Chicago Sun-Times
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Zen and the art of managing

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Mets GM Omar Minaya (right) is smiling because new manager Jerry
Manuel has turned his team's season around in a New York minute.
(AP Photo)

Here at Sports Pros(e) we recognize how important it is to respect our elders. That said,
we've employed the well-traveled Mike Clark to provide a real* grown-up voice to our forum. Mr. Clark has worked at various publications in the Chicagoland area for at least 27 years and can currently be found manning www.yourseason.com. He says:

Big league teams have been in the forefront of the environmental movement for years, recycling players and managers like no one's business. White Sox fans fondly recall the annual summer ritual of trading for Sandy Alomar Jr. and Carl Everett, the noted amateur paleontologist.


Then there was George Steinbrenner, the eco-friendly Yankees owner, who employed Billy Martin as his manager no less than five different times (when Martin wasn't off managing the Twins, Tigers, Rangers or A's).

Hiring a slightly used manager doesn't always work, but every once in a while teams catch lightning in a bottle by picking up someone off the scrap heap. Take Jerry Manuel, who has taken the previously dysfunctional Mets to the top of the NL East in the few weeks since he was promoted from the coaching staff to replace Willie Randolph.

White Sox fans recall Manuel as the horn-rimmed glasses-wearing guy who won the division in 2000 only to be swept out of the playoffs by some fella named Lou. He is also remembered for his surreal state of calm, which is why the Google search "Jerry Manuel Zen" produces 1,970 hits. Many reference his somewhat opaque explanations of garden-variety baseball situations, like this one.

 It's hard to maintain that attitude in the City That Never Sleeps, which might explain why Manuel has already threatened to "go gangster" on temperamental shortstop Jose Reyes -- but the smart money is on Manuel maintaining his serenity now and forever.

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on July 28, 2008 1:50 PM.

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