Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood are professional relief pitchers who right now are entrusted with protecting leads and securing victories. They currently occupy roles many people say they are not carrying out.
Just a little over a decade ago, in the same Friendly Confines, another relief pitcher named Rick Aguilera was also accused of holding a job he did not deserve. He spent the last year of his contract fighting for his own baseball life. Rick was not resigned after public pressure in the Friendly Confines forced the front office to take action - and the same day the front office spoke out, Rick was free.
Now Rick is fighting to free Carlos and Kerry from the same fate he faced. Rick knows from experience - like no one else - the stakes that Carlos and Kerry face in a depleted bullpen. He hopes a similar public outcry can help set Carlos and Kerry free. Rick started a petition, with the help of COCCS (Coalition of Concerned Cubs Supporters), on SBNChicagoChange.org asking the Cubs front office to pressure Dale Sveum into relieving them of their duties.*
* - COCCS, protecting the interests of Cubs fans since 1909, is open to negotiating the severity of said changes. Mainly, they'd be content with a reduction in beer costs.
Click here to add your name to Rick's petition to set Carlos and Kerry free.
Carlos came to the Cubs organization as a catcher from the Dominican Republic. He fell in love with the city of Chicago, signed a 3-year 20 million dollar contract last offseason, and stayed there to build his baseball future.
Kerry hosts the hottest bowling charity event in town. For the last seven years, his Strike Zone Celebrity Bowling Tournament has provided endless fun for Chicagoans looking to "strike up" a conversation with their favorite Cub and help support a good cause at the same time. Kerry's contributions to the community, as well as his mid-to-high-90s fastball, have made him one of the most beloved Cub players in franchise history. Even he acknowledges his current role as set-up man is due mostly to reputation. He says he doesn't belong in a prominent role - and so do former math nerds turned Internet bloggers who say he doesn't, including Reginald Harris III, a former number cruncher who studied relief pitchers like Mariano Rivera. And he knows that neither Kerry Wood nor Carlos Marmol are Mariano Rivera.
The crimes that Carlos and Kerry are convicted of - squandering leads, lack of command, drop in pitch velocity - were unanimously agreed upon by attendees of the first two Cubs games of the 2012 season. During Carlos and Kerry's trial, prosecutors presented loads of statistical evidence confirming their guilt.
It didn't matter, Rick says: in a quick, closed-door meeting, the Cubs front office determined they did not possess the proper personnel to make a change. Carlos and Kerry are doing everything they can to get out of their current roles, and Rick Aguilera is helping them make that happen.
What Carlos and Kerry need now, says Rick, is a huge outcry to force action by Dale Sveum and his staff to help relieve Carlos and Kerry of their duties. Click here to sign Rick's petition to free Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood from the back-end of the bullpen.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
Joe and the SBNChicagoChange.org team