Thursday, January 22, 2009

Marinelli's not so tough

The Bald Truth

First, Rod Marinelli was beaten by every NFL coach he went up against in 2008. Then he was beaten up by a girl.

The latest Lovie Smith BFF to join the Bears' staff, Marinelli, of course, is best known for ingeniously guiding the Lions to the only 0-16 record ever. Earlier this week, he brushed off several male Detroit reporters at the Senior Bowl by saying: "Goodbye, ladies."

Jenni Carlson, a columnist at The Oklahoman and the president of the Association for Women in Sports Media, complained to the NFL.

I know Jenni and I think she overreacted a little. But whatever ... she won. And any victory over smug Lovie and his lads is a victory for media mopes everywhere!

Properly chastened, Marinelli issued this apology:

"In attempting to avoid being interviewed, I understand that my comment was inappropriate and wrong. I want to assure you that this tone and this choice of words will not occur again in response to questions from reporters."

That's right. Next time, he'll just say: "Get the hell out of here. I'm not talking to media scum like you."

And nobody will consider that inappropriate at all.

The List

No second baseman has hit more home runs than Jeff Kent, who on Thursday was scheduled to announce his retirement, but that doesn't mean he was the greatest ever at his position.

The top five second basemen I've seen:

1. Robbie Alomar. There's no stat for this, but I doubt any 2B ever made more amazing plays than he did. He also was a great hitter and base stealer who, according to Ozzie Guillen, is the best Puerto Rican ballplayer ever - Roberto Clemente included. Alomar might not be a first-ballot Hall of Famer next year because some voters will punish him for hocking a louie into the face of umpire John Hirschbeck ... and it's hard to find fault with that stance.

2. Joe Morgan. Before he became one of the most annoying announcers on the airwaves, he was a little stud for The Big Red Machine.

3. Craig Biggio. A great team player who stole a bunch of bases and had surprising pop. Started his career as a catcher and willingly moved to center field nearly two decades later when the Astros asked. Also had 3,000 hits. A Hall lock.

4. Ryne Sandberg. He fielded everything hit to him, was a great baserunner and was a dynamic hitter. Having a power guy at 2B let the Cubs more or less get away with having slap-hitting Mark Grace at first.

5. Jeff Kent. Had little range and a mediocre glove. Seemed like kind of a jerk, too. But it's hard to argue with all of those HRs and RBIs. Probably not a first-ballot Famer but he'll eventually get in.


Newspapers couldn't print enough editions after Barack Obama won the election in November. And the same was true Wednesday, the day after the new president's understated, low-budget inauguration.

It seems millions upon millions of people wanted keepsakes of history being made ... and a print-out of an Internet story simply wasn't going to cut it.

Hmmm. I think we've stumbled on the solution to the newspaper industry's woes:

Elect or inaugurate Obama several times a week.


  1. now i am guessing here but i am pretty sure you saw rod carew... it would be stretching it to say you saw bill mazeroski... what about red schoendienst... course yah just saw him coach...but the best ever was roger hornsby who was dead by the time either one of us was born.

  2. Hi Mike.
    Read your columns in the Champaign News Gazette before your unfortunate release. I am glad you are blogging. You're a good writer.


  3. maybe Marinelli needs to save the "goodbye ladies" for the Bears defensive line unless improved over this year...could be changed to "goodbye Lovie" if his coaching changes don't produce good results.
    Glad to see you back.