Thursday, July 19, 2007


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.

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