Tagged: Mike Fontenot

2/3 Where were you …

… on Feb. 2, 2005? That’s the day the Cubs traded Sammy Sosa and his 574 career homers to the Orioles in exchange for Mike Fontenot, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Dave Crouthers. Chicago also signed free agent Jeromy Burnitz to a one-year, $4.5 million contract, part of the never-ending search for left-handed power. “Obviously, it’s a historic day,” Cubs GM Jim Hendry said at the time of the deal. “Everybody feels like it was the right thing to do.” Sosa hit 14 homers and drove in 45 runs in 102 games in his only season with the Orioles. He played with the Rangers in 2007 before retiring.

What about the others? Hairston batted .261 in 114 games with the Cubs in 2005, Fontenot spent that year in the Minors, getting called up for seven games in April-May. Crouthers never made it to the big leagues but retired in Spring Training in ’05. In a September 2005 interview with “Inside the Ivy,” he said he left the game because of anxiety issues. Crouthers credited the Cubs staff, particularly pitching coach Larry Rothschild and Hendry, for being supportive. “My decision really had nothing to do with the Cubs or being traded,” he said. “It just got to the point where I didn’t feel like I could compete.” He re-enrolled at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

Burnitz hit 24 homers and drove in 87 in 160 games with the Cubs, batting .258 with a .435 slugging percentage. He played one more season with the Pirates in ’06 before retiring.

— Carrie Muskat

11/4 Theriot golf event Nov. 12

Fans of Ryan Theriot can play a little golf and help a good cause. Theriot is hosting his first annual celebrity golf classic on Nov. 12 at the Carter Plantation in Springfield, La. The former Cubs infielder is holding the event to benefit the National Wildlife Federation’s Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Fund, the Autism Society of America Greater Baton Rouge Chapter, and Fore! Kids Foundation.
Several athletes and celebrities will join Theriot, including his former Cubs teammate and new World Series champion Mike Fontenot of the Giants. The event will feature a special musical performance by country music star and Lafayette, La., resident Sammy Kershaw. There will be a silent auction featuring jerseys signed by New Orleans Saints players, New Orleans Hornets team-signed ball and more. Sponsorships and foursomes are still available. Go to ryantheriot.com for info.

— Carrie Muskat

9/23 Extra bases

Some tidbits from Thursday’s 13-0 loss to the Giants:

* The nine runs allowed by the Cubs in the second were the most in a frame since yielding 12 in the eighth July 30 at Colorado.

* Ryan Dempster hit Jose Guillen twice in the second. He’s the second Cubs pitcher to hit two batters in one inning this year. Andrew Cashner also hit two batters in the seventh on July 27 in Houston.

* Juan Uribe’s six RBIs in the second were the most for any player since the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez plated seven in the sixth inning October 4, 2009 at Tampa Bay. It’s the most RBI by a player in one inning at Wrigley Field since Andre Dawson drove in six as an Expo Sept. 24, 1985.

* Dempster was charged with a season-high nine runs on seven hits. The nine runs are the most off the right-hander since he gave up nine May 22, 2003, vs. Atlanta. His 1 2/3 innings was his shortest start since 1 1/3 innings on April 30, 2003, in Colorado. It’s only the fourth time in his career he pitched 1 2/3 innings or fewer as a starter.

* Starlin Castro (2-for-4) recorded his 37th multi-hit affair. He’s the 12th Cubs rookie to accomplish the feat and the first since Kosuke Fukudome had 39 in 2008.

* The Cubs served up four homers for the sixth time this season, the most for the club since doing it 12 times in 2006.

* In his first trip back to Wrigley, Mike Fontenot went 2-for-6 with two runs and a double.

* This was the Giants’ largest margin of victory over the Cubs since a 16-3 win Sept. 3, 1963, in San Francisco.

9/14 Ryan Theriot golf tourney

Attention all Ryan Theriot fans: The infielder is hosting a celebrity golf tournament Nov. 12 and proceeds will benefit the National Wildlife Federation’s efforts in the Gulf Oil Spill. Theriot raised more than $22,000 in July with a mystery ball auction at Wrigley Field for the same cause. The golf event will be held at The Carter Plantation in Springfield, La. Among the athletes who will participate are Mike Fontenot, Jake Peavy and A.J. Pierzynski.

— Carrie Muskat

8/11 Trade trivia

Think it’s a little weird for Mike Fontenot to be traded from the Cubs to the Giants when both teams are playing each other? The Giants actually have acquired players twice before from teams during series. On July 20, 2008, San Francisco acquired Ray Durham from Milwaukee when the Giants were playing the Brewers. On July 29, 2009, San Francisco dealt for Freddy Sanchez from Pittsburgh when the Giants were playing the Pirates.

— Carrie Muskat

8/11 UPDATED Lineup & Ramirez

No Mike Fontenot OR Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez was scratched because of a sore left rib cage. Fontenot, on the other hand, will be wearing No. 14 for the Giants on Wednesday after being dealt there for a Minor League outfielder. But the game does mark Welington Castillo’s Major League debut.

Here’s the lineup:

RF Colvin
SS Castro
1B Nady
CF Byrd
LF Soriano
3B Baker
2B DeWitt
C Castillo
P Gorzelanny

— Carrie Muskat

8/11 Cubs deal Fontenot to Giants

All Mike Fontenot had to do Wednesday was pack up his gear and walk from the visitor’s clubhouse to the home clubhouse. The Cubs dealt the infielder to the Giants about two hours before the two teams met in the third game of a four-game series for Minor League outfielder Evan Crawford. The Giants placed Edgar Renteria on the disabled list prior to Wednesday’s game.

Cubs assistant general manager Randy Bush said talks began before the trade deadline. General manager Jim Hendry was in Minneapolis Wednesday and completed the deal with Giants general manager Brian Sabean there.

The Cubs so far have dealt infielder Ryan Theriot and pitcher Ted Lilly to the Dodgers on July 31 and now Fontenot.

“It’s hard to say if it will be the last move,” Bush said.

Fontenot, who was the Cubs’ Opening Day second baseman, was batting .284 with one home runs and 20 RBIs in 95 games but his playing time had been reduced since early May. At that time, the Cubs called up Starlin Castro from the Minors and inserted him at shortstop, moving Theriot to second. Fontenot was out of a job.

“It’s strange, being in the same town that you’re traded to,” Fontenot said. “I was telling someone I was trying to decide if I was going to workout or get a bite to eat and I was called into the office and told I was being traded.”

Some players joked they were going to throw Fontenot in one of the laundry hampers and wheel him down the hallway to the Giants’ clubhouse.

The Cubs will call up infielder Darwin Barney from Triple-A Iowa to take Fontenot’s spot on the roster.

Fontenot picks up a few games in the standings.

“I’ll do my best to help them,” he said of the Giants.

He kept a good outlook despite losing his starting job.

“It’s been tough in that aspect but as far as my performance, I’ve been pretty happy,” Fontenot said. “There have been times when I would have liked to get out there and play more. Things didn’t go the way we wanted to early in the season. In the end, I felt pretty good this year.”

Crawford, 22, was selected by the Giants in the ninth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He was batting .255 with 12 doubles, 12 triples, four home runs and 24 stolen bases for Class A Augusta.

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Fontenot starts, but how long?

Mike Fontenot’s best friend and college teammate, Ryan Theriot, was traded on Saturday to the Dodgers. It was a weird day in the Cubs clubhouse as Theriot said goodbye.

“We’ve been together for a long time and I’ve known him for a long time,” Fontenot said. “I’ve been there where I’ve been traded before. It’s something different. Hopefully it’ll bring out the best in both of us.”

However, the Cubs acquired Blake DeWitt in the deal. Fontenot lost playing time when Theriot moved from second to short to make room for rookie Starlin Castro. Now, there will be someone new on the Cubs for him to compete with as far as playing time.
“Blake’s a good ballplayer,” Fontenot said. “We’ll be glad to have him.”

Saturday was Fontenot’s first start since July 9.

“I’m glad to get a chance to get in there,” he said. “I just come to the ballpark every day and try to do some stuff.”

Cubs GM Jim Hendry has said they now are evaluating players for next season.

“I feel I’ve done a good job every time I’ve been in there,” Fontenot said. “Some things you can’t control but I try to play hard every time I’m in there.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/3 Extra bases & Soto

Geovany Soto notched his first multi-RBI game since June 9 with a two-run double in the sixth of the Cubs’ 3-1 win over the Reds. Soto had missed chances — along with his teammates — earlier in the game. He came up in the second with a runner at second, and in the third with the bases loaded. There were two on in the fifth in his third at-bat.

“Every time you get guys in scoring position, you try your best to get them in,” Soto said. “Everytime you don’t do it, it’s like, ‘Here we go again.’ Trust me, we’re doing our best out there. Sometimes that’s the way it goes. Luckily, today was a good day for us.”

Soto now is 2-for-4 with the bases loaded this season.

Some encouraging signs:

* Derrek Lee ended a 0-for-13 skid with a double in the first.

* Starlin Castro drew a career-high three walks. He also had a single.

* Mike Fontenot has hit safely in his last five home games and is leading the team with a .333 average at Wrigley.

* Marlon Byrd collected his 31st multi-hit game and first since June 23. Sixteen of those multi-hit games have come at Wrigley. He had 39 multi-hit games in all of 2009 with Texas.

— Carrie Muskat