Went to a soccer game the other day and a diving contest broke out.
Don’t be surprised if a former manager of the Blue Jays is hired as the Chicago Cubs’ new skipper next week.
No, I’m not referring to Cito Gaston. Despite managing the Jays to World Series titles in 1992 and 1993, Gaston usually gets ignored in managerial sweepstakes, a blackballing that ranks high atop the list of baseball’s greatest mysteries.
It’s Jimy Williams — who has won two fewer Series titles than Gaston despite managing three different teams – who’s on the Cubs’ short list to replace the soon-to-be-fired Dusty Baker. The Cubs’ powers-that-be are high on Williams, despite his failures with Toronto, the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros and despite his confrontational, mostly miserable personality.
Others on the Cubs’ short list are former major-league skips Lou Piniella, Gene Lamont and Tom Kelly as well as
Atlanta third-base coach Fredi Gonzalez. If the Cubs decide to appoint an interim manager, their third-base coach, Chris Speier, is the likely guy. He’s the father of Jays reliever Justin Speier.
Advice for watching Sunday’s World Cup soccer final: Don’t blink, or you might miss all the scoring.
• Entering the all-star break, J.P. Ricciardi is a front-runner for baseball’s top executive and John Gibbons is a strong candidate for manager of the year. That’s how much their Jays have improved.
Problem is, attendance in Toronto has been atrocious, which means the Jays haven’t improved much where it counts most — in Ted Rogers’ pocketbook.
Ricciardi told radio guy Mike Wilner that he isn’t losing sleep over all the empty seats at the Rogers Centre.
“It’s a little perplexing and it’s a little disheartening,” the general manager said, “but it’s the fans’ prerogative (to stay away).”
I’ve always thought Vince Carter would be a good soccer player because he’s so adept at one of the game’s most important skills — faking injuries.
• The Milwaukee Bucks are trying to trade Torontonian Jamaal Magloire — and San Antonio has more interest than the Raptors. The Spurs need a big man now that they’ve traded Rasho Nesterovic to Toronto and have lost Nazr Mohammed as a free agent to the Detroit Pistons ... Minnesota is trying to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Raps for Mike James. Unlike Toronto, the Timberwolves like the fact that the guard is not shy about shooting.
The U.S. soccer team attempted four shots in three World Cup games. Heck, Mike James averages more shots in 60 seconds.
Marty York’s column appears Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen for Marty on The ROCK 94.9 FM, Monday and Friday at 8:40 a.m.