Roch Around the Clock


December 29, 2005|By ROCH KUBATKO

I've seen so many rumored three-way trade proposals involving the Orioles, Cubs and a third team, I've actually lost count. But I'll never again discount any rumor involving the Cubs after being burned by the Sammy Sosa deal last winter.

One Orioles official kept denying any interest in Sosa and sounded agitated that he had to address the subject on a daily basis.

"So I should keep shooting down the rumor?" I asked one day.

"Shoot it down with the biggest bullet you have!" he responded.

I kept hearing that the trade might happen, that the two sides were talking. I kept getting phone calls from Chicago radio stations and once went on the air to dispute it, relying on information coming from the warehouse. I phoned the same team official one day, offering to let him shoot down the rumor on the record. Pull the trigger yourself.

"Do you want to address it in the paper and stop all this nonsense?" I asked.

"I don't discuss trades," he responded.

Oops. Something changed real quick. Something like Carlos Delgado signing with the Marlins and the Orioles becoming more desperate to make a move, any move, that would add a run-producer to the lineup and appease fans. And the Cubs obliged by taking on enough of Sosa's bloated contract. At least, that's how I interpreted it.

Needless to say, I screened my next call from that Chicago radio station.

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