Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 13, 2017

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It is Friday the 13th, a day that brings up issues of luck and good fortune. Some players had horrible luck. Others had obscenely good luck.

Avoid guys in hockey masks on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Geoffrey Rush, Kirk Gibson and Terry Pendleton


One foregone conclusion about tonight’s Oscars is that Christian Bale is going to win the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance in The Fighter.

He’s terrific in the film and he does everything you’d expect in an Oscar performance.

He is electric when he is on screen, stealing the spotlight from the star (the underrated performance by Mark Wahlberg.)

He does an accent. (A flawless Mass-Hole voice!)
He plays an addict. (Always Oscar bait.)
He does a physical transformantion. (He looks like he should play The Riddler, not Batman.)

All of the stats are there for him.

While I would not be upset if Bale wins (as I said before, he IS marvelous in the film) I would argue that the award should go to Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech. Seeing that this is Sully Baseball and not Sully Oscars, I will make my case with a baseball analogy.

Rush, who already has an Oscar on his mantle for Shine, brought the quality of The King’s Speech up merely by his presence. Without his performance as Lionel Logue, that movie is just a made for TV movie with compressed history and a lot of people saying expositional dialogue.

But Rush turns what could have been a big pile of nothing (a spoiled man stutters… I hope he doesn’t!) into a funny, engaging drama.

It’s kind of like the season that Kirk Gibson had with the 1988 Dodgers. Or Terry Pendleton’s season for Atlanta in 1991. Both players joined a team that looked rudderless and a mess the year before. They both brought a sense of professionalism to the clubhouse.

The entire team raised the level of their game. Improbably the Dodgers won it all with Gibson getting big hit after big hit (including the greatest home run in World Series history.)

Pendleton’s Braves went from last to first and took Game 7 of the World Series to extra innings. (If Lonne Smith hadn’t falled for a decoy play, Pendleton would have driven in the go ahead run.

Both players won the MVP even though they didn’t have the flashiest stats. Darryl Strawberry or Kevin McReynolds put up gaudier numbers than Gibson in 1988. And Barry Bonds on paper looked like the winner over Pendleton in 1991.

And both players had lots of help from their teammates. Orel Hershiser had one of the great pitching seasons of all time in ’88. And Tom Glevine was the 1991 Cy Young winner.

But the Award looked justified because of the clear influence those two players had on their entire team.

Kind of like Geoffrey Rush. Of course he had help. There were great performances by Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce and Michael Gambon among others. And the techincal qualities of the film were fine, if not spectacular.

But the film has become an unlikely box office hit and will probably win the big prize. And I think that Rush, like Gibson and Pendleton, raised the quality in ways that is greater than the stats.

Cristian Bale is like Strawberry, McReynolds and Bonds. He has the stats and I understand why he’ll probably get the award. But Rush? He’s got the intangibles.

He gets his uniform dirty.
And if he wins the Oscar, lots of people will say “I can’t believe what I just saw.”
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Coaches looking for their first ring

When the World Series is over each year, we recognize that the players on the team have their World Series rings… and accomplished the great goal that every player wants to achieve.

And the managers as well are praised for reaching the promised land.

But what about the coaching staff?
A lot of times you see long time veterans win their first ever World Series ring as a player.

I remember Harold Baines, who meant as much to the White Sox as any player over the last few decades, hold up the World Series trophy in 2005… a World Champion finally after 20+ years not winning one as a player.

Long time veteran Chris Speier won his as a coach with the 2001 Diamondbacks. Tony Pena finally got his with the 2009 Yankees.

That got me thinking… what other coaches are there in the post season who were big leaguers and never won a ring?

It’s fun to think about the veterans like Jim Thome and Aubrey Huff finally getting a shot at a ring during their playing days… but who is getting a shot at their rings after they’ve ended their careers.

So these are the coaches on the current playoff teams who were former big leaguers and never won a ring as a player, manager or coach.

I am not including managers on this list. It should be noted that Ron Washington of the Rangers and Bruce Bochy of the Giants are the only playoff managers without a ring.

Joe Girardi, Dusty Baker, Ron Gardenhire, Bobby Cox, Joe Maddon and Charlie Manuel have all won rings as either a player, coach or manager.

Brook Jacoby

11 big league seasons.

2 All Star appearances.

No post season experience as a player.


Pete Mackanin

9 big league seasons

No post season experience as a player.

Tim Flannery

11 big league seasons.

Appeared in 1984 NLCS and World Series for the Padres.

Mark Gardner

13 big league seasons.

Appeared in the 2000 Division Series for the Giants.

Roberto Kelly

14 big league seasons.

2 All Star appearances.

Appeared in the 1995 Division Series for the Dodgers.
The 1997 Division Series for the Mariners.
The 1998 and 1999 Division Series for the Rangers.

Hensley Meulens

7 big league seasons.

No post season experience as a player.

Dave Righetti

16 big league seasons.

2 All Star appearances.

1981 AL Rookie of the Year.

Appeared in 1981 Divisional Series, ALCS and World Series for the Yankees.

Ron Wotus

2 big league seasons.

No post season experience as a player.

Glenn Hubbard

12 big league seasons.

1 All Star appearances.

Appeared in the 1982 NLCS for the Braves.
The 1988 World Series for the A’s.

Terry Pendleton

15 big league seasons.

1All Star appearance.

1991 NL MVP.

Appeared in the 1985 NLCS and World Series for the Cardinals.
1987 NLCS and World Series for the Cardinals.
1991 NLCS and World Series for the Braves.
1992 NLCS and World Series for the Braves.
1993 NLCS for the Braves.
1996 Division Series, NLCS and World Series for the Braves.

Andy Hawkins

10 big league seasons.

Appeared in the 1984 NLCS and World Series for the Padres.

Clint Hurdle

10 big league seasons.

Appeared in the 1978 ALCS for the Royals.
The 1980 ALCS and World Series for the Royals.
The 1981 Divisional Series for the Royals.

Mike Maddux

15 big league seasons.

Appeared in the 1995 Division Series for the Red Sox.

Gary Pettis

11 big league seasons.

Appeared in the 1986 ALCS for the Angels.

Rick Stelmaszek

3 big league seasons.

No post season experience as a player.

Scott Ullger

1 big league season.

No post season experience as a player.

Jerry White

11 big league seasons.

Appeared in the 1981 Divisional Series and NLCS for the Expos.

Tom Foley

13 big league seasons.

No post season experience as a player.

Dave Martinez

2 big league seasons.

Appeared in the 2001 Division Series and NLCS for the Braves.

The entire coaching staff of the Yankees got rings last year. That’s why they are not included here.

So I am not sure how much of a factor it would be to want a coach to win a ring. I can’t imagine many out there are thinking “I hope the Rangers win it for Gary Pettis!”

But know there are some coachs who are going to be savoring a title as much as the players!

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