In the link above, Mr. William Safire’s Dictonary had a few wholes in it. He referenced the idea that last place was 7th in the 1940s. But aside from that, he was referencing politics. “Mr. Nice Guy” could be an apt reference to Neville Chamberlain, who practiced the policy of appeasement with Adolf Hitler. We realize that did not turn out well. The idea of a Nice Guy denotes weakness, too easily swayed to acceptance. A poor leader.
Another man famously, and erroneously quoted to have uttered, “Nice Guys Finish Last,” is Leo “The Lip” Durocher. This in reference to HOF Home Run basher Mel Ott’s managerial style of the Giants, prior to Leo taking over for “Master Melvin” Ott.
Actually, Leo is reported to have said, “They’re all nice guys, but they’ll finish last. Nice guys. Finish last.” Leo was never a nice, touchy-feeling manager or player. He once is alleged to have five-fingered Babe Ruth’s watch while a member of the Yankees in the late 1920’s.
Leo’s brash, uncompromisingly crass, insensitive nature was born out of his need to hustle early on in life. Nothing came easy. He survived the Great Depression as a middle infielder on the Gashouse Gang and was considered an immensely knowledgeable baseball man. He once owned the highest salary in the managerial ranks while in Brooklyn. Got suspended for year due to his connections to gamblers, mobsters and “the wrong people.”
Leo took over the reigns of the horrid Chicago Cubs franchise in 1966. They had spent twenty seasons getting their crap handed to them on baseball. Leo took them from a 65 win team to a 85-92 win seasons for six straight seasons. But he is forever known for 1969…and the over usage of that pitching staff and certain ballplayers. Unfairly labelled the sole reason they lost, Leo went down in history as the goat in Chicago because “Mean Guys finish Second”.
I picked this moniker because of Fantasy team I had that finished 2nd recently. By accident, I had pitching problems that could not be solved via trade or free agency. It was frustrating and I could hear Leo saying, “you are too nice.”
Have a Good Weekend!!!!!