Gordon Wittenmyer in his Sunday Sun-Times article extolled the virtues of Cubs trainer, Mark O'Neal. It's a really nice piece explaining how valuable an athletic trainer can be to the ballclub. Beyond the obvious treating of injured athletes, the job involves organizing effective treatment protocols, reviewing medical histories and records and something as simple as honest communication of his medical opinions to both the athlete and management after assessing all this medical input. It took some time but he's created a sense of trust of his judgement from athletes and management.
The line between keeping the manager and GM fully informed and not betraying a player's confidence is not a tough one to walk, O'Neal said, as long as it comes with honesty, straight talk and the confidence he and his staff know what they're doing.
Everthing Arizona Phil writes in the comment section is worthy of a Best of TCR article. But this Best of TCR writeup is to show that I can find a post when news is particularly thin (beyond those gimme's from our TCR guru in the desert). Thanksgiving weekend is usually a desert of baseball news unto itself. Thus to brighten our tumbleweed desolate weekend, my long time friend, The E-Man steps up with a summary of Bruce Levine's ESPN AM-1000 saturday morning "Talking Baseball" weekly radio show. Enjoy (except for the part where he says that my season tickets will be more expensive). Take it away E-Man:
Just heard Hendry on WMVP this AM with Bruce Levine.
Jimbo came on the show...
- no slam dunk with Marmol as closer. He is not "set to close", but it is Lou's decision. They (Marmol/Gregg) may share duties. One may close more in the beginning of the year than the other.
We talked about it the other day, so nothing to really add except that it is offical, Jim Hendry has been extended through the 2012 season.
Donuts for everyone....
"The first test of Andy MacPhail's authority as Orioles president of baseball operations will come if a rival club makes a strong push to acquire second baseman Brian Roberts.
"A year ago, Orioles owner Peter Angelos refused to allow his previous front office to trade Roberts...Orioles executives, however, say privately that they are not under orders to keep Roberts.
"The Mets and Astros were among the teams that showed interest in Roberts before signing free-agent second basemen Luis Castillo and Kaz Matsui, respectively.
"The next team to take a run at Roberts could be the Cubs, who failed to land Matsui."
-- FoxSports.com, 12/3/07
Reader "Chad" sent me along this file of Jim Hendry doing a "phoner" on the Jim Rome show. I believe it was from yesterday's program. I can't say there was anything too revealing in it, but I'm sure some of you will want to take a listen.
The Cubs and Diamondbacks play in Tucson, their first meeting since the clubs matched up in last season's NLDS. (I don't recall who won.) Carlos Zambrano makes his second appearance of the Spring after pitching two scoreless innings against the Giants last Friday. Kosuke Fukudome had a big day in yesterday's loss to the Brewers, collecting three hits while batting in the two hole. Plus he has learned how to yank Bruce Miles's chain.