Braves spring training: Where former managers go to get paid
If Sports Illustrated writers are doing advance work on their annual "Where Are They Now?" issue, they might want to drop by the Atlanta Braves' camp in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., sometime this spring. As noted by David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, manager Fredi Gonzalez has assembled a spring staff consisting of five men who used to be the top banana somewhere else.
From left to right, that's minor league field coordinator Dave Trembley (Orioles 2007-'10), special assistant to the GM Lee Elia (Cubs 1982-83, Phillies '87-'88), bench coach Carlos Tosca (Blue Jays '02-'04), special instructor Jimy Williams (Jays '86-'89, Red Sox '97-'01, Astros '02-'04) and hitting coach Larry Parrish (Detroit '98-'99).
What, Larry Bowa or Don Baylor couldn't make it? Oh, we kid.
Well, kinda. Fredi's Frankenstein of Five only boasts a combined record of 1,608-1,668, which works out to a .490 winning percentage. But it does go up to .519 if you count Bobby Cox (and Jim Fregosi), who have also been puttering around the happiest place on earth the past week.
Either way, that's a lot of experience for the Braves players to tap. Because, let's face it, some baseball men feel more comfortable in a role where it's strictly baseball instruction instead of juggling all the baseballs that the guy in charge has to handle.
"It's pretty awesome to have that many people to turn to," Braves catcher Brian McCann(notes) [told O'Brien]. "It's a lot of guys who are passionate about the team, passionate about helping out, passionate about baseball. Good guys like that, it rubs off on people."