Tag: Lou Piniella

Lou Piniella Hired by Reds as Senior Advisor: Latest Comments, Reaction

Lou Piniella led the Cincinnati Reds to glory in 1990 as the manager during the team’s last World Series championship. The franchise is reportedly bringing him back in 2016, albeit in a different fashion.

The Reds announced the news on Twitter:

John Fay of WCPO.com said the former manager will spend time with the Reds at spring training. Fay also made sure to mention this likely isn’t the next step to a managing job for the 72-year-old baseball legend: “Talked to Lou at Redsfest about this. I would be stunned if this led to him managing.”

While Piniella played in the majors for 18 years (11 of which came for the New York Yankees), he is likely most known for his days as a manager, at least among recent generations of baseball fans.

He only managed the Reds from 1990-92, but the team won at least 90 games in two of those three seasons and captured the World Series crown. Piniella also managed the New York Yankees from 1986-88, the Seattle Mariners from 1993-2002, the Tampa Bay Rays from 2003-05 and the Chicago Cubs from 2007-10.

He was revered for his fiery personality and was never afraid to let an umpire know what he thought about a particular call. Instances of him kicking dirt, throwing bases and tossing his cap during arguments have gone down in baseball lore, and he is still a fan favorite in Cincinnati 24 years after his last season as manager there.

Piniella even drew cheers when he returned to the Queen City as manager of the division-rival Chicago Cubs, and he inked a thank you letter to the Cincinnati fans in 2015 during the team’s celebration of its 1990 crown. Fay passed the entire letter along, including the section that said, “And To the fans…what would a team be without your support, your encouragement, your love. Thank you for all of that and a lot more.”

As a player, Piniella had one at-bat in 1964 for the Baltimore Orioles and then appeared for the Cleveland Indians in 1968, the Kansas City Royals from 1969-73 and the Yankees from 1974-84. He won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1969 with a .282 batting average, 11 home runs and 68 RBI in 135 games, and he made his lone All-Star Game in 1972 with a .312 batting average.

Piniella also won back-to-back World Series titles with the Bronx Bombers in 1977 and 1978.

While he won’t serve in a managing capacity for the Reds with this latest hire, he has been around the game of professional baseball for more than 50 years. He understands the daily grind from a player’s and coach’s perspective, has reached the mountaintop multiple times and can offer his expertise to various decisions, including player evaluation.

The Reds are likely headed for some lean rebuilding years in the daunting National League Central, with the Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates all coming off postseason appearances. Having someone like Piniella as an advisor for critical decisions should help accelerate that process as the Reds add important pieces to their club.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

The Top 20 Player-Manager Feuds in MLB History

The players and managers are getting ready for the 2011 MLB season, and I can guarantee you that none of them want to end up on this notorious list one day. Although with the New York Yankees always in the headlines and considering they could have a “down season,” their frustration could boil over at some point this season.

As you will find out, it would not be the first time.

What if the St. Louis Cardinals suffer a losing streak? Could it cause Tony LaRussa to get into an altercation with Albert Pujols, figuring he will be playing elsewhere next season anyway?

Hey, Ozzie Guillen is still managing the Chicago White Sox, and we all know he loves seeing his name on these types of lists. He always gives us hope.

Chance are, this will be a mild season with no physicality. It is not as if baseball is a long season or anything.

Regardless of what happens in 2011, there have been many memorable feuds between MLB players and their managers. That is, when they are not battling it out with the umpires. After all, most umps feel as if they are the main attraction.

Don’t you take out a mortgage to go and see one game per season just to watch some out of shape umpire throw out your favorite player in the second inning because he sneezed funny? Can I truly be alone?

Either way, baseball has given us plenty to work with, so without further ado, here is a look at The Top 20 Player-Manager Feuds in MLB History.

Enjoy, and make sure to keep your hands to yourselves! 

Begin Slideshow

Lou Piniella Joins SF Giants Front Office: How He Will and Won’t Help Giants Win

Sweet Lou is coming to the City by the Bay.  Yep, that barrel-chested man famous for profanity-laced on-field tirades has been hired as a special consultant to San Francisco Giants GM Brian Sabean.

On the surface, this appears like another Sabean genius move.  Pick up a smart baseball mind, particularly one with an offensive lens on the game, to complement what has become a pitching-heavy club. 

On the other hand, Lou’s been in the dugout for the last 40 years, which means showing up at game time in street clothes will be an unfamiliar role for him.

Piniella’s arrival in San Francisco begs the obvious question: How might Lou help (or hurt) the Giants’ chance to repeat as World Champs?

First, five reasons why Piniella will be a boon for the Giants’ chances to repeat in 2011.

1. He knows the game as well as anyone, and his experience as a position player will come in handy as the Giants struggle to find the right lineup with the chemistry needed to win games down the stretch and in the playoffs like the 2010 team.

2. He’s won in the postseason (including twice as a player with the Yankees and once as a manager, guiding the 1990 Reds to a World Series title over the favored Oakland A’s), so he’s got some good pattern recognition when it comes to what needs to come together on the field and in the clubhouse for a team to win it all.

3. He can be a great sounding board to Bruce Bochy and someone the current Giants skipper can trust as a guy who’s not there to take his job if the team starts scuffling around the All-Star break.

4. He can be a great sounding board to Brian Sabean, particularly in the context of deciding which of the Giants farmhands down in Fresno might be able to have the kind of impact Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner had on the team last season.

5. He will add another personality to an already personality-rich organization, whether it’s as a post-game guest with the KNBR Radio crew or on CSNBayArea’s TV coverage.  Lou will be a great ambassador for Giants baseball and someone who can help deflect some of the heat that would be directed at Bochy or the players if things hit a rough spot during the year.

Now, despite all of the positive points above, there at least five good reasons why Piniella’s presence could hurt the Giants’ chances of winning in 2011.

1. He’s never been a guy who minces words, so it’s not clear he’ll understand when he’s supposed to be toeing the “company line.”  Imagine the first time he gets quoted questioning one of Bochy’s game decisions or one of Sabean’s player personnel decisions.

2. He’s a former Rookie of the Year and All-Star, so what happens when he’s roaming around the field before games? What if he decides to help Buster Posey tinker with his swing during a slump?  That won’t exactly go over well with Giants coaches.

3. He may show up one day a bit confused and put on a uniform, walk in to the dugout and start filling out the line up card and then waltz out to home plate to go over the ground rules with the umpiring crew.  I’m guessing that one would create a bit of an issue for the Giants.

4. See No. 2 above, but imagine this time he mentally shifts back to his days managing the Reds when he probably thought he was the genius behind the Nasty Boys’ pitching success, and he decides to start giving Tim Lincecum a few pointers on his mechanics. I can just see Dave Righetti and Lincecum’s dad Chris gang-tackling Lou out by the bullpen mound.

5. By all appearances recently, Lou looks like a healthy eater.  San Francisco is not an easy town on healthy eaters…in fact, it’s down right unfair.  There’s some real risk here that Lou gets distracted running around town from great restaurant to great restaurant, and he doesn’t stay focused on the job at hand: advising Sabean.  I can see it now, Lou showing up late to a meeting with Sabean and Bochy and explaining, “But guys, I’ve never even heard of pumpkin creme brulee, I just had to try it!”

Giants fans, enjoy your season of Lou!

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Sparky Anderson: Will He Go Down as Greatest Manager of Modern Era?

Sparky Anderson has been placed in hospice care with complications stemming from dementia, his family announced in a statement Wednesday.

The 76-year-old Anderson won three World Series titles and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

His sparkling managerial record speaks for itself. 

In the end, he will undoubtedly be remembered as one of baseball’s all-time greats.

Let’s take a look at where Sparky Anderson ranks among the best managers in Major League Baseball since 1960.

Begin Slideshow

Mariners Introduce Eric Wedge To Skeptical Seattle Fan Base

This week, the Seattle Mariners rebuffed fan demands and shunned fan favorite Bobby Valentine in favor of former Cleveland manager Eric Wedge.    

Perhaps it’s not the end of the world, because the last time the fans had a favorite, it was for the bench-riding, manager-in-waiting Joey Cora of the Chicago White Sox. Not exactly a household name known for multiple pennants, and not someone other teams have jumped to hire, Cora is known more for cute pins on his baseball cap than his management prowess. 

In Seattle, most fans feel they know more about hiring baseball managers than the Mariners‘ team management does.  

Long-suffering Seattle fans have been very patient with their sports teams, but that patience seems to be wearing thin if initial reactions to the hiring of Eric Wedge is any indication.  Most were aghast with worry, with some older fans still gnashing their teeth at the bad-luck loss of the beloved and cherished Lou Piniella nearly a decade ago.  Nobody seemed to be in a mood for parades or celebrations.   

Yes, we all giggled at the press conference yesterday, with all the witty comments made by kiss-up pundits.  

Yes, we patted Chuck and Howard on the back and thanked them for saving baseball in Seattle and their wonderful two decades of stellar leadership.  

Yes, we acknowledged the seven years of Cleveland bliss under Eric Wedge.  

Yes, we heard all of the futuristic comments of what winning will be like. 

But nevertheless, fans clearly are not buying the sales pitch like they have in years past.

Now I gotta admit, neither was I, which is very odd because normally I’m such a positive guy budding with optimism.  When a used car salesman tells me “this car was driven by an old lady to church”  in spite of the clearly tampered-with odometer on the dented 1973 Dodge Dart, I celebrate!   

When Bill Clinton said he “did not have sexual relations with that woman” and that he used the cigar for smoking and not for—well, you know—I believed Bubba. 

When George W said the “Mission was Accomplished” and the troops would soon be home soon and the world was saved from unsavory terrorists with WMDs, I believed that too! 

When Obama promised the new health care bill would cover everyone in this country and possibly others for “not a dime more than we’re now spending,” I was so very happy!    

Why? Because I am an optimist. That’s just how I am. I believe what most people tell me.

But with this new managerial change for the Mariners, like most fans, I’m finding myself just a tad bit skeptical.   Perhaps it’s because I’ve heard this so many times before? 

Half a dozen times since Lou, we Seattle fans have been told the same thing: that the losing days of old are gone, that the culture will be changed, that this is the guy who will lead us out of the wilderness and into the promised land of milk and honey and World Series rings.

Yesterday, the mystified Mariner management seemed dumbfounded over public skepticism. “Why would they not trust us, we of incredible baseball wisdom long since demonstrated?” And as radio hosts and newspaper columnists danced on tables and were downright giddy over the Eric Wedge hiring, we fans…not so much. There was a muted suspicion of being conned once again, with most fans saying they would wait to pop the corks until they saw what this guy actually did. No, they were not pronouncing judgment of impending doom, but they weren’t caught up in yesterday’s hoopla either.  

Now why would fans be skeptical?  Well, let’s take a look at the press conferences of the last seven managers hired and you might see a pattern:

On November 16, 2002, the Mariners hired 41-year-old Bob Melvin, saying “We think we’ve got a real gem in Bob, as you’ll all learn when you get to know and respect him. He’s going to bring us a winning team and a championship.” 

The local press speculated that Melvin was more even-tempered than the fiery Piniella. Mariners chairman Howard Lincoln said, “He brings to this position not only baseball expertise but high energy, good judgment, intelligence, leadership and communication skills.” Others noted that since he was a catcher and was so much younger than Lou, he would communicate better with the players.  

Less than two years later they fired him.

On October 20, 2004, the Mariners announced the signing of Mike Hargrove, who had led the Cleveland Indians past the Mariners in the 1995 ALCS. 

Mariner management said, “We went for an impact manager, one who can have immediate success on the field.” Others wrote that Hargrove “is saltier, a more savvy figure than Melvin, more along the lines of Lou Piniella, who will be the gold standard for all subsequent Mariners managers.” Still others penned, “As with Piniella, he sees season-long clubhouse management as his top priority.” 

Turns out Hargrove shared one other trait with Piniella.  He was burned out, tired of managing, and thus drove out of town in a red pickup during an eight-game winning streak on July 1, 2007.

Hargrove was succeeded by 55-year-old John McLaren, who the Mariners were again very optimistic about.   Upon accepting the job, McLaren said, “I am really looking forward to the challenge of taking over this club and continuing to build on what Mike has established here. When I came back I said I wanted to be a part of taking this team to the postseason, and back to what our fans expect and deserve. That’s still the case. My focus, and the focus of every one of my coaches is to help these players achieve what they are capable of, and that’s getting this team back to the postseason.”

McLaren had managed in the Toronto minor league system for eight years prior to working as a major league coach. He made his managerial debut with Medicine Hat in the Pioneer League in 1978. He guided Kinston to the first half title in 1981 and managed Southern League Championship clubs in 1984 and 1985. He was named Co-Manager of the Year in the Southern League in 1985. 

But on June 19, 2008, he too was fired by the Seattle Mariners, replaced by Jim Riggleman. 

What did the Mariners say about Riggleman when he got the job? “Jim’s going to bring what we think is a different style than Mac had.  Just the depth and breadth of his experience and how he presents himself.  We’re happy to have Jim!” Others in the community wrote, “He’s a pretty standard-issue manager. It’ll be a huge improvement in terms of consistent lineups and bullpen usage.”  

But apparently experienced standard-issue managers were also not what the Mariners wanted, and he too was fired at the end of the same season, replaced by then 45-year-old and relative unknown Don Wakamatsu.

Wak had no major league experience as a manager.   He had spent five years as a bench coach and third-base coach in Texas, then one year as bench coach for the A’s before Seattle called.  He had never managed above Double-A prior to the Mariners hiring him.  In fact, none of the six candidates interviewed by the Mariners had big league experience as managers.

Nevertheless, pundits exclaimed how Wakamatsu was the first Asian-American manager in major league history, and how he was the first significant hire in the new era of new general manager Jack Zduriencik. The New York Times wrote a special article celebrating how his family had overcome unjust internment during World War II and noted his heritage.

Wakamatsu himself said, “I welcome the challenge here to bring a world championship to Seattle and the fans of the Mariners” and added that “communication and leadership will be key and this will carry over to the team.”

Observers, mostly quite pleased with the hire, noted that the Mariners had a league-worst offense in 2008 and that Wak “had a daunting task to reverse the culture and performance of a team that last season became the first to lose 100 games with a $100 million payroll.” 

In his first year as Mariners manager, the team put up 85 victories, of which a MLB season-high 35 were one-run triumphs, as well as 13 walk-off wins.   Everyone was optimistic and giddy. 

During the spring of this past year, general manager Jack Zduriencik gushed about his own confidence in the Mariners’ clubhouse culture.  “Don Wakamatsu lets players be themselves, and the veteran Ken Griffey Jr. keeps teammates loose with biting humor and nearly nonstop commentary on everything that crosses his line of vision.”

Don Wakamatsu was fired this past August 9th because of the clubhouse culture.  This month team philosophy apparently reversed once again, and now is focused only on experienced managers with a depth of big league experience, according to the same yet unhired Joey Cora.   The Seattle Mariners have settled on Eric Wedge in spite of wailing from the fans yearning for the four decades of experience offered by Bobby Valentine.

Yesterday at the press conference, questions were fired off by hundreds by writers and TV personalities, all skippy and happy (or at least putting on a good act). Optimism was flowing. We the fans are told we should jump for joy over this wonderful new hire for the Seattle Mariners. Things will change. You’ll see. This time it will be different!

Yes, and perhaps that flat-white, dented Dodge Dart did actually only have 10,000 miles on it.

But with a league-worst offense and a spotty pitching staff, surrounded by bad-attitude underperforming free agents with multi-year contracts, this team again looks to be in trouble, and no manager is going to change that without serious help from the front office.   Like years past, and it probably wasn’t a manager issue in the first place.  

Perhaps the team is cursed by a field built over an ancient burial site? 

Whatever the problem is with baseball in this city, I wouldn’t bet your house on the Seattle Mariners going to the World Series with Eric Wedge at the helm.  And I’m sorry if that sounds negative and pessimistic, but we’ve been down this road six times since Lou.


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and The Top 100 Major League Managers Of All Time

The 2010 season will go down in baseball history for what will be perhaps the biggest loss of managerial talent the game has ever suffered in a single year.

We now know that Tony La Russa will be back with the Cardinals next year, but that only means the damage is being contained; Major League Baseball will nevertheless begin next season without managerial icons Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, or Lou Piniella.

With Charlie Manuel not getting any younger, and Jim Leyland and Cito Gaston looking just plain tired at the end of last season, who knows where the carnage will end?

To commemorate the retirement of three legendary forces inside the clubhouse, we take a look at the Top 100 Major League Managers of All Time.

Begin Slideshow

Bobby Cox: Where Does He Rank Among Top 10 Managers All Time?

Bobby Cox walked off the field for the final time Monday night after his Braves fell to the Giants in Game 4 of the NLDS.

Despite holding the record for most ejections by a Major League manager, few of Cox’s counterparts have exhibited more class on the diamond.

Cox retires with 2,504 wins, good for fourth all-time in MLB history.  Under his guidance, the Braves reeled off a string of postseason appearances that has never been matched in professional sports.

But exactly how much does his lack of success in the World Series hurt his standing among the greatest managers ever?

Here’s a look at where Bobby Cox ranks among the best managers in the history of Major League Baseball.

Begin Slideshow

Pittsburgh Pirates and the Potential End of the John Russell Era

In one of the worst seasons in Pittsburgh Pirates history, it was almost fitting that the season ended with a loss—a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Florida Marlins Sunday afternoon.

Along with the loss come the rumors of the possible firing of manager John Russell and that General manager Neal Huntington will be retained.

For a change, I agree with both decisions if they were to happen.

First, Huntington.  He’s done a quality job bringing talent into the organization.  Look at the whole organization now, from the time he took over for Dave Littlefield. For the average players he had to deal, he’s done a fine job of trying to rebuild the Pirates.

The Pirates went from having no prospects four years ago to having the organization flooded with “real prospects.”  He’s drafted great.  He’s gotten involved in international free agents.  he’s doing an overall good job.  When you criticize Huntington, don’t forget he’s got a cheap owner backing him.  The sky isn’t exactly the limit for him.

Sure Huntington has made a couple of mistakes, but his overall track record has been solid.  he deserves the chance to see his guys reach the majors.

Now onto Russell.  The fact is, someone has to be held accountable.  You can make whatever excuses you want for Russell, but the facts are that he didn’t get the job done.  You can say that they traded away all of his players in 2009, but he didn’t win when they were here to begin with either.

Sure, he hasn’t had great talent, but he had to do better then he did.  In three seasons, Russell compiled a record of 186-289.  His .383 winning percentage is ninth worse of all-time.  The names ahead of him?  You don’t know any of them.  All of them managed in the early 1900s or late 1800s.

Other than Roy Hartsfield (.343 winning percentage), who managed the Toronto Blue Jays from 1977-79, Russell is statistically the worst manager in baseball over the past 100 years.  He has to be held accountable for that.

Aside from the wins and losses, there is the lazy demeanor.  I firmly believe that teams take on the personality of their manager.  That is evident in this team, because the Pirates are lazy on the field.  Sure they hustle, but they don’t have the fire to them.

Many people want Russell fired because he doesn’t come out and rant and rave like Lou Piniella would.  I could care less about that. I don’t need a guy that draws attention to himself. 

What I do need, though, is a guy who will stick up for his players, which Russell doesn’t.  How many times do the Pirates pitchers not get the call a couple inches off the plate, but have it go against them when they are batting?  A good manager doesn’t let that happen for 162 games.

Russell, and his staff, also must be held accountable for the lack of fundamentals this team shows.  Sure they are young, but they make far too many fundamental mistakes.  Way too often: the Pirates don’t throw to the right base, miss the cut off man, fail to lay down bunts, can’t hit behind the runner, etc.

Little things win games and the Pirates don’t do them under Russell.

Also, has there ever been a worse base running team then this current Pirates club?  The players didn’t ever get held accountable, so they continued to make the same mistakes over and over again.

The facts are that with all of the promising young talent the Pirates have now and the ones that will be called up in the future, you don’t want them playing for Russell.  There are just too many bad, lazy habits to be learned under Russell and his staff.

Who should replace him?  It’s way too early to tell.  I’ve often dropped names like Phil garner, Willie Randolph, and Bobby Valentine, but none of those guys will want to work for the cheap Bob Nutting.

You have to hire a manager that has won before though.  You need someone who will gain the respect of the players from the first day he’s on the job.  They need a guy to come in and say, “This isn’t the way we play here anymore.”

One name I would like to see here is Freddie Gonzalez.  He has experience managing young players and definitely showed he is a no nonsense type of manager.  he’s also a candidate for both the Cubs and the Braves openings, so the Pirates likely have no chance at him.

Another name to keep an eye on is former Indians manager Eric Wedge.  Sure, things didn’t end well for him in Cleveland, but many people forget that Wedge had a young Indians team only one win away from the World Series.

The problem is that there will likely be over ten managerial openings this upcoming offseason.  None of the qualified candidates are going to want to work for a cheap owner, no matter how promising the young talent on the field is.

Either way, Russell must go and the Pirates absolutely can not make a mistake hiring his replacement.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Homecoming for Sweet Lou: Piniella Retirement Shows Sports’ Humanity

Lou Piniella is home.

Sweet Lou, the manager of the Chicago Cubs and four other teams since 1986, has called it a career, and what a career it was.

Piniella ranks 14th on the all-time wins list for managers, he’s been a three-time manager of the year, and he won the World Series as manager of the Cincinnati Reds in 1990.

As a player, he was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1969 and an All-Star in 1972 with the Kansas City Royals. He ended his playing career with the New York Yankees in 1984, but not before winning two World Series championships with those Bronx Bombers in 1977 and 1978.

Piniella has lived in the public’s light for over 40 years. During that time he’s been a winner and an enigmatic personality. He will be remembered for his famous tirades on the field as much as anything else. More than once he’s been known to rip first base right out of the ground and toss it across the field, and his post-game press conferences are the stuff of legend.

Yes, Lou Piniella wore his heart on his sleeve, and there was never a moment he couldn’t be called genuine. He loved the game of baseball; I’m sure still loves it, but he had to walk away. In a profession where all he need do is desire a job and it would be his, for as much money as he would ask, he left for something more important. Sweet Lou has come home to take care of his mother.

Throughout the history of sport there have been several moments that created fanfare, tears, and praise when sickness and death of family members have inspired and sometimes crippled athletes.

There was Olympic speed skater Dan Jansen, who fell twice in the 1988 Olympics after learning of his sister Jane’s death to leukemia. Jansen ended up winning a gold medal in the 1994 Olympics in a world record-setting time. He dedicated the skate to his departed sister and took a victory lap with his one-year-old daughter, Jane.

For me the biggest example was Brett Favre’s performance in a Monday Night Football game in December of 2003. The Green Bay Packers were facing the Oakland Raiders. The day before, Favre’s father was taken by a stroke, but taking what he knew of his father, Favre played in that game, knowing his father would have wanted him to play. 

From the start of the game, you could feel something special was happening. Favre was crisp and focused, and even on the plays when he wasn’t, his players seemed to make unbelievable plays for their mourning leader. Packer receivers caught touchdown passes that seemed impossible to grab in what could only be described as divine intervention.

Favre threw four touchdowns in the first half alone in the 41-7 Green Bay victory. Even Raider fans, known for their brashness and hatred of all things not wearing the Raiders’ silver and black, were compelled to cheer for Favre. I would dare say that anyone who witnessed that final tribute from son to father and didn’t get choked up must have an empty space where their heart should be.

It’s been a strange marriage between sadness and sports. We see athletes as icons, sometimes infallible models of what can be achieved when a person is truly dedicated. We cheer with them when they succeed, and we weep when they fail.

Sometimes, more often than we would care to admit, tragedy strikes, and we see our heroes as one of us. We feel their pain and in our own way try to lift them up as if they were our own family, because in a way, they are.

67-year-old Lou Piniella has come home to take care of his ailing 90-year-old mother. He did it without fanfare, just a quick press conference to let people know that Sunday, August 22, would be his last game as manager.

A somber Piniella made his announcement, and while he wept at the thought of leaving the game he’s loved for all these years, we wept with him. Not for leaving the game, but for the realization of a fact that we all know to be true…we are all mortal, and we will all suffer sad times. 

Above fame and accolades and money comes family. Many of us have already felt what Piniella is going through, and the rest of us know one day the pain will be ours. We wish him a peaceful and loving resolve to this transitional time in his life.

Sweet Lou is no longer a player in the majors, nor is he a manager in the majors. He’s once again become one of us, a boy from West Tampa who loves his mother.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MWS Top 10: Best Manager Ejections

In honour of the great hostile manager Lou Piniella retiring this weekend, we here at MWS have decided to count down ten of the best baseball manager ejections.

10. Terry Francona (Boston Red Sox, MLB)—2010 VS Toronto Blue Jays

Nothing too crazy here, though it is pretty funny to watch the usually collected Francona get tossed in Toronto, then sort-of mimick the umpire’s tossing motion.

9. Ricky VanAsselberg (Alexandria Aces, United League Baseball)—2008 VS Amarillo Dillas

What makes this ejection so great is the quiet beginning to it. VanAsselberg is out on the mound talking to the pitcher, the ump comes out to say time is up, and the two start to have a calm chat. Then, VanAsselberg is tossed and he loses it, showing the ump what he thinks of the strike zone before tossing the team’s bats onto the field. Oh, and his name is VanAsselberg, classic.

8. Wally Backman (South Georgia Peanuts, South Coast League) – 2007 VS Anderson Joes

NSFW language alert! This classic ejection comes with a mic’d-up Backman, because his team was being chronicled in a TV documentary titled “Playing for Peanuts”. After one of his players gets himself tossed, Backman comes out to argue his case. You get to hear his tirade in great uncensored sound, and watch him as he loses it.

7. Joe Mikulik (Asheville Tourists, South Atlantic League) – 2006 VS Lexington Legends

Another great minor league ejection here. Asheville manager Joe Mikulik comes out to argue a call, gets tossed, then decides to get his money’s worth by taking second base, dirtying up home plate, tossing bats, and then feeling bad, so returning to home plate to clean it off with a water bottle.

6. Lou Piniella (Seattle Mariners, MLB) – 1998 VS Cleveland Indians

This video is a little slow to actually get on with it (the guy making it seems to think we want to look at his ticket for some reason), but it shows the man of honour for this list in one of his great rampages. From twelve years ago, Lou comes out, gets tossed, then kicks his hat around the infield.

5. Lou Piniella (Chicago Cubs, MLB) – 2007 VS Atlanta Braves

Back-to-back Lou is necessary following this second great tantrum, this time with the Chicago Cubs, and nearly ten years after the first one. This one, his first with Chicago, sees Lou kick dirt on the umpire. One of the best parts of this one is the fans in the outfield taking Lou’s move and tossing their hats from the stands.

4. Kash Beauchamp (Wichita Wingnuts, AAIPB) – 2008 VS ???

This features some classic, original moves from a manager. Beauchamp, after being tossed, waves his armpit odor at the umpire and waves his shoe around in the ump’s face. Classic.

3. Butch Hobson (Nashua Pride, CanAm League) – 2007 VS North Shore Spirit

This is just great from former Boston Red Sox player Butch Hobson. The call goes against the Spirit, then is reversed, putting Hobson over the edge. He steals first base, which is pretty ordinary, but then takes the base up into the stands, and hands it over to a kid. Stadium staff must then take it back from the boy, causing them to be the bad guys. Hilarious.

2. Earl Weaver (Baltimore Orioles, MLB) – 1980 VS Detroit Tigers

What is often called the best ejection in Major League history, Earl Weaver absolutely loses his mind in this clip from the 80’s. The best part is the banter between the two of them, especially the response from umpire Bill Haller, who keeps telling Weaver that he’s never knocked anybody out, and then begins to call him a liar.

1. Phillip Wellman (Mississippi Braves, Southern League) – 2007 VS Chattanooga Lookouts

Okay, this one may even be a little too over-the-top, but it is undeniably the greatest ejection in baseball history. I won’t spoil too much in this one, but a high point is Wellman doing his impression of a Marine in this toss.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress