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RIP Zim...

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  • RIP Zim...

    The Gerbil have been in the game for over 6 decades and he will be missed from coast to coast. He played for 7 different teams, managed 4 and coached 11.

    This is a huge loss to the game of baseball. We've just lost an important link to old school baseball. There aren't many left.

    "Stand for the flag ~ Kneel for the fallen"

    "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer." ~ Bruce Lee

  • #2
    He was great for baseball and will be missed! I remember when he was either hitting coach or bench coach for the Colorado Rockies back in 1995.



    • #3
      Quite a character! And the last of the really big "chaw" guys! Thanks Don!

      If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

      Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!


      • #4
        This is how he parted ways with the Texas Rangers in 1982. Just priceless!

        Eddie Chiles fired him in 1982, then asked him to fill in until he could find a replacement.

        Zimmer had spent his life in baseball, and he’d known dark days. He was beaned by a pitch so badly in 1952, he didn’t wake up for 13 days. Doctors put a plastic plate in his head. Four years later, he was beaned again. Detached retina. Had to wear a blindfold for six weeks.

        Baseball couldn’t beat him, in other words, but the Rangers’ owner gave it a good shot.

        “Eddie Chiles,” Zim told me in 1996, “didn’t know a baseball from a football.”

        How crazy was it?

        “So crazy,” he said, “I couldn’t even tell you.”

        ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian tells this one: Rangers management made Zim interview each of his players and ask their short-term goals, e.g., how many hits they thought they’d get in their next 25 at bats. It was straight out of the Wharton School of Business management, although not exactly the Branch Rickey division.

        Leon Roberts, hitting somewhere south of the Mendoza line, told Zim he was banking on 17 hits in his next 25.

        “That’s a lot of hits,” Zim said.

        Chiles put an end to the goofiness on a Monday when he called his manager and told him he was making a change.

        “Good,” Zim told him. “I hope you will.”

        The kicker: Zim would still manage through Wednesday, and they’d announce his firing on Thursday.

        No deal, Zim said.

        “I’m going to play golf on Thursday,” he said.

        He agreed to stay through Wednesday, which, as it turns out, proved problematic. Around the fifth inning on Tuesday, the Rangers’ clubhouse manager, Joe Macko, comes out and tells Zim that it’s all over the news he’s been fired.

        “Not me, Joe,” Zim said. “I’m managing.”

        Next thing he knows, a dozen photographers are in the camera well next to the home dugout, training their lenses on him.

        “You guys know something I don’t know?”

        By the time he goes back to the park on Wednesday, he figures there’s no way they can carry out the ruse. He’s getting dozens of phone calls. Headlines scream. Talk shows blare. Zim is in his office at 1 o’clock packing his things, getting ready to beat it out of Arlington, when his phone rings again.

        “Everything’s right on schedule,” Chiles tells him.
        "Stand for the flag ~ Kneel for the fallen"

        "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer." ~ Bruce Lee


        • #5
          Here's a good one from SI...

          In the 1990s, when the New York Yankees won more than anybody else but not enough for owner George Steinbrenner, after one particular loss the owner ordered every member of the coaching and training staffs and manager Joe Torre upstairs to his office at Yankee Stadium. As many as two dozen people sat and stood around the room, their heads drooped, knowing the lashing that was about to come. Steinbrenner didn't disappoint them with his fury.

          "We have to do better," Steinbrenner said. "All of us. If there is anybody in this room who thinks they are doing everything they can to help the Yankees win, you can leave right now."

          Don Zimmer got up out of his chair and walked out on Steinbrenner. The rest of the room managed to suppress both gasps and laughter.

          Zimmer's wife, Soot, who had been waiting in the lobby and was expecting the usual lengthy Steinbrenner summit, knew it meant only one thing to see her husband get off the elevator so soon after the meeting began.

          "You've been fired!"

          Zimmer wasn't fired. He survived the walkout but maintained a simmering feud with the Boss, eventually citing Steinbrenner as the reason he quit as a Yankees coach after the 2003 season.
          "Stand for the flag ~ Kneel for the fallen"

          "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer." ~ Bruce Lee


          • #6
            RIP Don Zimmer

            I will always remember that scuffle between Pedro Martinez and Zimmer during the 2003 ALCS


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