Results tagged ‘ Dodgers ’

9/18 Barney on LA: “We have work to do”

Darwin Barney was back at Wrigley Field, but wearing a Dodgers uniform. The infielder, who was designated for assignment in July, and then signed with the Dodgers, had only known one team until he joined L.A. Was it strange being back at Wrigley on the visitor’s side?

“It’s not as weird as you would expect,” Barney said. “Wrigley is Wrigley. The visiting clubhouse feels a lot like the home side. The mentality is different [with the Dodgers]. We’re here to take four [games]. That’s our goal, to win every single day. That’s the way we play here.”

He did go from last place to first place.

“It was weird at first,” Barney said, “but it’s just a different atmosphere. We expect to win, and if we don’t, we don’t cry about it, and get up the next day and try to win that day.”

At this time of year, most players are counting the days until the season ends. Not the guys on teams headed to the postseason.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Barney said. “We’re right there. I think this team is a really good team. I couldn’t believe how good we were when I got here. It’s win, or go home for us. Every day we expect to win, whether we’re up or down in the game. [Clayton] Kershaw is the best pitcher I’ve ever seen.”

Kershaw, by the way, starts Friday against the Cubs and will be going for his 20th win.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” Barney said of the left-hander. “The way he goes about his business, the stuff he has — I ask him about his repertoire all the time to gain information. He’s a stand-up guy, he’s one of our leaders and he’s obviously making history. It’s been a long time since someone has had a sub 2.00 ERA two years in a row, and he might be around 1.60. It’s pretty amazing.”

Barney said he has no hard feelings toward the Cubs.

“They’re doing what’s best for this team, and if I was in their position, I might have done the same thing with me at that point,” he said. “They made the move early enough so I could go to a contender, so I’m sitting in a pretty good spot now.”

He does follow his friends on the team.

“I miss those guys,” Barney said. “When you hear that guys like [Anthony] Rizzo is missing time because he’s hurt, you worry and you wonder. With [Starlin] Castro, it’s the same thing. I care about these guys and their lives and their families and not just baseball. It makes me happy when I get to see guys like Rizzo and Castro.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/11 Cubs don’t like being snubbed

The Cubs may be a sub .500 team, but they didn’t take kindly to having both the Dodgers and the Cardinals alter their rotations against Chicago to save their aces for upcoming series. The Dodgers moved Zack Greinke so he could face the Cardinals, who skipped Adam Wainright on Saturday, so he could face the Pirates this week.

“You take anything like that personal,” manager Dale Sveum said Sunday. “Obviously, they’re doing what they need to be doing, being in the pennant race. But the guys in that locker room take it to heart. They’re saying we’re not a very good team and we’re going to get by you with this guy or that guy. It’s the competitive nature in anybody to take that to heart.”

The Cubs got the last word on Saturday, winning 6-5 over the Cardinals.

Wainwright will start Tuesday, and could face the Cubs next Sunday at Wrigley Field.

— Carrie Muskat

8/3 Dodgers 3, Cubs 0

Saturday’s game

Jeff Samardzija lost his 10th game a 3-0 loss to the Dodgers. Samardzija struck out nine and notched a quality start but it wasn’t enough. He has received zero runs of support in his last two starts. The right-hander is 2-5 with a 4.86 ERA in 12 home games.

* Junior Lake was batting .538 in the first three games of the series.

* The Cubs grounded into a season-high tying four double plays.

* The Cubs were shut out for the seventh time this season and fell to 1-6 in the first seven games of this eight-game homestand.

* Luis Valbuena was headed to the DL with a right oblique strain.

* With the win, the Dodgers set a franchise record with their 13th-consecutive road victory, joining the 1976 Philadelphia Phillies (April 17-June 2, 1976) as the only NL teams in the last 56 years to win 13-straight road contests

7/2 Marmol to Dodgers

The Cubs have found Carlos Marmol a new home. The Cubs traded the embattled closer to the Dodgers for Matt Guerrier in a deal that also includes a swap of draft picks and financial considerations.

Marmol, who was designated for assignment June 25, will not become the Dodgers’ closer but provide a veteran arm in their revamped bullpen.

The Dodgers will pay roughly $500,000 of the remaining $5 million on Marmol’s contract. Guerrier has about $1.8 million remaining on the final year of a three-year, $12 million contract. Guerrier was designated for assignment on Sunday.

After the Cubs designated Marmol last week, a few teams had expressed an interest in the right-hander, who was 2-4 with a 5.86 ERA in 31 games. He did strike out 32, but also walked 21 and served up 26 hits over 27 2/3 innings.

Marmol, 30, began the season as the Cubs closer but lost the job after the first week to Kyuji Fujikawa. However, the Japanese pitcher had elbow problems and eventually required Tommy John surgery. Kevin Gregg has taken over as closer, replacing Marmol, who had replaced Gregg in that role in 2009. It’s also ironic that Gregg was with the Dodgers in Spring Training, but they released him.

— Carrie Muskat

7/1 Marmol to the Dodgers?

The Cubs would not comment on a report Monday that the Dodgers are close to acquiring Carlos Marmol in a trade. said two sources had confirmed that the Dodgers were close to acquiring the right-hander, who was designated for assignment last Tuesday after compiling a 2-4 record and 5.86 ERA in 31 games. The Chicago Tribune quoted a source as saying the trade was “expected” to go through but had not been finalized.

Marmol is owed nearly $5 million on his remaining $9.8 million salary.

Marmol began the season as the Cubs closer but lost the job in the first week to Kyuji Fujikawa. However, the Japanese pitcher had elbow problems that ultimately resulted in Tommy John surgery. Kevin Gregg, whom the Dodgers released after a solid Spring Training, was signed by the Cubs and is 13-for-14 in save situations.

Teams have expressed an interest in Marmol since he was designated for assignment. The right-hander has walked 21 and given up 26 hits over 27 2/3 innings this season.

— Carrie Muskat

4/29 Lee Elia

Lee Elia was picked by Dallas Green to manage the Cubs in 1982, and most likely would’ve been the skipper in ’84 if not for some poorly chosen words following a game 30 years ago today. Monday marks the 30-year anniversary of Elia’s tirade after a Cubs loss to the Dodgers (do a search and you’ll find it, just be prepared for the profanities). Here’s his explanation of what happened from my book, “Banks to Sandberg to Grace.” He wanted to talk about it and give his explanation. Just imagine how different it would be today with Twitter and social media and cameras everywhere:

“We were coming off the field, and in those days we had to go down the left field line to get in the locker room, which made it even tougher at times. As we’re walking down the field, Keith Moreland, our right field-catcher kind of guy, got into an argument with a fan, and the next thing I know, Redhead’s in the stands having an altercation. So, we had to pull him off this guy, and this is in a Major League Baseball game. We walked down a little farther after we pulled him off, and Bowa was by the tarp in the bullpen and somebody hit him in the back with something. He goes over the tarp and they’re physically hitting each other. So, me and Vukovich, my dugout coach, we go pull him off.

“So now we’d had these two things on top of the wild pitch by Lee Smith [that let the winning run score] and I go into the clubhouse and had a quick five-minute thing with the club. I told them, ‘Hey, look, we got off slow but we have a bunch of people here and it’s a long season.’ Then I walked into my office and it was packed with the mighty Dodger entourage [of media] so to speak.

“They were asking me questions, and they were not the kind of questions you should ask me after a tough loss. … I asked them, ‘Please, let’s talk about the game.’ It was a tough loss and I’m still hot about going into the stands, and for some reason for that one moment — I never dreamed it would leave the locker room. Some fellow had a little tape recorder and he ran out of the locker room, and next thing I know it’s on the radio, and now it’s part of Chicago trivia. Who’s the manager who said this and that?

“I did say some things I really feel bad about. I think it’s changed me personally. It kind of hurt me because I love the players and I didn’ tthink there was any better place in the world to be than Chicago. You’d be a damn fool not to think they’re the greatest fans in the world. They’ve suffered through defeat and still love the players. But when I made my comments about the fans, I honest to God was directing them at those people who went after Moreland and Bowa. I didn’t mean the Chicago people in general. That was something I often hoped they would always understand, but that was unfortunate.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/5 The last word

There’s been some confusion as to who said what to whom regarding the Cubs’ negotiations with the Dodgers about Ryan Dempster. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, implied that Dempster was in the same room as he and GM Jed Hoyer during their discussions with Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. However, sources said Sunday that wasn’t the case, that Dempster wasn’t in the same office, and that he talked directly to Colletti.

Dempster was in the Cubs office building in case a quick decision needed to be made prior to Tuesday’s Trade Deadline. Dempster had made it clear he wanted to be traded to the Dodgers.

“Once he came into our office and actually heard the conversations we had with L.A., he came to realize, ‘OK, that’s not actually going to happen, let me consider a couple other places,’ and the deal got done with about three minutes left,” Epstein said on Wednesday.

The problem is that Epstein’s statements were taken literally. Dempster was not actually in the same office as Epstein, but was down the hall. Epstein said Dempster needed to hear “first hand” and apparently meant the pitcher needed to talk to Colletti directly.

When the two teams couldn’t work out a deal, Dempster agreed to go to the Rangers, and a trade was consummated shortly before the Deadline.

— Carrie Muskat

8/1 Follow up on Dempster trade

The Cubs would’ve preferred that Ryan Dempster had a dozen teams he wanted to be traded to but the right-hander made it clear the Dodgers were No. 1 on his list, and Theo Epstein said it isn’t fair to portray the pitcher as being selfish in his stance. On Tuesday, the Cubs dealt Dempster to the Rangers for two Minor League players after they were unable to complete a deal with the Dodgers. Los Angeles gave Epstein a list of untouchable players, and didn’t budge. Dempster had the final say because he has 10-and-5 rights.

Two or three days before news broke on July 23 that the Braves and Cubs had consumated a deal, Epstein told Dempster that Atlanta was very interested and to consider that team. The day before, Epstein told Dempster the Braves weren’t going to wait long for a decision. The Cubs and Braves then finalized the names.

“Ryan never got the opportunity for more than an hour to fully contemplate Atlanta with a deal actually in place,” Epstein said. “I feel for him. Instead of having time to contemplate it privately, he had everyone telling him what to do and asking questions about it. I think it’s hard to criticize him.”

Dempster never said he didn’t want to be traded to the Braves. He was holding out for a chance to go to the Dodgers.

“He didn’t say ‘no’ — he said, ‘not now,'” Epstein said. “He said, ‘No, I’m not going to go to Atlanta until I see about L.A.’ Atlanta very reasonably didn’t want to wait around and risk not getting a pitcher. He had a place he wanted to go, and a clear No. 1, which is his right, and he wanted to see that through and I don’t hold that against him.”

Any criticism directed at Dempster isn’t warranted, Epstein said.

“It’s not fair for anyone to criticize Ryan unless they’ve been in that spot,” Epstein said. “It’s a right he’s earned. Do we wish he would’ve had 12 places that were an ideal destination for him instead of one? Sure. That Atlanta deal that we had lined up, I felt was an outstanding deal for the organization. Would we have liked to have executed it? Absolutely.”

The Cubs were to get 22-year-old Randall Delgado in exchange for Dempster. Instead, they were able to still complete a deal with the Braves, sending Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson for two Minor League pitchers.

In the final hour before the Trade Deadline on Tuesday, Dempster was with Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer to listen to conversations with the Dodgers.

“Once he came into our office and actually heard the conversations we had with L.A., he came to realize, ‘OK, that’s not actually going to happen, let me consider a couple other places,’ and the deal got done with about three minutes left,” Epstein said.

Dempster, Epstein and Hoyer were able to joke about the talks prior to the Trade Deadline.

“I know it started to be characterized in the media as contentious, and it wasn’t at all,” Epstein said. “Had we made that trade with Atlanta, we don’t get [Arodys] Vizcaino for Maholm and Johnson. Everything worked out in the end.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Saying no to the Dodgers

Ryan Dempster had made it clear he wanted to play for the Dodgers but the Cubs couldn’t come up with a deal that worked for both sides.

“Two teams have to agree on a value to make a trade, and I guess we never got to that point,” GM Jed Hoyer said. “It’s no fault of theirs, it’s no fault of ours. That’s why trades are hard to make. You assume when you pick up the phone to call a team, most trades don’t work out because people value things differently. We could never get to the right place together. It wasn’t for lack of phone minutes, that’s for sure.”

When told the Cubs and Dodgers couldn’t agree, Dempster gave Hoyer the go-ahead to talk to other teams.

“Once the Dodgers were out, there were two teams that got in on it and the Rangers moved really fast,” Dempster said. “They obviously have a very good team and I’m going to go down there and hopefully be a small piece of what they have going there. They’re in first place and proven winners the last couple years. I’m going to go down there and hopefully sneak in the back door and try to blend in and do my job when asked to do my job.”

Said Dodgers GM Ned Colletti: “We made a game effort. We did the right thing. It doesn’t preclude us doing something later. They wanted not just one prime prospect, plus other people, too. We decided we’re going to pass on that and move on.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Dempster & the Dodgers

The Dodgers acquired outfielder Shane Victorino from the Phillies on Tuesday but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says Los Angeles is not done improving its roster. Rosenthal reports the Dodgers are focused on Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster and want him before today’s 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline. Dempster was scheduled to start Tuesday night for the Cubs against the Pirates. However, the Cubs were expected to have pitcher Casey Coleman in Chicago as a contingency plan. Dempster has hinted he’d prefer to go to the Dodgers. As a player with 10-and-5 rights, he has veto power.

— Carrie Muskat