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August 2, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Bruce Levine, Doug Padilla

Bruce Levine
  (1:01 PM)

Let's see how many of you real baseball fans are still out there. If you're real Cubs and Sox fans, you're still with us, and we know you care, so let's go. Welcome.

Adam (Chicago)

Do you see merit in bringing Cashner back in September? The team will be 30 games under at that point. Shut him down.

Bruce Levine
  (1:02 PM)

I'll use your word "merit" for both sides of that argument. First and foremost, you need to protect a valuable arm, which would weigh a little more on your side of the argument. However Cashner and the Cubs feel he needs to get out there to regain his confidence after being inactive since April 8. If it's my player, I lean the way you do, nothing to be gained. Send him to Arizona Fall League or Winter Ball for a couple of weeks and accomplish the same thing in November or December.

Bobby B (Newport Beach, CA)

Hey Bruce! Please tell me that we are not thinking about keeping Ramirez...I dont care how much he hits, it doesnt make up for his game changing defense or lack there of (see the whole weekend series against the Cards)...He cannot make any play above a routine one and usually those throws are 1 hoped to 1st...MLB is no longer in the money ball era, give me a guy who can catch and throw the ball...Whats your thoughts for 3B next yr? and is there any chance of prying Neil Walker from the Bucs, I swear hes the next Utley but we could play him at 3rd

Bruce Levine
  (1:04 PM)

Zero chance on Walker. No team trades a good-looking left-handed hitter who they don't have to pay. It's a nice thought, but the Cubs need some direction from above Jim Hendry. Either make a commitment Jim or move on to next management group and let them come up with game plan. Right now Hendry and Co. are in the in-between mode, and you're not going to accomplish very much that way.

Bruce Levine
  (1:04 PM)

Zero chance on Walker. No team trades a good-looking left-handed hitter who they don't have to pay. It's a nice thought, but the Cubs need some direction from above Jim Hendry. Either make a commitment Jim or move on to next management group and let them come up with game plan. Right now Hendry and Co. are in the in-between mode, and you're not going to accomplish very much that way.

Jay (Chicago)

I put the Cubs game on last night and was surprised to see how much Tyler Colvin looked like Reed Johnson. What's going on with that?

Bruce Levine
  (1:05 PM)

We asked Quade before the game why two games in a row Colvin hasn't played, and unfortunately his answer was he has to get Johnson and Baker in there. It's not a futuristic look at the Cubs. I admire Quade wanting to win every game, but that's not it right now. It should be all about player development the last two months.

J.R. Van Houghton (Chicago)

Is it not time to move on from Fleita and Wilken considering they still cant produce solid minor league talent? Please dont reference Castro and Barney...Castro might becoma a star but not Barney...and that would be 1 start in almost a decade...not a good track record.

Bruce Levine
  (1:06 PM)

You're not alluding to any of the pitching they developed as well. Unfortunately some of those guys are pitching for other teams. But your point is well taken, they have not developed a lot of position players, although scouts from other teams tell me Single-A and Double-A is loaded with good potential major league talent.

Jon (St.Paul )

Hey Bruce! Where do the Cubs stand in signing their first two picks in Baez and Vogelbach? Thanks!!

Bruce Levine
  (1:07 PM)

On Aug 14, you will see almost all of the teams signign their top couple of guys, including the Cubs. That is just the way the agents position themselves these days, trying to get optimum dollar at the last minute.

Hank (Chicago)

Hey Bruce, I dont mean to overreact but what's up with Tyler Colvin not playing the last 2 games? Also, if he indeed is an everyday outfielder in the future then he will have to hit left handed pitching--but Quade said he would use johnson and baker more often... Why?-Dont we need to see if he is part of the future or not?

Bruce Levine
  (1:09 PM)

I think Quade is worried about himself being part of the future as well. I think the only thing people can look at resume wise is wins and losses. He's worked 30 years to get to this point, so his goal is to help develop but also win. He has to win to keep his job.

Gabe Hauari (Richmond, VA)

Hey Bruce! Who are some possible replacements for Jim Hendry if the Cubbies fire him? Any up-and-comers we should know about? Thanks and love the chat!

Bruce Levine
  (1:11 PM)

If the Cubs decide to go away from Hendry, all they have to do is go eight miles across town to find the best candidate. That would be Sox asst. GM Rick Hahn. He combines the Sabermetrics world with scouting over the past 7-8 years. Being from Wilmette and home grown doesn't hurt. Don't tell anyone, but he grew up a Cubs fan.

Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)

The long-term money that the Cubs (i.e. Alfonso Soriano) and Yankees (i.e. A-Rod) have on the books should make teams pause a little before breaking the bank this off-season for guys like Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, and Company. Do you think the errors made by big market teams like the Cubs and Yankees will cause teams to pause a little when free agency opens after the season or will teams continue to sign huge, long-term contracts?

Bruce Levine
  (1:13 PM)

It's apples and oranges to talk about the Yankees and Cubs. The Yankees spend through their mistakes and continually end up in the playoffs. Hendry and his people have been frozen since Dec., 2008, just dealing with escalating contracts. Their additions have been predicated on getting rid of money to add money, ie Milton Bradley. Hendry even had to trade Tom Gorzellany and his $2M to sign Carlos Pena.

Adam (Loop) [via mobile]

Bruce- It's crazy that Rodrigo Lopez or Ramon Ortiz are on the roster. Both have pitched ok, but at this point in the season, shouldn't Coleman and Carpenter be getting these innings in preparation for 2012?

Bruce Levine
  (1:15 PM)

Just had the same discussion with a member of the Cubs. Probably same answer I gave you on Quade with Colvin. He's torn between player development and keeping the team from losing 100 games. Some direction from the top again would be beneficial.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that the Chicago Cubs should build a new stadium and tear down Wrigley Field?

Bruce Levine
  (1:16 PM)

I thought that way for probalby 10 years. And I grew up running around Comiskey and Wrigley, so my emotional attachment is there, but business wise, a beautiful new ballpark incorporating the lake and downtown would be ideal. Who wouldn't like that with amenties for fans and players?

Dino (Bartlett)

With Clevenger and Castillo doing well has there been any thought to trading Soto?

Bruce Levine
  (1:19 PM)

I know the Pirates showed interest and were told they weren't going to trade him, but this was not necessarily by the deadline. It was before that. You'd like to see one of the young kids come up and develop. This has not been a great year for Soto. But major league catchers are hard to replace. I would love to see Castillo or Clevenger come up. I love Koyie Hill, but someone should be catching games the rest of the year behind Soto and getting some experience.

Eddie (Iowa)

If Hendry is to survive and come back next year, doesn't Ricketts have to insist that Quade goes? If not, and both are back, how fired up could the fan base be?

Bruce Levine
  (1:19 PM)

No. 1 thing you have to do is identify better players. Both Piniella and Quade have failed because the talent wasn't good enough. We can pick their managing games apart and be right about it, but once in a while you have to throw a complete game or score 8-9 runs. This team doesn't do either.

Chris (Bourbonnais)

Why do you believe the cubs did not make Marlyn Byrd available, or maybe I should say more available? Did they decide that they want to hold off till the winter to move him? he doesn't seem like a guy that will be getting an extension.

Bruce Levine
  (1:21 PM)

I think the Cubs look at him as the ultimate fourth outfielder and an important vet who plays the game the right way. Let's say Soriano won't be back in 2012, if that's the case, Byrd is your only vet OF, and at $6M a very cheap insurance policy to cover one of your other OFs if they get off to bad start or have to be sent down. I think it's the same principle Hendry has with Baker and Johnson, built-in pros around the young people.

Nizzi (Des Moines)

Bruce, how can the Cubs be any better next year when it appears they will have virtually the same lineup minus Fukudome? Am I correct in assuming that Pena, Ramirez, and Byrd are in the cubs long term plans?

Bruce Levine
  (1:22 PM)

I would not necessarily agree on Pena and Ramirez. I think again ownership has to identify a direction. If Hendry is coming back for last yer of his contract, he should be extended or let go. It's not fair to him or the organization to hold a team in limbo.

Jack (Oak Lawn)

Bruce, have you noticed that Alfonso Soriano has started to makemore contact the last 3 or 4 games and is pulling the ball instead of hitting the pop ups to the right side and striking out Notice 2 home runs in last 3 games. Has he finally figured in out?

Bruce Levine
  (1:24 PM)

Soriano is a notorious streak hitter. But at age 35, the streak's are fewer and farther in between. The rest of his career should be spent as a DH in the AL. He could still be a productive 25 HR hitter without having to expend the extra energy in the field.

Bruce Levine
  (1:24 PM)

Soriano is a notorious streak hitter. But at age 35, the streak's are fewer and farther in between. The rest of his career should be spent as a DH in the AL. He could still be a productive 25 HR hitter without having to expend the extra energy in the field.

Greg Maddux (Wrigley Field)

What exactly are my job duties? Will I be considered if Hendry is fired?

Bruce Levine
  (1:25 PM)

Greg, I don't think you have enough experience yet. You're certainly smart enough to run a team, but I don't think you're ready to put in those 12-hour days in the office during the offseason. You wouldn't be able to play golf as much as you do.

Jamie (Illinois)

Could the trade deadline be labeled as a disaster for Ricketts? Hendry didn't move any veterans other than Fukudome to make room for the young guys, and we still have a veteran-laden lineup that blocks the younger guys from playing.

Bruce Levine
  (1:26 PM)

What's wrong with waiver deals? Hendry moved Lee and Fontenot the second week of August last year. Getting guys through waivers now seems much easier considering nobody wants to just pick up a contract just to block somebody else.

Freddy (Chicago)

How could the Cubs not trade anyone? I know they are 'one big happy family' but it seems like the Cubs luck to have one of the hottest hitters in all of baseball, yet cannot capitalize on that and bring something back for the future? Or is Aramis going to get a contract extension? (please say he won't)

Bruce Levine
  (1:28 PM)

The Cubs are in between on Ramirez. They have to try to project who their future run producers are. And signing him to an extension is a possibiliity. I know it doesn't sound too exciting to you but go through your 30 teams and tell me what run producing third baseman are out there?

Rob (The Loop)

I don't have a problem with the Cubs being terrible which we all know they are. I have a problem with the Cubs charging Yankee ticket prices and concession prices to put as Big Z put it "a AAA team" out there. How can Ricketts justify this? Does he see all the empty $100 seats out there?

Bruce Levine
  (1:30 PM)

There aren't that many empty $100 seats. The Cubs are averaging over 37,000. That means they'll draw very close to 3M again. No-show factor is another matter. The biggest problem MLB has is its deal with StubHub, although they're one of the top companies in the nation. You could buy great box seats for $20-$30. The way they do business in the future has to be looked at.

Bruce Levine
  (1:31 PM)

My buddy Doug Padilla is warming up in the pen and ready for Sox questions. Don't think Hendry won't make some moves here on some waiver deals. He's working to make this team better regardless of what you think.

Doug Padilla
  (1:32 PM)

OK, here we go with the White Sox portion of the chat. Lots of good questions already.

Rusty (Palatine)

Are we going to see Zach Stewart before the end of the season?..maybe some spot starts during doubleheaders again Minn and Cleveland? What should we expect from him this year?

Doug Padilla
  (1:33 PM)

The word is that Stewart will be up with the White Sox before the season ends, at least when rosters expand in September. Both of those doubleheaders are in the final month so his presence would certainly be needed then. Anything goes with a young kid, but the Jays were going to bring him up before the trade went down, so at least somebody thought he was OK to return to this level right now.

Steve (Northbrook)

the $64,000 question(s)...why is Ozzie playing Rios at all?WHy isn't Ozzie batting Dunn 7th or 8th?

Doug Padilla
  (1:36 PM)

It's a fair question Steve. Without getting into all the "because he makes more money giberish," apparently Oz thinks he sees a better chance of Rios breaking out that Lillibridge having success on a daily basis in CF. As for Dunn, if you're going to use him, it's time he hit out of the 8th hole. At the very least maybe he gets one less at-bat a night that way.

Mike (Indianapolis, In)

Will The Sox make a run at the division? I don't think Dunn or Rios will come around for the remainder of the year. That being said, with the great pitching we've been getting do we have enough to win the central?

Doug Padilla
  (1:38 PM)

Yeah, it'd be a shock to see Dunn or Rios find the confidence needed to make a late run. The pitching is solid, even with Jackson's departure. But they haven't even been able to win the close games lately and those are the ones they need to get, otherwise there is no hope.

Brad (Anderson,IN)

Do you really think LaRussa will return to the South Side next yeear?If so do you think Dave Duncan would come along?

Doug Padilla
  (1:41 PM)

Lots of stuff needs to happen before then like Jerry, Ozzie and Kenny having a chat on who they see as manager in the future. The White Sox don't have an organization guy in waiting to manage so La Russa, Jerry's buddy, is a valid suspicion. And La Russa does it his way so it isn't likely he retains any of Ozzie's coaches.

Bill Wiggins (Rockville, VA)

Doug, do you think Kennie Williams has done a good job for the last 5 years? Attendance is down, our farm system is very weak, and payroll is high with under achievers. I say keep Ozzie and send Williams either up to the front office or out of the oraganization.

Doug Padilla
  (1:43 PM)

The big concern, to me anyway, is the lack of impact players in the system. Viciedo is there, but I'm talking about guys who were drafted.I had no problem with the roster he put together this year so it's hard for me to say he blew it, but it's painfully ovbious that bringing a 200 strikeout guy over from the NL was a disaster waiting to happen.

Cheese (Washington, D.C.)

Do you think Ozzie wants to be here next season? Or would he rather get a fresh start in Florida? With all the failures this year, it seems like Oz has just lost his fire for this team. And who can blame him, this team is underachieving like crazy.

Doug Padilla
  (1:45 PM)

Ozzie wants to stay. There is no doubt he loves the White Sox. But this year he has a team that is more in Kenny's style instead of his. That is among the issues he has. Florida is a good opportunity, especially with them moving into a new stadium, but he will stay on the South Side if the club makes him feel wanted this offseason.

Karl (Illinois)

Would the Sox consider Frank Thomas to be the next hitting coach if they ever get rid of Greg Walker?

Doug Padilla
  (1:48 PM)

Frank was talking like a hitting coach after his statue ceremony Sunday. But I doubt they put him in that role at the major league level without him getting his feet wet at the lower levels. If Frank can teach his weight transfer to White Sox hitters he'd have tons of value in that role.

Paul (NJ)

If 'all in' fails this year, should we expect to see the Sox make some moves this off season to get younger - Quentin, Thorton, maybe Flord or Danks?

Doug Padilla
  (1:50 PM)

Quentin and Thornton could be on the trading block this winter. I can see Quentin being moved. But that would leave the White Sox looking for a RF and a LF and Viciedo can only play one of those spots.

Rusty (Palatine)

Does promoting Rich Hahn seem like an obvious solution? Kenny Williams has made numerous bad/risky moves in the past couple of season (Dunn, Rios, Peavy), hasn't done a great job with the farm system, and he has major issues with Ozzie. People have nothing but good things to say about Rick Hahn. I can't imagine Rick goes much longer without being offered a GM spot somewhere else either...we need to promote him before he is gone for good!

Doug Padilla
  (1:52 PM)

Yes, Rick will get a GM job one day. But remember he's Kenny's right-hand man so they think along the same lines. It'd be interesting to see what Rick can do if all the decisions were his, though. Somebody is bound to make that happen at some point.

Grant (Wheaton)

Why no De Aza in CF? At least he plays hard

Doug Padilla
  (1:53 PM)

The White Sox just faced a string of left-handers (3 in a row if I'm not mistaken). I'd be surprised if De Aza wasn't in there tonight in place of Rios.

Pat (The Cell)

I thought "all in" meant to do whatever it took to get the most W's.. it would appear that Kenny isn't giving Ozzie much to work with and isn't making the best moves or putting the best team out there. Please explain (or try) for a dissappointed Sox fan!!

Doug Padilla
  (1:56 PM)

Pat, Ozzie is using what he has. Kenny went for it this offseason and it certainly hasn't panned out. The roster (and lack of serious prospects) tied thier hands at the trade deadline. Plus, adding salary was not an option. This is the roster they're stuck with. Sorry.

Erik K (DePaul)

I feel Morel needs and deserves more ABs and I thought with Teahen being traded he would get those ABs against right handers that went to Teahen but so far Vizquel has filled into that role. Very frustrating considering at this point Morel provides more with the glove and about the same with the bat as Omar.

Doug Padilla
  (1:58 PM)

Oz is still being cautious with Morel. He will continue to give him a break against tough right-handers. It's all in the name of a guy still developing. Yes, his glove does have value, no doubt. At the plate, he had a nice approach against CC last night, he just crushed balls right where infielders were standing.

Also Doug (Chicago)

Who is next to get a statue? We're running out of room.

Doug Padilla
  (1:59 PM)

The rule seems to be that if you get your number retired you get a statue. It'd be nice to see Ventura get one, though. Konerko and Buehrle will get one down the road.

Frank (Naperville)

Why not use Viciedo as DH against Lefties once he is healthy?

Doug Padilla
  (2:01 PM)

Unless Quentin or Dunn go down with an injury, it looks like we won't see Viciedo for exactly four weeks. He still hasn't played since leaving with the sore thumb, though.

Grant (Wheaton)

Do you believe if Viciedo was healthy, Quentin would have been traded?

Doug Padilla
  (2:03 PM)

It could have been at least part of the reason.

Erik (Omaha)

If Jerry is forced to choose between Ozzie and Kenny during the offseason, what's his decision? I'm definitely in the keep-Ozzie/dump-Kenny camp. Ozzie has proved that he can win with his type of team. Kenny's teams have never gotten farther than the ALDS.

Doug Padilla
  (2:05 PM)

Not sure Jerry is capable of deciding that one. That'd be like asking him what finger he wants chopped off.

Doug Padilla
  (2:06 PM)

Wow, the time really flew by this week. Thanks for the questions. Hit me up on Twitter @ESPNChiSox

Frank (Naperville)

Do the Sox have to travel to Minnesota, or can we save everyone the time an effort by adding 3 more Losses to the L column right now?

Doug Padilla
  (2:07 PM)

Funny, but not funny all at the same time. OK, now I'm out of here. Thanks again.