Monday, January 24, 2011

Too Late?

Tigers retiring Sparky Anderson's number a great gesture that came too late

The Tigers will retire Sparky Anderson's number 11 this season. It's a wonderful gesture. I just wish Sparky could see it.

Sparky died in November, and retiring his number now is the baseball version of waiting until a relative dies to say thank you. The Tigers are doing the right thing at the wrong time. They waited and waited because egos and pride got in the way. What should have been a joyous, special day will be tinged with sadness -- for fans, and probably for Sparky's family.

Tigers owner Mike Ilitch should have been better than this. Ilitch and Anderson parted on bitter terms 16 years ago. Sparky apparently never forgave Ilitch for firing team president Jim Campbell. Ilitch apparently never forgave Sparky for refusing to manage replacement players during the 1995 strike.

The rest of the article here.

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