Mayor Stone?

By Beachwood Reporter on Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Two words for Cubs Manager Lou Piniella: Be careful. You don't want to pick a fight you can't win," former Tribune sports editor Dan McGrath writes for the Chicago News Cooperative in the New York Times this morning.

"In going after Steve Stone, the White Sox's broadcaster, before Game 1 of the City Series last week, Piniella was taking on the city's most influential baseball thinker."

Indeed. Stone could probably get elected mayor in this town (hey, there's an idea!). Piniella not so much.

"Stone is in his third season as a White Sox broadcaster after 20 years with the Cubs," McGrath continues. "Fans of both teams revere him for his knowledge, his insight and his opinions, while those whose work he is analyzing tend to be less enamored."

In other words, Stone serves his audience well by making observations - pointing out truths, really - that players and managers would rather keep from you. Kind of like reporters who cover pols ought to do.

"Stone, I think, is as good as it gets on baseball," McGrath concludes. "I always feel I've learned something from his broadcasts, whether he's predicting the outcome of an at-bat, making Chip Caray sound tolerable in the Cubs booth or playing droll straight man to Chip's bombastic grandfather."

Stone can even almost make listening to White Sox broadcasts with Hawk Harrelson tolerable. Almost. He's smart, but he's not a miracle worker.

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