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Best Professional Sports Coach/Manager Dallas 2001 - Johnny Oates

Readers' Choice: Don Nelson, Dallas Mavericks

How we miss Big John. What a kind soul, always giving, never taking. Always eager to help the media with an informative dose of sarcasm and contempt. And that voice, that shrill, disagreeable voice, well, it doesn't get much better than that. Yeah, he was great. Then that no-good Tom Hicks and his toady, Doug Melvin, fired Johnny and instated Jerry Narron, who's a good guy but reminds us of poi. (Have you ever eaten poi? It's a lot like talking to Narron for more than a minute.) And for what, we ask? OK, maybe the Rangers weren't doing so hot. Maybe they were 20-some games out of first place and the pitching was ridiculous and the hitting was worse. And? The point? This award is for the best coach/manager, and, if you talked to the ornery one long enough, you'd get the sense that the losing had nothing to do with him, because he was a top baseball strategist, and everything to do with his no-good players, who were no good. So here's to you, Johnny, you being from another planet. You may be unemployed, but your knowledge of hit-and-runs and propensity to remind reporters of their baseball shortcomings is unparalleled.

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