Gordon Wittenmyer's Got a Feelin'

>> Wednesday

He's got a feelin' bout Jason Kendall. It's been a while since I've blatantly ripped off the dudes at Fire Joe Morgan and done a classic boldface attack on a stupid article written by some dude I've never heard of. Today's subject is Gordon Wittenmyer from the Chicago Sun-Times. The way this works is that Gord is gonna say some stupid stuff about stuff and then I'm gonna pretend I'm funny when I respond. Take it away, Gordy!

If the Cubs don't make another trade before the non-waiver deadline at the end of the month, their deal Monday night for catcher Jason Kendall should make them one of the winners when the trading season is evaluated -- his debut clunker notwithstanding.

Well Gordon, prepare for some more notwithstanding games for the rest of the season from Jason Kendall, because man, he's been awful this year.

A perfect fit for the Cubs for the defensive need he fills, the lifetime .298 hitter with more walks in his career than strikeouts also adds a different-look bat to a lineup that already has a solid crew of big-swinging run producers.

By "different-look" bat, Wittenmyer is of course referring to the fact that Kendall is a "bad hitter." Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano provide a different look at the plate, as they are all "good hitters."

Also, this business about having more walks than strikeouts? Give me a break. I don't care. Sure, it's awesome that Kendall walks a lot, (in fact, that's the only thing that makes him semi-valuable at this point) but the fact that he doesn't strike out doesn't tell me much. Also, it's not like he walks way more than he strikes out, he's walked a total of 40 more times in his career than he's struck out. That's not much. By comparison, Pujols has walked more than 100 more times than he's struck out in half as many seasons. I begin to doubt your credentials, man I've never heard of.

Lou Piniella, not to be outdone, also weighs in with some random and meaningless reasons why it's good for Kendall to be on the Cubs.

''He's an experienced guy that's played on winning teams."

Sort of. I mean, he's old and stuff, so I guess that means he's experienced, but he's only played on two winning Major League teams (the past two years in Oakland) in his career. Sure, the crap he played on in Pittsburgh wasn't exactly his fault, but neither was much of the winning in Oakland.

''He's a grinder."

Very true. Kendall is white.

"He likes to win."

Obviously. He's done it twice. Also, little known fact: Rob Bowen hates winning.


Vinnie 7:38 AM  

Koyie Hill just drove in 5 runs yesterday. I'm not sure how well benching him for this hot-headed fossil will go over with the fans.

Zuch 1:01 PM  

Figuring most Cubs fans to react like my parents, it will be awhile before they realize that this isn't the Kendall who was an All-Star catcher for the Pirates, but the Kendall who should have hung it up three years ago.

Vinnie 1:15 PM  

More on the stupidity of the "this guy doesn't strike out argument":

I have to wonder whether the correlation between "doesn't strike out" and "good hitter" is just a recent phenomenon (i.e. since the Tony Gwynn era) or whether it's a flawed perception that goes back to the infancy of baseball.

Go to BR and check out the single-season leaders in AB/K. Besides Gwynn, most of the recent leaders have been marginal, if not awful, hitters.

The five-time reigning NL champ in this category is Juan Pierre. Other recent league leaders have included Eckstein, Bengie Molina, Randall Simon, and--a guy Zuch will remember well--Mike Caruso. That's right--Mike friggin' Caruso, a guy who lasted only two full seasons in the bigs--during both of which he led the league in AB/K. He also posted OPS+ marks of 89 and 50 (yes, 50) those years.

Ichiro and Mark Grace each led the league once in this category, and some past leaders included Mattingly, Buckner, and Brett. But the presence of good hitters on this list is rather spotty once you get past Gwynn.

Vinnie 3:54 PM  

What a Baseball Prospectus writer thinks of the trade:

When I wrote the Top 10 Catchers list, Cubs prospect Geovany Soto was in the majors. When it was published, he was back at Triple-A — which has caused somewhat of a stir in my email inbox asking me why I have such low regards for Soto. I actually like Soto quite a bit, and would now rank him third on the list. Why he’s in Triple-A while the team gave away an marginal backup catcher and a nice sleeper in Jeremy Blevins for the charred remains of Jason Kendall is beyond me.

Matt 4:11 PM  

The answer to that, unnamed BP guy, is simple: grit.

Mike 6:34 PM  

"He likes to win."

As opposed to the vast pool of players who when it really came down to it, would prefer losing.

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