The true measure of how serious Mickey Morandini is about managing will be his family’s upcoming new address.
Morandini, wife Peg and their three sons will give up their Chesterton home to move to eastern Pennsylvania to Mickey's managerial career in the Philadelphia Phillies’ farm system.
In his third season as manager of the Phillies’ Class A team in Lakewood, N.J., Morandini said the stresses of separation from the family became too great. Peg Morandini already has wound down her R.S.V.P. custom stationery business in Chesterton as a result.
“Mainly we’re going it because it’s tough on the kids being away for six months out of the year,” said Morandini, a former Cubs second baseman and Valparaiso High School baseball coach. “It’s a pretty good time to do it.”
Oldest son Jordan is graduating from Chesterton and will attend Westchester University. The other children are a high school sophomore (Griffin) and a sixth-grader (Braydon).
All but one of the Phillies’ farm clubs are located within an hour’s drive of Philadelphia, so the Morandinis will be nearby if Mickey is promoted to a higher level in upcoming seasons.
Peg Morandini was a Valparaiso native. Mickey moved to the region after the couple met at Indiana University. He’d drive an hour each way to Wrigley Field in 1998-99.
“She’s ready for a new challenge,” Morandini said of his wife’s view of the change.
Verlander ‘snappier’ than Samardzija: Valparaiso native Jeff Samardzija showed a veteran’s ability to change his velocity and pitch selection from one part of the game to another last Monday when he two-hit the White Sox in a 7-0 victory.
The Sox’s Alex Rios, now with plenty of experience facing both pitchers, was asked to compare the two, as both throw in the high 90s mph range.
“Verlander’s stuff is snappier than his stuff,” Rios said. “His curveball is a little snappier than Samardzija’s. They both have good stuff. Samardzija threw harder from the beginning of the game. He was working at 96 and 97 (mph) from the start. Verlander works at slower speeds earlier in the game, and then raises his velocity.
The list: Anthony Rizzo should surpass the 20-homer mark this year. He’d be the 12th left-handed hitting Cub since Hall of Famer Billy Williams’ 1959 debut to reach that power level. The others: George Altman, Rick Monday, Bobby Murcer, Leon Durham, Rick Wilkins, Henry Rodriguez, Fred McGriff, Corey Patterson, Jeromy Burnitz, Jacque Jones and Carlos Pena.