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Tuesday, October 25, 2005


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The focus on coaches is merely the lull before the storm. Once the WS is over and a few marquis contracts expire, coaches will retire to the background where they largely belong...that is until one of them screws up.

As for Schultz's take on Mazzone.... It may rank as one of the cheapest shots taken at a coach in a long time. First, never trust anyone who pre-announces what he is about to say is not intended as a slap in the face because it invariably is. Everyone knows pitching coaches are very important, whether they be "mere" shrinks, gurus, advisers, father confessors or just big-time hand-holders. Think of it this way: when you have a stinker in the job (anyone seen Joe Kerrigan lately?) EVERYONE knows it.

Shultz does seem to be going through a bit of denial. If you can access the reader comments to the column, Braves fans bury him for this. Indeed, hard to complain about Mazzone's numerous resurrection projects over the years, the Cy Young winners, etc., etc., etc.

Tom G - that to me would be the definition of a good coach - the one you don't know about because that side of the operation works just fine. I seem to recall Rob Neyer arguing a couple of years back that mazzone's claim to being an exceptional coach was the an observable impact on a pitchers over a long period - but he's the exception to the rule. Whilst I don't think the braves will fall apart without him, they will no longer have the sure knowledge that if Mazzone can fix a pitcher so he is a good fit for the team, it is worth making a deal to get a probable bargain. I don't think scheurholz will have that latitude again, and it will be interesting to see how it affects moves by the braves.

You're probably right, Jason, in that coaches are getting an unexpectedly large amount of attention these days. But I for one can't wait to see Larry Bowa the first time he sends a guy home who gets thrown out by 20 feet ...

TD: I've been reading your comments on Bowa on various blogs and I feel I should warn you that you are in real danger of being dropped from his Christmas list.

shultz's comparison between reclamation projects and failures is misleading. kolb was the only failure in town and how many good years did he have before that? even roberto hernandez pitched well in atlanta.

and tom g - thanks for giving me a chance to mention this again. i saw joe kerrigan a few months ago in the rhawnhurst tavern in fox chase. i didn't speak to him because no matter what i planned on saying "why did you ruin brett myers?" would have come from my mouth.

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