Browsing posts from October, 2009
The best owners in pro sports are the ones who sit back and sign the checks.
They stay out of the petty day-to-day matters better suited for the front office, they let coaches coach, and above all else, they defer player personal decision to well, the personnel staff.
It’s a simple concept, really. Let the people beneath you do their jobs. If that someone can’t get the job done you find someone else, someone better, and you put them to work for you.
Yet this often successful method of pro sports management, one which appears simple from afar, is just too hard for most owners to follow.
The scene is all too familiar.
Mariano closing out another Yankees’ World Series win followed by Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York blasting in the background at Yankee Stadium.
If anything, that moment pretty much defines my childhood memories of the Fall Classic: Yankees win, Yankees win…thaaa Yankees win!
Yet despite the Yankees’ five-year World Series drought, the final act during tonight’s game seems to have taken place every year since…even though it hasn’t, of course. Repetition, however, can have that affect…good or bad.
In this case it’s a classic ending for New York fans, no doubt, but one I’ve seen enough of personally.
What I wouldn’t give to hear Go Cubs Go play just once after a World Series win at Wrigley Field…and all the better if the Yankees are in town.
Cliff Lee is the Yankees’ daddy.
The southpaw was simply spectacular in Game 1: nine innings, 122 pitches -80 for strikes- and just 32 batters faced, a mere five more than the minimum 27.
Lee’s been a Yankees killer throughout his career, too. The Bombers entered the game batting a meek .197 all-time against the left-hander, and it showed Wednesday night.
The lone Yankee exception is Derek Jeter who’s found some measure of career success against Lee batting 11-for-27 entering Game 1 of the World Series.
Jeter, in fact, improved on his mark with three hits, two singles and a double, not that it mattered much on the scoreboard.
It’s likely Lee gets two more starts in the series. And if the Yanks can’t figure Lee out in at least one of those starts, Philadelphia repeats as world champions with Lee earning the series MVP Award.
Who’s your daddy now New York!
In baseball, winning starts at the top and trickles down.
So it’s somewhat embarrassing the Cubs haven’t had a top-dog at the helm for more than two years.
Thankfully, however, that’s history with the officially announcement of Tom Ricketts as the club’s new owner.
His first order of business should be ridding the team of Milton Bradley followed by an open-pocket book during this winter’s free-agent period.
Once that’s completed there’s the refurbishing of Wrigley Field and the ever continuous pursuit of the team’s first championship in 101-years.
It’s a tall order for sure, but heavy is the head that wears the crown.
Cubs fans won’t admit it, but we would all miss Tony La Russa had he left St. Louis for greener pastures.
Every good rivalry needs a dislikeable leader on the other side, and La Russa fits the mold perfectly.
He comes off grumpy and opinionated, but most notably, he’s smart.
Yet, there’s no surprise La Russa decided to remain with the Cardinals for another year.
After spending 15 years managing in St. Louis, a terrific baseball town with Dave Duncan and Albert Pujols at his beck-and-call, why would La Russa want go elsewhere anyway?
American League MVP
*Joe Mauer: Had the most well rounded season playing the game’s toughest position.
Miguel Cabrera: A pure numbers guy who played up to par defensively as well.
Derek Jeter: Despite being surrounded by star power, still the glue to the Yanks posting the best regular season record.
- Adam Lind
- Chone Figgins
- Mark Teixeira
- Kendry Morales
- Evan Longoria
- Bobby Abreu
- Jason Bay
National League MVP
So much for the Angels comeback theory.
Too many walks and fielding miscues cost the Halos its chance for a dramatic Game 7.
It seems the Angels lost its momentum from a thrilling win in Game 5 with the postponement of Game 6, but give the Yanks their due, they had to wait to play, too.
New York is now 7-1 all time in the ALCS since the league instituted a best-of-seven format. The only blemish coming in 2004 when the Red Sox rallied from an 0-3 deficit to take the series.
Don’t think the Angels can come back against the Yankees?
Then let me remind you of the 2003 NLCS, when the Marlins overcame a 3-1 series deficit to knock-off our beloved Cubbies.
The odds, of course, are not in the Angles favor. Only nine of the 28 teams down 3-2 in the LCS have ever come back to win the series.
And of those nine teams, only four were able to turn the trick by winning the final two games on the road: 1985 Royals at Toronto, 1991 Braves at Pittsburgh, 2003 Marlins at Chicago and the 2004 Red Sox at Gotham.
Take my word for it; this picture isn’t worth a thousand words.
Nothing can translate the heart-pounding sensation of sitting 103 floors up from the ground with only an inch-and-a-half of glass separating you from a 1,353 foot plummet back to earth.
My sister and I make it look easy sitting there in the above shot, but this was actually our second venture out onto the deck.
The first time I literally crawled out on hands and knees, palms sweating and my heart pounding hard enough to drive a nail.
When the nerve to stand up finally arrived my body’s adrenalin was pumping so hard my legs were shaking.
I know, you think I’m a wuss, but don’t hate until you’ve been out there yourself!
Believe me, if you think watching Aaron Heilman pitch for the Cubs is nerve wracking, try taking the Willis leap of faith!
I have little doubt Rudy Jaramillo can resurrect the Cubs offense from two seasons ago when they led the world in runs scored.
The man is widely regarded as the best in the business at his craft, and the Cubs are wisely paying him handsomely to perform his magic on the North Side.
But asking Jaramillo to heal the incurable Milton Bradley is foolish.