Friday, May 8, 2009

Cubs Trade Car Jumper for Potential Mental Patient

I can't say I called it because I didn't document my thought anywhere - not even on Twitter - but when I saw Lou coming out to the mound to get Chad Fox last night, I couldn't tell if he was more pissed at Fox or Joey Gathright. I also knew that if Lou had his way, neither would be on the roster for very long.

The trip to the mound came after a deep fly ball that should have been caught bounced on the warning track for a triple because Gathright didn't call it, and then got scared of a collision with Soriano. This came after Fox had walked the leadoff man, and then given up a triple that should have been a double, but nearly became an inside-the-park homerun when Gathright misplayed the ball off the wall.

Lou pulled Fox and brought in Kevin Gregg to close a game where the score going into the ninth inning was 8-2. You could tell he probably would have preferred pulling the still-beating heart out of Fox's chest and showing it to him as he died, or pulling Gathright's head and spine out with one swift motion, but he just took the ball from Fox and handed it to Gregg.

The death stare he gave both Gathright and Fox on his way to the mound was the moment I knew in my heart that Joey Gathright was not long for this roster. I also knew that Chad Fox is not far behind if Lou can find anyone (Mr. Randy Wells, in case you don't recognize it, this is a H-U-G-E opportunity for you to show you belong in the major leagues) who can throw a damn strike.

Today, the Cubs have traded Gathright to the Orioles for Ryan Freel. This trade helps both teams as it furthers Andy MacPhail's goal of obtaining every speedy, no-hit, ex-Cub centerfielder available (I'm kind of surprised that Damon Buford hasn't shown up in an Oriole uniform somehow), and Hendry's goal of fielding a team composed entirely of scrappy second basemen.

Seriously, Freel is not useless, though I don't think he can jump over a car. He has a decent enough career OBP of .357, though his career slugging percentage is .374, so unless he suddenly pulls a Theriot, there won't be much in the way of extra-base hits. He is also unquestionably scrappy, and very possibly certifiably insane (excellent find by The Cub Reporter), so he and Farney should fit in well in Wrigleyville.

Freel can also play third, and all of the outfield spots, so he will be more tempting to actually use in game situations than Gathright was, which means he'll play more than Gathright did. So the question is, what damages the team more? Gathright hardly playing, but when he does, sucking beyond all that is possible to suck, or more playing time for another one of our cloned diminutive second basemen.

All I know for sure is that Chad Fox better watch his back, because Lou may still very well kill him if he keeps pitching like he did in Houston last night.


Derek said...

Hi Tim,

The wife and I were actually at MMP for the Chad Fox Disaster last night. I never thought there would be a day where seeing the Cubs win live and in person could be such a joyless experience but that was it. What an awful 9th inning. It just sucked all of the fun out of the whole evening. Fox needs to be returned to the baseball graveyard as soon as possible.

SixRowBrewCo said...

Looks like you got your wish last night in Milwaukee as Fox looked like he was doing a Dave Dravecky impression. I feel bad for the guy, but this can only help the Cubs' bullpen since it can't possibly get worse.

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