Monday, July 21, 2008

Patience, positive attitude necessary when waiting for call from the Majors

Home (finally!) after almost a week in Greece. Really enjoyed our time in Athens, but it's good to be back in the USA...

I read where Francisco Liriano of the Twins is upset that he hasn't been called up yet from the minor leagues. I'm still laughing. Literally, I laughed out loud.

What an insult to all of the guys who have worked, battled, sacrificed, and -- on top of it all -- put up big numbers in the minor leagues (baseball and basketball) and never get called up.

I love what Twins GM Bill Smith said about it:

"Francisco Liriano got sent down because he wasn't ready to pitch here. We tried to bring him up in April, hoping like crazy that he would be healthy and able to succeed at this level. If that gains him salary arbitration status or whatever, so be it. We're just trying to win games."

Ron Gardenhire, the Twins manager, added this:

"His agent wants to tell me who's going to pitch here. No one is going to tell us who to put on our team, and no one on ESPN is going to tell us who should pitch for my team. They haven't been here all year. (Liriano) is pitching well, and he's trying to force the issue, and what should all minor leaguers try to do? Try to force the issue. That's the greatest thing in the world. We have depth now, we have somebody that's knocking on the door and trying to take somebody's job. What is wrong with that? ... I would love to have him pitching here, but right now it's a little more difficult than that."

I can't tell you how many players I coached in the minor leagues who deserved a shot at the NBA and never got it. [Guys like Tico Brown, the CBA's all-time leading scorer, who once dropped 51 on my Dad's Tampa Bay CBA team. He put up 60 in a CBA Championship game back in 1983.]

There are so many variables involved that the player has no control over. All they can do is continue to work hard, try to improve their game, remain patient, and keep a positive attitude.

Someone should tell Liriano that getting called up isn't something you're entitled to.