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.
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.
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.
I am getting excited! The anticipation is almost like a child waiting for Christmas morning so they can open their presents. Next week’s Winter Meetings have gotten me excited as they do every year. However, this year I expect the Cubs to really be active. I am betting on trades and free agent signings to happen with Theo at the helm. I’m still aggravated that he allowed Greg Maddux to leave and that he didn’t bring back Ryne Sandberg. However, if he can put together a winning team all will be forgiven.
The acquisition of David DeJesus was a great signing. It was an inexpensive move as well. Now we need to strengthen our pitching staff, find a left handed slugger (Prince…maybe) and make some trades.
Speaking of trades, I would love to see the Cubs trade Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano. I doubt we will be able to trade both of these players, but I think we can swap at least one of them. I’m betting that Soriano may be playing for another team in 2012 and it will most likely be in the AL.
I’ve also read that the Cubs may shop Matt Garza around. I really, really like Garza. However, if we are able to get a bountiful return for him then I have no problem letting him go. I don’t see Theo and Hoyer accepting a trade for him without getting 4-5 minor league players in return.
Next week is kind of like a holiday for me. I am a baseball nerd who loves this part of the off-season and cannot wait for it to begin.
At the beginning of November I created my wish list for the Cubs this off-season. Here it is and along with a few changes.
Bring Sandberg back to the Cubs organization.
2. Hire a quality manager. We hired Dale Sveum.
Keep Greg Maddux in the front office.
4. Go after Prince Fielder. Sounds like it may happen. We may even go after Pujols.
5. Make offer to Aramis Ramirez (this one goes hand-in-hand with number 4 and I’ll explain later) Does not appear likely.
6. Trade Carlos Zambrano. (Even is he says it won’t happen again I know it will)
7. Trade Alfonso Soriano. Sounds like this could happen.
8. Sign Kerry Wood again or find him a job with the Cubs. Might happen.
9. Strengthen the pitching staff
So two of my wish’s have already been rejected. However, the Cubs may pursue Pujols or Fielder which is a good thing.
The off-season is about to heat up with next week’s Winter Meetings looming and the Cubs are positioning themselves with some minor moves and rumors.
First, we will not have Greg Maddux back in the organization next year. He has left us for a similar job with the Texas Rangers and will be a part of the same organization as his brother Mike. Way to go Theo! First Sandberg and now Maddux!!!!! We could have had both Maddux brothers…..oh well. You better start making some good moves soon and definitely put together a winning team!
Next, it appears we have signed outfielder, David DeJesus, to play right field for the Cubs in 2012 and 2013. I actually like DeJesus and hope he’s healthy and plays well.
It’s also been rumored that the Cubs are actually interested Pujols and Fielder. I guess Theo realizes that there won’t be any big time sluggers available for a while and with the new CBA, his ideas of rebuilding through the draft may have changed a bit. I am in support of going after either of these players. Even if we don’t sign them I hope we can at least drive the price up.
Overall, Theo has his work cut out for him. Cubs fans, myself included, want to win now. We know we have a lot of money coming off the books and expect this new regime to work miracles. In all reality, I feel next season will be a rebuilding year and I have no problem with that as long as we position ourselves to be competitive in 2013. However, I am also rooting for a miracle season in 2012.
Okay, this post is not about my newest son, Maddux. It’s about Greg Maddux and to some extent, his brother Mike. Last year, Greg was Special Assistant to the General Manager, Jim Hendry. I really don’t know what Maddog was responsible for, but I like having him involved with the team in the front office. Not only did he have a Hall of Fame career, but I feel he is one of those guys that knows a lot about the game. I think he would make a great GM, Manager, scout or pitching coach. Maybe I am giving him too much credit, but it’s just how I feel.
With all of that said, I am hoping that the Cubs find a way to keep him in the organization…..for multiple reasons. I think a guy like him knows what it’s like to play all the day games at Wrigley Field and the toll it can take on a player during the season. He could help educate younger players on how to approach the game on the field and off the field. I would think with his resume, a majority of the younger players would definitely listen. And now that his brother has interviewed for the job of manager of the Cubs it would please me to have both brothers working for the team. And who knows, maybe they could convince Ryne Sandberg to be a bench coach for the team as well. Time will tell, but I have a feeling that Mike Maddux will be the next manager of the Cubs and Greg will have a job with the team. Whether that job is on the field or in the front office doesn’t really matter to me.
On another note, I finally read the book “Moneyball”. I loved it! I would recommend it to anyone even if they were not a baseball fan like myself. I look forward to watching the movie now.
Well, the Cubs are looking for a new manager and several names have been thrown out there. Unfortunately, Ryne Sandberg is not going to be considered and I am still suffering with that decision. I respect Theo Epstein for being upfront about it, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about my favorite player of all time not being with the Cubs. Anyway, enough whining!
First, here’s just a few of the many names being considered as the next manger for the Cubs. This is in no particular order.
1. Terry Francona
2. Mike Maddux
3. Pete Mackanin
4. Dale Sveum
5. Dave Martinez
Of these five guys I just listed, and I know there are more names being circulated out there, I like Mike Maddux and Dave Martinez. I think both of these men would be excellent choices.
First, Mike Maddux, brother of Greg Maddux (my favorite pitcher of all time). Greg Maddux was a special assistant to Jim Hendry last year and it’s still undetermined if he will stay with the Cubs. From what I’ve read, he has some personal stuff to deal with first. I’m fine with that. I also think he will return to the Cubs when he’s ready. Anyway, Mike Maddux is a great pitching coach and has a great baseball mind in my opinion. He would be my choice as manager next year over all of the other candidates. Having both Maddux brothers working for the Cubs would be a good thing.
Next, Dave Martinez. Remember him? He played parts of four seasons with the Cubs during his career including a pretty successful campaign in 1987. I think he would be a good fit in Wrigley. He knows what it’s like playing all the day games and what it takes to be physically and psychologically ready. He’s also a bench coach with the Rays under Joe Maddon. That’s a definite plus.
So, if I had to choose, it would be Mike Maddux followed by Martinez. I would love to think that either one of these guys would offer a coaching position to Sandberg, but I have a suspicion that Ryno will be managing a major league team in 2012.
Whomever Theo and Co. choose to be our next manager I believe it will be a good one.