A couple weeks ago, we presented you with an early favorite for MLB picture of the year. And even though the one we are presenting this time around isn’t an awesome action shot worthy of a segment on Time Warp, it’s a whole new level of absurdity.
The only baseball-related activity in this picture, besides it taking place at Dodger Stadium, is that Tommy Lasorda is involved. It hails from Hyun-Jin Ryu’s last start for the Dodgers (he struck out 12 Rockies that night…coincidence?) at which Korean sensation “Psy” showed up for the game and went all Gangnam Style on the big crowd.
Personally, I thought that song was uncool about 398 parodies ago, but I’ve gotta give mad props to the stank face and those hip glasses Psy is rocking. And the fact that Lasorda is the only person not standing–in fact, he looks downright terrified–just reinforces the theory that he is every person’s angry grandfather.
The Dodgers took this game against Colorado, the only one they’d win in the three-game series. Maybe Psy is good luck and should return more often!
“Oh, hell no!” – Tommy Lasorda
“Oh, hell yes! Give me more, give me more!” – Guy to Tommy’s right
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
The inevitable question arose as soon as the San Francisco Giants stormed Sergio Romo on the mound in Detroit after clinching their second World Series title in three years: Is Giants manager Bruce Bochy a Hall of Fame manager?
It’s a damn good question. Bochy is one of the quietest, most respected baseball men in the game right now and has proven himself over and over again to be a brilliant tactician from the dugout. He has an uncanny way of getting the most out of any roster and any player.
Take the Giants for example. In 2010, that might have been the weakest team (as far as star power goes) that has won the World Series in a very long time. But Bochy managed to squeeze every last ounce of talent out of guys like Pat Burrell, Andres Torres, and Jonathan Sanchez.
And in 2012, he moved two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum to the bullpen, started Barry Zito in Game 1, stuck with Hunter Pence amid postseason struggles, and gave a vote of confidence to struggling lefty Madison Bumgarner in an essential Game 2.
Every single move Bochy made in both World Series runs paid off in huge dividends – and after a while, you can’t truly believe they are all coincidences. Take it from a diehard Dodgers fan; Bruce Bochy is a Hall of Fame manager.
Let’s examine the case for Bochy based on comparison:
Manager A – .502 career win percentage in 18 years, 3 league pennants, 2 World Series titles
Manager B – .583 career win percentage in 17 years, 4 league pennants, 1 World Series title
Manager C – .526 career win percentage in 21 years, 4 league pennants, 2 World Series titles
As you can see, all three of the managers were at the job for about the same amount of time, and were within one of each other in pennants and World Series titles.
The difference is, Manager B and C are both retired and in the Hall of Fame. Manager A is Bochy, who has as many years as he wants left in San Francisco as a Major League Baseball manager. At age 57, it’s not out of the question to think Bochy will manage for at least another decade.
And the Giants are built to win – with that pitching staff, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval anchoring the lineup, and a very good scouting department, you’d have to think it’ll be a little while before the Giants go back into re-building mode.
With that being said, Bochy’s record also has to take into account a couple of things. First, despite having the lowest winning percentage of the three managers above, he spent most of his career with a San Diego Padres team that was good for a few seasons late in the 1990’s and…no, seriously. That’s it.
Manager B, Earl Weaver, was in charge of a loaded Baltimore Orioles team for 17 years, and had the benefit of a very talented roster. Manager C, Tommy Lasorda, also had a loaded Los Angeles Dodgers team during his career. Arguably, Lasorda’s worst playoff team was the 1988 title-winning club, but still very good overall.
I’m not trying to take anything away from Weaver or Lasorda, but the fact that Bochy has matched or exceeded them in number of pennants and World Series titles already is exceptionally impressive.
These days in Major League Baseball, fans are often too quick to jump onto the Hall of Fame bandwagon for players and coaches who were good for a number of years, great for a few years or just simply a fan favorite. I don’t think that is the case with Bochy though.
When all is said and done, I think Bruce Bochy will be enshrined as a Hall of Fame manager. Do you agree? Vote below!
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
Look, we’ve done the Bobble Battle on Three Up, Three Down once. Mapes destroyed me (though recent reports indicate he has ingested significant amounts of In-N-Out laced testosterone before blogging and will probably be suspended for about 50 minutes – I win by default!) in the Sid Bream Slide vs. Vin Scully bobble poll.
A straight travesty.
That being said, the Dodgers are on a roll in 2012 with bobbles. Scully, Kemp, Valenzuela, and from the end of July, a Kirk Gibson bobble.
But this isn’t a normal bobble. His head nods and shakes and does all that crazy stuff. But it is in commemoration of the iconic home run Gibby hit in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
You all know the story. The Oakland A’s (playing in their first of three straight World Series, in which only 1989 would they be victorious), were the best team in baseball. They sent their star closer Dennis Eckersley to the mound to close out Game 1 of the ’88 series.
Gibson was the Dodgers’ star hitter that year, but had been hobbled by not one, but TWO ankle injuries. He wasn’t supposed to play. He said screw that, grabbed a bat, and made his way in to pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth inning. After a solid at-bat, Gibby finally got a hanging back door slider that he promptly whacked into the right field bleachers for a walk-off homer.
The Dodgers would end up winning that World Series, the last time they ever even appeared in the Fall Classic.
Speaking of classic, you know how the theatrics unfolded after the ball left the bat. A stumbling, limping Gibson making his way around first base and pumping that right arm in rhythmic fashion with a huge smile on his face. Manager Tommy Lasorda jumping up and down on his way out of the dugout to celebrate. Two historic calls by historic broadcasters Jack Buck and Vin Scully (“I don’t believeeeeee…what I just SAW!” – Buck/”In a year that has been so improbable, the IMPOSSIBLE has happened!” – Scully).
It’s not only one of the greatest postseason moments in Dodgers history. It’s one of the most incredible playoff moments in baseball – hell, sports – history! And the manufacturer did it right by adding a BOBBLE ARM to the piece.
The final product depicts Gibson rounding the bases with fist pump in full effect. So is it the greatest bobblehead of all-time? That’s asking a lot. But it’s got to be up there.
So I pose the question, baseball fans. Where would you rank this Kirk Gibson bobble head AND arm on your personal rankings all-time? Have you seen any better than this?
And for what it’s worth…yes. I am currently on eBay looking for a Gibby bobble. Don’t judge.
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)