Pitchers and catchers report in just a few weeks, and the headlines are picking up the pace in anticipation of the upcoming season. From fun-filled fanfests to retirement talks, it’s hard to believe this offseason is almost over!
Lou Piniella: Back so soon?
If you thought August 22, 2010 was Lou Piniella’s final farewell to baseball, think again. The former Cubs manager is making a comeback in 2011 as Brian Sabean’s special advisor. Still, the contract is only for one year, so we may be seeing another special closing ceremony for Lou not too long from now.
Retirement struggles: Part Two
After a stunning 16 seasons, 5 World Series victories, and a full career with the New York Yankees, starting pitcher Andy Pettitte is stepping off the mound for good. It makes sense to question this decision, especially with the needed strength Pettitte provides to New York’s pitching rotation. According to Andy, however, things just weren’t feeling right. “I just feel like that my heart is not fully, completely sold out to do this again,” quotes AP sportswriter Ronald Blum. And while reentering the majors in 2012 hasn’t been ruled out yet, it’s not looking likely. Even if Pettitte sticks with a permanent retirement, I have to respect a player who believes that baseball should be played with heart and passion, who is living proof that this sport is more than just a business.
From San Francisco to Seattle, with love
Although I hate to see any Giants leave SF, I can’t complain too much when those players end up in my hometown. Last month, relief pitcher Chris Ray left sunny California to become a minor-league Mariner. He’s one of few players to end up on both World Series teams in the same year, having pitched for both the Rangers and the Giants in 2010. Up in Seattle, I have high hopes for him, and can’t wait for the day when he closes out a game in Safeco Field.
Get ready for… The Real Giants of San Francisco!
Seriously, how awesome would that be? Negotiations are in the works for the first-ever reality TV show starring major members of the San Francisco Giants. If all goes according to plan, the series will follow the Giants through their “comeback season” of 2011, keeping tabs on their every heartbreak, triumph, and moment in between. The only question is, will the Machine be given a recurring role?