Last night Juan Pierre became the 18th player in baseball history with at least 600 stolen bases, which was cause for celebration in the Marlins clubhouse.
But as Craig Davis of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes, they went in a different direction than the usual champagne:
The head-scratcher was the pyramid of Hawaiian Punch cans surrounded by Honey Buns. That was the result of the Marlins posing the question to Pierre’s wife Liz: What do you get a man who has stolen 600 bases?
“I love Honey Buns and Hawaiian Punch. That’s the thing. I don’t drink, so champagne or none of that, that doesn’t do me any good. Hawaiian Punch and Honey Buns is a very good surprise,” Pierre said.
So to all the kids out there: If you want to play 14 seasons in the majors as one of the fastest (and skinniest) players in baseball and remain a stolen base threat into your mid-30s the key is … Hawaiian Punch and Honey Buns. At least until MLB bans them for being performance-enhancing.
It used to be that the top dog in a team’s baseball operations department was the general manager. That has changed over the past several years with some combination of title inflation, a genuine addition of supervisory layers and, on some level, employe poaching insurance leading to the top dog now being called, usually, a “president of baseball operations.”
Brewers’ general manager David Stearns is the latest to assume that tile, as the club just announced that he has been promoted to Milwaukee’s president of baseball operations. He has also received a contract extension of unknown length.
Not a big shock given how well the Brewers did in 2018, winning the NL Central title and playing in the NLCS. It’s also worth noting — with a nod to that “employee poaching insurance” item above — that Stearns has drawn some interest from other organizations. It’s thus not unfair to see the promotion is both a thanks for a job well done and a means of keeping other teams’ hands off of him, as employees are generally not given permission to interview for lateral moves, but are given permission to interview for promotions.
The Mudville Nine may have wanted to steal him from Milwaukee, but for Stearns to get a promotion from where he is now would require the creation of some other lofty title.