Underestimate Mike Redmond at your own peril

Having covered Redmond for the first seven years of an unlikely big league career that eventually spanned 13, I can attest to the man's work ethic, intelligence, good humor and general decency.

Is he ready to be the youngest manager in the majors after taking a pair of Class A teams to the playoffs, including the Lansing Lugnuts in 2011? I have no idea, but I kind of like Redmond's odds.

Underestimate him at your own peril.

You've probably heard the stories of how he used to own Braves left-hander Tom Glavine, slapping those changeups to right field so many times that area came to be known as the Red Zone.

Well, it wasn't just Glavine, against whom Redmond owned a career .438 batting average (21 for 48).

Redmond hit .432 against Mark Buehrle in 37 career at-bats. His OPS against Al Leiter was an Albert Pujolsian 1.052, and Redmond hit a cool .500 against C.C. Sabathia (13 for 26).

Those were the four pitchers Redmond faced most often, hitting a combined .450 in 140 at-bats.

Besides the no-hitters, Cy Young awards and other credentials for this Fab Four, they also made nearly $560 million in career earnings (and counting).

Redmond? He checked out two years ago with less than $9 million in career baseball pay, including just one year (2003) with a seven-figure salary.

"That just goes to show you, some things you can't teach," the scout said. "Some guys in this game, they just find a way to beat the other guy. They're always finding a way. That's Redmond."

He's also soaked up knowledge along the way from Jim Leyland, John Boles, Tony Perez, Jeff Torborg, Jack McKeon and Ron Gardenhire.

Redmond played for — and quickly won over — all of them.

Frustrated Marlins fans could be next.

mberardino@tribune.com

CHICAGO