dale sveum carlos marmolA special set of Bullets to lead off your day. Regular Bullets will come, too, but there was so much Carlos Marmol to discuss, given his designation for assignment yesterday, that it would have overwhelmed everything else …

  • Cubs GM Jed Hoyer offered some very interesting thoughts in the wake of Carlos Marmol’s designation for assignment yesterday – thoughts he couldn’t share until the Cubs had made the move. “We held out on this move for a long time in part because with his salary, he was providing solid innings in the sixth and seventh,” Hoyer explained to the media, per Carrie Muskat. “The decision really came down to it had become a distraction. It became hard to pitch as well as he could because every time he threw two balls, he’d get booed, and I don’t think that’s easy for anybody. I think it became difficult for his teammates because there was a little bit of a sideshow mentality to it. We felt it was the right time. It had become a distraction and he wasn’t able to pitch late in the game for us. That was really the decision.”
  • On the way Marmol has been used this year, Hoyer wanted folks to know that it wasn’t about trade value. “He had a really good second half last year, and no one bid at the August deadline, and we didn’t have any offers other than someone else’s undesirable contract for ours,” Hoyer said, again per Muskat. “There was a lot of talk about trade value and things like that, but that something we’d given up on long ago.” I guess that means the Cubs have no hope of getting anything for him through the DFA process …. But seriously, the fact that the Cubs couldn’t get any kind of nibble at the end of August tells you everything you need to know. He was pitching very well at that time, but playoff-bound teams simply could not trust his high wire act. At least not in the late innings, and at least not when they’d have to give up value to get him. Then again, we don’t really know what the Cubs were asking or how much of his 2013 salary they were willing to take on.
  • Hoyer also wanted to make sure fans remembered just how good Marmol was for the Cubs for a long time.
  • It sounds like Marmol is on board with the move. His agent told Ken Rosenthal that “a lot of teams need bullpen help. He needs a change of scenery. There is nothing wrong with him physically.”
  • Jesse Rogers doesn’t buy the it-was-hard-for-Marmol-because-of-the-boos explanation for his struggles, pointing to Marmol’s rough outings to start the year before he’d even pitched in Chicago.
  • I’m torn on the booing thing. On the one hand, as I’ve said before, I don’t think it makes much sense to boo Cubs players for failing when they are otherwise trying the best they can. And I certainly think it’s gotta be hard to keep performing well when your own fans jump all over you for committing the grievous crime of … being called into the game. On the other hand, there are “stuff” explanations for why Marmol’s trajectory turned downward (also not necessarily his fault, given how hard he’d been ridden), and I’m not crazy about excusing a player’s performance because of the fans.
  • That said, Marmol got it worse than any player I can remember, even when he was still contributing positively to the team. Hopefully he latches on somewhere else, and hopefully he is well-received. There’s no reason not to wish him a great deal of success, and we’ll see how the DFA process plays out.
  • A couple of third-party takes on Marmol’s time with the Cubs, from Deadspin and from SB Nation.
  • BABIP (MichCubFan)

    It was time for this move. I wish people could keep a better perspective on things and not be so emotional.

    “You personally try to lose games to spite me so I am going to boo at you…booo…booo.”

    But with that being said, there is no way he should have been used in a closing situation after April.

  • wayner21

    From 2007-2009 Marmol was one of the most dominant relievers that the Cubs have ever had. He was instrumental in us winning two divisions. For that Carlos, I say thank you and hope you have success wherever you go.

  • Fishin Phil

    I do remember when he was dominant. However, even then I knew the league would figure him out. At first guys just could not lay off the slider, once they figured out not to swing at that pitch, it was just a matter of time.

    I wish him well, but I am glad to see him gone. I had to turn the channel whenever he came into the game, I just couldn’t watch anymore.

    • MichiganGoat

      The bigger problem was that his nasty slider lost the ability to hit the corners and/or the Umps no longer called the close ones. In 2010 his slider was filthy, it would break at the last second and if a batter attempted to swing he looked foolish and if he sat on it the break would hit a corner. After 2010 he no longer had the snap he had before and the slider just became wild and always broke for a ball. So it was easy for hitters: 1-see spin don’t swing 2-wait for the fastball and drive it.

      What Marmol should tell everyone is that YOU DO NOT SIGN CLOSER TO LONG TERM DEALS, they are rarely able to repeat dominate years and almost always end of costing more than they are worth. Unless you find a Mo Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Lee Smith you just accept the fact that each year you might be dealing with a new closer and prepare for the possibility.

      • cub4life

        the other thing that I noticed (and it seemed to be noticed by the coaches) is that he didn’t trust his fastball. It was in the low 90’s and peeked around 96 or so, and when he used it with his slider it was pretty good.

        Godspeed to you Carlos and well wishes to you and your future.

      • aCubsFan

        Has Marmol over the years been used hard? Sure. Could he have arm issues that he is not telling people about because of the overuse? Absolutely.

        But, the noticeable difference between Rivera, Lee, Hoffman and Marmol is the former relievers have highly repeatable pitching motions. Marmol, on the other hand, over the past two years never had a repeatable pitching motion that’s why he was all over the place. And, Rothschild and Bosio couldn’t reign him in especially when he got into the heat of the moment.

        Maybe another team and pitching coach can do what Rothschild and Bosio couldn’t.

  • Coal

    Two comments about Marmol, unrelated:

    1) When he was at his best, folks were swinging and missing at balls wildly out of the zone. That was what his K rate was about. People just caught up to that by being patient.

    2) I’m not into big time booing, but he had become a distraction long ago. I wish it had happen a long time ago, but at least in this case it appears the Cubs ownership was listening to the fans. I suppose I’m hopeful that other signals of fan disapproval (i.e., empty seats, etc.) isn’t falling on deaf ears.

  • Blublud

    I wish Marmol nothing but success in the future. He was really a class act while he was here. Never got in trouble, never acted like a jerk, show plenty of heart and emotion and always gave 100%. We have no business booing this guy.

    • Spriggs

      100% agree. Good luck, Carlos!

      • DarthHater

        Carlos doesn’t need luck. He’s going to become a starter and be a 15-game winner for the next 5 years. You can bank it, cuz Diehard says so.

        • MichiganGoat


        • Spriggs

          Is he going to stl ?

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      In my opinion, the booing is ridiculous. Has it ever helped?

      • MichiganGoat

        BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO … nope that didn’t help 😉

      • Roggan

        Seems like it worked just fine to me, no more marmol.

    • Rich H

      Absolutely agree Blublood. He handled even the heckling with class when lesser men would have blasted out at the fans and the media (I am looking at you Hawkins). Carlos is a good man who was giving too much money when his skills started to fail him.

      When he controlled his fast ball and had that wipe out slider he got as many looking calls as swinging calls you just do not remember it that way. He used that plus plus slider to keep make people look silly then with the same arm motion would paint a corner with his fastball. It was impressive. I just wish he would have made the transition from a thrower to a pitcher and it never happened.

      • hogie

        Absolutely! It was the Ks looking that were the best. When he was going right, guys would flinch waiting to get hit (or bail out entirely!) and the ball would break right back over the plate! It was beautiful and a lot of fun to watch.

    • CubbiesOHCubbies

      I’m not entirely sure how much of a class act he was. I was at the cubs convention this year and Carlos marmol packed up his stuff and left early to show the cubs he was not happy that they had attempted to trade him in the Dan haren deal. That itself doesn’t make me question the good guy label, but since he was scheduled to have an autograph session the next morning and didn’t notify the cubs he had left, that makes him a bit of a douche and makes me question just how good of a guy he was.

      • Tom A.

        Thanks for this. Again, very telling about the person.

  • Caleb

    Lolz- that deadspin article was great! Is all that data true? Was he really the least hit pitcher ever? Given what we’ve seen over the years it’s plausible, but man. Wow.

    And I agree with you Brett- no reason not to wish him the best success. I’ve alternated between condemning and defending the guy, but he’s been a big part of the cubs franchise for long time, and I salute him.

    Maybe a second career as a body double for Obama?

  • BigPappa

    I remember LaTroy Hawkins getting boo’d pretty bad. I think a lot of Marmol’s booing was meant to be heard by management. Cubs fans are tired of the same old same old being trotted out game after game.

    • hansman1982

      At the same time, you can’t make reactionary moves every couple of weeks when guys have cold streaks.

      The Cubs were hoping he could re-find whatever the hell he did right for the final 4 months of 2012. It just didn’t happen and they moved on.

  • RizzoCastro

    I was glad to see the move yesterday as most of you know. Now I think the rest of the season Cubs fans can see how Dale handles everything going forward with the BP. I myself think Dale should now be looked at from this point on by the FO as if he was trying to save his job. Yes the Cubs will be sellers over the next month, but that doesn’t mean the Cubs shouldn’t show improvement after all that is said and done. I think the Marmol move will help make some fans happier overall, but Dale needs to show something or I think he should be gone after the year. Improvement is all I want to see from the Cubs since they’re more than likely out of the playoff picture this year.

    • Rcleven

      What? Did DFAing Marmol make the bull pen any better? The horses aren’t there. Judging Sveum by the success or failure of the BP is just silly. In that line of thinking Sveum should get all the credit for Schierholtz having a great season. It’s the players not the management of them.

  • @Rooting4Wrigley

    I still blame Svuem for the last meltdown. There’s a reason Marmol lost his role closing, and Svuem put him in anyway. Svuem needs to man up and admit he made a mistake, not this “don’t blame me the team lacks talent” attitude. Marmol had good numbers this season when used early or when Cubs were behind, so there was certainly a place for him.

    • hansman1982

      “I still blame Svuem for the last meltdown. There’s a reason Marmol lost his role closing, and Svuem put him in anyway.”

      He had handled close games prior to that.

      “Svuem needs to man up and admit he made a mistake, not this “don’t blame me the team lacks talent” attitude.”

      Not sure that Sveum has ever said that. That has come from Hoyer.

      “Marmol had good numbers this season when used early or when Cubs were behind, so there was certainly a place for him.”

      Marmol had good and bad outings in just about any situation you could think of a reliever having.

  • Tom A.

    Brett, I grew up playing little league baseball in the early 1960’s. I remember standing up to bat and hearing the players in the infield yelling “batter, batter, batter swwwwwing.” Or, “batter can’t hit, batter can’t hit, batter can’t hit.” Or even in those days what was one of the worse things people said, “you swing like a girl.” Those words got to some kids and made them perform worse than they otherwise would. My little league coach told us to “put down those rabbit ears and ignore them.” He even trained us to ignore the silly things our parents said from the bleachers, including batting stance changes, etc. I am certain you would not be surprised to know how parents often embarrass their children with stupid words from the bleachers. In other words, it is a basic to turn out the fans and noise from the fans, including parents. Basic baseball 101 !!!

    Carlos Marmol, was stubborn, brilliant, terrible, extraordinary, wild, frightening and dominant at times. And, quite frankly that could all happen for him in a single inning pitched. So when fans boo after two balls, they are just trying to give a wake up call. I bet they also all cheer when he is dominant. I think you would be very wrong to indicate that fans have anything to do with the fact that Carlos Marmol is a head-case. Their booing did not make him that. He brought to the game a complete lack of focus, that allowed him to be distracted by everything going on around him. You ever see the Costner movie “for the Love of the Game ?” You remember how he shut down the crowd noise with each pitch.

    It sure seems to me what Carlos Marmol really needed was to learn basis baseball 101 — “put down those rabbit ears and ignore them.”

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      Billy Chapel was a fictional character in a fictional setting…MUCH easier said than done.

      • Tom A.

        True. But, if it was acceptable for players to perform poorly because they are boo’ed, then everyone in the league should be terrible performers. They all are boo’ed

        Don’t blame Marmol on the fans. OK to tell fans that boo’ing is silly and to that I agree.

    • Jp3

      Have you seen rookie of the year, it’s just as fact based as For The Love of the Game. Did you slip and fall on a banana peel and make it where your arm can throw 100mph??? C’mon are we really saying we should do things from a fictional movie, maybe we can Jedi mind trick the hitters into not swinging at pitches too?

      • Tom A.

        I am saying that Marmol lacked focus and thus he performed poorly. There are athletes with great skills that can’t utilize those skills because they lack focus. I am also saying that Marmol should have been better at ignoring the boos and use them as a reminder to stay focused. The Cubs paid him $9.8 this year, not to go up their and throw balls, fall off the mound to fall too to the first base side and listen to boos and hold his head down. Nope, I am sure that they paid him to do what it takes to be focused, listen to the coaches, throw strikes and contribute to the team.

        You are the one that is taking a movie analogy much further than was intended in the post. I hope the above helps you better understand the points from my perspective.

        • Roggan

          Thanks Tom, that is the point people seem to be missing, A professional athlete in ANY sport has to be capable of ignoring a crowd.

          I never agreed with booing marmol as he took the mound, I never agreed with booing him after throwing 2 balls. But I absolutely booed as loud as I could every time he blew it for us. Not entirely because of him, but the fact that every time I had slightly forgotten about his woes, there he came again, just in time to ruin my fucking day.

          Thanks for all the heart attacks marmol, I sincerely hope you find success and a little peace!

      • Cerambam

        I’ve see it

      • CubbiesOHCubbies

        Actually, it was a ball that Henry Rowengardner slipped on to injure his shoulder, not the aforementioned banana peel. You may now carry on with your argument.

        • Stinky Pete

          Pretty sure it was his elbow not his shoulder….

        • Jp3

          Yeah I was wondering why slipping on the banana peel a few minutes ago didn’t work to give me a 100mph arm, let me try it again the right way

        • scorecardpaul


    • http://none millhah

      marmol has dumbo ears though…

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      I don’t buy the whole “its between Marmol’s ears” rationale. The simple fact is that he had an amazing pitch that was unsustainable for more than a year or two. That slider when it worked was one of the nasty sliders we’ve ever seen, but it just isn’t sustainable to have that much of a violent break/snap. Once that pitch lost its edge and batters realized they just need to sit and wait- the Marmol we know now appeared.

  • Cheryl

    Booing a player on your own team doesn’t help but Marnol was at the point with fans that whenever he appeared the thought was “well there goes another game.”

    • Tom A.

      Exactly, we all could see he could not stay focused from one pitch to the next. Thus, we all sat or stood there hoping, just hoping he would throw a strike. In a single batter you could see him throw a perfect pitch and then miss the plate four times by more than a foot.

  • Stu

    The customers(fans) always have a right to express their opinion about the product that they are purchasing the right to watch.

    The Cubs have to wake up occasionally to this reality and realize who pays all of their salaries to play a game. Most people would dream of the opportunity to be booed.

    Guys need to grow up a little.

  • Jay

    They booed him not so much because of the results, but because he was an uncoachable bonehead with about the worst mechanics I’ve ever seen a pitcher have. I mean, did he ever look at video of himself and realize the simple fact that when he fell off the mound he couldn’t control the ball but when he followed thru going forward he actually had decent control? I’m sure every pitching coach he ever had drilled this into him, yet he refused to make an obvious adjustment.

  • JeffR

    A few kids saying “batter, batter, batter” to each other (when they are saying it to everyone) is not the same thing as 30,000 people booing you. It was quite a bit more personal for Marmol.

  • Frank

    I think the booing was a knee jerk reaction. It tends to happen when the Cubs are ahead in the 9th and he comes in and blows it on more than one occasion.

  • Frank

    Brett, Off subject. Why isn’t there an option for us to edit our posts?

    • DarthHater

      Because Bert’s a meanie. 😉

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Software incompatibility issues.

      • MichiganGoat


        • DarthHater

          That definitely helped.

          • MichiganGoat

            it also feels sooooooo good 😉

  • Frank

    I understand. It’s not like I ever make a mistake or anything. And yes, I never get lost.

  • Hack Wilson

    Some players, regardless of how good they were, will always, to me, be Cubs. Shawn Dunston, even when he played for the hated Cardinals, was a Cub and he even considered himself a lifelong Cub. For me, Carlos Marmol will always be a Cub. On the other hand, Ian Stewart merely wore the uniform.

  • Drew

    He’ll be back, maybe even on the north side. Look at the chances Dontrelle Willis was given.

  • Colocubfan

    I figure the Cardinals will pick him up on the cheap, and he’ll convert 26 straight saves.

    • ETS

      Right after they sign stewart to league minimum and then he puts up 30 home runs in the second half of the season.

  • ETS

    I still hope he ends up in NY. I hope Rothschild can help him. Maybe we can trade him for some small amount of salary relief?

    That said he had some solid seasons with the cubs and desires to be remembered for more than the guy that got boo’d the most in the last decade.

  • MichiganGoat


    • DarthHater


      • MichiganGoat


  • Mr. Gonzo

    This is ‘Merica, where booing is a birthright. But just like drinking, drugs and masturbation, it should be done in moderation. There were moments I wanted to kiss Marmol, punch him, carry him on my shoulders, and drop him off a pier in Texas. I bought the ticket, I took the ride. Like having sex with a headache, it will only feel better after its done.

  • ssckelley

    When Marmol could locate his fastball his slider was unhittable but when he couldn’t the hitters knew it and sat on the slider or wait to get walked. It would not surprise me if Marmol got on another team and had success, sometimes players just need a change of scenery.

    But I am disappointed to hear Hoyers comments about the booing, it is part of the game and if it really affected Marmol that bad then it is a bad reflection on him. What contender is going to want to take a chance on someone that is impacted by crowd noises? If he cannot handle it during a regular season game it gets even worse in the playoffs.

  • MichiganGoat

    What I’m finding facinating about the whole Marmolrama is how last week the majority was screaming:


    and now there is a new growing complaint (not as much here but its a growing scream” :


    Now that Marmol is out the Sveum & Theo hate will grow… because you know its all their fault.

    • Rich H

      I totally agree your Goatness. It is going to be remembered as the big Marmol disaster one way or the other. What I think is the saddest part of the whole thing is that Sveum and Theo are going to get blasted if he catches on somewhere and becomes useable. Just like early last year everyone was saying about Zambrano. LOL look how right they were about that one.

    • hansman1982

      Wha?! That kind of stuff never happens!

  • MichiganGoat

    I’m having a Darth Hateian Day


    • MichiganGoat

      well crap…

  • jt

    We come to bury Marmol, not to praise him.
    The good that men do is oft interred deep in the record books.
    Marmol was good and underpaid.
    Marmol was not so good and overpaid.
    They have been in rebuild mode at this time of poor performance.
    Perhaps he contributed to angst. Perhaps he was the lightening rod for angst.
    In the face of adversity you have reminded us of dignity.
    Good-bye old friend, may the wind always be at your back.

    • Rich H

      I like it JT.

  • Rich

    At least the Cubs did not put him on the 15 day DL with a phantom injury.

  • Jon

    If you don’t want to get boo’d, play better. It’s that freakin simple.

  • mak

    Cubs fans, albeit probably not the informed, reasonable ones, love a good punching bag. I don’t understand the booing. Frustration, disgust, sighing — is natural. Booing takes real effort and vitriol.

    I’ll remember him for when he was the most dominating closer in the game from 2007-2011. Numbers seem to back that up.