The Nomar Corollary

The recent run of winning by the Northside Nine has brought along a swell of optimism that could take down some prime Lakefront property. The Cubs reached their low point of the season on June 2nd, nine games under the mediocrity line, a day after the battery batted on each other and the day that Sweet Lou left a bitter taste with the umps. There seems to be a growing sentiment that the weekend of turmoil was the turning point to what looked like to be just another season of discontent. That the outward displays of raw emotion at each other and at the umpires were a culmination of the seething fury over the first two months of lackadasical losing baseball. The team responded, the front office jumped into action and we now have this well-oiled machine of winning that we've all enjoyed over the last few weeks. Of course the Cubs didn't take off right from that very day, they went from 9 games to 6 games under over the next few weeks but lost a half game in the standings before the next major marker in the season, the Michael Barrett trade. Was the trade of TCR's (and Z's) favorite scapegoat the real launching point of the team's recent good fortune? Well that remains to be seen, but the similarities to a recent World Champion are worth noting. The year was 2004 and the Boston Red Sox had suffered yet another heartbreaking playoff defeat the prior year to their arch-nemesis from the Bronx. The offseason began and ended with the acquisition of Curt Schilling (and of course the firing of Grady Little). Hopes were high after a 95-win season though and with another ace on the staff. Throw in relatively new general manager Theo Epstein and a world-class offense and this was going to be the year that the Red Sox finally overcame three lifetime's worth of demons, a tune all too familiar to Cubs fans everywhere. Things started out slow for the BoSox though, the offense was hitting on almost all cylinders although local hero Nomar Garciaparra had missed a good chunk of the season battling injuries. The focus though on offense had left the defense looking like the Bad News Bears and Nomar's impending free agency was becoming more of a focus than the play on the field. The distractions mounted and a preseason favorite were 56-45, seven and a half out of first place and a half-game back of the wild card the day before the trade deadline. Things weren't working like they should, changes needed to be made and tough decisions were needed. Trade rumors had circulated for weeks, but the plug finally had to be pulled and in a complicated 4-way deal, Nomar Garciaparra landed with the Cubs while the Red Sox rid themselves of a clubhouse distraction while improving what was considered a poor defensive team with the acquisitions of Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz. The rest - as they say - is history. The Red Sox finished the year on a 42-18 run, completed the greatest comeback ever and lifted an 86-year old curse. All because of one trade... if they only knew a little sooner. The $10,000 question though for Cubs fans is whether the Michael Barrett trade will do such similarly wonderful things for the 2007 Cubs? The coincidences are certainly worth noting. Barrett, as was Nomar, was a pending free agent although him remaining with the Cubs did not nearly have the same level of local importance as Nomar's potential departure. Nomar was a Red Sox lifer, the face of the franchise for years and just running the risk of losing him was something a lot of Red Sox fans weren't interested in - much more similar to Carlos Zambrano's current situation that Barrett's. Barret, like Nomar,  was a a drag on the defense, his mental mistakes occurring more often and seemingly more costly and his offense was no longer offsetting the woes in his defense. And potentially worst of all, ever since he served as Z's punching bag, the focus had gone from wins and losses and moved to how the pitching staff felt about Barrett and formely harmless dugout banter became tabloid fodder. And similarly to Nomar's case, a deal had to be made, not only because of it's effect on the game itself but to those around the team. Too many questions, too many distractions, too much time not concentrating on the game at hand. Addition by subtraction is the term often bandied about and the Cubs most certainly did not add much of anything. The club has gone through three seasons worth of replacements at the catching position  in just over a month, all bringing copious amounts of suck with them. Yet the club pushes forward, 32-38 the day Barrett got traded, they've gone 19-8 since and moved within 3.5 games of the front-running Brewers and two back of Barrett's new team from securing the wild card. There's another saying out there though, "correlation does not equal causation". Yes, the Cubs have hit their stride since the trade, they've also hit some real bad basebal teams at the same time (current combined winning percentage of .463). They were also never as bad as the record indicated as proponents of run differential have been advocating for most of the season. The correction was likely to occur at some point during the season and whether the Barrett trade was the cause or just the coincidence, well somehow it'll all end up being blamed on Barrett.
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Comments

Michael Barrett, a losing component? I don't buy it. He is what he is, and that's all. He's an offense-type catcher. This weekend, for example, his offense was missed. There will be games where Kendall's defense might save a run or two. In the end, I think it's a wash.

On the other hand, I don't think he got along with his teammates as you noted here:

And potentially worst of all, ever since he served as Z’s punching bag, the focus had gone from wins and losses and moved to how the pitching staff felt about Barrett and formely harmless dugout banter became tabloid fodder.

If that's the case you have to move him to keep the peace.

Yes, the Cubs have hit their stride since the trade, they’ve also hit some real bad basebal teams at the same time

Yeah, they've beat such rubbish as Milwaukee Brewers (2 of 3), Colorado Rockies (3 of 3), and Seattle Mariners (2 of 3). The soft schedule is only part of the reason for the hot streak, good baseball is the other part.

Rynox -- The Brewers and Mariners both have better records than us...hardly rubbish.

Off-topic, and I am not trying to start something, as I realize this is an old subject, but I just have to briefly comment on Peter Gammons' appearance this morning on the "Morning Joe" show on MSNBC this morning. What is it with these guys? I mean, I understand Joe Miller being an apologist for Barry Bonds given that Miller does the Giants' games. But Gammons is supposed to be some sort of font of knowledge or wisdom and we are all supposed to sit there and just marvel at his insights.

But on Bonds, the guy is as big an apologist for Bonds if not a bigger apologist. Once again, Gammons this morning slid it in that "we don't really know" if Bonds used performance enhancing drugs. And, of course, no one called him on that and asked him: "Well, what is your take on all the circumstantial evidence Peter? On a scale of 1-100, Peter, what do you think the likelihood is that Bonds took drugs?"

This morning, Gammons even tried to compare the "mental asterisk" that he said people will give to Bonds breaking the record with the real asterisk that Maris got after breaking Ruth's single season record and the "mental asterisk" that some people gave Aaron because he had more at bats than Ruth. Come again? Peter, the guy took drugs. You have no business comparing what he did to the records that Maris and Aaron set.

You know, you would have thought that Gammons would be concerned about the integrity of the game. Instead, he stated this morning that Bonds will be remembered as the greatest player of his era. Not by me, Peter. Not by me.

Rob... well written post, even though I do not think that Barrett has much to do with the losing nor did his trade have much to do with the winning.

And ARM - Bonds will be remembered as the greatest player of his era by me. He was the greatest even before he allegedly took PEDs.

I respect Peter Gammons even though I don't always agree with him. On the other hand, I don't respect Barry Bonds. Gammons reputation is founded on the product of a keen baseball mind, diligently applied. Bonds reputation has a chemical constituent; he's the poster child for Pharmacy Baseball.
Hank Aaron hit all those home runs, drove in all those runs, scored all those runs because he worked very hard at applying his innate skills to the game he loves. See the similiarity to Gammons? See the dissimilarity to Bonds?
To make things worse, Bond's personality is a hard pill to swallow. He's sullen, self-pitying, a thoroughly unlikeable "star". He's not unique in this respect, but I make no apology for preferring Gammons and Aaron.

Even if Bonds knowingly took steroids, is he that different than 95% of his peers. Not even taking into account the fact that Steroids WEREN'T AGAINST THE RULES. Speculation is that 35-75% of the players were taking roids at the time. I would say the vitamins and supplaments the rest of the players are taking push the legal/illegal line right up to their limits. Also when taking into account that Bonds has accompished all of this while playing in the Worst hitters park in baseball. You have to give this guy credit. No matter how much of a jerk he may be. When Henry Aaron got to 500 Homers. Ted Turner had the Fulton County Stadium fences moved in substantially. In an effort to help Hank's chances. Yet no one brings this up? In reality the reason that Bonds has been so villified has less to do with any substance he may or may not have taken. Moreso it is because his crass attitude towards the media has made him a villian in every article we've read about him for the last 10 years.

if this spins into a Bonds/steroids debate today I blame you ARM. :)

Rynox was kidding about the rubbish, I assume he was also kidding about the Mariners since we played them before Barrett got traded.

I also assume that everyone realizes that the overall quality of teams we've played lately has been pretty bad although it's been a littered with a good ballclub or two.

And finally, (I thought) it was rather clear I was proposing the idea and that the last paragraph pretty much sums up my feelings. It has less to do with trading Barrett, more to do with the recent strength of schedule and just the good old 162 game schedule evening itself out.

We've played good and there's probably a dozen different reasons why.

Hmm, now that would be interesting off-day topic, talking about what's working and not working with this club rather than Mr. Bighead.

And finally, (I thought) it was rather clear I was proposing the idea and that the last paragraph pretty much sums up my feelings. It has less to do with trading Barrett, more to do with the recent strength of schedule and just the good old 162 game schedule evening itself out.

Yea... I got that - it was pretty clear. I just wanted to make clear that Barrett was not to blame.

And I would take Barrett over Kendall any day.

Crazy Cubs Fan - Thought it was obvious, but Rynox was being sarcastic with the description of those teams as "rubbish"

and for the record, it would be great if Bonds somehow didn't get the record just cause I don't like the guy. But as aaronb mentioned just as many, if not more pitchers were using it that will never be identified. At this point it's nothing more than the Salem Witch Trials. Throw them in water and see if they float. What, they drowned? Well at least they weren't witches.

Bonds will get the record, probably retire at the end of the year cause I don't see the Giants bringing him back and Arod will have the record in 7 or so years.

Kendall cannot make enough good defensive plays to make up for losing Barrett's bat. Especially because Kendall is pretty mediocre defensively himself.

Just from a HR stand point, Kendall would have to save 9 runs from scoring defensively to make up for the HR difference (I'm assuming Kendall isn't going to hit any HRs this year, which is a pretty safe assumption).

Maybe it can be said the trade needed to happen because of personalities, but it will simply not be a wash from a statistical and run stand point.

This is from View from the Bleachers:

Starting Pitcher Run Support (based on 27 outs)
1. Jason Marquis - 5.71
2. Ted Lilly - 5.20
3. Carlos Zambrano - 5.15
4. Sean Marshall - 4.08
5. Rich Hill - 2.90

Sucks to be Rich Hill.

aaronb:
Even if Bonds knowingly took steroids, is he that different than 95% of his peers. Not even taking into account the fact that Steroids WEREN’T AGAINST THE RULES.

But they were, you know, against the law.

aaronb:
Speculation is that 35-75% of the players were taking roids at the time.

And when they admit "unknowingly" taking steroids and/or face indictment, we can rag on them.

aaronb:
When Henry Aaron got to 500 Homers. Ted Turner had the Fulton County Stadium fences moved in substantially. In an effort to help Hank’s chances. Yet no one brings this up?

That's because it's not true. Turned bought the Braves in '76. By then, Aaron was in his second season with the Brewers. But it would have made much more of an impact and been really, really cool if it were true.

aaronb:
In reality the reason that Bonds has been so villified has less to do with any substance he may or may not have taken. Moreso it is because his crass attitude towards the media has made him a villian in every article we’ve read about him for the last 10 years.

The press didn't randomly draw his name out of a hat. Press and many fans think he's an ass for a reason. Because he is. The PEDs are an extra reason to root against him. A bonus, if you will.

Please, please, please repeat this refrain:

Anything against the law is against the rules in baseball.

That includes steroids. People who took steroids were breaking the law and thus the rules in baseball. Not just Bonds, everyone who did, including probably mister expando head Sosa.

In conclusion, steroids are bad mmkay? I really wish they could do a "this is your dick. This is your dick on steroids" commercial targeted to young boys. Thinking your dick might shrink would be a pretty large deterrent.

I was wrong that Ted Turner brought the fences in. I was told the owner at the time did have them brought in. I cannot find a link. I am going by the words of an Atlanta resident during that time. On the second point. If Bonds was a Tony Gwynn type of personality. Would all of this venom be spewing his way? I highly doubt it. If McGwire were breaking this record this year. Would the press corp be up in arms? I highly doubt it. By all accounts Bonds is a first class asshat. However a record is a record. We may not want to go out to dinner with him. But it still shouldnt diminish his accomplishments.

if it hasn't been mentioned, Rosenthal with a Dunn to Nationals rumor and the Dodgers are the front-runners for Dotel.

Rosenthal with a Dunn to Nationals rumor

Hahaha... sucks to be Dunn.

The only other comment I'll make is I think a lot of the issues centers around this:

He would have been a great hitter if he hadn't taken steroids. He wouldn't be breaking the HR record. He easily could have been one of the most celebrated baseball players ever, but he wouldn't be breaking this record here.

Ugh, the grammar in that post sucks.

"But it still shouldnt diminish his accomplishments."

No, being a first class ass-hat shouldn't diminish his accomplishments. Absolutely. Barry Bonds is a Hall of Fame player. For years, he was a combination of power and speed rarely seen.

Of course, his record is diminished by the fact that he admittedly "unknowingly" took steroids...whcih I find to be just bullshit. Gee...soomehow, I magically went from 205 lbs to 228 lbs in one off-season, at age 33...and it was all muscle This happens...um..never......and my head grew disproportionally huge in relative size to my body? Amazing what some flaxseed oil can do. Oh...and I, like Biggio and Frank Thomas, can wear body armor to home plate with no fear of being hit on my non-throwing arm...also I get the strike zone the size of a small frisbee, so I get to walk a bazillion times a season.
My lifetime batting average of .288 until age 33, when most human playeers begin to decline, somehow took off to a level of .323 from 1998-2004...a 35 point increase?? Ok....but the steroids had nothing to do with it.

Great...have the record, and go screw yourself Barry. I will not cheer for him.

some NL central notes on a Cub day off:

Brewers play at Cincy tonight Harang (10-2) vs Capuano (nice matchup); of course it means we might see a Harang vs. Marshall matchup Saturday night.

Brewers play a day-night doubleheader saturday at StL, doubleheader wear on the bullpens is a good thing. Brewer Rookie Manny Parra to start one of those games

Kinda' random, but I was looking at Marshall's numbers this year, and he has been really damn good.

Just wanted to share that.

Brewer's with no days off this week...so we'll see the end of the 1/2 game difference between the two teams.

"If McGwire were breaking this record this year. Would the press corp be up in arms?"

Yes, since his testimony (or lack thereof ) in front of Congress he has been disowned by St. Louis. There has been an effort to unname a Highway to him and hasnt been invited to any team functions. Also in the media controversey=cash to them.

"If Bonds was a Tony Gwynn type of personality. Would all of this venom be spewing his way?"

A-rod is a people friendly guy and he gets the hell boo'ed out of him every time he goes into a slump. Barrett is a nice guy who we always loved to rip apart. I am sure you could even find some saberhead that thinks Gwynn sucked because he didn't walk or slug the ball. It is is his cheating that is why people hate him.

DAVE: 5. Rich Hill - 2.90

Oy.

As you said. Rich Hill has to pitch a shut out every outing.

And for the record. Aaron B does not support, nor like Barry Bonds. I just don't like the talking head types telling me how I am supposed to feel about it. I just find double standards deploreable in all cases.

cubster:
of course it means we might see a Harang vs. Marshall matchup Saturday night.

I'm going to that game! Hoping the matchup changes before Saturday. :(

BTW... hopped on cubs.com

Holy shit, Kip Wells is still a big-league pitcher? WTF?

As for the Barrett trade it is part of the reason for the suceess. His defense was killing the team and he was apart of the dumb baseball being played. Getting rid of him helped change the culture. If in the clubhouse, he was saying things like he did in this MJH interview linked to in the story, I imagine he wasnt a clubhouse faviorite.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

His defense was killing the team

Well... Kendall's defense isn't any better.

Dave,

I know that and I am hoping once Blanco comes back that Kendall gets DFA'd.

I didn't hate Barrett, but it was clear that his offensive troubles (and other factors, like impending FA) were affecting his defense, which was already marginal. I don't remember a catcher making as many mental mistakes as he was making near the end, whether it be a run - down gone awry, or passed balls because of mixed - up signals with his pitcher. Change of scenery was a good idea for all involved.

I know that and I am hoping once Blanco comes back that Kendall gets DFA’d.

You really think Hendry gave up a pretty decent prospect so that he could then DFA Kendall?

If Kendall gets DFA'd, that would be a real boneheaded move by Hendry at the end of the day. To give up a legit prospect for nothing---gah.

kendall, blanco, k.hill, bowen, barrett, soto...does it really matter?

barrett just isnt the barrett we had the past couple years even though he's got the best bet outta the whole lot to hit a double/homer. his D has regressed to a point it cant afford to go with as lax as it already was and his bat has lost what consistency it used to have.

at this point the club is shuffling a buncha adequate parts without a single guy who brings something worth noting to the table on a consistant basis. that's about all that's out there, though.

If in the clubhouse, he was saying things like he did in this MJH interview linked to in the story, I imagine he wasnt a clubhouse faviorite.

What did Barrett say wrong in that interview?

I just have this feeling that the last shoe has not dropped on this series of catcher trades yet this season. Kendall has not been inserted as the everyday catcher and I wonder if we're just trading water with him until Blanco comes back.

Interesting, Cotts Baseball Contracts states that the Pirates are actually paying $5.5M of Kendall's $13M contract this year, Cubs are only paying $857k, and Oakland the rest. In a weird way, that creates an incentive to ship him back to our favorite trading partner, the Pirates, where despite his level of suckiness, he might put Pirate fans in the seats the rest of this year, as he was a fan favorite there all those many years ago. Can anyone say "Ryan Doumit"?

related to my previous post: Kendall would of course have to waive his no-trade clause again. Presumably he would like to be on a contender, but who knows.

I would be really surprised to see another change at catcher, at least form outside the organization. The only change that I would think would be realistic would be to bring Soto up and DFA'ing Hill.

agreed dave. Although DFA'ing Hill would seriously thin out the catching depth. Assuming Blanco is done anyways. I think Hill develops Wade Miller-esque (Back Spasms) and goes on the DL before a DFA.

dave - don't forget that Blanco is on assignment in Peoria right now, and, as long as he doesn't start to have problems again, will be ready for the majors pretty soon. That will not leave room for more than one other catcher, which, I would guess, would be Kendall.

there's just no catchers to be had that would be a "wow, that's great" type of pickup.

the best i can honestly think off that would/could be available (without the "trade the farm" salty types) are guys that are of questionable impact on the high end...g.laird in tex, r.hernandez in bal, m.olivio in fla...k.shopp in cleveland...y.torreabla in col...b.schnider in was...m.redmond in min...g.zaun in tor...

personally, im a fan of r.hernandez...but heard nothing about him being shopped and he's not exactly a slam-dunk given his drop in production/slumps and injuries this year.

the rest of the guys...for me...you can just lump in with the crew of "low/no impact" vs. what's already been here and what's currently here. just looks like more cherry picking and shuffling of meh.

i could live with blanco/kendall...soto is around in the mix in case of one them lames out. k.hill's future is very much in doubt. even if k.hill gets sent to AAA soto's got him in the pecking order so he wouldnt even get fair time there. one of them (soto/hill) has to go unless someone wants a reduced role.

Yea... I kinda' left Blanco out, but I guess I didn't really consider that a "change."

Soon it will probably be Kendall/Blanco, with Hill going somewhere (DFA or DL).

Just a couple of comments on the catcher situation:

1. At his age, I doubt that Blanco is able to catch every day after he comes back.

2. Comparing Barrett and Kendalls defensive ability is ridiculous. Kendall is a "catcher". Barrett is just a warm body to throw the ball back to the pitcher. Barrett either couldn't or wouldn't learn the basics of being a catcher. Areas of expertise such as framing a pitch were completely lacking in Barrett.

3. A good defensive catcher is more valuable any day to a team than a boxer that can hit. Lots of good teams have won with weak hitting catchers. But very few have been winners with poor defensive catchers.

speaking of peoria...i didnt even notice ceda was back.

looks like they're working him out of the pen this time around...for now.

2g 3ip 0h 0bb 4k so far...welcome back.

But very few have been winners with poor defensive catchers.

Then the Cubs are screwed... because even IF Kendall is significantly better than Barrett defensively (which I do not believe to be true), Kendall is very poor defensively. He is mediocre at blocking pitches, and he is probably worse than Barrett in terms of throwing out runners.

kendall vs. barrett defense arguement?

might as well argue whether macias or neifi are better hitters.

kendall's arm is gone...he can catch/block, but he's not automatic...

i'd prefer kendall's D over barrett's, but its not a good solution to a problem if the D was the big issue.

also, its hard to ignore what kendall has done with a bat for years. his speed isnt the same and his bat lost power it couldnt afford to lose years ago. its like watching aj pierzinski at age 40 or something.

Wow... random factoid for the Bonds conversation - Bonds is second among active players in .... stolen bases!

I have seen no semblence of defensive upgrade from Kendall at this point. If at one time he was a superior defender. As of today, he is in reputation only. If he cannot at least be passable with the stick. Then the cubs are no worse for the wear to give Soto a full and legitimate shot. If Kendall can't outhit Koyie Hill. I just assume Hill do the catching because he is a legitimate defensive upgrade.

What did Barrett say wrong in that interview?

Good question, I didn't notice anything either. There is a link to a podcast though in there, maybe he said something in there.

There is a link to a podcast though in there, maybe he said something in there.

I listened to the podcast, and didn't hear anything that would have riled up his teammates.

http://www.northsidebaseball.com/Forum/viewto...

random Internet rumor...

Just heard this from one of my sources on the East Coast. He heard this morning that Jim Hendry has dispatched a scout up to Toronto this weekend to look at Matt Stairs.

The Ward injury, Floyd's daily health woes and the stretch run has convinced Hendry he needs to add a veteran lefty bat.

When I asked my source about Piniella's comments in the last 2 weeks about wanting another righty bat, the source said it was an "intentional smokescreen to outflank some other teams."

It's a rumor. Take it for what it's worth.

be nice to have stairs...still, think a righty power option would be more attractive, though. not like floyd/ward are DOA...and what's to be done assuming both are healthy and the cubs are cutting out a postseason roster?

btw...stairs was GREAT in the clubhouse last time around.

when kerry wood got pissed and tried to kick at a cup on in the dugout after a bad inning he missed and ended up flat on his back. stairs came out early the next day to put a tape outline of kerry wood's body on the ground with his jersey # and a cup sitting beside it.

another time on a REALLY hot day (the field is generally 10+ degrees hotter than the air temp, too) stairs showed up to the game wearing a full down-feather snow coat, gloves, stocking cap, snow boots, etc....

that's a guy who will go the extra mile to create a few laughs in the clubhouse without trying to humiliate or cause pain to others while getting his laughs.

There is no room on this roster for Matt Stairs unless Darlye Ward is really out for the season. If so, then Stairs would be a great guy to get.

That does not take away the fact that we need a right handed bat.

I posted this in the game thread from yesterday as well, but I wasn't sure many people were visiting it.

From Will Carroll this morning:

“Several teams mention that the Cubs seem to be hanging around the periphery of most talks, trying to figure out ways to make the deals they want without taking on any money. One possibility that I heard was moving Jacque Jones and a prospect for Jeff Conine.”

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Kendall has been a below replacement level player this year accordin to BP -
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/dt/kendaja0...

But his pitching staff in Oakland did really well, and that's all that counts - framing pitches.

Will Carroll with some juicy rumors:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Says the Cubs are involved in alot of trade talks and throws out a JJ and prospect for Conine.

But his pitching staff in Oakland did really well

Didn't the Cubs pitching staff to pretty well with Barrett? :)

We can't trade Jacque Jones...he had a 4-hit Game!!!!!!!
He's on fire!!!!!!

Please note sarcasm...

Conine? He is not an improvement over JJ... I don't know what the point of that trade is...

In case you missed it, Michael Barrett got kicked out of the game yesterday arguing balls and strikes.

Paul Sullivan goes further in his Trib blog today:

"Michael Barrett. The controversial ex-Cub had another meltdown on Sunday over a called strikeout, leading to the ejection of manager Bud Black. In a glaring case of déjà vu, Barrett's game-calling is now under scrutiny. How long he'll be catching Padres ace Jake Peavy is a question they'll soon be asking in San Diego. Peavy was pounded by Philadelphia on Sunday and has a 5.09 earned-run average with Barrett behind the plate, as opposed to a 1.98 ERA with Josh Bard as his catcher. Padres pitchers overall have a 4.18 ERA with Barrett catching, and a 2.82 ERA with Bard catching."

Conine? He is not an improvement over JJ… I don’t know what the point of that trade is…

Well... for one, Conine is a righty and JJ is a lefty.

With that said, I am not sure that Conine is an upgrade over someone like Murton or Fox.

via the BP link from Wes...

Snell for Salty makes too much sense for both teams. Littlefield will mess that one up somehow.

Conine deal is intriguing, although that would mean another deal involving a CF'er on the way in. I just don't see the Cubs handing over the reigns to Pie at any point this season without a viable backup. Sure wouldn't be against another Kenny Lofton tour although he did get hurt this weekend didn't he?

Jeff Conine: .256/.320/.401 5 HR, 26 RBI (172 AB)
Jacque Jones: .245/.305/.339, 2 HR, 26 RBI.(245AB)
Conine probably can't play RF on a regular basis, but played some last season...could be a decent PH-1B-OF type...7 for 18 as a PH this season.
Doesn't make a lot of sense, but stranger things have happened.

Doesn't seem like he got hurt seriously:

Lofton was not in the Rangers' starting lineup Saturday after fouling a ball of his right big toe on Friday. X-rays were negative, but Lofton was limping in pain before the game.

yeah, I think Barrett caused Jake Peavy's arm soreness too. His powers cannot be grasped by mere mortals.

and obviously a Conine trade would be for a righty bench bat, not to bring in JJ's replacement.

Also hearing rumored reports that The Score is said that Ronny Cedeno is being called up.

Conine is 41 years old! He has not played CF at all this year, and has spent one total game in the OF overall. He has been playing 1B. Doesn't look to me like this guy is a passable OF'er any more. Trading JJ for him seems pointless to me, especially if a prospect also would have to go with JJ...

Conine is 41 years old! He has not played CF at all this year,

Again... Conine wouldn't replace JJ's role. He would come in and be the RH pinch hitter off of the bench.

Speaking of Nomar, he's been struggling this year. Maybe we should bring him over to play short? No, I'm not serious.

Rob, I tried to extend the olive branch to make you stop hating me, but you rejected my advances.

a jj/conine move would involving bringing another CF'r in...or moving soriano back to CF (very unlikely)...pretty much cant be pagan sent down based on need/use of the team makeup and the CF called up would most likely be pie. someone would have to go in that situation....

The Joe,

Let's just go ahead and flip the Soriano's and you'll be back in my Top 5!!!

But I understand if our friendship doesn't mean that much to you.

finley's out in colorado for anyone that wants a defensive left handed CF for pennies...no takers on that yet, though.

I imagine it's Cedeno for Scott Moore in terms of a roster move.

"With that said, I am not sure that Conine is an upgrade over someone like Murton or Fox."

Conine is not the guy I want as our RH pinch hitter but he's a certain upgrade over Murton and Fox for that role. If we were talking about starting everyday or even being the right handed part of a platoon, I Murton gets the edge. But late in a game with the tying run on second, I'd take Conine over Murton.

getting a Matt Stairs as a lefty pinch hitter makes sense if they feel DWard is out for 6 weeks (Az Phil has said this previously). The interesting thing is that it would give them 26 players to pick from if they make the playoffs since Ward would be on the DL and still eligible for the playoffs if he is reactivated on/by Sept 1st and Stairs (or other lefty off the bench) would already be on the 25 man roster.

If they brought in Conine, he would be a replacement for Fox. I'd rather have Fox but I'd rather see a bit more of Jake to make that decision...so that would be a last minute transaction in my opinion.

Gammons blurb about a Garland for Renteria swap being discussed...

It would have been nice to see Fox play once this weekend...not that Uncle Cliffy didn't have a stellar game yesterday, but...he didn't.

Rob,

I think Gorezalanny for Salty makes more sense, because if PIT trades Snell there rotation is 4 or 5 lefties. Of course they will always beat us then.

Let's go get Conine and Matt Stairs. Anyone know if Gary Gaetti is available? I hear Eric Karros is looking to get back in the bigs.

Getting any of these old guys doesn't seem like a great strategy for this year, next year, or any other year outside of 1999.

Gammons blurb about a Garland for Renteria swap being discussed…

Wow... really? Why would the Braves do that?

Speaking of bench bats, whatever happened to TODD WALKER? released by the A's in May....

Crunch,

Actually Finley is back in his socal home after being DFA'd by the Rockies.

CWTP,

Apparently he does some analysis now for ESPN radio.

Braves have Yunel Escobar that they're itching to give a full-time job too (right now he's the short-side of the 2b platoon). As for getting Garland, I guess nothing better is available.

ah...thnx

Anyone know if Gary Gaetti is available?
-----
Andy McFail certainly has the ink warmed up on that deal for the Orioles.

I think Gorezalanny for Salty makes more sense, because if PIT trades Snell there rotation is 4 or 5 lefties. Of course they will always beat us then.

yeah either way I suppose, the blurb said Snell and I think he's the better of the two. It really depends on what each team thinks of Snell and Gorzelanny in the end.

I love Matt Stairs. Let's get him.

Speaking of bench bats, whatever happened to TODD WALKER?
----
I heard him on a radio interview. He's out of baseball and was doing some "celebrity" appearance in Arkansas (insert joke here).

Rob-"Nothing better is available?"
Garland- 7-7, 4.15 ERA, 132 IP ERA+ of 109 for a team in last place.
The ERA ballooned from 3.15 to 3.92 after the shellacking the Sox took from the Twins.
Garland did win 36 games in 2005-2006.

Renteria is 31, but having a really good season for the Braves. Is his salary up at the end of the year or something?

A couple of quick opinions, if I may:

There's always room on a playoff contending roster for Matt Stairs. For one reason, Lou will probably go with only 11 pitchers. Another current reason, Fox - Moore - 'Fragile Floyd'.

Also, Dave......you've got to let the Barrett thing go, my friend. He's gone, never coming back, and his splits vs. anyone else don't matter. Lou didn't like watching Barrett play baseball (including, but not limited to, catching a baseball, blocking pitches, running the bases, calling a game, etc.). There's not a stat you can come up with that will trump that assessment by Lou -- he didn't like Barrett, didn't like him as a person, and didn't like him trolling his clubhouse. That's it, and that's why he's gone.

I know you know this, but not everything at the personnel level in baseball runs off the stat/splits sheet. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes a manager just says "AAAGH, get this guy off my team!" That would be Barrett in this case.

Unless another centerfielder apparates in Wrigley Field, I don't see how any Jacque Jones trade rumors are anything but rumors. Now, if we trade for Kenny Lofton or David deJesus...different story.

Trade Ian Snell?
How exactly does that make sense for Pittsburgh?
Even for Saltalamacchia? Is Doumit that bad as a catcher? Paulino?

seems a bit presumptious on the Lou/Barrett dynamic. Lou had a lot of good things to say about Barrett while he was here. I don't doubt he got fed up with the mental mistakes and costly defensive mislaps but I'm going to go out on a limb and say the whole organization felt that way. It was pretty painful to watch Barrett this year and I was even ready for him to go and I've always supported him.

But hey, if Lou wielding the hand of doom around the clubhouse makes people feel better about their manager, go for it.

The Pirates offense is awful, just damn dreadful. Actually it's a complete embarrassment. And personally, position players are more sustainable than pitchers. The attrition rate on pitchers is much higher in terms of injury and stability in performance (I'm looking at you Dontrelle Willis), if you can trade a young arm for a pretty sure bet bat (and I think Salty is just that) I think you pull the trigger.

Braves need the young arm, Pirates desperately need the offense.

Also, Dave……you’ve got to let the Barrett thing go, my friend.

That is fine... but this is a post about Barrett and his impact on the team's wins/losses, so I am not sure why I shouldn't talk about my thoughts on Barrett on this post.

All I am saying is that it is a bit disturbing that we traded away a minus defense/plus offense catcher and ended up with a minus defense/minus offense catcher.

I am sure there are reasons that the Cubs org decided to part with him, but if it was because of Barrett's defense they really f'd up by bringing in another poor defensive catcher.

chifan... cubster

Thanks for the news on T. Walker.

Renteria is signed through 2008 ($9M) with a club option for 2009 at $11M with a $3M club buyout. However, Boston is paying $2.7M of that this year and $2.7M next year and also will pay the 2009 buyout if exercised. So the incremental salary for Renteria is not terrible.

Doug Dascenzo — July 23, 2007 @ 11:50 am
Let’s go get Conine and Matt Stairs. Anyone know if Gary Gaetti is available? I hear Eric Karros is looking to get back in the bigs.

Getting any of these old guys doesn’t seem like a great strategy for this year, next year, or any other year outside of 1999.

===========================

Doug D: Gaetti and Karros are retired, but Stairs and Conine have been among the best PHs in MLB this season.

TOP 10 MLB PH OPS 2007 (minimum 20 PA as PH):

1. Wilson Betemit (LAD) - 1.342 (31 PA as PH)
2. Ryan Ludwick (STL) - 1.315 (24 PA as PH)
3. Tony Clark (AZ) - 1.134 (29 PA as PH)
4. Matt Stairs (TOR) - 1.014 (24 PA as PH)
5. Todd Linden (FLA) - .958 (28 PA as PH)
6. Jayson Werth (PHI) - .950 (20 PA as PH)
7. Jeff Conine (CIN) - .923 (24 PA as PH)
8. Mark Sweeney (SF) - .888 (50 PA as PH)
9. Morgan Ensberg (HOU) - .863 (21 PA as PH)
10. Matt Diaz (ATL) - .855 (32 PA as PH)

Kendall sucks and needs to be released. it's time for that man to retire. The Cubs shot themselves in the foot when they traded for that POS.

i doubt the Cubs will do much more at the catching position, it's Kendall's job barring catastrophic suck.

One decent month long hot streak from him though will make the deal worth it at this point.

Rob G. — July 23, 2007 @ 12:26 pm
i doubt the Cubs will do much more at the catching position, it’s Kendall’s job barring catastrophic suck.

One decent month long hot streak from him though will make the deal worth it at this point.

========================

ROB G: If Henry Blanco comes back 100% or close to 100% (and he's two games into his rehab stint at Peoria, and so far so good), I think the Cubs' catcher job will be split about 50/50 between Blanco and Kendall, and when Kendall gets the start, Blanco will be used as a late-inning defensive replacement in a close game where the Cubs are trying to protect a lead.

hadn't seen the Scot Olsen mug shot, awesome:

http://mvn.com/mlb-baseballistic/2007/07/21/s...

"Anyone know if Gary Gaetti is available?"

he's 1st base coach for the d.bulls. his kid and his farm been here a while...ex wife...etc.

kid got drafted a couple years ago.

hadn’t seen the Scot Olsen mug shot, awesome:

Makes me quite glad I went to Crystal Lake Central and not Crystal Lake South.

that's durham bulls...AAA tampa bay.

How do you get arrested at Aventura Mall?

Good point on the sustainability of position players vs. pitchers Rob.
But trading Snell for Salty? He looks like he'll be a good player, but his .285/.336/.416 isn't great..it's solid. Snell was 14-11 last season, and has outstanding numbers for them this season, even better than last season:7-7, 3.31 ERA, 103K/36BB
Maybe for a more experienced player with a major league track record, sure.
I respectfully agree to disagree on that trade.

cubster — July 23, 2007 @ 11:47 am
getting a Matt Stairs as a lefty pinch hitter makes sense if they feel DWard is out for 6 weeks (Az Phil has said this previously). The interesting thing is that it would give them 26 players to pick from if they make the playoffs since Ward would be on the DL and still eligible for the playoffs if he is reactivated on/by Sept 1st and Stairs (or other lefty off the bench) would already be on the 25 man roster.

========================

CUBSTER: Daryle Ward does not have to be reactivated by September 1st in order to be eligible for the Cubs post-season roster. All players on the Cubs DL are eligible for the post-season roster, which can be changed from NLDS to NLCS to WS, but the player does not have to be reactivated on or before 9/1. The only restriction would be that a player on the 15-day DL or 60-day DL must be eligible to be reactivated before the NLDS, NLCS, and/or WS (except no teams place players on the 15-day DL after September 1st because it isn't necessary).

And even if Ward were to be transferred to the 60-day DL at some point in the next month or so to make room for an addition to the 40-man roster (like Matt Stairs, for instance), he can still be reactivated for the post-season (NLDS, NLCS, and WS), since he would be eligible to be reactivated from the 60-day DL on September 18th (although somebody else would have to be dropped from the 40 before Ward could be reactivated if it goes that way).

The bottom line is, if the Cubs were to acquire Matt Stairs to replace Daryle Ward while Ward is on the DL, both Stairs AND Ward would likely be added to the Cubs post-season roster (giving the Cubs two quality lefty bats off the bench in the post-season), because most teams drop down to 11 pitchers in the post-season, since the 5th starter isn't needed (and Jason Marquis can tell you all about that!).

Wouldn't it be kinda' amusing if Jason Marquis was on two different teams that went to the world series (in two straight years) and didn't get a chance to pitch for either of them?

dave:
Wouldn’t it be kinda’ amusing if Jason Marquis was on two different teams that went to the world series (in two straight years) and didn’t get a chance to pitch for either of them?

lol, that'd be a kick in the sack.

"How do you get arrested at Aventura Mall?"

What's funny is that my Grandma lives right near Aventura Mall, I'm talking walking distance. I watched them build that place.

Rob G.:
Snell for Salty makes too much sense for both teams. Littlefield will mess that one up somehow.

I'm with Dusty Baylor on this one... Snell is bad-ass. And the Buc's already got bent over once by the Braves on the LaRoche deal, IMHO.

And the Buc’s already got bent over once by the Braves on the LaRoche deal, IMHO

Yea... I can tell by how well Mike Gonzalez is pitching for the Braves.

Oh wait.

http://www.joesportsfan.com/column.php?storyi...

Some Harry Caray clips from his last broadcast...

and by bent over, you mean trading a guy that's out for the year with TJ surgery. Yeah, how will the Littlefield look himself in the mirror again. Laroche will be okay, he's already having a far better 2nd half. I will admit that I don't know much about the 2 prospects involved in the deal.

But by all means, Pirates should keep doing what(ever) they're doing. Makes the NL Central a lot easier for us.

The Shorstop the Braves got was awarded the 'sleeper super prospect' by the stat types in the offseason, then struggled this year, as I recall.

...the Braves will also receive minor league shortstop Brent Lillibridge in the deal, while minor league outfielder Jamie Romak will be going to Pittsburgh along with LaRoche.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

Lillibridge stats

http://tinyurl.com/2qp44t

you watch, Romak will be the PTBNL in the Izzy trade...he's got a bit of power though.

http://tinyurl.com/33p6nu

nah, Romak looks like he actually has some talent. Got to go farther down that barrel to find our guy.

Yea… I can tell by how well Mike Gonzalez is pitching for the Braves.

and by bent over, you mean trading a guy that’s out for the year with TJ surgery. Yeah, how will the Littlefield look himself in the mirror again.

Littlefield is a dolt. And yes, if either player were available to the Cub's, I'd still take Mike Gonzalez.

Romak, I think we should get Rumack.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080339/

Surely, I can't be serious!

Getting Matt Stairs seems redundant when you have Cliff Floyd on the roster and Ward-O-Saurus on the way back in the near future. Unless the NL is allowing a DH after the deadline? Obviously Uncle Cliff is having some health problems in everyday play. Maybe now is the time to bring Murton back for a closer to 50/50 platoon with Floyd? Murton should hit with the extra PT. Floyd should be able to stay on the field if he only had to go on alternate days.

Would Mike Gonzalez be in line for the 5th one's free at Kremchecks TJS clinic?

Would Mike Gonzalez be in line for the 5th one’s free...
-----
Lefty TJ surgery's only count toward discounts on every 5th lefty. Takes 25 rightys for a discount.

Floyd should be able to stay on the field if he only had to go on alternate days.

Not sure it has much to do with going "every day." It has to do with him playing. He gets hurt doing anything - diving for a ball, running the bases, etc.

And Ward is expected to miss significant time, and will probably not be turning "in the near future."

cubster says:

July 23rd, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Would Mike Gonzalez be in line for the 5th one’s free…
—–
Lefty TJ surgery’s only count toward discounts on every 5th lefty. Takes 25 rightys for a discount.
....................................................................................

Jim Hendry just cannot pass up a sale!!!! That is why he stockpiles these guys.

Old article posted to Yahoo's front-page baseball news. I'm sure it's an honest mistake but it sure reads like a sick f---ing joke.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=insided...

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/rumors/post/Relie...

Rockies in search of bullpen arms..

No worries, Scott Eyre for Hawpe or Tulowitzki should do it.
okay fine Ohman? Howry?

I would trade Marmol for Tulo, but that's probably just me.

Ouch...

Cubs fans should not be alarmed that Kerry Wood and Mark Prior rank among the NL leaders in pitches per start. "Power pitchers are going to throw a lot of pitches," one executive explains. "Instead of everything being in play, balls will be fouled back or missed."

Prior's tree-trunk legs and picture-perfect mechanics make him an unlikely candidate for injury, and Wood avoided the disabled list last season for the first time since 1998. If healthy, the two might combine for 35 wins. Padres GM Kevin Towers says, "This is one of the best Cubs clubs I've seen."

Sorry Rob. My Soriano is old. Yours is still young. That wouldn't be fair to you.

Maybe we got the other route: Sizemore for Marmol? They're about the same age so they're about equal.

But Sizemore matters?

"I’m sure it’s an honest mistake..."

"Mariners RHP Gil Meche might be the most impressive young pitcher in the AL.Old article posted to Yahoo’s front-page baseball news."

What mistake? That sounds about right.

Speaking of Mr. Glass, Carrie Mustache as these words of encouragement:

"The Cubs hope to get Kerry Wood back (see below), which will be like acquiring another arm for the bullpen."

It's like make a trade! Seems like a I've heard something like this before. Hmm...

to quote another poster

"They better ship him up to Chicago wrapped in Bubble-wrap"

Ha! I didn't even get through rest of the article:

"Jacque Jones seems rejuvenated, and opened the second half batting .333 with six RBIs in nine games. If he can keep that up, it'll be like adding a player."

I think she forgot to turn the page on her cliche-o-dex.

Sorry. I should cite the literature from which I read:

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

From a Steve Phillips chat on espn.com this afternoon:

Mike (Indy): Who will the cubs pickup before the deadline?

Steve Phillips: (12:25 PM ET ) The Cubs are looking at pitching in the bullpen to help them. They are also kicking around Lofton's name to bat lead off so they can move Soriano down in the order, 14 of his HR have been solo shots, so they are not maximizing his production by having him bat leadoff. Look for them to make a move to help thier chances down the stretch.

Great question, Mike. Dynamite stuff.

One day before I die, I think I'm going to learn how to understand html correctly. Stupid pain in the ass italics.

I was about to post that one Wes....

Here's another random rumor.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070...

Scouts from various teams, including the Angels, Braves, Cubs Diamondbacks, Indians, Mets, Padres, Phillies, Tigers and Twins, have been watching the Nationals.

Relievers Chad Cordero and Jon Rauch, first baseman Dmitri Young and second baseman Ronnie Belliard have been the main players who have been mentioned in trade talks, but, according to a baseball source, outfielder Ryan Church is on the block. The source said contending teams see him as an extra outfielder down the stretch.

"If he played a full season for those teams, he would get no more than 220 at-bats," the source said.

Last winter, Church was one of the names bandied about during the Winter Meetings. The Nationals have been scouting opposing teams' prospects. On Saturday, they were watching players at Double-A Erie, the Tigers' affiliate.

There have been reports linking Cordero and Rauch to the Mets, but, according to another baseball source, the chances of those players going to New York are slim. The source said Washington GM Jim Bowden is asking too much, such as outfielder Lastings Milledge and pitcher Mike Pelfrey.

Mike (Indy): Who will the cubs pickup before the deadline?

Steve Phillips: (12:25 PM ET ) The Cubs are looking at pitching in the bullpen to help them. They are also kicking around Lofton’s name to bat lead off...
-------
I think the first part was the same response Steve Phillips gave Indy Mike in 2003, 4, 5, 6....

“The Cubs hope to get Kerry Wood back (see below), which will be like acquiring another arm for the bullpen.”

Um, this isn't "like" acquiring another arm; it would actually BE acquiring another arm.

In a few minutes I hope to eat an apple, which will be like having a piece of fruit.

(I know, I know, she meant it's like making a trade, but she is a careless writer so it's fun to make fun of her.)

the supposed genesis of the Matt Stair rumor with a supposed update.

Update: I followed-up with the source. Stairs didn't look good against Weaver at all on Saturday: 2 weak ground outs and 2 foul ball outs. In fairness to him, nobody really looked good at the plate in that SEA-TOR game - combined 1 run and 7 hits between both teams. The Cubs may look more at Stairs, but they have other scouts looking at "other hitters" this week. No names. I asked about Jeff Conine. He said "why?"

One new nugget: the scout supposedly told Hendry that Josh Towers looked great on the mound. Supposedly, Ricciardi has let teams know that Towers is available. Arbitration eligible again after this season.

posting those over at northside baseball fwiw....

"...which will be like acquiring another arm for the bullpen.”
----
what is she think Hendry is, the Jeffrey Dahmer of GM's?

Kyler Burke update from Kevin Goldstein snuck in on the free portion...

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Burke was the big prize of last month’s Michael Barrett trade, though the value of that prize was debatable, as San Diego’s supplemental fist-rounder from last year was hitting just .211/.305/.268 for Low A Fort Wayne at the time of the deal. Clearly not ready for a full-season league, the Cubs put the 19-year-old on their Northwest League roster, and he started his career with the organization in a 0-for-22 slump. Much like his new parent club, Burke has come alive in July, going deep on Sunday as part of a ten-game hot streak in which he’s gone 16-for-33 with five doubles and three home runs, which has raised his season averages at Boise to .283/.411/.517. Burke’s bat speed and power are both impressive, and there’s potential for him to shine in a system that’s pretty short on high-ceiling offensive prospects.

While I am not confident in Jason Marquis as the Cubs' #5, I am not sure that they would bump Marquis out of the rotation at this point.

I would be pretty surprised if the Cubs added another starter at the trading deadline.

can't see why they'd add Towers unless Marshall or (gasp) Hill nets them some super-stud offensive player.

Thats true Rob... they only way they trade for a pitcher is is they trade away one of their pitchers.

That Matt Stairs rumor seems to have an invisible touch.

can’t see why they’d add Towers unless Marshall or (gasp) Hill nets them some super-stud offensive player.

And neither one is going to do that, so there's no point. The one player that still makes sense is Griffey. Push Floyd to Ward's roll and let Griffey play a little center, a little right and when he gets hurt Ward can come back and take his old spot and Floyd can go back to injuring himself in right field.

Anyone else hear about Cedno coming up? Cedeno for Moore makes a lot of sense. Although I like Theriot, I am movin intog the 350 PA's a year camp with him.

Speaking of outfielders who may suprise, my man crush on Leon Johson has not abated.

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats...

"can’t see why they’d add Towers unless Marshall or (gasp) Hill nets them some super-stud offensive player."

Hill + Murton = Migeul Cabrera

All together --- "NOT GOING TO HAPPEN"

But it would be nice.

Then bring in Towers. Too many freaking lefties anyway.

whew~`This is cold.

ESPN today...

"Michael Barrett hasn't drawn a single walk since the Cubs dumped him in Chula Vista and fled across the border."

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?pa...

dave:
I am not sure that they would bump Marquis out of the rotation at this point.

No way. Mediocre? Sure, but at least with Marquis you know what you're going to get: Lots of innings and roughly a .500 wpct% the rest of the way out. At least I wouldn't want to take any chances in that department.

Aaron Harang...really good, love the low pitch count. TV announcer said it's because he doesn't want to leave the game to the Reds bullpen (LOL!). Strikes out the side in the top of the 7th including Fielder. Of course Capuano is pitching well tonight too.

still 1-1

On to the ninth. This game is unreal. Go Reds!

still tied 1-1, going into the bottom of 9th...
Harang 109 pitches thru 9.
Turnbow in for bottom 9th

HARANG IN THE 10TH!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!

Harang no decision, 10 IP, No Walks, 10K's...and we face him Saturday.

David Weathers, bad.

bases loaded 3-2-3 DP, then Weathers hits Jenkins, then Mench flied out to Griffey.

Weathers wiggles out of big trouble.

we can move this up to the trivia thread, the day's over and I'll have a new post by tomorrow.

10 for Harang on just 121 pitches.

Z needs that many to get through 7.

i hate to bring this up, but could there be any link between kendall's offensive drop off(and loss of throwing strength) in recent years and the harsher testing / awareness of PED's? same goes for brian giles, with whom kendall was a teammate for years. i realize giles moved to a huge park in SD but the only thing remaining from their Pissburgh days is their ability to draw a walk.

Catchers have become inneffective in their early 30's for 120 years. You may as well ask why Kevin Young isn't still in the majors.

WSCR AM 670 reporting this morning that Cedeno will be recalled tonight and Fox optioned to Iowa.

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

or if you wish:
cum hoc ergo propter hoc

Or:
Cum hoc ergo propter hoc

I love it when you talk dirty

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