Monday, October 23, 2006

Kenny Rogers + World Series + Craig Monroe

Hey Fans....couple exciting things in baseball.

What's up with this Kenny Rogers? He looks unhittable. Can you believe the TV cameras caught that brown smudge on his left hand? Looks a little suspicious to me. Didn't look like dirt, looked like a foreign sticky substance. Let me tell you, when a veteran pitcher can get something tacky, in the right spot on his pitching hand, he can make the ball do funny things. Its been going on in the game for 50 years, scratching the ball, cutting it with a tack, rubbing it on a belt buckle, pine tar on the back of the glove, or possibly in this case below the thumb. If Rogers, and I'm not saying he did, has a tacky substance on his hand, with the chilling temperatures increasing the sticky feeling, he can make the ball spin excessively. They also are able to "blow" into their hands, which should be illegal, which even makes it worse. Just goes to show you in this day and age, you can't slip anything by the TV cameras. Whatever your do, don't pick your nose in the dugout. Now we have the famous "dark spot under the left thumb on Roger's pitching hand series". We ain't heard the last of it!!

Series tied a 1 heading to St. Louis. No possible way either team will sweep three. Most likely St. Louis wins 2 and it goes back to Detroit with the Tigers having to win twice.

How about Monroe after hitting 2 consecutive home runs, one the last at bat in Saturday's loss, then on the first pitch the next night? He comes into the dugout like a line backer that just sacked the QB ranting and raving "let's go" like he was now the emotional leader of the Tigers. Next at bat, good morning, good afternoon, goodnight, he took three straight strikes and walked quietly back to the dugout. In his next at bat he popped up weekly to short with the bases loaded and one out, and walked back to the dugout. In baseball, its best to keep your emotions in check, especially on national TV, even though you know the camera is on you.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

College Football Brawl + Lou Pinella + NLCS

Hey fans,

If you’re a baby boomer parent like me, that Miami Florida / Florida International football game brawl had to set you off. That display was a microcosm of what's wrong with this generation. Yes, my generation, the "baby boomers" had issues also. We were hippies, beer drinkers, and weed smokers, and we disagreed with about everything the government did, but we were raised to respect authority. Our parents, who commanded the first line of respect from us, for the most part instilled in us a sense of right and wrong, and accountability for our actions. Yes, we went astray often, and had to pay the price, and it taught us to respect authority. That brawl was a clear example of this generation's lack of respect for authority, and their quick tempered, mercenary-like approach to resolving conflict. They have no sense of accountability, and I lay the blame on their lack of parental pressure, as well their exposure to the fantasy, confrontational world of today's electronic entertainment. I guarantee there is an electronic game available somewhere, of course for mature audiences only, where you can get in the middle of a brawl, stomp on someone, survive and become the local neighborhood gang hero. These kids act out their fantasies just as I wanted to be The Lone Ranger, a 1960's cowboy hero, but our guns weren't loaded.

Every player in that brawl the acted offensively should loose one year of eligibility. The helmet swinger is kicked out of college, the stomper looses his scholarship, and all the country should see this play out on ESPN. Authority wins out, nobody gets away with it, and in the future, they will think before they act. Yes, labeling the entire generation as thugs is not my intention. There is a high percentage of productive, respectful, and passionate young people who will become the leaders of tomorrow, unfortunately it’s the remainder that seem to get the exposure.

The "recycle bin" has given up another manager, as sweet Lou Pinella is now the Cubs manager. He's a perfect fit, as they say. Seems they said that in Tampa, Seattle, and Cincinnati at one time. There's nothing like being in the booth or in uniform somewhere to keep your stock high.

The Mets won a big one in St. Louis, to even the series at 2. Right now Delgado is the MVP, but the series is anybody's. Neither team has any starting pitching after Glavine or Carpenter, so the games are unpredictable. Look for Pujols to do some damage over the next few games, and the series to go 7. Karma has St. Louis and Detroit in the series.


Monday, October 16, 2006



Lots going on these days if you’re a baseball fan, especially of the Mets, Tigers, or Cardinals. With the Cardinals winning at Shea, and beating up on Billy Wagner, I now like the chances of a Cardinals Tigers Series. That was a big win for them, getting out of New York with a split, and now having the confidence they can win it at Shea if they don't win three at home. An interesting sidebar to this Series would be Jim Leyland managing against Tony LaRussa, best of friends.

The Tigers and Leyland are playing baseball the old fashion way. "Gettem on, gettum over, gettum in" and slap on the leather. A very emotional team, lead by Leyland, who now has become the Bill Parcells of baseball. Funny how a guy can have an abnormal effect on a baseball team. There is a "recycle bin" of managers and coaches from which the GM's shops from every off season, and Leyland was a prize catch for Dave Dombrowski last year. If they had a Mount Rushmore for manager's faces, my picks would be Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, Sparky Anderson, Earl Weaver, and Jim Leyland. (Baseball's version has 5)

One more thing on the Tigers. Joel Zumaya, yes, I managed against him in the 2004 Florida State League and 102 MPH is visually faster than all other hard throwers, including Ryan. I was glad I was the manager and didn't have to hit.

Our prayers at are with the Cory Lidle family. Cory was a friend from his Phillies days. We chatted many times about things, I'll remember telling him how he could get strike one with his slow curve anytime he wanted. Life can throw you a hard curve too, when least expected. He lived his life to the fullest. He will be missed.

Next week we'll chat about the Series and managerial and coaching opportunities.