The Phillies announced today that Mark Parent, former big league catcher, will manage the BlueClaws in 2010, replacing Dusty Wathan, who heads to Hi-A Clearwater. Some notes:
- Played 13 years in the big leagues, mostly with San Diego. Ended his career with Philadelphia (97-98) as Mike Lieberthal’s backup.
- Managed one year in the California League with Seattle (where Phillies AGM Benny Looper was the farm director) before retiring.
- Came out of retirement in 2005 to manage the Chico Outlaws in the Golden Baseball League (indy), winning a championship in 2007, before retiring again.
- Now, he’s back and will manage the BlueClaws in 2010. The connection came in large part from Looper, who is now in charge of player personnel with Philadelphia.
We had a chance to talk with Parent earlier today:
- What have you been doing the last few years? Nothing other than watch my kids. (One son is 19 and plays baseball at UC-Santa Barbara, another is a 15 year old high school freshman)
- How did this opportunity arise? Ruben (Amaro, Phillies GM) called me up and asked if I was serious about managing. They stressed this was a very important stop for their prospects, said they’d call me back in a few days to talk. Chuck LaMar (assistant GM) called me back in 20 minutes and asked me if I’d do it.
- Your time in the Seattle system? We had a number of prospects. Benny Looper called me and asked if I would take care of guys coming through the Cali League. Don’t baby them, just teach them how to be big league players. It seemed to work.
- Why did you decide to give it up at the time? I played for 20 years, but when you’re away from home for that long, I needed to get home, go camping during the summer. I’d never had a summer off. You’re priorities change when you have kids.
- Favorite part of managing? See people who get it, see them understand what it takes and how to get better. Seeing people who get what it takes to make themselves better, what it takes to win a ballgame. Seeing that is very satisfying.
- What did they tell you about Lakewood? They told me it’s one of the best places in the league, and the organization. They said you won’t regret being there one second. Hearing that from a GM, a big leaguer, that’s pretty good praise for a place.