Jack McKeon and Authority

Jack McKeon hasn’t been the boss for a day and the man is already making power moves. In the first official act of his second term as the manager of the Marlins, McKeon benched Hanley Ramirez for last night’s game against the Angels. Benching Hanley Ramirez is, after all, the way for a Marlins manager to declare his arrival, sort of like the new President and First Lady refurnishing the White House.

Fox Sports has the report:

When asked if there was a particular reason the star shortstop was not in the lineup, McKeon reportedly said, “Yeah, because I didn’t put him in there.”

But team sources told The Post McKeon made the move after Ramirez arrived late for a 3:30pm local time team meeting.

In eighth grade, I had a Spanish teacher named Mr. Ehling. He was a young guy and it was his first year as a teacher. He seemed smart, earnest, and certainly more than capable of conveying the subject matter to thirteen-year-olds, but he had a fatal flaw: he was a nice guy. I think he sincerely believed that he could be friends with every student in the class. Somewhat relatedly, he was a total pushover. Middle and high school students can sense pushovers like a shark does blood in the water, and they strike just as quick.

It started on day one when that first person asked to be excused to use the bathroom. When Mr. Ehling said “Sure!” you could see all 30 slouching students perk up and take mental notes in unison. With that one simple word, he had planted the seeds of his own demise.

A month later, the classroom had become a Civil War battle field, with spitball volley upon return spitball volley. It was utter pandemonium, and Mr. Ehling had no way to control it. Instead of learning Spanish (Mr. Ehling was too busy trying to keep the real problem kids in order) my friends and I made zip guns out of disassembled Bic pens and rubber bands that could launch ink cartridges like darts. We sat in the back of the room and had contests to see who could get the most of the ink cartridges to stick into the ceiling tiles. It is indeed a sad reflection on how little I learned in that class that one of my most vivid memories of it involves making a weapon I used to commit daily acts of vandalism.

Mr. Ehling’s worst moment came towards the end of the year. Our Spanish classroom had a notoriously loose inside doorknob. My classmates would often play a cruel game of “hide the doorknob” with Mr. Ehling, wherein he would spend the entire period trying to find it so we could get out of the room when class ended. One day, after the bell had rung, we filed out of the room as we usually did. This time, however, the last person to leave slyly took the doorknob and pulled the door closed leaving Mr. Ehling trapped inside. The helpless look on his face as the class walked away laughing is painful to think back on. It’s a pretty poignant metaphor, actually. He wanted nothing more than for us to let him in (or out, as the case might have been) but we just turned our backs and walked away. Thirteen year olds can be real assholes.

Mr. Ehling was gone by the next year.

That same year, I had a history teacher, Mr. Donahue, who was a long-term sub for the actual history teacher while she was on maternity leave. He was an older man with a deep, booming voice and a thick Boston accent. He had some joint problem that had caused three of the fingers on his left hand to lock up, which was kind of scary.  The guy wasn’t a hard ass or anything, but he was experienced enough to know you have to set the tone early in that line of work. Within the first few weeks, when one of the class troublemakers started acting up, probing around the edges for a weakness, Mr. Donahue came back with the quick hook. He sent the kid to the office and slapped him with detention. We didn’t mess with Mr. Donahue very much after that.

All of this is just to say that I think Jack McKeon attends the Mr. Donahue school of thought.




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Eric writes about the Phillies at The Good Phight. Follow him on Twitter.

4 Responses to “Jack McKeon and Authority”

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  1. Yirmiyahu says:

    Good story, Eric. Children *are* assholes.

    I’ve never understood how, in the context of baseball, getting paid while not having to go to work is punishment for the employee.

    Marge: “The plant called and said that if you don’t come in tomorrow, don’t bother coming in Monday.”
    Homer: “WOOHOO! Four day weekend. “

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • KyleL says:

      The difference is the egos major league players in general (and Hanley particularly) have, and being forced to sit out a game for disciplinary reasons is a huge shot to the ego. Especially since everyone in the world sees that you are not in the game, and knows why.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Dayn Perry says:

    Two things … 1) That is just a tremendous photo. 2) 13-year-olds are history’s greatest monsters.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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