The Phillies need a pitching coach. They missed out on Bryan Price, who took over as the Reds' manager. They missed out on Roger McDowell, who was extended by the Braves. The internal candidates -- Rod Nichols, Ray Burris -- lack the big-name appeal and experience Ruben Amaro Jr. seems to be going for. Enter Leo Mazzone.
It's unknown whether Mazzone, who enjoyed tremendous success as Atlanta's pitching coach during the Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz years, is even being considered for the Phillies' pitching coach vacancy. But the 66-year-old had no problem throwing his own hat into the ring.
After leaving the Braves, Mazzone went to Baltimore. He served as the Orioles' pitching coach in 2006 and 2007 before being fired with a year remaining on his contract. The O's had a 5.35 ERA in 2006 and a 5.17 ERA in 2007, proving that it doesn't matter how storied a coach is if the players stink.
In any event, Mazzone does have the track record the Phils seem to be looking for in their next pitching coach. Replacing Rich Dubee won't be easy -- for all the struggles the Phillies' young pitchers had the last two years, Dubee's impact on Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, Kyle Kendrick, Ryan Madson and a few others was and is impossible to deny.