Reports are coming out that the Rangers will interview Stubby Clapp for the open mangers position. QUIT LAUGHING!!!!!! That is a real name and he his a real good candidate. In fact, he is a name I know from almost 20 years ago and will always remember. If you want my opinion in a nutshell……. he is legit!!
Clapp is a native of Canada who played his college baseball in Lubbock Texas. Yep! Get your guns up Red Raiders, he played for Texas Tech. He still holds multiple records in Lubbock and like everywhere he has played, he was a fan favorite. The St Louis Cardinals loved him so much they drafted him 1058th overall in 1996. (Don’t try and do the math, it was the 36th round.)
Like all of my favorite candidates for the skippers job, he never had much of a big league career. But he did play 11 years of minor league baseball and spent a good portion of that in AAA. That’s where I saw him play. He was playing for the Memphis Redbirds with Albert Pujols in around 2000. But it wasn’t just his name that I remember. Like another former Cardinals SS great, he would do a back flip running out to his position. I’m sorry, but that was impressive. He is the only player in Memphis history to have his number retired. That’s another thing I remember. THEY LOVED HIM!!!! He was far and away the star on that team.
In Canada, Clapp is also a hero. He played for Canada in the Pan American games in 1999 and hit the game winning single to beat the U.S. He also payed for the Canadian Olympic team in 2004. He played for Canada in 2006 and 2009 during the World Baseball Classic. He is adored across the northern border as well.
What about managing? Well, after he retired he became a hitting coach in the Astros organization at multiple levels. He then started managing in the Astros organization. In 2016 the Memphis Redbirds hired Clapp to return as their manager. In 2017 he was named PCL Manager of the Year after winning the southern division and then the PCL championship. Memphis went on to win the PCL championship again in 2018, for the first back to back championships in Memphis history. He already interviewed for the Toronto job, which as a Canadian would have been a good hire for them. But the Jays just hired Rays bench coach Charlie Montoyo this week.
I know you are all wonder where I put him on my list right? (Sarcastic eye rolling)
I have always maintained that Jayce Tingler, Joe Espada and Brandon Hyde are my top choices of the ones who have interviewed. I am not going to lie. Stubby Clapp has taken the lead. This guy does good things everywhere he goes. He also endears himself to teammates and fans. I think that anyone that well liked, can reach young players and get the most out of a team. Plus, he has proven that he can win as a manager. Thats impressive in AAA, where major league teams aren’t concerned with winning. They will move players around with no concern for the managers opinion. He has dealt with that and won. TWICE!!!!
I am hoping that JD calls me back for my opinion.(Again, that is sarcasm) They could also make me the happiest guy ever. What about Stubby Clapp as manager and Jayce Tingler as bench coach? Espada wouldn’t move over as bench coach since he holds that job with Astros. Tingler has been a bench coach for 10 games. Two young analytic minded men on the bench, who demand respect and are liked by there peers. GET IT DONE JON!!!
For those not aware, we have started up the Rangers Nation Podcast once again and our first episode is up. It talks about the manager job search, free agency, important dates and future episode topics. Plus I introduce myself. (That’s the least important thing on there) Give it a listen and provide feedback.
Ok…….. the wife thinks I need to clean the recliner. Until next time…… Nerd Out!
Photo: Roger Cotton