Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sure, they can manage, but were they players?...Part Two: The AL Central

                       So, now on to the AL Central, an eclectic bunch to say the least...well, as far as baseball managers go, that is.  We have the first appearance of a legitimately good player...hell, let's start off with him then, shall we? 
Robin Ventura, Chicago White Sox
                   Ventura, a three time gold glove first baseman and two time All Star, put up some pretty impressive numbers in his career, which was spent mostly with the WhiteSox and the Mets.  Other than his steady fielding and dependable hitting, he's known for two things; for  a walk-off, would be Grand slam in a 1999 NLCS playoff game against the Diamondbacks.  I say "would be", because because the Mets only needed one run for the win, and his teammates tackled him before he got to second, so it was ruled a single.  The other was several years earlier as a member of the White Sox, when he was plunked by a Nolan Ryan pitch, and decided to charge the mound.  Big Mistake, and Ventura knew it about two steps in . The next 30 seconds featured a middle aged Ryan punching the top of Robin's head. 
Jim Leyland, Detroit Tigers
                    Although he has led two separate teams to pennants; the 1997 Marlins ( World Championship) and the 2006 Tigers, Leyland never actually played in the Majors, although he does get extra points for looking like Captain Beefheart's younger brother...
Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota Twins
                 Gardenhire  was an infielder for the New York Mets for the years previous to their would-be dynasty of 85-88.  He was decent enough for those early '80s teams, but, alas, he was let go before the  good times started.  As for his Twins, they've gone back and forth between good and bad, lately...maybe he can be a delayed Buck Showalter, and leave the team just before they win it all for the first time since 1991...just kidding,'re great...
Manny Acta, Cleveland Indians
                     Another manager who never made it to the bigs, lingering in the Astros farm system for a half dozen years.  He was managing the Washington Nationals for a few years 'til he was fired and then hired by the Indians.  The Nationals are headed to the playoffs, while the Indians...well let's hope they keep their high draft picks, and hey, at least they're not the Royals.
            Ned Yost, Kansas City Royals
               When I was doing research, I was assuming New Yost was somehow a relative to "Eddie Yost", who played mostly for the Senators in the '40s and '50s , and was nicknamed "the walking man", because he led the AL in walks six times.  I knew him mostly as the third base coach for the Red Sox in the late '70s, early '80s.  Turns out, Ned's not related.  He was just a nondescript catcher who played for the Brewers, Expos and Rangers in the '80s...I have his Brewers card somewhere...oh well... 
            So that's the AL central.  Next post will be, of course, The AL West...see you then...


No comments:

Post a Comment