Monday, July 7, 2014

Doug Davis, Break Given - 519

Originally published May 19, 2010
Doug Davis never thought he would be a manager, he told The Reading Eagle in 1998.

A veteran of 12 minor league seasons, and a grand total of five major league games, Davis recalled that he'd heard from a former teammate that the Mets were looking to make some changes.

"There are hundreds of guys who were in my position, and the thing you hope for is that someone comes along and gives you a break," Davis told The Eagle.

Playing his last game in 1995, by 1996 Davis was manager of the short-season Pittsfield Mets. It was the beginning of a managerial and coaching career that would lead Davis to the World Series, as bench coach for the 2003 Florida Marlins.

Davis' pro career began in 1984, taken by the Angels in the ninth round out of North Carolina State University. He made AA Midland and AAA Edmonton and then Anaheim in 1988.

His stint with the Angels only lasted five games and 13 plate appearances. He scored one run, but did not get a hit. His brief stint won him a share of The Los Angeles Times' not-so-serious post-season "Thanks for Stopping by the Booth Award."

Davis' first major league hit - also his last - would have to wait four more years, until 1992, with the Rangers. On April 23, 1992, Davis came in for Pudge Rodriguez in the top of the ninth down 11-5. In the bottom half, Davis put a 2-2 pitch between short and third. He was shortly sent down for good.

Davis stayed at AAA Oklahoma City through 1994. One game in 1995 at single-A Lake Elsinore and his playing days were through. That was the year Davis attempted a return to the majors with the replacement Angels.

During a team slump that spring, Davis told The Times the team had been pressing.

"This is a big-league camp, we're working with the major league coaching staff, and sometimes guys feel they have to perform at a major league level, which none of us are at," Davis told The Times. "The only thing people expect is for us to perform at the level we're at."

Davis stayed with the Mets' system as a manager through 2000, going on to the Marlins as minor league field coordinator. Then, in the May 2003 shuffle that put Jack McKeon in the skipper seat and the Marlins on their way to the wild card and championship, Davis was made bench coach.

He joined the Blue Jays system in 2006, helming the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats, then AAA Syracuse for 2007 and 2008. He serves as Blue Jays minor league field coordinator for 2014.

But, speaking to The Manchester Union Leader in April 2006, Davis said it was managing that he enjoyed most.

"I'm really looking forward to getting back into managing and thinking along the lines of a manager," he told the paper. "Just being on the field and making decisions and trying to evaluate players - I enjoy that as much as anything else I've done."

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