Justin Toole brought a whole new meaning to utility man on Saturday night when he played all nine positions in a single game. Toole plays for the Carolina Mudcats, the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.
When the season began, Edwin Rodriguez, the club’s manager, asked Toole what positions he was able to play.
“Anywhere you need me,” Toole responded.
He played all nine positions as part of a “Toole Time” promotion in the team’s game against Salem. The biggest challenge he faced came in the eighth inning when he was the catcher. Toole closed the game out as a pitcher, allowing two runs but struck out two batters.
The Mudcats went on to win, 4-2.
On his first day on the job for the Florida Marlins 80 year old manager Jack McKeon had some business to handle before setting foot back on the diamond. McKeon benched all star shortstop Hanley Ramirez in last nights games against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reportedly for showing up late to the ballpark missing the team meeting.
When asked if there was a particular reason the star shortstop was not in the lineup, McKeon reportedly said, “Yeah, because I didn’t put him in there.”
Team sources said McKeon made the move after Ramirez arrived late for a 3:30pm team meeting which came just hours after the team officially introduced him as the interim replacement for Edwin Rodriguez who resigned Sunday.
The rocky road between manager and player is nothing new for Ramirez as he had previous run ins with former and now current Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez but interesting it would start on day one.
I personally don’t understand why Bobby Valentine would be considered for any Major League Baseball managerial position but it appears that the former Texas Rangers and New York Mets manager might be back at the front of the line on a job that he was shot down for at the end of this past June.
The Florida Marlins, mainly owner and good friend Jeffrey Loria, considered on hiring this sorry excuse for a manager however decided to finish the season with bench coach Edwin Rodriguez after they fired then manager Fredi Gonzalez.
Marlins owner Loria wants Valentine, but team president David Samson and others in the front office are against it because they see the light and are not sold on Valentines interest in personnel moves. Back in June when Valentine learned of the news that he was out of the running for the spot he went on Baseball Tonight, where he is analyst, and blasted the Marlins search process as “disturbing, confusing” and “insulting at times.” Yeah and this is the guy you want running your organization three months later?
The Marlins have said publicly that the list for manger candidates is a short list and may only have four to five names on it. Besides Valentine and Rodriguez, those names are believed to be New York Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Los Angeles Dodgers minor league manager Tim Wallach, Atlanta Braves scout Jim Fregosi and former Marlins third-base coach Bo Porter.
Valentine has been out of major league baseball since 2002 and it should stay that way.