Entries Tagged as 'Managers'


Don Gutteridge has passed on at the age of 96. Gutteridge was the manager of the Chicago White Sox when I started following the team, way back in the Summer of 69. Woe, yeah, in the Summer of 69, sing it! Things were simpler then. I attended a preseason Sox game in 1968 in Milwaukee before the 1968 season, the Boys Benefit game. It won by the Sox over the Cubs 3-2 in 10 innings, it was freezing cold, the game was almost cancelled, as it was a few days after the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. I didn’t make it out to Comiskey Park in 1968, but did get there for the last game of the 1969 season. The neighborhood around Comiskey Park was scary and we were afraid to go down there. But to my father’s credit he took me down there, although money was tight, and he wasn’t a baseball fan. I remember an usher getting us a baseball. I’m sure not many fans were in attendance. We took that baseball to the team parking lot after the game, the parking attendant let us in, and we got that ball signed by everybody. I’m sure Don Gutteridge’s autograph is on that ball, along with Luis Aparicio, Walt Williams, Tommy John, Ken Berry, Ed Herrmann, Bill Melton, and many, many others. I can still remember being a little nervous walking to our car, with our prized possession, not another fan in sight. There was a black man wiping down the windshield of our car when we got to it. Dad gave him some money and we were on our way. The northside of the city and the southside were completely segregated, and we were scared of black people. Times were different back then, there was alot of racial tension in the air.

The 1969 White Sox ended the season with a record of 68-94. Gutteridge replaced Al Lopez as the manager during the 69 season, he would be replaced midway through the 1970 season, with Chuck Tanner in place by the end of the 1970 campaign. Only 589,546 fans showed up and I complain about the lack of support today. The White Sox were in serious trouble and they almost were moved to Milwaukee. Bill Veeck took over the ballclub, traded Tommy John for Dick Allen, and the southside franchise was safe, at least for awhile. There was some talk, later, of moving to either Seattle or St. Pete, but thankfully neither took place.

No wonder, it really didn’t matter if we won or lost, I was more concerned with my team not leaving town. I mean, of course I wanted the Sox to win, and was heartbroken when they lost, but I was never delusional enough to believe we might win a championship. While the Cubbies were licking their wounds after collapsing in their quest for a championship, I was just glad to see I was going to have my team.

Let me tell you a little bit about my team. Little Luis Aparicio was our SS, at age 35, he was just reacquired from Baltimore prior to the 1968 season. The veteran was the team leader in hits, steals, walks, doubles, and runs, while excelling in the field. Only our rightfielder Walt “No-Neck” Williams, .304, had a better batting average than Aparicio’s .280 mark. Ken Berry, the Bandit, patroled centerfield. We were strong defensively up the middle with Bobby Knoop at 2B, a sign in the stands said it all, “EVEN SNOOPY LOVES KNOOPY”. The stars of this team were 23 year old Beltin Bill Melton and 21 year old Carlos May. Melton had more homers & RBI’s than anybody on the team, 23 & 87. Carlos May was the younger brother of N.L. slugger Lee May, but as luck would have it, Carlos would blow off his thumb while in the National Guard, and never have the power promise he had in 69, 18 homers that year in only 367 at bats. Buddy Bradford was another talented young outfielder, who could hit the ball as far as anyone when he connected, but struckout too much to fulfill his promise. The team also had a 22 year old catcher named Ed Herrmann, who had a career year in 1970 with 19 homers, but never developed either.

The White Sox were built around pitching & defense, hitting was a bonus. My favorite pitcher Tommy John was a delight to watch. I was heartbroken when he was traded to the Dodgers for Dick Allen, although it kept the Sox in Chicago. Back in 1969 I never thought Tommy John might be traded. I’ll always hate Dick McAuliffe for slamming my hero to the ground in 1968, after John came to close to his coconut with a fastball. Another young pitcher I liked was Paul Edmondson, a tough luck starter, who had a 1-6 record, despite a respectable 3.70 ERA. Edmondson would die before the 1970 spring training when the car he was driving went off a cliff near Santa Barbara, both Paul & his fiance were killed in the crash.

Don Gutteridge had a 60-85 record in 1969 and his team was 49-87 under him in 1970. Gutteridge was an infielder, who played most of his ball in St. Louis, first with the Cardinals and then with the Browns. Steve was telling me Gutteridge was the last surviving member of the 1st place 1944 Browns, who lost in the World Series to the Cardinals. With the passing of Don Gutteridge, another window to yesterday seems to have been closed. So Goodbye Mr. Gutteridge, you will be missed.

Autism: Guillen opens his mouth for a good cause

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has given me a reason to like him,  He’s helping to unveil a new school for autistic kids in Chicago.  He is taking part in the opening of the new Easter Seals Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research.  As the name suggests, the school will double as a research facility. 

tacaembroidedcap-thumb In the last two games against the Yanks, Guillen ditched his Sox cap for the post game interview and instead wore one with the "TACA" logo.  "TACA" stands for Talk About Curing Autism and is an organization that gives support to families affected by autism

Lest you think that autism is a rare condition that doesn’t affect you, please know that the latest figures suggest that one in 150 children born are on the autistic spectrum.  So you probably know a few kids who are on the spectrum.  I know I do. 

So thanks to Ozzie Guillen for bringing this issue to light. 

NYT: Ozzie Guillen and Autism

Chicago Trib:  White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen helps unveil new school for students with autism

Some photos on the Chicago Trib’s web site

Lou and Ozzie "rap" for Chevy dealer

There are obvious perks to being a manager of a Chicago major league team in Chicago.  You’re famous and you have the respect and adoration of at least half the town.  You get to hang with people like Derrick Lee and umm.. Nick Swisher.


chi managers rap

Ozzie gettin’ his groove on for a Chevy dealer

But then there those days where you throw all your self-respect out the window.  All for an ad for a two-bit Chevy dealership. 



C’mon Lou… was this in your contract or are you really that hard up for money??

6/24/08 Linescore of the Day: Bronson Arroyo

Arroyo 1 IP, 11 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 3 HR, 6.52 ERA (L, 4-7)

Marco Scutaro singles, Joe Inglett walks, Alex Rios singles, bases loaded, nobody out. Vernon Wells strikes out, how embarrassing! A sacfly by Matt Stairs scores Scutaro. Scott Rolen launches a three run home run. Lyle Overbay doubles, Gregg Zaun rips a two run bomb. Mound visit results in a force play by Inglett, after Adam Lind & Scutaro singled. End of first inning 6-0 Blue Jays.

Reds score one in the top of the 2nd, there is hope, no there’s not. Rios homers to left, Wells singles, Stairs doubles home Vernon. Another trip to the mound, a wild pitch moves Stairs to 3rd, Rolen doubles Matt home. Coach comes out and takes ball from Arroyo. Overbay singles Rolen to third off new pitcher Gary Majewski. Zaun pops out, Lind’s singles plates Rolen to close the book on Bronson. Scutaro singles to load the bases, Overbay scores on Inglett’s groundout, and then Rios strikes out, 11-1 after two.

I suppose I could have given the Linescore of the Day to the Toronto Blue Jays O-ffense, but decided Arroyo had as much to do for the outburst as anyone. It should be noted that this was the first game back for new/old Blue Jays skipper Cito Gaston. Manager John Gibbons & hitting coach Gary Denbo lost their jobs in part due to a lack of offense. Before the game new hitting coach told the club, “don’t think, just go up there & swing the bats”. Nice coaching Gino!

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Jerry Manuel

Some thoughts about the first play of his Mets managerial Debut:

Former Sox manager Jerry Manuel gets another managerial job. Should be interesting to see if the Mets put on a second half charge.

I wonder if Jerry Manuel lost control of the team on the FIRST PLAY of his first game Wednesday night against the Angels. Did you guys see it?

First batter of the game. Jose Reyes beat out an infield hit, but pulled a muscle (had a cramp, something) while running to first. He limped around for a while, but wanted to stay in the game. Manuel pulled him, and he had a spectacular, equipment throwing tantrum on the way into the dugout. Manuel took it “like Ghandi.” I thought it was a direct challenge to Manuel’s authority.

So did the guys I was watching the game with. One of them asked me, “If that happened to you when you were managing, what would you do?”

I said, “It did. And Tara got her butt chewed so bad after the game that I made her cry. And she didn’t play for several games after that. She came back a chastened 16-year-old. And never did that again. Not to me, anyway.”

In 2005, Mike Scioscia threw Jose Guillen (a 100-RBI guy that year) completely off the team forever for a similar display of showing up his manager. With a week to go and the Angels one game behind the first place A’s in the standings. It would have been easy for Mike to let it go. Or deal with it later. Or fine him. Or something. If the Angels hadn’t caught the A’s and finished first that year, Mike would have had some serious explaining to do to Upper Management.

In the Mets’ case, Jose Reyes played the next night. I like Jose Reyes, but we shall see.


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Randolph poll

Metsblog.com has a poll on whether the Mets should have fired Willie Randolph.  The results so far are surprisingly close at least from my view of the situation.

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Fall-out from Randolph’s firing

In light of Willie Randolph’s firing, it looks like NL All-Star Manager Clint Hurdle will most likely be looking for a replacement for Randolph as coach in the mid-summer classic. 

A snarky commenter to this Rocky Mountain News article on the topic says that Hurdle better be more worried about his own his own job.  A fair point considering the Rocks are 28-42.

As for Randolph, I was pretty far off on his 2008 prospects.  I had him down in our 2008 pre-season predictions.  Not for first manager fired though but NL Manager of the Year.  Yikes, you can’t get much further than that. 

As we all know, it’s always the manager that reaps the rewards for his team’s successes and conversely is the first to the suffer the consequences when things begin to sour. 

ESPN’s Buster Olney has a writeup on the whole Randolph firing that’s worth reading.  Boardroom backstabbing, indeed.

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Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg is serving the third day of his three-day suspension today. It seems Sandberg, manager of the Peoria Chiefs, took exception with an opposing player bunting for a basehit, while his team was leading 6-0. The feisty manager engaged the other manager in a discussion, which led to a bench-clearing brawl.

Some might say, it’s the minor leagues and this player was just brushing up on his bunting skills, a learning process. To which I’d say, you don’t bunt for a basehit when leading 6-0, a learning process. From a Hall of Famer, way to go Ryno!

Yost feeling the pressure?

I don’t know if this is a prevailing feeling among all Brewers fans but BrewersFanatics is getting a bit frustrated with Ned Yost

“The bottom line is changes need to be made. The same lineup can’t be sent out there everyday and be expected to kick things into gear. This team is struggling. It’s not time to put up or shut up, for Ned Yost it’s time to put up or pack up.”

Back at the beginning of the season when the TBZ staff did our MLB predictions for 2008, I had Yost down as First Manager to be Fired in 08.  Not that don’t think Ned isn’t a capable skipper (he is).  I just thought that expectations were going to be pretty high for the Brewers this year.  Couple that with a more competitive NL Central and you gotta figure the pressure has to be high.  And as things go in MLB, the manager is the first one to go. 

The BrewCrew are taking on the Cardinals for a three game series.  Yost could help his cause with a series win against the division rivals.

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Charlie Manuel – 1970

I have been watching alot of Philadelphia Phillies games on TV this year, maybe it’s because I have three Phillies players on my Illowa APBA League Chicago Champions team, maybe it’s because I have two ten dollar bets on Philadelphia, 6-1 to win the Penant, 12-1 to win the World Series. Sadly I already won my only other baseball bet, $100 that my White Sox would not win 90 games this year.

However this post is not about my gambling, but rather it is about Charlie Manuel. I finally connected the dots during last night’s Phillies extra inning win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The Charlie Manuel from my youth, pictured above, is the same Charlie Manuel that starred in Japan, and is now the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Love him or hate him this good ole boy from West Virginia has led a pretty interesting life. The Charlie Manuel I knew as a child was a struggling major league outfielder mostly with the Minnesota Twins, who had a lifetime MLB batting average of .198, just under the Mendoza Line. Charlie, aka Chuck, started his professional career in 1963 with the Wytheville Twins, hitting .358 with seven home runs and 45 RBI’s. Then he struggled till he found his stroke again in his 4th year in A-ball, at the age of 23, when he hit .313 with 15 homers and 70 runs batted in, on the downside his nose was broken, jaw fractured, and lost ten teeth when a Jerry Reuss pitch hit him in the face. Manuel had a great spring training in 1969, made the big league club, batted .266 in limited action before an ankle injury brought on an 0-for-36 drought, resulting in a .207 final batting average in his rookie campaign.

After an undistinguished major league career with the Twins and the Dodgers it was time for a trip to Japan. In his 2nd season with the Yakult Swallows Chuck batted .312 with 39 HR’s & 103 RBI’s, all this despite his escapades allegedly started early in the evening and concluded right up to the pre-game warm-ups. One of the most famous incidents involving Manuel was when he, Clyde Wright and Roger Repoz fought the East German hockey team in a Japanese bar (the Americans clearly lost the brawl). The Swallows won their first-ever Central League pennant in 1978 and his game seven Japan Series home run gave Yakult the victory there as well. While a hero to fans, Manuel did not get along well with Yakult’s management. They did not like Charlie’s refusal to participate in drills, for not shining his spikes, for eating fast food and for his poor outfield defense.

Off to Buffalo, despite his success with the Swallows Chuck was sent to the Kintetsu Buffaloes, where he hit 24 homers in the first two months, Kintetsu, which had never won the Pacific League, was in first place. A Japanese pitcher with good control hit Manuel in the face with a 90 mile per hour fastball, Japanese sportswriters speculate Japanese pitchers were afraid an American might break Japanese hitting records. Charlie made it back to the regular lineup in August, posting 37 HR’s 94 RBI’s to go along with a .324 batting average, leading the league in home runs. He was the first American position player to be named PL MVP, Kintetsu won their first pennant ever, Manuel batted .391 in the 1979 Japan World Series. In 1980 he led the Buffaloes to their 2nd straight pennant, batting 325 with 48 HR’s & 129 RBI’s. Despite his outstanding season the fans soured on Charlie when he left the club midseason to attend his son’s high school graduation.

After retiring as a player he returned to the US to take a scouting job with the Minnesota Twins where his salary fell from $225,000 per year to $20,000. Charlie became the Cleveland Indians hitting coach in 1988, then managed in the minor leagues, before coming back to Cleveland as their hitting coach once again in 1994. Jim Thome and other Indian hitters attributed their success to Manuel, in 1997 Cleveland set a club home run record. Chuck’s health declined, he lost forty pounds, had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery, five weeks later he was back in the dugout. Charlie led the Indians to a 90-72 record as their manager in 2000, despite a rockie start in which he had surgery to repair a ruptured colon in spring training. Ejected from two of the first three games, he banned card playing in the clubhouse and took away the Ping-Pong table when his team was struggling and he felt the players were too distracted. The Indians won the AL Central Division title in Manuel’s second year at the helm. He was let go partway through the 2002 season after a slow start.

On to the City of Brotherly Love is where Charlie found himself in 2003 as a special assistant in order to persuade protege free agent Jim Thome to sign. In 2005 Manuel took over as the skipper of the Phillies, leading them to 88 wins, they fell to 85 wins in 2006, and this year is their year. GO CHARLIE GO!!!

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