This has nothing to do with anything, but it’s a slow news day so far and I’ve been having a lot of fun checking out Baseball-Reference.com’s new Japanese League player pages.
Manuel, who apparently went by “Chuck Manuel” while playing in Japan from 1976-1981, had some monster seasons there in his mid-30s. From 1977-1980 he hit .320 with an average of 42 homers per season, including .325 with 48 homers and 129 RBIs as a 36-year-old in 1980.
And then there’s this, from Baseball-Reference.com’s “bullpen” page about Manuel:
The media fed off of Chuck’s playboy lifestyle, where “[h]is escapades allegedly started early in the evening and concluded right up to the pre-game warm-ups.” Chuck even was pictured in Japanese comic books, using his bat to fight giant snakes.
Chuck Manuel, snake-fighting playboy.
(Complicated handshake to the great Grant Brisbee for alerting me to Manuel’s page.)