Archive - 2010

January 8th

"Andre Dawson, the Hawk...no player in baseball history worked harder, suffered more or did it better than Andre Dawson. He's the best I've ever seen. The Hawk, I watched him win an MVP for a last place team in 1987. It was the most unbelievable thing I've ever seen in baseball. He did it the right way, the natural way and he did it in the field and on the bases and in every way. I hope he will stand up here one day."

                          --Ryne Sandberg, in his Hall of Fame Induction Speech


No matter what hat his hall of fame plaque has, Andre Dawson will represent the Cubs honorably into Baseball's Shrine. This is a man who overcame his own obstacles, or more specifically his own knees. We all know that Dawson came to the Cubs in 1987 to flee the hard artificial turf of Montreal Olympic Stadium which was playing havoc with his knees.

Dawson might have never made it to Chicago, where he said he rejuvenated his career, were it not for the encouragement of his wife, Vanessa. Dawson was in so much pain in his fourth big league season because of a “fractured knee” that he told her he didn’t know if he could play any longer. Pain medication was barely getting him through games.

“The third (Darvocet) took the pain away but it came back at night. That’s why I didn’t want to do it anymore,” Dawson said. “And she looked at me and said, `You know you’re hurting now, but just see what the problem is because a year, two years from now you are going to regret walking away.”’

The last 10 years of his career (including 6 with the Cubs) were based in home parks where right field had mother natures own soft grass turf. This prolonged his career well beyond what most of his early teammates could have projected.

In 1985, then-Expos teammate Tim Wallach said of Dawson's perpetual struggles with his knees, "It hurts me as much as it hurts him. Sometimes I wish I could give him my knees. He never moans. He never complains. He has no excuses. Everyone here respects him."

Most watched in awe at the agony he put up with but few knew why Dawson had to methodically prepare for games and baseball seasons. He made it onto the field for 2627 games over 21 seasons.

January 7th

One of the many criteria people use when voting for the Hall of Fame is the question of, "Was he one of the best players of his time?" or at least, "Was he one of the best players at his position at that time?"

So I was curious who we think may be the best in the game right now? Here's my top 10 list and then top 3 at each position. I purposefully did very little statiscal research on this one, just more of when I think of the best players, this is who I think of.

January 6th

In quite a shocker, the only player elected to the Hall of Fame today was Andre Dawson with 77.9%. Bert Blyleven just missed at 74.2% as did Roberto Alomar at 73.7%. Other former Cubs were Lee Smith (47.3%), Fred McGriff(21.5%), Eric Karros (0.4%), Todd Zeile(0) and bench coach Alan Trammell (22.4%).

January 5th

Rudy Jamarillo is different than others. He has the reputation as the "best hitting coach in baseball." You can even go online and buy his "5 Simple Steps Hitting Video". Not so for Gerald Perry or Von Joshua (although Von Joshua did have the "Fuzz Machine").

January 4th

Judging by the number of hits and comments, you guys are either ridiculously bored or still passionate about the Cubs...or just like to argue. I find myself rather indifferent after the holiday break, the Cubs instilling no confidence in me that they know what they're doing and seemingly content to blame the entire failure of 2009 on Milton Bradley and injuries.

I did score my usual swag of Cubs gifts for Christmas. The Angel Fan Wife got me this 1984 Cubs cap, plus I got a new Cubs jersey to add to my collection and various other Cubs-themed knick knacks that always seem to find my stocking including a Cubs-themed Connect Four. I tried to teach the G Twins how to play, but they seemed more interested in making pretty patterns with the red and blue pieces and then releasing the support bar from the bottom so all the tiles came crashing down.

Fun little sidenote about the G twins and living in a split household. Back during the playoffs while the Angels were making a little run, they were of course on the TV a lot. A few days after getting eliminated by the Yankees, I was watching another game and one of my daughters asked where the Angels were. I explained that they lost in the playoffs and that there season was over. Her little lip started to quiver, she whimpered "It's ooover...why?" and the sobbing began. Sadly, that probably won't be the last time she cries about baseball.

Here's the update to the Free Agent Frenzy contest. One person got Rich Harden right (for 10 pts), another Jason Bay(for 8 pts) and a third person got DeRosa to the Giants (for 5 pts).

Here's a link to an All-Decade Team at The Blue Workhorse. Corey Patterson is on it and I don't think it's meant to be sarcastic.

Stop by and wish Aisle 424 a happy birthday, one of the finer new Cubs blogs to emerge in my opinion.

A detailed look into how the Ricketts are financing their loans.

Ken Rosenthal predicts the Cubs will sign Ben Sheets.

May the New Year bring love, joy, peace and a pennant for the Cubs.

Pages

X
  • Sign in with Twitter