Everybody knows this, but when the Pirates traded Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton to the Cubs prior to the trading deadline for Jose Hernandez, Bobby Hill and minor league pitcher Matt Bruback, it clearly signaled that the team was unwilling to pay the young talent it had developed. It was an ugly deal for the Pirates and it helped the Cubs immensely. I just found out it is much worse than I thought.
My buddy Alan is a devotee of all things Cubs. He recently purchased the film Chasing October. It is a documentary/comedy about a Cubs fan who believes it is his mission in life to help the Cubs win the World Series. He began filming this in 2003. I’ll let Alan describe how the Ramirez trade is portrayed in this movie in his own words:
The fan becomes convinced that the Cubs NEED Kenny Lofton after Corey Patterson is lost for the season at the All-Star break. He loves Lofton and wants to see him in CF at Wrigley. There is a scene of him asking Kenny (still with the Bucs) to see if he could get himself traded somehow. (Somehow this guy got press credentials and interviews alot of the players.) Lofton just laughs and blows him off. So, this guy goes to his favorite Chicago Pizzeria (which he states that his 3 favorite things in the world are the Cubs, his girlfriend, and this pizzeria’s pies) and asks them if they ship pies. They respond that they will ship to anywhere in the US. He then gives the Pizzeria his credit card number and instucts them to send 4 large pies once a week to Dave Littlefield at the Pirates Headquarters (along with a note begging for him to send Lofton to the Cubs). He says that the pizza is irresistable and Lofton will be a Cub in no time. Well, it is not too much longer after this takes place and we know what happened. There is a scene when the trade is made and our hero is celebrating and says, “They also sent us a new 3rd baseman.” So there you go, one of the most famous trades (or infamous for you) trades was actually orchestrated by a fan, a pizzeria, and Littlefield’s appetite. It is a pretty funny scene, as the fan takes full responsibility for the trade getting done. Good stuff.
How low does a franchise have to be in order to be openly mocked by a Cubs fan? I think that is a rhetorical question. I would love to have access to Littlefield so I could ask him about this.