Former big leaguer steps up to fill role as Squeeze manager
| 6:02 p.m. June 1, 2015
An eleventh hour problem for the Winter Garden Squeeze was met by a home run solution.
When Ruben Felix, the team’s head coach in its inaugural season who had been set to return for a second go-around at the helm, found out his obligations as an assistant coach with the Ole Miss softball program would prevent him from returning in the final week of May, things got a little stressful for Squeeze general manager Adam Bates.
Fortunately, Bates was able to turn to someone who had planned on being involved with the team as an assistant — someone with more than a decade of experience as player in the big leagues.
Bates and the Florida Collegiate Summer League announced the hiring of Ed Taubensee on May 28. Taubensee, a Central Florida native who played his high school ball at Lake Howell in Casselberry and Maitland, would go on to play 11 seasons in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the Cincinatti Reds, Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians.
“Duty calls,” Bates said, referring to the circumstances that prevented Felix from returning. “This was a decision that was best for Ruben and his family; he definitely wanted to come back and had a bond here in the community and he wanted to expand on that.”
Bates praised Felix for guiding the team through its first season of existence — as a first-year coach, himself. Bates also said that Felix, who anticipates taking trips to recruit Central Florida for Ole Miss, plans on attending a couple games while in town.
When the news came from Felix, Bates said they made just one call; phoning Taubensee.
“Fortunately we were blessed with an opportunity because Eddie wanted to be more involved,” Bates said.
Taubensee, a Windermere resident, was known to make appearances around the ball club last summer and felt this was a logical next step.
“I’d hung out with the Squeeze last year a lot, just being around and doing a lot of stuff for them — and I enjoyed being around the kids and the coaches,” Taubensee explained. “This year, I was planning on being kind of an honorary (assistant) coach; just kind of being around as much as I was able. … Things happened with Ruben, the situation opened up and (Bates) asked if I could give the time to be the manager … looking at my schedule and talking to them, we agreed that it could be done.”
At an open tryout for the FCSL at Rollins College on the morning of May 30, the Texas native, who played in just under 1000 games in MLB during his career, expressed excitement over helping some young ballplayers develop this summer.
“I’m excited to do it,” Taubensee said. “With my background and my 11 years in the big leagues, (I) just want to get them to continue to love the game of baseball and make them better — on the field and off the field. Hopefully I can get them back to their (college) coach better than when they came.”
Meet the Skipper
Born: Oct. 31, 1968 in Beeville, Tx.
Drafted by: Cincinnati Reds
Major League Debut: May18, 1991 (age 22)
Appeared for: Reds, Astros, Indians
Career stats: .273 BA, 419 RBI, 94 HR in 975 career games