Cubs Look For More Of The Same In New Manager

Photo is courtesy of US Presswire/http://www.cbssports.com/

 

Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)

Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)

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Apparently, the Cubs are looking to become the Red Sox 2.0 as Theo Epstein seems to just call his old friends whenever a job vacancy opens up on Waveland Avenue.  I’m sorry Theo, but I expect better from you.  Shoot, anybody who is “in” baseball could call their friends if they need a new spot.  But you sir, you’re making millions of dollars because you’re supposed to be some baseball mastermind, and all you do is take out your list of friends (which is probably written in crayon) and make some phone calls?  I’m not impressed.

If you don’t know why I’m so fired up at this point, let me introduce you to the list of candidates for the Cubs’ managerial opening.

Batting leadoff is none other than former Washington Nationals and Cleveland Indians manager, Manny Acta.  There’s good news.  Acta couldn’t get it done with his first two horrible teams, so what leads you to believe that he will do anything with this horrible team Mr. Epstein?

Batting second is former catcher and current member of the Padres’ front office, A.J. Hinch.  Hinch had a decent playing career, and has some big league experience managing the Diamondbacks, but I wouldn’t call his time in Arizona something that makes him a standout candidate.

Batting third is current Padres bench coach, Rick Renteria.  Renteria has minor league managing experience with the Padres, and managed Mexico’s World Baseball Classic team.  So you can take that for what it’s worth…

Now, I notice a trend here in that the Cubs seem to have an attraction to getting talent from the Padres.  Anthony Rizzo came from the Padres, and now two managerial candidates are currently getting their checks signed by the Padres.  I don’t know about you, but when I think of power teams with vast amounts of recent Major League success, the Padres sure do jump to the front of my mind… Wait…no they don’t.  If these two guys are such great options for the Cubs, why do the Padres still suck?  Surely they would’ve had some success by now with these guys there, right?

So, as you can see, the Cubs clearly are looking to fill their managerial opening the way they’ve filled every other opening on the team (except Epstein’s)…cheaply.  All I can say is hang on Cubs fans, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Indians Enter Final Week of the Wild Card Race

Photo is courtesy of the Associated Press/http://www.newsday.com/ Written by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)

Edited by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)

Follow us on Twitter! @OS_Report

 

Well ladies and gentlemen, we are entering the final week of the 2013 MLB regular season and somehow the Cleveland Indians are still in playoff contention.  Usually when the end of the season arrives, we Tribe fans utter the same words year after year, “there is always next year,” but that is not the case this season.  There is no question that this new band of Cleveland misfits has had their ups and downs this season, but with a record of 86-70 and winning 9 of their last 11 games, these Cardiac Kids of the Cuyahoga look to be posed for the playoffs coming down the home stretch.

 

When the season started, everybody anticipated that the Indians under the leadership of Terry Francona would be better than last year (68-94), but not many thought that the Tribe would be in the hunt for the playoffs, that includes me.  Of course I was optimistic and thought that the additions of Scott Kazmir, Jason Giambi, Nick Swisher, Yan Gomes, Mike Aviles, Drew Stubbs and Michael Bourn would help the cause, but I never thought that they would change the game in Cleveland like they did. Grouping those guys together with the likes of Carlos Santana, Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley has turned the Tribe from a team that looked young and lost to one that looks excited and driven.

 

The Indians couldn’t be playing better baseball at a better time. Holding onto a 1 ½ game lead over the Texas Rangers in the AL Wild Card, the Tribe will finish off the regular season with two games at home against the Chicago White Sox and then head to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Twins to end the regular season.  In years past, Cleveland has struggled with these opponents, especially Chicago, but not this season. In 2013, the Indians are 15-2 against the White Sox and 8-6 versus the Twins.  Even though the Rangers have just as favorable of a schedule against the Astros and Angels, Cleveland is still the team to beat.  Of the final six games remaining, I would have to set the magical number at four. If the Indians can win four of their last six games, I don’t see Texas doing any better than that which will ultimately give the final Wild Card spot to the Fightin’ Tribe.

 

As much trust as I have in Cleveland’s new-found offense for this final stretch, the real confidence lies in a man that will be pitching two of the final six games for the Indians. Earlier this month, the Indian’s ace, Justin Masterson, left the rotation with an oblique injury and with that, looked to be the end of any playoff hopes in Cleveland. But like we have been all season long as Tribe fans, the Indians have proved us wrong, or should I say Ubaldo Jimenez has.  Once the main cog of a disappointing trade in 2010, Jimenez has turned into the ace of old that we once saw in Colorado. Since the All-Star Break, Jimenez has fanned 80 batters and is sporting a cool 1.83 ERA.  The Tribe and Francona needed somebody to step up in a big way when Masterson went down, and what a step Jimenez took for the Indians, the playoffs and most of all, his once bleak future.

 

As Indians fans, we were teased in 2011 and disappointed in 2012, but 2013 has seen a different story.  You always wonder how new faces will mesh with the old, but due to the success of Tito, The Goon Squad and Bro-hio, it looks to be a Red, White and Blue October!