Jeff Samardzija visited the set of SportsNation (ESPN) to defend his Fighting Irish following Notre Dame’s humiliating 42-14 loss to Alabama in the
BCS National Championship Game.
At the end of this clip Samardzija appears just as exasperated by Alabama’s thumping as the rest of us (or those not rooting for the Crimson Tide, or without any rooting interest like myself).
The Cubs were never mentioned specifically during the show.
Samardzija at Notre Dame (2003-06)
Baseball – Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball Magazine
Football – School record of 8 straight games with receiving TD
Football – Career: 179 receptions, 2,593 yards, 27 touchdowns
Football – All time leader in receiving yards (2,593)
Football – Numerous All American Teams
Baseball – Selected by Cubs in 5th Rd (149th overall) of 2006 Draft
Kosuke Fukudome is heading back to Japan
He’s agreed to a 3-year, $5.5 million deal with the Hanshin Tigers.
In 2008 he signed a 4-year, $48 million deal with the Cubs.
Cubs transactions January 10th:
- 2012: signed free agent Paul Maholm
- 2006: Signed free agent Jacque Jones
The Bad: No player was voted in when a few deserving ones
should have been elected.
The Silver Lining: This will spark further conversation about the voting system and what reform, if any, should be taken to improve the voting system.
Craig Biggio is a no brainer.
Aaron Sele gets one vote? Why? Ridiculous.
15 Seasons – Overall (148-112, 4.61) 352 starts
Only 5 double digit wins seasons (19, 18, 17, 15, 13)
Two time All Star
Never won 20-games
Never was a league leader in major pitching category
Playoff record: (0-6, 4.46) 7 starts
Hall of Famer? Are you kidding me?
QUESTION: “I want to hear your thoughts on Fukudome. The Reds are looking for a 3rd/4th outfielder, and I don’t know why this guy isn’t signed yet?
It seems like he still gets on-base, is a above-average fielder, and can play all 3 OF spots, right?
Considering they are also dabbling in the Rick Ankiel, Ryan Ludwick, and Juan Pierre pool, Fukudome seems like the best choice.”
- email from Michael P., Indianapolis
ANSWER: You’re right, Mike. I haven’t heard the name Kosuke Fukudome mentioned at all this offseason and I suspect that has a lot to do with his four underachieving years in Chicago and poor finish last season in Cleveland.
Fukudome With Cubs:
*Increased batting average & HR total in first three seasons with a consistent OBP.
-2008: (150 G) .257, 10 HR, 58 RBI….359 OBP, 12 SB *All Star
-2009: (146 G) .259, 11 HR, 54 RBI….375 OBP, 6 SB
-2010: (130 G) .263, 13 HR, 44 RBI….371 OBP, 7 SB
-2011: (87 G) .273, 3 HR, 13 RBI….374 OBP, 2 SB
-Leaves the Cubs riding a 5-game hitting streak.
-Hit leadoff in 69 games, batting .268 (71-for-265).
-Drew a walk in 42 of his 86 games with a plate appearance.
-Batting .324 with two-outs.
-14 multi-hit games.
It only took 102 games, but the Cubs finally made it three straight on Sunday.
Ten times prior Chicago failed to make it three in a row.
It’s the club’s first winning streak since October 2, 2010.
And the first home winning streak since September 1-4, 2010.
The last sweep of Houston at Wrigley came during July, 2007.
Cubs finish the 10-game homestand (5-5).
Florida (1-3), Philly (1-2), Houston (3-0).
Chicago’s rotation posted seven quality starts.
That wraps up the longest homestand of the season.
Chicago is primed to play NL Central spoilers with a three-way tie atop the division. The next 13 games are against divisional foes beginning with a 10-game road trip through Milwaukee, St. Louis and Pittsburgh.
On Sunday Pittsburgh knocked off St. Louis in 10-innings. The Reds also won in dramatic fashion with a Drew Stubbs walk-off HR in the bottom of the ninth vs. Atlanta. Milwaukee, on the other hand, lost 2-1 at San Fran.
Pit .525 x
StL .525 -
Mil .524 -
Cin .495 3.0
Kosuke Fukudome hit .280 on the homestand, 7-for-25.
4 walks, 3 runs, double, triple, RBI.
For the season:
Has a .371 OBP.
Hitting .272 vs RHP.
Hitting .273 vs LHP.
Drawn a walk in 42 of 84 games played.
Four teams are interested in Fukudome according to Bruce Levine of ESPN 1000.
-In Japanese baseball, trading players is considered an unusual circumstance and is even actually a bit of an insult. However, after watching teammates like Derrek Lee, Ryan Theriot and Ted Lilly get traded last year, Fukudome seems to understand that trades are just part of MLB’s business culture.
“It really doesn’t bother me,” he said through his interpreter. “As long as I’m a player and people are interested in me, I take it as a compliment.” -Fukudome
What on earth has happened to Carlos Lee?
His go-ahead HR off Samardzija on Sunday is just his 7th of the season.
He’s 35-years-old and owed $18.5M in 2012, the final season of a 6-year deal.
2006 – 37 HR, 116 RBI, .300
2007 – 32 HR, 119 RBI, .303
2008 – 28 HR, 100 RBI, .314
2009 – 26 HR, 102 RBI, .300
2010 – 24 HR, 89 RBI, .246
2011 - 7 HR, 51 RBI, .277
Seattle’s skid hits 15
Hey, the Cubs aren’t so bad. At least they’re not Seattle.
While it’s likely Kosuke Fukudome will clear waivers in the coming days, the Cubs’ chances of trading him this month remain slim.
Fukudome is still owed $13.5M-plus on his deal that runs through 2011 and has done little this season to warrant interest from other clubs.
The 33-year-old right fielder is batting .161 in his last 32 games, including a .162 average for the month of July–not exactly the missing piece for a contender.
The good news, however, is ‘The Fuk’ should have some trade value this offseason. Left-handed bats are always coveted and his above average fielding won’t hurt Jim Hendry’s chances of dealing him, either.
It’s evident Fukudome hasn’t lived up to expectations during his three seasons in Chicago. His overall .257 average with 30 HR and 139 RBI are nowhere near deserving of his four-year $48 million dollar deal.
And with Tyler Colvin a fast rising star in right field, the next best move for Fukudome is out of Chicago.
Can’t blame Lou for shelving Kosuke Fukudome. Not after ‘The Fuk’ hit .189 in June–a drastic fall from his .344 average in April.
But the only way to increase Fukudome’s low-trade value is to play him…even if it costs Tyler Colvin at-bats, which is the cost of doing business for the time being.
Fukudome, fortunately, is doing the Cubs a huge favor with his recent hot-streak. He’s batting .250 on the road trip with a couple of home runs, RBIs, and runs scored.
Most importantly, however, he’s getting on base having reached safely in 39 of his last 44 starts.
It’s just enough to keep Fukudome’s name in trade talks, which is all the Cubs can ask for from its $48M bench-warmer.
Credit Tyler Colvin for his superb spring…he earned his spot on the Opening Day roster.
Part of me, however, believes Colvin made the club because of how he handled his MBL debut two years ago.
Due to a rash of injuries and a commanding lead in the Central, the Cubs came calling in September 2009.
It’s fair for Cubs fans to expect a better performance from Kosuke Fukudome this year.
He has a full season under his belt plus a better understanding of the new culture he’s living and playing in.
But don’t expect the guy to reach the power numbers he once did playing overseas either.
Just as with any foreign currency, the transition isn’t 1-to-1 with baseball statistics, especially power numbers.
Yesterday’s NHL trade deadline had me thinking about what the Cubs’ options might be come July 31.
But unless they’re major injures to overcome, I wouldn’t expect Chicago to be overly aggressive during July given the all-around talent of this club on Opening Day.
Yet, should Hendry find himself in need, he’ll once again be reevaluating which of his players are available and who carries the most trade value.
As of today I think Fukudome tops the list.