Here Now, Gone the Next Day - New York Yankees Manager 1978, 1981-82

by admin ~ June 22nd, 2009

 

If you ask me, his time with the Yankees is actually on and off, other than the fact that it is also short-lived. Bob Lemon was the New York Yankees Manager in 1978 and 1981-82.

His breakthrough with professional baseball is actually three: a right-handed pitcher, a left-handed batting third baseman, and lastly, a manager. I wouldn’t call it successful. Though some views his accomplishment a success, but I disagree.

Just look at the fact that he improved the White Sox’ record by 26 games and won his Manager of the Year Award. But what happened next? He was fired right after his record of 34-40 on the first half. Now, his time with the Yankees as a manager; his first year was not that bad. Not until the first part of 1979, he was fired by the owner (to NO surprise of course!) because of the reality that the New York Yankees struggled (though he made an excuse regarding this incident; that he suffered a major loss because of his sons death around this time, thus he wasn’t himself).

As a player however, Bob Lemon was a “so-so.” His MLB debut was in 1941 with the Cleveland Indians. He was with the same team for 17 years, right before he became a manager.

Lemon had a drinking problem, yet, he exudes with an easy-going character. What’s great about his relationship with the owner was startling. He remained in the Yankees payroll as a scout, sort-of a lifetime contract he had with owner George Steinbrenner for the 1978 World Championship.

Robert Granville Lemon was born on September 22, 1920. With an ailing heart, Bob Lemon eventually suffered a heart attack which caused him his death.


Where is “Sweet Lou” now - New York Yankees Manager 1974-84

by admin ~ June 22nd, 2009

 

Finally the search for the best Manager of the Yankees is over, well for me that is! I have been going over the past managers handling the Yankees and I almost lost my interest to really really read so many write-ups about them because usually there is not much to read or better yet, some I just don’t find interesting.

Louis Victor Piniella or commonly known as “Sweet Lou” is ranked 14th in all-time list of Managerial wins. This nicknamed was derived from his bat swings and of course his character as well. It is wonderful that his attitude towards the team, as a player and as a manager is simply wonderful that this nickname suits him best. Born on August 28, 1943, in Tampa, Florida, he grew up playing baseball as a child.

Lou Piniella’s managerial career with the New York Yankees started from 1974 to 1984. Everybody is well aware of the pressures placed on you when you’re handling a team and know wonder Piniella went this far as 10 years to be with the Yankees knowing George Steinbrenner’s sky-scraping expectation on his managers. Plus, the fact that he is difficult to please.

Although he is also know for his aggressiveness and being on the field quick-tempered as a manager, he was actually ejected 61 times in his managerial career, in line with Joe Torre, Tony Larussa Bobby Cox who has even received more ejections than him.

His accomplishment as the New York Yankees manager throughout his 10 years tenure is quite great, having an average of 0.5 winning percentage (224-193).

During his early years as a professional baseball player, he joined MLB at age 21 with the Baltimore Orioles. He had an 11 years experience with the Yankees team where the team won 5 AL East titles (1976-78, 1980 and 1981), 4 AL Pennants (1976-78 and 1981), and two World Series Championships in 1977-78. Evidently, his experience in MLB is really great. If anything can be learned from being a true pro, it all depends on experience on both area – being a player and a manager. It has been said that when Piniella came in as the New York Yankees manager, philosophy change when he succeeded Billy Martin.

At present, Lou Piniella is managing the Cubs.


Profanity King - George Dallas Green 1989

by admin ~ June 21st, 2009

 

George Dallas Green was a pitcher in his professional baseball career; possibly, one of the shortest term to manage the New York Yankees. He was with the team in 1989.

For most of us, profanity is probably just part of our everyday lives. But for Dallas Green, it was a day-to-day experience. He proudly accepted that he is a screamer, a yeller and a cusser put altogether. And to prove his notorious character, he wounded a player’s career (I’m talking about Scott Rolen in 2001) because of a comment he said. Rolen was has been elected to the All-Start 4 times, but Green’s comment of him being an under achiever even if he can do more because of his personality.

His accomplishment with the Yankees as Manager was not that great earning under .500 at 56-65. To add more injury to the dire situation, the Yankees were 9 games over .500 the previous year, but they fell to 9 games under .500, during Dallas Green’s term. And of course, having a temper himself didn’t improve the relationship between the Yankee owner George Steinbrenner who is a go-getter with an attitude.

His personal life was uneventful. He was born on August 4, 1934 in Newport, Delaware. He bats left and throws with his right. As a baseball player, his first coming out was in June 18, 1960 for the Philadelphia Phillies and his last MLB appearance was in September 12, 1967.

Compared to the past New York Yankees manager, his career statistics are not that impressive with a Record of 20-22, ERA of 4.26 and 268 Strikeouts. One of his greatest career highlights was bringing the Phillies to their first World Series victory in 1980.

 



Buck Showalter - New York Yankees Manager from 1992-1995

by admin ~ June 20th, 2009

 

William Nathaniel “Buck” Showalter was the New York Yankees manager from 1991 to 1995. He was born in DeFuniak Springs, Florida and born on May 23, 1956.

Looking at his career accomplishments, he was drafted by the New York Yankees right after he graduated, right after playing in the minor leagues for 6 seasons. He then became a minor league manager up until 1989.

Buck Showalter was a professional baseball player and then became a manager. Although his playing profession was not that great compared to renowned managers, his track record for win-loss is that of 313-268 with the Yankees.  To no surprise he left the Yankees because of the fallout between the New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Although he actually led the Yankees to participate in the playoffs for the very first time since their success in 1981, it did not change the fact that he had to leave the team. As a matter of fact, prior to this incident, he was named by the Associated Press as the American League Manager of the year and also became the All-Star Game manager of the year.

If you have read some of the previous articles regarding the successful owner and business tycoon Steinbrenner, he is known to fire his managers. I think for the reason that he is simply a competitive person and has very high expectation of the Yankees, and when he does not see that, what’s the use of keeping an individual whose sole purpose of hiring is to make the best out of the team? His standars are high because he expects the team to win and no matter how the team did during a regular season, but they don’t win the World Series, I’m sure he considers it a loss. Bottom-line is, it’s all about winning and if he finds it impossible, then he goes to the next candidate line.

Buck Showalter became a manager for 3 teams, namely: the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamond Bucks and the Texas Rangers. This is from 1992-2006.

Lately, he returned to ESPN as an analyst.

Now let’s go to a more interesting topic as to why he was nicknamed “Buck.” It is nothing impossibly unique or something grande really. According to interviews, while he was playing in the minor leagues, he tends to hang around “Buck” naked in the locker rooms, thus, the name Buck was born.


The Greatest Yankees of All Time

by admin ~ May 18th, 2009

 

Biased as it may seem, when it comes to sports, the team as a whole are not usually the first things people remember. People may be familiar with a team mainly because their favorite player is in it, or if they do know the whole team, the first name they’d call out would be of their favorite player’s.

Here are three of the Greatest Yankee players of all time who still hold much fame today. These players have also won a spot in the Hall of Fame due to their wonderful performance in baseball. Baseball definitely has a lot of talents to offer, but these three were the pioneers of their time and still hold an undying torch in Baseball history.

The most famous player would most probably be Babe Ruth who not only became a Hall of Famer, he also built Yankee history by being a major part of their success in the 1930’s as they won around seven World Series titles. He is usually considered as the best Baseball player of all time, with Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio sharing the same honor.

While Babe Ruth only played for 14 years with the New York Yankees, Lou Gehrig had been in the team for about 16 years. He played alongside Ruth, also contributing to the success of the Yankees. He was also the youngest baseball player to join the Hall of Fame in 1939.

Lou Gehrig died soon after on 1941 due to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a brain-related sickness wherein the cells of his central nervous system would collapse and degenerate. Symptoms included being unable to control his very own movements. His illness took his life at the tender age of 37.

When Ruth and Gehrig left the Yankees, Joe DiMaggio became the next “hot” thing in baseball. He had played with the Yankees for 11 years, was voted as MVP thrice, and helped the team win another 9 World Series Titles. He was also inducted into the All Star list 13 times.

Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio serve as the best role models for kids and adults alike. As long as you do your best in your craft, you will surely succeed, the same way they have.


What Baseball Scouts Look for in Potential Baseball Stars

by admin ~ May 15th, 2009

Our topic today is a special guide for potential baseball stars who want to play baseball not just as a hobby, but also as a full-time profession.

As the saying goes, “Nothing is Impossible,” there is absolutely nothing that’s keeping your from being the baseball star you hope to be. All it takes is a little more guts and confidence in oneself, topped with hard work, and soon enough, you’ll be in the New Yankee Stadium not as an onlooker, but as the main attraction of the game.

Below are tips on how you can impress baseball scouts in professional baseball as well as in college. As you continue to build the athlete in you, you will also be winning experience and expertise along the way. Who knows? You could be the next Babe Ruth baseball history has been waiting for.

  1. Scouts measure your attitude, how you treat your team mates, and your love for the game. Let’s start off with the obvious truth. Before scouts measure your baseball prowess, they would definitely want to know if you’re the man your skills describe you to be. A good pitcher with a very bad temper on court would end up getting more fouls than points. You will be working in a team and not solo; hence, if you don’t know how to respect your team mates, even your coach would not want to deal with you. Your attitude towards other people and to the game counts a lot; that said, the first thing that wins the hearts of scouts is your respect for the game and for fellow players.
  2. Let’s move on to your proficiency. Scouts look at your speed. Baseball, in layman’s terms, is game that involves throwing, catching, pitching, and running. See? Great speed equates to a good player who is capable of catching, running, and pitching quickly. If you’re speedy, scouts will have their eye on you.
  3. Scouts have their own manner of measuring a player’s running speed; however, those who are able to make a 60 yard dash at 6-6.5 seconds are in excellent form. Those who make it to 7 seconds or less are acceptable also.
  4. After their speed, they will have to consider the way you pitch, throw, or the way you serve your purpose in the team. Generally, they will have to see if you are a good player.
  5. Your physical strengths will also have to matter in baseball. For one, you must be tall, preferable someone within the range of 5’10 to 6’2. A ballplayer’s recommended height is 6’0 for a ballplayer; 6’1 for a pitcher; and for a pitcher, 5’11 is a desirable height. Also, someone between the weights of 190-200 pounds is a good pick.
  6. Base stealing is also an important feat in baseball and at times, you will have to make base stealing attempts. Those who can make it to a 3.0-3.2 second time frame when attempting to steal bases is in fine shape.
  7. Scouts also consider the following aspects:
  • Respect for the game and for fellow players
  • School and work habits
  • Aggressiveness
  • Maturity
  • Composure
  • Habits towards people when not playing
  • Desire to win
  • Dedication
  • Speed
  • Endurance
  • And of course, intelligence.

There are other things scouts look for in a player before picking him to be a member of a reputable college baseball team or a professional team. What are these criteria? Only scouts know them; but you, as a player, you only need to know passion for the game and you’re good to go.



Babe Ruth: The Roaring Bambino

by admin ~ April 23rd, 2009


Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig

Before he was a pitcher, long before he entered the record books, long before he made 54 homeruns as a Yankee, and long before we turned him into a chocolate bar, he was just Babe Ruth- ex-Red Sox outfielder.

Babe Ruth, born George Herman Ruth, Jr., also known as “the Sultan of Swat” and “The Bambino” was a top American Major League baseball player, famously known for playing for the Yankees as an outfielder and breaking record after record in his time. Being the first ever player to hit 60 home runs in a single season (1927), Ruth became a baseball superstar overnight and a larger than life sports icon throughout history.

Babe Ruth first played for the Baltimore Orioles; however, as the fame of free agency grew, he was sold to the Boston Red Sox until he was eventually bought by the New York Yankees in the 1920’s. His transfer was the Yankees’ greatest bane and the Red Sox’s worst boon since little did the latter know they would not be winning a single championship for the next 86 years.

Now with the Yankees, he made 54 home runs and batted .376 on his first year with his new team. The next year, he, along with his team mates made Yankee-history by winning their first ever league championship. Ruth’s display of continuous home runs and amazing records transformed the face of baseball from being the “inside game” to the “power game” from then on.

The Yankees eventually moved onto the World Series in 1921 and with Ruth in their lineup, they were able to win the first two games; however, things turned badly for Ruth and his team when he fell into a series of mishaps. Although they lost the 1921 World Series, Ruth still managed to redesign history in 1923.

1923 was a great year for the Yankees due to the construction of the Yankee Stadium, which was also named, “The House That Ruth Built.” Ruth once again gave the Yankees another victory by leading them to the championships on their first game in the stadium. Also, on the same year, they battled the New York Giants once again for the World Series, and this time, Ruth did not let victory run past him. Ruth walked eight times, batted .368, gained 8 runs, slugged 1.000, and scored 3 home runs. Eventually, they won their first World Series by 4 to 2 games.

Babe reached the height of his career in 1927 when he made a record of 60 homeruns in a season of 154 games, and became the first person to do so.

The next few years proved difficult for the Yankees as well as for Ruth. In 1929, the Yankees were unable to return to the World Series and it would take them another three years to regain their momentum. However, he was still able to win various games with the Yankees and make records.

Babe Ruth in action

As soon as Babe Ruth first entered the diamonds in 1921, he has built a lot of amazing records, some of which are still intact today. His prowess has made him baseball’s Greatest Player Ever in 1969, and in 1998, he ranked Number 1 on The Sporting News’ “Baseball’s 100 Greatest Players.”

Baseball aficionados, kids, teenagers, and adults, male or female, still look up to the man who reinvented the face of baseball. Indeed, baseball would not be as grand as we regard it to be had not Babe Ruth entered the fields. Hence, hats off to the Greatest Baseball Player of all time: Babe Ruth!

Photo credits: Regatta Le Blanc; Artifishall