We've covered all the Italian-American managers we despise already but left one very important person off the list: Jim Leyland. That decrepit excuse for a manager has a special history with our own Kris Liakos which I will reproduce here. As first related to us in April 2008 by my partner in blogging, here is Kris' encounter with the old codger:
"It's May of 1999, the baseball season is about 6 weeks in. I am a high school junior and sportswriter for the school paper. Me and a bunch of other high school sports journalists from South Florida are invited to the Marlins High School Media Day. I could not have been more excited. I pulled my rusty, A/C-less '86 Ponitac Grand AM into the press parking lot (!!!) and headed for the press box where the day was to begin.
As a history refresher, the Marlins had won the World Series in 1997 and gone through the first of their fire sales. The team totally sucked and attendance was accordingly bleak. Sound familiar? We got to interview some players (not in the locker rooms, thank god). Kids were lobbing softball questions and then I asked Kevin Millar if it was hard to get excited to play a game against the Expos when there were 1000 fans there. He muttered something about being a professional then another kid asked him what CDs he listens to.
So anyway, after our tour of the inside of the park, we got to go stand on the field and watch batting practice. They were playing the Rockies, coincidentally managed by Jim Leyland in his first year since leaving the Marlins. I got to stand with Dante Bichette and Todd Helton and talk to them a little bit. For a 17 year old, it was about as kickass as it sounds. After talking to Bichette I wanted to write some stuff down but realized I had left my notebook in the press room (this is a recurring theme in my life). I rushed off the field through the tunnel to grab the notebook before someone threw it out.
At the first blind corner in the tunnel, I see a flash of purple and feel a dull thud against my chest and midsection. I looked down to see an angry and cursing Jim Leyland.
"Why don't you watch where you're going you stupid little piece of shit! What the hell are they letting you around here for anyway?"
The sight of a diminutive and livid Jim Leyland caused me to start giggling. I wanted to apologize, but couldn't. I kept laughing. This angered ol' Amberteeth even more.
His voice rose in volume and echoed through the tunnel. "You think it's fucking funny, asshole? How about I have you tossed out of here? Aw shit, I don't have time for this."
He stormed off to the field, I finally stopped giggling and retrieved my notebook."
We had fun at Leyland's expense on a couple of other occasions but really, Jim needs to sit at the very top of our enemies list for managers because of that awful encounter with a young Kris "Catshirt" Liakos.