|Outfielder, Minor League Manager, Coach|
December 5, 1961 |
|Runs batted in||161|
|Coaching Win–Loss record||862-939|
Phillip Lane Wellman (born December 5, 1962 in Marlin, Texas), is an American professional baseball coach and manager. He is the 2014 manager of the Arkansas Travelers, Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Major League Baseball. Wellman entered minor league baseball as a player in 1984 and began coaching in 1988. Wellman attended Sam Houston State University and Southwestern University.
Wellman began his coaching career with the 1988 Pulaski Braves. He was a coach in the Atlanta Braves system from 1988 to 1991, including 1990 with the Burlington Braves and 1991 with the Durham Bulls.
Wellman managed outside of the Braves organization from 1992–2003, with the exception of 2000, when he was a coach for the minor league Louisville RiverBats. He returned to the Braves as the hitting coach for the Greenville Braves in 2004-2005, and the Mississippi Braves in 2006. Wellman was the skipper of Mississippi from 2007-2010.
After the Mississippi Braves finished the 2010 season with a 63-74 record, Wellman's contract was not renewed. He joined the Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League, Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, as hitting coach, and served three years (2011–2013) in that post before his appointment as manager of the Travelers, who also play in the Texas League.
Umpire altercation and tirade
On June 1, 2007, Wellman gained international attention when he went on a tirade against the umpires during a game against the Chattanooga Lookouts at AT&T Field. He protested the umpire throwing his pitcher out of the game for using a foreign substance by covering home plate with dirt, then tracing in the dirt a new, significantly larger home plate. He then went on to uproot bases and throw them, crawl in a prone position across the infield like a soldier, and pretend to bite and hurl the rosin bag at an umpire as if it were a hand grenade. He concluded his tirade by pretending to eject the umpires themselves with a fist-pump and then blowing a farewell kiss to the crowd while taking a bow. The episode was broadcast on sports shows across the United States and gained him widespread fame on the Internet. Wellman was given a three game suspension effective June 4, 2007.
The Braves reappointed Wellman manager of the Mississippi Braves on December 7, 2007.
In March 2009, ESPN showed the top-10 meltdowns in sports history and judged Wellman’s to be #1. Upon showing the clip, Hannah Storm said “and there he goes, never to be seen from again.” Co-anchor Josh Elliott added “end of his career.” However, this was incorrect. He was still the manager and on September 13, 2008 he led the Mississippi Braves to the Southern League championship beating the Carolina Mudcats 3-2 in the 10th inning of the decisive Game 5. He was also brought up to the major league Atlanta Braves team for a couple of weeks in September 2008, tradition for top minor league managers in the Braves organization.
- O'Brien, David (8 November 2010). "Schuerholz's son is new rookie-ball manager". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- Crizer, Zach (4 August 2012). "The Fake Grenade Toss Heard 'Round The World". Stry.us.
- "Major league Braves suspend Wellman three games". ESPN.com. 4 June 2007.
- O'Brien, David (28 March 2009). "Yanks here; Braves CF race update". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Atlanta Braves Press Release on MLB.com: Braves suspend Mississippi manager Phillip Wellman