Mets manager Luis Rojas has been around the game of baseball his entire life. He's coached his way up through almost every level of the minor leagues and is now preparing for his first season as a big-league skipper.
Rojas was first hired by the Mets in 2007 as a Dominican Summer League coach, but it sounds like his coaching experience actually dates back a little further than that.
When Rojas was just 7 years old, his father, Felipe Alou, had to eject him from the dugout for being too critical of the players Alou was managing during a minor league game.
Rojas told the story to Dominic Smith, J.D. Davis, and Steve Gelbs on the latest edition of The Cookie Club, presented by Insomnia Cookies.
"You've got some good sources, where did you get that?" Rojas asked Gelbs. "It was one of the most embarrassing days of my early life.
"We were here in the Florida State League, by the way. It was the West Palm Beach Expos back then that my father was managing. Me and my older brother who is three years older, his name is Felipe, he works for the Orioles organization right now. We were in the dugout. We showed up at the ballpark the same time my dad did, and we just went out on the field and we took over the field. We hit, we ran, we did everything, and then we watched the game.
"So, I was just in the dugout watching the team. The other team, they were just beating us and everyone, I don't know how many straight strikeouts the opposing pitcher had at the time, so I started yelling at our own hitters. Next thing I know, my dad is looking at us, like 'Go to my office.' He locked us off (for) the rest of the game, in front of all the players. It was really embarrassing. I remember I was told 'You never do that again' after the game. I learned that lesson that day from my dad, one of my lessons that he taught me in my life."
The moral of the story, though, is that Rojas demands the best from his players, and even as a 7-year-old, he expected the best.