Who is Mark Parent?

By Joe Tichy

The average White Sox fan or baseball fan for that matter probably won’t know that name.  The eat, sleep, and breathe baseball fan knows he was a former catcher who played for seven different teams over 12 years.  He wasn’t Johnny Bench, Ivan Rodriguez, or Carlton Fisk.  Looking at his career numbers won’t tell you much either.  The Philadelphia Phillies organization saw something mangerial in Parent though.  They named him manager of the A Lakewood Blue Claws in 2009.  The team won both halves of the season with Parent at the helm becoming the first team to do so and win the championship of the South Atlantic League.  Not bad for a first year manager.

In 2010, the Phillies bumped up Parent to manager of the Reading Phillies in AA ball.  The team didn’t win the championship, but they finished 74-68 before losing to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in the semifinals of the Eastern League.  Parent may not be Joe Torre or Bobby Cox, but he has had success in some form at some level of baseball.  It shows he has what it takes to develop some youngsters into winners.  With what appears to be a little bit younger White Sox team, Parent can work with Brent Morel, Alejandro de Aza, and Tyler Flowers even more to get them up to the level they should be playing at.

Becoming a good coach or manager seems to go hand in hand with having been a major league catcher.  Examples are Mike Scioscia and Joe Torre.  Seeing the game unfold in front of you, calling pitches, and knowing the ins and outs of every hitter that walks to the plate will benefit you in the game of baseball.  Should Parent be named bench coach of the Chicago White Sox, he will be a valuable tool to the clubhouse.  It may be a risk mixing a first time bench coach with a first time manager, but we’ll have to wait and see.  Don Cooper and Harold Baines aren’t new to the game or the franchise.  They are capable of getting the team and coaches back on track should the train make a slight derailment.

The new coaching staff may be a recipe for disaster, but Kenny Williams is never one to turn down a challenge.  What we do know if Parent is an appropriate last name for a guy who may be holding the hand of the first-time manager, Robin Ventura.

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