Crosstown crossovers in the last 15 years

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Crosstown crossovers in the last 15 years

When Kosuke Fukudome appears in his first game for the White Sox in 2012, he'll become the 17th player to play for both the Cubs and White Sox since interleague play began in 1997. The other players on the list range from obvious to forgotten to completely random.

My criteria for doing this is simple: The player had to play on both the Cubs and White Sox from 1997 on. That means Sammy Sosa (White Sox 1989-1991, Cubs 1992-2004), Kevin Tapani (White Sox 1996, Cubs 1997-2001) and Tanyon Sturtze (Cubs 1995-1996, White Sox 2000) didn't make the cut, among others.

Without further ado, let's go to the list:

Will Ohman: Cubs 2000-2001, 2005-2007, White Sox 2011
With the Cubs: Ohman threw 160 innings, the most with any team, and posted a 4.33 ERA.
With the White Sox: Entering the second season of a two-year, 4 million deal, Ohman will be Robin Ventura's primary left-handed reliever in late-game situations if Matt Thornton closes.

Juan Pierre: Cubs 2006, White Sox 2010-2011
With the Cubs: Pierre led the National League in hits, at-bats and caught stealings.
With the White Sox: Pierre had a good 2010, but struggled in 2011. Led the AL in caught stealings in both years.

Bob Howry: White Sox 1998-2002, Cubs 2006-2008, 2010
With the Cubs: Was torched in 2008 after two solid years in 2006 and 2007; infamously had a fan run up to him in the ninth inning of a game Howry blew in 2007.
With the White Sox: Came over from San Francisco as part of the 1997 White Flag trade, was a key part of the 2000 AL Central champion's bullpen.

David Aardsma: Cubs 2006, White Sox 2007
With the Cubs: Had a 4.08 ERA, but allowed nine home runs in 54 innings.
With the White Sox: Started out great, but fizzled along with the rest of the bullpen and finished the year with a 6.40 ERA.

Neal Cotts: White Sox 2003-2006, Cubs 2007-2009
With the Cubs: Ran into injury issues, saw some effectiveness in 2008 but was out of baseball with a 7.36 ERA in 2009.
With the White Sox: Was dominant as the team's go-to lefty during the 2005 World Series run.

Aaron Miles: White Sox 2003, Cubs 2009
With the Cubs: Following a career year in St. Louis, Miles hit .185 with the Cubs in his worst season as a pro.
With the White Sox: Had some promising OBP numbers in the minor leagues, got 12 at-bats in the majors in 2003 and was shipped to Colorado for Juan Uribe that winter.

Scott Eyre: White Sox 1997-2000, Cubs 2006-2008
With the Cubs: Had a 4.03 ERA in three years. But let's use this time to point out that he received an MVP vote in 2005 with the Giants.
With the White Sox: Struggled as both a starter and reliever, compiling a 5.66 ERA. Came into his own as a pitcher after being dealt to Toronto following the 2000 season.

Ross Gload: Cubs 2000, White Sox 2004-2006
With the Cubs: Played in 17 games as a September call-up and hit his first career home run on the fourth of the month against the Rockies.
With the White Sox: Finished seventh in the 2004 Rookie of the Year voting and was a fantastic backup to Paul Konerko in 2004 and 2006, posting on-base percentages of .375 and .354, respectively.

Kenny Lofton: White Sox 2002, Cubs 2003
With the Cubs: Was a part of one of Jim Hendry's greatest coups as a GM as he came to Chicago along with Aramis Ramirez from Pittsburgh in a deal that centered around Bobby Hill. His .381 OBP was huge for the Cubs during their NLCS run.
With the White Sox: Played a solid 96 games before he was sent to San Francisco before the trade deadline.

Josh Paul: White Sox 1999-2003, Cubs 2003
With the Cubs: Signed on July 4 after being released by the White Sox, the Buffalo Grove native went hitless in seven plate appearances.
With the White Sox: Before Doug Eddings ruled he didn't catch Kelvim Escobar's offering in the 2005 ALCS, Paul was a fairly dependable backup for the Sox in 2001 and 2002.

Tom Gordon: Cubs 2001-2002, White Sox 2003
With the Cubs: Was effective when healthy, saved 27 games in 2001. Was traded to Houston before the deadline in 2002.
With the White Sox: After Billy Koch tanked, Gordon helped hold the Sox bullpen together, saving 12 games with a 3.16 ERA.

Jason Bere: White Sox 1993-1998, Cubs 2001-2002
With the Cubs: Pitched his last full season in the majors in 2001, starting 32 games with a 4.31 ERA.
With the White Sox: As a rookie, started 24 games with a 3.47 ERA for the Western Division champs, then followed that up with a 3.81 ERA in 24 starts the next year. Completely fell off in 1995, then ran into elbow problems before joining Cincinnati in 1998.

Robert Machado: White Sox 1996-1998, Cubs 2001-2002
With the Cubs: Appeared in 74 games while backing up Todd Hundley and Joe Girardi.
With the White Sox: Spent most of his time with the Sox in 1998 after joining the big-league club in late July.

Darren Lewis: White Sox 1996-1997, Cubs 2002
With the Cubs: Finished out his 13-year career by serving in a backup role, still managed to post a .326 OBP in 58 games.
With the White Sox: Was decent for a back-of-the-lineup hitter in 1996; traded to Los Angeles in 1997 for Chad Fonville.

Matt Karchner: White Sox 1995-1998, Cubs 1998-2000
With the Cubs: Wasn't worth trading Jon Garland.
With the White Sox: Was worth trading for Jon Garland.

Larry Casian: Cubs 1995-1997, White Sox 1998
With the Cubs: Was extremely successful in limited time in 1995 and 1996, struggled in 1997 and was claimed off waivers by the Royals.
With the White Sox: Appeared in four games, throwing four innings and giving up five runs to close out his career.

Jason Heyward surprised Cubs fans didn’t boo Rajai Davis more

Jason Heyward surprised Cubs fans didn’t boo Rajai Davis more

MESA, Ariz. – The Cactus League crowds are different than the ones packed into Wrigley Field. It was only a meaningless split-squad game on a Saturday afternoon in the Arizona sunshine. Finally winning the World Series must have somewhat dulled the edge.

But Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward still thought Rajai Davis would hear it from the sellout crowd of 14,929 at Sloan Park, the what-could-have-been anxiety bubbling up when seeing the Oakland A's leadoff guy who nearly changed the course of baseball history.

"I was surprised he didn't get booed more, but that's just how our fans are," Heyward said. "They're fun like that. They have fun with the game. They acknowledge it. That's pretty cool for Cubs fans to boo you. If anybody boos you from last year, that's kind of an honor, I would say. To be on that side of things, it means you did something great."

As Alfonso Soriano liked to say, they don't boo nobodies. With one big swing, Davis almost unleashed a miserable winter for the Cubs and ended the Cleveland Indians' 68-year drought.

Manager Joe Maddon kept pushing closer Aroldis Chapman, who fired 97 pitches in Games 5, 6, and 7 combined. Davis timed seven straight fastballs in the eighth inning – the last one at 97.1 mph – and drove a Game 7-tying two-run homer just inside the foul pole and onto the left-field patio. In a now-famous rain-delay speech, Heyward gathered his teammates in a Progressive Field weight room as the Cubs regained their composure.

"They booed him, but only the first at-bat," Heyward said. "The second at-bat and the third, I was like: ‘Eh, they kind of just let him off the hook.' They let him be."

The fans who stuck around until the end got to hear "Go Cubs Go" after a 4-3 win. Davis parlayed that big moment into a one-year, $6 million contract with the A's. The Cubs will see the Indians again on Sunday afternoon in Mesa.

"As players, we're all onto the season and enjoying this ride and a new journey," said Heyward, who went 0-for-3 with an RBI as he worked on his new swing. "All the teams that we played in the playoffs are obviously out here in spring training, so it's just really fun and it's good for the makeup of your team when you compete that way.

"You're thrown right back into the fire when you talk about the competition and remembering things that happened in the postseason. But we don't dwell on it too much."

Cubs envisioning ‘hybrid' roles for Mike Montgomery and Brett Anderson

Cubs envisioning ‘hybrid' roles for Mike Montgomery and Brett Anderson

MESA, Ariz. – The Cubs believe Mike Montgomery will be so much more than just the answer to a trivia question or a cameo appearance in the highlight film.

The symmetry became impossible to miss on Saturday at Sloan Park, where the Cubs put the World Series trophy on display behind home plate and set off fireworks at 1:06 p.m. Three minutes later, the guy who threw the last pitch of 2016 threw the first pitch 2017 pitch in Mesa.

That it came against Rajai Davis added to the moment. Scattered boos greeted Davis when the Oakland A's leadoff guy walked toward the batter's box, a reminder of how he almost turned a dream season into a nightmare when he slammed Aroldis Chapman's 97.1 mph fastball onto Progressive Field's left-field patio just inside the foul pole for a Game 7-tying two-run homer for the Cleveland Indians.

A year that began with Montgomery thinking he might be playing in Japan ended in that mosh pit. A lefty who had been viewed as a low-leverage swingman for the Seattle Mariners notched the final out of the World Series for a franchise that hadn't won one since 1908.

"Be ready for anything," Montgomery said when asked about the "hybrid" job description manager Joe Maddon laid out for him and Brett Anderson, the other lefty in the mix for the fifth-starter job.

"The big thing with both of them (is) neither one has really been stretched out anywhere close to 200 innings over the last couple years," Maddon said before a 4-3 split-squad win over Oakland. "So we're thinking it's almost like a hybrid moment. Maybe fold one back into the bullpen while the other one starts. And vice versa. Or just jump a sixth guy in there now and then to keep the other guys from being overworked too early.

"It's in theory right now. We haven't actually laid it down on paper. We feel pretty fortunate. If everybody stays healthy, you got six guys that you like right there. It's hard for anybody to say that. That's the point. These guys have not been really satisfactorily stretched out over the last couple years.

"How do we keep them both active and helping us? That's going to be our challenge early and through the beginning part of the season."

Anderson (29) is older and more experienced and working on a one-year, $3.5 million deal that could max out at $10 million if he rips off the injury-prone label and makes 29 starts. Montgomery (27) is the more raw talent (23 career big-league starts) the Cubs now control through the 2021 season.

"There's a lot of different possibilities that they could go with," Montgomery said. "For me, it's just continuing to build up my arm strength and getting my timing down, my mechanics down and that way I'm ready to go and do whatever it is that they need me to."

Pitching in front of 14,929 and an All-Star infield, Montgomery walked Davis and Matt Joyce and notched two strikeouts in a scoreless first inning. Montgomery felt the adrenaline rush, but nothing in Arizona can compare to the 10th inning of a Game 7.

"The sky's the limit," Maddon said. "He's like a 10-plus game winner on an annual basis as a starter. I think he definitely has that within his abilities. I've told him that (winning) 10 to 15 games is within his abilities, no doubt. That comes with fastball command and then knowing what to do with his breaking pitches. He's got really high-quality stuff.

"I'd like to think that moment will increase his confidence. But then again, it's a new year. And you have to go out there and pitch."