Say hello to Mark Parent, your 2011 manager of the Reading Phillies. His ability to manage winning ball clubs is matched only by his ability to hit never even close to .300.
Don’t look him in the eye. You are not worthy.2005! The year Harrisburg radio stations stopped broadcasting Phillies games and I was a roguish upstart on my way to infamy at Temple University. But it wasn’t all information from this morning’s post on this blog or exaggerations of my past roguishness. Out west, some minor league players were about to lose their jobs.
The Western League was collapsing, turning once warm, secure teams into nomadic drifters with no where to turn. One of these teams was the Chico Heat, who were best known for hijacking their mascot from the Bakersfield Blaze. Come on, how many “Heater the Dragons” can there be out there?
Desperately, a new league was formed called the Golden Baseball League, and Chico was welcomed aboard as a charter member, along with totally serious teams like the Surprise Fightin’ Falcons and the Japan Samurai Bears.
Chico changed their name from the Heat to the Outlaws, and naturally, needed somebody to lead their gang. That’s where Mark Parent and his possible back problems stepped in.
Like myself, Mark hadn’t had a great MLB career. The most games he ever played in was 81 in 1995, where he put up a sputtering .234 batting average that everybody hated. Sure, he’d seen the post season, but it was as an Oriole in 1996, when all of baseball was turned into a filthy joke as a 12-year-old dipshit was allowed to use blatant fan interference to cause a “home run” for the Yankees.
So people weren’t ever pressing their noses against store display windows to gawk at a Mark Parent rookie card. But, whether you remember him or not, he certainly existed. And he solidified that fact in a few minds in 2005.
Seven years after retirement from MLB, Mark took the job as manager of the new Chico Outlaws in their first ever season. He performed so well that they created an “Executive of the Year” award to give to him. Two years later, he took the Outlaws to the league championship, won the shit out of it, and walked away.
Retiring so immediately may not have been exactly what he wanted, however, as it is now 2010 and Mark Parent has re-entered baseball. This time, he descends upon Reading, PA, after slaughtering his way to the South Atlantic Championship Trophy last year with Single-A Lakewood, to de-stupefy anyone who gets in his way.
“If you’re going to do something during a game, if it’s not toward winning a ballgame, then it’s stupid.”
So, anybody planning to do stupid things as a Reading Phillie in 2011 should walk away right now, because Mark Parent is just not going to take that shit. This is a man who watched his gang of Outlaws lay an epic beatdown on the Reno Silver Sox in 2007; he is not afraid to use force. While he may not have literally said it, it is painfully clear: the R-Phils are taking the pain train through the Eastern League this season.
And it is going to be horrifying.