Sunday, October 23, 2005

Bowa the Backup?

Maybe it was just the lack of action between the end of the NLCS and the start of the World Series, but it seemed like the media was making a big deal about the Junkees' interest in Larry Bowa. In what other town does anyone even blink when a coach not named Mazzone is hired? Unbelievable.

The Bowa move is interesting. I don't think Bowa's fiery personality will have much of an impact if he's merely a coach. The way most teams work, the tone is set from the manager. If the manager's a laid-back guy like Snorre, that'll be the prevalent style in the clubhouse. And most managers will not let their authority be usurped by some of their coaches. That's simply not how things go.

Which is why, I think George really got Bowa in case the Junkees struggle early next year. George and Snorre, despite their love-in in Tampa, are still not on such great terms. As mentioned by Newsday's Jon Heyman, Steinbrenner reportedly asked his buddy Howard Rubenstein what the fallout would be if he fired Snorre, and when George was told that it would be a PR disaster, he kissed and made up with Joe.

After all, despite the Junkees' disappointing show in October, the team still made a very good turnaround in the second half, and might have even left some Junkee fans with a good taste in their mouths. So it's quite understandable that now would be a bad time to fire Snorre.

And Steinbrenner loves tough, fiery managers. He was crazy about Piniella and Dallas Green, and Bowa would seem to fit the bill as well. If George sees his team playing tired in the beginning of the year, I think we'll see Bowa become manager. And considering Bowa's track record in Philly, I've got no problem with that.

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