Michel Laplante was a quality pitcher during his regular playing days, perhaps never better than in 1999 when he reeled off 11 victories in 13 decisions and compiled a 2.06 earned run average for Les Capitales de Quebec. He also won as many as 10 games in the Northern League (Madison, WI), made it to Triple-A and worked in Taiwan's major leagues.
Today, he manages Les Capitales, the defending champion in the Can-Am League. At least, that is his primary in-season job. But when Quebec was beset by injuries and a suspension earlier this week the 36-year-old manager activated himself and played the first two games of the second half in the outfield while Quebec was visiting the New Haven (CT) County Cutters.
Quebec, a first half contender, lost both games, but give Laplante credit. He could have sent a pitcher into Yale Field's mammoth outfield, but that would have risked further injury. The manager-turned-outfielder blooped a single into center in his final at bat (1-for-7), and hustled his way to a run, setting a very good example.
Since Michel was a pitcher back when, Can-Am rules show him as a rookie position player. I doubt a new career is in the making, but this corner tips the old sombrero his way.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.