Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sure, they can manage...but were they players?...Part One: The AL East

                         When you see a manager get tossed out of a game, or go to the mound to talk to his pitcher, do you ever wonder "how good was this guy as a player"...or moreover, "did he ever play in the bigs at all?...Now some of them are obvious to anyone who has watched baseball for at least 20 years or so.  Others?...well ...that's what I'm here to write about.  I'm trying to do this as quickly as possible, as this is the time of year that managers get canned (Don't worry, Bobby V, you're safe for now). I 'm going to put this into six parts; one for each division, that way I don't have to cram all the information into one blog entry.  I'll also put them out every other day, so as to make sure, as I said before, these guys are still managing. So anyway, here it is, the list of managers as players Part one; The AL East:

Bobby Valentine, Boston Red Sox
                   Bobby V was actually a pretty decent player, coming up with the Dodgers in the early '70s, starting in the infield for almost a full season in 1972.  In 1973, he was batting .302, before suffering an injury that would make him a part time player for the rest of his career.  Truth be told, as a player, he was most famous for being part of that 3 team deal, later dubbed the "Saturday night massacre", that sent him to the Mets, Dave Kingman to the Padres and Tom Seaver to the Reds.  Hang in there Bobby, at least until I publish this in the morning.
Joe Girardi, New York Yankees
                Chicago native Joe Girardi came up with the hometown team in the late '80s, but it wasn't until he was traded by the Rockies to the Yankees in the mid '90s where he made his mark.  As the starting catcher for the 1996 and 1998 championship squads (eventually losing his job to the better hitting Jorge Posada), Joe also caught Dwight Gooden's no hitter in 1996, and David Cone's perfect game in 1999.  After getting his third ring that year, he went back to the Cubs and earned his one All Star appearance in 2000.  Lord knows where his midwest accent went...
Buck Showalter, Baltimore Orioles
              Buck never made it to the majors, mostly because he was a first baseman in the Yankees system during the Don Mattingly years.  In the minors, he got the nickname "Buck", because apparently,  he like to walk around the locker room buck naked. Good luck getting that visual out of your head...
Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays
                 Maddon also never played in the majors, and, unlike Showalter, who at least made it to AAA, never made it past "A" ball as a catcher.  People are willing to overlook this for a guy who keeps his team in contention, despite having a payroll that is smaller than the left side of the Yankees infield (A-Rod and Jeter, though I am exaggerating but only a little).  Plus, he's a pitchman for something on T.V.  Must not be that effective...can't remember what for...
John Farrel, Toronto Blue Jays
              Farrell was a pitcher for the Indians and later the Angels, who had a rather mediocre 36-46 lifetime record.  However, he did go 14-10 with a 4.24 ERA in 1988, and 9-14 with a 3.63 ERA in 1989.  Those don't sound like impressive numbers, until you realize how bad those Cleveland teams were.  Trust me, the Albert Belle, Omar Visquel and Manny Ramirez years were waaaayyy far in the was Jacobs field.  Must of sucked being on those bad Indian teams in the '80s, AND have to play in the "mistake by the lake" known as Cleveland Municipal Stadium.
           So there you have it, the AL East.Coming Wednesday, the AL central...see ya then...


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