Jack McKeon Locked Josh Beckett, Brad Penny Out of Clubhouse During ’03 Marlins Games, Gave Pee-Pee Cards

The Boston Globe reported Wednesday morning that a handful of Red Sox pitchers regularly drank beers and hung out in the clubhouse during games. Apparently that is nothing new for veteran pitcher Josh Beckett.

Former Marlins manager Jack McKeon told The Palm Beach Post that he had to lock the clubhouse during games for his 2003 World Series team because players such as Josh Beckett and Brad Penny would go in there to drink and hang out. He also created bathroom passes for players to use during games.

You can’t make this stuff up.

McKeon created poo-poo and pee-pee cards for players to take if they needed to use the bathroom. He says that was effective in curbing the fun.

McKeon says he considered implementing a similar system while managing the Marlins this season, but he never had to go that far. His story shows us that players screwing around during games is nothing new. It also makes us wonder if someone like Josh Beckett could avoid stupid injuries like this if he trained harder.

And if all the funny baseball pranks we’ve shared over the years didn’t already show you how immature some players can be, McKeon’s treatment of the ’03 Marlins confirms it. A story like this is funny, but actually kind of sad.

Forearm bash to Eye on Baseball

Jack McKeon, MLB’s Oldest Manager, Supports Instant Replay

If you are a loyal LBS nut, you should know by now how we feel about instant replay in baseball.  Yes, the games are long enough as it is and yes, instant replay cuts back on some of the “human element” associated with the game.  That doesn’t mean we should not use technology that is readily available to us and is guaranteed to make the outcome of the game more accurate.

A lot of the opposition to instant replay comes from the old school generation.  Managers like Jim Leyland see no reason to review plays and even believe instant replays can be misleading.  Even Joe Torre has been doing his best to keep instant replay out of the game.

However, not all “old-timers” are opposed to the change.  Jack McKeon, the oldest manager in the MLB at age 80, believes the change can only improve the game.  After a controversial call that awarded Rafael Furcal a base hit on a ball that was caught cleanly Saturday night, Albert Pujols cranked a two-run homer that eventually became the difference in the game.  The play could not be reviewed, but replays showed the umpires blew the call.

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Vin Scully Jokes About Jack McKeon’s Lack of Twitter Knowledge (Video)

When 80-year-old Jack McKeon was named the interim manager of the Marlins, there were instant concerns that he would not be able to relate to the players like he did in the 2003 World Series year. Though he put his foot down with Hanley Ramirez, he proved his disconnect with the younger players regarding a lack of twitter knowledge. Check out this video courtesy of Sports Grid (click the close ad on the top right to watch):

Maybe McKeon doesn’t know how to operate twitter (not unlike many young friends of mine), but I’m sure he’s heard of it and was just joking. Still, there’s something humorous about hearing 83-year-old Vin Scully joke about it, even if this isn’t the first time he’s cracked jokes at someone’s expense. And if you’re wondering how the subject even came up during the Dodgers-Tigers telecast, a producer or assistant must have shared the tweet Logan Morrison sent out after Tuesday’s game.

Morrison wrote on twitter “McKeon asked me what I had going on tonite. Told him I was going home 2 play w/ Twitter. He replied “oh, what kind of dog is it?”

The only thing that could possibly top that video is if Vin Scully had a twitter account and were following Logan Morrison with it. Now that would be a trip.

Hanley Ramirez Reportedly Called Out by Logan Morrison for Being Late

When Jack McKeon was hired by the Florida Marlins as the team’s interim manager Monday, his first order of business was to bench shortstop Hanley Ramirez for that day’s game. McKeon said he was benching Hanley for not running hard enough during Sunday’s game. A report in The Miami Herald posted Tuesday evening via Hardball Talk suggests McKeon may have benched Ramirez for a different reason.

The Herald reports that Hanley was last to arrive for McKeon’s meeting Monday when he addressed the team (the Palm Beach Post says he was late). Hanley says he shows up at 3:30 on game days, but the expectation was that players would arrive early for the new manager. Left fielder Logan Morrison reportedly ripped into Hanley for being late to the meeting. He also reportedly suggested that Hanley’s tardiness (he arrives to the park later than most teammates) is contributing to his poor batting.

Because I’m not around the team enough to know what time Ramirez arrives at the park each day (not to mention if it’s the same routine he employed during his All-Star seasons), I will leave that out. But I will say that showing up last for the new manager’s team meeting shows disrespect, so I can understand if that’s why he was benched.

What’s sad is that such a talented player continues to be involved in issues suggesting he’s not a good team leader. In 2009, Dan Uggla questioned his toughness and desire to win. Last year he was yanked for not hustling after a booted ball. Ramirez has shown he can be a great player, but as the franchise player he should also be a great team leader. It’s pretty indisputable that he’s not, and that is a shame.