There are a few good articles on Leo Mazzone this morning that I would like to link to. If you find others, please forward them to me.
Thomas Stinson of the AJC makes some interesting observations in Salvaging Careers Is Mazzone’s Hallmark.
Leo is modest about his success.
“What makes for a great pitching staff is great pitchers,” he once described his craft. “And what makes for a good pitching coach is not messing up great pitchers.”
“I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of credit over the years with Atlanta,” Mazzone said during a Friday conference call. “I don’t need credit. All we need is pitchers pitching good. That gives you enough credit. You don’t need someone tooting your horn.”
How Leo helped John Burkett.
“I think the best thing about Leo is, he has this sternness and his belief in what he’s doing,” said John Burkett from his home in Dallas “He’s very convincing and he has the track record to back it up.”
“When you look at some of the guys who were washed up when they came over — me being one of them, because I was done — maybe I was even starting to believe it at that time,” Burkett said. “But I remember throwing on the side one time when I first got over there and Leo told me, ‘You have the best control I’ve ever seen on the side, beside Greg Maddux.’
“And then he said, ‘And your slider sucks. When you get behind in the count, quit throwing that thing. Throw your fastball down and away.’ And I did that. I mean, there were times when I was thinking, ‘Man, I can’t throw this guy a fastball down and away. He’s going to kill it.’ And I’d throw one and he’d take it for a strike. … That went a long way for me. I kind of took off after that.”
Even Jason Marquis has nice things to say about Leo.
Before he was traded to St. Louis two years ago, Jason Marquis described his Leo experience: “I know when a young guy comes in Leo tries to be a little harder on him because he wants to instill in him the values that he did with the Madduxes and the Smoltzes and the Glavines, when they were young.
“Some guys take it the wrong way. … I tell you what, he’s helped me a lot.”
Bill Curry of ESPN.com compares Mazzone to another great coach.
During my first week with the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi sat down with me and explained every play of the vaunted Packer offense. I value Mazzone’s insights as much as I do those of coach Lombardi. In each case, Hall of Famers had spent personal moments to impart a kind of wisdom that simply does not exist elsewhere.
I won’t lie. I have some selfish motives for liking these articles—they both cite my work—but, they are excellent and worthy of reading regardless of that. But, I do appreciate it. Thanks to Thomas and Bill.