Dear Atlanta Braves: I do not wish you harm.
Needing to replace their manager, we’ll use the Braves as an example.
Bobby Cox has become an icon, a likely Hall of Famer. His successor should be a man of integrity, energy and wisdom.
I do not personally know any of the people being considered as the next Atlanta Braves manager. But I’ll share most of the names from a story by CNN correspondent Dan Schlossberg :
Chris Chambliss, Jim Fregosi, Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones, Leo Mazzone, Terry Pendleton and Bobby Valentine. Added, Larry Bowa and Kevin Kennedy.
All gentlemen named above are deeply involved in the game.
With the Braves’ opportunity to choose a new manager, comes another. It’s called: Assistant Manager. Someone hand-picked by the manager — with the team’s blessing – who is second in charge and the expected successor to the manager.
The assistant manager would continue to be a bench coach or coach of one of the skills. Date of this changeover would be determined by the parties involved. The length of time may be three years or 20 years. Whatever is best for the team and the gentlemen involved.
We may have seen something like this in the Torre-Mattingly transaction. For Mattingly, he had been in Los Angeles with Torre, working with the players. So if Joe Torre recommends Don Mattingly, Donnie Baseball is probably a good choice.
As the Atlanta Braves consider their next skipper, here’s a fan’s view of the Assistant Manager concept:
Choose one from each column:
Manager Assistant Manager
Jim Fregosi Terry Pendleton
Leo Mazzone Chris Chambliss
Bobby Valentine Tom Glavine
Kevin Kennedy Chipper Jones (P/AM)
Larry Bowa Dale Murphy
I don’t know the status of the above-named individuals, but for this exercise let’s consider them available.
A combination of any of the above may be a winning pair.
The columns above lean heavily on Major League experience for the managerial position. The assistant manager might the sergeant, providing experience and long-range potential.
Additionally, at the least, it would inform fans of who was vice president of dugout operations.
Continuity and success are a great combination.