Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fred Manrique: Malaise

Fred Manrique exemplifies everything that was wrong with the late 80's White Sox. He was a pretty decent fielder and a weak bat. Despite being the youngest player when he debuted in 1981 with the Blue Jays, Fred is the quintessential common.

As for the card pictured, it's a little misleading. Fred wasn't exactly a rookie in 1988. He had already seen limited time with 3 different clubs before he joined the White Sox for the 1987 season. The Blue Jays, the Expos and the Cardinals played host to Fred Manrique before the White Sox.

The White Sox were the only team to give Fred a chance at playing full time. Fred was decent, but not the optimal choice. He basically was the only choice. Fred looks like the person the White Sox take their taxes to, instead of a player. I love the fact that Fred, like many players in the 80's, was rockin' the aviator glasses.

Fred never broke .300 in a season when he played a full season. He came close in 1989. He finished with a .299 average between the White Sox and the Rangers. Which leads me to his most important role in White Sox history, trade bait.

Fred was traded along with fan favorite Harold Baines for Scott Fletcher, Sammy Sosa, and Wilson Alvarez. The trade was hates at the time, but worked out well in the long run for the Sox. The Sox got rid of Fred at the perfect time. He had the best year of his career in 1989, so his trade value would be at it's highest.

Fred bounced around for the next couple of years. He played the rest of 1989 with the Rangers. They traded him to the Twins in 1990. By the time his Topps Traded card came out in 1990 showing him on the Twins, he had already been released.

The Angels picked him up in December 1990 and released him in April 1991. The Athletics picked him up after that. He played 9 games for the A's and was released in June. That was the last major league team that Fred was with.

His time with the White Sox is remembered more for how he left, rather than anything he ever did in a White Sox uniform. He came in and did his job to the best of his abilities, but those abilities were sometimes questionable. Maybe if Fred played at shortstop, which was his best position, rather than at second and third, he would have done better. When the Sox have a great shortstop in Ozzie Guillen, it's hard to displace someone like that. You end up playing where you can fit in and you adjust accordingly. Fred is proof that everyday people can make a major league roster if they try hard enough.

1 comment:

Bay Rat North West said...

This is a classic post! I am enjoying your blog and look forward to each one you put up. I may have to "borrow" the idea for the player numbers to do on the Reds.

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