Tagged: Andre Dawson

AROD BAD FOR BASEBALL?

Okay, this post is about the game of baseball as a whole.  Today, as I was creeping on Facebook, I saw where ESPN BASEBALL TONIGHT asked the following question, “When his career is over, will Alex Rodriguez have been bad for baseball?”.  As I scrolled through all the comments I noticed the usual trolls were out in full force.  Some people were praising AROD, others were demonizing him and others were your homer fans acting as if this was an attack on the Yankees.

First let me say this, AROD had a lot of talent coming into the big leagues.  Unfortunately, we will never know when he started using PEDs and for how long.  With that said, I think he deserves a lifetime ban.  I am rough on my view of PEDs.  I think Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds need lifetime bans as well.  The same goes for Manny Ramirez, Ryan Braun and Bartolo Colon.  I could continue with writing a ton of other names that have cheated.  But I think you get my point.

I don’t like cheaters and cheaters.  Players that choose to do this disgust me.  Give me Ken Griffey, Jr., Derek Jeter, Tony Gwynn, Andre Dawson, Greg Maddux and Ryne Sandberg.  These are some of my favorite players all time.  They did it the right way.

I think MLB hid their head in the sand during the 90s when PEDs began to thrive.  Thankfully, they have addressed the problem and hopefully they will get tougher on the liars and cheaters.  That’s just my opinion.  I’m not talking about spitballs, corked bats or too much pine tar.  I’m talking about drugs that make you significantly run faster, throw harder and hit the ball farther.

When it’s all said and done, AROD hurt the game and is the guy receiving most of the blame in the media.  He’s not the only one guilty, but has become the face of the PED users.  So, yes, AROD is bad for baseball in my opinion.

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WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN

After the 2010 season, I wrote several posts on my ideas for the Cubs.  I wanted the team to make some trades and free agent signings that I felt would help them.  One of those ideas was trading for Chris Davis.  Here is the link for one of those posts.

http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/2010/12/09/who-is-chris-davis/

As of this morning, Davis is batting .344 with 17 HRs and 47RBIs.  So, I definitely feel like I was right about wanting the Cubs to trade for him.

That off-season was brutal for me as a Cubs fan.  Obviously I wanted Davis.  I also wanted the Cubs to trade for Matt Garza and they did.  But I didn’t want to sacrifice SS Hak-Ju Lee in a deal for him.  Well, we ended up trading Lee and 4 other players to get Garza in the deal.

That off-season was the one that saw Ryne Sandberg leave the Cubs organization as well.  He will always be my favorite Cub of all time.  Sandberg, Andre Dawson and Greg Maddux are my favorites that I was fortunate to watch for their entire careers.

Anyway, the Cubs didn’t reload that year like I wanted them to.  Instead, the organization began going in the wrong direction in my opinion.  Now that Theo & Co. are running the show there is a big mess to clean up.  It started after the 2010 season.

IF I WERE OWNER OF THE CUBS

I was reading a post on Lee’s Astros and was posed with the question, If you were the new owner of the club, what would you do different?  It got me thinking a bit so, I decided to post some of my ideas just for fun.


First, get Ryne Sandberg back in the organization.  Not as manager just yet.  I want to give Mike Quade every chance to succeed.  I think a two-headed monster of Ryno and Greg Maddux would be great!  Have them learn all the ins and outs of the GM job from Jim Hendry.  

Next, I would bring back as many former Cubs as possible.  Andre Dawson, Jody Davis, Rick Sutcliffe, Shawon Dunston and more.  Have these guys work with players in the minors and the big league players too.  Educate them on what it takes to win playing so many day games at Wrigley Field.

Next, I would invest in our minor leagues and player development.  I would want to build a minor league system that drafts well, signs amateur free agents and produces major league players on a regular basis.  

I would try to set a self-imposed limit on long term contracts.  Preferably, no contracts longer than five years.  I would be willing to pay players a little more per year than sign them to these long term contracts that end up biting you in the butt.  

I would like to sign a few free agents initially, but my longterm goal would to be develop players and turn them into successful major league players that want to spend their entire careers with the Cubs.  

I would also lower the ticket prices because you know we are going to sell out!   

 I would like to move our single A affiliate in Peoria, Illinois to Marion, Illinois.  The Southern Illinois Miners from the independent Frontier League currently play in Marion and have a very nice and relatively new facility.  

Finally, some of you may hate this idea, but I would consider moving the Cubs spring training to Florida in the Naples area.  It is a whole lot easier for me to go to Florida than Arizona.  

It’s About Time!

Andre Dawson.jpgWell, it’s finally happened.  The Hawk is in the Hall of Fame where he belongs.  I don’t know why it took him so long.  I think his accomplishments have gone under the radar.  The guy was amazing.  Power, speed and defense all rolled into one.  His power was legitimate too.  He played the game the right way.  I liked him when he was with the Expos.  However, when he came to the Cubs he instantly became one of my favorite players.  And he still is.  I remember the 1987 season.  The Cubs weren’t that good in ’87 but Andre crushed the ball and even won the MVP.  In addition to the MVP award he also collected a silver slugger that year, a gold glove and wa an all-star.  Not a bad year for him.  I am glad that he is finally going to be in the hall.  He earned it!

One last thing, I am curious which hat he will don? 

Cubs-Cardinals Rivalry 2009 Round 1

The rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals is one of the best in baseball.  It’s a very intense rivalry at times even though the Cardinals franchise has had more success than the Cubs over the last century by winning more World Series than any other National League team
As a Cubs fan living in Cardinals’ territory I have had numerous experiences with the “enemy” that are sometimes filled with humor and other times filled with anger.  I assume the same is true for a Cardinals fan living in Cubs’ territory. 
However, instead of taking cheap shots at the Red Birds I am going to honor this rivalry by creating my own Cubs-Cardinals dream team featuring players from the late 70s, 80s and 90s.  No current players though. 

I will begin with Catcher.  There are several good choices.  Tom Pagnozzi, Tony Pena, Darrell Porter, Jody Davis, and Joe Girardi.  I would have to choose Jody Davis and Tom Pagnozzi as my backstops.
Firstbase is easy for me.  Mark Grace and Keith Hernandez!  Sorry Leon Durham, but you killed me in the ’84 playoffs with your defense.  Another guy I liked was Jack Clark from the Red Birds.  But Hernandez was a stud just take a look at his stats from 1979. 
Second Base is another easy choice.  Ryne Sandberg and Tom Herr.  Ryno is probably one of my all time favorite players.   
Shortstop……hmmmm Ozzie Smith?  Yes, I would take him and Shawon Dunston from my Cubbies.  Dunston was one of the most frustrating players for me to ever watch.  He had so much talent but never reached his potential. 
Third Base.   Terry Pendleton and Ron Cey.  I loved the “Penguin” during his short stint with the Cubs. 
In Leftfield I would put Gary Matthews, The Sarge from the Cubs.  Vince Coleman from the Cards.   Where else are you going to find a guy who could steal over 100 bases?
CenterfieldWillie McGee from the Cards and Jerome Walton.  Don’t laugh!  Jerome Walton did win the Rookie of the Year, but never did much after that. 
Rightfield is simple.  Andre Dawson and George Hendrick.  The “Hawk” deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.  He was the total package. 
Starting PitcherGreg Maddux, for obvious reasons and one of my favorite’s in Joaquin Andujar
My closer’s would be Lee Smith and Dennis Eckersley.  Both players spent time with the Cubs and Cards so that’s an easy choice. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of each position

C-Jody Davis/Tom Pagnozzi  

1B-Mark Grace/Keith Hernandez

2B-Ryne Sandberg/Tom Herr

3B-Ron Cey/Terry Pendleton

SS-Shawon Dunston/Ozzie Smith

LF-Gary Matthews/Vince Coleman

CF-Jerome Walton/Willie McGee

RF-Andre Dawson/George Hendrick

SP-Greg Maddux/Joaquin Andujar

CL-Lee Smith and Dennis Eckersley

These are guys that I liked growing up regardless of the team they played for.  If I didn’t mention one of your favorite players don’t think anything of it.  There were too many players to even consider and I am focusing on players that I liked who contributed to this great rivalry during their careers.

And for all the Cardinal fans venturing their way to Wrigley Field this weekend I hope you make it back home safely and in one piece.  

GO CUBS GO!!! 

1984-1991

The years mentioned in the title of this post will probably not mean much to anyone but me.  You see, these are the years that formed the foundation for my love of the Cubs.  As a kid, I can remember going to my great-grandparents house.  I was blessed to know my Great-Grandparents and to spend as much time with them as I did.  We would sit in this tiny little room in the back of their house and watch the Cubs on WGN.  My Great-Grandfather, known as Grandpa Webb to me, would sit there with a wad of chewing tobacco in his mouth and a pocket knife in his hand whittling on a stick.  He would cheer for big Lee Smith, Jody Davis, Ron Cey and Ryne Sandberg.  My Great-Grandmother, Grandma Webb, loved Ryno and Jody Davis too.  When the Hawk, Andre Dawson, joined the Cubs in 1987 he immediately became one of our favorite players.  We cheered for Rick Sutcliffe, Mitch Williams, Mark Grace and Greg Maddux. 

When the Cubs weren’t playing grandpa and grandma Webb would watch my uncle Jon and I play wiffleball in the back yard.  They had an old swing set up back there in the shade and they would sit and cheer for us.  It was great.

There are other reasons why I love the Cubs and baseball.  Harry Caray singing the 7th inning stretch, day games, ivy covered walls, homeruns landing on Waveland or Sheffield avenue, and so much more.  I only wish grandpa and grandma Webb were still around to watch the Cubs with me and my children.  My daughter is 4 and can sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” word for word.  My son is not even 2 yet, and he is already practicing his homerun trot.  It’s hilarious.  

Eddie Vedder’s song says a lot about being a Cubs fan.  Enjoy.