You know many of the readers and staff writers from this blog knew me as a staunch Omar Minaya loyalist. Well that all changed after the Adam Rubin fiasco this past July. Actually this entire season forced me to take off the rose colored glasses I have been wearing and I came to one conclusion - OMAR MUST GO !!! That being said I believe there is one man who can rebuild a team that could bring us back to contention a whole lot sooner than later and that man is one Dorrel Norman Elvert “Whitey” Herzog .
But first for some background on Whitey, as per Wikipedia he was born ON November 9, 1931 and is a former Major League Baseball outfielder, scout, coach, manager, general manager and farm system director. He was born in New Athens, Illinois.
he once said his success as a player versus his success as a manager, “Baseball has been good to me since I quit trying to play it.”
Herzog began his off-field baseball career as a scout for the Athletics in 1964, then spent single seasons as a coach for the A’s (1965) and the New York Mets (1966). Herzog then moved into the Mets front office for six seasons as the team’s director of player development..In Peter Goldenbock’s book ” Amazin !” -The miraculous History Of New York’s Most Beloved Baseball team, Herzog is depicted as the head scout and farm director of the Mets minor league system, grooming a lot of young talent such as Amos Otis, John Matlak , Jerry Koosman etc.
After leaving the Mets organization in 1973 over a huge schism between him and the meddlesome M. Donald Grant
Herzog went on to start his managerial career with the Texas Rangers (1973), following with the California Angels (1974 on an interim basis; as a coach, he filled in between the firing of Bobby Winkles and the hiring of Dick Williams.[, Kansas City Royals (1975â€“1979) and St. Louis Cardinals (1980â€“90). He had his greatest success in Kansas City, where he won three straight American League Western division titles from 1976 to 1978, and in St. Louis, where he won the 1982 World Series and the National League Pennant in 1985 and 1987. In total, he led six division winners, three pennant winners, and one World Series winner in compiling a 1,281-1,125 career record.
With his extensive background in player development, Herzog also was a general manager with both the Cardinals (1980-1982) and the California Angels. He succeeded Jack Krol as manager of the Redbirds in 1980], managed for 73 games, then moved into the club’s front office as GM on August 26, turning the team over to Red Schoendienst. During the off season, Herzog reclaimed the manager job, then held both the GM and field manager posts with St. Louis for almost two full seasons, during which he acquired or promoted many players who would star on the Cards’ three World Series teams of the 1980s.
Herzog’s style of play, based on the strategy of attrition, was nicknamed “Whiteyball” and concentrated on pitching, speed, and defense to win games rather than on home runs. Herzog’s lineups generally consisted of one or more base-stealing threats at the top of the lineup, with a power threat such as George Brett or Jack Clark hitting third or fourth, protected by one or two hitters with lesser power, followed by more base stealers. This tactic kept payrolls low, while allowing Herzog to win a lot of games in stadiums with deep fences and artificial turf, both of which were characteristics of Royals Stadium (now Kauffman Stadium) and Busch Memorial Stadium during his managerial career.
A less noticed (at the time) aspect of Herzog’s offensive philosophy was his preference for patient hitters with high on-base percentages: such players included Royals Brett, Hal McRae, and Amos Otis, and Cardinals Clark, Keith Hernandez, JosÃ© Oquendo, and Ozzie Smith, as well as Darrell Porter, who played for Herzog in both Kansas City and St. Louis. However, in St. Louis Herzog also employed free-swinging hitters who were less patient but fast runners, such as Vince Coleman and Willie McGee.
After leaving the Cardinals in 1990, Herzog then held various front office and consulting posts with the Angels, including a brief stint (1993-1994) as general manager. Herzog and Jim Leyland were leading candidates to become manager of the Boston Red Sox following the 1996 season. Both rejected offers from the Red Sox, so the team hired Jimy Williams instead.
From what I understand Whitey was basiclally forced out of the organization by M. Donald Grant for as Whitey said ” The only real problem working for the Mets was working for ( Grant ), the one who ran the team for Mrs. Payso, the owner. He was a stockbroker, a guy who didn’t know beans about baseball but thought they did. I ‘ve run into guys like Grant alot in my career, and everywhere they show up , they are trouble.” ( YOU HEAR THAT FRED & JEFF ?!?) It is also said that he still has a soft spot for this organization and he still followsÂ the Mets Â to this day. He is a proven winner, He is a leader ,he has a great eye for talent , he’s shrewd and he doesnt take garbabe from anyone !! I feel he could bring the trophy back to Flushing and keep Fred and Jeff Wilpon in the background where they belong – Like the last great G.M we had – Frank Cashen before him