Writers Bloc: Trading places


Updated: May 16, 2003, 9:55 AM ET
By Jim Baker
  • It is one of the stanchions upon which sports criticism is built: when a team is going poorly, blame the best player regardless of how much that player has been contributing. That has certainly been the case with Sammy Sosa of the Cubs. Mike Kiley of the Chicago Sun-Times contemplates the team without their star.

  • Kiley's colleague Greg Couch continues to pursue the story of certain, uh -- how do I put this without being slanderous? -- irregularities in the ticket-selling process at Wrigley Field. Baseball is in a strange place right now. While some teams play host to acres of empty seats, the Cubs are in the enviable position of being able to -- and here, again, I don't wish to use the word "scalp" -- make upward adjustments on the fly to their tickets without vengeance-minded townsfolk showing up with pitchforks and torches.

  • Art Howe and Edgardo Alfonzo switched locales this past off-season with Howe moving from the Bay Area to the Mets and Alfonzo going in the opposite direction to the Giants. So, how are the manager and third baseman faring in their new digs? Arthur Staple of Newsday takes a look.

    Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at