Chat with Bruce Levine
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Bruce Levine (1:04 PM)
Welcome to the magical world of Carlos Zambrano. We will only field upwards of 100 questions on Zambrano. Sox fans, don't lose the faith, although you are in the American League again. Welcome.
What types of prospects do you see the Cubs seeking in any deadline deals? I would think they'd look to 1b & 2b as they're likely to have vacancies at those two spots after this season- guessing Lee
Bruce Levine (1:05 PM)
I think the Cubs will go after the best baseball players available. When you deal with different organizations, they have different strengths in their prospects.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Will the Cubs & the White Sox Make a Trade Before Saturday July 31?
Bruce Levine (1:06 PM)
Highly unlikely. Zambrano is not being traded for Peavy any time soon.
Jeffrey Wilson (St. Johns, Antigua)
Bruce, the Cubs can't be serious with this "Anger Management" treatment for Z. Hendry can sell it, but at least 99% of Cubs fans aren't buying it. What are the chances Z is traded before the deadline?
Bruce Levine (1:08 PM)
Not very likely considering he won't be doing any baseball activities with the team for the next 17 days. I imagine he can stay in shape, depending on what his doctors and his therapy require. I don't see him getting traded. Teams like to know what they're trading for, and they won't have any recent documentation to go by.
Adam (Chicago, IL)
What are the odds that the White Sox stay in contention till September, and what will happen with the 3rd base situation once Teahen returns from injury?
Bruce Levine (1:09 PM)
I don't know this, but I assume Teahen is no longer the everyday third baseman. He's a valuable player from the perspective he can play numerous positions adequately. Vizquel has been too valuable at third. He's one of the understated reasons why the Sox went on a long winning streak.
Josh (Vernon Hills)
Who do you think will have a better career, Starlin Castro or Gordon Beckham?
Bruce Levine (1:11 PM)
Two different players, two different sets of skills. Both should be big-time offensive contributors. Physically Castro may outgrow the shortstop position. At 20, he still may get much bigger and stronger and end up at third. For now, he has the ability to play a solid short once he learns the position. As for Beckham, he needs to regain his hitting skills. I'll take Beckham.
CM Punk (StraightEdge Society)
Great Bruce, do you believe the Cubs can trade big Z before the deadline? If, so I got a couple of trade ideas: How about Big Z for A.J. Burnett? The Yankees hate Burnett and he could do way better in the NL. or Z for Oliver Perez form the Mets, although I dont like Perez we need to trade Z.
Bruce Levine (1:14 PM)
Chemistry would be an issue equal to the player's ability. Both the Mets and Yankees would have to be confident they're bringing in loose cannon to blow up the team's chemistry.
Joe (Pilsen Area)
Bruce, When will the Cubs ask Lou to resign? He is being out manged by every manger and team we have face.
Bruce Levine (1:15 PM)
I'm not going to get into an argument about how Piniella is managing. But I will agree with you that his managing looks as bad as the team's offense. When you lose 18 of 29 one-run games, nobody - the manager or the players - look good. There were some questionable moves by Lou in the 9th inning last night. I'll agree with that.
Are the WhitSoxs interested in Cliff Lee, or Dan Haren? We can offer a couple of prospects and Floyd for one of them. Also when Lee leaves we can get 2 type A drafts.
Bruce Levine (1:16 PM)
I don't think Kenny Williams is going the way of starting pitching, although he's always full of surprises. Lee is a free agent after this year, so that makes you very vulnerable if you trade young players for a one-year wonder.
Chris (Memphis, TN)
Any word on how Ryne Sandberg has been performing as the manager of AAA-Iowa? Is he ready for a call up to the majors?
Bruce Levine (1:17 PM)
He's done all he can in the minors, including turning around an Iowa team that had a bad record at the beginning of the 2010 season. Sandberg looks like a solid future major-league manager. But I wouldn't want to hand him over the team as it is right now.
Brad (Oak Park)
Two quck questions for ya Bruce. Enjoy the chat as always. First, who do you feel that Kenny Williams is going to go after and acquire to help out our offense? Also, how long are they gonna keep Viciedo up and not play him? I just dont see the point in having him up here if he isnt going to play at least 4 to 5 times a week.Thanks Bruuuuce
Bruce Levine (1:18 PM)
Kenny supplies the players, Ozzie supplies the lineup. Ozzie's idea is that as a pretty raw rookie, Viciedo has to break in slowly. Ozzie's trying to win games, not necessarily develop a young third baseman.
Mike B (DC)
How serious is the Adam Dunn to the Chisox chatter?
Bruce Levine (1:20 PM)
I created that monster about 10 days ago with a comment that the White Sox could possibly be interested in an Adam Dunn type. The rumor has taken on a life of its own. But Kenny Williams said on my baseball show this weekend that he'd have to talk to Ozzie and the coaches before adding any left-handed hitting just to make sure the team chemistry wasn't affected.
Bruce, why are the MLB umpires messing everything up? If you watched the game last night in the 1st inning when they turned what was suppose to be a double play, ryan theriot was running to second and ronnie cedeno was about 4 feet from second base when the caught the ball and turned it to first and they called theriot out.....the ump was STARING at second base...how can they keep making these mistakes?????
Bruce Levine (1:21 PM)
The umpires are certainly under the gun. Especially now that they admit their mistakes. That was an awful call when Cedeno was three feet off the bag. Shockingly, neither Theriot nor the Cubs dugout complained.
Everyone keeps calling for the Cubs to blow this team up. Soriano, Z, and Fukudome are all untradeable and dead weight next year. That leaves me to believe the Cubs could trade guys like lilly, Theirot, and ect. Do you see this happening?
Bruce Levine (1:23 PM)
It could very well happen before the first of August. You named a few players who have realistic trade value. Theriot's season has been probably his worst since breaking in '06. He can play a lot better and smarter. Don't really know what's going on there.
Zambrano can only hurt the Cubs every fifth day. How about Ramirez? What can the Cubs possibly do with him? Two and a half more years of this nonsense and I'll go crazier than Zambrano.
Bruce Levine (1:23 PM)
Bears camp begins July 30.
RJ (Maryland )
Where do you see the white at the end of July? In the fight for the Central, or back on the outside looking in?
Bruce Levine (1:26 PM)
If you can tell me how well the starting pitching does over the next 6 weeks, I'll tell you where they end up. It's a whole new dynamic now, back in the AL.
Ryan (Atlanta, GA)
I figure these two home series against the Pirates and Reds mark a potential turning point for the Cubs. After the Cubs lost the opener, they find themselves 10 under and 9.5 back. Do you think Hendry will wait until the deadline to make a move or will he start searching for potential buyers now?
Bruce Levine (1:27 PM)
It's painful for Hendry to approach either scenario at this point, but reality tells him this is not a competitive team. But his heart tells him there's still a good run in the near future. Either way, by July 4, he should have a better indication of what he has to do .
The way Tyler Colvin is playing right now, do you see him as the Cubs franchise player in a few years?
Bruce Levine (1:28 PM)
He still has a swing-and-miss problem. That may be corrected with experience. He's not afraid to get a big hit, that's for sure. We already found out he's not a CF, so the corner OF positions or 1b is where you can find him in the future.
The 26 - 50 Pirates keep own the Cubs outright. Who then is really the worst team in the NL?
Bruce Levine (1:28 PM)
That is still to be determined. There are a lot of teams in the league that are hard to watch. The Cubs and Pirates are two of them.
I say its time to sell...who can the Cubs realistly trade and what young players do you think will find their way to Wrigley?
Bruce Levine (1:29 PM)
Realistically, Theriot, Lilly and anyone not under a long-term contract is possible trade bait. Hendry will want to improve this team for now and next year. You will not see a salary dump.
Why are cubs fans clamoring for a trade of big Z? Derrek Lee is gone after this year, and Zambrano is the ace of the staff. He is just having a down year.
Bruce Levine (1:30 PM)
The truth is Lee is a free agent after this year, and you have 2 1/2 more years committed to Zambrano. The likelihood is both will be playing somewhere else after this season.
First game back to playing the AL, and the White Sox looked like there old selves. Erratic pitching, zero offense. Was their streak just lucky scheduling?
Bruce Levine (1:31 PM)
It could be. As we say in this business, time will tell. Talk to me in a week.
The Cubs seem to be truly pressing as evident by the strikeouts, lack of some clutch hits, etc. What can Lou do to help relax the team? The big win against the Sox didn't do it an it's like a 1:2 ratio wins to losses lately. Maybe some kind of fun team-building function their next off day?? They haven't been able to catch a 'real' spark since going into last year's All Star break.
Bruce Levine (1:32 PM)
How bout if Lou takes them to the Dairy Queen after the game if they hit a couple home runs. That sounds nice, doesn't it. They're professional athletes. The manager fills out the lineup. A nice massage is not a part of what the manager/player function should be.
Hey Bruce, now that the Cubs are sending Zambrano to anger management training, do you think that solidifies that they won't make any attempts to trade the right hander?
Bruce Levine (1:34 PM)
The Cubs will have to build up Z before they can trade him. His marketability at this point is at an all-time low. Teams would be more interested in Jeff Stevens or James Russell.
What do you think of Cubs trading Lilly to Mets? Are they looking to unload?
Bruce Levine (1:35 PM)
They should get a nice piece back for Lilly if they decide to trade him. I'm sure most Cubs fans would like the idea of signing Lilly to a one or two-year extension. But you might be able to split the baby in two by trading him and getting him back as a free agent.
Is this the make or break week for the Cubs season? I mean two winnable games against the Bucks and then four with the first place Reds... A sweep of the Reds and we can gain 3 or 4 games but a sweep would put us in the other directions? Your thoughts!
Bruce Levine (1:37 PM)
This is a team 10 games under .500. Who are we kidding at this point? They have not been over .500 all season. Anything less than a big-time homestand starting now would put Jim Hendry in the mode of looking for deals.
Is this out of the question: Cubs GM-Steve Stone, Manager- Bob Brenly, Bench Coach- Ryne Sandburg?
Bruce Levine (1:38 PM)
How about third base coach Mark Giangreco? I'm all for the all-entertainment coaching staff. They would certainly fill up my old tape machine.
Do you think the the Kotsay experiment is about over. Last night is another example of him not coming through in the clutch. He has had a hard time batting his weight this season. Is his lack of success why Williams is looking at Dunn or others?
Bruce Levine (1:39 PM)
No, lack of left-handed hitting, RBI pop from left side is what makes Kenny continue to look for more productive hitters. That's his nature.
Bruce, does Hendry and the rest of the Cubs' organization really believe that the Cubs have merely "underachieved," or do they realize that this team really isn't very good? Perhaps people aren't hitting because they aren't what they were 2-3 years ago or, with the case of others, aren't very good to begin with. You can get by with mediocrity when other big-name players produce, particularly where the rest of the teams in the division stink (think, 2007 and 2008). Is Cubs' management still in denial?
Bruce Levine (1:41 PM)
You make some excellent points. The Cubs management isn't in The Nile, they're in the Euphrades River. They're not in denial, they're in a situation where they have difficult contracts to move.
Any chance Brett Jackson gets called up this year?
Bruce Levine (1:42 PM)
No he was just promoted to Double-A. The kid is on the fact track, but the Cubs have plenty of OFs last I looked. But 2011 is a possibility.
Has there been any further talk from the Cubs about a dedicated CHicago Cubs network? I heard talks about it months ago.. has Ricketts put this idea to rest?
Bruce Levine (1:43 PM)
For now, thinking about re-runs of the 2010 season on the new Cubs network makes me a little woozy. I'm sure the Ricketts probalby feel that way as well. To answer your question directly, they're in long-term deals with CSN and WGN.
Isn't it safe to say that the Cubs management philosophy over the past 5-7 years is the reason why they're in this payroll, patch a hole with old/overpaid veterans issue(s)?
Bruce Levine (1:46 PM)
The reasons Hendry was enabled to sign people to long-term deals was Sam Zell's insistence that they build up the product so he can get a higher buyout from the Ricketts family. Hendry was on an airplane when the Soriano deal was done by other team executives. Jim has to take his share of blame, but let's not start with revisionist history.
Can Cubs fans really think that next year is going to be any better? This team is only getting older and a smaller pay roll.
Bruce Levine (1:47 PM)
It's inevitable that you run into times in a big market where you're going to have an awful year. You can't keep replacing 10-12 players on a team every year without something actually going wrong. A good farm system is a cure for that. If you'd like examples, look to Minnesota, Atlanta and the Yankees.
Was Viciedo called up to showcase him as part of a potential trade package? What will it take to get Dunn? Jordan Danks, Viciedo and Hudson?
Bruce Levine (1:48 PM)
Absolutely not that much. Dunn is a free agent after this year. He has a prorated $10M contract, so there's roughly $5M left. You're not giving up your entire farm system for a half-season buy-in. The Sox will give up no more than one top prospect, and maybe not that for Dunn.
Better chance of happening: Sox make the playoffs, Cubs trade Zambrano, or the Bulls signing LeBron?
Bruce Levine (1:49 PM)
LeBron coming to the Bulls.
I feel sorry for Alan Trammell. He's a great teacher, a great coach, and a class act. What are the chances he sticks around for another regime (a la Larry Rothschild)?
Bruce Levine (1:50 PM)
Alan is a great baseball man. I'm not sure if Alan wants to stay after this season. Maybe he would like to move on.
Should Freddy Garcia be on the AL All Star Roster this year?
Bruce Levine (1:51 PM)
He should be considered, if you consider how many big games against good teams he has won.
Do you think the Angels would be interested in D Lee?
Bruce Levine (1:52 PM)
They may, and he may say yes if he's approached about a trade. I'm sure he's had it up to here with all the losing the Cubs have done this season.
The Z situation is a classic example of why baseball definitely needs to go to a NON-GAURENTEED contract structure. The CBA doesn't say they have to be gaurenteed.. so why would owners put themselves in this position constantly!
Bruce Levine (1:53 PM)
It's been collectively bargained that contracts are guaranteed. What owners are in control of is the amount of years.
If the playoffs started now and the White Sox where in it what would they do with there pitching? Would they start five or four and if it was four who would be left out?
Bruce Levine (1:54 PM)
The Sox if you remember went to a straight four-man rotation in '05. The odd man out would be determined by who's pitching the best who's healthiest. If the season ended today, the odd man out might be Mark Buehrle.
Gergs (Davenport, IA)
Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson starred in Anger Management.... who do you have in the squeal with Big Z?
Bruce Levine (1:55 PM)
Brian ( Madison)
your gut feeling....who do you think will be the Cubs manager next year?
Bruce Levine (1:56 PM)
My gut feeling is Joe Girardi
Do you think the sox are that good or did they have a great hot streak? Does this team warrant trading away more prospects ofr adam dunn?
Bruce Levine (1:57 PM)
Let's give it a week of AL baseball, and then I'll be happy to answer. If they continue to struggle to score runs, the answer will be yes.
Bruce Levine (1:58 PM)
You can say a lot of things about Chicago baseball, but you can't say it's not interesting. See you next Monday for Ron Santo's 50-year and one week appreciation day.