Friday, February 17, 2006

Wobb Paker, sooper geenus...

Over at the "The Sports Pig," the Leelanau Sports Guy brought my attention around to someone I was trying my best to ignore. That being our favorite local hack, Wobb Parker. Parker, the Detroit News' self appointed baseball "Expert," is up to his old tricks.

In his latst magnum opus, he declares the Tigers' Dave Dombrowki the worst GM in Detroit sports. Considering Matt Millen still has a gig, and that Dombrowski works for Mike Illich, quite possibly the worst owner in MLB, that statement alone confirm Parkers idiocy. But it's not surprising, when you consider the source.

I'm not going to go into detail rebutting every detail. Why waste time rehashing crap? But three items in the column raised questions of Parkers sanity, and qualifications for the man even being a columnist.

Number one, calling Jeff Weaver a better pitcher than Jeremy Bonderman.

The trade Dombrowski made, getting Jeremy Bonderman, Carlos Pena and Franklyn German -- for Jeff Weaver.

Clearly, Weaver is a better pitcher than Bonderman. In three-plus seasons in Detroit, Weaver improved, especially his ERA (5.55 in 1999 to 3.18 in 2002). When he was dealt to the Yankees in 2002, Weaver was 6-8 with a 3.18 ERA.

Bonderman, on the other hand, has a lifetime ERA of 4.98 in three full seasons. Weaver had a real shot at becoming the Tigers' ace. For Bonderman, it's still in question.

Saying one pitcher is better than another is purely subjective, but that's big talk about the overrated Weaver. My God, the Dodgers decided Weaver wasn't worth the trouble of resigning, and he was virtually ignored in the free agent market till the Angels threw him a one year bone of a deal.

So to make his arguement, Parker tries to cook the stats in his favor by using half season numbers. That season being four (!) years ago. Weaver has proven himself to be a nothing more than a .500 pitcher who is a known headcase. Bonderman, on the other hand, is a still a developing 23 year old pitcher who narrowly missed an All-Star berth last season. Bonderman has played for much worse teams than Weaver, and his stats are severely tainted by the historically bad 2003 Tiger season. If you check the career stats for both, Bonderman is improving rapidly, while Weaver has plateaued.

Say what you will about the Weaver for Bonderman, Pena, and German trade, there are plenty of pro and cons to go around. Especially when talking about Pena and German. But why manipulate stats to make your arguement more sound? I'm guessing because it wasn't a sound arguement to begin with...

Number two on the hit list is when he questions the wisdom of signing Magglio Ordonez.

And Ordonez was a question mark, too. His oft-injured knee was an issue and the reason his free-agent market wasn't very impressive (the Mets took a pass).

Maggs hit .302 with eight homers and 46 RBI. It's a far cry from the 32 homers and 118 RBI he averaged in five seasons (before he was injured in 2004) with the White Sox.

Parker could have said the Ordonez contract was too lengthy and expensive for a player coming off a career threatening injury. Wobb could say that the money would have been better spent on less expensive younger players with some upside. Maybe spend that money developing the minor leagues instead. Or just get some pitching... All are legitimate arguements I could buy, and would most likely agree.

Instead, Parker just gives Magglio's offensive stats and convinently forgets to mention that Ordonez missed nearly half the season with a sports hernia. You think that might be a small reason his stats were down? One off year interrupted by a bad hernia injury does not signify a downward trend. The knee problem Parker mentions were never an issue. I think that blatnantly omitting the hernia just to make his arguement absoultely undermines what little credibility Parker may have had left.

For gem number three, Parker comes up with this odd observation...

And remember: Only one Dombrowski-built team has finished over .500 -- the '97 Marlins.

Wobb, again with the selective memory? He seems to have forgotten that the 1997 Marlins only won THE WORLD SERIES! If Marlins owner Wayne Huizinga hadn't ordered a player fire sale, it's pretty damn obvious that the core World Series winning group would have put together a few more winning seasons. Parker could have choosen to mention that Dombrowski has more than a little to do with the building of the 2003 Marlins. I'm guessing he decided it hurt his case, because that team won the World Series as well!

It's interesting how pursuasive you can make an arguement when you choose to omit a few details.

Parker closes with this...

So, when will Dombrowski's team finally win?

"I think we're in a spot where we have to start producing on the field and win some ballgames," he said.

If not, Dombrowski should be shown the door.

The Leelanau Sports Guy ends his post with a blunt comment I think we'd all agree upon...

I wish someone would show Rob Parker the door.

Couldn't have said it better myself...


  1. I have never liked Rob Parker and never will, I think with columns like this it is pretty clear why.

    I don't know if Dombroski is good or bad, but the Tigers are clearly better now than they were prior to him. Dombroski inherited a team with no minor league system at all, it was as barren as a desert. He has now given us a minr league system that is at least producing some decent players and has prospects to boot. Didn't the Mud Hens win the championship last year or something?

    The Weaver-Bonderman trade was a no brainer for Dombroski, Weaver was the only guy we had to trade that was worth a damn. Has Pena been a bust? Yes. Has German done anything yet? Nope. It essentially was a Bonderman for Weaver deal and to me that still looks like the Tigers got the better pitcher in the end.

    With Maggs and even Pudge the year before, what choice did Dombroski have? The Tigers are just finally getting some of those prospects to perform, we had to overpay to get anyone worth a damn here.

    I agree with the sports pig totally, if anyone needs to be shown the door it is Parker... and I hope it hits him in the ass on his way out.

  2. Great breakdown of how Parker tried to manipulate the facts to suit his attempt at an argument.

    Parker was calling Dombrowski overrated the moment he got to Detroit, so I'm guessing this is his attempt to maintain whatever credibility he thinks he has.

    And here's a point that I'm sure you've read before, but I'll repeat it here: At this point, would you trade Bonderman, Pena, and German for Weaver? Of course you wouldn't. To criticize that trade - especially when Weaver's become a journeyman pitcher - is idiotic.

  3. Great breakdown! Thanks for the mention!