What’s the deal with the coaches in southern California? Is it something in the water? Between the Lakers, Dodgers, and Angeles, we’ve got to have the most mellow, zenned out skippers on planet earth. Its debatable whether or not these guys have a pulse. I love it. Just like you, I’ve never played for any of these men so everything I say here should probably be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, I wish I would have played for them. I did play for a few good leaders, but without offending anyone and without naming names, I played for some dogs too. I mean, from a baseball perspective, how hard can it be? (Take all of this with a grain of salt too because I’ve never managed…but I did play.) I mean over the course of the 162 game schedule, the manager’s strategic decisions probably win or lose the team MAYBE 10 games. It’s definitely a little different in hoops, but for baseball, I’m saying 10 games. And as far as actually teaching, everybody at that level can play and doesn’t need a whole lot of guidance. Most of the job, seems to me, is managing personalities. Getting everyone on the same page and extracting the best out of each individual.
From a player’s perspective, all I really wanted was for the boss to tell me the truth. Let me know what’s expected of me and tell me in general how much I was going to play. Thats it. Then it was up to me to deal with it. From my point of view, I wasn’t getting paid to make the decisions, I was getting paid to deal with them and perform to the best of my ability. So, all I wanted was to be told the truth, whether I agreed with it or not. Now I ask you, is that too much to ask for? Apparently so. Around here we’re paying Scioscia, Torre, and Jackson a whole truckload of money just because they’ve got good social skills! And they deserve it because there aren’t but a handful of guys out there who can do what they do. And what do they do? They tell it like it is and then get the hell out of the way. They don’t over manage, they don’t try to take credit, and they seem to genuinely care about their players and want the best for them on and off the field. They haven’t forgotten what it was like to be a player and treat their flock like they would like to be treated. Simple social skills. Not that hard. And because they can do that, they get to live in a mansion. Lucky dogs.