Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Names in the News
2004-11-05 09:03
by alex ciepley

Threesomes are hot, hot, hot today, so three names it is.

Nomar Garciaparra
Us New Yorkers are limitless when it comes to immoral values. We hold up subway traffic by jamming our briefcases and umbrellas into the closing doors. We run out for a slice of greasy pizza at two in the morning, way past our bedtimes. And by golly, we act like there is nothing wrong with our gay neighbors, foregoing the proper barrage of spitballs, wet willies, and nooses those dirty bastards deserve.

But most of all, we're a greedy lot. And our City Headquarters are located in that northernmost of boroughs, a large round building known by the name of Yankee Stadium.

Erstwhile Red Sock and Once-in-a-while Cub Nomar Garciaparra has informed the world that he is open to playing second, short, or third. When Jose Macias made the same proclamation one year ago, only the Cubs responded, but Nomar's tidings have been better received. The Yankees look at second and see Miguel Cairo, a great utility infielder and questionable starter, and think it might be fun to add to their infield bounty.

"That would be something, wouldn't it, the holy trinity of shortstops on the same team?", Nomar's friend said. Some wondered aloud, "If A-Rod, Jeter, and Nomar represent the Trinity, what is Miguel Tejada? The Lord Buddha? Is Michael Young a ringer for Ganesh?"

The Yankees, belly full but not yet overstuffed, are now said to be interested. Nomar might take a one-year deal to stay at short, but would surely need a rich multi-year deal to play for New York. For the Yankees, Garciaparra would be a post-prime, fragile guy who had a risky contract and was playing out of position. In other words, more of the same.

Sammy Sosa
I've left work early before, and I've probably even been caught doing so on videotape. But I don't know that I've ever left work for no reason at 10 A.M., a mere hour or so into my workday.

I also don't make tens of millions of dollars at my job, so maybe this is one of those perks that comes with great job advancement. I'll have to enquire about that when asking for my next raise.

The Cubs have called UPS, Fed Ex, and the US Postal Service, all in the hopes of shipping Sosa out. So far, the only destinations being serviced seem to be New York, Miami, and Denver, though that strange place in the southern hinterlands, Arlington, is said to receive occasional packages.

The trick is, all these places tend to return things to the sender. These unsavory receipts usually involve such treats as Neagles, Prestons, catching Johnsons, Encarnacions, and Ho Ho Parks. They are, in short, not worth the wrapping paper Sosa would be shipped out in.

The aforementioned City of Greed, however, does have some enticing morsels. Kevin Brown is a subject worthy of debate, but that's more that can be said about the names listed above. And then there is Clifford Floyd. Floyd doesn't play all that much, true. But a DuBois here and there could help lessen those worries, and I don't know that any of us would be surprised if a FloyduBois creation were to outproduce Sosa in the next few years.

Troy Percival
A Closer™! The Cubs are supposedly hot on the trail of this southern California reject, lathering on fake self-tanning lotion to give Troy the impression that Chicago is as beachy as the 'Heim. Many may see his 33 saves with slack-jawed lust, but I see an old dude who pitches 50 innings a year, might give up a home run to Paul Bako, might walk Neifi Perez, and might not be able to strike out Corey Patterson. He looks real tough, so maybe he was earning his $7.5M last year with gruff stares and snorts.

Seriously, why bother:

RELIEVER    INN    HR    BB    K
Percival 49.7 7 19 33
Leicester 41.0 7 15 35
Remlinger 36.7 3 16 35
Farnsworth 66.7 10 33 78
Hawkins 82.0 10 14 69
Given age and expected salary, the great Troy is the pitcher I'd be least interested in on this list. And I say this as a guy who isn't exactly a charter member of the Farnsworth and Remlinger fan clubs. As newly-elected President John F. Kerry once said, "We can do better."

I'm not saying the Cubs shouldn't pursue another effective bullpen arm, I just think that if you drink the Percival Punch, you are asking for one big hangover. Remember when Joe Nathan was a "lucky" set-up man? Remember when Brad Lidge was a young question mark? Remember when Joe Borowski was fending off tarantulas and tacos in the Mexican heat?

Not all big names are worth their weight in letters, and not all great relievers are found in gold mines. Or something like that.

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