Bob Melvin, Forgotten Man

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Brad Ausmus, who managed the Israeli national team’s bid for the World Baseball Classic, was named the manager of the Detroit Tigers.

The Tigers announced the hiring of Ausmus, 44, on Sunday, making him the only Jewish manager in Major League Baseball. Ausmus was a catcher for four teams in his playing days.

And poor Bob Melvin wakes up today, with a cup of herring and his daily copy of the Jerusalem Post, and has to call his agent to find out if the A’s have fired him in the night. Because, according to Wikipedia, Bob Melvin is also Jewish. (More confirmation here.)

Which means that 2 out of 30 — almost 7% — of major league managers are Jewish, making us an overrepresented minority, and surely leading to a new line of MLB Bagel Bat Weight giveaways coming to a stadium near you.

Ausmus managed Israel’s World Baseball Classic team in 2012, and once wore tefillin.

Lynn Henning of the Detroit News writes:

[Ausmus is] Jewish, which will stoke a sense of kinship between Ausmus and the Tigers’ deep Jewish audience. In that context, there has been something of a void in the Tigers’ profile dating to the end of Hank Greenberg’s hallowed years in Detroit.

Because that’s why I root for a team: shared religion with team’s manager. Excuse me while I go check out the latest news about the 2010-11 Texas Legends of the NBA D-League.




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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.


6 Responses to “Bob Melvin, Forgotten Man”

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  1. Alexander Nevermind says:

    Texas Legends didn’t exist until 10-11

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    • Jeremy Blachman says:

      Fixed. Oops. I saw that head coach Nancy Lieberman was hired in 2009 and skipped over the rest. Thanks.

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      • Alexander Nevermind says:

        Now it looks like I am an asshole who follows the D-League. I want to state for the record that I do not follow the D-League.

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  2. Detroit Michael says:

    Only 2.2% of the metropolitan Detroit population is Jewish per http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/Detroit.html. Even if the causation in Henning’s article is correct (which obviously you question), that’s another reason that it doesn’t make sense that there would be any sizeable attendance boom in hiring a Jewish manager.

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  3. Be the ball... says:

    FYI…
    Ryan Kalish, Sam Fuld, Ian Kinsler, Ryan Braun = Not a Jew

    Jason Marquis, Craig Breslow, Bob Melvin, Brad Ausmus, Ike Davis = Jewish

    Youk = need confirmation

    “Mama’s a Jew = Jewish” – source: The Torah, which makes Jews, in fact Jewish.

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  4. jpomrenke says:

    For what it’s worth, I’m told Melvin does not self-identify as Jewish — although he does have a Jewish mother, which by Hebrew law makes him Jewish.

    Lou Boudreau was in the same situation: Jewish mother, but raised Catholic. That caused great controversy during his career and for long afterward.

    The five other Jewish managers in MLB history:

    1. Lipman Pike, 20-51 for 3 teams, 1871-77.
    2. Andy Cohen, 1-0 for 1960 Phillies.
    3. Lefty Phillips, 222-225 for 1969-71 Angels.
    4. Norm Sherry, 76-71 for 1976-77 Angels.
    5. Jeff Newman, 2-8 for 1986 Athletics.

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