If the Baseball Hall of Fame took in candidates on heart and guts, Larry Bowa would be a first-round inductee.
How else can you explain why a guy who will be 70 in December wants a job managing the Miami Marlins? The traveling alone is enough to kill you.
Major league teams visit more hotels from April to October than a bed bug, and if that don't get you, how about restaurant food for 81 nights during the season? Either that or the post-game locker room spreads, gulping down pasta at 11 p.m. And the bed bugs eat YOU, not a bad veal parmesan.
The shrimp Alfredo can get to you at age 25, let alone age 70. At 70 it'll give you more runs than your team will and you can't call in sick.
Same day doubleheaders. Waiting out rain delays. Getting in at 2 a.m. with a 1 p.m. game time the next day. Fourteen inning games. The heat in August and the cold in April.
Going into the ninth, your closer blows a 2 run lead. It could be worse — you could have Papelbon who will either grab his crotch or the throat of your best player. Take your pick. Then some smart-ass newspaper guy writes that you don't have control of the team.
How about this one, an umpire who can't find the strike zone — he's calling balls, strikes but only when your team is up. The other team? He finds it just fine, in fact, he's narrowed it to look like Elfreds Alley. So you conclude that he's hammering you for a past temper tantrum.
That's another thing Bowa could be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame for, temper tantrums.
Then there's the postgame press conferences you must do game after game. It's the Stupid Questions Galore Show from people who don't know their ass from shine-ola. "Hi, this is Jennifer Harris, I'm new with CBS3 and I've never seen a baseball game until tonight, it's sooo boring. But what I want to know is why do you make so many dumb-ass moves?"
Now is the time to have a Papelbon!
And we haven't even covered the million dollar babies who have contracts longer and larger than the Misissip and make your little puny two-year deal look like Mill Creek. And if they don't feel like playing one night, there ain't a damn thing you can do about it.
Or an outfielder who laughs in your face when you tell him to go harder after a ball in the corner that let three runs score. Either that or he stays out partying until your alarm clock goes off — then comes to the park and couldn't hit a slow-pitched softball with Dick Allen's bat.
Because remember, they can fire the manager but they can't fire the team!
And they know it!
Former Yankee manager Casy Stengle said, "The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided." Former Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg couldn't keep anybody away from anybody and when he did the post game show, he had the deer in the headlights look.
Finally, Sandberg couldn't get out of Dodge fast enough. Lookit, Sandberg seemed like a decent man, a very good baseball man — just not cut out to manage the crazy farm called a major league baseball team.
Wait a minute, better answer that dugout phone. It's the GM and he wants you to lift your pitcher in the seventh — who's pitching a shutout — because the club owner's wife after three Manhattans had a premonition.
So hang up and get that bullpen up. Doesn't matter that they're pitched out — because your rotation's been getting hammered and can't get through the fifth. Get them up.
Now tell me, at age 70, with a cake job like bench coach and enough pension to spend half the year on the French Rivera, and the other half hunting turkey outside of Wellsboro, why would Bowa do it?
Mark Twain said: "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog."
Evidently, Larry Bowa has a hell of a lot of fight left!
Comments to Roncostello@mail.com