My Afternoon In The Middle Of A Baseball Brawl

I had the incredible good fortune to watch Saturday’s Cubs-Padres game from the second row behind home plate, from a seat in nearly a direct line with the plate and the left field corner. In other words, I was about 25-30 feet from much of the brouhaha. (I have seen myself in the ESPN replays of the brawl. I’m wearing a light green polo shirt and I’m right behind the woman with the white shirt and the white hat who appears in the left part of the screen just after Derrek Lee throws the first punch.) A few thoughts on a remarkable game as seen from a perspective I won't enjoy again anytime soon:
• At 6-foot-10, 260 pounds, Chris Young is a genuinely impressive physical specimen, unlike, say, Randy Johnson, who is simply gawky and odd-looking. As the Padres were batting in the top of the third, Young briefly shared the on-deck circle with the Padres’ 5-foot-8 leadoff man Marcus Giles. It looked like a snapshot from Take Your Kid To Work Day. • Both Lee and Young were questioned after the game about who said what to whom and what precisely set off the melée. I have no doubt. I had an unobstructed view of Young’s crotch and he grabbed it in a most provocative and pointed way, immediately after which the fireworks began. • It made my stomach turn to see Lou Piniella tumble on his head in the middle of the scrum. The guy is 63 years old. There are a number of things that young men can pull off that 63-year-old men should simply avoid doing because they end up looking ridiculous. These include wearing designer jeans and hitting on waitresses at Hooters. (I'm not aware that Piniella engages in either, by the way.) I would add to the list falling on your face in the middle of a baseball fight. • I was aware of one fatality in the brawl. A pair of those cool Oakley sunglasses got snapped in half. As order was being restored, Cubs first-base coach Matt Sinatro picked up the glasses, realized they were broken in two and cast them back into the grass, where they were retrieved by one of the on-field guys who normally runs new baseballs out to the umpire. Later, both Jacque Jones and Jose Cruz of the Padres seemed to be scouring the area looking for their sunglasses. Jones pulls down between $5 and $6 million a year; Cruz, around $650,000. Both guys should spring for extra shades. Seems like it would save them a lot of stress.
Finally, what a joy to see Carlos Zambrano pitch so masterfully. Actually, it was a joy to watch all 247 pitches thrown in the game from that seat Saturday afternoon. No doubt about it-- a 95 mile-per-hour fastball is an awesome thing. So, too, are the 89 mile-per-hour slider and the 85 mile-per-hour curveball. And when I consider, a.) the courage required to stand in the batter’s box against even the 85 mile-per-hour pitch, and b.) the skill required to hit the ball, not knowing which one of those pitches is coming, I find it hard to be too critical of a guy like Koyie Hill for batting .160. In fact, out of respect for that courage and talent, I am not going to make a single caustic remark about any Cub hitter for the rest of the season. Okay, not until Tuesday.


Jones pulls down between $5 and $6 million a year; Cruz, around $650,000.

Ouch... I'd rather have Cruz.

Murton with a home run at Iowa this afternoon.

Agreed. Actually, I'd rather have Jose Cruz, Sr. than Jones.

"I have no doubt. I had an unobstructed view of Young’s crotch and he grabbed it in a most provocative and pointed way."

Thank you. I was met with skepticism when I first mentioned this in the as-seen-on-tv recap.

Dare I ask, how you got such great seats? Thanks for the insider's view!

And a hearty "here, here!" regarding the difficulty in hitting 95mph projectiles.

Thanks, Trans. I threw my name into the lottery the team runs to sell off these "Dugout Box Seats," which I guess includes the behind-the-plate seats as well as those near the visitors bullpen and some of the newer bleacher seats.

At this point in their careers Tom Cruise is a better value than Jack Jones

Any projections on games suspended and for which players?

I say Lee gets 7 games, Young gets 5, as does Zambrano. Piniella is out for a few games as well.

Why would Zambrano get anything? He never even got into the fight, and he didn't retaliate at all during the rest of the game. Ditto for Lou. He only got out there to try to break things up and got slammed to the ground for his trouble.

My guess is Lee gets 7 taken down to 5 on appeal, and Peavy and Young each get 5. Maybe a couple days for Perry too.

Both Lee and Young were questioned after the game about who said what to whom and what precisely set off the melée. I have no doubt.

You have no doubt about what was said? Or no doubt as to the nature of the body language?

(If the former, what do you think was said?)

Why would Zambrano get anything? He never even got into the fight, and he didn’t retaliate at all during the rest of the game.

Yes, I say:

Lee: 9
Young: 0
Peavy: 5
Perry: 5
Z: 0

Anyone want to do the what if game for the Cubs-

By the way... I don't think it's right, but that's what I think each of those people will get. Satan Selig sometimes defies logic.

I would like to chime in my love for the soon-to-be classic utterance: "I had an unobstructed view of Young’s crotch".

That's poetry.

I figure Barrett got 10 days for (a) actually punching A.J. in the face, (b) with far less provocation than Lee, and (c) with a much worse track record than Lee, so Lee should get less days in all fairness. There's also the umpires failure to get in between them which should hopefully count in Lee's favor.

Young is going to get something because he threw punches and five games is about the minimum for a starting pitcher. Same thing for Peavy, though I personally think he should get at least 10 games (two starts) since he really created most of the animosity in the first place and then came onto the field to tackle Lee.

Levine: D.Lee and Chris Young both received 6 games suspension. Gerald Perry received 3 games.

I'm ignorant of the way this works - is that the end of that, or is there still an appeals process that can come next?

In any case, 6 is definitely on the lenient side of what we were predicting. Not terribly bad, in my opinion, if that's what he gets.

Wow. I'd say we're lucky of D-Lee only got 6 days, but I'm amazed Peavy didn't get anything.

oh and Peavy and M.Giles only received fines (undisclosed).


They can appeal and continue to play while they wait to be heard, but they must immediately begin serving the suspension after the MLB rules on the appeal. Hopefully the appeal process will last long enough to get A-Ram in the lineup before D-Lee has to serve his suspension.

Brick, D.Lee will certainly appeal at least until Aramis comes back...then if it's decided MLB won't lessen the suspention he'll likely drop it...depending on how long MLB takes to rule on the appeal a good time for Lee to drop it would be July 2-7 when the Cubs are at WASH and PITT.

You have no doubt about what was said? Or no doubt as to the nature of the body language?

I have no doubt that it was the crotch grab that set Lee off.

>>Anyone want to do the what if game for the Cubs-

Naah, I think I'll pass, on the woulda/coulda/shoulda game, too depressing for no real reason. Criticisms made at the time of draft selections, which are then borne out by future developments, of course are real reasons to cry in the beer and can represent legit slams on management. Otherwise we might as well cry about not picking winning lotto numbers every day.

Funniest comment though:

>>It's almost not fair to be a first-round pick of the Pirates, because as soon as they call your name out, you know your career is over

error: check that...5 games each for D.Lee and C.Young.

"I have no doubt that it was the crotch grab that set Lee off."

Well if Young suggested something to him while pointing there I'm sure that would have set him off.

I have the I-Cubs on Gameday, and Rapada is pitching right now... I had heard that the Cubs were going to send him down once Ward was activated, but I hadn't realized that it had already been done...

Oh.. and Cotts has gotten absolutely SHELLED in this game.
4.1 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 3 BB.

wow...cotts got lit up again.

4.1ip 8h 7er 3bb 6k...

cedeno 3 for 5...heh...FREE CEDENO...heheh. sigh...

murton 2 for 4 with a homer...buck coats with 2 homers...5 homers for iowa so far today though 8.

both sides sucking up a 11-14 (iowa lead) game.

DLee gets 5 and it will surely drop to 4 on appeal. Pretty standard for this kind of thing.

Free Coats--he's a better hitter than Pagan (though no one walks better).

Hoffpauir has 63 ribbies. That's a lot.

But we want to see Darryl Ward play first when Lee sits out his suspension, don't we?

How about: Floyd at first, Kroeger in right.

score is reporting that nothing yet has come down...where did y'all here 5 games?

because Levine does circles around the Score's reporters.

"score is reporting that nothing yet has come down…"

F the Score!!!!

According to Harry Teinoweitz of ESPN 1000 the Twins want JJ back.

ESPN reporting the suspensions now.

From a talking head at today:

6. The Cubs might be the most maddening team in baseball.

Three things that drive me nuts about the Cubbies:


At 22, is Felix Pie ready to play every day in center for the Cubs?

• Their outfield is a mess. After spending about $300 million in free-agent contracts, Jim Hendry reached out for one last, seemingly minor deal, inking Cliff Floyd for one year at $3 million. Floyd is no longer the power threat he once was and he's a defensive liability; but his .312/.372/.416 line is at least decent at a corner spot. The bigger issue is the way Lou Piniella has handled his personnel. Forgetting the shift to and from center field, Alfonso Soriano is the one obvious constant. But the player who looked like he could be the second-best hitter in the outfield was Matt Murton, a skilled 25-year-old coming off a promising .299/.367/.466 effort in his first full season who figured to improve as he entered his prime. Instead, Murton got hardly any playing time, until he was so out of sorts that the Cubs chose to demote him. In the process, the Cubs lowered the trade value of their most marketable commodity, given Murton's age, salary and service time. Meanwhile, Jacque Jones, who was a useful player against right-handed pitchers but a liability against lefties, hasn't hit either this year. Felix Pie has shown flashes of potential, but he's too green to be the starting center fielder on a playoff contender.

• They're 13th in the NL in walks. In 2006, they were last. In 2005, also dead last. In 2004, 14th. In 2003, also 14th. The last time the Cubs finished in the upper half of the league in walks was 2002, when they were sixth. For all the success the Red Sox and Yankees have had over the past decade or so, the common thread has usually been a lineup full of patient hitters, willing to grind out opposing pitchers, wait for a pitch to drive and gladly trot to first if that pitch doesn't come. The Cubs don't do that.

• They're at the mercy of Lou Piniella's managerial quirks. Piniella's spent the entire season searching for the right mix in the outfield, in the infield and in the bullpen. Some players have deserved quick hooks. But the manager's lack of patience and propensity to overreact could prove costly over time. Piniella's latest stroke of genius was to bench Michael Barrett for a stretch of three out of four games last week. That despite Barrett being one of the best offensive catchers in the game (including 6-for-17 in the Cubs' four prior games) and his replacement Koyie Hill being a fringe player buried below the Mendoza Line. It wasn't a huge deal -- Barrett returned to the lineup Sunday and should presumably return to regular duty. But the Cubs have the dubious distinction of being the team that's underachieved its runs scored versus runs allowed differential by more than any other team in baseball. Blame bad luck and blame a bad bullpen. But when do we start blaming a bad manager?

5 games from

thank god for that, i was worried about longer


Young 0

what are you smokin, he threw punches as well and he did start it.

He didnt hit anyone ALL YEAR before Lee and then just throws a fast ball at his head. RIIIIIGHT


how can you think Young will get nothing

hasant hit a batter all season and its not like he threw a curve ball and missed

he threw punches as well

Levine says the Pads have intrest in Barrett.

Bruce Levine reporting Cubs and Padres talking trade for Barrett.

Reportedly the exchange between Lee and Young was

Young_"are you okay?"


Young-"get your ass to first"

Dusty was on ESPN Tv and said the reason Aaron will not attend Bonds 755 hr is "not personal." And that Aaron does "not want to relive the stuff he went through when he broke Ruth's record."


Also anyone else think if Barrett goes away this season that the Cubs should make a run at... I cant believe I'm going to say this...(ahem)

AJ Pierzynski???


AJ Pierzynski???

No thanks. AJ has been just as bad as Barrett this year, and he is a jackass.

At least Barrett is a decent guy.

Sorry... thats not quite true.

AJ has been worse, at least at the plate, than Barrett.

Only 5? Sweet. Sit him now and both Ramirez & Lee can join the team at about the same time.

Also, a good time to kick the tires on some rookies, but they'll probably just play Derosa & Ward at the corners.

Levine says the Pads have intrest in Barrett.

The San Diego Madres can have him.

Rynox a lineup without Lee and Rammy is scarybad. Appeal until Rammy is back and then drop the appeal.


They are about the same hitting wise.

Bats Lefthanded
Can handle pitchers

Put him between Aram and Derosa

Guess I dunno why the Pads want Barrett. Josh Bard and Rob Bowen aren't that big of a drop-off compared to Barrett. I know Kouzy's on again/off again with his back, but I don't think third is the answer.

Neither guy can throw guys out. Barrett's not going to help that. Bard's 252/328/350 is eerily similar to Barrett's line. Barrett just has more homers. Heck, even Bowen is dropping a 268/371/439.

Would Bard come back the other way in the deal? Are we really going to try to fix the catcher problem from within if we trade Barrett?

They are about the same hitting wise.

This year:
Barrett: .252/.305/.427 OPS - 732
AJ: .243/.289/.406 OPS - 695

Yea... I guess you are right, though I would take Barrett's #'s with a 40 point advantage in OPS.

Not only that, but Barrett has been a much better hitter over the last three years.

And Barrett can handle pitchers also. And AJ's defense and handling of pitchers has also been criticized. And batting left handed is overrated. I would rather have the better hitter than the left handed hitter.

Bard’s 252/328/350 is eerily similar to Barrett’s line. Barrett just has more homers. Heck, even Bowen is dropping a 268/371/439.

Sure... but that is assuming that Barrett continues to hit well below his numbers from the last few years, which is not likely.

Barrett is a far superior hitter than Bard or Bowen.

Rynox a lineup without Lee and Rammy is scarybad. Appeal until Rammy is back and then drop the appeal.


5 games w/o DLee & Rammy > 10 Games without one or the other

Thanks for the recap of the article. Looks like much of the same from previous years...

Guess I dunno why the Pads want Barrett. Josh Bard and Rob Bowen aren’t that big of a drop-off compared to Barrett.

As much as I don't like Barrett's defensive game, you really can't compare him to the likes of Bard & Bowen. I don't know or care what their stats are, they are both grossly inferior all-around.

How do we know ARam is even going to come back the day he can come off DL?

This offense and this team can't afford any days off from those guys. Many people blasted Barrett last year for being selfish and hitting AJ, thus getting suspended, those same people should be blasting away at Lee. This team is not good right now and with ARam out, Lee should of had a cooler head and not lost his cool.

# 36 Chifan3887 ............ Report from Minnesota radio also reporting that the Twins are talking to the Cubs about getting Joke Jones back. Hangup is how much salary the Cubs will need to eat.

On another subject, I can't believe that anyone would be interested in hiring Andy MacFailure as Director of Baseball Operations. Only the Orioles would be that ignorant. Maybe Jim (Lumpy) Hendry will tag along.

"And AJ’s defense and handling of pitchers has also been criticized."

hardly, Pierzynski is actually was rated near the top in signal calling and handling a staff over the last 3 years. He was widely applauded for helping to turn around Garland and Contreras by forcing them to pitch inside. It's his inability to throw out runners that has been criticized.

"5 games w/o DLee & Rammy > 10 Games without one or the other"

I totally disagree. 3/4 Barrett Floyd? That's not even funny for one game.

That would seem like a pretty good acquisition for the Twins if they can get the Cubs to eat half or even more of Jones' salary. T.Hunter is likely gone after this season so if they cannot find a CF replacement for Hunter next year Jones would be a decent option at a low cost.

Find it hard to believe San Diego has interest in Michael Barrett. Not unless their lockerroom attendant recently retired or something. Josh Bard is a good young catcher will upside.

A.J. Pierzynski is a quality catcher, period. He works very well with pitching staffs and is good behind the plate. And he is a consistent, reliable hitter which is a bonus. I'd take AJ 100 times out of 100 over Michael Barrett. So too would 100% of the GM's around the game.

Barrett is a far superior hitter , yes.

Far superior baseball player or far superior catcher is a different debate. Bard can't throw a ton of guys out, but he's still pretty good back there.

"A.J. Pierzynski is a quality catcher, period."

A.J. Pierzynski is a quality catcher, questionmark.

"So too would 100% of the GM’s around the game."



the rumor section at fox sports says the rumors are out in full force about the Cubs trying to get Gagne. Id be worried about him staying healthy but there is no doubt that he is great when he is on.

"hardly, Pierzynski is actually was rated near the top in signal calling and handling a staff over the last 3 years."

Where are you finding these signal-calling stats?

What on earth was the UMPIRE doing while Derek Lee and Chris Young were seizing eachotehr down for 20 seconds?????

....he was yapping it up with Bard -----

unreal. The umpire definitely deserves his share of blame and deserves a performance leave of absensce. First, he should have issued a warning after Soriano was pegged. Then, he should have tossed Young's ass after he beaned Lee. Third, he was completely oblivious while a brawl broke out on his field.

Now, the cubs suffer as a result of an umpire not controlling the situation.

Any word on MLB taking action against the plate chief?

this is rumor season...the official "everyone is scouting everyone" season...

next weeks gonna be filled to the brim with every name under the sun...wee...rumor season.

Scouts Inc BJS.

As was earlier stated - IF the Cubs signed Gagne - what a collection of "rag-arms" we'd have! Can we get Scott Williamson back?

IF anyone is interested, our Oregon State SS prospect (unsigned) is on ESPN2 right now in the CWS against AZ State.

IFC - got a link to the scouts inc numbers on signal callers?

And AJ has definitely been criticized for his handling of pitchers - there was a lot of criticism about him with Buehrle, at least before he caught the no-hitter.

And again, I have heard very little criticism about Barrett's handling of pitchers. That has rarely if ever been the criticism. The criticism has been his poor defense and bone-headed plays.

"Now, the cubs suffer as a result of an umpire not controlling the situation."


Yeah the ump made Lee lose his cool and throw a punch at Brown. Damn you Ump!!!! I am sure if the ump was standing between those two very big guys, we would of stopped them....SURE!!

Manny no one can really blame the ump but it is sop to walk the batter down the line and stay in between the two players. But he was too distracted talking to the catcher. Its a very common practice that lets people cool down and not make hot headed decisions.

As a matter of fact, I wish I had a ump walk me down the line a few times before I made some hot head posts.

It seems like a pitcher hangs around Barrett for a while, he forgets he has a fastball. It happened to Dempster. Maybe Wuertz. Maybe Zambrano. It's happening to Hill.

Colvin hit his sixth and seventh tonight (and Dopirak his sixth). Jake Fox his 14th.

Colvin has 50 RBI, just ahead of Jake Fox, a little behind Kroeger, and way behind Hoffpauir (64).

Nobody on the Cubs has 40!

no one has 40 rbis on the pro club?

yow...ow...didnt notice...makes sense, though.

I'm sure I'll mention this tomorrow (ad nauseam) but I really hope Sammy hits #600 against us.

"I’m sure I’ll mention this tomorrow (ad nauseam) but I really hope Sammy hits #600 against us."

That would be a little ironic. It would be better if it was at Wrigley, but I still wish him luck.

Let's have Sosa hit 600 this week and Bonds hit 755 after the All-Star Break! Yippie!

And, continuing with arm-troubled pitchers -here's something on the $47MM Man, Jason Schmidt, from today:

"Dodgers pitcher Jason Schmidt is going back on the disabled list because of a right shoulder problem.

Schmidt was ineffective Saturday in his third start since missing 45 games because of bursitis in his shoulder, and admitted that something wasn't quite right.

"I just haven't felt like myself," he said

Raise your hand if you wanted Hendry to go hard after Schmidt!

I haven't seen this mentioned either...

Edmonds and Looper have both been placed on the DL.

"Edmonds and Looper have both been placed on the DL."

15 Day, Dave?

Yea... 15 Day DL.

Thanks - maybe Edmonds will just retire?! Finally.

Ooof -- the Brewers are back. Shelling Lowry tonight, Fielder goes yard again. They took 4 of 6 at Detrorit and Minnesota. It may take more than 83 wins this year.

Cubs have had back-to-back 4-3 weeks, and split 6 with two good clubs (Seattle and Padres), although all were at home.

19 games, mostly against losing teams, until the break. 13-6 gets the Cubs over .500 by the break.

the only thing worse than a cub loss, is no cub game at all. i hate off days.

The E-Man:
Raise your hand if you wanted Hendry to go hard after Schmidt!


No seriously... I was real disappointed the Cub's didn't go after him. I'm quite pleased that Hendry is in charge and I am not. (Cue mannytrillo)

Giants get 3 in the 7th to make 5-4 Beermakers.

hey, SF scored three in the 7th and has pulled within 1 of the Brewers.

SF/Mil - 2 outs, bases loaded, top of 9th - Mil up by 1 - what happens?

And Klesko grounds out to first to end the game...

I feel dirty for having to cheer for the Giants.

I feel dirty for having to cheer for the Giants.

Atleast Cordero is starting to come apart. He has been horrible for 2-3 weeks. This is our key week as TEX and CWS suck. 4-2 is a minunum. inside source with the Cubs tells me they are about to sign Jason Schmidt for 3 years, $44MM total. You heard it here first.

Well MY inside source at MLB Trade Rumors says that someone might have mentioned the possibility of a trade involving Marshall and Jack for Griffey Jr...

Don't tell anyone.

Damn! I gave away my source.

Ugh, Gagne...haven't we had enough with the injury prone pitchers? Closer is not the problem with this team.

Bullpen as a whole hasn't really hasn't been the problem lately, either.

Not enough runs.

I've been thinking about Griffey too. Murton could be an attractive trade piece of the Reds just say 'screw it' and get rid of Griffey and Dunn. Murton and Gallagher for Griffey? Probably hurt in the long run, but it would get their attention.

Johann, he wouldn't be coming to be a closer, necessarily. I would love to see Gagne come in as a set up man for dempster. 100%

Red's would like to dump Griffey's contract. That certainly would be interesting to have Griffey in RF.

Griff would be great in right but do you really want to deal a decent starter for the little time he'll be useful?

Well, the Cubs have been able to produce AA and AAA pitching prospects pretty well for the last 6-8 years, but pitchers get hurt (I know Griffey does too). If the goal is really to make the World Series, 3.5 months of Griffey would be more likely to get us there than a decent long reliever. And Gallagher's upside to me is probably Steve Trachsel. I'd be more concerned about giving up Murton, but would try to get a prospect back as well.

It's been a bad year for the perennial Adam Dunn rumors. Probably because LF is pretty well locked away, but still, this team has no problem playing LFers in RF.

I think the suspensions that were handed down were pretty fair (although I would have rather seen Young get a little stiffer penalty - he did throw at Lee's head for pity's sake!!). Ihope Lee does appeal and gets it reduced by 1 or 2

Sure hate to see Cubs trade Marshall for Griffey. Over their long history, that has consistantly been the the Cubs Achillies Heel. Trading young players for power hitters, past their prime and injury prone.

The Cubs need to do something as this division can still be won. The problem, as I see it, is Hendry must win this year to give himself a bargaining chip with new Cub ownership. Another losing season and he can only hope to return to coach the Creighton Blue Jays.

Well, if we trade Murton and when Griffey goes on the DL, that'll solve our RF logjam.

I guess I don't see the Cubs going after Griffey. Outside of the inner-division trade unlikelihood, I'm sure the Cubs would prefer a RH batter they can platoon with Floyd who isn't named Angel.

If past history was no object they might be chasing that guy we'll be seeing the next three days.

One guy Hendry might look at is Jose Guillen, once the M's realize they're not good enough again.

.... not that they're any worse than us, but you know, stubbornness, accountability, keep your job, never give up, etc.

"Atleast Cordero is starting to come apart. He has been horrible for 2-3 weeks. "

As of last night, Cordero is tops in the NL as far as rankings go among relievers - cbssportsline. #2 in MLB

His K to IP is impressive as is his ERA. The Brewers have managed to weather a pretty bad slump, yet hold on to a nice lead on teams that are below .500.

I am starting to think that they have a real shot at the Division now.

Sorry ST:
#59 "Josh Bard is a good young catcher will upside."

Bard is 29. Barrett will be 31 at the end of the season.

Just had a "duh" moment ... Jermaine Dye a more likely candidate than Jose Guillen IMO, although both could show up on Hendry's radar.

Anyone see the catch Dye made on Willingham (I think) last night? Dayum.

Another guy is the pre-2007 Mike Barrett. That guy would be awesome for this team.

I don't think the inter-division trade thing would be that big of a deal if it helped both teams.

The Reds won't contend for the NL Central anytime in the next two seasons while Griffey would be on our roster. They wouldn't have to worry about him hitting a home run in late September against them to knock them out of the playoffs or anything....

The trade ideas are fantastic, but the thing is... I think the Cub's have all the tools they need to win the pennant this year. It's up to the players to execute and up to Lou to motivate. Also, they'll need the Brewers to choke or have a key injury or something.

Even though... I think the Cub's will still make some moves... maybe to sure up the #2 position defense or middle relief.

BTW... I think the Cub's should have traded Z for Abreu after the Z/Barrett incident like I said back when Abreu was hitting .220. I think it would have been a no brainer for both teams. Since then Abreu has clobbered the ball... now hitting .270 and has been a key ingredient in the Yanks resurgence. Of course Z has pitched a 1.14 ERA since, but still, I'd take a 4.00 ERA pitcher and Abreu's bat & defense.

Another guy is the pre-2007 Mike Barrett. That guy would be awesome for this team.

I think we are already starting to get the pre-2007 Barrett.


Cubs have a ton of ground to make up to make sure they are in the playoffs come October. There are plenty of ways for this team to get better.

* Trade Jacque, even if you eat every dollar of his salary, just to get him off his roster; replace him with Dye, Gullen or someone similar
* You can never have enough arms in the pen; another effective guy to replace one of the dead arms wouldn't hurt anyone, if the right deal presents itself
* Backup catcher - Koyie Hill is OK but clearly the Cubs could stand to upgrade here as well
* Izturis - good if overpriced backup IF, but I don't want to see him starting more than 3 times a month
* Some would argue another SP - the right guy could help this team but I'm not sure it's worth it for the Cubs to make a move at this spot

Plenty of room for a team this inconsistent to get better.

* Izturis - good if overpriced backup IF, but I don’t want to see him starting more than 3 times a month

How many backup IF only start 3 times a month. That seems a bit extreme.

* Some would argue another SP - the right guy could help this team but I’m not sure it’s worth it for the Cubs to make a move at this spot

To replace who?

Yeah, I'm all for trading Jack. But... the Cub's shouldn't have to eat any of his contract. He's affordable by today's standards.

Izturis is a complete black-hole in the lineup. A lot of teams will compromise some offense in this position for a good SS, but Izturis is hardly better than Neifi. A Michael Young-type offensive SS would be dreamy, but those are few and far between. I wasn't too concerned with Izzy to be honest, because I thought Theriot was the every-day SS.

* Some would argue another SP - the right guy could help this team but I’m not sure it’s worth it for the Cubs to make a move at this spot

To replace who?

Neal Cotts in Des Moines

Real Neal,

I misspoke about Cordero. His funk has been in 5 of his last 6 apperances and not 2-3 weeks. His last 6 outings were:

6/9 @ Tex: 0.2 IP, 5H, 4ER, 1/1 K/BB
6/10: @TEX: 1 IP, 2H, 1ER, 1/0K/BB
6/13: @Det: 1 IP, 0 H, 0, ER, 1/0K/BB
6/14 @Det: 1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2/0K/BB
6/16: Min, 1IP, 2H, 0ER, 1/0K/BB
6/18: SF, 1IP, 1H, 0ER, 1/2K/BB

For his last 6 outings he has a 2.83 WHIP, .433 BAA, and a 7.50 ERA. As I said its starting to look like he is ready to fall apart. Honestly if I were Yost I think Turnbow would be my closer now.

They're not exactly beating down the door for Jacque now, are they?

I said some would argue another SP - I am not one of them. Obviously it would be to replace Hill or Marshall because they have options. I'm not for it unless there was a deal for someone special.

Cordero has done a great job this season and last.
He'll get every opportunity to work through a slump.
Both of his last 2 appearances were scorelless, and he's saved his last 4 in a row, regardless of getting hit a little.

I'd like a closer with those kind of "problems."

Obviously it would be to replace Hill

Umm... no, there is no way that the Cubs would be in the market to pick up a starter to replace Hill. Marshall, maybe. But Hill, outside of Sunday's start, has been one of the best pitchers in the NL all year.

Barring injury, Hill will be in the rotation all year.

I'm wondering if a trade involving Ramon Hernandez would be possible/likely. MacPhail obviously knows the Cubs personnel

That would be sweet.

Abreu is NOT a good defensive player. Trading Z for him would be foolish.

In regards to Hill . I saw this posted somewhere else and thought I'd mention it - He has given up 34 runs all year. The Pads are responsible for 10 of those. I'm thinking perhaps Hill IS tipping his pitches and the Pads have figured it out. Perhaps Maddux is letting his team in on a little secret?

Otherwise Rich Hill has been dominant - I say keep him and trade Marshall.

Sean Marshall:
3-2, 34 IP, 27 Hits, 3 HR, 27K/7BB, 2.12 ERA, will turn 25 at the end of August.

Why trade him again?
Why not keep Hill, and Marshall, and have 2 solid starters in the rotation to go with Lillt, Marquis, and Zambrano?
Why break up a good thing? Another Cub moment:
trading young pitchers away for aging veterans.

Another Cub moment:
trading young pitchers away for aging veterans

GM translation: we sure could use Matt Karchner in the bullpen

Samaramadingdong apparently had a positive start, so his bullpen work might have been useful:

CHC HiA Samardzija, Jeff
........... 4.2 5 0 0 5 1 5.06 - first start since June 1

5 walks, 1 K ?

Indeed, 5 walks and 1 K.

thnx...and damn.

I didn't knock Cordero, I know he has gotten roughed up since Foxsports or ESPN pointed out he was having a season for the ages.

Not that I want to rub anyone's faces in it, but there was a lot of 'Schamardsaza should make this team out of spring training' earlier this year and I said that he would have replicated Novoa in the majors. I will have to step back from that and say he would be a good tag team partner for Eyre if he were pitching in the big league pen right now.

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    crunch 30 min 42 sec ago view
  • there was more than one way to get there


    Rob G. 35 min 24 sec ago view
  • supposedly jed "who?" hoyer, too

    crunch 38 min 27 sec ago view
  • same...i just happen to not like sitting through shit sandwich meals for multiple years. baseball is kinda boring when you're punting on 1st down for a slew of years in a row.

    i fully understand why it was done, but i didn't enjoy it. there was more than one way to get competitive and this was the chosen way.

    crunch 39 min 26 sec ago view
  • fwiw, apparently McLeod signed extension as well after he didn't get Twins gig.

    Rob G. 39 min 36 sec ago view
  • I am once again reminded why I am happy that Theo is running the organization.

    Rob Richardson 45 min 15 sec ago view
  • if not they can just intentionally tank the team for 3-4 years and rebuild.




    crunch 47 min 48 sec ago view
  • Hopefully after the Cubs complete their sevenpeat :)

    Rob Richardson 59 min 12 sec ago view
  • They're the best in the business and have been for 12 years running now. The only question is when they'll get bored of it.

    Rob G. 1 hour 2 min ago view
  • I was right here. I don't require my GM's to be perfect, but I would like them to understand what wins baseball games (IMO controlling the strike zone and creating/avoiding outs), and knowing where the organization is in the success cycle.

    Theo and company have made and will make plenty of mistakes, but they seem to understand those two items pretty well.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 5 min ago view
  • Now we're all Theo-believers, where were you when he signed Edwin Jackson? Or how about trading away DJ Lemehaiu? And not signing Samardzija to an extension? Or not pursuing Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols? Or signing Lester? Or trading away Cashner, Dempster, Feldman, etc?...I think I'm losing the narrative here.

    So his deal runs through 2021? Which pretty much coincides when all these guys are due to hit free agency.

    Rob G. 1 hour 15 min ago view
  • Great news.

    "Terms of the deal were not disclosed."

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • Theo inks five year extension

    PC tonite at PNC

    jacos 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.

    billybucks 2 hours 52 min ago view
  • Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)

    Rob G. 2 hours 58 min ago view
  • jacos 3 hours 56 min ago view