Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Rabbit Maranville Appointed Cubs' Manager
Sometimes, you can put the exact wrong man in the exact wrong position. Such as the case of Rabbit Maranville and being made Cubs' manager. For one thing, he was almost certainly an alcoholic, although by the standards of the time he was simply considered a heavy drinker. More to the point Maranville was a character; there are several good stories about him, but he simple wasn't cut out for managing. He had a certain relaxed attitude towards the game--personified perhaps in his trademark ‘vest pocket catch’ on pop flies when he would allow the ball to hit his chest and roll down into the glove--which didn't work for managing. One writer at the time (quoted later by Bill James) noted "probably the only manager in history who would run up and down the aisles of the train throwing buckets of ice on complete strangers." His tenure, unsurprisingly, would not last the season as he was relieved of his duties after just over fifty games.
On the plus side, this allows me to tell some of the fun Maranville stories. On a trip to