Thanks, Satchel, we needed that! We can do much hand-wringing over our poor showing in Cincinnati this past weekend getting swept by the Reds. We could look back on how we had a hold on first place and let it get away from us.
Or, we can look ahead with a plan. Yes, it is true that our offense has been sputtering all season while our pitching and defense are sterling. We need to get all three "balls in the air" and keep them there.
On we go to Chicago. What a great opportunity we have in front of us. Chicago has a slim hold on our division title for the time being. With a good plan, we can take it back away from them.
- Since bringing up Ben Francisco from AAA, he is on fire, so play him! Go with your hot hand!
- Victor Martinez is what, #2 in the league in batting? Play him!
- Manager Eric Wedge has had what, 40 different line-ups in 44 games? Well, go with #41! Tinker 'til it gels!
- Your team is 12th out of 14 teams in the American League in strike outs? It's long past time for lessons to be learned, especially on called third strikes! It might be different if we were on top with Home Runs but we are 9th. The big strike out guys are Hafner, Sizemore, Peralta, and Blake. Funny thing, since Peralta was moved to the second spot in the line up, his strike outs are down. Beside changing the line up, it's just back to basics on striking out and holding guys accountable...it's embarrassing!
- Blake has a history of not hitting in the cluch...not this year! move him up in the line up and get those runs. In the 3 game series with the Reds, we left 47 runners on base! Play your hot hand!
The point is, bringing guys up from the minors is a gamble (it just so happened to work with Francisco and Aubrey so far), working on your current players' weaknesses makes sense.
No more rear view mirror, this team needs to be focused on the future, the immediate future to obtain the desired results.
Satchel Paige, what a talent, what a great man! If you ever had the pleasure to meet him, you are so much better for the experience!
Other bits of wisdom Satchel Paige shared with us;
"I never rush myself. See, they can't start the game without me."
"If a man can beat you, walk him."
"Just take the ball and throw it where you want to. Throw strikes. Home plate don't move."
"My pitching philosophy is simple - keep the ball way from the bat."
"When a batter swings and I see his knees move, I can tell just what his weaknesses are then I just put the ball where I know he can't hit it."
"You gotta keep the ball off the fat part of the bat."
Could it be that simple? It was, for Satchel!