The Braves placed pitching coach Roger McDowell on administrative leave pending the investigation into the incident in San Francisco in which he was accused of threatening, abusive and offensive behavior towards the fans—ESPN Story.
Minor league pitching coordinator and veteran baseball man Dave Wallace will take over as Braves pitching coach on an interim basis.
The crux of this situation is this: is the investigation being conducted as a perfunctory method to cover all their bases before firing McDowell? Or are they going to give McDowell a chance to take an anger management course or some other means to show public contrition for what he did in an effort to keep his job?
If a sufficient amount of time passes and the episode blows over, then perhaps McDowell can keep his job.
It’s a tough road for McDowell and the Braves with Gloria Allred representing the “traumatized” family. So horribly wounded by McDowell’s tirade, presumably the only thing that will assuage their collective pain is a sufficient amount of money.
But I suppose it’s possible.
The Braves had no choice in the matter but to do something to at least delay making a permanent change, and Derek Lowe‘s arrest for DUI last night certainly didn’t make their lives any easier. They had to make the McDowell incident go away for now.
We’ll see what happens but maybe he’ll stay.
Wallace is a respected pitching coach and good baseball man. He’s experienced in multiple facets of an organization having worked in front offices, as a minor league coordinator and in hotbeds of controversy with the Dodgers, Mets and Red Sox.
He’s no yes-man; he butted heads with Bobby Valentine when Wallace was hired to replace Valentine’s preferred pitching coach and friend Bob Apodaca with the Mets, but Wallace appeared to be a pawn in the constant tug-of-war for control between Valentine and GM Steve Phillips.
But that was personal. As a coach, he’s done a good job and he’ll be perfectly fine whether he has to take over permanently for McDowell or is only there long enough for the incident to be muted and McDowell is able to return.
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