After the Cubs began this season with a couple of injuries, the pitching staff quickly became a parade of live tryouts for pitchers with either too little (Chris Carpenter) or too much (Doug Davis) experience. The Cubs felt like they found a balance when they traded for mediocre journeyman Rodrigo Lopez in May. The problem is that nobody — including beat writers who cover the team on a daily basis — can remember who he is or where he came from.
“Look, I’m getting tired of doing these post-game press conferences and the first thing you all ask me is ‘Who are you?’ or ‘What are you doing here?’” said Lopez after Monday’s game. “I’ve been on your team for two months. I just beat the damn Phillies. You don’t remember all my years in Baltimore?”
Coach Mike Quade attempted to sub Lopez in as a defensive replacement in left field during his first game with the Cubs. The confusion has only mounted: Quade admitted that the only reason he left the pitcher in the game on Monday is because he thought he’d already called for a righty reliever to start the seventh inning.
“Well, I, uh … who were we discussing again?” asked Quade. “To be quite honest, the pitching was so middle-of-the-road I figured it was just Demp having an off-day out there. Or Wellsy. I dunno. I think I may have closed my eyes for a few innings.”
Winning a few wholly unmemorable games here and there seems to be the story of Lopez’ career.
“I won 14 and 15 games in 2004 and 2005, respectively!” said Lopez to a still-clueless room of reporters. “All those innings I ate in Arizona, Philadelphia and Colorado for the past three seasons? Nothing? You guys suck.”
By Dan Bradley