Blake Butera I kept the routine through the 2022 baseball season. Just like in 2021, he gets up, eats breakfast, gets into practice, and arrives at Riley Park early, often to pick up a new prospect or two from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Same result, though.
Butera has been a constant on Charleston River Dogs’ ever-changing list.
At the age of 29, he led a team to Charleston’s first Major League Baseball title in 99 years.
On the 30th, on September 20th in Lynchburg, Virginia, watch 2022 RiverDogs—with an almost entirely different cast—celebrate a two-game match at the Carolina League Championship Series.
By the age of 35, Butera should be in charge of the major tournaments. If not for Rays, then for another club that understands how an active understanding of new, high-tech analytics and an old education chime in with excellent communication skills.
it is good.
“He’s helped me in ways I can’t explain. He’s a great guy, he’s a great coach,” said Carson Williams, the Rays’ 2021 first round coach. “His knowledge of the game is impeccable. It’s really special.”
Butera’s balanced approach is ideal for a top-tier minor league team. Or a competitor in the league.
Bowler JJ Goose said, “Same as Blake in every match, win or lose.”
a lot like 36-year-old Oliver Marmol, former College of Charleston player. Marmol didn’t play Major League Baseball either, but he got off to a good start as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.
“I can’t tell you I’ve seen him go crazy before,” Williams said of Butera. “It’s unbelievable. There’s frustration sometimes, sure, but I’ve never seen this guy get really angry.”
You know Italy. That country added Butera, on loan from Tampa Bay, to its coaching staff for the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Hall of Fame holder Mike Piazza is Italy’s national team manager.
“What an honor, it must have been fun,” said Butera, a former Boston College player from Metairie, Los Angeles.
‘No neck’ and Biankalana
Major League Baseball Charleston has had a lot of good and interesting managers over the years. From Billy’s Bible and Jack Kroll to Scott Fletcher and Tori Tyson.
Buddy Biancalana was the Kansas City Royals’ spotlight hitter A David Letterman punch lineRiverDogs players preach his brand of meditation.
Former Chicago White Sox player Walt “No Neck” Williams At his introductory press conference in Charleston in 1993: “I was going to wear a tie but I don’t have a neck.”
Charlie Montoyo has gone from managing the likes of Josh Hamilton and Carl Crawford in Charleston to managing the Toronto Blue Jays.
Greg Colbron helped the Arizona Diamondbacks win the World Series as a player, and the Boston Red Sox won one of them as coach, with the River Dogs manager in between.
There may not be a manager’s tale that can compare to it Dave Tremblay, not anywhere. The Charleston Rainbows manager in 1991 and 1992 never played professional baseball. But he ended up as the Baltimore Orioles manager for all or parts of four seasons.
Tremblay was running groups of under-the-talents on the small San Diego Padres who loved working with the 2022 RiverDogs.
The talent includes 11 players ranked among Rays’ Top 30 Chances by MLB.com: Williams (No. 3), bowler Cole Wilcox (No. 9), third baseman Willie Vasquez (No. 10), defensive back Brock Jones (No. 12), Defensive Mason Oyer (No. 13), Defensive Junior Caminero (No. 19), bowler Sandy Gaston (No. 22), catcher Dominic Keegan (No. 24), Gus (No. 27), second base officer Ryan Spikes (No. 29) and bowler Nick Petscoe (No. 30).
Plus Bobby Seymour. The 2019 ACC Player of the Year in Wake Forest went to 4v4 with a walk from the cleanup point in Game 2 against Lynchburg.
Charleston players in the past two seasons have also benefited greatly from the tutelage of veteran shooting coach RC Liechtenstein.
Butera doesn’t have to apologize.
With RiverDogs winning Charleston’s record of 88 regular season games it’s more impressive than winning a pair of best three-game streaks for championship rings.
Blake the best
Daily consistency is where Butera excels.
Although he ignores the praise and gives credit to the “Rays Organization”, the glory of the young players and old fans reflects the career direction.
“Blake is the best,” Seymour said. “He really understands the players. He makes things very simple. He doesn’t bother you too much but you will know when you do something wrong and deal with it the right way. Everyone respects him a lot.”
The Philips, a longtime baseball fan with a minority interest in RiverDogs, lives within walking distance of Riley Park. He attends most home games.
“How can teams be good without a good manager? Phillips said of back-to-back Charleston winners.” They really play together.”
The RiverDogs 2022 Carolina NBA Official T-Shirt is so cool. The names of all 60 players who have spent time in Charleston this season are in the back.
It’s a machine-washable or framed tribute to Butera’s ability to match, adjust, communicate, educate, and keep winning.
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff
Blake Butera profile
Hometown: Metairie, La.
College: Starting a player at Boston College
As a minor league player: 2 seasons in the Tampa Bay Rays
As minor league manager: Led the 2021 Charleston River Dogs to Charleston’s first minor league championship since 1922; Lead Team RiverDogs 2022 to sweep Lynchburg by two games in the Carolina League Championship Series
2023 World Baseball Classic: Joins manager Mike Piazza’s coaching staff on loan from Rays