Former Showalter Bench Coach, Carlos Tosca Seems A Longshot However…
By Tom Smith
The Atlanta Braves made Carlos Tosca their bench coach a couple of days ago. Today, he was in Pittsburgh as the 7th interview candidate for the job of Pirates manager.
He would seem to be a longshot, but we dug up a few things on Tosca that at least make him interesting. I’m curious with all of his time (he coached an 18-year old Don Mattingly) and connections in the game if Tosca could field an interesting team of coaches?
Fact one: Tosca was fired by the Blue Jays. (ESPN) Tosca, 50, was the fifth native of Cuba to manage in the major leagues. He had been the team’s third-base coach before becoming the sixth major league manager without any playing experience. He finished with a 189-191 record in a little more than two seasons with the Jays. Also from the same story, check out this quote:
"“We have six or seven weeks left in the season and the team showed signs of not playing hard,” Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi"
Interesting fact two: John Gibbons was his replacement. Gibbons was also interviewed for the Pirates skipper post this week.
Most interesting fact: Tosca was a bench coach for Buck Showalter who worked with Tosca in the Gulf Coast League had this to say about him:
"“Carlos was somebody who was good at everything, no job was beneath him. And he’d outwork you.”–Buck Showalter"
A good article that included Showalter’s quote discussed Tosca as a baseball lifer said this: After Tosca spent 17 years as a minor-league manager, racking up 12 winning seasons (932-827), Showalter brought him to the bigs as his bench coach, where “Six-Gun Tosca” derived the reputation of being a straight-shooter and baseball savvy.
One more link that I liked was this:
Q. You spent 17 seasons as a minor league manager and won 932 games before getting your first shot in the big leagues in 1998. How did you finally get that break?
A. Buck Showalter was still a player in the Yankees system when I first met him. Then shortly after that he retired and became a coach. We had an opportunity then to work together in extended Spring Training. I moved on from the Yankees, and Buck eventually became their major league manager. I’d run into him every once in a while and he’d say, “I’m trying to get you on the staff.” I thought, yeah, right. Then, when he got the job in Arizona he called and offered me the position as his bench coach. Buck’s got a tremendous ability to recognize talent and put a team together. We lost 97 games in 1998, but we went on to win 100 games the very next season. It was quite a thrill to be able to see that come to fruition.
Do you think Tosca could work his magic with the Bucs? 105 losses to 90 wins? Now that would be a miracle.
St. Pete Times had this chart too. We adjusted a little bit….Managers who didn’t play pro ball and one jackass:
Ed Barrow 1903-04 Detroit, 1918-20 Boston 310-320
Hugo Bezdek 1917-19 Pittsburgh 166-187
Judge Fuchs 1929 Boston Braves 56-98
Ted Turner 1977 Atlanta 0-1
John Boles 1996, 99-2001 Florida 205-241
Carlos Tosca 2002-04 Toronto 191-191
Dave Trembley 2007-present, Baltimore 72-86