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The Cubs are 0-4 since the Trade Deadline, but that’s more of an artificial cut-of than anything of substance. The Cubs had been hot for a while, but, with a generally weak roster, they were bound to lose some games, unfortunately.

  • Matt Garza says he’s rearing to go on Tuesday after a quality bullpen session yesterday. “I’m just chomping at the bit and ready to go,” Garza said. “Not doing anything for three days didn’t set me back but didn’t work out too well. Today I felt great, threw a whole bullpen and we’ll wake up tomorrow.” He offered an even better quote when first asked if he was on track to pitch on Tuesday: “You better f–king believe it, dude.” Oh, we believe it.
  • Paul Sullivan discusses the Cubs’ unilateral decision to let Ryan Dempster listen in on trade discussions with the Dodgers at the trade deadline, something Sullivan calls a “serious breach of ethics.” Is it really that serious? Being an outsider, I wasn’t sure how to take the revelation that Dempster was on the calls. There was, at first, a feeling of ickiness. Isn’t there something off – or even wrong – about letting someone else listen in on trade talks? Would the Dodgers have said as many unflattering things about Dempster if they’d known he was listening? Might they have damaged their ability to sign him as a free agent, should they want to after the season? They could say, “Hey, Ryan, that was just part of the trade talks,” but that bell has been rung. Dempster will remember whatever they said.
  • …on the other hand, given the fast-moving nature of the Trade Deadline, and ability of Dempster to reject a trade the Cubs might have otherwise been working on for days, I don’t think anyone would have an issue with the Cubs keeping Dempster informed of the intimate details of those discussions. In order to make an informed veto decision, Dempster – or any player with no-trade rights – needs to know where things stand, and the team needs to know whether it is wasting its time. So, on some level, what’s the difference? Either the intimate details are relayed to Dempster, or he listens in on the call. Considering the time crunch, I’m not sure I see a big deal here. And, given that the Cubs openly admitted to the tactic, clearly they don’t see an issue either. Maybe this kind of thing happens all the time in these situations.
  • That same link up there from Sullivan has some Ted Lilly defending Ryan Dempster for blocking the Atlanta Braves trade.
  • Nobody has offered a great explanation for why Chris Volstad was so effective last night, other than maybe that he did a good job of keeping the ball down. Then again, for a guy who’s 6’8″ with a good sinker, that might be the only thing he needs to do to be effective (easier said than done). He got 9 groundouts last night, to just 4 flyouts. That’s what you want to see from him.
  • Patrick Mooney talks about the near-term future for Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson, whom we know could be on their way to the big club soon. The best bet remains September (when the big league roster expands from 25 to 40, essentially allowing a team to bring up anyone on the 40-man roster with ease), especially for Vitters, but with a trade or two in the outfield, Jackson could be up at almost any moment.
  • Reason prevails: a couple days after a Cubs/Derek Lowe rumor that I couldn’t figure out, Nick Cafardo tweets that the Cubs aren’t interested in Lowe, according to a Major League source.
  • Cheryl

    When I first heard about it I thought it was questionable at best.

  • oswego chris

    thank goodness the Derek Lowe saga is over…I though i was going to have to obssess for months like Soler, Brian Roberts, Dempster trade….

  • Scotti

    For me, more interesting than the listening in deal with Dempster is the fact that they were showing him tape of, presumably, his public comments about being traded. IMO, both were an attmpt to regain trust with him. “See, we’ve been up front with you about what LA has been telling us” and “See, this is why we were so sure you’d ok the deal to ATL.”

  • J R

    I wondered if the Dodgers had any idea he was listening. I love Thed, but it seems like a really shady move. And I would have been pissed if another team played a move similar to that on the Cubs. It just feels wrong in several ways. More reason for me to be mad at Dempster for putting the Cubs in a position where they had to have his ass in there listening. Hopefully the Cubs don’t receive any backlash in future negotiations for this sketchy play.

  • Oswego chris

    I have no problem with them letting Dempster hear for himself that the Dodgers didn’t want him…

    • J R

      Dempster, obiviously didn’t believe Theo. But if things were reversed against the Cubs I am sure many of us would be going crazy about how the Dodgers were sleazy. IDK, it just seems wrong to me. Maybe this is a common practice, and I am just naive..

  • JP cubed

    Maybe it was a little shady but I think TheYer(Theo+hoYer) were out of time and the only way to prove there was no great deal the Cubs weren’t telling him about with the dodgers. They had him listen in and let him hear they were offering a lifetime membership to the jello of the month club for his services…

  • Fastball

    I have my people lusten in on conf calls everyday so they can call BS silently if needed. Its done everyday in the corporate world. You learn to speak professionally and deal with facts and not opinions based on BS. Coletti needs ro get over himself.

    • baldtaxguy

      Ironic you would consider that tactic training for professionalism.

    • RoughRiider

      I’ve had a conversation with him before back when he was with the Cubs. He’s full of himself.

      • RoughRiider

        Coletti that is.

  • ColoCubFan

    It seemed rather odd at the time, but on the other hand, it seemed to be the only way Dempster could see for himself that the Dodgers really didn’t care if they had him or not.

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    It may have been pointed out to the Dodgers that Ryan was in the room and the call was on speaker phone. I know on any call that I have on speaker, I make the situation (who is there) clear so nothing is said out of place. If that was the case, the only thing the Dodgers would say are which players they will or will not include.

    In short, we don’t know the circumstances of the call, not to mention, if it was shady at all I am not sure Jed and Ryan would have publicized it as they did.

  • Fastball

    He was doing Dempster a huge favor. Basically saying you dont really want to work for these dirtbags. You want to know what rhey really think about you… listen… now you really want to work for this asshole. Didnt think so.

  • Mysterious4th

    Dempster really had to hear the truth about the dodgers and the value they placed on dempster at that point to open his eyes. Very smart move from theo & jed. I wouldn’t do that with most trades but somebody that played the FO the way he did and being a 10&5, to me it was justified. I wonder how many teams actually do that? I bet the number is a lot higher then what we all think.

  • Dane

    David Kaplan tweeted earlier about the % of sinkers that Volstad throws when he is effective compared to when he is struggling. Sounds like it is just pitch selection and frequency, which is a good sign because it is an easy fix.

    11h David Kaplan David Kaplan ‏@thekapman

    Just did some research on Fan Graphs after Todd Hollandsworth noticed something with Volstad’s pitch selection.

    David Kaplan ‏@thekapman

    After throwing almost 70% fastballs early in his career Volstad has gotten away from sinking fastball (his best pitch) throwing only 56-57%.
    Expand

    David Kaplan ‏@thekapman

    When he throws sinking FB he is very effective. Slider + changeup are where he gets killed. He has to throw more FB with curve occasionally

    • Dane

      This should be on the EBS article*

    • Jeff1969

      I heard Hollandsworth say that about the sinkers too. Basically, Volstad’s modicum of success in the past coincided with his throwing the sinker over 70% of the time. During the early innings, I think it was Brenly who made comment about Sveum preaching to his pitchers to stay on the outside corner and that slugging percentages were much lower on outside pitches. Watched the game and what do you know? It worked for him. Kemp went way down to punch out that homer that pretty much won the game for the Dodgers. Later he struck him out going low & lower, in & out. Kemp looked really confused in that sequence.

  • Picklenose

    Eavesdropping dropping is when a person listens in secret to something they were not meant to hear. The definition is clearly negative and there is no way to make it okay. So if the Cubs allowed Dempster to listen in without talking to the Dodgers about what they were doing it is unethical. However, If the Cubs are upfront about what they are doing, it is not eavesdropping, nor is it unethical. The Dodgers could have said no, which means they had the choice and were fine with it.

  • MC2

    Sullivan’s off his rocker! It may have been a shot to Dempsters ego that they (Dodgers) didn’t want to give up anything for him after Lilly gave a stamp of approval in his favor, but whether he was sitting therein the office or on the other line it’s not like the negotiations were top secret, EVERYBODY ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH KNEW! I don’t see Lowe as a bad fall back option but has Carfado been right about anything when it comes to the Cubs? I think he need to concentrate on the train wreck in Boston and report on what great guys Bobby Valentine and Larry Luchino are. He might want to buy some mouthwash and rinse all the bitterness out he still holds on Theo leaving… …

  • baldtaxguy

    Demp apparently was not convinced hearing it from Theo and Jed. And Theo and Jed had reason to believe Demp was not trustworthy about any initial decisions. It was absolutely the right move to get Demp to finally commit. Theo and Jed really scored on this deal and letting Demp play out his little GM fantasy was brilliant.

  • LouCub

    I have no problem with what Theo and Jed did…None whatsoever…Ned Coletti is the lowest form of crap…LA was openly salivating for Demp for 2 months and offered NOTHING OF VALUE!!!! NOTHING!!!! In reality, he got Ramirez as a salary dump and gave up nothing substantial, he got BrandonLeague and Shane Victorino for crap too and now he’s insulted because the Cubs let Dempster hear how little they thought of him… Isn’t there a written code among GM’s with offering fair market value in deals..this wasn’t a salary dump Webster and Gould for Demp would have been totally fair especially considering that Demp more than likely would have reupped there at seasons end…I think Ned’s gonna suffer more long term effects from this rather than The Cubs…Ned’s holding up this deal probably held the Cubs back from finishing up other deals and other GM’s aren’t gonna like to deal with someone offering shit for quality, unless your dumping…I hope LA deeply regrets not doing the Demp deal and now they probably will have to over pay him to get him there this offseason

  • baldtaxguy

    Cheers to Volstad. Hopefully he can put together some consistent starts for the remainder of the season.

  • Picklenose

    I think Travis Wood and Chris Volstad have a similar issue. When they can keep their pitches down or sinking they can be really effective, especially if the Cubs keep a good defense on the field to support them. I have been down on TWood, because of that. His last start had a few more grounders, although still too many flies. We can hope. And if Volstad really has learned to keep his pitches down, he could be really effective.

  • Spoda17

    If Demp listened and the Dodgers didn’t know he was listening = unethical… If they knew he was there, no problem.

    Fastball, I’ll remember to never do business with you.

    • bluekoolaidaholic

      Who cares?
      The bum is gone.

  • mudge

    there was no reason to tell the world about it afterwards.

  • Cey It

    Was at the Iowa Cubs game last night…. Jackson’s glove and Vitters bat look great…… Vitters glove not so great (should have been 2 errors) and Jackson’s bat…meh…

  • Raaptor13

    Any word on what Cubs cleared waivers??

  • clark addison

    Theo and Jed were up against the trading deadline. There was no time for Dempster to think things over. Apparently the Texas trade came together in the final hour, and they needed to know Dempster’s reaction regarding his 5 and 10 rights. By letting him listen in, they assured themselves there wouldn’t be another Atlanta fiasco.

  • Kevin

    Is this even news worthy? Maybe Sullivan should be on the “View”

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