Wednesday, November 15, 2006

In the Wind

-I’m hearing a lot of stuff about the Belleville Police/Larry Sicka house raid last Friday. Some of it I can’t, in good conscience, write about yet. But, what I can tell you is that once the decision was made to enter the house, Sergeant Jon Brough almost insisted on being the first man in…the most dangerous place to be in the operation. Those who know say that it’s just the kind of policeman Brough is…ready to put himself in danger to accomplish the mission…and protect his fellow officers. His bravery and commitment to law enforcement is admirable. I’m sorry for his injuries and continue to pray that he recovers to some sort of enjoyable life.

-As to the firing of Chief Dave Reubhausen … Even though I really don’t have any inside information, all indications point to something more than a simple disagreement between two men…Mayor Mark Eckert and the chief…as to how much input a city boss should have in running the department. Apparently that is the foundation for the termination. But, it also appears that there is something else that will eventually come to light that precipitated the Mayor’s actions at this time. It will be interesting to see how Eckert handles the situation from here. People tend to forget that Eckert’s dad was a Belleville cop and the mayor himself was once was a sheriff’s deputy. So, he knows a little bit about law enforcement. He will have to do a lot of damage-control with the rank-and-file officers. “Reub” was very well-liked and respected by his fellow cops. Interim Chief Bill Clay appears to be the best option for the top job internally.

-Would you trade Chris Duncan for Dontrelle Willis? Some are saying the Marlins pitcher will be available in a deal because his salary won’t fit into the Florida payroll much longer. Duncan is still a natural first-baseman (as he proved several times in the outfield) and is apparently coveted by the Marlins. Their current first-baseman, Mike Jacobs, had a decent season…but not the kind to get excited about. The Cardinals might not be able to play Duncan on a full-time basis if he continues to be such a defensive liability in the outfield. Willis was 12-12 with a 3.87 ERA in ’06. It’s a tempting potential deal…especially with the holes the Cardinals have in their rotation due to free-agency. I’d say if you can make that deal, make it. Then try your best to re-sign either Suppan or Weaver... then go-ahead with the Luis Gonzalez free-agent signing for the outfield.

-I’m thinking that even though the Cardinals are World Champions, they will be very active at baseball’s Winter Meetings in early December…almost out of necessity.

-The Blues can’t get healthy enough to put what you would call a regular line-up on the ice. Now Curtis Sanford is out for a while with a groin strain. Hockey is a sport where you expect some injuries…but not to the degree the Note has had.

-There’s a committee at my alma mater, SIU-E, studying the feasibility and financial ramifications of the school going to Division 1 in athletics. The Cougars currently compete in Division 2. Many think that a move to D-1 would be the ticket the “step-sister” of Carbondale needs to forge a separate identity. I tend to think that the school could eventually compete in some Division 1 sports… basketball, soccer, and baseball for sure. But, to me, as long as the school is called SIU-Edwardsville, it will continue to fight Carbondale for an identity of its own. The committee should take that into consideration too.

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