Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's over for Lou Piniella and Bobby Cox


There's news in baseball to chat about. Here we go!

> The manager of the Chicago Cubs, Lou Piniella, is leaving at the end of this year.
> Talk about why he's leaving. He says it's just time. Maybe it is. I've liked Lou from his time playing for the Yankees. He's fiery, competitive and won a World Series when he managed the Reds. He's been around. He's probably ready to be around the house.
> Do you believe him? It's been a tough season for the Cubs who were expected to contend in some fashion. Instead, the #1 pitcher Carlos Zambrano had a meltdown, went to the bullpen, had another meltdown and underwent a suspension and is working his way back up from the minors.
> Perhaps you can say, "Maybe Lou just had enough." And see what kind of reaction you get.

Who will replace him?
> Joe Torre, formerly of the Yankees and currently with the Dodgers, isn't ruling anything out.
> Ryne Sandberg, currently the manager of the Cubs AAA team and a Hall of Fame 2nd baseman for the Cubs, is VERY interested.
> It's also believed that Bob Brenly, who lead the AZ Diamondbacks to a World Series and is currently a Cubs announcer, says he's interested.

Whew! Let the guessing begin!

Next, Bobby Cox, the manager of the Atlanta Braves is retiring at season's end.
> He's the legendary manager who has lead the Braves from the outhouse to the penthouse (bottom to top) of the division and won a World Series.
> He's known for getting tossed out of games but he's also known as being among the smartest managers in the game. Most players love him and hang around to play for him. Ask Chipper Jones. He's talked about retiring this season along with Cox. Some people just go together.

Enjoy and chat it up!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Red Sox Honor Steinbrenner

In the end, my friends, it's more than a game. Life is much, much bigger than any game. Last night, the Boston Red Sox proved that.

The Sox paid tribute to George Steinbrenner and former Yankees announcer Bob Sheppard last night at Boston's Fenway Park. If you don't know anything about sports, know this: it would be the equivalent of the Buffalo Bills (4 time losers in the Super Bowl) feting the teams that vanquished them.

The Yankees and the Red Sox are not friends. Maybe not as bitter rivals as in past years but darn close. The Red Sox kvetched that the Yankees out-spended them and stole players and the Yankees thought that keeping the Red Sox from reaching the World Series, was their job. Steinbrenner and the president of the Red Sox swapped some seriously verbal jabs. It wasn't pretty.

But yesterday, it was beautiful in Boston. There were no more hard feelings. The Red Sox held a moment of silence to salute The Boss and then fans actually clapped for him. They also acknowledged Bob Sheppard, the longtime announcer at Yankee Stadium who died this week at the age of 99.

Kudos to the Red Sox organization and their fans for the tribute. Pure class. They knew the past was over and it was time to salute two men who made amazing contributions to the game of baseball and who lifted the community at large. Life is bigger than any game. The Red Sox proved that last night. Well done.

Chat it up and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Boss Leaves the Field

Hi Friends,

Quick posting about what you can chat about today. George Steinbrenner, the owner of the NY Yankees, has died.

> He is perhaps the most influential owner of any sports team ever.
> Nicknamed "The Boss", Steinbrenner bought a struggling franchise in 1973 and restored it to glory, winning seven World Series titles. How? He spent TONS of money acquiring top talent.
> He and his staff put together a great development program in the minors that produced Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and many more.
> Steinbrenner was known as a very hands on owner and some of his tenure was tumultuous. He had a history of unexpectedly hiring and firing managers. One of them, Billy Martin, was hired AND fired 5 different times.
> He was yin and yang: controversial -- pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to make illegal campaign contributions and was banned from baseball for more than a year -- and supported charitable causes, often anonymously.

He was MEMORABLE and a character and unforgettable.

Chat it up! And enjoy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

LeBron Goes to the Miami Heat

So, it's over. LeBron James is going to the Miami Heat. Here's what you can chat up Friday at the watercooler:

> What's the upside of him going to the Miami Heat? Yes, they'll be instant NBA title contenders.
It will be amazing to see LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh together on the same court every night.
> Downside? Never count out injuries. If LeBron and Dwyane or Bosh go down, the Heat don't yet have the bench power to replace them. The Heat will likely have salary cap issues so they'll have lots of players who have been signed at the minimum.
> LeBron will have to share the spotlight with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Let's be clear, this is Dwyane Wade's team. He lead them to an NBA title in 2006. Is sharing the spotlight and the ball and the plays possible? Will he want to share the money?
> How does this bode for Cleveland? Not great. This is a city that's taken it on the chin.

In the end, it's a loss for Cleveland, Chicago, the Knicks, the Nets and the Clippers. But Miami? They'll party on tonight.

Stay tuned friends and chat it up!!

LeBron James: where's he going? What's he doing?

Hello friends,

Short post today but plenty to ponder and chat about:
> LeBron James, the most-talked about basketball player since Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, will announce tonight which team he will play for over the next several seasons.
> He's giving his decision tonight at 9e/8c on ESPN.
> You should be asking why. Why is he choosing to make this person decision so incredibly public?
> 1.) He does things in a big way. 2.) advertising dollars are being donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs. 3.) Because he can.
> This is how the entire NBA free agency discussion has flowed: What is LeBron going to do? So much attention has been paid to that that he's ABLE and WILLING to take advantage of that.
> Should that be the new standard? Creating a 1 hour special on a national cable channel to see who 1 NBA player is going to play for? Bill Simmons on ESPN calls it, "LeBronocalypse".
> How will he be viewed if he leaves his (nearly hometown) Cleveland Cavaliers? Villain? Traitor? Looking out for his best interests?
> Teams in the running: Chicago, Miami, Cleveland, NY Knicks and the NJ Nets.
> One duo: Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have teamed up in Miami. LeBron joining them instantly vaults Miami to instant title contender.

Chat it up! Tell me what you think! It's a big day on the BBQ.