Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Lou's cryptic quote

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Cubs manager Lou Piniella offered a cryptic quote this morning that should only fuel rumors of a pending deal to acquire center fielder Coco Crisp from the Boston Red Sox. Asked if projected Opening Day starter Felix Pie, who has been out of action because of a testicular torsion — or twisted testicle — is in danger of losing his starting job, Piniella said:

‘‘I don’t think so. As long as he’s fine, and there is no reason to assume he won’t be. What we have here in camp, he’ll be our center fielder.’’

It’s no secret the Red Sox have been scouting the Cubs in recent days. They are in need of veteran pitching with concerns about Curt Schilling (shoulder), who will open the season on the 60-day disabled list, and ace Josh Beckett (back).

The Cubs have three pitchers with secure spots in the rotation — right-hander Carlos Zambrano and left-handers Ted Lilly and Rich Hill. Right-handers Jason Marquis, Jon Lieber and Ryan Dempster are battling for the final two spots. Piniella said he expects to have a firm decision on his rotation a week from today.

‘‘Actually, the guys are making it easier because they are pitching well,’’ he said. ‘‘Whoever we choose, will have the luxury of throwing the ball well. The sad part about it is we can only use five. Somebody’s going to have to go in the bullpen.’’

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I can't believe it will be the same old Cubs. I think Lou is the best manager they have had in many, many years. Same old story. Wily (used up) veterans no kids. Go ahead put Dempster or Leiber in the bullpen. Who will join worthless (again) Eyre & Howry. The pen needs new blood. Pignatello has pitched really well when given the chance but you can bet that Cotts will get the call first. After he and Eyre & Howry have blown 10 or 12 games and the Cubs are in the hole again like 2007 maybe they'll let the kids do it. Or maybe they'll just trade the good ones and let the Angel Guzman types hang aroung forever. They have learned nothing from Kerry Wood & Mark Prior. Too bad. Oh well what's 101 years? Just one more than 100.

NO! I do not want Crisp on this Cubs team for cryin out loud! They don't need to take on the added salary when he will not do any better than Pie will. This team is not built around the hitting of our CF. Even if he only hits .200 (which is VERY doubtful), the Cubs will still be winning ball games. Explore a trade in June if this guy really shows that he's a flop. Hendry needs to give him a chance, just like they did with Theriot last year.

Pie has a twisted WHAT??????? OK, time to finally get rid of Marquis and Pie for Crisp. I know, I know, I know. I am a SOX fan, but being a realist, I am a baseball fan. Pie has not shown much since he was first brought up, and Marquis is an idiot, period. I think he came here because LaRussa bribed him to come from St. Louis to destroy the Cubs. Get rid of them both, Mr. Hendry...

I say trade jason marquis to boston for coco crisp, make lieber and dempster starters...Marshall can be left handed long relief, we need another lefty in the bullpen anyway, and if anyone gets hurt or struggles, he can step in to the rotation...I really would like to keep marshall and not trade him to baltimore, he is going to be a really good starter one day...coco can split time with pie, gives lou more options and more versatility



Dempster will be trade bait and Marshall to pen with Fox. Cut Cotts or give to some sucker team for a jockstrap.

The current CF has a "twisted testicle", so the Cubs want to replace him with a player who has a groin problem.

Do the Cubs have the balls to pull this off?

I'll be here all week. Tip your waitress.

I don’t think Crisp is the answer to any question. Pie provides the same abilities but not the experience. To contend this year the Cubs, in my opinion, needed two things – a number one pitcher and a RF or CF who hit like Lee – line drives and about 25-35 HRs – and had a good enough arm to keep base runners honest. Fukedome appears to have Ichiro’s batting approach without his speed. The Cubs have numerous number 3-5 pitchers but need one more pitcher who can contend for that Number One spot – someone like Prior should have become. Neither Crisp nor Roberts will provide that needed edge so keep Pie and Patterson and see if they can provide the answer and rework the team next year if they don’t. What’s the difference between 100 and 101? There are only a few of us who even remember the Cubs in a world series.

Hill is confused. Check out these quotes in the same discussion from him:
"...he said. "You're not playing against yourself. You're out there competing against whoever is in the box..."

And later in the same talk: "...Hill said. "It's competition against yourself right now at this point."

He's done...

Al, the White Sox fan - do you really believe that the Cubs will give up Marquis AND Pie for Coco Crisp?

I agree that we should NOT trade for Coco Crisp. Give Pie until the All-Star break. The kid is never going to be able to show what he can do unless he's given a regular spot in the roster. It's time to put up or shut up with him. Concentrate on trading for Roberts now and if we're that desperate for a CF at the All-Star break, trade for one. This team is not depending on the CF to generate offense. Anything extra that Pie brings will be gravy. Go sign Kenny Lofton if you're that concerned with having a back up CF veteran option. He's probably desperate at this time (See: Lohse, Kyle) for a one year deal.

I agree with Peoria Matt, that what we really need is another #1. Even Z's numbers last year, were not that great (just throw strikes Z!). Hopefully we can get enough from this staff to do that midseason when losing teams are dumping salary.

Pie will be fine against righties. However, we do need a righty out there to platoon with him. The D in the outfield will be great with Pie and I think he'll be fine in 8 spot. Remember, the only reason we were so frustrated before was they were trying to bat him in the lead-off spot.

Just get the Roberts deal done already!!!!!!! We definitely need a real lead-off man.

They have the guys they need put Fukudome in center and Murton in right and Derosa at second and if they need a left hand batter pick lofton for back up

this might sound crazy- move soriano to second and get the kid hoffpauer in the outfield

Hey Ray Michael, a new #1 ? Do you have an "Ace" tree out back?

BearsfanSteve you're the greatest. Yes indeed, tip the waitress!

Peoria Matt you were and are right-on about Crisp. We got a better guy.

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This page contains a single entry by Chris De Luca published on March 14, 2008 1:22 PM.

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