I was shocked and dismayed to learn that Gene Mauch had called his last shot as manager after 26 years. He seemed out of place in the dugout--a gentleman among boys, absurdly dressed in the same pajama-like clothing. Still, he carried a presence, a self-assured style and grace that would match Cary Grant at his sartorial best.
Always reputed to be among the most intelligent managers in baseball, Mauch was nevertheless unable to lead any of his teams to the World Series. I'm not about to offer any crackpot theories on why this is so, but I can relate to the kind of anger and frustration that Mauch has endured for more than a quarter century.
The fact is, smart people don't like to lose. They feel there is something more they could have done-- should have done--to make winning a reality.
And no one who knows baseball will expect those mindless aphorisms: "He gave it his best shot," "That's the way the cards were dealt" or "Somehow it just wasn't meant to be" to comfort Mauch in the slightest degree. But, in spite of what the world perceives as failure, Mauch has indeed come out a winner, a noble status that few aspire to. In baseball or life.
EDWARD C. LOMAX