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Former Cubs Player Ryan Freel Found Dead

By bullpenbrian - December 23, 2012 - 12:19 am Leave a comment.

Ryan Freel

Ryan Freel, 36, was found dead in his Jacksonville, Fla. home on Saturday. Early reports indicate he he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Freel played briefly for the Cubs in 2009. Jim Hendry aquired him from Baltimore for Joey Gathright in early May–A trade I never understood.

Gathright was 28 and Freel a washed up 33-year-old riddled with an achy body. Granted, Gathright never panned out, but Freel had a (-2) OPS+ in just 14-games with Chicago before he was purchased by the Royals in July. His production at the big league level had passed him by before he ever arrived in Chicago.

“He’s a little guy who lives in my head who talks to me and I talk to him.”
-Freel on his invisible friend “Farney”

That aside, count me among the many fans who appreciated Freel’s constant hustle on the diamond. He was scrappy, a gamer, and apparently won the heart of Hendry, too.

Long live Farney.

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Cubs Trade Gathright For Freel

By bullpenbrian - May 9, 2009 - 12:29 am Leave a comment.

cubsmilwaukee1

Where was the urgency from the Cubs’ hitters in the top of the ninth?

The all-time saves leader, Trevor Hoffman, comes in throwing 85-mph meatballs and the Cubs stand in the box with bat on shoulder.

Chicago leads the NL with a (.394 avg.) when swinging at the first pitch in an at-bat. And, Hoffman is a guy you want to attack early in the count!

Yet, Miles and Hoffpauir go down looking. Then, Milton reaches for a pitch and grounds out weakly to first.

You’re down one run against a very hittable pitcher…find a strike and swing the bat!

Know the situation — and for heaven’s sake, don’t blame the home plate umpire for punching you out looking.

Nonetheless, we’re about to find out what kind of character the Cubs have on this club.

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