Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 09/06/11

Game One Hundred Forty-Two: Cubs (61-80) vs. Reds (69-72)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Rodrigo Lopez (4-6, 4.94/1.51) vs. Mike Leake (11-9, 4.12/1.23)

Updated 5:03pm CDT – Cubs Recalled D.J. LeMahieu, John Gaub and Luis Montanez from Triple-A Iowa

The Cubs are coming off back-to-back wins against the Pirates and Reds and will shoot for their third victory in a row tonight behind Rodrigo Lopez. Lopez has struggled of late and with the extra arms that Quade is expected to have in the pen beginning tonight expect a quick hook if he struggles early.

Will Tyler Colvin and Tony Campana be in the starting lineup tonight against Mike Leake? Tyler Colvin is 4-for-11 with a walk against Leake with all four hits being home runs. Colvin went deep against Leake when the Cubs finally beat him back on August 5. As for Tony Campana his inside the park homer came against Leake on the same day … with a little help from Yonder Alonso.

Regardless of the lineup, the Cubs must improve on hitting with RISP. Over the last 14 games, the Cubs are 20-for-124 with runners in scoring position and have left 118 runners on base. The Cubs are 5-9 during that span and have been outscored 54-46.

In other newsAndrew Cashner was activated from the 60-day DL on Monday and is eager to return to a big league mound. Cashner is not expected to be available until Wednesday after pitching a perfect inning on Sunday night in Iowa.

As for the other September call-ups … John Gaub, D.J. LeMahieu and Luis Montanez will reportedly join the team today and spend the remainder of the season with the big league team. It appears that Scott Maine’s season is over after dealing with injuries late in the Triple-A campaign. As for Chris Carpenter, he tweeted Monday night that he is going home for the off-season. Carpenter is slated to pitch for the Mesa Solar Sox during the upcoming AFL season. Welington Castillo finished the year on the DL after dealing with a nagging hamstring all season. Like Maine and Carpenter, Castillo is not expected to receive a call-up this September.

Bruce Levine reported that both Rafael Dolis and catcher Steve Clevenger could join the Cubs after the Smokies’ playoff run is completed. Dolis is on the Cubs 40-man roster but Clevenger is not. The Cubs will have to make a roster move to call-up Clevenger for the last couple of weeks of the season.

The Cubs 40-man roster currently stands at 39 players but that will change on September 12. While Carlos Zambrano will not re-join the Cubs this year, he will take a spot on the 40-man roster once he is removed from the disqualified list. Zambrano is eligible to come of the list on September 12.

Tonight it all starts with Rodrigo Lopez …

Rodrigo Lopez is coming off another poor outing and his days in the Cubs rotation should be coming to an end. Rumors have suggested that due to the lack of pitching depth Lopez could be in the Cubs plans for next season … maybe the mainstream media should wait for Tom Ricketts to name the new GM before speculating.

Lopez has not won a game, or pitch well enough to do so, since August 15. The Giants anemic offense put up four runs on nine hits (two home runs) in 5 1/3 innings. Lopez was left in an inning too long but it would not have made a difference against Madison Bumgarner.

Rodrigo Lopez posted a 2-3 mark in six starts last month with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP … 0-2 in his last two starts with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.77 WHIP (eight runs, six earned, on 14 hits with six walks and seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings).

Tonight will be Lopez’s first start of the year against the Reds. Lopez pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief against the Redlegs back on June 7 … and did not allow a run, hit or walk. Lopez is 2-0 in seven career games, six starts, against the Reds with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

Reds Career Numbers against Rodrigo Lopez

  • Jay Bruce – 3-for-7 with a home run
  • Miguel Cairo – 5-for-17 with a double and a triple
  • Juan Francisco – 1-for-3
  • Ramon Hernandez – 2-for-15
  • Paul Janish – 2-for-6
  • Brandon Phillips – 1-for-7 with a double and a walk
  • Edgar Renteria – 3-for-18
  • Drew Stubbs – 2-for-6
  • Joey Votto – 2-for-5 with a double

Mike Leake is coming off a rough outing against the Phillies in which he allowed four runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts in six innings. Leake has not completed more than six innings of work in a start since August 10 and has already surpassed his innings at the big league level from his rookie season (138 1/3 in 2010, 150 2/3 this season).

Leake has shown a lot of improvement since the break and is 3-5 in nine starts with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

The last time the Cubs faced Mike Leake, they finally figured out a way to beat him. The Cubs scored three runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts in six innings. Tyler Colvin hit another homer off Leake … and Tony Campana hit a two-run inside the park home run.

Leake is 3-1 in five career starts against the Cubs with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Mike Leake

  • Darwin Barney – 2-for-3
  • Marlon Byrd – 2-for-9 with a double
  • Tony Campana – 1-for-4 with a home run
  • Starlin Castro – 5-for-12 with a double
  • Tyler Colvin – 4-for-11 with 4 home runs and a walk
  • Blake DeWitt – 5-for-11 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
  • Koyie Hill – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 1-for-2
  • D.J. LeMahieu – 0-for-1
  • Carlos Pena – 1-for-4 with 2 walks
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-13 with a double and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 0-for-9
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-7 with 3 walks

Cubs Photography
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For more info, including how the final photographs are assembled, please visit

Stadium Journey – Wrigley Field publishes reviews of pro and college stadiums and recently posted their review of Wrigley Field. Paul Swaney emailed the CCO and thought our readers would be interested in reading their review of the Friendly Confines.

Take a minute and read Stadium Journey’s review of ‘Wonderful Wrigley Field

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way of playing the game." – Babe Ruth

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  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Castro – SS
    Barney – 2B
    Ramirez – 3B
    Pena – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Byrd – CF
    Colvin – RF
    Soto – C
    Lopez – P

  • Neil

    Multiple updates from the park this afternoon …

    From Carrie Muskat: Welington Castillo in Chicago to get check up. He’s been bothered by sore hamstring. Will not be added to roster.

  • Neil

    From Bruce Levine: Quade says vet players will still get most of the playing time.

    • John_CC

      HA!  Really, Quads?  Thanks for ending the suspense.  What a jackass, I hate this team again.  I want this to just end.

      • Aaron

        someone should just pelt Q-Ball with tomatoes like they used to do in the old days when they’d see a bad theatrical performance or whatever….I mean seriously….is this guy a joke or what?!?

    • Jacob

      Exactly what i wanted to hear…NOT

    • Calicub

      it really is just discusting how idiotic this peabrained little man is. Does he really think he will preserve his job by trying to win meaningless games again? Really? The only thing that makes logical sense is if all the vets got together and made an agreement to. Pool a few mill and bribe quade to keep them in the game. Hey maybe Quade realizes that he will never be close to a job like this again ever and is making himself a little retirement fund

    • Brp921

      Well that makes sense. We know how all the minor league call ups perform against major league talent, what we need to find out is how the veteran major league players can perform against major league talent.

    • paulcatanese

      After tonights game maybe Levine can ask Qua if his vets are still going to get most of the playing time.

  • Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Andrew Cashner available on a one day on, 2 days off schedule. Blake DeWitt has tender left hamstring, and is day to day

  • John_CC

    Thanks for the informative intro, Neil, always appreciated.

    But really you could save yourself a lot of time because your one trademark line says it all for this game:

    Tonight it all begin with Rodrigo Lopez! 

    • Neil

      You’re welcome … and I will not type what went through my head as I entered that line in the preview.

  • Jay from sandwich

    Will If Q is going to play the veterans most of the time. It proves one thing only that he caresless about the Cubs and there future then himshelf. If I was the owner of the Cubs I would tell Mr. Q that I expect that you will play the rookies the majority of the time or you will not even make it to the end of the season as manager. Instead you will be sweaping the stands at the end of the games to get your paycheck. This is so bad that other GM’s who may be interested in him for a job in the future have to secound guess his loalty’s because of how he is treating the team and the orginization. Compared to keeping a few veterians happy so they can joice up there person stats for ther free agancy this off season.

    • BosephHeyden

      This is on Ricketts for keeping Quade.  Of course Quade’s going to play the vets.  He’s pretty much been told without actually having been told that he’s done.  He’s not coming back next year.  They should have canned him and Kenney at the same time they fired Hendry.  I still hold that, the fact is, you have to get all three out of there for changes to start.  Kenney is a horrible baseball mind, Hendry was not a good GM, and Quade was an average third base coach that was a nice enough guy that the team decided to play well enough for him last year to get a moment in the spotlight this year.

      Until all three guys are gone, changes cannot start to happen.  Everything that happens between now and the end of the month is a waste of time and talent.  Ricketts should know better…I just don’t think he does.

      • Dorasaga

        I object. Quade was a mediocre to below average 3B coach. The Cubs was one of the worst base-running team during his time there.

        • Ripsnorter1

          That’s why he was promoted. This IS the Cubs, ya know.

  • paulcatanese

    Just looked at he lineup and just sitting here, shaking my head. Their are not enough adjectives in the world to describe this person. I would just wish he would look at the blogs, well maybe he has and is making people pay. I do believe now it is on Ricketts to allow this to go on with this man. Are the people in the stands letting him or Ricketts know with boo’s? If not they should be. Levine says Qua is going with the vets most of the time? I wonder what the explanation is, cannot be based on sanity.

    • Calicub

      I’ve been wondering about wrigley receptions of quade and these miserable cubs myself.

      Where are the rotten tomatoes? The brown bags over fans heads? The empty bleachers? The stagnation of paraphenalia and ticket sales? Signs and posters berating this sherade?

      I couldn’t let myself go to the series here against the giants because I couldn’t stand the idea of supporting this team or the decision makers.

  • paulcatanese

    I’m lost for words. Even if this lineup wins it matters not.

    • Calicub

      It does because it gives Q validation.

      Speaking of which are the cubs finally mathematically eliminated? I remeber a week or so ago the magic number being five

      • paulcatanese

        The only validation this guy is looking for is if Byrd gets more than one hit, and he will have turned it around. Other than Aram Byrd is number one with Qua, just mis understood.

      • Neil

        Yes, they were mathematically eliminated on Friday

  • Neil

    Good throw by Colvin

  • Skeldor

    Shame on this organization from top to bottom.  How do you not reward the hard work and efforts of Bryan LeHair?  HOW?  All he did was hit .331 with 38 hr and 109 RBIs he at least deserves to play out the rest of the year on the MLB team.  I don’t care if he isn’t in the plans, he deserves the call-up just like he deserved it last year.  Qball isn’t going to play the young guys anyway so he might as well get the call.  If he did get called up then I apologize b/c I missed it LOL. 

    • Skeldor

      I wish there were a delete button b/c I look silly now.  Good for you Cubs organization, good for you for promoting him. 

  • Neil

    Why is Ramon Ortiz warming up? Would be a good time to get John Gaub a little work.

  • Neil

    This is beyond pathetic. Leake has faced one over the minimum after seven innings and has thrown 62 pitches.

  • xaxinho

    i am with my wife trying to like this game and this team give just one hit?

  • JimBo_C

    Samardzija has better stuff than Marmol at this point in time. He should be given the opportunity to close some games this month.

  • JimBo_C

    Byrd needs to grab some bench!

  • cubsprincess

    Did the cubs win 2nite

  • woody34

    Carlos who?  That a boy Bryan

  • Neil

    LaHair with LA BOMB … game tied at two

    • JimBo_C

      i bet you had that phrase loaded up and ready to go for a few days

      • Neil

        No sir … popped in my head when he crushed that pitch.

  • JimBo_C

    That was a bomb!

  • Tom U

    And this is how legends are made …

  • JimBo_C

    This guy Lahair looks like the best left handed hitter on the team and he just showed up three days ago.

  • Aaron

    WOW…LAHAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s what I’m talking about.

    On another note. How shameful is it that Q-Ball is playing the string out with the vets, and until the 9th, they managed only 1 hit?!?!? 

    Is it really surprising a young guy came through when we’ve seen garbage from the vets all year?!? 

    What the hell is Byrd doing still playing right now? Another GIDP? Really?!?

    A lineup with Campana, LaHair, LeMahieu, and Montanez would be far more exciting than what they have going on right now.

    • Rbmercer


  • Matt


  • Demitri

    Atta boy lahair. Too bad its semptember and and our manager is mike quade

  • Rbmercer

    Don’t remember who posted in the last two days that Lahair had to short of a swing and didn’t look like he drove the ball…well, THAT should answer that!!!!!!!! LOL…That ball was mashed!!! Cruel game for Leake to get that close to a gem.

    Please keep playing Lahair and let’s see a bigger sample size. He should start at either first, left, or right everyday. I don’t care if he isn’t a right fielder. Let the guy swing the bat. Quade has never cared about playing guys out of position anyway! Lol

    • paulcatanese

      I was the one that said that about LaHair, but I think you took it in the wrong context. What I was saying is he shortened his swing so as to make contact his first time up against a lefty. I probably came out wrong and I did say later he turned on a 100 mile fastball and got a double of a lefty.

  • cubsprincess

    Some one please tell me whats going on I at work and cant see the game

    • Demitri

      We had one hit heading in the ninth losing 2-0, castro with an infield hit then lahair with a bomb. We are in extras

    • Neil

      Bryan LaHair hit a game tying two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Game tied at two in the bottom of the 10th, Campana on second with one out.

    • Neil

      Game still tied at two, bottom of the 11

  • Neil

    Will Byrd give Campana a chance to steal second?

  • John G

    Great steal by Tony C. Now they can walk byrd and pitch to Colvin.

  • cubs1967

    hard to blame quade for playing the vets when quade should be fired and even harder to blame him when the new GM tommycrane doens’t release Z so he takes up a spot on the 40 man when brett jackson should be up………..or even clevenger when you could release grabow…………

    the 3 stooges……..quade-crane-ricketts…………3 dummies don’t make 1 right.

    103 yrs and counting………….beyond sad and there is NO grace period.

  • John G

    Montanez is the only position player left on the bench. Which means if Hill and Castro don’t get on, then Marshall will probably bat for himself.

  • Neil

    From Barry Rosner: Philly Asst GM Chuck LaMar abruptly resigns
    a month before playoffs. He’s a former GM, comes from winner. Sounds like a Tom
    Ricketts guy.

    • Richard Hood

      Wow that would be an outside the box candidate that has serious credentials. It would also mean that Pat Guillick is also on the way in some capacity.

    • Neil

      Wilken was a special assistant to LaMar for three years in Tampa

      • Rbmercer

        I might bite on him if he brings Ryno with him.

      • cubs1967

        NOOOOOOOOOOOO…..I’m reading the book about the extra 2% on the rays…….how the new owner took over the team and hired andrew friedman.
        lamar’s moves are detailed……….total trainwreck.  he got a good rep for his asst job w/ the braves……….too bad scheurholtz made all of the moves; lamar just hung on the coattails.  he’d be a disaster……..he may bring ryno, but no way.  he was a complete bust w/ the rays.

        the book details how they had a scout; an old school scout who said sign this pudgy 3b, who could play 1b.  the scout resigned after he was not chosen.  they even had the kid come to tampa to work out.

        that kid…………..albert pujols.

        the rays also had the 3rd pick the next year………they took dewon brazelton instead of………….mark texiera.

        so yeah……..the rays could of had—Tex-Pujols-Crawford-Hamilton all in the same lineup.

        no thanks Chuck.

        BUT this makes sense…………..a proven flop…………who hired uncle Lou.

        tommycrane………….the worst GM in town………even worse than Angelo!!!

        • Ripsnorter1

          The guy’s a failure. THEY CAN’T HIRE JIM QLUELESS AGAIN, CAN THEY?


    • Ripsnorter1

      He isn’t very good in the draft. Here’s his picks:

      1996 Draft; Alex Sanchez (5th round), Kyle Snyder (27th round), Dan Wheeler (34th round),  Jason Michaels (44th round).Their first four draft picks were complete busts, and they only found a total of 8 players who made the majors in 97 rounds worth of picks.

      1997 Draft; Jason Standrige (1), Toby Hall (9), Heath Bell (69)What a haul here, huh? Their first 5 picks were Standrige, Kenny Kelly, Barrett Wright, Todd Belitz, and Marquis Roberts. Not a good draft when the 3 best players you nab are a #6 SP, a backup catcher, and a middle reliever, and Bell certainly didn’t help the Devil Rays franchise.

      1998 Draft; Aubrey Huff (5),  Joe Kennedy (8), Brandon Backe (18)The Rays didn’t pick until the 4th round, and their 4th round pick Josh Pressley was a flop. Huff was a solid pick, and Joe Kennedy and Brandon Backe have had at least some success in the back end of major league rotations. A total of 6 players of the 44 taken made the majors, again not a good ratio.

      1999 Draft; Josh Hamilton (1), Carl Crawford (2), Doug Waechter (3), Seth McLung (5), Matt Diaz (17), Ryan Raburn (18)Everyone knows about the Hamilton saga by now. He clearly has the ability, but was his own worst enemy until 2006. The Rays cut bait on him, and maybe the fresh start is what helped him. Crawford has a much higher perceived value than actual value, but he’s a valuable commodity for Tampa now, and was a nice hit. Waechter hasn’t been very good, McLung the same, and he was traded to Milwaukee this past season. Diaz didn’t do much in Tampa, but has found a home in Atlanta as a 4th OF now. Raburn didn’t sign and eventually was drafted by Detroit in 5th round 2 years later. 7 out of 50 made it to the majors, not a great percentage again.

      2000 Draft; Rocco Baldelli (1), James Shields (16)The 2000 draft was not a particularly good draft. Baldelli, like Crawford, has always been more hype than substance, and now he can’t stay healthy. 2 years ago, he’d have brought a lot in a deal. Now? Not so much. Nabbing Shields in the 16th round now looks like a move of brilliance. Outside of these 2, the draft was almost a complete miss, with only 4 of 50 players making it to the majors.

      2001 Draft; Dewon Brazelton (1), Dave Bush (4), Jonny Gomes (18), Joey Gathright (32), Chad Gaudin (34)2001 was a much better draft, all things considered. Brazelton pitched well in the minors, was rushed to the majors, and ultimately never amounted to anything, but it wasn’t an awful pick at the time. Bush didn’t sign, which wasn’t a good thing, but they picked up 3 good guys in Gomes, Gathright and Gaudin after the 15th round. They also added organizational arms in Chris Seddon (5) and Jason Hammel (19), and all told, 8 of 50 guys picked made the majors, 9 if you count Dave Bush who made the majors elsewhere, but you shouldn’t really count that.

      2002 Draft; BJ Upton (1), Elijah Dukes (3), Mike Pelfrey (15), Jacoby Ellsbury (23)A poor draft overall here. Upton looks like he’s on his way to becoming an all star, Dukes is likely on his way to a mental institution, and Pelfrey and Ellsbury didn’t sign of course. Wes Bankston (4) is still a prospect to some degree, so they might get another major leaguer out of this eventually, but all told, not good, and only 3 of the 50 players taken have made appearances in the bigs.

      2003 Draft; Delmon Young (1), James Houser (2), Andrew Miller (3), Chad Orvella (13)Another poor draft after round. Young is going to end up a better major leaguer than his brother, but after him, the Rays have almost nothing to show for this draft (yet), unless you count erratic middle reliever Chad Orvella as “something”. Houser was a good prospect 2 years ago, but has had some arm troubles, and they failed to sign Andrew Miller, who is now pitching with Detroit after going in the first round in 2006.

      2004 Draft; Jeff Niemann (1), Reid Brignac (2), Wade Davis (3), Jacob McGee (5), Matt Walker (10), Andy Sonnanstine (13)Ironically, this could end up being LaMar’s best draft, and only Sonny has made it to the majors, and his results haven’t been good. Niemann is a bit of a hype case at this point, but Brignac is one of the best SS prospects in the minors, Davis and McGee profile as legit #2 starters, and Walker a good back end of the rotation candidate in a year or two. All of these guys might flame out and never contribute, but the elite talent prospect is there, and if one of them works out, then the draft will be close to previous drafts, if more than 1 works out, it could be their best draft.

      2005 Draft; Wade Townsend (1), Chris Mason (2), Bryan Morris (3), Jeremy Hellickson (4)As much upside as the 2004 draft provided, this draft could have set the team back. Townsend made his name at Rice, and came out with a shredded arm. Mason is a finese righty who looks like a #4, Morris didn’t sign in a well publicized debacle, and Hellickson looks the most promising of the bunch, but is still 2-3 years away. Was this the draft that undid LaMar, or did he have it coming already?The D-Rays are lauded for their young talent, but if you look closer at these drafts, you have to say they weren’t very good. You can’t expect a team to grab 5 major league all stars from every draft, but when you’re picking 1st or 2nd every year, you should be landing “can’t miss” talent. The list of 1st rounders for Tampa Bay from 1996-2005Paul Wilder, Jason Standridge, Josh Hamilton, Rocco Baldelli, Dewon Brazelton, BJ Upton, Delmon Young, Jeff Niemann, Wade Townsend.You have to think they maybe could have done a bit better. But the more important note is how few players they accumulated in rounds 2-5, and only plucking a handful of sleepers past round 15 in 10 years.

      • Richard Hood

        That has as much to do with scouting and development as the GM. Not saying LaMar is not responsible for it but there is a long trail of bloody and broken prospects because of bad development practices. All you have to do is look at the Cubs over the same period for a proof of my point.

        • Ripsnorter1

          When you are the general manager, you are responsible. The buck stops right there. Hey, that’s 10 drafts. He had ten drafts to get it right.  

          • Richard Hood

            I said he was responsible but most of his “guys” that were on the development side are as much to blame as he was.

  • Neil

    Campana was safe

    • Jay from sandwich

      I love how qua came out after it was way to late to show his face about the first base out call he was safe of course

    • paulcatanese

      He sure was, but had to chuckle the way he let the first base umpire know about it. Lots of fire in that little guy. And Votto knew it as he had a smile on his face getting ready for the next hitter. Also Castro had the pick at second base no doubt.

  • Ripsnorter1

    You can count of John Grabow, game ender. 

    Hey, he’s 3-0 before tonight.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      wow, what a combo, Quadsie and Grabsie. What a couple of losers.

  • Neil

    Again, would rather have seen John Gaub there than Grabow.

    Time to play the kids …

    • Ripsnorter1

      He only gave up 2 runs. Not bad for Grabow….

      I can’t figure out why the Cubs just don’t outright release him right now and give a youngster his roster spot. And release Ortiz, too. 

    • John G

      The good John G and the bad John G.

      Makes me wonder who is the ugly John G.

      Oh Wait!!!

      • Ripsnorter1

        Just have him look in a mirror…’ll crack.

  • John G

    Bottom of the 13th and Cubbies are in the same position they were in the bottom of the 9th. Wasted efforts in the 9th and 10th. How come there were no bunts in the 10th or 11th when they had someone on?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Here’s LaMar’s deals: read ’em and weep!

    Player AquisitionsThe second phase is to look at the moves LaMar made. I think it’s really difficult to judge how good or bad he was at this aspect, because Tampa Bay was dealing with a very small payroll during his entire tenure as GM. He’ll forever be remembered by two moves, one good and one bad. The bad move was trading Bobby Abreu, at the time a mediocre OF prospect, to the Phillies for Kevin Stocker. The good move was trading Victor Zambrano, who appears to have been damaged goods, to the New York Mets for Scott Kazmir. Much of what came in between constitutes marginal moves at best.

    Let’s have a brief look1997-1998; Traded Dmitri Young to Cincinnati for Mike Kelly. Young would go on to have a number of good seasons and generally be an above average 1B, while Kelly was complete garbage. Signed Roberto Hernandez, that’s never a good move. Signed Wilson Alvarez, who had a good year in 1999. Signed 40 year old Wade Boggs, presumably as a PR stunt, considering Boggs was past it at that point. Signed Jorge Cantu, which turned out to be a good signing, and LaMar had nothing to do with trading him for minor league relievers. Claimed Cory Lidle on waivers, which was a nice move, but getting Ben Grieve for him wasn’t such a good move.

    1999-2000; Traded Jason Johnson to the Orioles for two scrubs. Johnson pitched one season and wasn’t very good for Tampa. Signed Brendan Donnelley out of the Atlantic League, a nice find. But then they released him a few months later. Well, so much for that. Traded Joe Oliver and Humberto Cota to Pittsburgh for Jose Guillen and Jeff Sparks. Ok, that’s not bad. But then they didn’t re-sign Guillen, who has bounced around since, and Cota is at least a marginal backup catcher now. Took Chad Ogea and Chris Reitsma in the Rule 5 draft….two decent finds here I guess, but Reitmsa was returned to Boston. Signed Norm Charlton and Juan Guzman, only about 9 years too late. Signed Steve Trachsel, who they then traded mid season for Brent Abernathy. I like the idea of signing a free agent, getting value out of him, then flipping him for something of more future value. The problem is, Abernathy was awful. Traded Todd Belitz and Jim Mecir for Jesus Colome. Mecir was a junk baller, and Colome had big upside. It’s a shame Colome now pitches for Washington, while Mecir was actually good for Oakland. Signed Paul Spoljaric as a free agent. Great move.

    2001-2002; Traded Cory Lidle and Roberto Hernandez for Ben Grieve. Lidle helped Oakland to the playoffs, and Hernandez is just crap. The problem is that Grieve was good, not great, and Oakland ended up winning this 3 team trade by a huge margin, also getting Johnny Damon and Mark Ellis in the deal, giving up only Angel Berroa and Ben Grieve. The Royals are as much at fault as anyone here. Traded Fred McGriff to the Cubs for Manny Aybar and Jason Smith. McGriff was raking in 2001 when he was traded, and he was 37, so the time to trade him was right. But getting Manny Aybar and Jason Smith? That sucked. Signed Ryan Freel as a free agent, but he was released a year later, and then signed with the Reds, where he’s been a somewhat valuable commodity. Signed Sal Fasano and Kevin Brown… Selected Jorge Sosa off waivers….nice, but they never got value out of him. Signed Emil Brown as a free agent. Brown played one season in Tampa, then was released and he didn’t really get on track until landing in Kansas City. Traded Randy Winn for Antonio Perez. Winn was mediocre for his first 4 seasons in Tampa, had a nice year in 2002, and was the traded. I don’t mind him being traded, but damn, Antonio Perez?

    2003-2004; Signed Travis Lee as a free agent. Why? Signed and then released Wayne Gomes…..why?  Traded Jason Conti for Javier Valentin. Gotta say that was a clear win for Tampa, except they released him after 2003, and like Ryan Freel, he was snatched up by Cinci. Signed Julio Lugo as a free agent. This was a decent move, and smartly, the Rays decided to trade Lugo, but we’ll get to that trade later. Traded Evan Rust and John-Paul Davis for Tino Martinez. Again with the collecting of players who were great 6 years ago. Martinez had a decent season in Tampa before heading back to New York to finish his career. Traded Brandon Backe to Houston for Geoff Blum. Not a good deal. Traded Joe Kennedy to Colorado, received Mark Hendrickson from Toronto in the 3 team deal. Doesn’t really make sense, trading a finesse lefty for another. Signed Danys Baez as a free agent.  Baez was decent for Tampa, and he wasn’t really missed when he was traded, and LaMar wasn’t the one to trade him. Traded Antonio Perez for Jason Romano. So, really, it was Randy Winn for Jason Romano. Here’s the best part…Romano was claimed off waivers 3 weeks later by Cinci. Then, IT happened. The Mets, acting either out of desperation or stupidity, or some combination, traded Scott Kazmir to Tampa for #5 starter Victor Zambrano. Some have attempted to argue that the deal wasn’t as lopsided at the time, blah blah blah, but it certainly is. Kazmir had dynamite stuff, and his strikeout numbers in the minors backed it up. This trade, while the best of LaMar’s tenure, was also maybe his undoing. You’d often read in newspapers how teams had a hard time dealing with LaMar, because he wanted the moon for every player after getting Kazmir for Zambrano.

    2005; Signed Hideo Nomo as a free agent. There ya go. Signed Denny Neagle as a free agent….now we’re talking. Traded Jorge Sosa for Nick Green. Green had one bad year for Tampa before moving on. Sosa was great in 2005, and then fell apart in 2006 before Atlanta traded him to St Louis. Traded Bobby Seay to Colorado for Reggie Taylor….yes, that Reggie Taylor. Signed David Coggin…yes, that David Coggin.There you have it. If you think I missed something, let me know. The big problem, besides signing guys who are past it performance wise, is that when they did sign low risk talent and then trade them, they didn’t get anything close to value for them. It’s tough to look through these moves and find an apparent strategy, and it’s tough to find any deals outside of the Kazmir robbery where the D-Rays got the better of another team. Drafting wise, they had their share of good picks, but most of them came in the first round, where teams are expected to hit much more frequently than miss. Outside of a few organizational arms, they haven’t produced a lot except for the 2004 draft, and the jury is still out on those guys.

    • Richard Hood

      Just to kind of critic one part of your analysis Rip. The Randy Winn trade was for Lou Panella and Antonio Perez. Then Lou got PO’d because they always scrimped on payroll and no money for the minors and he “retired” only to be coaching for the Cubs very quickly afterwards.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 4-2 to Reds in 13 innings Tuesday night.

    Rodrigo Lopez: 2R, 8H, 2BB, 2K, 5.2IP; Starlin Castro: 1-for-6, R; Bryan LaHair: Game tying, Pinch-hit 2R HR in 9th

  • paulcatanese

    If anyone catches the post game comments by Qua, I would like to know how he defends his “vets” tonight and especialy Byrd, and how he will come around for tommorow’s game.

  • studio179

    Really interesting LaMar up and quit the Phils. They are a legit championship quality team. 

    I am not sure if this has anything to do with the Cubs and ownership, but again, the timing sure is interesting with LaMar’s past connection with Wilken and Wilken’s extension talks.

  • paulcatanese

    No matter who is in the lineup thier are seven of them that are better hitters than Byrd. If he is supposed to be such a team player why dosent he sit himself?