Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Sunday and Monday at the Winter Meetings
2004-12-14 13:13
by alex ciepley

My first forty-eight hours at the Winter Meetings featured an exhausting combination of A-B bonding, rumor-sniffing, quasi-awkward introductions, coughing, and rasping. On Sunday the pace slowed, and my sickliness lessened dramatically. I imagine the seven or so cups of Awake tea from Starbucks helped somewhat.

By Sunday morning my voice had evolved from "I see dead people" whispers to the croakings of Harvey Fierstein, so I could at least communicate a bit. I spent only a few hours in the lobby in the morning, though. Kevin Cash was traded? Nothing was going on.

Knowing you basically had to make up rumors with the way things were going, Will Carroll and Jay Jaffe joked about creating some Sosa-to-Nationals gossip for kicks on their morning walk to the lobby. When they arrived, they discovered that, in fact, there were real rumors to that effect. Fake or real, at this stage it was all just a bunch of talk. The Cubs weren't up to much. They lost out on Kolb, Sosa was staying in place for now, and... that's about it.

My goal at the Meetings was to meet my fellow writers here at A-B as well as some people in the national media. To that effect, my trip was a success. I'm not a beat writer, so I wasn't particularly hot to try to get scoops. And to be honest, most rumors were likely to be making their way around the lobby no faster than they appeared on

That said, I did pick up on a few tidbits:

  • Farnsworth may be non-tendered if he isn't traded. If so, what a waste, no? Everyone knows he has a great arm, the ladies generally think he has a great build, but his fatal flaw has always been his brain. When he smashed the electronic fan last year, there was some debate as to which brawler was the brighter bulb, the Farns or the fan.

    So he may be difficult to deal with, he may be overpriced, but non-tendering Farnsworth would be conceding that he has virtually no value. And that's just not true. It isn't like Kyle hasn't had success at the major league level. He was good for long stretches even much of last season. Trade him, don't give him away for free.

  • The Cubs are likely to try to sign Nomar to a multiyear deal sooner than later. I don't exactly understand why they would want to do this, given the low-risk deal they have in place. But I don't understand Everybody Loves Raymond, white chocolate, or Neifi!, either, so there you go.
  • Jason DuBois' last name is supposedly not pronounced "DeBoys" but rather "DeBohs". (Hmm, that's not a very good transliteration.) "Bohs" as in "overdose". Whatever. This came from a Blue Jays exec who had talked with Jason when they took him a few years back in the Rule 5 draft.

    My prediction: he remains known as "DeBoys", just as Hee Seop "Chay" will always be mispronounced Hee Seop "Choy". One can only hope soon to hear the butchering of Felix Pie (that's "Pee-ay", buster) as he makes his way to the bigs.

  • As Ruz reported, both Sisco and Hagerty went in the Rule 5. Surprisingly, most I chatted with thought Hagerty was the more likely candidate to stick, since he can be stowed away for a while on the DL. He was still expected to be back with the Cubs, though. As for Sisco, does he maybe have some Farnsworthian tendencies? The general assumption was he'll be returned to the Cubs, like, reallyreallyfast.
I did finally have my Jim Hendry moment. It was around noon, and he was heading from lunch to another meeting. I stuck out my hand.
AC: Hi, Mr. Hendry?

JH: Jim.

AC: I'm blah blah blah and I write for blah blah blah.

(pause, no flash of recognition)

JH: I suppose you write all sorts of bad [crap] about me.

(a beat. he smiles, starts to walk away, then over his shoulder)

JH: But only when I deserve it, right?

So there you go. I got in exactly zero of the fantastic TCR questions, but I did procure some humor. Hey, it's a start.

The weekend ended Monday afternoon, and I'm visiting some friends in L.A. for a couple days. It's a breezy 74 degrees here, just in time for Christmas. I checked my cell phone a minute ago to find Alex B. had left a message with some dreadful news: near freezing in NYC. I plan on soaking in some sunshine before I have to head home.

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