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Blog Entry

3 to Watch: The honoring Sparky edition

Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:19 am
 
The home team is honoring Sparky Anderson this weekend at Comerica Park.

So are the visitors.

The Tigers will finally, belatedly, retire Sparky's No. 11 in a ceremony on Sunday. The Diamondbacks -- the first-place Diamondbacks -- will show that baseball as Sparky taught it still works.

It's ridiculous that the Tigers waited until this year, until Anderson died in November, to do this. It's great, and perfectly fitting, that they chose to do it this weekend, with Kirk Gibson, Alan Trammell and the team that they have tried to craft in Sparky's image in town to see it.

"Sparky meant the world to them," Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall said, and anyone who knows Gibson or Trammell just a little bit knows that's 100 percent true. "He was their mentor, and their idol."

In the three years Trammell managed the Tigers, with Gibson at his side as a coach, they tried hard to teach the game as Sparky had taught it to them. For various reasons, mostly a lack of talent on the field, they lost 300 games and were never in first place after April 17.

Now Gibson is in his first full year managing the Diamondbacks, with Trammell at his side as bench coach. And this time, the Diamondbacks are in first place, ahead of the World Series champions, in the final days of June.

This time, with better talent, baseball as Sparky taught it is working the way it worked all those years for Anderson.

"I think Gibby gets the majority of the credit," Hall said. "I'd also give a lot of credit to [new general manager] Kevin Towers, and to the coaching staff. They're all on the same page like I've never seen a coaching staff."

They play baseball the way Gibson teaches it. He teaches baseball the way he learned it from Sparky.

Is there any better way to honor a Hall of Famer?

On to 3 to Watch:

1. When he took over for Mike Hargrove four years ago in Seattle -- after Hargrove stunned everyone by quitting in the middle of a long winning streak -- John McLaren said: "I have always wanted to manager, but not on terms like this." OK, John, how about these terms? The Nationals have won 11 of 12, and Jim Riggleman just stunned everyone by quitting. Oh, and this time, the team is saying you're only the interim manager until they find a new interim manager, maybe by Monday. Have fun, and bring us a win, in Nationals at White Sox, Friday night (8:10 ET) at U.S. Cellular Field.

2. The last time Tim Wakefield pitched in Pittsburgh, Jim Leyland was the Pirates manager. And Barry Bonds was in left field. The Pirates were a playoff team. And Wakefield was pitching for them. He's appeared in 574 major-league games since then, none of them in Pittsburgh. Now he returns, in Red Sox at Pirates, Saturday night (7:05 ET) at PNC Park. As an added bonus, perhaps Red Sox manager Terry Francona will put Adrian Gonzalez in the outfield, for the first time in six years and just the second time in his big-league career.

3. Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers said that Gibson has been looking forward to this weekend's series in Detroit, but mostly because he'll get to see his family. But you've got to believe it means something to him to take a first-place team into town, and you know that the Sparky Anderson ceremony, to be held before Diamondbacks at Tigers, Sunday afternoon (1:05 ET) at Comerica Park, will mean a lot to him. You also know that Gibson's main goal this weekend is to win games. "That's the way they were brought up by Sparky," Towers said.


Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 7:01 am
 

3 to Watch: The honoring Sparky edition

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 12:20 pm
 

3 to Watch: The honoring Sparky edition

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 23, 2011 9:14 am
 

3 to Watch: The honoring Sparky edition

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 8:26 am
 

3 to Watch: The honoring Sparky edition



Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 21, 2011 9:39 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 8:53 am
 

3 to Watch: The honoring Sparky edition

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Since: Jun 24, 2011
Posted on: June 24, 2011 9:37 pm
 

3 to Watch: The honoring Sparky edition

Last I checked, Barry Bonds wasn't playing left field for the Pirates, nor were they a playoff team, in 1993, which was the last time Wakefield actually pitched in Pittsburgh as a Pirate. He pitched two seasons in Pittsburgh 1992 and 1993 before leaving.


burfboy
Since: May 20, 2011
Posted on: June 24, 2011 9:07 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: June 24, 2011 6:15 pm
 

3 to Watch: The honoring Sparky edition

It's too bad that Sparky's not alive to see his number being retired in front of the fans as well as former Tigers Kirk Gibson and Alan Trammell. This was way,way,way overdue man.



Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2011 5:59 pm
 

3 to Watch: The honoring Sparky edition

Knobler, How can it be way over due ...and perfectly timed?



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