Leo Mazzone has been a fixture in the Braves dugout for 16 years. Perhaps fixture is the wrong word, since that implies he remained fixed in one spot, but that's not quite right. You see, aside from coaching six Cy Young winners and being regarded as one of the best at his job in the league, Leo was known for one thing. He rocked. Literally. Seated on the dugout bench, he rocked back and forth, steadily, compulsively, perpetually. "There goes Leo," my mother would say. Fans of other teams, American League teams -- people who only saw Mazzone during the playoffs -- might think that he was anxious because of the importance of the game. Perhaps he was. But he oscillated just as much on opening day. I've always wondered how that habit formed.
But now he's packing up and heading to Baltimore and Roger McDowell is heading to Atlanta. I'm so sad to see him go. I'm not sure what this change will bring, but it adds to my awareness that the team I've loved for so long has shifted once again, becoming something different.
Goodbye, Leo. Rock on.