So happy I almost cried
I am a manager guy. I love when baseball is played in my perceived “right way” where you string together a couple hits with a sacrifice and a stolen base for a big inning. I love when a pitcher gets five straight ground outs, or gives up a big fly and then hits the guy in the ribs for admiring it the next time he’s at the dish. I love the little games that go back and forth between the dugouts throughout a contest, and then watching the managers act like they aren’t stealing signs. I am a manager guy. As such I have a very definitive mental ranking as far as my favorite managers go throughout the Bigs. First, and by so far he’s not getting caught, is the genius Ron Gardenhire. The Twins take the field year after year and win. Morneau’s out for the season? Who cares we’ll make the playoffs with Jason Kubel and Delmon Young picking up the slack. Trading away our ace? Gardy knew what he was doing. My second favorite manager has always been in flux. Before today it was Mike Scioscia after I watched him get the heave-ho in a Spring Training game earlier this week, and the report came out that not a single pitcher under his watchful eye has had Tommy John surgery during his 11 year tenure with the Angels. Hell, Doc Sadler of Nebraska basketball can’t even boast that kind of streak. When it hasn’t been Scioscia it’s been Joe Maddon of the Rays, Tyrone Biggums for the Rangers, or Bobby Cox who I’m going to miss this year. However a new sheriff strode into town today blowing away the competition like a Candygram for Mongo.
Reports surfaced today that Buck Showalter ripped Derek Jeter and Theo Epstein in the newest issue of Men’s Journal. Showalter claims to have screamed at Jeter from the dugout about diving out of the way of pitches which were near the dish. I love it, because Buck is right. Jeter is one of the best inside-out hitters in the game today, if not in my lifetime, but how does he do it? He does it by making the inside corner completely nonexistent and hitting the middle of the dish as though it’s the inside corner. Anything near the edge he dances out of the way like Macaulay Culkin from My Girl (just skip to 0:39). Quick sidenote, I was horrified of bees from about the age of 6 to 20 (it’s ok I know I’m a pussy) because of this damn movie. You’re telling me those things can kill me? And you want me to go on a school field trip to the Apple Orchard? Yeah you can go F yourself Mrs. B there’s no apple cider worth dying for. I digress, what Showalter said about Jeter is dead on accurate, and he really could have continued on. Jeter won a Gold Glove last year while covering about an arm’s length of ground on either side of him. Now don’t get me wrong, Jeter can pick it with the best of them when it’s hit at him, but he might be the third best shortstop on that team presently when it comes to taking hits away from the opposing batters. But I’m not here to rip Jeter, the guy’s a sure-fire and 100% deserving first ballot Hall of Famer, if not for baseball then at least for the list of women to which he has ties.
As much as I loved Showalter ripping Jeter, I think the thing that I loved even more was Buck taking shots at Theo Epstein and the Red Sox front office. Now first allow me to state, I’m not mad at the Red Sox for having money, or upset that they use it in groves to buy wins. However, Buck was dead on in saying that Epstein should not be considered a genius for landing superstars by offering them the most money. Flava Flav understands more money > less money, and if Flava Flav understands it, you’re not smart for getting it too. I would actually list that as a law of nature, if Flava Flav can understand it, not only are you not smart for getting it, you should be required to give back any degree you may have acquired if you don’t understand it. Theo Epstein is about as genius for throwing someone else’s dollars around as the Amish are savvy with technology.
More people tied in with athletics need to be willing to speak their mind like Buck. This whole pussy-footing around an issue because nobody wants to give up “bulletin board” material is absolute garbage. For that, Buck, you have skyrocketed to number two on my meaningless list of favorite managers. Further, as long as you’re in the black and orange I’ll be pulling for the O’s.