I was at a game at Wrigley a couple years ago when Kosuke Fukudome hit a pinch hit homer down the first baseline. I don’t recall the opponent or the score. I don’t even remember whether the home run factored into the result. But I remember the high fives, the screams, and the jumping around. It’ll probably be my first memory when I think back on Fukudome’s time with the Cubs. Unfortunately, the second will be his consistent post-May declines, and the third will be his helicopter swing.
- Jim Hendry just can’t help it. In discussing Fukudome and the trade, he had to make sure and slip in a defense of himself at the end. “Obviously, he did do some good things here,” Hendry said. “But obviously there were some tough times, too, and some bad endings to the first couple of years…. In a perfect world, we thought the bat would have played at a little larger scale when we signed him, as everybody else did that pursued him.” Not everyone else was willing to give him four years and $48 million, Jim. And they were right.
- Phil Rogers says the Cubs did well to acquire Abner Abreu in the Kosuke Fukudome deal. Yet somehow, he concludes with this: “As a hitter, he fits the mold of the free-swinging Cubs. He has had only 42 walks to go alongside 232 strikeouts in 2010-11, so the lack of plate discipline could make it a slow climb through the minors for him. But maybe the light switch has been flipped.” Yes. Maybe.
- Speaking of Abreu and the other player the Cubs received, Carlton Smith, here’s some more information on the pair. There’s not a lot new in there. Abreu is a high upside free-swinger, and Smith is a possibly adequate middle reliever.
- Other Cubs players have accepted that they might go in the wake of the Fukudome trade.
- Paul Sullivan goes through the roster and analyzes the possibility of a trade for each player. If only someone had done that – more exhaustively – a month ago (oh, and I nailed Fukudome, for the record).
- The Cubs hope Reed Johnson is back from his back problem today. I suspect that the hope is less about having Johnson available to play to win, and more about showing that Johnson is available and healthy for trade partners.
- Rick Morrissey writes an unnecessarily obnoxious, unfunny, sarcastic piece about the trade of Fukudome signaling the end of the Cubs’ playoff hopes. Yawn.