No Winners in White Sox Fiasco

Adam LaRoche Chicago White Sox

Adam LaRoche (photo by By Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as “Adam LaRoche”) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons}

When the whole mess with Adam LaRoche and the Chicago White Sox started last week, I only felt bad for one person – LaRoche’s son, Drake. That 14-year-old kid has had a hell of a lot put on him simply because his father wanted to teach the White Sox a “lesson” and walk away from the game on principle.

So before we nominate LaRoche for Father of the Year, think about that. Let’s also remember that, while $13 million is a lot of money, LaRoche is also a multimillionaire. It’s not like you and me walking away from a $50,000 job and having to worry about not being able to feed our families. It’s far from that.

And what about the young man going to school? I know LaRoche once gave an interview where he said “We’re not big on school,” but wouldn’t the Father of the Year make sure his kid was prepared for his future?

Look, I get it’s cool for a boy to be able to hang out with pro baseball players. Kids love that stuff. I worked in Division I college athletics for years. I sometimes took my kids to games or on road trips, but I never took them into a locker room. That is not where they belong.

The White Sox and LaRoche could have reached some middle ground. The White Sox totally mishandled the situation and LaRoche overreacted, in my opinion.

Perhaps LaRoche saw the end of his career was near and this was an easy way out. I don’t know. All I know is that Drake LaRoche has to take on part of a burden he didn’t ask for and doesn’t deserve.

In Podcast #41, host Gene Gumbs talks about that and a number of other things happening in Major League Baseball spring training camps.

Also in this Episode:

  • Jim Kaat presented an interesting idea on how to make MLB less “tired”
  • The injuries in LA continue to mount with Andre Ethier now out 3-4 months
  • Travis Shaw is making things difficult in Red Sox camp
  • A look at the NCAA Tournament
  • Steve Pikiell lands men’s basketball job at Rutgers after reach NCAAs with Stony Brook
  • My pick for team of the week

I appreciate you listening and following me every week. You can listen to the latest podcast here, or subscribe to it on iTunes to have it automatically downloaded to your iOS devices.

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions here or at ggumbs@sbcglobal.net. Please let me know what you think!

Bryce Harper Has a Point

"BryceHarper2015SD002" by Johnmaxmena2 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BryceHarper2015SD002.jpg#/media/File:BryceHarper2015SD002.jpg

“Bryce Harper2015SD002” by Johnmaxmena2 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BryceHarper2015SD002.jpg#/media/File:BryceHarper2015SD002.jpg

Despite the fact that I’m a traditionalist, I have to admit that Bryce Harper has a point when it comes to his assertion that baseball needs to inject a little more personality into the game. This week’s edition of the Sports Microscope podcast talks about that, and the rather unhinged comments by Hall of Famer Rich Gossage.

There is little doubt that the average age of the baseball fan keeps going up. There can also be no arguing that Major League Baseball needs to find a way to attract young fans and get kids excited about actually playing baseball. Players loosening up some of those unwritten rules about bat flips, etc. might be a good start.

Don’t get me wrong, some unwritten rules are good and necessary. Up eight runs and still trying to steal bases? The middle infielders covering second need to police that, or the pitcher needs to make the next batter wear a baseball. Not showing up the opponent should be the primary unwritten rule. Does flipping a bat, yelling after striking out an opponent, or strutting a bit after hitting a homer constitute showing up the opponent? I don’t think so. That kind of thing has been going on for years. Hell, wouldn’t Kirk Gibson‘s arm pumps after hitting the game-winning homer off Dennis Eckersley in 1988 be considered showboating?

There’s no easy answer here. Someone is always going to take offense at some perceived slight. David Price had perhaps the best solution – how about the shoes? Why not let player express their personality through their footwear? Why shouldn’t MLB change their policy that cleats have to be 51 percent of the team’s primary color? I like Price’s idea a lot and it brings the sport a little closer to what Bryce Harper suggests.

Also in this Episode:

  • Could Jered Weaver be at the end of the line?
  • Travis Shaw is hitting the heck out of the ball in spring training. What do the Red Sox do?
  • Jenrry Mejia must all think we are as dumb as he is
  • The mess in Baltimore continues as they sign human statue Pedro Alavarez
  • Brock Osweiler parlays seven career starts into 18 million a year
  • My pick for team of the week

I appreciate you listening and following me every week. You can listen to the latest podcast here, or subscribe to it on iTunes to have it automatically downloaded to your iOS devices.

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions here or at ggumbs@sbcglobal.net. Please let me know what you think!

 

NL West Title Path Now Easier for Giants

Brett Anderson's injury will make it tougher for the Dodgers to win the NL West.  (photo by Arturo Pardavila III [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Brett Anderson’s injury will make it tougher for the Dodgers to win the NL West. (photo by Arturo Pardavila III [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

In episode 39 of the Sports Microscope Podcast, host Gene Gumbs discusses why the path to the NL West crown just got a little easier for the San Francisco Giants. With the announcement that Brett Anderson is out for 3-5 months, and the continued injury issues for Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder) and Brandon McCarthy (elbow), the Dodger rotation becomes a little thinner behind ace Clayton Kershaw.

To have a shot at the NL West, the Dodgers have to hope they are getting the Scott Kazmir that pitched in Oakland last year, not the one that pitched to a four ERA and 1.4 WHIP in Houston. They’ll also need rookie Kenta Maeda to live up to the hype he created in the Japanese League. Of course he signed an eight-year contract, so they must really believe in him. They also have Alex Wood, who is serviceable but allows way too many men to get on base.

I am sure the Giants aren’t shedding any tears, and the Arizona Diamondbacks are probably licking their chops, thinking that this might be the thing they need to stay relevant and remain in the NL West race all season. I’ll match their top three of Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller and Patrick Corbin against the top three the Dodgers have right now.

Also in this NL West Themed Episode:

  • Injuries already becoming a factor for season’s start
  • Enough of the Yoenis Cespedes three-ring circus already!
  • Could the Minnesota Twins be the Astros of 2016?
  • Doc Emrick makes cool appearance in Pirate radio booth
  • Anyone else wonder how Ian Desmond is getting along with his agent?
  • My pick for team of the week

I appreciate you listening and following me every week. You can listen to the latest podcast here, or subscribe to it on iTunes to have it automatically downloaded to your iOS devices.

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions here or at ggumbs@sbcglobal.net. Please let me know what you think!