A tip of the cap to late, legendary baseball man Roger Jongewaard

By Scott Miller | Senior Baseball Columnist
I would ask for a moment of silence for the late Roger Jongewaard, except that's not quite what the legendary scout deserves as a baseball farewell.

A standing ovation would be far more appropriate.

Jongewaard, who died Monday of a heart attack at 76, had an eye for talent like few others, before or after him.

During his time as scouting director for the Seattle Mariners, he is credited with drafting and signing Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez, among many others (like Tino Martinez and Jason Varitek and Adam Jones, the current Orioles' center fielder).

During his time with the Mets, he is credited with drafting and signing Darryl Strawberry, Lenny Dykstra and Kevin Mitchell.

His scouting ability wasn't simply limited to the draft.

When he was with the Mariners and they were backed into a position to trade Mark Langston, it was Jongewaard who insisted that the guy Seattle had to have in return as the centerpiece to a package of prospects was Randy Johnson.

And when the Big Unit wanted out in 1998, it was Jongewaard who mined the Astros farm system and insisted that a deal with Houston had to include prospects Freddy Garcia, the pitcher, and Carlos Guillen, the infielder.

Anybody whose fingerprints were on Griffey and A-Rod coming to one organization deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame (where, sadly, there is no wing for scouts -- yet). But acquiring those two, plus the Big Unit and Strawberry and all of those others? Wow.

Jongewaard was an old-school gentleman, both well-respected and well-liked by colleagues. With him goes an era.

Likes: Bryce Harper stopping a Toronto TV reporter in his tracks when the guy wanted to know if Harper, 19, was going to enjoy some Canadian beer to celebrate a big game. "That's a clown question, bro," Harper told him, and good for the kid. ... Standing in the Shadows of Motown. Finally caught up to this way too late (it was released about a decade ago) and it's as good as advertised. Great documentary featuring the backing musicians, who called themselves the Funk Brothers, to what is quite simply a staggering number of smash Motown hits. If there's a hit you love from the Supremes, Four Tops, Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight & the Pips and even some Stevie Wonder (and many others), chances are the Funk Brothers were the backing musicians. Just phenomenal, and a tragedy that they did not make more money and are not more well-known. ... The last few episodes of Mad Men leading up to the season finale. Will miss that show. ... Pat Conroy's Lords of Discipline. A sweeping novel about a military academy in the south that is a commitment, not a quick read. But man, Conroy writes beautifully. And from his own experiences at The Citadel, there are many scars and lots of emotional baggage bubbling beneath the surface.

Dislikes: The UT San Diego firing columnist Tim Sullivan for no discernable reason. Talk about dumbing down your product for readers, they've taken it waaaay too far. The paper's owner clearly is dumber than its readers. It's a bad propaganda rag at this point.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"What the people need is a way to make 'em smile
"It ain't so hard to do if you know how"

-- Doobie Brothers, Listen to the Music
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

mlb Video

Latest

Most Popular

CBSSports.com Shop

Men's Green Bay Packers Nike Green Reflective Pack Performance Hoodie

Cold Weather Gear
Keep warm in your favorite team apparel
Shop Now