely nothing for their future.

Remember when the Royals traded for Mike Jacobs to play 1B while Kila Ka’aihue was coming off a monster minor league season between Double and Triple-A? The date was October 31st, 2008. The following season Jacobs flamed out badly and an extremely frustrated Kila played all of 2009 in Omaha. Now heading into the 2011 season, the Royals still don’t know what Kila can do, but they should. To Cord Phelps, Orlando Cabrera is Mike Jacobs (except of course, he can actually field).

If you read this site on a regular basis, you know I’ve made it a mission to point out any AL Central predictions I come across. Well, here we have Travis Miller, our White Sox Lead Writer, picking the White Sox to win the division.

Biased? Yes, but it is well written. Further I don’t think he makes too many huge leaps in his reasoning. Aside from the fact that he fails to recognize that the 2011 Twins could be as good or better than the 2010 Twins and that makes them much tougher to catch. Keep in mind that I’m not worried about the bullpen and I’m on the Nishioka bandwagon (hey I’m biased too).

Health is certainly going to be the key for the Twins, Sox and Tigers but if any team can survive injury woes, it’s the Minnesota Twins.

Speaking of surviving, the St Louis Cardinals will – contrary to popular belief – continue to exist even if Prince Albert dons a different uniform in 2012.

Should the Royals crown Pujols?

Well for those of you who aren’t from the area, you may not understand the rivalry that St Louis and Kansas City has going on. It’s not in the Hatfield-McCoy category or anything but it’s very real and very important to a lot of folks in both cities.

If I can put it in perspective for you, Kansas City swooping in and signing away Albert Pujols would have a similar impact as if the Chicago Cubs signed him away. The Royals don’t play in the same division so that aspect would be missing, but there is a whole lot more going on off the field as there is on. With STL and KC it’s not just about the fanbases, it’s about the cities and their surrounding areas. It’s about one-upping one another and Pujols would be a heck of a chess move for Kansas City.

Let me state this clearly: I don’t think it would happen. But I do think it could if the Royals or another small/mid-market team really wanted to. Here is part of my comment that I left in reaction to the article that explains where I’m coming from on this:

I remain firm in the stance that there is no reason for any major league team to have a payroll less than $100 million based on the revenues they all share from merchandising and online properties. Teams get an estimated $50-70 million per year before selling a ticket.

Giving Pujols $30 million/year with $100 million payroll still leaves $70 million to build the rest of a roster which is certainly doable for a well run organization.

For any team, the “Pujols effect” would increase revenue. In addition to more fans attending games to watch him play, his presence on a roster automatically raises the profile of that franchise on a national level. Of course, there is also the on-field aspect and no matter who you have at 1B, Pujols would be an upgrade.

I don’t believe the Royals should make a run at him based on the way their future is laid out, but I don’t think it is an entirely crazy notion for the org to look into it. The Royals, and pretty much any other team out there, could afford it if they really wanted to.

I know the speculation is rampant and I know everyone is obsessed with the fact that the deadline has passed, but when all is said and done I think Albert signs and extension with the Cardinals. If he doesn’t the team will still be competitive.

You might say I’m a dreamer …

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Tags: Albert Pujols Cord Phelps Kila Ka'aihue Orlando Cabrera

  • http://southsideshowdown.com Travis Miller

    I truly believe that the White Sox have improved by at least five or six games from their 2010 results.

    While the Twins may have improved in some aspects, I think they have more question marks than the White Sox.

    Can Carl Pavano provide the same results as he did last year? The Twins went 18-12 in his starts, 10 of which they provided six or more runs of support.

    Did Delmon Young overachieve last year or is he here to stay?

    Will Morneau be healthy? If not, can Cuddyer and Kubel step up to the extent they did last year?

    To the bullpen, Nathan looks healthy, but should he go down again, who can bridge to Matt Capps without Jon Rauch around?

    I will say this – Ron Gardenhire is the best manager in the American League. To have that is priceless. He’s always been able to get the best out of his players, so I won’t be surprised when I learn some new names this year.

    • Wally Fish

      Travis,
      Thanks for the thoughts and insight from the White Sox perspective. Your questions have launched a mini-series of sorts for me, so stay tuned as I give my thoughts on each over the next several days.