Monday, February 06, 2006

It Is Not Camp Roger

"It's like with a new baby -- that first day is an ecstatic high. Now, it's time to go to work." -- New Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell, on replacing Leo Mazzone, who held the position for the previous 15 seasons.

Please Please Please tell me he didn’t actually say that to a reporter....

Nope he did. While I admire this guy for taking over a post that everyone, and no one, wanted, does he really need to say things like that? When Leo Mazzone chose to leave Atlanta for Baltimore I was sad. There were tears. Then I was nervous for my team because who would want to come in and take over for a man who spent 15 years (nearly my entire life) building one of the best pitching staffs in baseball history.
Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz say enough. But then there are the careers he resurrected from baseball oblivion..... Mike Remlinger!
Ok so he couldn’t save Mark Wholers but one mistake in 15 years, I can sleep at night.
Then there are the pitchers who were dazzling while enrolled in the Mazzone school of magic, but bombed when they left. Denny Neagle and Kevin Millwood.
Whats worse is that they still call it Camp Leo. Pitchers and catchers report in 10 days, except for the Braves. Leo always had them come earlier than any other team in the majors and start getting ready for the season. And now with him in Baltimore (whose pitchers did not report early) the Braves still had the pitching staff report two weeks early. And they still called it Camp Leo. Not Camp Roger. It will never be Camp Roger.
When Mazzone retires and is the first pitching coach inducted into the Hall of Fame (it will happen) no one will remember him as the guy who coached in Baltimore. He will be the guy who rocked back and forth in the Atlanta dugout for 15 years.
So good luck Roger McDowell....you have a couple million fans to prove yourself to....and Bobby Cox.

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