When good things happen to good people: Ron Roenicke gets his chance to manage
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Let’s hear it for one of the good guys...
Ron Roenicke finally gets what he’s long deserved -- a chance to manage in the major leagues.
Roenicke was originally drafted by the Dodgers and spent parts of three seasons with the club. Later he coached in their organization for seven years -- including managing at every level in the minors -- before joining Mike Scioscia’s coaching staff with the Angels.
Joe Maddon was later picked off Scioscia’s staff to manage in Tampa Bay. Then Bud Black was taken by the Padres.
And you started to wonder if it would not happen for Roenicke, 54.
He is simply one of the nicest people you could ever meet. Maybe people thought he lacked the required fire? Was he too passive to lead? Could he really be punished for being too good a person?
Only to their credit, the Brewers selected Roenicke to be their next manager. Picked him over seven others, including the flamboyant Bobby Valentine and Bob Melvin, who previously had managerial opportunities at Seattle and Arizona.
But the more the Brewers’ decision-makers talked to Roenicke, the more they wondered why no one had ever given him a chance. Until they decided to be that team. A formal announcement is expected Friday.
Brewers television play-by-play announcer Brian Anderson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal he was not surprised at the hiring. Anderson worked with Roenicke in San Antonio in 1997-’98, when Roenicke managed the Dodgers’ double-A team.
‘He’s on the short list of most impressive people I’ve ever met,’ Anderson said. ‘I know that’s a big statement and I don’t say things like that about people very often, but as far as character goes and what he knows about baseball, I couldn’t have been more impressed. He’s a baseball Tony Dungy. He’s humble, a quiet leader, a great leader. He misses nothing. Every player who has ever played for him loved him. He really believes in a team having one voice, in everybody being united for the same goal. Players buy into that.
‘He treats people with respect and knows how to assess every situation,’ continued Anderson. ‘He’s not a self-promoter. If he was, he probably would have had a (major-league managerial) job by now.’
Well, he has one now. And all the best to him. He’ll get the most out of whatever personnel the Brewers provide.
-- Steve Dilbeck