The 2009 Chicago All-Flop Team
Given the expectations, it was a pretty awful year of baseball in Chicago. And there are plenty of choices for this year’s All-Worst Chicago Baseball Team. Let us begin…
After a spectacular rookie season, Soto took Sophomore slump to a whole new level. His numbers went from 23 86 .285 .364 .504 to 11 47 .218 .321 .381.
Rios was a ballyhooed acquisition coming over from Toronto. He played some nice defense. But in 41 games on the Sox, Rios hit .199, walked 6 times and had an OPS of .530. He will be the target of all boobirds unless he starts hot next year.
Gregg was simply brutal as the Cubs closer. He lost 6 games, blew 7 saves, had an ERA close to 5 and gave up 13 homers in less than 70 innings. The good news is that Gregg is a free agent and he will undoubtedly be playing elsewhere come 2010.
Quentin turned it on some in the second half but it was too little, too late. He couldn’t stay healthy and had no power in the first half. If last year Ken Williams had the steal of the year in getting Quentin, this year is indicative of why Arizona let him go.
He played terrible defense, got hurt, didn’t hit for power, didn’t hit for average, made little league-like mental mistakes, didn’t like his teammates, his teammates didn’t like him, called an entire fanbase racist and ended up suspended for the remainder of the season. Other than that, how’d you enjoy the play Mrs. Lincoln?
Fields was supposed to be a big bat on the White Sox for years to come. Instead, he showed minimal power, hit .222 and struck out 76 times in just 239 at-bats. Inevitably the Sox took his job away from him and sent him to the minors. My best guess is he’s traded for a project arm/low-level prospect this winter.
Soriano comes in at #10 on the list of most lucrative contracts in baseball. Call me crazy, but I think for that kind of iron we should get more than 117 games, 20 homers, an OPS of .726 and heinous defense. Remember how it was thought that Soriano would come in and be 30-30 or even 40-40 every year? This year he had more errors (11) than steals (9). With no Milty next year, Soriano is sure to hear it if he keeps this up.
Another guy who was expected to take the next step but tripped and fell instead. Ramirez gave Ozzie Guillen fits with his lackadaisical play in the field. He also had a steep decline in power, failing to slug .400. Ramirez may be one of those guys that will excite the fans from time to time but annoy them on a daily basis.
Marmol was supposed to be the next stud in the Cubs bullpen after his amazing 2008. Instead he went all Ankiel and couldn’t find the plate. He’d get a ton of votes in the “Most Aggravating Player to Watch” poll. You still couldn’t hit Marmol in 2009, but you didn’t need to. He walked almost a batter an inning.
Like some of the players on this list, Harden was not a complete flop. But relative to his level of skill and talent — I recall Jim Hendry calling it “World-class stuff” — Harden can only be viewed as a disappointment. He had an ERA over 4, gave up 23 homers in just 141 innings and regularly had trouble making it past 6 innings. Add in the inevitable trip to the DL and I’d say 2009 was a flop for Harden.
Dishonorable mentions: Bobby Jenks, Scott Linebrink, Jose Contreras, Aaron Miles, Aaron Heilman, Jeff Samardzija, Mike Fontenot, Jim Hendry