Save for Cito Gaston and Bobby Cox, the Toronto Blue Jays have had a most lackluster array of managers in their history.
From Roy Hartsfield to Tim Johnson to Carlos Tosca to Buck Martinez and John Gibbons, it’s been a mostly futile and forgettable group. Even Gaston, who led the Jays to consecutive World Series titles in 1992-93, struggled in his second go-round as skipper from 2009-2010.
So as the Jays move to replace John Farrell as manager, why not think outside the coaching box a little?
Why not give the job to a 25-year-old rabbi?
So says Zev Icyk, a student at the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, N.J.
Icyk, a native of Thornhill, just north of Toronto, wrote a letter requesting an audience with Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos. His reasoning? Can’t do much worse than those who preceded him.
Writes Icyk in the e-mail: “I have drive, motivation, experience and personality to take the Jays where Alex Anthopoulos wants them to go.
“The Jays would be the most aggressive and exciting team in the bigs. I am the only rabbi in the world with the ability to manage in the majors.”
Icyk is not without baseball chops. Elliott reports that Icyk, then known as Warren Icyk, threw a no-hitter in 2009 for Muscatine Community College in Iowa and later played for Division III D’Youville College in Buffalo.
And Icyk notes that Anthopoulos himself rose to baseball greatness by working for his hometown team, the Montreal Expos.
As Icyk tells Elliott: “When there is a person fit for the job it doesn’t matter whether he’s 40, 50 60, or 25 like me. I know how to motivate. I like to think everyone would respect me.
“We have never played with intensity. One thing for sure, if a Chabad rabbi is the manager, the Jays will be the most hyped team in 2013.
“The hype paired with the young talent-filled roster that the Jays already have could be something very special. What do they have to lose?”
He has a point.
The reported front-runners to replace Farrell, who skipped town to go manage the Boston Red Sox, include:
Lee Mazzilli,a disaster as Orioles manager in 2003-2004
Jim Tracy, whose long-winded baseball interpretations generally run longer than your average midrash, anyway
Don Wakamatsu, who, like Mazzilli, seemed rather overmatched in two seasons with the Seattle Mariners.
So why not Icyk?
“If I can get an interview with Mr. Alex Anthopoulos,” he says, “I’ll be on a plane to Toronto the next day.”