Results tagged ‘ Jack McKeon ’

McKeon: Steinbrenner a winner

On the night the Marlins celebrated one of their greatest victories, George Steinbrenner was gracious in defeat.

When it was all over on that October night at Yankee Stadium in 2003, outside the press room, away from the view of the media, Steinbrenner congratulated Jack McKeon following Game 6 of the World Series.

“He was always good. When we won the World Series in New York, he came down and congratulated me,” McKeon said on Tuesday. “He said we deserved it, and he was happy for me.”

It was just another example of Steinbrenner giving praise to those deserving.

The passing of Steinbrenner on Tuesday brought back memories of the legendary Yankees owner.

McKeon, now a Marlins special advisor, had a long history dealing with Steinbrenner. When McKeon was the general manager of the Padres in the 1980s, he swung several trades with Steinbrenner’s Yankees.

One of them was trading Dennis Rasmussen to the Yankees for third baseman Craig Nettles, a move that helped the Padres reach the World Series in 1984.

In another deal, McKeon dealt John Montefusco to New York as part of a trade that brought second baseman Edwin Rodriguez to the Padres.

Rodriguez had a brief playing career with the Yankees and Padres. Now, at age 49, he is the Marlins manager, and first Puerto Rican-born manager in MLB history.

For more than three decades, McKeon has had great respect for Steinbrenner.

“I got a number of telegrams on my office wall where he congratulated me,” McKeon said. “I still take a lot of pride in the 1984 World Series, he sent me a telegram saying, ‘Congratulations, you took me to the cleaners many times, in trades.’ “

Steinbrenner also sent his wishes when McKeon was named NL Manager of the Year with the Reds in 1999.

McKeon recalled a time when he was in the Reds system, working for then Cincinnati GM Jim Bowden. McKeon was in the office of former Yankees GM Gene Michael discussing a possible trade.

“When I was working with the Reds, and I was Bowden’s assistant, we were trying to make a deal, and I was in Gene Michael’s office,” McKeon said. “I was talking to Gene and George walked into the room and he said to Michael, ‘Hey, watch this guy, he will try to pick your pocket.’

“George was a warrior and he was a winner. Regardless of what it cost or what, he was going to win.”

— Joe Frisaro



Experimenting with lineup

Tony La Russa does it, and it just might make sense for the Marlins to do it too.

To fully maximize the speed in their lineup, Florida could consider batting the pitcher eighth and Cameron Maybin ninth.

La Russa frequently has the Cardinals pitcher batting eighth.

By doing that, Maybin would have a better chance to develop his offense because he won’t have the pitcher behind him. Instead, he would have Emilio Bonifacio.

The problem, typically, for eighth hitters is they see mostly off-speed pitches because the pitcher is on deck.

The hitter most impacted would be Cody Ross, who has been batting seventh. He then would have the pitcher behind him, unless left-handed hitting Jeremy Hermida flip-flopped with Ross. Hermida has been hitting sixth.

If Maybin hits ninth, then the speed would fall in line for Florida. You’d have Bonifacio following, then John Baker and Hanley Ramirez.

It’s something to certainly think about.

In 2005, when Dontrelle Willis was a force at the plate, former manager Jack McKeon once had the D-Train hit as high as seventh.

— Joe Frisaro