Chicago and Miami ... hello

Couple of things on my mind ...

Lou Piniella will be named the 56th manager of the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.

This is a bit of a surprise. Piniella has always made it clear that he wanted to be close to his Florida home ... and we see what that home cooking did for him while managing the Devil Rays.

I'm sure no one is happier to see Piniella leave the broadcast booth than Steve Lyons.

Chicago is not nearly as bad as Tampa is. Face it -- if you're managing the Devil Rays, you may as well be managing in another famous wasteland. But he is inheriting a team that had the fewest wins (66) in the National League in 2006, recorded the fewest saves (29), gave up the second-most runs (834), the third-most homers with 210 -- and only three behind league-leading Cincinnati -- and the third-highest ERA at 4.74.

Now 63, I'm curious to see what kind of a grind he's going to through managing this bunch. By his own admission, Piniella describes himself as a "blue-collar" type of manager. After four seasons of the country-club atmosphere Dusty Baker seemed to promote and the party time that is Wrigley Field, the Cubs and their fans had better get used to a manager who expects things to be done the right way each time.

NCAA moves quickly after Miami-FIU brawl

Saturday's sideline-clearing brawl -- including a clubbing with a helmet, a stomp that may do Albert Haynesworth proud and the use of crutches as weapons -- has resulted in a total of 31 suspensions for Miami and Florida International.

And, of course, there is media overstepping its bounds. For a long time, I have been against the use of former players and coaches as play-by-play people and analysts. All one needs to do is see how Michael Irvin reacted to the the so-called attempted suicide of the NFL player I refuse to name. By and large, those like Irvin and Deion Sanders among others do not have the necessary training.

As a side note, for that matter, neither do I: my school did not offer a journalism major in the late 80s, so I graduated with a degree in English. I didn't break into this business until 1995, and my training was simply doing the job each day the best way I know how combined with a healthy dose of common sense ... which means, above all, don't become part of the story!

Lamar Thomas, who had a mediocre six-year career in the NFL, before becoming an analyst with Comcast Sports Southeast, obviously never got the message. Below are his comments, taken from an Associated Press story, during the brawl:

"Now, that's what I'm talking about," Thomas said as the brawl raged out of control. "You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked. You don't come into the OB playing that stuff. You're across the ocean over there. You're across the city. You can't come over to our place talking noise like that. You'll get your butt beat. I was about to go down the elevator to get in that thing."

As the fight slowed, Thomas' comments continued.

"I say, why don't they just meet outside in the tunnel after the ball game and get it on some more? You don't come into the OB, baby," Thomas said. "We've had a down couple years but you don't come in here talking smack. Not in our house."

So much for not becoming part of the story. He will be hired by someone else down the road, I'm sure -- maybe these guys will have a spot for him.

1 comment:

Todd said...

Kicked up the blog a few notches, I see. Very cool. Keep it up!