Tagged: Bluejays

An Open Letter To Bud Selig Re: Reinstatement of Pete Rose

The BBWAA Hall of Fame ballots have officially been released.  One name that is not among the candidates to be enshrined is Pete Rose, the all-time hits leader. 
thumbnailCAAMARXE.jpg Some names that will appear on the ballots are names connected with steroid use.  There is no forgiveness in baseball, unless your method of cheating was by steroid use.  Why?  Why is betting on baseball a worse crime?  Pete Rose never bet against the Reds so it wasn’t like he “fixed” the games to ensure he would win a bet.  He lied about his gambling at first, but finally broke down and admitted his wrong-doing.  He regrets his mistake.  Players like Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro denied any wrong doing despite the evidence that proves otherwise.  Roger Clemens will deny his actions till the day he dies and even then, will never admit it.  Alex Rodriguez denied reports of his usage, but finally revealed the truth after the evidence was leaked to the press.  His reward?  He gets to keep playing as if he did nothing wrong.  Why?  Why does a player that tests positive for steroid use gets to get caught 3 times before he faces a lifetime ban?  Why are steroid users allowed to be on the Hall of Fame ballot?  Are they not cheaters?

thumbnailCAF2K6Q0.jpg          Dear Mr. Selig, I don’t understand why Major League baseball has crucified Pete Rose.  Sure, he made a mistake.  He bet on baseball and that is strictly against the rules.  He made a mistake and is truly remorseful.  As the Commissioner of MLB, are you afraid to overturn a previous Commissioner’s ruling?  Why?  Is there no forgiveness in baseball?

In light of the steroid era, haven’t we learned anything?  The steroid users have been glorified.  In 1998, fans of MLB enjoyed the greatest homerun race ever.  Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire slugged it out and the fans went wild.  At the time, we thought we were witnessing history, only to discover that it was all smoke and mirors.  In hindsight, it was a major disappointment.  Then there’s Barry Bonds, who belted 70 homeruns to become the homerun king.  Again, it was all an illusion, wasn’t it?

Considering the fact that steroids not only tarnished the game, it destroyed the integrity of America’s past time.  So why do players like Palmeiro get rewarded by appearing on the Hall of Fame ballot?  I don’t get it.  MLB has always taken the stance that baseball is a pure sport, a sport with integrity.  Let’s face it, baseball has been stained by steroids.  Players looked for an extra edge and found it.  They cheated, pure and simple.  The problem that I have is that if a player fails a drug test, he gets suspended for 90 days or whatever it is.  then, if he tests positive again, it’s a 180 game suspension.  The third offense results in a lifetime ban.  So why is it, that Pete Rose received baseball’s death penalty for one mistake made after his playing days were over?  Pete Rose played the game the way it should be played.  He set the example for everyone.  He never used steroids or cheated in any way, shape, or form as a player.  As a manager, he bet on his team to win.  Big deal.  Why is his case a greater crime than steroid use?  I think there is something wrong with that picture.

Here is my proposal, Mr. Selig.  I have an idea that might actually prove to be the right thing to do.  I hope that you read this post and seriously consider what I am about to suggest.  Why?  It is the right thing to do and I am confident that you are a man of integrity.  Here’s my idea. 

Since Pete Rose bet on baseball while managing the Reds, then he should be banned as a manager.  However, since Pete has alot to offer, he should be allowed to coach, mentoring young players and teaching them how to play the game the way it was meant to be played and teaching them about the dangers of cheating.  Pete Rose should be allowed to participate in the game of baseball in some capacity.  He was the greatest hitter ever.  Have some respect and give him his due.  Pete Rose has paid the price for his mistake and is sorry.  He should be forgiven.  Perhaps a little forgiveness would bring back some of the integrity that has been lost in Major League baseball.

In addition, Pete Rose deserves to be in the hall of Fame, period!  His numbers speak for themselves.  His success came the old-fashion way, he earned it.  He worked hard to get where he had gotten.  He deserves to be on the ballot to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  It doesn’t mean that the writers will vote him in, although I think he deserves it.  He should at least have the opportunity to be on the ballot.  It’s time to be a leader, Mr. Selig, and give Pete Rose a reprieve.  It has been long enough.  Don’t you believe in giving people second chances?  Steroid users get second and third chances.  Pete Rose needs only one second chance and you are the only one that has the power to forgive.  There is no forgiveness in baseball, but maybe there should be.


thumbnailCARERZJN.jpgPete Rose
was my favorite player when I was a youngster.  He inspired me to play baseball.  He inspired me to hustle.  He inspired me to dive head first into whatever base I was trying to reach.  He inspired me to aspire to becoming a big leaguer some day.  Pete Rose was awesome.  My very first MLB game was at Riverfront Stadium and Pete Rose was playing third base.  He was the reason I wanted to see the Cubs and the Reds play.  Rose captivated my imagination and made me realize that a player had to work hard and give 100% all the time.  He inspired a strong work ethic in me.  Watching Pete Rose chase Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak was unbelievable.  Every game was exciting.  That was what made baseball so great.  He chased the 3,000 hit milestone.  Then, the incredible 4,000 hit milestone.  He finally broke Ty Cobb’s record for most hits all-time.  It was amazing.  Pete Rose kept me interested in baseball, no, more like obsessed.  Pete Rose deserves some credit.  He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.  Have a heart and reinstate his eligibility status.  It’s the right thing to do.  If it wasn’t for Pete Rose, I would not be the diehard baseball fan that I am today.   I hope that somehow you read this, Mr. Selig.  I have the utmost respect for you and your integrity and I trust that you will consider doing the right thing.   Thank you,  Scot Blust.

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Why Mike Quade Should Consider Ryne Sandberg For Bench Coach, And Why Ryno Should Accept!

As the new Manager for the Chicago Cubs, Mike Quade has some important decisions to make.  Among the first items on his To Do List will be to name his coaching staff.  Q has not ruled out the possibility of adding Ryne Sandberg to the team, but the question that begs to be answered remains, will he name Ryno to his coaching staff?  Would Sandberg even consider the job, considering his bitter disappointment following the Cubs’ decision to hire Quade as Manager?

Let’s consider the big picture.

thumbnailCA8EJEO3.jpgRyne Sandberg was named Pacific Coast League Manager Of The Year last season in his fourth year of managing in the Cubs’ Farm System.  He was one of the leading candidates in the Cubs’ managerial search.  Ryno has stated that his goal is to manage at the MLB level.  That is why he may have declined the opportunity to serve as bench coach in his previous discussions with Jim Hendry, the Cubs’ GM.  However, since then, Mike Quade won the Cubs’ job and Ryno’s bid at interviewing for the Toronto Bluejays has fallen through.  The Bluejays have already filled that position.  So what options does Sandberg have left?  With a lack of MLB experience, Sandberg may be running out of options.  His dream of managing in the big leagues may have to wait until he gains a little more experience.  Jim Hendry has said that Ryno would be welcomed back at Iowa should Sandberg decide to return to his former position.  That being said, Ryno may want to move forward, not backward, and decide that serving as a bench coach could actually be the stepping stone that would bring him closer to realizing his goal to manage someday.   Cubs’ fans were disappointed that Sandberg was free to look outside of the Cubs’ Organization for a job.  Ryno is a true Cub and to see #23 in another uniform would scar many fans who wanted to see Ryno get the Cubs’ managerial job.

Would Mike Quade consider making Sandberg the Bench Coach?

Considering the fact that the Cubs are in the process of rebuilding and focusing on developing the farm system, wouldn’t it make sense that Mike Quade and the Cubs bring Sandberg into the fold.  Ryno managed at Triple-A, Iowa.  Who else knows the young, up and coming, players better than Sandberg?  Furhermore, Mike Quade could win many diehard Cubs’ fans over by simply giving Sandberg his due.  Ryno deserves more than having Jim Hendry show him the door.  He deserves a promotion and the opportunity to assist at the MLB level.  Mike Quade could make that happen and the PR disaster of snubbing Ryno could be averted.  Mike Quade would be a hero.

Would a combination of Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg be awkward, considering that they competed for the same job?

That question has come up many times, but I do not believe it would be a factor.  First of all, Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg haven proven to be loyal to the Cubs.  The goal is to win ballgames, not argue over who should manage and how.  I think that Ryno and Q are team players and they could easily put their ego’s aside for everyone’s sake.  The best leaders lead by example, and what better example than having two guys like Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg, putting their knowledge and experience together, to work as a team.  Both are essential to the Cubs’ rebuilding process and I believe they would complement one another.  Mike Quade has been effective with the veterans and Ryno has been effective with the younger players.  It’s a win-win situation.  Besides, the Cubs’ fans that are clamoring for Sandberg would be pacified, not that that should be a factor.  Another thing, it would give Sandberg the additional experience that he needs at the Major League level.

While Ryne Sandberg explores his options and his future, I hope that Mike Quade has the wisdom and insight to ask Sandberg to join the team.  It seems to make the most sense.  Winning is about teamwork.  Winning is about have the right pieces in place.  Winning is about making the right decisions.  I hope Mike Quade will consider hiring Ryne Sandberg as Bench Coach and I pray that Ryno has the wisdom to accept.  It just seems to be the right thing to do, not only from a PR standpoint, but from a managing standpoint as well. 

Sandberg To Interview With The Toronto Bluejays; The Latest Twist To The Cubs’ Managerial Search!

It’s official.  Ryne Sandberg has scheduled an interview with the Toronto Bluejays, throwing the Cubs’ managerial search a curve ball.  The Chicago Tribune reports that Ryno will meet with Toronto to discuss the opening for Manager with the Bluejays.

What does this mean?  Is Sandberg tired of sitting around while the Cubs’ General Manager, Jim Hendry and Owner, Tom Ricketts wait to talk to Joe Girardi?  Have the Cubs already made a decision?  It isn’t clear, but I would think that Ryno isn’t taking anything for granted and is exploring his options. 

While the Cubs wait for Joe Girardi and the New York Yankees to finish the post-season, the Cubs are taking a chance that Ryne Sandberg and Mike Quade could find managerial positions elsewhere.  Since Joe Girardi is still under contract, he has not publicly announced any interest in the Cubs’ position.  He simply refuses to discuss the matter which leaves the world in the dark as to whether or not he is an option for the Cubs.  Of course, maybe Jim Hendry knows something that we don’t.  Who knows?  Most Cub fans are willing to wait for Girardi , others panic at the thought of losing Sandberg. 

The Cubs’ managerial search is getting interesting.  No one can blame Ryne Sandberg for exploring his options.  Of course, we’ll see what happens. 

thumbnailCAZ5MTW4.jpgThere is a rumor that the Cubs are waiting to talk to Joe Girardi, who is the most experienced, qualified, candidate, who many fans believe is the best fit for the Cubs.  While Girardi might be the frontrunner in the Cubs’ managerial position, plan “A”, it is believed that Mike Quade is in line for the job if Girardi falls through.  Perhaps, the Cubs offered Sandberg a job as Bench Coach and Ryno snubbed the idea, sighting that he wants to manage a team, not be a bench coach.  If that is the case, then Sandberg may walk.

The Cubs’ Managerial Search Is Over! The Unofficial Short List!

As the Cubs’ General Manager, Jim Hendry continues the search for the next Cubs’ Manager, A Diehard Cubs’ Fan explains who will advance to the “short list” of candidates and who has the inside edge of landing the job.

While the Cubs and Jim Hendry have been busy taking phone calls and interviewing potential candidates for the managerial position, in the end, there are only three who will be seriously considered.  Let’s evaluate the front runners at this time.  The “short list” will most likely be the following, in no particular order.

1)  MIKE QUADE

thumbnailCARLOKCD.jpg2)  RYNE SANDBERG

3)  JOE GIRARDI

Jim Hendry has also interviewed Freddi Gonzalez, who withdrew his name for consideration.  Reports have surfaced that he may take over the Atlanta Braves following the retirement of Bobby Cox.

Pat Listach decided to withdraw his name as well.  He wants to stay with the Washington Nationals.  Reports claim that he is also interested in the Toronto Bluejays job. 

Bob Brenly was interviewed but declined to waste Jim Hendry’s time siting that he was not a good fit for the Cubs.  It has been reported that he may seek, and have the inside edge to managing the Milwaukee Brewers.

Eric Wedge was interviewed, but a mediocre managing record will probably exclude him from making the “short list”.  Another factor involved would be the fact that he doesn’t have any ties to the Cubs’ Organization.  Bob Melvin falls into the same category and therefore will not make it to the next step in the process.

Jim Hendry and Cubs’ Owner and Chairman, Tom Ricketts have planted clues as to who they want to hire which leads me to believe that the “Short List” has already been written in stone, even though they would deny it.  What clues?  Let me explain.

Tom Ricketts was quoted to say that he wants a Manager that will be the Cubs’ Manager for life.  He wants somebody who will remain loyal to the Organization and will be committed to winning a World Series Championship.  Ricketts has repeatedly hinted that the Cubs are in the midst of rebuilding and has committed to growing the farm system and developing players from within the Organization.  Tom Ricketts is a Diehard Cubs’ Fan himself and has expressed the desire to listen to the Diehard Cubs’ Fans and finding ways to win.  He wants a Manager that has either played for the Cubs or has been with the Cubs’ Organization, which will be the starting point to narrowing the field down to three candidates.  Preferably, the Cubs are searching for someone who has experienced the 102 year curse of the Cubs, someone that understands the importance of bringing a World Series Title to Wrigleyville, someone who feels the Diehard Cubs’ Fans pain and suffering.  Cubs’ Fans are mostly united in wanting a skipper that has formerly played in Chicago, someone who will have their loyalty and support.

Jim Hendry has stated that he prefers that the managerial candidate have previous Major League managing experience.

Let’s look at the top three candidates and decide where they fit in the grand scheme of things.

1)  Mike Quade came out of nowhere to make the short list.  Following Lou Piniella’s sudden retirement in August, Quade took over the Cubs after all was lost for the season.  The Cubs had nothing to play for but Mike Quade somehow managed to turn a disappointing season into a top-notched team.  The Cubs were 24-13 under Q and finished very strong.  The Cubs were winning series’ and won something like 14 out of the last 17 road games.  The Pitching Staff was reborn and the Cubs were starting to play up to their potential.  Cubs baseball was exciting again, while it lasted.  No one can argue with the job Quade has done to turn the Cubs around.  Jim Hendry and Tom Ricketts have said that they were very pleased at the outstanding job Quade has done.  Mike Quade has managed for many years at the Triple A level.  He has roots in the Cubs’ Organization and that will benefit him when the decision is finally made.  The only drawback to Mike Quade is the fact that he only managed 37 games and has not been tested for a full year. 

2)  Ryne Sandberg has been, and will continue to be a top candidate.  The plan has been, for many years, to let Ryno manage at the minor league level, gain experience, then someday, take over the Cubs as Manager.  He earned Pacific Coast League Manager Of The Year honors this past season at Triple A, Iowa, and has proven that he too can manage.  Sandberg is a fan favorite.  His Hall Of Fame status speaks for itself.  He was everything a Cub should be, and more.  Ryno exemplified what a team player should be and defined what is expected as a player.  As a Manager, he teaches the fundamentals of winning.  The only drawback for Sandberg is the fact that he doesn’t have any Major League experience managing which is why Joe Girardi failed to land the job in the past.

3) Joe Girardi may have the best qualifications of all.  The Cubs have repeatedly stated that there is no need to rush the interview process.  They hope to have someone in place by the November Organizational Meetings.  What are they waiting for?  Jim Hendry has vowed not to let any stone go unturned, which means that he plans to be thorough and cover all the possibilities.  The Cubs are waiting until the end of the baseball season.  Joe Girardi is in the middle of a playoff race as the New York Yankees strive to win another World Series Title.  Girardi is currently under contract and therefore, the Cubs cannot legally contact him until after the season has ended.  With Joe Girardi comes many questions.  Does Joe want to continue to manage the New York Yankees?  If so, do the Yankees want him to return?  It will largely depend on what happens in the post-season.  If the Yankees win the World Series, then New York will probably pay him well to stay.  If the Bronx Bombers fail to win it all, then New York will probably demand that Girardi be gone.  That’s how it works in New York, you know.  The other question that remains to be answered is whether or not Girardi wants to manage the Cubs.  He has stated in the past that he would like to, but what about now?  Is he willing to leave the bright lights of New York for the Windy City?  We will have to wait and find out. 

Joe Girardi is a former Cubs’ catcher.  His ties with the Cubs run deep, like Sandberg.  The biggest, and most glaring difference between Sandberg and Girardi is that Joe Girardi not only has Major League experience, but has won a World Series Championship.  Joe knows how to handle the pressures of having to win.  Joe knows how to handle the media.  Joe knows how to handle young players and veterans alike.  Joe Girardi, most likely, will have the edge in the managerial search if he makes himself available.  If he does, then look for Joe Girardi to be the next Cubs’ Manager based on his past in the Cubs’ Organization, experience, and success as a Major League Manager.

If Girardi passes on the Cubs, then look for some kind of combination of Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg to lead the Cubs next year.  Either the Cubs will award the managerial position to Mike Quade for a year while Ryno gets his feet wet at the major league level as the Bench Coach, or Ryno could be hired as Manager and still keep Mike Quade around as the third base coach or as Bench Coach where he can be available to Sandberg for advice.  With so many managerial positions available this offseason, Quade could defect and go elsewhere, perhaps wherever Bob Brenly decides to manage, but he is loyal to the Cubs and whether he wins the Manager position or not, I believe he will stay on with the Cubs. 

As the drama unfolds, watch the New York Yankees carefully as they make a run for another World Series Title.  How the Yankees finish will play a big role in Joe Girardi’s decision to return to Chicago or stay in New York.  The Cubs, of course, would be a far more challenging undertaking.  If Girardi entertains managing the Cubs then he will emerge the frontrunner and the Cubs will risk losing Sandberg and Quade.  Otherwise, it will be a toss up between Quade and Sandberg.  In that case, look for Mike Quade to be awarded the Manager position under a one-year contract while Ryne Sandberg gets his feet wet as Bench Coach.  Then, in 2012, look for Ryno to step up and take charge.

There it is, the Unofficial Diehard Cubs’ Short list!  Of course, this is pure speculation on my part, and only time will tell.  Stay tuned and see what happens!  It should prove to be an interesting process as the Cubs move forward to a new era.

 

 

Doc Halladay Tosses No Hitter!

In his post-season debut, Roy Halladay, becomes the first pitcher since Don Larsen’s perfect game in 1956, to throw a no hitter in the post-season.  Behind Halladay’s masterful performance, The Philadelphia Phillies win Game 1 of the NLDS against the Reds 4-0.

In my previous post, The Secret To Beating The Phillies, I outlined what the Reds needed to do to win against Philadelphia.  The Reds failed by all accounts.  The Phillies scored first.  Volquez failed to deliver a quality start.  The Phillies scored more than 3 runs, and of course, Doc Halladay went more than six innings.  All factors that are indicative of Philly success.  I advised the Reds to jump on the first pitch.  They did not.  Halladay was consistently ahead in the count and the Reds’ hitters appeared to be intimidated.  Of course, what could they do?  Doc Halladay was unhittable!

thumbnailCAHL1JYV.jpgCongratulations, Roy Halladay!  I tip my cap!  Thanks for the memories!  It was an awesome game to watch!

Maybe the Reds should read my previous post and take notes.  They will need all the help they can get playing against the Philadelphia Phillies and The Big 3!