His Hall-of-Fame career is nearly done, but there’s one thing missing, a World Series ring
By Cam Cain 11-5-11
Last year, we thought Jim Thome’s career was over when he decided to return to the Indians, the team in which he spent his first 12 seasons. We thought it was nice for him to return to the team where he started his career. Well, it turns out he’s coming back and now in the City of Brotherly Love where he spent 3 seasons from ’03 to ’05.
Who can blame him? There are two things missing from his outstanding career. (You and I both know he’s not winning an MVP anytime soon.) The other is a World Series win. Yes, he’s been very close twice in Cleveland twice (’95 and ’97) but Thome thought that his best chance to win a ring was in Philly. Thome will primarily be a bench player and pinch hitter.
Philadelphia has also shown interest in Minnesota utilityman Michael Cuddyer. The Phils like Cuddyer, a right handed bat, who has spent his first 11 seasons with the Twins. Cuddyer can regularly play any of the three outfield positions as well as the corner infield positions and second base. He will most likely play first with Thome while Ryan Howard is ailing a left achilles injury. Then, he will move to left.
In other news…
Rangers’ pitching coach Mike Maddux has met with the Cubs. He has recently dropped out of the race for the same job in Boston for inconvenience reasons. Sandy Alomar Jr. is interviewing sometime soon.
The Giants and Royals completed a trade in which San Fransisco received Outfielder Melky Cabrera and sent Pitcher Jonathan Sanchez. This was a great trade that filled the needs of both teams, Kansas City’s need of pitchers and overabundance of outfielders, and San Francisco’s desperate lack of hitting with an overabundance of starting pitching. Cabrera had a breakout season, setting career highs in every category besides triples en route to 201 hits, 4th in the American League. Sanchez has never had stellar numbers but he has promise, pitching well in key games as well as a no-hitter under his belt.
Cards Manager LaRussa retires after 33 years as skipper.
By Cam Cain 10-31-11
His legacy will surely never be forgotten. Tony LaRussa spent 33 years managing ballclubs, the most recent 16 with the Cardinals. This came as a huge surprise, not 48 hours after winning the World Series for the third time, and second with St. Louis. Just like that, 33 years of baseball for him have come to an abrupt end. LaRussa becomes the first manager to retire following a World Series victory. LaRussa also retires with the third most managerial wins of all time behind Connie Mack and John McGraw.
“I think everybody was a little sad,” said Matt Holliday. “But I think at the same time, for us to see a guy that’s had such an amazing career, 33 years of managing, you don’t see it very often, where a guy gets to go out on top with a team and a run that was very symbolic of the kind of manager and the kind of leader that Tony was.
This is truly the end of an era. He leaves behind a legacy. He is beside Sparky Anderson as one of 2 managers to win a World Series in both leagues. He has also won 6 pennants, going 3-3 in those World Series. I never knew Tony but I wish him best of luck in retirement.
In other news…
The Mets have moved portions of the fences in at the very large Citi Field. It was getting to a point that these hitter-unfriendly confines were disliked by the players. A good example, David Wright has hit nearly 30 points better away from home and has also had a significant increase in slugging percentage on the road. “I really do believe a ballpark like ours has a more dramatic impact on the home team than on the visitors,” says Mets GM Sandy Alderson.
C.C. Sabathia has signed a contract extention with the Yankees until 2016. They still will need a decent no. 2 starter with Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon likely leaving. Maybe C.J. Wilson? If so, New York must hope he doesn’t turn out like another A.J. Burnett.
The Indians have made a move to acquire pitcher Derek Lowe from the Braves. Lowe is 38 years old currently and hasn’t pitched well in years. They lost a single A pitcher for him. Also, Cleveland did not pick up Grady Sizemore’s option making him a free agent. Sizemore has played 8 seasons, all with Cleveland.