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Forget Chicago Tough – Rios is Chicago Good

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Still, there’s a lot to learn from the Rios acquisition, and it goes back to what I said about Mark Teahen in January. Guys like Teahen and Mark Kotsay were acquired because of a "fit," but when you tried to put their skills down in a ledger, it became hard to identify anything they could be relied upon to do well. Rios, meanwhile, had such skills. Even when he was hitting .199, he was playing a mean center field and running the bases well. Give him at least an average bat — a good bet, given his track record — and he would earn his money. Give him an All-Star bat, and the South Side is pitching so many tents that you could call it "Hooverville." This is what happens when you pursue tangibles ahead of intangibles and base projections off past performance instead of wishcasting. Rios had clearly defined strengths that fit a team need, making his potentially unprecedented season at the plate gravy.