Sep 23, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly (8) looks on during the game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers have continued a Joe Torre tradition in 2014 in having players coach the final game of the year. Juan Uribe gets the honors as the manager and Clayton Kershaw is the pitching coach. It made me think about what players I would like to see coach as a player-coach and who would fit where. Uribe and Kershaw are great choices for their respective positions but let me see if I can assemble a full team coaching staff with this 2014 Dodger team.
Bullpen Coach: Chris Perez
The main reason this would be a good hire is because Perez would probably use the bullpen phone to order some weed and pizza, delivered directly to the bullpen. As for actual coaching pedigree, he would be pretty bad.
1st Base Coach: Dee Gordon
This choice isn’t because of Gordon’s base stealing ability, although it could definitely help. The best part about Gordon being a 1st base coach is that he would have a unique handshake with every player and we’d see this every time they make it to 1st base. Watching Gordon do a variety of handshakes every game would be fun, and could also become awkward once he forgets Andre Ethier‘s (obviously due to lack of real-life practice).
3rd Base Coach: Juan Uribe
Papi is a good candidate for all of these jobs, but it would be fantastic to see him deliver signs. Rubbing his belly could be a sign for hit and run. Salsa dancing is swing away. Jazz Hands would probably be the sign for “The manager wants you to bunt but that’s idiotic so instead, fail at the bunt and once you have 2 strikes hit a game changing home run”
Hitting Coach: Clayton Kershaw
Kershaw could throw batting practice to the players and if they manage to get a few hits then they could beat anyone. Although this would probably end up like when you were 8 years old and you went to the batting, and you would go to the machine pumping 90 mph and you’d start your swing a minute early and a foul ball felt like a walk-off home run. Also, this would be worth it just to see Ethier vs. Kershaw. Worth it for us, not for Ethier.
Pitching coach: Drew Butera
You can’t argue with a 0.00 ERA. He could also give great insight into how pitchers were able to make him hit so poorly.
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Yasiel Puig
Players wouldn’t want to have a body worse then their strength and conditioning coach. He could share secrets in how to look like that. Also, could show the players how to be fine after taking a fastball to the nose, crashing into walls, twisting an ankle, and any other crazy situation Puig has put himself in that would cause most human bodies to collapse but is like a paper cut to Mr. Puig.
Bench coach: Andre Ethier
His good looks would be welcome on the bench. Also, known for a short temper it would be a great person to have when the Dodgers need some yelling done to them. Would include breaking bats, cussing them out, a few middle fingers, and lots of anger. Although this position might cause his balding to exponentially increase to record levels and after a few months he would need to shave that thing off.
Manager: Donald Zachary Greinke
This would be fantatsic for a variety of reasons, although might end up tragically. Greinke’s post-game interviews would be some of the best ever. “Player X isn’t starting because he isn’t good”. “I’m glad the other manager bunted in that situation because that was pretty stupid and it helped us win.” “This team could maybe win 70 games but to be honest, they would need a rather large amount of luck.”
Also, he is a very smart guy and would be great for it. But mostly: Hearing his brutally honest thoughts would be quite phenomenal.
So, that’s my choice for a Players-Manager led team in 2014.