Halloween for MLB Managers by Bob Ryan

Tomorrow night is Halloween……you remember the question that always came to you on Oct 30 through your “early” days….what would you “be” on Halloween?..some years it worked out well…sometimes not so much….but…every year there seems to be a “new & more favorite” costume…..well…this year…it’s a Major League manager dressing up in disguise…They dress in the manner that they feel like! Look what happened…..

….so here’s our 1st person walking up to the porch… Jean…dressed as a General….for obvious reasons around the house… and I …usually sit on the porch together greeting our Halloween visitors…hello…I see that you’re dressed as a ringmaster at a circus..like ur coming and going….so what’s your joke?

#1….My  joke is that I managed this team for 4.5 years …got fired…was away for 5 years…and I’ll be darn…I’m back at the same place managing again for another 5 years…I come & go like the circus… I’m John Gibbons of the Toronto Blue Jays

Well…..so long John…boy that WAS strange…here’s another…but he’s in street clothes?

#2…Hello…I’m on the streets looking for a job….my joke is that  I have 910-710 lifetime record and I just got fired because I couldn’t win a 7 game AL Championship series… oh…..btw…I’m 6th in our franchise history in wins…I’m Joe Ghirardi…formerly of the Yankes…what?….oh yea…those top 5 winning managers are JoeMcCarthy -1460, Joe Torre-1173, Casey Stengel 1149, Miller Huggins-1067 and Ralph Houk—944

Well..thanks Joe….I’m sure you won’t be out of work long….what…you weren’t sure that you were coming back to NYY anyway….you’ll be back…maybe not this year….but soon…wouldn’t he fit in Washington?….anyway…..Jean, here’s another coming up our walk.. dressed as a farm boy…ya know… untrained …still learning

#3…Hello…Hello…I’m …my joke is that I’ve never managed anyplace other than a Puerto Rican league and I just got hired by the team that won the AL East- Boston Red Sox…I’ learning on the job so to speak…like a farm boy…..I’m feeling good…I have all those good, young players coming back just because I was a bench coach at Houston this year…I’m Alex Cora

…well…good luck Alex…Boston can be tough on managers…John Farrell just got fired after winning back-back divisional championships…he really doesn’t know what he’s in for in Boston…here’s a new mgr… dressed as Old Man Time…

#4 Man….life’s good….I’m in a great city…doing what I love for 17 years now…I just keep rolling along like o’ man time…I’ve been here so long…no one knows any other manager…My joke is ….these folks have been trained to want stars out here…glamour….pizzazz….who cares about the w’s? I’m Mike Scioscia of the Anaheim Angels

….well…Mike glad to talk with you….you have been the AL Mgr of the Year on 2 occasions, 2002 & 2009 and you DO have a winning record 1416-1176..but be careful….Mike Trout …the star that you mentioned…may be leaving in a year or 3…and Albert isn’t Albert any more…take care… Mike…as Mike saunters off into the sunset…boy….I didn’t even hear this guy coming up…hi there..

#5…didn’t hear me did ya….no one DOES!…I’m dressed up as a silent mouse….I’ve snuck up on everyone….My joke is that I’m a third year manager that missed 1st place for the 1st time in my career…and….NO ONE knows me….I’m Jeff Bannister

…well…Hi Jeff…yea…I had forgotten that you won the AL West in your first 2 years at the helm for the Texas Rangers. Not many knew ya as the bench coach for the Pirates when they finally broke their historic 20 year streak of losing seasons and you’re RIGHT …no one still knows you…oh wait…where did he go…he got away without anyone knowing it but who’s  swaggering up to our porch now….he’s got twinkie wrappers in 1 hand & Tony the Tiger in the other..

#6  I just took over the Detroit Tigers …my joke is just when I developed the Twins…they released me…and I’m starting over…. I managed for 13 years for the Minnesota Twins and led them to 6 post-season appearances… I know how to manage young kids and make them into winners—like I’ll do with the Tigers…I’m Rod Gardenhire

….Well….Hi coach….you sure led the Twinkies for a long run and the Tigers are rearming their team…pardon the pun….and need a firm…yet fair…hand to take over….good luck in Detroit…of late…they’ve been squeezing in the Tigers in between the Red Wings & the Lions..about a 2-3 month stretch as a mild diversion from “real sports…..so that buys you some time….what do we have here…. dressed as Houdini?

 #7  Yes…I’m like Houdini….every other team fires the manager AND the staff….not for me…I disappeared so just my staff got the hack job but I survived…I’m Mike Matheny

….well, well Mike…I’ve read…ooops…written … a lot about you….what a houdini you are …. that is very unusual in the MLB…staff goes and yet YOU remain…thx goodness for MO, heh?….careful though Mike….you better be well above .500 by June 1st or you may be using that houdini outfit again as you disappear …for good…..but….who do we have here….he’s dressed as Rodney Dangerfield… Hey…hey… what are you doing?

#8…I’m dressed like this because nobody respects me…I was rated #28 of 30 MLB managers last spring… I have no respect….none!….sure…I have good players…but I have to massage them, coddle them, give them pity, smile at their flubs…all the while pretending that I don’t know their huge salaries… I have no respect …..I’m Dave Roberts of the LA Dodgers

…yea Dave…LA is so different….they let the Angels slide away annually…and yet they expect the Dodgers to win every year ….maybe….someday…you’ll get that respect…..well…who’s that coming now? He’s wearing a crown and carrying a map of the US with only the small states showing?   Hey….hey there…who are you?

#8  Many..maybe most…think I was the manager of the year…the joke is  no one across the USA votes for me because I’m not from a huge megatropolis …they ignore me…they don’t even know mu name.. so I’m ignoring those big states now….I’m Greg Counsel-Mgr of Milwaukee

…well  Greg…you DID do a magnificent job but in today’s world only 1 thing matters…who wins the overall championship…it doesn’t matter if you took average players and made them good and good players and made them good+….well Jean….let’s close the door and go inside …I’m done with Halloween—Manager’s nite 

 

More Baseball observations…

…1st of all…it’s a terrific World Series…very entertaining…I’m hoping for Houston for some reason…really don’t’ know why…but LA is a very good team also

…why would any 3B coach stop any runners from trying to score any more….I see about 1 of every 10 throws from the OF on target…keep waving them around would be my motto.. I read that OF & IF pre-game practice has been eliminated in recent years….guess that they are too busy rushing to get in line for the in-door batting cage…who needs fielding when you are negotiating your contract? It’s all about HR these days.

…Both these managers are “killing” their bullpens….one time….Houston brought a unused starter into the game in the 5th and he went to the 9th…..wouldn’t something like that work on a more consistent basis?

…Jose Altuve…whom I REALLY like as a player…has gone rogue this post-season…he’s abandoned his 200-hit swing to swing for the fences..darn

….Carlos Correa was Jeff Luehnow’s #1 pick in his 1st Houston draft in 2012…not bad, heh… that’s my hockey talk coming out early btw…the Cards had two 1st round picks that year—Michael Wacha (good) and James Ramsey (who?)…some other notes from that 1st round….Addison Russell was drafted by Oakland out of HS and Corey Seager by LA Dodgers..but to be honest…these guys from 2012 should be in the MLB by now….not many are … I’m not an expert but…I don’t recognize…at all…15 of the 30 guys chosen in the 1st round!

 

Speaking of hockey….to me that means Blues Hockey…I really can’t tell you much about any other team.. of course…some would say that I can’t tell you much about  the Blues either 

….I usually am not in the mood for hockey until after January 1 when it is cold outside.. I mean they do play the game on frozen ice…cold…ya know…. But…this year is different….for me there is less interest…but still some…in the NFL..so it drives me to hockey earlier….. some early observations…

….the Blues can skate…..in fact, the entire league appears to be flying down the ice…it’s a new era … the old, slow, heavier defensemen (e.g. Noel Picard, Bobby Plager) aren’t around any longer

….speaking of defensemen….Coach Yeo is utilizing the d-men in an offensive way… GREAT..it’s harder to stop 5 guys than 3 guys defensively.

…the Blues appear to be attacking with a wider assortment of players …not Just Tarasenko(5 goals) alone…Jaden Schwartz currently leads team with 7 goals while veterans Alex Pietrangelo & Paul Stastny each have 4 goals. I dropped my crystal ball a few years ago so I’m not sure if it’ll continue but….it is a wonderful trend.  

…the regular…yet ..not constant…use of #2 keeper appear to be working like a charm

 

College Football World

….OK…just when I TCU lined up for the National Championship Final Four last week….Iowa State knocks them off yesterday. Who is this Iowa State?  Who’s their coach?  He’s a 2nd year coach-Matt Campbell.I’m wagering that there is 10% of you who knew the answer to that question. The Cyclones jumped into the top 25 (#18) with their win over the Horned Frogs (TCU) 14-7.  Iowa State has upset two Top 5 teams this year…to put it in perspective..  Cyclones entered this year 1-56-2 all-time against teams in the top 5. The crowd went crazy and swarmed the field at the buzzer…the euphoria was unbelievable…Congrats to them… it’s really wonderful to see a door-mat rising up to a place of prominence….even if only for a week

… one of my other picks last week was Penn State….the Nittany Lions fell off the cliff when Ohio State made an epic rally to snatch the 39-38 win. Penn State led 35-20 with 7+ min left in the 3rd quarter before the Buckeyes rally.QB J.T. Barrett (Ohio State) went 13 of 13 passing for 170 and 3 TD’s to quiet his critics about his play in “big” games.

….Mizzou crunched UConn 52-12…sure it was a cupcake…but unlike MO-State (who’s 2-6 for the season)…Mizzou clearly dominated the action. Bravo!

 

On the High school football scene….I actually had a couple folks asking where this section was last week..thx for the note…..this week was the semi’s of district so in most cases the #1 seed played #4 and #2 played #3..there wasn’t too many close games…but..

….Lindbergh, under head coach Nathan Norman, edged the defending State Champion, Kirkwood, 16-14.  What made it real interesting was what led up the  game winning 35 yd FG by Garret Butz with a mere 8 seconds left in the game….so big-time pressure there alone…. But… Butz had missed an extra point attempt earlier in the 4th quarter that failed to tie the game at 14-14 that left the Flyers fell a point behind until that memorable game winning FG.

…excitement in Class 6 (the largest schools) on the west side of the state.. Rockhurst & Lee Summit West….both teams came into the semis after dramatic wins in the opening week of districts…Lee Summit West had to go 2 OT to beat Raymore-Peculiar (commonly call Ray-Pec)  37-30…meanwhile the Rockhurst Hawklets won by a narrow 7-0 margin last week against Lee Summit North. It was another thriller for both teams this week…..Rockhurst edged Lee Summit West 20-17.. tied 7-7 at half, West kicked a FG in the 3rd qtr but the Hawks answered immediately with a TD also in the 3rd quarter, both teams scored early 4th qtr TD but Rockhurst iced the game by holding onto the ball for the last 6 min & 9 sec of the game…they ran out the clock for 6+ min-Wow!  Rockhurst advances to the district championship against Park Hill..Winner advances to Class 6 STATE semifinals.

….in my mind, Kirkwood and Webster Groves are often linked together…their traditional Turkey Day game, their good football programs, their vibrant communities, the closeness of their localities… anyway…. when both teams lost Friday night…it seemed unusual to me for BOTH teams to lose on the same day…well…it turns out it was the 2nd time this year that they lost on the same day…but…prior to this year…it had been since  2008 (Sep 12 & Sep 19) that both football teams lost on the same day…sooo…there’s your trivia for the day 

 

YOUR comments are always welcome…either post them directly on site or send them to me in an email…if you want … if you prefer, I’ll publish w/o your name…I’ll use initials.  Many times…your responses are much better than my stuff….thanks for reading….Happy Halloween!

 

 

Comments

  1. Thanks for the HS football run down. Have you caught Steve Savard’s piece on high school football and concussions? The one thing that everyone will glaze over is what the leading head trauma doctor stated. Thousands of kids get concussed in cars every week but no one is trying to take away the car keys, heaven forbids or that soccer and several other sports have just as many head injuries as football. Why is football the goat on the injury situation when they work continually to make the game safer. Notice all the ex-football players in the US who played even up through college and they seem to be living good lives after football and thousands of kids killed in cars or involved in drugs because they have no activities that hold them accountable. Well, thats my rant. Enjoy reading your column.

  2. Jim Pleimann says:

    I knew that somehow, someway you’d get a dig in on Manifesto. I thought maybe he would be a “slasher” seen as how he cut himself with a knife opening his birthday present oh so many years ago.
    Sure is a fun, exciting homer-filled world series. I know that I have watched more highlights than live action due to the facts each games last so freakin long!!! Too bad so many have to miss great games due to the lateness of the finishes. What can be done about this? Seems like you have to have a certain “launch angle” in order for the manager to let you bat in this series. It’s homer or nothing.
    The Blues/Kings game between two teams with 19 points in October is only the second time in NHL history that this has happened. Bob, this may be the year, again, Ha! (we’re going to need more depth and I am not sure where that is going to come from but they sure look good in the early going.

  3. Good job, Bob.
    I agree with you on those throws to home. Never close, Elmer would have them OF practice til they got it right.

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