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Lack of Due Process
2003-04-22 08:50
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

In the Chicago Tribune today, Paul Sullivan calls the Cubs' acquisition of Mark Grudzielanek from the Dodgers "the early-season favorite for steal of the year."

He doesn't compare it straight-up to Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio, but he does use that all-time steal as a scene-setter for his story, which is saying something.

I think Sullivan knows that Grudzielanek won't necessarily finish the season batting .347 and tied for the league lead in runs scored, and he is correct in implying that the Cubs would have taken two brooms and a mop-to-be-named-later for Todd Hundley, much less someone who would spark the Cubs into first place at the start of the season. But even looking at the long term, Sullivan does very little to mitigate his enthusiasm for the trade that sent Grudzielanek and Eric Karros to the Dodgers for Hundley:

"Grudzielanek, who turns 33 on June 30, becomes a free agent after the season. If he continues to spark the lineup and Hill doesn't progress in Iowa, Hendry will have to make an important decision on the team's immediate future."

Isn't it a little soon to go into this kind of speculation, even for speculation's sake? The court of baseball requires a bit more than a three-week trial to determine whether a steal has been committed.

I will tip my cap to Grudzielanek, though. Though few expected anything of him, he has if nothing else come out strong in Chicago.

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