Picks of the Pen (10/25): Mike Quaid Ruins Everything

This week, both defending league champions lost their playoff rights and were sent home trophy-less.  So if you’re one of the millions of New York/Philadelphia fans not watching the World Series, you’re going to need something else to look at.

Move time!  Pete Rose reminds MLB he would rather be alive if voted into the Hall of Fame, in an interview that celebrates the new movie starring his life, 4192: The Crowning of the Hit King. Not a great time for his corked bat to go up for sale.

Records like “most hits” don’t get broken these days; not without “in Yankees history” or some other addendum added to the end of it, so this (apparently extremely intense) documentary will shine a light on the not-being-banned-from-baseball areas of Rose’s career.

Though I’m not sure why J. Jonah Jameson got the narrating job.

Get your link on below, courtesy of our fine staff.

Michael

I’ve watched baseball since I was knee high to a grasshopper/in diapers/learning my letters (pick a cliche) but John Klima has taken steps to go from just watching to full on scouting.  He provides a brief glimpse into a two-week program known affectionately as “scout school”.

It’s a fascinating read that made me think about how I read scouting reports and how I interpret them.  Klima makes a solid point to show that scouting isn’t just finding the great white whale…but that sometimes the minnows are helpful and grow into something bigger down the line.

Watching the Rangers celebrate their victory in the ALCS struck me with feelings of jealousy.  During the game, my roommate asked me if I’d ever been to a playoff game.  Being a Royals fan, I have not, as they haven’t been in the playoffs since Reagan’s second term.  So yeah, I’m jealous and wondering what it’ll take to get my team into that position, too.  Joseph Lopez at Swingin’ A’s has a similar feeling of envy and contemplation when looking across the bay at the success of the San Francisco Giants.

Justin

Please oh please let there be a video and/or image of the Yankees suffering please oh please oh please.

To be fair, that’s the first thought in my head every morning.  But today, it was extremely satisfying.  You know how people say that above all team biases, they are baseball fans?  I think at my most general baseball fandom, I still hate the Yankees with the fires of the of most rancid, abrasive circles of hell.  So while I look for an appropriate image of failed Yankees, here’s the New York Times both patronizing and downplaying the Texas Ranger’s first World Series appearance.

yaaaaaaaaaay (IMAGE OF THE WEEK)

[ESPN]

And here is where I would shove you toward the celebratory post of Nolan Writin, but apparently we’re still trying to staff it, so instead I’ll just hand you some Rum Bunter, because come on, you were headed there anyway.  That precocious Bryce Harper had his first at bat in the Arizona Fall League.  A Phillies prospect, Josh Zeid, got him to pop out.   It wasn’t until the Pirates prospect was pitching that Bryce got his first professional hit.

Hey.  I’ve got to take the W’s where I can find them right now.

Jordan

Who is Mike Quade? Well, even if you like to consider yourself a credible baseball fan, you probably would not recognize Mike Quade if you saw him walking down the street. Well Quade is the new manager of the Chicago Cubs, and Melissa Isaacson chronicles the life of Quade leading up to this point.

Even though the Yankees did not reach the World Series, Andrew Corselli of Yanks Go Yard writes that this season was not a failure, and anyone who believes it was is a “spoiled idiot.”

Ryne

While baseball fans who had teams in the playoffs were living and dying with every pitch (I watched, but it’s not the same when your team isn’t involved), I was living and dying with every rumor surrounding the Chicago Cubs managerial search. I was so excited four years ago when Ryne Sandberg got back into baseball. I mean how many people get to see their favorite all-time player become relevant in today’s game. Not many. And Ryno was one of the last anyone would think of to get back in the game, especially as a manager.

And yet, there he was riding buses in Peoria and Tennessee and Iowa. And he was doing a heckuva job too. His teams won, he showed a different personality and even got thrown out of games, and he was definitely going to be the Cubs next skipper. Until he wasn’t. Sure Mike Quade did a nice job in 37 meaningless games, but that didn’t mean it was okay for the Cubs to stiff Sandberg.

Did I mention those 37 games were meaningless? And did I mention that we’re talking about Ryne Sandberg. People can joke all they want about his personality as a player. But maybe that’s why he would have been perfect. He didn’t talk as a player, but when you’re not talking, you’re listening and observing and forming opinions. Now, he has the personality to let those opinions run free and tell all the superstars how it is. I don’t know if he would have succeeded — the Cubs are a mess after all — but the point is that Ryne Sandberg only ever belonged with one franchise (the Phillies barely count).

And that franchise was Chicago. Seeing him in another uniform even if it is just as a manager would just be wrong. And yes, it’s because he’s my favorite player, but it’s also because he earned the shot. And yes, this decision makes me about as down on the Cubs as I’ve ever been and I don’t know what to think anymore. Except that Jim Hendry should have been fired after last season and that this “short” lead is way too long. But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

And it still doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know if it ever will.

I’ll keep this one short and congratulate the San Francisco Giants on their trip to the World Series — even if I do hate their bush-league fake tagging antics, those panda hats, and something about Juan Uribe. Oh, and they let Barry Bonds throw out a first pitch during the series. Really?

Steve

I always enjoy a good read from Cubbies Crib’s Jordan Campbell. I also enjoy his spotlight on GM Jim Hendry. If any GM needs to have a good 2011, Hendry’s your guy. But Jordan wonders (aloud, very aloud) why Hendry is still around.

Personally, I am excited to watch the upcoming World Series matchup between Texas and San Francisco. A question some may have is if this particular matchup is good for baseball. I believe it is, and I’m not the only one.

John

Rob Neyer makes his money by responding to other people’s blog posts on his blog, but with the Rangers and Giants set to square off for the World Championship, Rob went all old school on us and wrote an entire article all by himself.

At Blog Red Machine, Steve Engbloom looks at a superstar on the rise. But as good as Jay Bruce was for the Reds in 2010, Steve says that Bruce has plenty of room for improvement

Topics: 4192, Chicago Cubs, Mike Quaid, Nlcs, Pete Rose, Philadelphia Phillies, Picks Of The Pen, Rob Neyer, Rum Bunter, San Francisco Giants

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