Cubs make a deal in the 4th dimension. Welcome back Dontrelle Willis.

In 2002 the Cubs traded Dontrelle Willis, Julian Tavarez and two minor leaguers for Antonio Alfonseca and Matt Clement.
11 years later, they get Willis back.


What does it mean in the cosmic scheme?
The big picture?
The Cubs got Alfonseca and Clement for Tavarez!

And that is crafty, my friend.
A deal made in the 4th dimension.

Way back when, I took a class called "3-D Design" right at the time the art department bought some new video cameras.
The teacher was so excited he had us do a film - it was of me getting my pocket picked for some reason.
The next day we looked at it and the teacher goes, "You all realize we've just done an experiment in the 4th dimension."
"What you talkin' bout, Willis?" said the class.
He says, "This little act happened yesterday in the hallway."
Pause.
Drama.
"And yet today we're looking at it in a completely different time and space."

Totally aced that class, btw.

Those old drawings are from 2003.
The Matt Clement one from late in that amazing season, and the Alfonseca was a reaction to June 27th and 28th.
When the Cubs dropped 2 in a row at Comisky.
When Antonio gave up a homer in the bottom of the 9th to Jose Valentin, Cubs lose 3-4.
And the next day a 2-run homer to Aaron Rowand to tie the game in the 8th (Juan Cruz would be charged with the 6-7 loss).

I was just kidding about the class saying, "What you talkin' bout, Willis?"
That show wasn't even on yet.

Comments

It always seemed to me that if Dontrelle tipped his cap to the right slightly it would right the ship. You know, like choking up the bat a little?

I was checking to see if your drawing would show six fingers on Alfonseca - and you did.

Never forget that guy.
And as tired as I got of Pat Hughes' hawking his cd, that little interview where Ronny thinks his name is "Al Fonseca" makes me die laughing.

Yep. Really funny. Also, the infamous interview by ESPN idiot, Jessie Rogers, who, on air said, "So, how DID you get the extra fingers? Were you born with them, or what?"

That didn't really happen, right?

it happened...while he was working for WSCR/"da score-uh" in chicago, too...classy moment.

always think of this video when I hear the Ronnie-Al interview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq-gYOrU8bA

tim's drawing of Alfonseca in the Chef hat would be a great way to recast the video

Cue up the "low risk-potentially high payoff" optimism.

unless he finds out how to throw over 87/88mph and finds some control it seems like more of a AAA filler/insurance gig...not to mention he hasn't thrown more than 3ip in a game (minors or majors) since late Sept. 2011. still...it's extremely low risk unless there's some dumb hidden money in there somewhere...which is highly doubtful.

Wasn't he also having emotional issues/mental problems?

Then there's the hidden risk- that some starter will go down injured and someone will get the bright idea to field a clearly over-matched pitcher on a major league team.

I think it's just interesting how even though he was originally signed by a completely different regime, there seems to be, and maybe it's just my imagination, some kind of sentimentality involved from the Cubs org. Maybe that's just the idealist in me. From a baseball standpoint, it seems like there are hundreds of guys like that to choose from. Maybe, too, it's the distant hope that somehow he can make a comeback, and then it becomes a revenue builder from the story line. Yeah, screw the sentiment. It's always about money. Thanks for listening, and have a good day.

BA has it's top 10 Cubs rankings posted:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/prospects/ra...

Baez, Almora, Soler, Vizcaino, BJax, PJohnson, Vogelbomb, Candelerio, Fujikawa and Alcantera

No. 5 Starter Pierce Johnson

that doesn't say much for the pitching in the system when pierce "my god, get that kid a sandwich" johnson is the projected #5 out of the available pitching + prospect pool.

btw, i'm interested to see how he fills out once he quits living off of coffee and massive amounts of cardio exercise. =p

Gordon Wittenmyer‏@GDubCub

Source: Cubs one of several teams interested in Cuban defector/SS Aldemis Diaz. Turns 23 Tuesday, exempting him from signing $$$ limits.

"Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Monday that the plan is to use Ian Kinsler at second base and Mitch Moreland at first base."

the m.olt + j.profar/e.andrus situation gets more interesting...

Rumor out of Baltimore of the Cubs involved somehow in a 3 way trade with the major components being Rick Porcello and JJ Hardy.

http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roch/2013/01/s...

this site (below) speculates that Junior Lake and Travis Wood might be Cub components. Pretty shaky but that would open up a roster spot for Carlos Villanueva.

http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2013/01/cubs-lo...

Ugh. they can keep Porcello. I'd hope he would improve dramatically leaving the AL Central...but a rising WHIP, ERA....he doesn't strike out a lot of batters....I dunno what the infatuation is.

the infatuation is the same as last year and the year before...he's got good stuff (fb/slider/change) with a good ground ball ratio. last year he had raised velocity a bit gaining him more interest.

that said, he can have all of that in the world, but it doesn't help when it's all thrown predictably right through the strike zone.

he's got good looking stuff on paper, but when he executes it his stuff comes out looking sub-par.

2013 is year 3 or 4 of his expected breakout. he's seeing increased love this year because of increased velocity...which he did very little with as far as results.

Cubs trading Wood for Porcello makes some sense, flyball pitcher to Comerica vs. groundball pitcher to Wrigley. Throwing in Lake to clear a 40-spot isn't bad, but I'm not a big fan of his. Porcello's younger than Wood, but will also hit FA sooner.


But as the article says, wouldn't O's just flip Hardy for Porcello instead of dealing with the Cubs? I can't imagine they like Travis Wood more, but I guess other pieces would be involved.

 

 

I think it implies Wood and Lake would go to Baltimore, with Hardy going to Detroit. Don't they still have Peralta, too?

I was presuming Wood and Lake is what Cubs were offering Tigers for Porcello (at least that sounds reasonable) and Tigers want a shortstop that can start now. I don't see what O's would want with Wood and Lake over Porcello. O's are looking for pitching from what I understand (and probably something better than Wood or Porcello if they're going to move Hardy).

Peralta shouldn't be playing SS, but yeah, he's there for now.

he's 24 with first round talent, always worth a try if the price is right. Obviously he's no ace, but he could be useful. Wouldn't terribly mind it in the right deal.

Why not just go get Randy Wells?

Porcello...puke.

he lives in the strike zone and gets killed for it. he can't work his pitches to get Ks. he's a lot like feldman, only worse, imo.

...not to mention he'll probably cost $5m-ish.

given what the cubs already have i wouldn't give up lake as an incentive even if he's not destined for SS/3rd. t.wood i don't mind seeing go away, but i wouldn't view this as an upgrade even if it was wood/porcello straight up.

And, of course, every pitching coach says, "I can fix him."

Crunch, with all sincerity and lack of sarcasm....why so ready to get rid of Travis Wood?
Ok..6-13 with a 4.27 ERA in 26 starts...ERA+ of92...WHIP of 1.199, 6.9 K/9 and 2.2 K/BB.
He got lit up in July. Ok, sure....thats a given.
Look at his August starts...6 starts 0-5, 4.14 ERA. However each one:
1- 5IP, 2R, 2ER, 6K, 3BB Loss
2- 6IP, 2R, 2ER, 3K, 3BB Loss
3- 7IP, 1R, 1ER, 8K, 1 BB ND
4- 5IP, 7R, 6ER, 3K, 0BB, Loss....facing Cincy the second time in a week
5- 7IP, 3R, 3ER, 6K, 1BB, Loss
6- 7IP, 3R, 3ER, 4K, 1BB Loss
So 0-5..when he easily could've been 4-1.
I dunno....Wood was up and down, but really having a lefty in the rotation, who had some success last year in a dreadful season..
I'm just not getting why they should toss him aside so quickly?

t.wood i consider a perfectly fine end-rotation guy...that said, when it's time to pay him, i wouldn't be looking to pay him.

i don't like how fly-ball he is. i don't think he's e.santana level bad, but when he hangs one it gets punished.

it's hard to argue against his 2012 numbers (HR's aside), but i'm still not a fan, nor do i think he's a sub-30 HR guy. i see more 2011 in the guy than 2012 when it comes to the hits.

i don't hate him as much as i hate porcello...i feel safe saying that...but my dislike of porcello is closer to my dislike of feldman.

i wouldn't complain about him being around...i wouldn't complain about seeing him go. i feel his current value is higher than he can perform in the future. ...just a judgement call, nothing i feel super-strong about.

Thanks Crunch. I was just curious... I figured the Cubs have enough right-handed pitching with some guys struggling to miss bats.
I get what you're saying.

this is all theoretical and all, but do you really think Travis Wood is any better than Rick Porcello...in any way?

Last year?
Wood: 6-13, 4.27 ERA, ERA+ 92, WHIP 1.199, 119 K's, 54BB,7.7 H/9, 1.4 HR/9, 6.9 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 2.20 K/BB
Porcello 10-12, 4.59 ERA, ERA+ 92, WHIP 1.531, 107K, 44 BB, 11.5 H/9, 0.8 HR/9, 5.5 K/9, 2.2BB/9, 2.43 K/BB

Wood pitched for a terrible team and probably should've been 10-9, not 6-13.
Career their ERA+ is the same, Wood K's more, but walks more...Porcello's WHIP sucks....

I don't see the big deal in trading for him, I don't see how it's a huge improvement, taking into consideration that Porcello's arbitration eligible after 2013..ok, only a year earlier, but still.

I don't know if it would be an improvement, but it would be an upgrade in talent.

It's not a big deal to trade for him, it's just a deal, one with some potential benefits (groundball Porcello with a better infield defense in the NL over flyball Wood in Wrigley, along with Porcello still having room on his ceiling).

It's a deal where the Cubs trade for a more expensive pitcher, whose results aren't fantastic.
The Cubs infield defense will be better. The Cubs offense will also be much worse than Detroit's.
Meh...I won't wear sackcloth, and pour ashes on my head if that's the deal..I just am not excited about it....so we got a more expensive pitcher, who will give up a lot of hits, but fewer HR's...fewer walks, but fewer K's....
Detroit's infield D was bad last year...what about 2011 and 2010?
Flyball Wood in Wrigley will only bother me when the wind is blowing out, which isn't all that often it seems. Meh..We have a rotation of mediocre to good RHP's already...
Garza
Samardzija
Jackson
Feldman
Baker
Wood
Villenueva
I don't see the need for another righty with mediocre stuff.

I doubt too many people would be excited about, but if that happened to be the deal, obviously some folks in the Cubs office like Porcello more than Wood. It's not a hard concept to understand.


Also Porcello's WHIP was better before 2011 and Detroit's overall defensive efficiency the last 3 years is 18, 18 and 28, so never anything that great behind him (not that the Cubs necessarily will be, but it's suppose to be pretty good).

No Rob, it's not a hard concept to understand. I am sorry that I disagree.
Porcello's WHIP was marginally better. It was worse then than Garza, Dempster, Samardzija, and Wood's from last year

I don't "get" the hurry to jettison Wood for a marginally at best other pitcher. I would assume, that whenever the Cubs make a trade, they like the players they are getting more than the ones they are trading. I would further assume that it's like that...for all teams, except for trades involving salary issues, or personality conflicts.

It's not a hard concept to understand

Age Discrimination...

is the only thing I can see here in that Porcello is 24 while T.Wood turns 27 in February. Also, Portillo's in Chicago would get marketing mileage out of the Detroit pitcher's name - if he would have any success at Wrigley, that is.

Like several others, I do not have a problem with T.Wood as a #4 or #5. That's probably where he will be during his career.

Glendon Rusch made a hell of a career out of this.

But, I just do not see he logic in giving up that much for a Rick Porcello - other than the above.

Wood turns 26 in February, Porcello just turned 24 in December according to Baseball Reference, about a year and a half in age difference.

Porcello was a big-time bonus baby with first round talent, sometimes those guys take longer to develop, but the ceiling is higher.

Not sure what's the "much" in the very rumored deal we're talking about...Wood/J. Lake for Porcello...seems like pitching and a utility player with a suspect bat and no defensive position for a another pitcher with a higher upside.

Cubs should be in the upside business right now.

Granted, others may have a higher opinion of Junior Lake, but he's not even in the top 10 of any list I can find.

Correct. I added a year to Wood. That is how much I aged sometimes watching his shittier starts...

To be fair, the Cubs have tried pitchers that don't throw strikes... over and over and over and I haven't been too pleased with those experiments.

Of course, there's always the obvious alternative, someone who can throw strikes AND strike batters out...

ARod surgery Jan 16th. Recovery supposedly 6 months, which is mid July.

Very odd they would wait until January. Any idea why they would postpone his recovery 3 months into the season?

I heard that they were waiting for some of the swelling/inflammation to subside in his hip before they would go ahead with the surgery. Supposedly the go ahead by the doc was given very recently (the Yankees made an official announcement of the date today) so his anti-inflammatory medication must be working now. Probably just a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory med. I'm not sure it really matters given a 6 month time frame for recovery but I read some mention that his doc said that the recovery goes better if there is less inflammation. That is true for ACL Knee surgery but these hip arthroscopic repairs (of the labrum or impingement, I'm not quite sure what they are trying to fix with ARod's hip) have a much smaller track record to be a definite issue worth waiting on the surgery unless the injury was acute, his issues seemed more chronic but that's just my take without any inside info.

Thanks CUBSTER. Would A-Rod, from what you know, be a candidate for replacement surgery post-baseball? Or could he do a Bo Jackson and still play?

ARod probably has a labral tear or an impingement that they will try to fix arthroscopically. Although either of those conditions can lead to arthritis, it's usually a slow process over several decades.

Bo Jackson had a different condition. He sustained a hip fracture/dislocation in 1991, playing football, that lead to an arthritic condition because of damage to the blood supply to the ball of the hip (femoral head, called avascular necrosis) which means the local bone in that area collapsed, leading to the arthritis and subsequent joint replacement. Doing a hip replacement to a person in their 30's is still pretty high risk let alone when the patient is a high performance/profile athlete like Bo. The main risk is not in the short run but in the longer term, because the parts probably won't last over the patients longer lifespan, made more likely by the younger person being more active say than a 60-80 yr old. Plus the technology is changing so much that Bo was stuck with the joint replacement technology of 1991-2 which has significantly evolved in the 20 yrs since his surgery.

per Wiki...

During the 1991 playoffs, Jackson was tackled by Kevin Walker of the Cincinnati Bengals, causing a serious hip injury that ended Jackson's football career and seriously threatened his baseball career. After Jackson was tackled and lying in pain on the ground, he allegedly popped his hip back into place. In an interview on Untold, his Royals teammate George Brett, who attended the game, said he asked the trainer what had happened to Bo. The trainer replied: "Bo says he felt his hip come out of the socket, so he popped it back in, but that's just impossible, no one's that strong."
Following surgery and rehabilitation on his injured hip, it was discovered that Jackson had avascular necrosis, as a result of decreased blood supply to the head of his left femur. This caused deterioration of the femoral head, ultimately requiring that the hip be replaced. Amazingly, Jackson was able to return to baseball toward the end of the 1991 season as a member of the White Sox after the Royals had released him. Jackson missed the entire 1992 baseball season. When he announced soon after his surgery that he would play baseball again, many thought that goal to be unrealistic, especially at the Major League level.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bo_Jackson

No Hall of Famers inducted.

Top 5: Biggio 68.2. Morris 67.7, Bagwell 59.6, Piazza 57.8, Raines 52.2, L. Smith 47.8

Schilling 38.8, Clemens 37.6, Bonds 36.2, Trammell 33.6

McGwire 16.9, Sosa 12.5

Lofton under 5%

huge rise for Raines which is nice....

lame.

also, i wonder what people have against piazza...besides his D. even if he was a sub-par catcher he still caught 1630 games.

Piazza has been tainted by steroid rumors. I've heard David Kaplan and others refer to it.

Google: Mike Piazza bacne

for the rest of the story...

I'm definitely a "big Hall" guy, and this really is disappointing. Should-be locks miss, and borderline (IMO) candidates like Lofton and Bernie Williams are off the ballot after one year.

Biggio should get it done next year, which will make for an exciting class together with Maddux and hopefully Glavine and Thomas. Maybe Bagwell, Morris, Piazza, and Raines make the jump. It's hard to say, this is definitely uncharted water.

Callis pedestals the Cardinals:

Jim Callis made the RedBirds his #1 farm system in baseball. How the fuck do they constantly stoke their system with great talent year after year after year? Since like 1955?!

Competent management.

oscar tavarez and shelby miller are absolute beasts...hell of a 1/2...either would be #1 prospects on more than a few teams out there.

hell, the fact that shelby miller is most likely the team's #2 prospect says a lot.

trevor rosenthal is a high-90s pitching beast in the making, himself...who would also make more than a few team's prospect lists as a #1 prospect.

all 3 guys could be on the 2013 cards by the end of the year...if not out of spring training.

kolten wong...matt adams...etc etc

Damn Cardinals...I hate the fans...but geez..they're a well run team.

Hate to harp on this Cards talent.

It really is incredible that a city of about 320K has been able to maintain an absolute pedigree of talent for 50 years. The systemic, deeply rooted bar of excellence throughout the entire minor leagues, scouts, and GM's - coupled with an owner actually wanting to support this is incomparable. While we are salivating for even ONE pennant or WS - they have - since 1964, been in:

- Post-Season 16x
- Appearances in WS 9x
- WON WS 5x
- In the NLCS 5X
- In that time they had only 7 managers. 8 Including the new guy, Metheny. He didn't do too bad in his first year either without Pujols.

It is sickeningly impressive.

I wonder about the number of Cubs managers during this period? Triple?

Why do the baseball gods love them so much and hate the Cubs?

fun fact, last time Cardinals had back-to-back losing seasons?

1994-1995...BUT, I dont' find that fair considering they were 8 games under in '94 and certainly could have made enough of a run at the end of the season if not for the strike (also Joe Torre was their manager in '94 and part of '95 before being fired).

So then you have to go back to 1958-1959.

Cardinals have had essentially 9 managers since 1964, although a few double ups on an interim basis that I'm not counting.

Cubs are around 24 (I'm not double counting some interim managers or guys that only managed a less than 2 handfuls of games).

 

 

28 managers...24 not counting the fill-ins managers who managed only a few games.

Mark of consistency.

or...Mark of McGwire

Ha! Mark McGuire.

I was referring to the Cubs "mark of consistency" - consistently BAD.

no one should be allowed to watch a baseball game that cannot spell Mark McGwire correctly or Kerry Wood.

#petpeeve

can't kiss up to RobG with Marquette reminders

comments like that are why we need the upvote button again...

that cannot spell Mark McGwire correctly
---
maybe E-Man was thinking of Crane Kenney's hatchet man...
BUSINESS OPERATIONS
President, Business OperationsCrane Kenney
Executive Vice President, Business OperationsMark McGuire

Oh, No...they Killed Kenney!

No one should be allowed to criticize someone who misspells someone's name that is incorrectly spelled.

I hate to say it, but it's good for baseball when a small market team like that, and I assume they would be considered a small market team, has that kind of success. That doesn't excuse the Cubs being perennially bad. It would be much better for baseball and the fans of both cities if the Cubs could match these guys. Look at the bright side. The Deadbird fans have given us "morans".

Kosuke Fukudome has agreed to a three-year contract with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Central League.

"Jonathan Singleton has been suspended 50 games for violating the minor league baseball drug policy."

weed claims another victim in minor league baseball's screwed up over-reaching drug policy. ya know, i don't mind them testing/punishing for weed, but to put the punishment on the same level as some dude pumping roids into themselves is getting old. blah blah, personal responsibility and they know the rules and all that...blah blah blah.

dude is a HOU top prospect and a top-50 overall prospect, btw (#34 last year on BA's rankings).

I'm so happy to have the "New comments" link back on the home page.

Can we get the "return to home page" link back at the bottom? Much love.

Does anyone want to overpay for Edwin Encarnacion?

Why must the Cubs be so damn boring?

Can we get the "return to home page" link back at the bottom? Much love.

If I can figure it out, yes, but odds are low that I can figure it out. Sorry. Someone smarter than me with these things figured that out and I can't keep asking for free favors.

I'll be happy to give them a handy in return.

What if they counter with a rimmy?

>I'm so happy to have the "New comments" link back on the home page.

seconded. this setup works a whole lot better for my user experience. thanks and props.

>Why must the Cubs be so damn boring?

it gets better. we have the nate schierholtz experience on tap. cheer up.

We are swimming in 4th outfielders. Ugh.

And 4th and 5th starters...

I do feel like we are moving in the right direction though. And one very nice feeling I have now is that I know none of these guys will be kept around if they suck or will be kept around too long if they get hot.

My sense with Epstein and co is that if the 4th outfielder sucks, he will be gone. If he does what a 4th outfielder is supposed to do and does it cheaply, he'll be kept. If he gets too expensive, he will be gone. If he exceeds his talent and performs like a starter, he will be traded when his value is high.

Versus giving the 4th outfielder who is having a great two-month stretch a job as s starter and a 3-year contract a la Hendry. I don't worry about Schierlholtz becoming Todd Hollandsworth or anything.

So in a sense, you are saying the Neifi Perez era is officially over?

I don't know an easy way to add it yet, but for the time being on the longer threads, if you click the copyright in the footer, it will go back to the front page.

©The Cub Reporter 2013

Good to know. Thanks.

Everything I do I do for you Joe

Bigger dugouts, more restrooms, a hotel across the street, more concessions and a community area for people to gather and watch outdoor movies are part of a Wrigley Field renovation proposal being shown to neighbors of the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs' plans to upgrade the historic ballpark also include locker room renovations, a batting cage under the grandstand and improvements to luxury suites and the press box.

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130109/wrigleyvil...

So my thoughts are when these guys (Bonds, MacGuire, Sosa, etc) start keeling over, they will enter them into the HOF posthumously. Do you guys think that will happen?

well maybe Bonds or Sosa, but definitely not MacGuire because he doesn't fucking exist.

McGyver?

Guess I should google the spelling of names I'm not sure about. Eyeroll...

Or I could just continue doing what I always do and not give fuck... Options.

fight the power, yo.

Do we expect them to keel over? With all the juice in them, maybe they can sign a post-dead contract that has them stand motionless in the Hall during the day then play a zombie night game.

I see Sammy is already playing a wax figure.

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