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.
The Cubs are finally beginning to invest some real money into player development now that the Ricketts family has taken over as owners. This is exciting news for me as a Cubs fan. If you don’t think player development matters take a look at the New York Yankees. Derek Jeter was a 1st round draft pick in 1992. Mariano Rivera was signed as an amateur free agent in 1990. Andy Pettitte was drafted by the Yankees in the 22nd round of the 1990 draft. Bernie Williams was signed as an amateur free agent in 1985. Jorge Posada was drafted in the 24th round of the 1990 draft. Those players helped form a dynasty in the mid to late 90s.
The Cincinnati Reds are another example of player development paying off without the luxury of a large payroll for expensive free agents that your big market franchises have. All Star first baseman, Joey Votto, was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2002 draft. Jay Bruce was drafted in the 1st round of the 2005 draft. Drew Stubbs was a 1st round pick in 2006. Homer Bailey was a 1st round pick in the 2004 draft. Johnny Cueto was signed as an amateur free agent in 2004 and Aroldis Chapman was singed as an amateur free agent in 2010. These players were instrumental in helping the Reds to the playoffs in 2010 and should provide the Reds with a bright future. The Reds also acquired some quality players through trades in Edinson Volquez, Brandon Phillips and Scott Rolen.
The Cubs have done so-so in the last 10 years in the amateur draft. In 2001, we drafted Mark Prior in the 1st round, Ryan Theriot in the 3rd round, Sergio Mitre in the 7th round and Geovany Soto in the 11th round. 2002 wasn’t as kind though, but we did manage to draft Randy Wells as a catcher in the 38th round. In 2003 Ryan Harvey was our 1st round pick and unfortunately he never worked out for us. We also drafted Jake Fox in the 3rd round, Sean Marshall in the 6th round, Casey McGehee in the 10th round and Tim Lincecum in the 48th round but obviously he didn’t sign with us. In 2004 our draft didn’t work out too well. We drafted Mark Pawelek in the 1st round in 2005, but he never panned out. In 2006 we drafted pretty well. Tyler Colvin in the 1st, Jeff Samardzija in the 5th, Jeremy Papelbon in the 19th (Jonathan’s brother) and a few others that are still in our system working their way up. 2008 and 2009 seem to be decent drafts for us too, but time will tell. Most importantly we need to draft well, sign amateur free agents like Carlos Marmol (1999) and develop these players better than we have done in the past. Combine all of that with the ability to spend a lot of money and the Cubs will hopefully start winning on a regular basis and finally bring home a World Series Championship.
Wow, the Cubs cannot seem to field the ball this spring. We’ve played 4 games and have committed 14 errors. That’s not a good sign. What’s worse than that. Carlos Silva blowing up at Aramis Ramirez. Maybe it was overblown, but you can’t have guys going at it this early in the spring. The grind hasn’t even begun yet. I hope this is not a sign of things to come.
Speaking of Silva, the errors didn’t help but neither did giving up the homeruns. I will definitely be keeping track of his next couple of starts. He may not make the rotation if Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells pitch good this spring.
I’m curious to see what Rudy Jaramillo will do for Carlos Pena this year. We need a huge year from him. I think he could be the difference maker for our offense this season.
I still cannot believe what Hank Steinbrenner said about players building mansions. It was obvious he was directing his frustrations at Jeter. In my opinion, Derek Jeter is one of baseballs classiest players. Foolish comment Hank!
With everything going on with the Mets financially, I would love to see Donald Trump buy them. I know this is not going to happen, but I would still like to see D.T. as an owner. As a matter of fact, I would like to see Mark Cuban as an owner too.
I think the Pirates will not finish last this year. I also believe they are a step closer to finishing above .500 in the near future. Andrew McCutchen has quickly become one of my favorite players to watch. And one thing I’ve noticed on MLBLOGS is that there are a lot of die hard Pirate fans still out there waiting for their team to start winning again. I wish them the best of luck.
That’s all I’ve got for today….until another Cub erupts in the dugout or something like that.
Over the last few weeks our wonderful internet provider has failed to provide us with service at my home. It’s been very frustrating for me and my wife. Thankfully, we were both able to check our emails at work, but I wasn’t able to do much else. Unfortunately, the company we are using is the only high speed option we have considering where we live. I have considered trying out satellite internet, but it’s $300 to install and $60 a month. That’s a little more than I am willing to pay.
Anyway, I have been able to watch a few of the WBC games. I think the USA team looks great. Their attitude is awesome. It’s gotta be Mark DeRosa rubbing off on everyone. He’s a gamer and always seems to have fun when he’s playing. It doesn’t hurt having Jeter, Pedroia and Youkilis either. Those guys are all battle tested. Rollins, Wright, Victorino and the list goes on. It’s great. I still wish the WBC was in November though. I don’t like it during spring training.
I had a Ranall Simon sighting last night as I was watching the Netherlands play Puerto Rico. Man, he’s gotten huge. I still appreciate what he did for the Cubs in 2003. Too bad the Netherlands lost though. I would have liked to see him play some more.
Now that I am back online I look forward to writing some posts about my beloved Cubs. It’s going to be a great year!