Archive for October, 2005
When Rick Monday rescued that American flag in Dodger Stadium many years ago, he was a Cub at the time. Not long after that he was wearing Dodger Blue. He had to. He was a hero.
Everyone knows by now of the heroic exploits of Nomar and his uncle in saving the lives of two women in Boston Harbor. It has been well documented. But no one has surmised what this means for Nomar’s future. The free-agent is a beloved icon in Beantown already. Might this incident be the lynchpin to get him back in the organization? Especially since Edgar Renteria didn’t exactly live up to expectations.
What do ya think?
Yeah, I’m still here. I was trying regain my sanity, by not thinking about the Cubs for a while. But of course, they’ve decided to goad me into ripping them again, this time by announcing that Dusty Baker’s entire coaching staff will return for 2006. The team that was 28th in the league in walks is keeping its hitting instructor. The team thats “great” pitching seems to be regressing before our eyes (15th in ERA, 6 most HRs allowed, 7th most walks issued) is keeping its pitching coach. And a team that couldn’t get down a bunt, defend a suicide squeeze or remember the signs is keeping all of its base and position coaches. Which means that if Jim Hendry doesn’t think there is anything wrong with the coaching staff, then he must be preparing to overhaul the roster this offseason. And if he doesn’t do that, then he’s basically saying that this mediocrity is all right.
Speaking of mediocrity, I’d settle for that from the Chicago Bears right now. Jerry Angelo is vying for the title of most incompetent General Manager in Chicago. Prior to 2004, Angelo signed Thomas Jones to be the Bears featured running back. This year Angelo second guessed himself and spent the 4th pick in the draft on a running back, Cedric Benson. Now Benson can’t get on the field because Angelo may have actually been right about Jones in the first place. And I’m all for depth, but in an offense that features one legitimate NFL receiver, using that 4th pick on a wide receiver sure seems like a good idea now. Especially since our receivers are so bad that Mark Bradley, a rookie drafted as a project in the 2nd round is now starting. And then there’s the kicking situation. Angelo had been trying to run Paul Edinger out of town since he got here. Edinger finally obliged him with a lousy 2004 season and Angelo signed Doug Brien. Brien made 1 of 4 field goals and was released yesterday. Finally, the fact is, Jerry Angelo came to Chicago in 2001, and watched a team that he had very little to do with putting together go 13-3. He then decided to rip it apart and rebuild it, and the Bears haven’t had a winning record since. Oh, and let’s not forget Jerry’s insistence that no quarterback should be brought in to compete with Rex Grossman in each of the last two years. How does this guy still have a job?
Anthony posed an interesting question the other day, and I’ve been thinking about the answer for a while. Am I rooting for the White Sox? I guess there are several things to consider. Civic pride? Well, it’d be nice if a Chicago team won another championship before we all die. But what about Sox fans? Seemingly every time I switch on the TV, some loudmouth in black and white is telling me that they don’t want Cubs fans supporting the Sox. Of course not all Sox fans are like this. One of my best friends is a Sox fan, and he doesn’t seem to wish any harm to the Cubs (of course, that could be because he’s removed from the fray after living in Oklahoma for several years). Also, my mother is a White Sox fan, and she reads this, so I’ve got choose my words carefully here. I decided that the best way to figure out how I felt about the White Sox was to watch their first game against the Angels and see how I reacted. And this is it: I don’t care. Honestly. I never felt nervous during the big situations, I never pulled for the Sox to make a comeback, and I didn’t feel particularly good when the Angels won the game. I think the Cubs lousy season may have given me a bad case of baseball apathy.
Check back with me in November.
Inspired by Joe Aiello’s example, I have created my own personal blog for the off-season. An odd mixture of praise and satire, on one hand I want to remind myself often of how truly blessed I am. On the other hand, I have this deep need to poke fun at the world around me. Strange, I know but whatever appeals to your fancy, sugar or vinegar, you are bouind to find it in Blessings & Other Stuff!
A few days ago, the Cubs released the names of the players who would represent them in the Arizona Fall League. Those players are:
Matt Murton – OF
Buck Coats – SS
Eric Patterson – 2b
Brandon Sing – 1b
David Aardsma – RP
Angel Guzman – SP
John Koronka – SP
In case you are not familiar with the AFL, here is the breakdown of how it works, taken directly fron the AFL website.
The eligibility rules to play in the AFL are simple.
The roster size is 30 players per team.
Each Major League organization is required to provide six players subject to the following requirements:
* All Triple-A and Double-A players are eligible, provided the players are on at least a Double-A level roster no later than Aug. 1.
* One player below the Double-A level is allowed per Major League team.
* One foreign player is allowed, as long as the player does not reside in a country that participates in winter ball, as part of the Caribbean Confederation or the Australian winter league.
* No players with more than one year of credited Major League service as of August 31 are eligible, except a team may select one player picked in the most recently concluded Major League Rule 5 Draft.
* To be eligible, players on Minor League disabled lists must be activated at least 45 days before the conclusion of their respective seasons.
Hall of Fame
The Boston Red Sox shortstop played for the Scottsdale Scorpions in 1994. He went on to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 1997, and won batting titles in 1999 and 2000.
The Yankee shortstop and captain played in the 1994 AFL season for the Chandler Diamondbacks and won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1996. He won both the All-Star Game and World Series MVP Awards in 2000.
Piazza was a part of the first AFL class, in 1992, playing for the Sun City Solar Sox. He became the first of 10 AFL alumni to win Rookie of the Year honors, earning the NL award in 1993. The perennial All-Star won the Midsummer Classic’s MVP Award in 1996.
The first manager enshrined in the AFL Hall of Fame, Baker got his managerial feet wet with the Scottsdale Scorpions in 1992. The following year he took the helm of the San Francisco Giants, the team he guided to the 2002 World Series before leaving to take over the Chicago Cubs.
Giambi played on the 1994 AFL champion Peoria Javelinas. He has gone on to win the AL MVP in 2000 with the Oakland A’s and wsa just the ninth player in MLB history to increase his batting average in six or more consecutive seasons.
Managing in 1994, Manuel led Maryvale to an Eastern Division crown. He served as Felipe Alou’s third base coach from 1991-96, then was Jim Leyland’s bench coach on the 1997 World Series-winning Florida Marlins. He took over as the Chicago White Sox’ skipper in 1998.
Green spent time with the Scottsdale Scorpions in 1993. He spent his first full season in the majors in 1995 and has since gone to two All-Star Games, won a Gold Glove and hit 40+ homers three times.
Helton played for Peoria in 1996. He finished second to Kerry Wood in NL Rookie of the Year voting and has hit well over .300 ever season in his career, driving in 100 or more runs for five consecutive seasons.
Scioscia skippered the Peoria Javelinas to a championship in 1997. The team set an AFL record with a .317 batting average and led the AFL that season in ERA. After one season of managing in the Pacific Coast League in 1999, Scioscia took over as manager of the Anaheim Angels in 2000, leading them to a World Series Championship in 2002.
Anderson played for the 1993 Tempe Rafters as a standout outfielder. In 2003, Anderson became the first player ever to win the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game Most Valuable Player at the same Midsummer Classic. He also led the Angels to the 2002 World Series Championship.
Pujols played for the 2000 Scottsdale Scorpions as a stellar third baseman. He has been selected to the Major League All-Star Game multiple times and has finished in the top five in voting for the National League Most Valuable Player voting in each of his first four seasons.
Peña managed the Maryvale Saguaros club in 2000. The team was comprised of top prospects from the Astros, Brewers, Expos, Phillies and Yankees organizations. In 2003, Peña was named the American League Manager of the Year as skipper of the Kansas City Royals.
Percival pitched for the 1992 Scottsdale Scorpions as a stellar closer. He holds the distinction of being the first former AFL pitcher to record over 300 saves at the Major League level. Percival is the first former AFL pitcher elected to the AFL Hall Of Fame.
Francona has served the AFL twice: First as a Coach of the 1992 Grand Canyon Rafters and his second stint as Field Manager of the 1994 Scottsdale Scorpions. His 1994 Scottsdale team showcased notable players such as Nomar Garciaparra, Joe Randa, Michael Tucker and Michael Jordan.