Friday, July 22, 2011

Player profile: Manny Alexander

Playing career: Manny Alexander was a defensive whiz at shortstop, groomed by the Orioles in the early 1990s to replace Cal Ripken. Unfortunately, two things happened: Ripken stayed being pretty good for longer than the Orioles anticipated, and Alexander couldn’t hit big league pitching at all. After a 1996 season in which he hit .103 in 78 at bats, putting up a -37 OPS+ (I’m not all that caught up on the newer stats – I didn’t know you could have a negative OPS+ until I read Alexander’s b-ref page) he was traded to the Mets. Only the Mets would trade for a guy with a -37 OPS+. He bounced around for quite a while, and was still in the majors as late as 2005 and 2006, where he hit .111 and .176 for the Padres.

My memories: I remember even the Yankees had Alexander at one point - 2002. They got rid of him in spring training when he was implicated in the incident when Ruben Rivera stole Derek Jeter’s glove.

I have nine cards of Manny Alexander. This one is from 1992 Classic Best.

Interesting story: Alexander was with the Red Sox in 2000 when he let the batboy borrow his car. The batboy was arrested for driving without a license and steroids were found in the car. The steroids were never definitively linked to Alexander. In a 2005 interview, the batboy, Carlos Cowart, blames Alexander and the Red Sox for his subsequent downward spiral into self-mutilation and other destructive behavior. Hopefully in the six years since then he’s learned to take some responsibility for his own actions.

Where he is now: He was playing in Europe as recently as 2009. Don’t know where he is now.

Google Autocomplete results: He is sixth when you type Manny Al, between Manny Alia, who played high school basketball in Fort Bend, TX in 2008-2009, and Manny Alas PWC, referring to the New York Metro Forensic Practice Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Another prominent Manny Alexander is a high school football player in Katy, TX.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Matt Alexander.

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