Tom Gage of the Detroit News tweets what is easily the saddest news I’ve heard in a while: Former Reds and Tigers manager Sparky Anderson is seriously ill, and is in hospice care. According to his family he’s suffering from “complications resulting from dementia.” Anderson is 76, though that gray hair always made him seem like he was much older. Hard to get your brain around the fact that he was only 36 when he led the Reds to the 1970 pennant and was only 45 when he took over the Tigers.
One of my favorite things about Sparky Anderson was how crazy he was in overstating the merits of young players. Kirk Gibson was the next Mickey Mantle. Mike Laga would make you forget every power hitter who ever lived. Here’s hoping that the reports of his condition are the equivalent of Mike Laga, and things aren’t as dire as they sound.