LAKE BUENA VISTA FL - FEBRUARY 21: Coach Roger McDowell #45 of the Atlanta Braves during Photo Day at Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports of Complex on February 21 2011 in Lake Buena Vista Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
1 Total Update since April 29, 2011
about 2 years ago Update 0 comments
Coming on the heels of yet another witness coming forward to complain about Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell's behavior before a Braves/Giants game on April 23rd, Major League Baseball suspended McDowell for two weeks without pay.
McDowell got into an exchange with Giants fans when some heckled Braves backup catcher David Ross. According to reports, McDowell made obscene gestures with a bat, shouted profanities, and threatened a fan who told him that he should watch what he says in front of kids. After the Braves placed him on administrative leave, it was expected that MLB would take additional action.
McDowell has been the pitching coach for the Braves since the 2006 season, taking over for rocking icon Leo Mazzone.
about 2 years ago Update 3 comments
Technically, Roger McDowell has been placed on administrative leave:
The Atlanta Braves placed pitching coach Roger McDowell on administrative leave Friday while they investigate allegations that he made homophobic comments and crude gestures toward fans before a game in San Francisco last weekend.
McDowell also is accused of using a baseball bat to threatening a fan who objected to his actions.
The former major league reliever apologized in a statement, but the team barred him from the bench heading into a three-game series against St. Louis.
If you believe one of the eyewitnesses, this was some pretty disgusting behavior (if you haven't already been so blessed, here's the weirdest press conference ever). My guess is that McDowell won't lose his job over this, but will have to make some pretty serious amends.
Over at Baseball Musings, David Pinto opines, "The Braves are making the right move here. They don’t want another John Rocker situation on their hands. Of course, pitching coaches are more expendable than closers."
That depends on the pitching coach and the closer, right? Would the Cardinals rather give up Dave Duncan, or Mitchell Boggs? Granted, Craig Kimbrel's pretty amazing. But the Braves' pitching has been pretty good under McDowell, and he probably deserves at least some of the credit.