Archive for February 14th, 2011

Thanks to its long history, baseball is the perfect sport to commemorate any Holliday, or even Halladay for that matter.

In February, everyone has their mind on Valentine’s Day. Just ask Bobby, Corky, Ellis, Fred, Joe, or John. After all, you don’t have to be Cupid Childs to appreciate a day dedicated to Love. Just about anyone can join in such a celebration, regardless of whether they are Chubby or Slim. You don’t even need to speak English, at least according to Vicente and Sammy, who but for one more vowel would be the epitome of the day’s affection.

Of course, every holiday requires a gift. Some people like to give Flowers, especially Ben, Dickie, Jake, Tyler and Wes. Still others fashion themselves as a Candy Man, particularly those with last names like Cummings, Harris, LaChance, Maldonado, Nelson and Sierra. However, the most generous give Rings. Just ask Royce and Jimmy. Just becareful though. Giving one is the fastest way to become a Groom. That’s what happened to Bob and Buddy.

Unfortunately, some people can’t find it in their Hart to embrace the holiday, but that’s not true of all three Bills, not to mention Bo, Burt, Corey, Hub, James, Jason, Jim Ray, John, Kevin, Mike and Tom. So whether you say Happy Valentine’s Day or Feliz Día del Amor y la Amistad, make sure you do it with a smile on your face, just like Pedro and Neftali.

MLB Valentine’s Day Roster

Player From To   Player From To
Vicente Amor 1955 1957   James Hart 1885 1889
Sandy Amoros 1952 1960   Jason Hart 2002 2002
Cupid Childs 1888 1901   Jim Ray Hart 1963 1974
Candy Cummings 1872 1877   John Hart 1885 1889
Candy Harris 1967 1967   Kevin Hart 2007 2009
Cand LaChance 1893 1905   Mike Hart 1980 1980
Candy Maldonado 1981 1995   Mike Hart 1984 1987
Candy Nelson 1872 1890   Tom Hart 1891 1891
Candy Sierra 1988 1988   Roy Halladay 1998 2010
Ben Flowers 1951 1956   Bug Holliday 1889 1898
Dickie Flowers 1871 1872   Matt Holliday 2004 2010
Jake Flowers 1923 1934   Slim Love 1913 1920
Tyler Flowers 2009 2010   Jimmy Ring 1917 1928
Wes Flowers 1940 1944   Royce Ring 2005 2010
Bob Groom 1909 1918   Bob Valentine 1876 1876
Buddy Groom 1992 2005   Bobby Valentine 1969 1979
Bill Hart 1886 1901   Corky Valentine 1954 1955
Bill Hart 1943 1945   Ellis Valentine 1975 1985
Billy Hart 1890 1890   Fred Valentine 1959 1968
Bo Hart 2003 2004   Joe Valentine 2003 2005
Burt Hart 1901 1901   John Valentine 1883 1883
Corey Hart 2004 2010   John “Candy Man” Candelaria 1975 1993
Hub Hart 1905 1907   Alfred Lovell “Chubby” Dean 1936 1943

Source: Baseball-reference.com

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(In addition to appearing at The Captain’s Blog, this post is also being syndicated at TheYankeeAnalysts).

Although every manager comes to Spring Training with at least a little bit of hope that they’ll be able to lead their team to glory, the landscape of postseason baseball is littered with many of their broken dreams. To illustrate this sad reality, a baseball card collage of the last manager to win a championship with each major league franchise is provided below (except for Ozzie Guillen, 2004 Topps traded set, and Bobby Cox, 1990 Topps, all cards are from the year of the last World Series victory).

If the card of your favorite team’s manager makes you nostalgic for another era, well, needless to say, it’s been awhile since celebrating a World Series title. At least that’s better than not even having a card about which to reminisce. That is unless your favorite team’s manager card is in black and white, which, of course, means you’re a Cubs fan.

Regardless of past history, Spring Training is always a time for new hope. After all, before Bruce Bochy added his picture to the head of the class of reigning champions, the Giants hadn’t won the World Series since 1954.  

Another reason many teams (and their fans) enter Spring Training with new found expectations is because a new managers has been brought on board. Adding star players is always a boon for optimism, but there is something special about having a new sheriff in town that seems to bring hope to an organization.

This year, eight new skippers will be donning their team’s uniform for the first time, while four interim/new managers from 2010 will have the chance to conduct their first training camp. Not surprisingly, nearly all 12 of these new managers will be piloting some of baseball’s longest suffering franchises, at least in terms of how long it has been since last winning a World Series. On average, the 12 new managers will be seeking to erase almost 30 years of championship futility (23 years excluding the Cubs’ 102 year drought). So, optimism will certainly have to be at a premium.

Will one of these new leaders add their baseball card to the roll call of champions? Only time will tell, but at least in February, they all have a chance.

New Managers in 2011

Team New Manager Years Since World Series
Arizona Diamondbacks Kirk Gibson* 9
Atlanta Braves Fredi Gonzalez 15
Baltimore Orioles Buck Showalter* 27
Chicago Cubs Mike Quade* 102
Florida Marlins Edwin Rodríguez* 7
Kansas City Royals Ned Yost 25
Los Angeles Dodgers Don Mattingly 22
Milwaukee Brewers Ron Roenicke 41
New York Mets Terry Collins 24
Pittsburgh Pirates Clint Hurdle 31
Seattle Mariners Eric Wedge 33
Toronto Blue Jays John Farrell 17

*Managers hired during the 2010 season.

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