November 21, 2014

Former Dodger Jim Lefebvres New Challenge: The Chinese Olympic Baseball Team

Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune had a great article on Jim Lefebvre, the former Dodger turned Olympic coach who is trying to bring respectability to the Chinese olympic baseball team.

Here’s a snippet from his article (read it in its entirety here):

BEIJING—He answered to “Frenchy” when he played for the Dodgers and managed the Cubs. He answered to just about anything in his Hollywood acting gigs, playing a bum on “Knight Rider,” a cannibal on “Gilligan’s Island” and a goon in the Riddler’s mob on an episode of ” Batman.”

Jim Lefebvre is a bangqui (baseball) man now, manager of the 2008 Chinese Olympic team. And when he speaks of how his China nine might fare in the friendly confines of Wukesong Field, the 66-year-old Lefebvre likes to say, “We just don’t want to be embarrassed out there, you know?”

We know.

Each and every Olympic Games gets under way this way, with a prospect of spectacle and a dread of embarrassment. And now that this fateful date of 08/08/08 is upon us at last, Buddha forbid something should go wrong.