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BEST LOCAL SPORTS COACH Miami 2004 - Jack McKeon

Readers' Choice: Larry Coker

Keep your sabermetrics, kiddo. The only number Jack McKeon needs to know when it comes to baseball is 72. That's how old McKeon was when Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria tapped the venerable coach to take over as manager of his rudderless young team midseason in May 2003. And that's how many years McKeon's got in his gut telling him how to play ball. He might not know exactly the right names of any of these kids running around the field in black and teal, but he knows who to play, who to pull, and when. Can a team win a World Series on bunts? Can a pitcher keep hurling fire on only three days rest? Before the 2004 series any other baseball person would have said, "No!" Ask the old guy, and the answer is the young Florida Marlins winning their second world championship in six years.

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