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by alex ciepley
According to reports on ESPN.com, the Diamondbacks are seriously considering hiring Mark Grace as their manager. One of the strangest things about being a Cubs fan over the past few years has been the de-Cubification of Grace: he was such a fixture at first base for such a long time, but since he's left it seems he's been forgotten rather quickly. Of course, dissing the city that loved you during a World Series celebration helps people forget a bit faster.
Grace has zippo professional managerial experience, but hey, the D-Backs are a team that don't seem to care about that sort of thing. My question for you is: do you think Grace would make a good manager?
My take: while you never know until you actually see how a person manages, I think he would make, at best, an uninspired manager. I've listened to a few of his broadcasts this season, and he seems quite content to rattle off cliche after cliche about the game. "Boy, that's a nice feat" when Brenneman comments that someone or another had 100 rbi's. "You gotta have those character guys", "He gave himself up and that's as good as a home run in the clubhouse" -- these are the types of comments you're likely to hear from Gracie during a game. I rarely found his comments useful or well thought out, and I imagine he would be a "by-the-book" type of manager that would never question why he was "supposed" to bring in such-and-such a reliever or pinch hit in certain situations.
I could be totally wrong. Maybe he'd be a tactical genius who was great with the guys in the clubhouse. I'm certainly curious to see how he'd perform; I'm just glad we won't be displaying his managerial prowess with the Cubs.