March 30, 2014
NO WAY BACK:
Inside the game, most think the manager can make a big difference (Thomas Boswell, March 28, 2014, Washington Post)
The closest we may come to a consensus view of managerial value may be second-generation big leaguer Adam LaRoche's. Coaches in football and basketball, he says, have more direct, constant impact on their games, including play calling and in-game strategy shifts. "Baseball is a feel sport," he said. Pitch to pitch, bounce to bounce. "Managers can't make those decisions for you."The personal side of it is more important in baseball. Bobby Cox, you never saw him. [He] went straight to his office, never walked into the clubhouse. That was our place. You never saw him until the game started. But he always had the player's back. Even if everybody in the world knew the player was wrong, Bobby would defend him. That gets your respect. Whatever he asked you to do, you didn't just do it, you were happy to do it because it was for Bobby."I've had managers who never could develop that authentic respect. When a manager doesn't have respect, you can tell, even by the tone of the players' answers to questions in interviews. They're 'losing the room.' And it's hard to get it back."
Posted by Orrin Judd at March 30, 2014 12:53 PM