You can learn a lot about a baseball team from its locker room. The clubhouse is where relationships form, character is revealed and leaders speak out (or not). For the major league rookie, clubhouse real estate is valuable — sometimes priceless. Imagine being the rookie who spent eight months out of the year next to Sandy Koufax? Roberto Clemente? Lou Gehrig? Tom Seaver? These were model athletes, wise and humble men, who used their talent to teach.
What year is it, anyway? As my friend and colleague Bruce Markusen pointed out last year when rumors surfaced that Ozzie Guillen might be traded to the Miami Marlins, the last time a baseball manager was traded to another team was a decade ago when the Seattle Mariners dealt Lou Piniella to the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Randy Winn. On Saturday, the Boston Red Sox revived the old art form, trading infielder Mike Aviles to the Toronto Blue Jays for manager John Farrell.
Last Saturday, just a few hours before the news leaked that Terry Collins would be named manager of the New York Mets, Kennesaw State University professor and author Dr. J.C. Bradbury presented his research findings at Session 13B during the Southern Economic Association conference in Atlanta.
New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya is flooding Port St. Lucie with arms, each of them unique. There are young arms, veteran arms, healthy arms and refurbished arms. They are slinging pitches from every angle, on a series of mounds, across the green terra firma at the Tradition Sports Complex.