Great Moments In Brian-Roberts-To-Cubs-Trade-Rumor History
"The first test of Andy MacPhail's authority as Orioles president of baseball operations will come if a rival club makes a strong push to acquire second baseman Brian Roberts.
"A year ago, Orioles owner Peter Angelos refused to allow his previous front office to trade Roberts...Orioles executives, however, say privately that they are not under orders to keep Roberts.
"The Mets and Astros were among the teams that showed interest in Roberts before signing free-agent second basemen Luis Castillo and Kaz Matsui, respectively.
"The next team to take a run at Roberts could be the Cubs, who failed to land Matsui."
-- FoxSports.com, 12/3/07
"The Cubs and Baltimore Orioles have talked about a possible deal for switch-hitting second baseman Brian Roberts, who could move into the No. 2 spot in the lineup and provide some much needed speed. Reports that the Cubs were trading Rich Hill to the Orioles for Roberts were denied by team officials.
"'Anybody who can hit left-handed and run and play the middle of the infield, we would certainly still look into,' Hendry said."
-- Cubs.com, 12/6/07
"On hold over much of the last month, the Brian Roberts talks are on again between the Cubs and Baltimore Orioles. This deal almost certainly is going to happen--the only question is when and how much it's going to cost the Cubs."
-- Chicago Tribune, 1/10/08
"Are the Cubs still pursuing Brian Roberts or were they scared off by the steroids? He is exactly what they need to make a strong challenge (apart from a center fielder who can hit). Roberts can lead off, steal, hit for average and field. They should have enough pitchers to make the deal happen." . . . Dan W., Naples, Fla.
"The Cubs and Orioles are still talking, but some of the players mentioned recently are not involved, so don't believe the rumors. Keep in mind that Roberts is a favorite of Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who blocked a trade last year that involved the second baseman. The Mitchell Report revelations are not the holdup--it's just a matter of finding the right match for both teams, and the reports out of Baltimore are that Orioles general manager Andy MacPhail has very specific requests."
-- Cubs.com, 1/14/08
"Contrary to popular belief, knowledgeable Cubs sources say the two teams have not gotten serious about discussing specific players the Orioles would want for Roberts.
"It's highly unlikely the Cubs will trade center-field prospect Felix Pie or former top draft pick Tyler Colvin for Roberts. But a package possibly involving pitcher Sean Marshall or Sean Gallagher plus another player seems more in the ballpark.
"During the Cubs Convention last month, manager Lou Piniella said he didn't believe the Cubs would get Roberts. Piniella also expressed his pleasure with incumbent second baseman Mark DeRosa, who would be moved to a super-utility role if Roberts comes to Chicago.
"At this point, Hendry also seems resigned to moving on without Roberts if he and MacPhail can't agree on a deal."
-- Daily Herald, 2/8/08
"There is now a feeling in Orioles land that Angelos may be balking at the negotiated haul for Roberts, which according to sources, is a very fair three-player package of young pitcher Sean Gallagher, outfielder Matt Murton and infielder Ronny Cedeno. There is also a sense that Angelos has an unreasonable attachment to Roberts, who may well remind the owner of himself: a little guy who's scrapped his way to the top of his profession (no, not baseball; Angelos is at the top of the legal profession, at least in terms of dollars earned)."
-- si.com, 2/11/08
"MacPhail said more than one team has shown interest in trading for Roberts, though the Cubs are believed to be the most aggressive suitor. Roberts called the Cubs 'a great organization' and said Chicago would be a fun place to play. Roberts attended a 2003 National League Championship Series game between the Cubs and Florida Marlins as a guest of former teammate Jeff Conine and said he was amazed at the electric atmosphere at Wrigley Field."
-- Baltimore Sun, 2/20/08
MESA, Ariz. - The Cubs still hope to acquire second baseman Brian Roberts and an outfielder before the end of spring training, but general manager Jim Hendry shot down Internet and radio rumors that a trade is imminent.
"There have been no active talks in any trade situation in the last five or six days," Hendry said.
-- Chicago Tribune, 3/5/08
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Orioles and Chicago Cubs have not had any recent discussions about All-Star second baseman Brian Roberts, pushing the potential deal toward Opening Day or beyond.
The talks have stalled while scouts from the teams evaluate players on each other's roster. The Cubs, who are looking for a leadoff hitter to set up the middle of their lineup, have had at least one scout at every game Roberts has played this spring. Dave Engle, one of the Orioles' top scouts, went to Mesa, Ariz., to observe several of the Cubs' prospects.
"Our scouts are out and about doing their due diligence and watching the teams that they should be watching," Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said.
Asked whether he feels compelled to make a decision on the status of Roberts by a certain date, MacPhail said, "I'm not a big one on drop-dead dates."
-- Baltimore Sun, 3/8/08
"Sources confirmed Thursday that the Cubs have a four-player offer for Roberts on the table that includes the addition of hard-throwing pitching prospect Jose Ceda. Infielder Ronny Cedeno and pitchers Sean Gallagher and Donnie Veal also are in the package.
"The Cubs and Baltimore Orioles talked again during the past week, and insiders in both camps have expressed strong feelings that a deal will get done for the All-Star second baseman. However, they consider it likely to take an 11th-hour agreement before the openers on March 31.
"It's also possible the deal could grow to include pitcher Jason Marquis going to Baltimore and outfielder Jay Payton coming to the Cubs in a 5-for-2 or 6-for-2 trade that likely would include cash."
-- Chicago Sun-Times, 3/14/08
"There have been no significant developments over the past week or two, and the time left for getting the deal done during spring training is growing short. The Orioles aren't fettered by any hard-and-fast limits on when they can act, but you can bet both teams would like to reach some semblance of roster certainty over the next 10 days.
"Does that mean a deal is imminent? No. It probably means that if the Cubs do not show a sense of urgency during the next week or so, this could stretch well into the season and the chemistry of the situation could change dramatically..."
-- Baltimore Sun, 3/15/08
"Can we please overpay for Chone Figgins and forget about Baltimore already?"
-- Cubster, The Cub Reporter, 3/15/08
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.