Whack-a-Manager With Phil Nevin

After letting Pat Murphy know he would not be getting the job, the search began for a new manager of the San Diego Padres. Sources are telling us who is being interviewed for the position, so let’s take a closer look.

It’s time to play Whack-a-Manager with Phil Nevin!

Nevin was the first overall pick of the 1992 draft by the Houston Astros out of Cal State Fullerton. He was named the 1992 College World Series Most Outstanding Player and the won the Golden Spikes Award. Nevin also played for Team USA in the 1992 Olympics.

Nevin made his Major League debut on June 11, 1995 for the Astros.

Nevin played 18 games for the Astros during the 1995 season. He struggled with the Astros, however, batting .117 with no home runs, one RBI, a .221 OBP, and .133 SLG in 60 at-bats. When he learned of his demotion to Tucson on July 5 in Colorado, Nevin cursed at Astros general manager Bob Watson and manager Terry Collins. After Watson called for an apology, Nevin said he would use the incident as a learning experience in controlling his temper. The Astros acquired pitcher Mike Henneman from the Detroit Tigers for a player to be named later on August 10; Nevin was identified as that player five days later. In 1996, Nevin played in Class AA for the Tigers with the Jacksonville Suns of the Southern League, where he was converted into a catcher

The Tigers traded Nevin, along with Matt Walbeck, to the Anaheim Angels in November 1997. After an injury to starting catcher Todd Greene, Nevin was given the opportunity to compete for the starting job with Walbeck. Nevin, by then well known for his volatile temper, tore off his jersey while arguing balls and strike calls with the home plate umpire in a 1998 game.

Nevin was traded to the San Diego Padres on March 29, 1999. Nevin made a late-career break with the Padres, appearing in 100 games for the first time during the 1999 season. He then had the best offensive years of his career: he hit 31 home runs with a .916 on-base plus slugging (OPS) during the 2000 season. He was named to the National League All-Star team in 2001, when he hit 41 home runs with 126 RBI and had a .976 OPS. He also led major-league third basemen in errors, however, with 27, and had the lowest fielding percentage of all major league third basemen (.930).

Nevin in 2002 played first base, which was considered his strongest defensive position. But injuries shortened his 2002 and 2003 seasons. After being heckled by a fan during a September 2002 game, Nevin gave the fan the finger, which he later apologized for.

Nevin was often frustrated with the dimensions of Petco Park. He hit a double during a 2004 game that he believed would have been a home run in other stadiums; when he reached second base, he pointed toward Padres’ general manager Kevin Towers’ suite and threw down his helmet, resulting in a postgame argument. Towers said the two had a “love-hate” relationship.

The Padres traded Nevin to the Texas Rangers for Chan Ho Park on July 30, 2005. After a disappointing stint with the Rangers, Nevin was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Jerry Hairston Jr. on May 31, 2006.

On August 31, 2006, the Cubs traded Nevin to the Twins for cash and a player to be named later. Nevin appeared in the MLB postseason for the first time in his career with the Twins in 2006. The Twins were swept by the Oakland Athletics in three games; Nevin appeared in one of the three games, batting 0-for-3.

Unsigned at the beginning of the following season, Nevin announced his retirement on May 12, 2007. Two seasons removed from his playing career, Nevin decided to return to baseball as a manager in 2008. That December, he was named the manager of the Orange County Flyers in the independent Golden Baseball League.

In 2010, Nevin was hired as manager of the Tigers’ AA affiliate, the Eerie Seawolves. Nevin managed the SeaWolves for one season. In November 2010, Nevin was named the manager of the Tigers’ AAA team, the Toledo Mud Hens. The Arizona Diamondbacks named Nevin as manager of the Reno Aces, their Class AAA affiliate, for the 2014 season.

The Miami Marlins and the Padres have interviewed Nevin for their respective manager openings. The Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals are also reportedly interested in Nevin as a possibility.

Information compiled from Wikipedia and Baseball Reference.

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