Three quick thoughts to end the week:
Joe Torre said today that he doesn’t think that Manny Ramirez should play in the all-star game if he gets voted in. I’d go a step further – if the fans vote Manny into the all-star game then MLB should immediately ban people from entering every stadium in the league. It would be better to play in empty stadiums then to let people who are stupid enough to vote a suspended druggie into the all-star game make the team. This would make a mockery of the all-star game. Of course, the mockery ship sailed years ago when it come to all-star games.
Hendrick Motorsports did a big shakeup this week when they fired Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief. You really have to wonder if the right move would have been to get rid of Dale himself. Earnhardt is 19th in points, and he hasn’t finished better than 27th in the last three weeks. I understand that he’s a marketing marvel, but his marketing appeal is going to be significantly diminished if he can’t learn how to win a race or two at some point. His residual popularity can only last so long. The new crew chief promises a top down review f the team. It shouldn’t take him long to realize that Earnhardt is missing two things that made him great once – hunger and courage. He is tentative and unmotivated, and it shows in his results. This should go down as one of the worst trades in history – Herschel Walker bad. Hendrick essentially traded Earnhardt for Kyle Busch last year. Since then Jr. has one win while Busch has 11.
The Rockies are terrible and, as usually happens in these cases, the wrong guy has taken the fall. Manager Clint Hurdle was fired today, just two years after leading his team to the World Series. I don’t really argue that a change needed to be made, but it wasn’t Hurdle’s fault that the team was so lousy. Given that he was given no real pitching, hitting, or defense to work with he should have got a raise – he was only 10 games below .500, and that’s a miracle. Jim Tracy takes over. Bold prediction of the day – he will make no discernible impact, and this team will be just as bad in September as they have been in May. The senior management is who should have taken the blame for this mockery of a team. It’s pathetic mismanagement, and I don’t see how it can get any better any time soon.