Sunday, June 03, 2007

Mississipi manager Wellman's antics looked staged

This blog was not supposed to have anything to do with the Southern League. It was going to be about Bob L. Heads and bobble-heads. Then the video of Mississippi Braves manager Phillip Wellman’s meltdown hit SportsCenter and the Internet.

Suddenly the focus shifted. If you haven't seen the clip, it is available on the site. As meltdown's go, it’s pretty good. There is definite humor value.

Wellman, in his first year managing at Mississippi, threw his hat, buried home plate, drew another home plate in the dirt, stole two bases and imitated a soldier throwing a grenade. While parts of the grenade toss are inventive – the rosin bag he tosses sprays chalk when it lands at the feet of the home plate umpire – The Dugout believes a little too much thought went into the routine. It's just not something an irate manager comes up with on the fly.

By the end of the meltdown Wellman is blowing kisses to the fans in Chattanooga. He obviously knows his antics were entertaining, which is fine to some degree. However, it is still the minor league manager's job to teach the players how to conduct themselves like big leaguers. Atlanta manager Bobby Cox is about to set the record for most ejections and he has never put on a display like the one in Chattanooga on Friday Night.

The Southern League will likely hand Wellman a nice suspension and a hefty fine. The Dugout wouldn't be surprised if Atlanta also disciple their minor league manager. And don't be surprised if he's with a different organization next season.

Timing is everything: Palm Beach pitcher Adam Ottavino was ejected from his Florida State League game on Wednessday night. During the argument, it looked as though Cardinals manager Gaylen Pitts was trying to get tossed, too.

The Dugout asked Pitts, a lifelong baseball man, whether it was his intent to get an early shower. He said that he'd been thrown out enough in his career and he's actually trying to make 2007 his first managerial season without an ejection.

The next night, less than 24 hours later, Pitts was ejected for arguing.

"I didn’t make it, did I?" Pitts said on Friday. “I jinxed myself. You never expect those things to happen, they just happen. Hopefully, I got that out of my system for the season.”

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