Monday, August 17, 2015

Welcome Home, Ron Roenicke!

Bring Back All the Dodgers!

This announcement comes as a bit of a surprise.  The Dodgers have brought Ron Roenicke back into the fold.  He has been hired by the team to take over 3rd base duties for the ballclub.

As you may know, the West Covina native started his professional career as a Dodger, and by my estimation is a Dodger through-and-through.  I say this because he had numerous opportunities during his prep career to turn professional, but seemingly waited until is hometown team came calling.  He had been drafted five-times:  Oakland Athletics in 1974, the San Francisco Giants in 1975, the Detroit Tigers in 1976, the Atlanta Braves in 1976, and finally the Dodgers in 1977. It was only then, after hitting .284 with nine home runs for UCLA and being drafted 17th overall, did he sign on the dotted line. 

By 1981 he made his debut in Los Angeles, and continued to play ball professionally until he retired in 1988.  Over that span he played for six different clubs by being a reliable reserve outfielder and switch-hitting batter off the bench. 

In 1992 he joined the Dodger franchise once again as a field coach.  Then in 1994 he earned his stripes as a manager through the entire Dodger system; first with the rookie-level Great Falls, Single-A San Bernardino Spirit, Double-AA San Antonio Missions and Triple-AAA Albuquerque Dukes.  Unfortunately, a logjam in LA stopped his progress.  He went on to work for the Giants, Angels (winning the championship in 2002), and finally as a manager with the Milwaukee Brewers.

In honor of Roenicke's return I made a fantasy Baseball card for him that you can see on the right.  I used the 1971 Topps design and an old B&W photograph I captured from an eBay listing.

Per a Dodger press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the hiring of Ron Roenicke, who will coach third base for the remainder of the season. Roenicke managed the Brewers to a 342-331 record from 2011-15, before being replaced in May. The Southern California native was an outfielder in the Majors from 1981-88, including parts of three seasons with the Dodgers (1981-83). Before being named the Brewers’ skipper prior to the 2011 campaign, the 58-year-old was a longtime coach for the Angels, serving as their third base (2000-05) and bench coach (2006-10). 

Dodger coach Lorenzo Bundy will move to the dugout, where he will remain the outfield coordinator. Bundy has been on the Dodgers’ big league staff since 2014.
BTW, with this signing there is speculation brewing, via the Halos Heaven blog, that this could be a move towards bringing back Mike Scioscia.  Frankly, I'd be surprised by this.  On the other hand, anything is possible. 

Below are the career player and managing stats for Roenicke:

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