Brett Butler Christian Manager

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Nicholas25, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. Nicholas25

    Nicholas25
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is a wonderful article on a strong Christian man, Brett Butler.


    Former Brave Butler shows class
    Legend is teaching and learning big league ways

    By STEVE HUMMER
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 07/15/07 Mobile, Ala. _ Brett Butler has shared a bunker with some of baseball's most, shall we say spicy, elocutionists. Bobby Cox and Tommy Lasorda are two of the notable managers on that list.
    But in some important ways, Butler is a manager of his own making. His production carries a hard PG rating.
    RELATED STORIES • More Braves coverage
    We take you to an evening early in Butler's latest assignment, shepherding the Class AA Mobile BayBears of the Southern League.
    "There was a point he got into an argument with the umpire and he was really going off," begins BayBears team president and part owner Bill Shanahan.
    "I called up [to the press box] on the walkie-talkie and told them to turn off the music. Turn off everything. I knew he wasn't going to swear, and I wanted to hear what was going on.
    "Another manager in the past, I would have turned the music up."
    Butler began building his antiseptic image at the dawn of the 1980s, as one of the more popular members of the Atlanta Braves. He carried that with him through a long tour of the majors, through two tussles with cancer and into his decision to make himself into major league management material. His laces are always going to be a whole lot straighter than a baseball's.
    Just like any other prospect thrashing his way through the bushes, Butler is down at the minors trying to prove himself worthy of the Bigs. He's of an age where one begins clinging to stability like a life raft. Yet, having served at 14 different professional posts in his career, he continues a gypsy quest.
    Hardship? Are you serious?
    "I'm 50 years old and I've never really had a real job," he said. "I had a job in college and things like that, but all my life, I'm a baseball player. There are three things I love: I love the Lord, I love my family and I love baseball."

    Many stops along career
    Surviving 17 years as a pest at the plate in the majors, Butler the manager has been a Gulf Coast League Met in Florida, a Lancaster (Calif.) Jethawk and now a Mobile BayBear. If nothing else, he has a great collection of caps.
    He had retired as a player in 1997, took some time to help finish raising the kids, did a little speaking, then began looking for someone else's kids to raise. In the meantime, he moved from Atlanta to the Phoenix area.
    His wife suggested it might be time to get out of the house. Especially after beating back episodes of throat (1996) and prostate (2004) cancer. His health is sound now, Butler insists, the only lasting effect being an inability to put on weight as a result of the radiation treatments. He's 10 pounds lighter than during his playing days.
    "I count it as a blessing," he said with a smile. "Most guys my age are trying to shed pounds. I'm trying to put 10 or 15 back on. I can eat anything I want, anytime."
    The promotion to Mobile — yes, that is considered a promotion — was an easy step. The BayBears had just switched affiliation before this season — to Arizona — and the Diamondbacks mentioned they had this promising manager at single-A Lancaster that may be of some interest to them. The name was familiar.
    "We were just elated," Shanahan said. "Being a baseball fan I followed Brett Butler's career. And the fact that he played in Atlanta — Mobile is still is Braves territory — if you mention Brett Butler and you mention the Braves, people get excited. They don't necessarily care that he played for the Dodgers or the Giants, but that he played in the early days with Dale Murphy and Bob Horner and those guys."
    The minors definitely are a learning experience, not all of it applicable to more advanced baseball.
    This sounds like some "Bull Durham" plot line, but it really happened in late June: Angered that he had given up a sacrifice fly to tie the game in the eighth inning, BayBears pitcher Matt Elliott stormed into the bathroom behind the visitors dugout in Montgomery. He slammed the door so violently behind him that the lock broke, trapping him inside. Butler had to go to another pitcher in the ninth, and it wasn't until 20 minutes after Mobile lost in the 10th that firefighters were able to free Elliott.
    Bus rides around the Southern League, Spartan clubhouses and playing between wacky promotions — that's all a part of the package for Butler now. On his way back to the home clubhouse after a recent interview, he was spotted helping move a beer kiosk into place on the stadium concourse. Whatever it takes.

    Teaching his style of play
    As for on-field style, it mirrors that of his playing days, when Butler was a lifetime .290 slap-it-around leadoff hitter who did whatever was necessary to get from first to home. Besides making the ballpark safe for young ears, he is testing the idea of instilling more small-ball style in this long ball era.
    "He's definitely energetic, very energetic," said Mobile first baseman Cesar Nicolas. "He likes for us to play an aggressive style of baseball, which I think is great."
    "He's got great players who are power hitters, some guys who can swing the stick pretty well," Shanahan said. "But the way that you see him coach at third base is the way he played. He's teaching these kids how Brett Butler played the game. You're going to see suicide squeezes. You're going to see a lot of bunting to move guys around."
    Double A ball, Butler said, is a real winnowing-out stage — just close enough to the majors that you can see them from here, yet still fraught with obstacles and long odds. That goes for managers, too.
    Can a slight, soft-spoken former spray hitter who emphasizes character as much as any baseball fundamental return to the majors? Butler is trying to do it the right and patient way. "I went back to the minor leagues so I could put my philosophies together," he said. "Learn how to handle pitching staff. How to communicate with the players. How to deal with some of the egos of guys sitting on the bench. How to get those playing every day to give the best effort they can. Where to play them in the lineup. How to work with the ups and downs of pitchers. How to deal with families and bus trips. All the development part."
    And what will it take for Butler to eventually apply all that to a major league roster?
    "Get an interview, give me a big league interview," he said with a confident grin.
    "God runs my life. If I'm supposed to manage in the big leagues, I will. If I'm not, then He's got another purpose for me. Right now, I'm the Double A manager. All I'm trying to do is get as many kids as I can to the big leagues." And one 50-year-old, too, in the process.

    BRETT BUTLER'S BASEBALL TRAVELS
    As a player
    Minor Leagues: Bradenton, Fla.; Greenwood, S.C.; Anderson, N.C.; Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va.
    • Major leagues: Atlanta (1981-83), Cleveland (1984-1987), San Francisco (1988-1990), Los Angeles (1991-1994, 1995-1997), New York Mets (1995).
    As a coach
    Arizona Diamondbacks (2005).
    As a manager
    Port St. Lucie, Fla. (2004); Lancaster, Calif. (2006); Mobile, Ala. (2007)
     
  2. faithgirl46

    faithgirl46
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    2,778
    Likes Received:
    2
    :applause: :applause: :applause: thank you Nichalas. I have been a fan of Brett's and it is nice to know how he is doing.
    Faithgirl
     
  3. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    He comes to town as Mobile plays our Smokies. Good guy. I'd like to see him get a chance up the ladder someday.
     
  4. faithgirl46

    faithgirl46
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    2,778
    Likes Received:
    2
    I agree with you 1000%.
    Faithgirl
     
  5. Nicholas25

    Nicholas25
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    0
    Please pray for Brett, he suffered a mild stroke on Saturday. He has had some tough luck the last several years.
     
  6. faithgirl46

    faithgirl46
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    2,778
    Likes Received:
    2
    :jesus: :praying: :praying: :praying:
     

Share This Page

Loading...