By Alan Eskew
November 29, 2001
Bucky Dent is going back to the minors.
Dent, who has been the bench coach for the Rangers the past seven years, was named manger of the Triple-A Omaha Royals, the top Kansas City farm club.
Dent managed the Yankees for 69 games in 1989-90 and has not been in the minors since managing Triple-A Columbus in 1989. He was the Cardinals’ third base coach for four years, 1991-94, before going to Texas.
“I still want to manage in the big leagues, and to come back to Triple-A and manage wasn’t going to set me back,” Dent said. “It wasn’t going to kill me to go back.”
Dent was 37 when he replaced Dallas Green as Yankee manager with 40 games left in the 1989 season. He was fired after an 18-31 start in 1990.
“I felt like I was ready to manage (in the majors) then,” Dent said. “It was a transition period with the Yankees. The young players weren’t ready. We weren’t very good. When you’re not very good over there, you don’t last very long.
“Anytime you manage, you learn. I might do a things a little bit different if I manage again.”
Dent interviewed for the Royals’ bench coach job after Jamie Quirk was fired, but they hired Bob Schaefer. The Omaha job opened when manager John Mizerock was promoted as the big league bullpen coach.
Dent said he had an offer to manage another Triple-A team but felt more comfortable with the Royals because he was familiar with several people, including general manager Allard Baird, in the organization.
“I’ve known Allard for quite some time,” Dent said. “He’s from Miami and used to scout down here, and I live in the Miami area.”
Said Baird, “I think he should go back to being a manager. I think he has attributes to being a good manager. He’s been away for so long (from managing). I think this is a step in the right direction.
“I’ve always respected him as a baseball guy and always thought of him as a good teacher, not only with major league and minor league players, but I’ve seen him teach youngsters at his baseball school in Florida.”
Dent also knows Joe Jones, the Royals’ supervisor of minor league field operations.
“Joe was my first ever professional manager back in ’70 (at Sarasota) in the White Sox organization,” Dent said.
Dent and Royals manager Tony Muser were White Sox teammates from 1973-75.
Dent is best known for hitting a three-run homer off Mike Torrez in a one-game playoff at Boston in 1978 for the division title. Dent finished his career with the Royals, signing on Aug. 16, 1984. He played 11 games with Kansas City, hitting .333.
“They had some injuries then to their young shortstops, Buddy Biancalana and Onix Concepcion, so Dick (Howser) brought me in,” Dent said. “I had played for Dick in 1980 in New York. He was my favorite (manager) to play for. He was just outstanding.”