Remember when the Rays started doing well and someone said "It's because they dropped the Devil from their name!" and you laughed? Then remember when everyone started saying it and you weren't laughing because it wasn't funny anymore? And then remember when some nutty Christian zealots were serious about it, and it wasn't surprising because those people are batshit crazy?
Well dig this. According to the Manichi Daily News, Satan's moniker is back in the win column thanks to Charlie Manuel.
Following the start of the World Series on Wednesday in the United States, Japanese fans should spot one familiar face amongst the ranks of Japanese players: Charlie Manuel, manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Nicknamed "Aka-oni" (Red Devil), Manuel, 64, was a former Japanese pro baseballer during the late 70s and early 80s. Now a manager, Manuel says his experience there was crucial to gaining his current position.
Take that religion! Lucifer is all up in that dome. Manuel was a pretty good ballplayer in Japan, hitting 39 tater tots in 1978 for the champion Yakult Swallows. The article doesn't explain how he got his nickname, but since this is Japan it was probably something about human sacrifice and/or deviant sexual practices. No wonder Mel Hall liked it over there so much.
Manuel's days in Japan may also provide some insight on how he's kept the mood positive during a few tumultuous years in the Philly clubhouse.
Despite an injury in 1979, when he had his jaw broken by a wayward pitch, he was back on the field just two months later, albeit wearing a chinguard.
"He was a cheerful player. He used to take out his artificial teeth in the locker room and make everyone laugh," said Kyosuke Sasaki, 58, a former teammate and later manager of the Kintetsu Buffaloes.
He taught Brett Myers' wife the same trick! Oh, Dark Prince Uncle Cholly! What a card.