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Cubs Should Make Ryne Sandberg Their New Manager

With the announcement of Lou Piniella’s retirement, Chicago Cubs fans have once again picked up their talks as to why former Cub and current manager of the Triple-A affiliate Iowa Cubs, Ryne Sandberg, should be their new manager. And you know what? It makes perfect sense.

1. Sandberg understands the Cubs. As a former player, Sandberg knows what being a member of the Cubs is all about. I have to hand it to Cubs fans for being so loyal when their team is a terrible as they are. Even though attendance at Wrigley Field is down, Cubs hats and t-shirts are still worn with pride. Sandberg understands that the “lovable losers” will stand by the Cubs no matter what their position in the standings is. But more importantly he knows how badly they want to win.

2. Sandberg has been preparing for this job. He hasn’t spent four years in the minor leagues for nothing. Sandberg took the job in Iowa so that he would have the proper seasoning when the Cubs job opened up. He even says he’s been preparing for this opportunity.

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Bruce Bochy Picks on Acting Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly

Bruce Bochy may not be very good at making decisions, but he’s certainly got an eye for spotting others who make bad ones.  After Joe Torre was ejected due to a hit batsman issue during Wednesday night’s Dodgers-Giants game, Bochy pulled out the rule book and stuffed it directly up acting manager Don Mattingly‘s can.

With the Dodgers leading 5-4 in a bases loaded situation in the 9th, Mattingly decided to make a mound visit to chat with his closer, Jonathan Broxton. As Mattingly was leaving the mound to head back to the dugout, James Loney asked him a question and he turned around and walked back to the mound to answer him.  Since he technically stepped off the mound and returned in the same inning, Bochy was quick to point out that it was the second mound visit of the inning and the umpiring crew agreed Broxton must leave the game.  Here’s the video of Don Mattingly accidentally making two mound visits and forcing Broxton from the game, courtesy of Deadspin:

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Carl Crawford Takes One in the Nuts

Any time I played ball I ALWAYS wore a cup. I know it’s uncomfortable and screws you up when you’re running or lifting your leg during a pitching windup, but dealing with that discomfort is much better than the alternative. The problem is some guys don’t understand how bad the alternative is until it happens to them. Take for instance Rays star outfielder Carl Crawford who got dosed in the nuts on a pickoff attempt. He went down writhing in pain over an ordinary cup check. Watch this Carl Crawford nut shot video and tell me he doesn’t wish he were wearing a cup:

Ordinarily I’d feel badly for him, but Crawford should know better. I hope he’s not hurt but man, he learned his lesson the hard way. Weird thing is that can happen to a guy and he still might not learn his lesson; Adrian Beltre went on the DL with a testicle injury after getting hit in the nuts and still said he might not wear a cup in the future. Can you imagine that?!

Thanks to LBS contributor Alan for the heads up on this injury and The Last Angry Fan for the video. Here are some pics:

It Was Time for Piniella to Call it Quits

On Tuesday, word leaked that Chicago Cubs skipper Lou Piniella would be retiring at the end of the 2010 season.  Piniella said that he made this decision at this point in the season so that GM Jim Hendry would have ample time to find his replacement. I say it’s about time.

Piniella’s four years in Chicago have been interesting to say the least. In his time with the Cubs he led them to back-to-back NL Central titles in 2007 and 2008. Whether it was the pressure of the playoffs, bad managing, or the mythical goat curse on the Cubs, they failed to win a postseason series. They had a disappointing 2009 season and presently sit 10.5 games out of first place and 10 games under .500. I think it’s fair to say that Sweet Lou stopped managing a while ago.

I don’t blame him. I would be frustrated too. The Cubs have a very talented roster and have even had some surprises this year with the success of Carlos Silva and the performances by rookies Starlin Castro and Tyler Colvin, yet they can’t seem to put the puzzle together. Fans are frustrated, players are frustrated, and obviously Piniella is just tired of watching the boys in blue and white go out and stink day after day.

Piniella is going to be 67 years old — he doesn’t need to watch this anymore. Like I said, I don’t think he’s been contributing much this season anyways. Now the real job will be for Hendry to go out and find someone who can shine a light on the Northside of Chicago and give the Cubs at least a shot a winning something.

Sources:
Piniella to Retire as Cubs Manager [ESPN Chicago]

Giants Fan Heckles Keith Hernandez for Sleeping on the Job

It’s been over two months since Jerry Seinfeld’s good friend Keith Hernandez fell asleep in the broadcast booth during an extra-inning game between the Mets and Giants. Not surprisingly, the fans haven’t forgotten. They also haven’t stopped letting him hear about it. Here’s a video of a Giants fan heckling Keith Hernandez for falling asleep in the broadcast booth, courtesy of Tirico Suave:

It seems the only thing that gets under Hernandez’s skin more than being heckled about this embarrassing moment is a confrontation with Jose Reyes. Props to the heckler for being loud enough to be heard on the TV broadcast. I’m not really sure what Keith means when he says, “I wish I could say something back but we’re on the air.” What can he say? The man fell asleep on the job. He can tell the fan to shove it if it makes him feel better, but at the end of the day when you do something that hilarious, you can expect to be heckled about it for a long, long time.

Source:
Rowdy Giants Fan Keeps Keith Hernandez Awake [Tirico Suave]

Who Used Heart Attack? Me. RIP Lou

Yankees longtime PA announcer Bob Sheppard died at the age of 99 last week. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner died of a heart attack a few days later. Those deaths were significant and received copious amounts of coverage from the media. Sadly, there was a big death in baseball this past weekend but it received very little coverage.

Beloved Cleveland Indians manager Lou Brown died on Friday in Costa Mesa, CA at the age of 70 because of cancer. Brown was 253-233 over his three year managerial career, leading the Indians to a divisional crown and AL pennant in two of his three years. His strong run as Cleveland’s skipper was cut short because of health reasons and the Indians haven’t seen the success they had under Brown since the torch was passed to Jake Taylor.

Under Brown’s leadership, the Indians saw Willie Mays Hayes win the team’s first Rookie of the Year Award since Joe Charboneau was so honored in 1980. Similarly, Brown’s personal work with Rick Vaughn helped Cleveland see its first Cy Young winner since Gaylord Perry in 1972. Lou never received much consideration for the Hall of Fame because of his short career but he was headed for a plaque in Cooperstown.

Lou Brown famously clashed with owner Rachel Phelps who planned to move the Indians to Florida. If Brown’s inspiration didn’t work, Cleveland may have lost its team. Brown also stood up to prima donna Roger Dorn, pushing the All-Star to new levels by demanding his best efforts.

Its too bad that Lou didn’t last longer as a manager — he could have been one of the greats.

RIP Lou. 70 was far too young.

Sources:
SbB Live
Character actor James Gammon, who got his start in Orlando, dies at 70 [Orlando Sentinel]

Weird Baseball Injuries Continue

Baseball players must be made of paper mache because they keep getting hurt in the strangest of ways. We’ve already seen our share of injuries that occurred as a result of celebrations gone wrong, but now we can add to our growing list of weird sports injuries. For some reason, the common thread is that three of the four strange injuries happened to pitchers. Maybe they’re just soft as we’ve pointed out before.

The first strange injury occurred last week when Russell Branyan hurt his toe. How did it happen? A coffee table landed on it and cut his foot. Or something like that. Thanks to SI Hot Clicks for the heads up on that injury.

The next weird sports injury was probably the most embarrassing. Padres young stud pitcher Mat Latos landed on the 15-day disabled list after straining his side holding back a sneeze. No joke. He says he learned the lesson that he should just let it fly next time. We sure hope he does. Somewhere Sammy Sosa is saying “I told ya.”

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