‘Clubhouse culture is huge’: MLB teams turning to experienced managers

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OK, maybe baseball front offices are realizing that experience does matter, with the Texas Rangers turning to three-time World Series champion manager Bruce Bochy. 

Bochy, 67, is one of seven managers older than 60, entering the season: 

Dusty Baker, Houston Astros, 73 Brian Snitker, Atlanta, 67. Buck Showalter, New York Mets, 66 Bud Black, Colorado Rockies, 65 Terry Francona, Cleveland Guardians, 63 Bob Melvin, San Diego Padres, 61

The common denominator behind their success is that they all have created tremendous clubhouse chemistry, which is one of the reasons Rangers GM Chris Young hired Bochy. 

‘I want to create the best environment to get the best out of our employees,’ Young told USA TODAY Sports, ‘whether it’s a coach, a player, a staff member, or in the front office. I believe we are all products of our environment, and clubhouse culture is a huge part of all winning teams. For Boch, that’s one of his areas of expertise. 

‘I feel like clubhouse culture is huge. It’s not talked about enough because it’s not perfectly quantifiable, and makes it hard to really identify. I’m not sure I can fully articulate what all goes into that, but you know it when you see it, both good and bad.’ 

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Chicago Cubs manager David Ross, 45, says he learned invaluable lessons playing for Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox, Baker and Bochy, with Snitker as his third-base coach. 

‘The stuff I base my decisions on,’ Ross says, ‘is the stuff I base my clubhouse culture on. I was in Bochy’s locker room. I was in Bobby Cox’s locker room. I’m a product of their example. 

‘Think of what they’ve seen, the situations they’ve seen. They’ve seen so much more than I’ve seen, being in the bigger moments, being on that stage. I can’t imagine their heart rate gets too high. I base a lot of the things I do from managers I had. 

‘Looking back, good leadership puts those guys in position to succeed. They make sure they’re enjoying each other. When adversity hits, or good things hit, they know how to address the team, ride the wave, and stay consistent. 

‘All of the good managers I’ve had are pretty consistent on a daily basis.’

This post appeared first on USA TODAY