Monday, September 24, 2012

Sure, they can manage, but were they players?...Part Three: The AL West.

              Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
            Scioscia spent his entire 13 year playing career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. A two time All Star, Scioscia was known as a consistent catcher who called a good game and was trusted by his pitchers.  He caught Fernando Valenzuela's no hitter in 1990 and was behind the plate when Orel Hershiser broke Don Drysdale's consecutive scoreless innings record. If you asked him, he would probably say his greatest achievement was winning the World series in 1981 and 1988. However, if you ask me, his greatest achievement was actually being the only Major leaguer to appear on "The Simpson's" twice, in 1992 and 2011 (The only other player turned manager to be on the show was Don Mattingly).
Eric Wedge, Seattle Mariners
            Wedge came up in the Red Sox system as a catcher and played very little for Boston in the early '90s. Then he played one year for the Colorado Rockies and ended up back in Boston. Absolutely an undistinguished playing career.  However, he did become a good manager, winning the AL manager of the year award in 2007 for the job he did for the Cleveland Indians. I mention this mostly because it's almost the same as the next manager on the list...
Bob Melvin, Oakland Athletics
                    While Wedge was winning the AL Manager of the year award in 2007, Melvin was winning the NL manager of the year award for the Arizona Diamondbacks the same year. As a player, Melvin was mostly a back up catcher (again, another catcher) who did hit 11 homers in 1987 for the Giants.  He was the back-up for Bob Brenly ...although, it should be noted, he only hit .199 that year. It turns out being a mediocre catcher for mostly sub par teams is an excellent pedigree for being a good future manger.
Ron Washington, Texas Rangers
              The catcher streak is broken with Ron Washington, who was mostly a back up second baseman and shortstop in the '80s, mostly for the Twins. In 1982, he had 451 at bats, hit 5 homers and drove in 39.  That would be his peak. His playing time decreased over the years, until he was traded in 1986, just in time for the Twins to start their World series run the next year. Oh well, he's managed the past two AL pennant winners, and unlike the previous two mangers, I actually remember owning his baseball card...that's something, right?

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