Results tagged ‘ Dodgers ’
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
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
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
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
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
CBSsportsline.com’s Jon Heyman reports Friday that talks between the Dodgers and Cubs are at an impasse, and that the Dodgers are looking at other options. The Dodgers have reportely offered pitching prospects but Heyman said the Cubs were asking for Allen Webster. The Dodgers have the leverage in talks as Dempster has rejected a deal to the Braves, and was believed to only be willing to go to the Dodgers. Matt Garza was another option but he may be a difficult trade candidate because the right-hander won’t get a start until the end of the week. He came out of his last start last Saturday because of cramping in his right elbow.
– Carrie Muskat
According to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers are focused on acquiring Ryan Dempster from the Cubs, and continue to hold talks to line up back-up deals if they can’t reach an agreement. The Dodgers are rumored to be involved with nearly every starting pitcher on the trade block, from James Shields and Josh Johnson to Zack Greinke and Matt Garza. Dodgers chairman Mark Walter said Wednesday that after the team added Hanley Ramirez, the Dodgers weren’t done. Los Angeles also is looking for another bat.
– Carrie Muskat
Ryan Dempster will likely make a decision today regarding whether he’ll accept a deal to the Braves. The Cubs and Braves were believed to be finalizing a deal, which requires Dempster’s approval because of his status as a 10-and-5 player (10 years in the big leagues, five with the same team). The Braves were reportedly offering right-handed pitcher Randall Delgado.
Dempster isn’t the only Cubs player drawing attention leading up to the July 31 Trade Deadline. The Dodgers, who still could be pursuing Dempster, also are inquiring about Matt Garza. One report said the Dodgers would deal top pitching prospect Zach Lee to the Cubs for Garza, but a baseball source told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick that was premature. Lee was reportedly the player the Cubs asked for in the Dempster talks, but the Dodgers didn’t want to move him for a two-month rental player. Garza, on the other hand, would be under club control through arbitration for one more season.
However, the Dodgers also need a run-producing corner infielder at least as badly as a starting pitcher. Lee apparently still has significant trade value, even though he has struggled to a 9.45 ERA since being promoted to Double-A last month.
And it’s not just the Cubs pitching that’s drawing interest. The Orioles are reportedly asking about first baseman/outfielder Bryan LaHair.
Dempster’s departure would not just impact the Cubs rotation, but the players. Jeff Samardzija gives the veteran credit for helping him get on track this year.
“He’s easy to watch how he attacks hitters and it relates to me very well,” Samardzija said. “The list goes on — I could sit here all day and tell you what Demp’s done for me. It’s good to have that veteran mind and those veteran eyes around me at any point in the game — ‘Hey, I’m seeing this, and I’m seeing that.’ He’s been that guy for a long time.”
– Carrie Muskat
Matt Garza, lifted from his last start because of cramping in his elbow, was feeling better Monday but most likely will be skipped in the rotation at least one start. Garza, who came out of Saturday’s game against the Cardinals after three innings, was scheduled to start Friday, but Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Monday that Travis Wood will likely start. Wood will be pitching on normal rest because of an off day Thursday.
“Garza is better today and there’s some improvement,” Sveum said Monday. “[His arm is] not quite extendable but he doesn’t seem to be concerned about it. I think [Tuesday] will be the big day to do the evaluation. That’s when we’ll have to make some decisions and line up stuff.”
Garza (5-7, 3.91 ERA) will not throw a bullpen on Tuesday. The timing of that is still to be determined. Garza also is the subject of trade rumors, and the Dodgers are reportedly interested in the right-hander. A report on Monday said the Dodgers would trade pitching prospect Zach Lee to the Cubs in a package. Garza would be under team control through 2013.
– Carrie Muskat
The Dodgers haven’t given up on landing Ryan Dempster, although the tone of rumors cooled noticeably Saturday. Even manager Don Mattingly seemed to be preparing himself for the deal to fall apart.
“Other teams have agendas to build or rebuild, and to put two teams together to make a deal is not as easy as it sounds,” Mattingly told reporters in New York, including MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. “But if we’re in position to pick up somebody that can help, we’re going to do it.”
That said, the Dodgers still are considered by many the favorites to land Dempster. The pitcher can virtually dictate where he ends up because he has trade-veto power and he’s rumored to prefer the Dodgers, where he would be reunited with buddy Ted Lilly.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers reportedly are refusing to deal pitching prospect Zack Lee for Dempster because Dempster would essentially be a two-month rental as an upcoming free agent and the Dodgers invested $5.25 million to sign Lee in 2010. If the Dodgers trade Lee, it more likely would be for a player the Dodgers could control beyond this year, someone like Padres third baseman Chase Headley, who won’t be a free agent until 2015. The Cubs are believed to be holding out for Lee.
– Carrie Muskat