I have not yet read Pedro Martinez’s new memoir, which just came out last week, but when it comes to athlete stories this is one that could be particularly interesting — and for more than just a mention of Twins bench coach Joe Vavra.
Per a review in the New Yorker, Martinez writes about being scolded by his minor league manager in Great Falls, Mont. (in rather harsh language, please be warned of that) because he and Raul Mondesi went onto the team bus in their uniforms without taking showers.
The manager is only identified as a “white guy from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin” in the review, but seeing as how Vavra fits that description and was in fact Pedro’s manager in Great Falls, we can connect the dots.
Per the review: Martinez and Mondesi didn’t realize that they were supposed to shower before the bus ride. Pedro began to cry, he tells us, and though he and the manager seem to have patched things up, he never forgot what it felt like to be called “dirty.“
The review gets into more detail about the larger context of how Martinez viewed the exchange. I might be inclined to give Vavra the benefit of the doubt (the players hadn’t showered and were literally dirty, I would imagine), but then again I wasn’t there — and at the very least, I am interested in reading more.