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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Chicago Sun-Times: Grace expects Cubs, Sosa to thrive after divorce

I’m reminded of that old Universal flick “Mark of the West”, where the vampire gunslinger just couldn’t be killed off…

Grace, on Sammy Sosa…..Now that I think about it, it was pretty obvious he was not a big fan of mine. He didn’t like me being on the Cubs. Once Andy MacPhail decided to build the Cubs around Sosa, my days were numbered.

Sammy said I was a cancer in the clubhouse and a bad guy. That was unfair, and because he was so adored in Chicago, people believed him. If you ask anyone else, any of my other teammates, they would have a different view.

 

Repoz Posted: February 01, 2005 at 07:16 PM | 90 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Comic Strip Person Posted: February 01, 2005 at 07:51 PM (#1118249)
Hey, Gracie: #### you.

And Carol Slezak: why don't you try cultivating a relationship with an actual current Cub, not some long-gone, only back to spit on the situation jackass.
   2. zonk Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:00 PM (#1118272)
I hate Mark Grace.
   3. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:05 PM (#1118276)
Posted by Mark Grace on February 01, 2005 at 02:00 PM (#1118272)

(7.6 seconds after the winning run scores)

Well, I may not have been good enough to play for the Cubs, but I was good enough to play for the baseball world champions!
   4. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:06 PM (#1118278)
"Sammy and my relationship ended when I left and he buried me to the Chicago writers,''

Does anyone remember what he's talking about here?

I do remember Grace's agent saying something about the Cubs right fielder being "not a good player" or something like that.

And this is a gem about steroids:

Grace, whose own locker always was surrounded by reporters after games, doesn't care to speculate about that subject.

Followed by:

"I can only say when the allegations and suspicions arose, it didn't surprise me,'' Grace said.

Yeah, it's a good thing he doesn't care to speculate. What a gossipping bitçh.
   5. RCheli Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:07 PM (#1118280)
Wow.

What the story behind Grace? I do remember him being interviewed right after the Diamondbacks won the World Series (like, minutes after -- maybe in the locker room) and he took a shot at the Cubs, but are there other reasons?
   6. Hack Wilson Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:09 PM (#1118284)
I hate Mark Grace.
Slimiest Cub ever-no that's unfair to worms.
   7. Stevis Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:09 PM (#1118285)
He didn't say you were a clubhouse cancer, he said you caused clubhouse cancer. It's called Nicorette; look into it.
   8. RCheli Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:11 PM (#1118288)
Steve Garvey>Mark Grace? or Mark Grace>Steve Garvey?
   9. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:14 PM (#1118293)
.....Now that I think about it, it was pretty obvious he was not a big fan of mine.

Gee, can't think why.

He didn’t like me being on the Cubs. Once Andy MacPhail decided to build the Cubs around Sosa, my days were numbered.

Bull, they were numbered when the Cubs figured that Hee! Seop! Choi! could do a good job replacing an aging and less effective singles hitting first baseman.

Sammy said I was a cancer in the clubhouse and a bad guy.

Projection. Accusing at the mirror. Whatever you want to call it, Grace is doing what he claims Sosa did.

That was unfair, and because he was so adored in Chicago, people believed him

No one ever thought Grace was a clubhouse cancer in Chicago. Not in the public, not in the media, and his own comments indicate he ain't thinking of his teammates. So what the flyingfuck is his talking about?

This is just a bunch of lies, damn lies, and self-serving bullshit. And that's just the quote Repoz used.

I'm not much of a Sosa fan, about all the other Cub fans on this board but this is crap Grace is slinging is just nuts. Sosa's problems with his teammates, as far as I can tell, seemed to stem from his arrogance, and doing stuff like playing his music too loud all the time. His negative reputation comes from being seen as an arrogant, self-serving, self-centered narcisistic blowhard. But no one's ever accused him of trying to use the media to screw over his teammates. Even if he wanted to, I'm not sure he has the language skills and education level to make the make the sportswriters dance to his tune.

I used to be a big Grace fan. But comments he's made since leaving the team lead me to believe that he's nothing more than an arrogant, self-serving, self-centered, narcisistic blowhard. One who is willing to use the media to screw over teammates he doesn't like and has the people/interveiw skills to do it.

That's why I paid Mark Grace the ultimate insult in selected a url for his phony username in the Posted by line in post #3.
   10. bunyon Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:18 PM (#1118302)
Bull, they were numbered when the Cubs figured that Hee! Seop! Choi! could do a good job replacing an aging and less effective singles hitting first baseman.

Sadly, the Cubs never actually figured this out.
   11. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:22 PM (#1118311)
What the story behind Grace? I do remember him being interviewed right after the Diamondbacks won the World Series (like, minutes after -- maybe in the locker room) and he took a shot at the Cubs

On the field. It was on the field.

Grace's problem is that he doesn't realize baseball's a business. That's why the Cubs got rid of him.

The Cubs kept signing him to short term 1-2 (maybe 3) year contracts, and supposedly he loved it and wanted to stay a Cub. The team didn't even try to resign him after he hit .280 in '00.

I can understand and have no problem with his being upset and p1ssed off when it happened. But then you're supposed to move on with your ####### life. He didn't. Now he's still trashtalking.

He strikes me as a charming, likable fellow whose never had much problems with people or being widely liked because he has such good people skills. Paradoxically, there's an inner element of him which is just meanspirited and churlish. We all have our petty and vindictive elements, but either we learn that about ourselves and adapt, or people pick up on those elements about us. Grace has a strong enough veneer of a good person that people have trouble seeing through it, and he's able to get away with this sort of blatant lies and backbiting that would cause others to be seen as clubhouse cancers.

I think maybe I'm being too hard on Grace, but then I look back at the above quotes and think; Mark Grace can go suck Sammy Sosa's dick! The ######
   12. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:26 PM (#1118321)
Bull, they were numbered when the Cubs figured that Hee! Seop! Choi! could do a good job replacing an aging and less effective singles hitting first baseman.

Sadly, the Cubs never actually figured this out.

I disagree. 2001 was to be Choi's year - then he got hurt, and they had to scrounge with Matt Stairs. In '02 - my take is they did better than they expected in '01, and figured McGriff would be better in the immediate future and they could rustle up a play-off spot that year. Choi may have gotten hurt again, I don't really remember. '03 they get Baker, trade their sack of crap for the right half of LA's infield, and things start to drift away from Choi. Especially after the fluke onfield concussion.
   13. Arch Stanton Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:33 PM (#1118337)
Mark Grace is such an asshead, he even makes me think less of Janine Turner, which once upon a time would have been impossible.
   14. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:33 PM (#1118339)
And now every article about the Dodgers refers to the mythical "when Choi loses his starting job."
   15. RyanMcC Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:52 PM (#1118371)
I like Mark Grace. Good guy.
   16. bunyon Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:53 PM (#1118373)
I could forgive the onfield bashing of the Cubs. Think of it: you get "fired" from a job and situation you loved. Less than a year later you're in a new job where you conquer the guys that fired you. I can certainly see a moment of joy in sticking it to them. It is the long after the fact jabs with lots of time for thought that get me.
   17. bunyon Posted: February 01, 2005 at 08:59 PM (#1118387)
And you're probably right about the Cubs thinking Choi was ready as replacement. I had forgotten the timing.
   18. Spahn Insane Posted: February 01, 2005 at 09:27 PM (#1118456)
#### Grace.

Yeah--wonder why they wouldn't want to "build around" a 30-something first baseman who hits like a second baseman.
   19. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: February 01, 2005 at 09:32 PM (#1118464)
Who cares what Grace thinks?

I hope to see him one day in Cooperstown: in line behind me to buy a ticket for admission.
   20. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: February 01, 2005 at 09:34 PM (#1118467)
good old Fart Face. too bad he never shared the field with Moistass Alou.
   21. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 01, 2005 at 09:36 PM (#1118471)
too bad he never shared the field with Moistass Alou.

Too bad he was never in the urinal next to him and got hit by the off-the-hands rebound.
   22. Urban Faber Posted: February 01, 2005 at 09:49 PM (#1118499)
I wonder if it will be this negative when Prior leaves town?
   23. WalkOffIBB Posted: February 01, 2005 at 09:51 PM (#1118504)
Sammy said I was a cancer in the clubhouse and a bad guy.

Anyone have any links to this? I don't recall: A) Sosa ever saying that; B) any newspapers saying that; or C) anyone in the media saying that or anything like it, whether from Sosa or someone else, about Grace. And I can't find any mention of this in a quick Google search.
   24. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: February 01, 2005 at 09:55 PM (#1118511)
I've really grown to dislike Grace a lot too. He really comes across as a self-serving jerk sometime, and I suspect he ran over Chris J's dog too.

I wonder if it will be this negative when Prior leaves town?

Are you trying to give me mental problems?
   25. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: February 01, 2005 at 09:59 PM (#1118527)
Wouldn't the Cubs have had a decent chance of winning a World Series a long time ago if they had kept Ralf Palermo and jettisoned Grace?
   26. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 01, 2005 at 10:01 PM (#1118534)
I've really grown to dislike Grace a lot too. He really comes across as a self-serving jerk sometime, and I suspect he ran over Chris J's dog too.

Now that's funny!

WalkOffIBB - google search all you want & you'll never find it, because Grace is making it up.
   27. Urban Faber Posted: February 01, 2005 at 10:05 PM (#1118540)
Wouldn't the Cubs have had a decent chance of winning a World Series a long time ago if they had kept Ralf Palermo and jettisoned Grace?

Nope. Palmeiro has never even played in a world series. Grace is a world champion and had the most hits in the 1990s!!!!
   28. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: February 01, 2005 at 10:06 PM (#1118542)
Well, it had to be something personal once you started wishing for Alou piss splashback. That's the first sign of a vendetta.

Eraser-X: Maybe. But that would have probably meant getting rid of Sandberg too.
   29. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: February 01, 2005 at 10:07 PM (#1118545)
Wouldn't the Cubs have had a decent chance of winning a World Series a long time ago if they had kept Ralf Palermo and jettisoned Grace?

Or had kept them both, with Palmeiro staying in left.
   30. WalkOffIBB Posted: February 01, 2005 at 10:17 PM (#1118570)
WalkOffIBB - google search all you want & you'll never find it, because Grace is making it up.

That is what I figured. At best, may be someone printed something neagtive about Grace on the way out, and he thought it was Sosa. But I never recall hearing anything like that.
   31. Dylan Formerly in Phx Posted: February 01, 2005 at 10:34 PM (#1118620)
For some interesting Grace quotes after leaving the Cubs, check here and here
   32. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: February 01, 2005 at 10:42 PM (#1118650)
Nope. Palmeiro has never even played in a world series. Grace is a world champion and had the most hits in the 1990s!!!!

He's a hell of a contact man on the hit-and-run too!!!
   33. CFiJ Posted: February 01, 2005 at 10:48 PM (#1118672)
You know, it didn't surprise me when the parting with Grace was acrimonious, because as Bill James has said, such partings usually are. So I totally forgave his post-championship on-field jab. But, man, he's making it really hard for me to like him.

And I use to have such fond memories of seeing him play in the 2000 Tokyo Opener.
   34. Klobedanz Posted: February 01, 2005 at 10:53 PM (#1118696)
Well . there's this... http://www.sportslawnews.com/archive/Articles 2000/Sosacharity.htm

and this..
http://espn.go.com/mlb/news/2003/0606/1564235.html

and I've always wondered about this

http://dailytidings.com/2002/news0208/sports/national_pages-02.php

And he had feuds w/ both Riggleman and Baylor. And the sneezing thing. And showing up late for spring training every year.

but yeah, Grace is the bad guy.
   35. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: February 01, 2005 at 11:10 PM (#1118751)
So, Klobedanz, in a thread about whether Sosa ever bad-mouthed Grace, you bring up this unrelated crap.

He corked his bat. He served his suspension.

An uneducated athlete tries to give money to charity and the people running his foundation mismanage it. Oh! the humanity!

He got robbed in a hotel. The Pr!ck!!!

He never had a feud with Riggleman, and Baylor started his before he even met Sammy. How do you blame him for hurting his back on a sneeze. I've hurt mine tying my shoes. Bad backs suck!

Finally, he was never late for spring training. He just didn't come in early.

I've never met Sosa, and in person he may be the jerk of all time, but Mark Grace is the last guy I'd want going into battle with me.
   36. Robert S. Posted: February 01, 2005 at 11:14 PM (#1118766)
And you guys don't even have to hear this jackass every game. I'm counting the days until he leaves/retires/is eaten by a pack of wolves.
   37. jingoist Posted: February 01, 2005 at 11:14 PM (#1118768)
Urban Faber...I'm with you.
I'd never trade a guy who hit 128 HRs from 1990 -2000 and drove in 1145 RBIs in his career for a guy who hit 367 HRs over the same 11 years and drove in 1,775 and counting.
I want that other .011 points of BA. you get with Grace.
And as you say, Grace is a world champion and Raffy ain't!
   38. Adam M Posted: February 01, 2005 at 11:17 PM (#1118776)
Who's Mark Grace? Any relation to Topher Grace? "That 70s Show" is hilarious!
   39. J. Cross Posted: February 01, 2005 at 11:23 PM (#1118788)
He corked his bat. He served his suspension.

He HAD to serve his suspension. I not sure how that redeems the act. He's a cheater.

An uneducated athlete tries to give money to charity and the people running his foundation mismanage it. Oh! the humanity!

Was it someone in the foundation who was giving Sosa's sister free office space or do you think Sosa had something to do with it?

He got robbed in a hotel. The Pr!ck!!!

I'm not sure why this article was included but I'm guessint that the assumption is that the $20K was drug money. Is there another reason why you would have $20K in a plastic bag, wrapped in a towel? Maybe there is.

Anyway, Sosa is clearly a cheater. He corked his bat and, it sounds like, cheated his own charity. Chances are, he's on 'Roids as well. But, the fact that he's a douche bag doesn't make Mark Grace any better. It just makes me all the more glad that Sosa's not on the Mets.
   40. Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'. Posted: February 01, 2005 at 11:29 PM (#1118807)
I was one of the fooled. I never realized Grace was such a douche.
   41. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: February 01, 2005 at 11:43 PM (#1118842)
Wouldn't the Cubs have had a decent chance of winning a World Series a long time ago if they had kept Ralf Palermo and jettisoned Grace?

Seems unlikely unless they thought they were competitive enough at some point (b/c of the extra wins from Palmeiro over Grace) to make a big acquisition. But the 1990s were a very dead zone for the Cubs. They had a winning record in 1993 but were 13 games behind the Phillies and in 4th place at the end of the season -- hard to imagine this change would have fixed that (unless Maddux had remained in Chicago for 1993 instead of going to Atlanta because he thought the team had a better chance).

1998, maybe there's a better case, though at that point Grace was still a very serviceable player puting up OPS+ around 125 with good defense at first.

1989, Palmeiro hadn't yet hit his stride, so I don't think he would have been the thing that put them over the top of the Giants.

Now, if (as suggested) they'd kept Palmeiro and moved him to the OF, maybe. He replaces Henry Rodriguez in LF in 1998, though Henry had an OPS+ over 120 that year (so it's not like he was a black hole or anything).

There's a chance, but the Cub pitching was pretty awful throughout the 90s. Grace, Palmeiro -- neither was much help with that.
   42. Scott Lange Posted: February 02, 2005 at 12:55 AM (#1118970)
I'll admit I'm a huge Mark Grace fan, but is there some small chance the conventional wisdom here is a bit of an overreaction? Obviously Grace didnt' get along with Sosa. Judging from all the things that have happened in the last year or so, it doesnt seem he was the only one.

Regardless, who really cares? Is having a bit of a chip on your shoulder regarding a particular person really worth all the venom in this thread? The harshness is making the terrible things people say about poor Chris Truby look mild. Surely there are worse people in baseball we could complain about.
   43. Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'. Posted: February 02, 2005 at 12:59 AM (#1118980)
Scott, it's the vast discrepancy between perception and reality that people are addressing.

And if Grace gets a little of his in some corner of the internet, so be it. Better than in every major newspaper in the country like Sammy has been.
   44. WalkOffIBB Posted: February 02, 2005 at 01:03 AM (#1118994)
I'll admit I'm a huge Mark Grace fan, but is there some small chance the conventional wisdom here is a bit of an overreaction?

It is a classic case of Derek Jeter Syndrome - an overreaction to the deification of that player by the media.

Mark Grace is probably no worse than any other player. But if you listen/read the media, the guy has no faults, despite some obvious issues with class, unfounded accusations and phonieness. A recipe for these types of harsh comments.
   45. dcsmyth1 Posted: February 02, 2005 at 01:14 AM (#1119009)
Grace has never been regarded as any sort of jerk, other than when he is somewhat candid about Sosa. The truth is, Grace recognized Sosa for the a*shole that he is, long before it has become common knowledge. Probably Sammy started resenting Grace because he is white, handsome, charming, articulate---all those things Sammy is not. Sammy saw himself hitting 60 HR while Grace hit only 15, and figured that he should be 60/15, or 4 times as popular as Grace, and got PO'd when it didn't turn out that way.

Grace is probably not a "perfect" person, but there is no reason to think that is not basically a "good guy". There are a million reasons to think that Sam-Me is a "pr*ck.
   46. Jefferson Posted: February 02, 2005 at 01:17 AM (#1119013)
It is a classic case of Derek Jeter Syndrome - an overreaction to the deification of that player by the media.

It's probably just the cold meds, but at first glance I thought that was "defecation."
   47. WalkOffIBB Posted: February 02, 2005 at 01:23 AM (#1119021)
It's probably just the cold meds, but at first glance I thought that was "defecation."

I think that is a symptom of "Bonds' Syndrome."
   48. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 02, 2005 at 02:02 AM (#1119100)
klobedanz,

Just because I don't like Grace, doesn't mean I think much of Sosa. I'll couch my terms by saying he "seems like" a jerk, and has been accused of being self-centered, but I ultimately think he's a self-centered, arrogant phony. I also think Grace is one. When SamME's charitable foundation went bankrupt I filed that under my personal "least surprising stories of the year" deparment. Grace annoys me more because I think he gets a free ride when he pulls this stuff. Sosa gets nailed on it, but Grace is held up as a moral touchstone - if he don't like something, that means there a problem with something.

Grace has never been regarded as any sort of jerk, other than when he is somewhat candid about Sosa.

He's also came off like a prick with regard to Hee! Seop! Choi!. I can understand a player not liking being shoved aside for a younger player, but he didn't seem to handle that with any class at all. Plus he's been hammered here for his obnoxious look-at-me-ing broadcasting he did in the 9th inning of the Randy Johnson game. There's just something about him that makes me think he's exceedingly egocentric (by any standards) but hides it underneath a veneer of media-friendliness.

Am I overreacting? Could be, but to quote the movie "The Blues Brothers:" "Unneccessary bile to be used in the scorning of Mark Grace, has been approved."
   49. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 02, 2005 at 03:28 AM (#1119279)
I was going to dissect this, but Chris J already beat me to it. Suffice it to say that virtually every statement would be true if you substituted the name "Grace" every time you read the name "Sosa."

My favorite, though, was this chestnut:

*Sammy said I was a cancer in the clubhouse and a bad guy. That was unfair, and because he was so adored in Chicago, people believed him.

Yeah, that's right -- Sammy got Cub Nation against you. That's why you're still being interviewed years after leaving the team, why sportswriters and radio guys want your input, and why you can't go 50' at a Cubs game without seeing someone in a Grace jersey.

Prick. I'm glad now that I can show my Grace hatred in full force and have something else to point to when asked why I hate the guy.
   50. Alex_Lewis Posted: February 02, 2005 at 03:52 AM (#1119308)
Wow. He was just a baseball player, guys.
   51. Scott Lange Posted: February 02, 2005 at 04:06 AM (#1119324)
No kidding. Just a ballplayer who drew a lot of walks and took a stand against gay-bashing. You would think he'd be pretty popular around here, or at least not Primer Enemy #1.
   52. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 02, 2005 at 04:15 AM (#1119337)
Think Derek Jeter, particularly his affect on casual/semi-serious Yankee fans, especially females. Take away much of his talent and add the fact that he was a clubhouse gossip, backstabbing teammates to an all too eager media willing to keep their source confidential because of the juiciness of the gossip. Add that he continues to speak negatively about the franchise years after leaving.

Yeah, I can see why he's pretty popular around here.
   53. JAGuarinc Posted: February 02, 2005 at 06:03 AM (#1119475)
2001 was NOT going to be Choi's year. He'd only had what, 147 PA at AA by then? I do recall the scuttlebutt being that they didn't resign Grace because he was too old and expensive. So they grabbed Matt Stairs who had played a grand total of 16 games at 1B up until then. When he turned out not to be the answer they went and lusted after Fred McGriff with a glee that was unseemly, eventually getting him to waive his no-trade clause and at about double the salary it would have taken to retain Grace. Up until Grace left everyone sort of assumed he'd ease out of 1st as Choi moved in. Everyone's happy. But this is dah Cubs we're talking about.

Oh, and if that eager media kept their source confidential, how is it you know about it? Psychic powers? Special insider info? Demonic Numerology?

Of course he speaks negatively about the franchise, the final impression is usually the lasting one and his wasn't exactly balloons and confetti. This was the tale end of the Cubs management era that also caused Sandberg to quit because he was so miserable and couldn't resign Greg Maddux. None of this excuses his comments but it may help explain them.
   54. wealz Posted: February 02, 2005 at 06:50 AM (#1119543)
Grace is such a self-serving media hound. I remember, I think it was in 2000, when he wrote a letter to the editor in the Sun-Times where he "reminded" Mayor Daley that there was a team on the north side of the city.
   55. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: February 02, 2005 at 07:53 AM (#1119625)
Yeah, cause our Sox are always hogging all the attention in the city.
   56. dcsmyth1 Posted: February 02, 2005 at 11:25 AM (#1119810)
---"Sammy said I was a cancer in the clubhouse and a bad guy. That was unfair, and because he was so adored in Chicago, people believed him.

Yeah, that's right -- Sammy got Cub Nation against you."

It's true. Sammy ripped Grace upon Grace's leaving. To Sammy, Grace's leaving meant that Sammy had won--the Cubs were now 100% his team. Sosa is as transparent as Saran Wrap. He was jealous of Grace, for whatever (egocentric) reasons.
   57. CFiJ Posted: February 02, 2005 at 11:59 AM (#1119817)
It's true. Sammy ripped Grace upon Grace's leaving. To Sammy, Grace's leaving meant that Sammy had won--the Cubs were now 100% his team. Sosa is as transparent as Saran Wrap. He was jealous of Grace, for whatever (egocentric) reasons.

I call bullsh*t. After Grace left the only thing Sammy said was that the Cubs were his team. Both he and Grace put on a big show of being friendly with each other when the Cubs and D'Backs met in Spring Training. Sammy may be a phony, self-centered egomaniac, but one thing he didn't do is slag Grace in the media.

And if he did, he did a damn lousy job of it, since everytime Grace met the Cubs that season he got huge ovations from Cubs fans, frequently standing. That's what makes this so ridiculous. In the 2000 offseason the Cubs had two popular stars in the clubhouse who didn't like each other. One was young and in his prime, the other was old and declining. The writing was on the wall when Grace finished the season with a .280 average and 11 homers while Sosa finished with a .320 average and 50 homers. The Cubs knew which horse they were going to back and while I can understand Grace not liking it, to say that Sammy ran him out of town is just ridiculous.
   58. dcsmyth1 Posted: February 02, 2005 at 01:37 PM (#1119841)
___" to say that Sammy ran him out of town is just ridiculous."

That's not what I said. I said that after Grace left, Sosa called him a bad guy in the press. I live in Chicago, and pretty clearly recall that happening.
   59. Scott Lange Posted: February 02, 2005 at 02:22 PM (#1119861)
Following up on what JAGuarinc said, not only did they sign Matt Stairs but if memory serves they paid him the same money Grace took in Arizona. This after a season in which Stairs hit .227/.333/.414 and Grace went .280/.394/.429. Along with Grace's defensive superiority, its clear to me that Grace was the superior player. That was born out by their respective lines in 2001- Stairs hit .250/.358/.462 while Grace hit .298/.386/.466 (and yes, won a World Series.) Actually, the Cubs signed Ron Coomer to platoon with Stairs too, so the cost of replacing Grace was higher still (and had nothing to do with PT for Choi.)

I again admit I am biased, but Grace having hurt feelings over being pushed out for an inferior, equally expensive, and non lifetime-Cub just doesn't seem worthy of the war crime status it seems to carry with most folks in here.
   60. CFiJ Posted: February 02, 2005 at 02:38 PM (#1119875)
Following up on what JAGuarinc said, not only did they sign Matt Stairs but if memory serves they paid him the same money Grace took in Arizona. This after a season in which Stairs hit .227/.333/.414 and Grace went .280/.394/.429. Along with Grace's defensive superiority, its clear to me that Grace was the superior player. That was born out by their respective lines in 2001- Stairs hit .250/.358/.462 while Grace hit .298/.386/.466 (and yes, won a World Series.) Actually, the Cubs signed Ron Coomer to platoon with Stairs too, so the cost of replacing Grace was higher still (and had nothing to do with PT for Choi.)

Uh, Grace took a $2 million pay cut to play in Arizona. It's doubtful the Cubs could have resigned him for that little. Arbitration makes all the difference.
   61. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 02, 2005 at 02:45 PM (#1119881)
Following up on what JAGuarinc said, not only did they sign Matt Stairs but if memory serves they paid him the same money Grace took in Arizona.

The Cubs did not have the option of signing Grace for that amount. It would have been too much of a paycut.

This after a season in which Stairs hit .227/.333/.414 and Grace went .280/.394/.429. Along with Grace's defensive superiority, its clear to me that Grace was the superior player. That was born out by their respective lines in 2001- Stairs hit .250/.358/.462 while Grace hit .298/.386/.466 (and yes, won a World Series.) Actually, the Cubs signed Ron Coomer to platoon with Stairs too, so the cost of replacing Grace was higher still (and had nothing to do with PT for Choi.)

It probably had nothing to do with PT for Choi, except in the minds of Cubs prospect watchers, but it was more complicated than this. The Cubs had instability at several positions, particularly LF, 3B and 1B. In addition to Stairs, Coomer and Choi, the Cubs had Julio Zuleta and there was consideration even of playing Todd Hundley at 1B. I think with all of these pieces in place, none of them being a better option than Grace for 2001, mind you, Grace was seen as particularly unnecessary.

That, and there were likely clubhouse issues that played into it.

I again admit I am biased, but Grace having hurt feelings over being pushed out for an inferior, equally expensive, and non lifetime-Cub just doesn't seem worthy of the war crime status it seems to carry with most folks in here.

I think the point is that Grace still considers it war crime status. It's an open question as to why reporters still go to Grace for quotes about the Cubs, but I question even more why he answers. I think Grace should say "Why are you asking me? I haven't had anything to do with that team in five years" the next time he gets a phone call like this.
   62. Klobedanz Posted: February 02, 2005 at 02:45 PM (#1119882)
Look, alright Grace is a bit of a phony, and like 95% of the MLB has a huge ego. (Just look at Doug Mientkaplixum ######## about playing time and he's a very poor man's Grace). Grace is like a blended mixture of Schilling and Jeter. But Sammy is a gigantic phony, w/ all that preening for the cameras, the chest thumping and all the things I listed above. So I'll admit, I've disliked Sammy for a very long time. (Actually when he and McGwire were doing their thing, while awe-inspiring, I couldn't help but see that these were 2 of the biggest phonies in MLB, nice on the outside, pricks behind closed doors)

Plus, Grace introduced me to the concept of the "slumpbuster" - screwing a fat chick to break out of a slump. For that alone I like him.
   63. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 02, 2005 at 02:54 PM (#1119892)
Plus, Grace introduced me to the concept of the "slumpbuster" - screwing a fat chick to break out of a slump.

No word as to whether Carol Slezak is the fat chick.
   64. The Woody Allen of Gangsta Rap Posted: February 02, 2005 at 03:03 PM (#1119903)
"Plus, Grace introduced me to the concept of the "slumpbuster" - screwing a fat chick to break out of a slump."

I didn't know Ryne Sandberg's wife was fat.
   65. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 02, 2005 at 03:09 PM (#1119912)
Look, alright Grace is a bit of a phony, and like 95% of the MLB has a huge ego. (Just look at Doug Mientkaplixum ######## about playing time and he's a very poor man's Grace). Grace is like a blended mixture of Schilling and Jeter. But Sammy is a gigantic phony, w/ all that preening for the cameras, the chest thumping and all the things I listed above. So I'll admit, I've disliked Sammy for a very long time. (Actually when he and McGwire were doing their thing, while awe-inspiring, I couldn't help but see that these were 2 of the biggest phonies in MLB, nice on the outside, pricks behind closed doors)

I have no problem with this. I especially like the Schilling comparison.

I went overboard yesterday. To moderate my sentiments: I don't mind Sosa bashing. What really riles me up is Grace being treated as a moral touchstone by the media and many fans, and his abusing that status to engage in personal p1ssing matches with people over stuff he really should have gotten over a long time ago.

Plus, Grace introduced me to the concept of the "slumpbuster" - screwing a fat chick to break out of a slump.

No word as to whether Carol Slezak is the fat chick.

RDF, Andere, RDF!

This was the tale end of the Cubs management era that also caused Sandberg to quit because he was so miserable and couldn't resign Greg Maddux.

Aside from the fact that, IIRC, the Larry Himes era was over by the time Grace got booted, I have a problem with your characterization of Cubs' management. Yea he was unhappy with them, and he also had a rocky marriage where his wife was sleeping around on him, and it looked more and more certain that the league was heading into a labor shutdown, and he was suddenly getting old. The problems Ryne had with management weren't really much different from the problems 2-3 guys on nearly every team have with management. Himes, aside from one noteworthy trade with the South Side, was a terrible GM for the Cubs, but I wouldn't blame him for Sandberg's retirement.
   66. Klobedanz Posted: February 02, 2005 at 03:24 PM (#1119937)
Sandberg's wife was sleeping around on him? How did this bit of juicy info slip by me. Is there a story behind this, any more details?
   67. Klobedanz Posted: February 02, 2005 at 03:28 PM (#1119948)
Well, after a little web research it seems she could have been cheating w/ one, some, all or varied combinations of Raffy Palmiero, Dave Martinez and Rey Sanchez. Wow, just wow.
   68. dcsmyth1 Posted: February 02, 2005 at 03:37 PM (#1119960)
My hair stylist was also the stylist for an ex-Cub (whom I won't name). The guy told the stylist (who then told me) that it was Raffy.
   69. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: February 02, 2005 at 03:38 PM (#1119962)
The early 90s Anna Benson
   70. Scott Lange Posted: February 02, 2005 at 03:42 PM (#1119971)
The Cubs did not have the option of signing Grace for that amount. It would have been too much of a paycut.

You are restricted to a 10% paycut in arbitration, but why would it have needed to go to arbitration? Is there something that would have prevented the Cubs and Grace from agreeing on a 1-yr, $3M deal immediately after the 2000 season?

The Cubs had instability at several positions, particularly LF, 3B and 1B. In addition to Stairs, Coomer and Choi, the Cubs had Julio Zuleta and there was consideration even of playing Todd Hundley at 1B. I think with all of these pieces in place, none of them being a better option than Grace for 2001, mind you, Grace was seen as particularly unnecessary.

Stairs and Coomer weren't in place until the Cubs went out and got them. At the point they decided to cut Grace loose the alternatives were Choi and Zuleta. They don't seem to have thought Choi was ready in 2002 (probably correctly) and I don't think anyone ever thought Zuleta was a better alternative. Finally, we are only talking about $3M- many franchises, the Cubs included, hand out that kind of money for old times sake on a regular basis.

I can see arguements against resigning Grace, but I think it would have been the best move. Given that Grace probably viewed his case for the job more optimistically than even I, and that he had a personal vested interest in the matter, it seems pretty natural to me that he'd take it personally. Heck, I still bad mouth Winn-Dixie for not hiring me as a summer cashier in 1994.
   71. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 02, 2005 at 04:01 PM (#1120003)
Grace is like a blended mixture of Schilling and Jeter. But Sammy is a gigantic phony, w/ all that preening for the cameras, the chest thumping and all the things I listed above.

I don't think anyone really disagrees about Sosa. In fact, I think most of the relative joy in Cub Nation is because folks have seen through his act for years. He's a justifiably easy target.

But that's not the point. My point (and I believe the point of folks like Chris J), is that Grace has been the Cubs "golden boy" for years (decades?) and he is still idolized by the local media and by a significant part of Cub Nation even today, while being as phony as Sosa.

Worse, he is almost never called on for his cattiness. It would be more than a bit odd/irrelevant if the local media sought an interview with, say, Shawon Dunston or Joe Girardi; yet, not only does the media continue to seek Grace's thoughts, he willingly chips in to bash Sosa where someone like Dunston, Girardi, or Sandberg would turn the other cheek. Indeed, this is perhaps the reason they seek Grace out in the first place.
   72. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: February 02, 2005 at 04:08 PM (#1120016)
But that's not the point. My point (and I believe the point of folks like Chris J),

Yup. I concur with everything there. It's what I mean when I keep saying the media and fans treats him like a moral touchstone.
   73. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: February 02, 2005 at 04:12 PM (#1120022)
That's not what I said. I said that after Grace left, Sosa called him a bad guy in the press. I live in Chicago, and pretty clearly recall that happening.

Can you provide a link? I can't stand it when guys badmouth a teammate to the press. That is why I hate Grace. He did it constantly. I tend to give Sammy more slack than most because I can't remember him ever doing it. I live in Chicago, too, and if Sammy did say one thing after Grace left (and I don't think he did), it was only after seven years of Sammy-bashing from Grace.
   74. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 02, 2005 at 04:19 PM (#1120036)
You are restricted to a 10% paycut in arbitration, but why would it have needed to go to arbitration?

It's 20% -- teams are not permitted to offer less than what would be a 20% pay cut from the previous season or 30% from the past two seasons.

Is there something that would have prevented the Cubs and Grace from agreeing on a 1-yr, $3M deal immediately after the 2000 season?

Sure -- Grace's desire to get at least as much from the Cubs as he was entitled to get in arbitration. I don't remember if Grace made any specific salary demands (he may have), but the Cubs could not have offered him arbitration for fear that he might take it. The deadline for offering arbitration was December 7 and Grace signed with Arizona the next day.
   75. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 02, 2005 at 04:25 PM (#1120049)
I said that after Grace left, Sosa called him a bad guy in the press. I live in Chicago, and pretty clearly recall that happening.

I don't recall what Sosa said -- it is possible that he made a negative comment; I don't know. Still, even if he had, not only had Grace made several comments about Sosa in the past, but the media and Cub Nation were well in the pro-Grace/anti-Sosa camp by that point. It isn't like any comment by Sosa caused people to suddenly turn on Grace -- all the fans who continue to wear Grace jerseys will attest to that.
   76. DCA Posted: February 02, 2005 at 04:27 PM (#1120053)
Well, after a little web research it seems she could have been cheating w/ one, some, all or varied combinations of Raffy Palmiero, Dave Martinez and Rey Sanchez. Wow, just wow.

Is it just me, or would this have made a much better Viagra ad than "I take batting practice ..."

"When I was younger, just thinking of Ryno's wife was enough to get me going. These days I use Viagra to get the same effect."
   77. Scott Lange Posted: February 02, 2005 at 04:28 PM (#1120057)
But they weren't going to offer arbitration, so why would he have needed that amount? Or are you suggesting he was willing to take less from Arizona but not from the Cubs, even though he clearly seems to have wanted to stay with the Cubs?
   78. Hack Wilson Posted: February 02, 2005 at 04:30 PM (#1120058)
Jim Frey knew he had to do something. He had overheard Cindy Sandberg at a wives luncheon telling some of the other wives that Dave Martinez "wasn't as sticky as you'd think." Frey didn't know what that meant, but he knew it couldn't be a good thing.
Martinez was then traded
   79. Hack Wilson Posted: February 02, 2005 at 04:37 PM (#1120076)
I ran across this endorsement for chiropractic care,
Ryan Sandberg's wife Cindy explained, "He's had some awesome games after getting an adjustment. He was frequently adjusted before games."
While Ryno was getting adjusted, Cindy was apparently adjusting some of his teammates.
   80. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 02, 2005 at 04:43 PM (#1120094)
But they weren't going to offer arbitration, so why would he have needed that amount? Or are you suggesting he was willing to take less from Arizona but not from the Cubs, even though he clearly seems to have wanted to stay with the Cubs?

I'm saying that (a) I don't believe the Cubs could have offered him so little prior to 12/7, (b) even if they could, Grace would have been a fool to take it when he thought he could get more on the open market or through arbitration, and (c) after the Cubs refused to offer arbitration, Grace took the offer that came his way.

Added to the fact that at that time, the Cubs still had hopes that Choi would be MLB ready (and they would have been looking for Grace to be not much more than a veteran caddy/mentor), and it's easy to see why Grace wasn't too keen on the idea.
   81. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 02, 2005 at 04:45 PM (#1120098)
I'm saying that (a) I don't believe the Cubs could have offered him so little prior to 12/7, (b) even if they could, Grace would have been a fool to take it when he thought he could get more on the open market or through arbitration, and (c) after the Cubs refused to offer arbitration, Grace took the offer that came his way.

On these points, it's essentially the same as what we just went through with Alou (without the issue of a potential replacement in the wings, of course).
   82. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 02, 2005 at 04:51 PM (#1120111)
On these points, it's essentially the same as what we just went through with Alou (without the issue of a potential replacement in the wings, of course).

And I could see it all turning out exactly the same way this time.

The Cubs show their aging/disgruntled star the door, and amass a hodgepodge of various talents to replace him.

The hodgepodge doesn't really work out, but the team is in the race. The fans and media clamor increasingly for something to be done, culminating in a trade around the deadline.

So who will be this year's Fred McGriff?
   83. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: February 02, 2005 at 05:03 PM (#1120136)
So who will be this year's Fred McGriff?

Fred McGriff. Or if the Cubs can beat the Sox to it, Roberto Alomar.
   84. GregD Posted: February 02, 2005 at 05:07 PM (#1120141)
Whenever Sammy showed up for spring training, the year after Mark Grace was gone, Sammy said a few things about the team being better this year because everybody would be on the same page and there wouldn't be anybody in the clubhouse looking out for themselves and not the team. As I recall, he didn't say Mark Grace by name, but it was interpreted that way.

Grace went ballistic, told reporters that he couldn't believe SAmmy would say that after all the things Grace did to cover up for Sammy's bad behavior, etc.

As usual, Grace got mucho credit for not slamming his teammates...while slamming his teammates.

Sammy is stupid. I don't think the language barrier is a part of it; friends of mine who speak Spanish say he seems really dumb in his Spanish interviews, too. But Sammy, even in his popular days, got called out for his stupidity. Was never sharp enough to hide it.

But Grace is a master manipulator, and gets away with it.

To me, the difference is like that between Rick Santorum and Bill Frist. Santorum believes things that are absolutely abhorrent and frankly ignorant--especially the ludicrous intelligent design garbage. But Santorum actually believes them, I think. Frist clearly doesn't, but he's glad to pander to the intelligent design people at every opportunity, even knowing that it's garbage. Ethically, to me, there's no contest between the two.
   85. Spahn Insane Posted: February 02, 2005 at 05:10 PM (#1120149)
Or if the Cubs can beat the Sox to it, Roberto Alomar.

If there's one thing having Walker, Hairston, Perez and Macias all on the roster at once should be good for, it's avoiding the temptation to get Alomar.
   86. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 02, 2005 at 05:17 PM (#1120163)
Next Fred McGriff:

Carl Everett
   87. Scott Lange Posted: February 02, 2005 at 05:17 PM (#1120164)
I'm saying that (a) I don't believe the Cubs could have offered him so little prior to 12/7,

By the rules? My understanding at the moment (subject to change if someone clues me in) is the two can agree on whatever they want, its just the arbitrator who is restricted to 20% or 30% over the prior two years.

(b) even if they could, Grace would have been a fool to take it when he thought he could get more on the open market or through arbitration,
If he really thought he could get more, why did he quickly agree to sign for $3M after less than 24 hours of testing the market?
   88. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 02, 2005 at 05:25 PM (#1120185)
Probably Sammy started resenting Grace because he is white, handsome, charming, articulate---all those things Sammy is not.

I would just like to say that this is one of the most absurd things I have ever read.
   89. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 02, 2005 at 06:24 PM (#1120360)
By the rules? My understanding at the moment (subject to change if someone clues me in) is the two can agree on whatever they want, its just the arbitrator who is restricted to 20% or 30% over the prior two years.

The rules do not say what the parties may agree to prior to December 7. They only say that (a) in arbitration, the club may not submit an offer that is more than 20% less than what the player made last season (or more than 30% less than what he made two seasons ago), and (b) the same is true when renewing a player's contract (i.e., before the player has FA rights).

Saying that the arbitration panel cannot award less than a certain amount is true, but imprecise -- the truth is that the Cubs cannot put a lower amount on the table in the first place and that the arbitration panel has to look at the club's offer and player's demand as an either/or (i.e., the panel cannot come up with a different number on their own).

Getting back to Grace, I admit that the rules do not cover the exact scenario you describe. If Grace came to the Cubs on October 1 and offered to take a deal for $3mm, I don't think there is a rule preventing the Cubs from taking the deal. Grace didn't make that offer, however (at least, no one is saying he did). Even if he was thinking about it, however, the Players' Association would have surely lobbied Grace not to do it.

At the same time, no one is saying the Cubs made that offer either. Even if they had, Grace didn't take it and has never said he *would* take it, given the fact that the Cubs still had designs on Choi getting significant playing time the next season. Instead, on December 8, Grace immediately signed with the Diamondbacks and has badmouthed the Cubs ever since.


If he really thought he could get more, why did he quickly agree to sign for $3M after less than 24 hours of testing the market?

Point taken. Nevertheless, see my paragraph above, plus consider that Grace was leaving a 65-win last place team for an 85-win team with Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, playing closer to his hometown.
   90. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 02, 2005 at 06:26 PM (#1120367)
Question: Am I correct in thinking/assuming that the Cubs didn't offer Grace arbitration?

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