Today in Cubs History: 12-20

12-20-2002 Signed Shawn Estes as a free agent. I told you today's wasn't an improvement on yesterday's. Although in happier news we also signed Ricky Gutierrez to a two-year deal today, in 1999. Also: On days where someone has written a detailed article, it would be ideal to keep that message board more-or-less on-topic, while using TICH for more free-ranging discourse... Not mandatory or anything, just nice.
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Since I know you all love mixing Aristotelian Physics and Philosophy with the Chicago Cubs.....

Shawn Estes actually had one use for me in 2003. As a teaching assistant in a course on the history of ancient science, I had to teach undergrads about Aristotle's four-part analysis of the nature of change.

I would tell my students about this historically awful pitcher, Shawn Estes, who single-handedly was ruining the Cubs chase for the title. (Most of my students already knew about him, of course). So we get to Aristotle's analysis of change on Sept 23rd, and Baker has to decide whether to start Estes or Cruz the next day in a must-win game against the Reds.

I tell my students that in order to help Baker make this decision, I have thrown Shawn Estes off of the top of Sears Tower, and ask them to analyze Estes's plummet to his death in terms of Aristotle's four-part explanation of change. My students come up with: efficient cause = me throwing him off the Tower. formal cause = Estes's changing form from human being to sidewalk stain. material cause = it might be a stain, but that stain is still Shawn Estes. final cause = estes plummeted to his death in order that the Cubs might win the division.

Then they analyzed his plummet in terms of the Aristotelian understanding of gravity: Estes is made mostly of the earth and water elements, which by their nature prefer to reside below the air and fire elements, near the center of the universe.

Of course, it was all for naught when, the next day, Estes pitched his famous complete-game, four-hit shutout....

The past few days have been odd from a baseball news standpoint. It started when my local ESPN radio affiliate announced: "Milton Bradley has been traded to the ... "

I completely cringed. It was embarrassing. I actually cheered out loud when they said Oakland A's.

Second up, I heard on the way home tonight that Nomar is going to play first base (?!) for the Dodgers. I guess the Dodgers got tired of waiting for Hee Seop to develop. That's three teams now.

I keep expecting to be surprised by some Cubs news soon. I just hope no cringing will be necessary.

Well, get ready to cringe Nohit. Bad news for everybody: Bruce Miles reports that the Cubs have made an offer to Jacques Jones. God, please say it isn't so. 2006 is over before it even starts.

I wonder where this one got started...but given Vidro's health issues I'm doubtful this has any legs.

Todays DC Examiner...

http://www.dcexaminer.com/articles/2005/12/20...

Wood for Ryan Church and Jose Vidro

RChurch (2005, 268ABs): .287 .353 .466, 9HR; Bats L, Throws Left

The deal has more than a few details to be worked out, but there are two key issues. First, Vidroís leg injuries have to be mended. Part two is Woodís health and hefty contract.

If the deal happens, look for it to go down closer to spring training. Moving Vidro would pacify newly acquired second baseman Alfonso Soriano, who is cold on a move to the outfield.

---
this is from BA's Jan 2005 writeup. Church was the Nationals #3 ranked prospect before last year:

Background: Former Expos general manager Omar Minaya made one of his best trades when he acquired Church and infielder Maicer Izturis from Cleveland for lefthander Scott Stewart in January 2004. Like Larry Broadway, Church began his college career as a pitcher before hurting his arm. By learning to use the entire field and work counts better, he turned in his best offensive season in 2004.

Strengths: In many ways, Church is similar to Brad Wilkerson. He has a quick, classic swing and makes consistent hard contact. Strong and athletic, heís an average runner with a good arm. He could fill in as a center fielder in the majors but fits better in right.

Weaknesses: Despite his 17 homers and .620 slugging percentage in Triple-A, Church might not have enough power to hit in the middle of the order in the majors. At 26 heís not young for a prospect, and he didnít exactly seize a big league job with his late-season performance.

The Future: The Nationalsí offseason trade for Jose Guillen decreases Churchís chances of winning a starting role. But if given the chance, he could develop into a .300 hitter with 20-25 homers a year.

oh yeah, and KW has a no trade clause that would need to be waived. Not gonna happen.

I'm giving out the 1st annual DUSTY'S GUY AWARD (trumpets please).

But I'm going to tie it into the today in Cub history writeup (Shawn Estes)...who retroactively wins the award for his 2003 season.

Estes 2003: G29, IP 152, H182, ERA 5.73, Record 8-11

I'd also like to compare Dusty's approach to player utilization to the Bears Head Coach, Lovie Smith.

The very first example we had of the Dustbuster doing things that hurt the team was Shawn Estes (today's TICH). He kept trotting him out there with horrible results until the aforementioned shutout against the Reds, supposedly vindicated Dusty's faith in the veteran.

I went to the Cub-DBack series in Aug 03 at the BOB (now Chase Field). The Friday game was the near no hitter by Zambrano (he was robbed of it by a crappy call by the 1st base ump in the bottom of the 8th). Saturday's game was Estes...we all knew he was going to get whacked, but one can hope anyway. Nope Cubs lost 13-4. That was really the typical Estes outing that year. Alot of runs early and often. Fortunately they went on to win the Sunday game in a close one that Clement pitched.

We've seen it too many times where a cold/old and bad veteran gets too much playing time. Estes, Alex Gonzalez, Mony Martinez, Macias, and Hollandsworth (2005 version) were the ones that particular stick in my craw. Some of these ballplayer actually might be useful but they get overexposed with too much playing time.

But Estes in 2003 was the one I was most disgusted with.

On to the Football side of the comparison. Lovie Smith this year went to a rookie QB (mostly by default, although last year Grossman's backups were not as capable as Orton...Jonathon Quinn (ugh) and rookie Craig Krenzel, then Chad Hutchinson). This year the rookie Orton had success at least in games won but the offense was ineffective for the most part.

Still most writers and radio people were saying you can't change QB's (if it ain't broke, don't fix it). I think it was bold on Lovie Smith's part to put Grossman back in almost to the first chance he could, without making it a media controversy as a mid game switch with an upbeat performance by Grossman made any media controversy shut down.

Lovie actually did the bold move earlier replacing Mike Green with Chris Harris a rookie, because of bad performance by the veteran. Harris kept the job, doing nicely (out currently due to a recent injury)

Lovie also replaced the veteran place kicker (Doug Brien) about 3 games into the season with a rookie (Robbie Gould) this year because of bad performance. Gould has performed well.

Granted Football is a different game and it's a shorter season but at least Lovie Smith doesn't keep underachieving players in the lineup long. At least he willl see what the player behind the underachiever is capable of doing.

My point on the baseball side is Dusty doesn't play his players based on performance, especially if they are a veteran or a player that has somehow (usually on previous teams) achieved Dusty's Guy's Status (Estes, Mony, Neifi )

and the winner of the 2005 Dusty's Guy award...

The player who played too much given extreme underperformance:

candidates (we all know them):

Todd Hollandsworth (Cub only stats)
107 Games, 268AB, 5HR, 35RBi, 53K, .244 .298 .373

Jose Macias
112 Games, 177AB, 1HR, 13RBI, .254 .274 .316

KKKorey Patterson
126 Games, 451AB, 13HR, 118K, .215 .254 .348

Drum-roll.................................

2005's Dusty's Guy goes to:

Corey Patterson.

I'll bet anything that an old Corey Patterson will be on Dusty's next team after Dusty's out of Chicago.

...or better yet. Corey gets to play only based on performance. My what a novel idea. I don't expect things like that to happen with this manager though. Dream on.

I am with those who have posted concern over the prospect of the Cubs signing Jones to play RF. Even with less options available now than a few weeks ago, I believe there are better alternatives. Jones's record indicates a likelihood of a player who will struggle considerably his first season in a new league. Can Green not be obtained for a reasonable package? If not Green, how about Cliff Floyd in LF (would likely take even less in trade than Green) hitting cleanup between Lee and Ramirez and Patterson and Murton platooning in RF while we continue to monitor Pie's progress. The Mets are taking on a lot of payroll and might be willing to part with Floyd for not-too-much.
Floyd is a dangerous hitter and lefthanded (maybe too good for the Mets to let go as they prepare to make a run). While we're at it, The Cubs have $ so go get Millwood and lock him in at #3 in the rotation with Wood at #4 upon his return. Go get 'em, Cubs, this league is for the taking!

By the way, while I did propose a Patterson-Murton platoon and feel it would be a mistake for the Cubs to simply give him away for nothing, I'm fine with Murton taking full-time from him if he outplays him again with Patterson having to earn his way back in. I think some healthy competition could be good for both those guys.

The Dusty would not go to Patterson, only an insane person would award the Dusty to Patterson. The Dusty should go to Perez.

Hendry shipped Holly out so that we got a look at Murton but there was no fucking reason to keep Perez in the lineup when a "potentially" much better Cedeno was an option.

In fact, many consider the definition of insanity to be doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Perez is a nice utility guy but Dusty is a flippin' idiot.

I'll bring the cannon, you bring the Dusty and we'll deposit that mistake in the middle of the lake.

We need a RF who can hit that takes out Jacque Jones and one who can field that takes out Cliff Floyd and Aubrey Huff. The best options for RF at this point are:

1. Austin Kearns
2. Preston Wilson
3. Juan Encarnion
4. Kevin Mench
5. Jay Gibbons

1. Austin Kearns -- isn't going anywhere.
2. Preston Wilson -- can't hit; no better than Jones but would probably do a 1-year deal as the Cubs are his "first choice".
3. Juan Encarnacion -- average at all things, probably will get a multi-year deal.
4. Kevin Mench -- Daniels has made it clear we don't have anything he wants.
5. Jay Gibbons -- no impetus to move him, but this is possible.

I'd be willing to sell the farm at this point to acquire a solid corner outfielder, like a Dunn, Wells, or Ibanez. The best option for Jones would be to sign him as a platoon player, to split time with Murton.

The Mets have rebuffed trade overtures, so far, for Cliff Floyd, and Green is decling in skill, has a hefty price tag, an I believe owner of a no-trade clause....
Next?
To be honest, I'd take Encarnacion or Preston Wilson for 1 year....until the ERA OF PIE begins....(note sarcasm)

"this league is for the taking"
Damn straight!
Outside of the Mets(maybe Giants), everyone has taken a step back in this league. But being the Cubs rather than take advantage of this shift they believe "hooray now everyone sucks as much as we do." BULLSH@T!!
Be a big market team, not to mention a team who has not won in nearly 100 years and still puts 3 million asses in the seats, and take advantage. Once againg big difference from trying(Howery, Eyre) and not trying hard enough(Furcal, starting pitching).

http://www.dcexaminer.com/articles/2005/12/20...

Interesting trade scenario. Woody for Vidro and Ryan Church. I think the Nats would have to weeten the pot more, considereing Vidro's just as hurt as Woody is, but not as good.

Guess Im a little late to the Party. Sorry ,Cubster.

Nohit-hilarious.

Hendry may be using Jones to pressure some other teams he has deals on the table with. 'If you want to trade, lets do it now, otherwise Im signing Jones.' Im not very hot on him either, but if hell turn down 3y/$18M to come to the Cubs for 1y/$5m...

So Prior is arb eligible this year? I thought AZ Phil has been saying he wasn't. Well, that's kinda of a big thing we didn't know about. So basically 3/4 of all teh money we saved on Sosa this year went to raises for current players. GREAT!!!

If the decision of who to play in RF comes down the names that are mentioned the most (jones, huff, etc.) and we only consider those players who have a realistic chance of playing for the Cubs in 2006, then it would seem that Patterson may be the best option we have.

In the field, Patterson would be well above average. He has the arm to play RF and the range. Until the end of last season he had shown the abilty to play execellent defense. If Murton is going to play LF (and I think that he should) then the Cubs are going to need the other two outfielders to be able to cover more ground. Having Patterson in RF would allow Pierre to cheat toward LF a little and help make up for the lack of range that Murton showed last season. Before anyone jumps on that, I don't think that Murton is a bad LF, I just don't see him having a lot of range or being anything above average defensively.

At the plate, Patterson has too much potential to give up on him yet. He has shown flashes where he has played extremely well and of course times like most of last season where he looked over matched and completely lost at the plate. However, it could be that he has been over coached this far in his career. Patterson has more talent that most players, imo. He has probably never had to work on hitting the way he will have to now. He does strike out too much, for a lead off hitter, but then he is not a lead off hitter. Baylor, Baker, and most of the posters at TCR have wanted to see Patterson become a slap and bunt type of hitter. I think that Patterson would be better if he were allowed to just be Corey Patterson. I don't think that he should never bunt, but he is not going to be that type of hitter. In 2003 Patterson hit down in the order and hit very well. How many different hitting coaches has he had during his career. I am sure that each one has tried to change something and the more you change the more chance for faliure there is.

There has been a lot said about his not playing winter ball. It could be a good thing. As much as he was struggling at the end of the season, taking a little time off could help him relax and stop pressing. It was obvious to me that at the end of the season he was pressing more than he ever had before. That could be because he wanted to do better, and the more he tried the more he pressed, the worse he played, the more he pressed.

A relaxed Corey Patterson hitting down in the order could be a very dangerous hitter. In the 7 or 8 slot he could become a run producer and table setter both. By driving in the guys on base (hopefully) and then stealing a base and being in scoreing position for the top of the order. It would also take the pressure of trying to change his style.

Patterson in RF may not be what a lot of people want, but it could turn into Corey finally reaching his potential and becoming that elite player he could be.

Prior isn't arb-eligible, he's under contract for 2006 at $2.5M.

Again. Unless the Nationals braintrust is dropping Holiday acid, they aren't going to take a pitcher with a big contract, Wood, who has not thrown a ball since going under the knife. The No Trade Clause makes it even more unlikely.

According to the Tribune Prior is arb-eligible.

says he has a player option out of the contract and will file for arbitration.

"7 or 8 slot he could become a run producer and table setter both"
In those positions, would he not see any good pitches or strikes? It sounds like a no-win situation for a guy who has no concept of the strike zone and trying to learn how to hit, which what I got out of watching Patterson last year. He does not know how to hit or he needs glasses.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

Trib also says Z is arb eligible.

"So basically 3/4 of all teh money we saved on Sosa this year went to raises for current players. GREAT!!!"

Management knew that last year. This can't be a surprise.

It gets back to my recurring point of an organizational plan and a 3 year map of who plays what and when for what cost...

I just don't feel like Hendry does a good job at this.

Just what we need a starter with a career 4.70 ERA. Not the depth to the rotation that will help, IMO

John T #19--Ballsy statement, my man, ballsy statement, especially here. That said, I can see it, but there needs to be somebody (and in DB's world, Mabry may be enough) to kind of hold over Corey's head, as in "if you still suck, you are easily replaced". All that said, and I'm the first one to say corey's done here, it COULD work. (I can't believe I'm admitting this) All that said, though, if there was a viable option for RF (which, if there was, why don't we have him by now), I would much rather see that.

My bottom line, IF every other decent, reasonable option falls through, okay, what the hell. But you still can't just hand him a starting job on this team, he'll f--- it up. Make him earn it, then, maybe (still thin, but hell, somebody's gotta hit 7-8....of course, there's still murton/cedeno to worry about...)

# 19, John T

Finally another voice of reason. I'vd tried to say this, with little success. You're more eleoquent than I in your logic.

I still could care less about the statistics GENERALLY. Corey could well be the difference maker for the Cubs next year in RF. Don't know whether he'll be given the chance, but by taking the pressure of lead off away, taking away the over coaching he's been subjected to, and playing ARGUABLY an easier position....at least with his speed.....statistically he may eclipse anyone else mentioned as possibilities on this Klatch or in others, simply becuase he'll relax. IF AND ONLY IF Dusty lets him swing away in a natural mode for Corey, that is.

Joey

Of course, Neifi's got the 2 hole wrapped up....

There tends to be not enough Aristotle in baseball. Kudos, Trans!

But who could forget Dusty's invocation of Rawls' little-known Theory of Justice for Lineup Construction (your batting position is determined by the batting order you would select yourself if you had no idea of what position in the order you would take) when he deferred to Corey last year?

Although it is possibly that Dusty was grossly misinterpreting Kant's Categorical Imperitive -- it is correct for me to bat Corey lead-off because it would be correct for all teams, in all instances, to bat Corey lead-off.

DC Tom,

An instant classic my friend. Too many times my blood pressure rises with every new posting I read.

Yours brought some humor to an otherwise miserable winter meeting and trading season, at least for me.

Laughed out loud, I did.

Joey

"At the plate, Patterson has too much potential to give up on him yet. He has shown flashes where he has played extremely well"

This is pure Kool Aid. Korey has had exactly four good months at the plate in his entire MLB career. You can look it up.

I would not be surprised by any Jim Bowden trade anymore. But Wood for Church/Vidro would be more likely to happen in Spring Training, when the health of Wood and Vidro will be better-known. It could be a trade of last-resort for both teams.

That's the first time I've ever read Prior's '06 referred to as a player option. Looking at my sources, I guess I mis-read it: I had it written down that "Prior has the right to void his contract after 2004 if he's eligible for arbitration" -- I guess I assumed he could do that after '04 only, but it looks like he could (and will) do it after '05 as well.

That sucks for the Cubs -- he's going to get a pretty significant raise, I'd say into the $5-6M range, for next year.

Learn something new every day, I guess -- I just wish it had been something happier.

Christian:
"Prior isn't arb-eligible, he's under contract for 2006 at $2.5M."

Read the Chicago Tribune today. It appears your resident contract guru AZ PHIL was wrong. Or the Tribune is wrong.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

I would not be surprised by any Jim Bowden trade anymore. But Wood for Church/Vidro would be more likely to happen in Spring Training, when the health of Wood and Vidro will be better-known. It could be a trade of last-resort for both teams.

Watch out, people!

The new, friendlier version of MannyTrillo is about to tell us that he has been predicting since before time began that Prior was eligible for arbitration now, and that he and all of his gnomes now want McPhail, Hendry, and even Dusty to leave immediately with a lump of coal.
:)sarcasm (Isn't that how you are doing it now, Manny?)

Scrooge-
Nope, never predicted it, but also I never acted like I 100% knew every aspect of his contract. Oh well, more bad news for teh Cubs.

CUBSWINTHE PENNANT,

Blah, blah, blah.

Derrick Lee had two shitty years WORSE than Patterson's overall, with no significant injury, and with no sigificant mind-melting by trying to adjyst to an unnatural position in the batting order.

Rememebr when D. Lee played the Cubs in the NLCS? He was lost...he sucked....he looked overmatched...he did nothing. Sound familiar?

Are you glad somebody didn't give up on him?

One more year for Patterson, playing in RF, batting no higher than 6th in the order....and you have yourself a doubling down of Kings (veiled reference to my shitty abilility to play Black Jack.)

If not, you got PIE coming mid year IF he performs at AAA. I agree wholheartedly wiht the posts indicatin Patterson SHOULD feel the pressure and the comptetition. If he performs, great. If not, bench his ass and get Pie up here.

Joey

I would not be surprised by any Jim Bowden trade anymore.
-
and here is why...He just traded Wilkerson and Sledge for a one year rental.

but I do wonder where Frank Robinson will stand on this situation? whaddya think DCTom?

Here's some medical advice to Jimbo Bowden:
When you feel a headache coming, take something to prevent it.
---
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5165410

Nationals general manager Jim Bowden HOPES to shift Soriano from second, where he's a four-time All-Star.

"I don't want to change," Soriano said Monday night at a dinner held for major league players by Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez. "If I haven't done it before, I WON'T do it now."

***Soriano said he had a greater comfort level in the AL, and he plans to become a free agent after next season and sign with an AL team.***

"I knew the pitchers and batters of opposing teams and, therefore, where to place myself defensively. In the National that's going to take me a while," he said.

Soriano, who is eligible for salary arbitration, is likely to earn about $10 million next year. He was obtained from Texas for outfielders Brad Wilkerson and Terrmel Sledge, and pitcher Armando Galarraga.

"He's such a great athlete that he's able to play other positions," Bowden said last week. "He could play center, he could play left."

#18 of 30: By mannytrillo (December 20, 2005 08:33 AM)
So Prior is arb eligible this year? I thought AZ Phil has been saying he wasn't. Well, that's kinda of a big thing we didn't know about. So basically 3/4 of all teh money we saved on Sosa this year went to raises for current players. GREAT!!!

MANNY T: Muy misterioso.

I posted here at TCR last May 9th that Mark Prior has it written in his contract that he can exercise a "player option" to void his contract (which otherwise runs through 2006) after 2004 when he becomes eligible for salary arbitration, and I thought that meant he could void his contract and opt for salary arbitration after the 2005 season (not just after the 2004 season).

I posted the same thing here at TCR again on October 28th, and Rob G and I (and I think some others) had a rather lengthy discussion at that time about whether Prior's right to void his contract "if he becomes eligible for salary arbitration after 2004" meant that he could ONLY void the contract if he had become eligible for salary arbitration after 2004 (he wasn't eligible last year, however), or, if it meant he could void his contract WHENEVER he became eligible for salary arbitration after 2004 (which would be this year, for the first time).

We could not determine the facts at that time (October 28th), so we left it that way (with no solution), because nobody here could figure out the meaning of Prior's right to void his contract "if he becomes eligible for salary arbitration after 2004."

So until and unless I see something AUTHORITATIVE that states clearly that Mark Prior had the right to void his contract after the 2005 season AND that he has in fact done so, I'm going to presume (until then) that the contract Mark Prior signed in 2001 is still in force, and that he will make $3.55m next season.

If he can (and does) void his contract and opt for salary arbotration, he still gets $800,000 right off the top (that's the 2006 prorated portion of his original signing bonus--his actual "salary" for 2006 if he does not or cannot opt for arbitration is only $2.75m), and he should get at least 50% more than that $2.75m in salary if he can go to arbitration.

So figure if he CAN go to arbitration, he will, because if he doesn't, he will be costing himself probably about $2m (the difference between his $2.75m "salary" as it now stands, and the $5m or so he would likely get via arbitration).

Derrick (@!%^$Derrek!!) Lee had two shitty years WORSE than Patterson's overall, with no significant injury, and with no sigificant mind-melting by trying to adjyst to an unnatural position in the batting order.

I really don't know how you can compare the two. Derrek Lee started his career on a terrible Marlin team full of rookies and unknown quanitites. He filled most of the holes in his swing within a few years and began to steadily improve. Since 2000, Derrek Lee has had six outstanding seasons in a row. OPS: .875,.820,.872,.887,.860, and 1.080.

Corey Patterson, on the other hand, came up in 2000 and has never had an outstanding season. In fact, he has never had a good season. The closest he came was 2004 when he was average. The holes in his swing are vast and continue to expand

And what "mind melting" position in the batting order are you talking about? In 2004, Patterson had 245 AB's batting leadoff with an .803 OPS and BA of .261. But last year he hit worse in the 8th spot (.165 in 85 ABs) than the first (.211 in 128 ABs)! So it would seem he has NO "natural" position in the batting order. And forget about pinch hitting. He's zero for the last two years doing that and last year he struck out 6 times in his 9 PH appearances.

Rememebr when D. Lee played the Cubs in the NLCS? He was lost...he sucked....he looked overmatched...he did nothing.

Nothing? I remember him killing us with a two-run 8th-inning double that tied game six of the 2003 NLCS 3-3. Trailing 3-0, Mark Prior on the mound with one out, the Fish went on to score eight runs. The Cubs never recovered. I mean, who could forget that?!!! It was the Bartman game.

Re #41 cubster, regarding the Soriano trade:

"but I do wonder where Frank Robinson will stand on this situation? whaddya think DCTom?"

At the time, Frank Robinson had not been re-signed to be the Nats manager for 2006, so I am not sure whether he had any input into the Wilkerson/Sledge for Soriano trade.

The Nats are a dysfunctional franchise right now -- worse, they are a dysfunctional franchise with a little bit of money, no owner, and a GM who is treating this job like one of those contests on "The Apprentice."

Combine that and a lack of respect for patient, high-OBP guys like Wilkerson and you get the splashy trade for Soriano. (Last offseason Bowden tried to trade Nick Johnson, luckily he found no takers.)

That said, if any manager can smooth over Soriano, it will be Frank Robinson. He kept Jose Guillen in check for a full year...Guillen absolutely adores the guy and would go to the mat for him. And Robinson is also a good baseball man and will understand that Soriano's value is at 2B, not LF or CF. Robinson has ultimate authority over who plays where -- he is the reason why Tomo Ohka was traded last season, not Bowden. As a result, it is no surprise that the talk about trading Vidro has heated up since Robinson was brought back for this coming year.

"Reds signed LHP Chris Hammond, who had been with the Padres, to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2007."

From Rotoworld...

My personal opinion - I'd rather have this guy than Eyre. And the deal we had to give Eyre was much worse for us than this one. Hammond is one of the hardest pitchers for a lefty to hit.

I would have much rather had him than Eyre regardless of the $ and length. Factor those in...and ouch.

"Nothing? I remember him killing us with a two-run 8th-inning double that tied game six of the 2003 NLCS 3-3. Trailing 3-0, Mark Prior on the mound with one out, the Fish went on to score eight runs. The Cubs never recovered. I mean, who could forget that?!!! It was the Bartman game."

.188 .235 .344 2 runs 1 home run 4 RBIs. WOW! DLee lit Wrigley afire that series.

Reds signed LHP Chris Hammond...

Hammond is now 40 yrs old

Both Hammond and Remlinger were free agents from the Braves after the 2002 season, 4yrs ago.

Hammonds 2002 season was a beauty going 7-2 with an ERA of 0.95, 63K in 76IP

Remlingers 2002 Brave season was 7-3 with 1.99 ERA, 69K in 68 IP

The Cubs went after Remlinger, the Yankees went after Hammond. It could have been the other way around. I always wondered why the Cubs went after Remlinger and not Hammond.

So to me it was a coin flip as to who was better, and (after the fact) we picked the wrong guy...or at least offered a 3 yr contract when one would have sufficed.

We all know what Remmy did but he was hurt much of his time as a Cub. Hammond has been with 3 teams in 3 yrs (NYY, OAK, SDP) but has been good, with 2.86, 2.68 and 3.84 ERA's from 2003-2005.

He's been a very good situational lefty but at age 40, I'd rather have Eyre who will probably see more innings than Hammond can at this point of his career.

.188 .235 .344 2 runs 1 home run 4 RBIs. WOW! DLee lit Wrigley afire that series.

Who cares what D Lee's overall numbers were in a short series? How do those numbers, even to a mind made of creme brulee', possibly prove that Korey Patterson deserves another chance? Is seven (years) his lucky number or something??

Just saying that your comment of him killing us was false.

mmmmmmmmmmm.....creme brulee'

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