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Which ex-Dodger should be N.L. manager of the year?

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The Dodger way lives successfully on, if only in other lands and other teams.

The three current leading contenders for National League manager of the year are all former Dodgers –- Ron Roenicke with the Brewers, Kirk Gibson with the Diamondbacks and Charlie Manuel with the Phillies.

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It matches three different situations and personalities, with three similar results.

Roenicke is a low-key, thoughtful rookie manager who inherited what was expected to be a very good club. But under Roenicke, one of the nicest men in baseball, the Brewers have been better than good. They lead the Cardinals in the N.L. Central by six games.

Gibson is the Dodgers’ 1988 legend in his first full season as manager, after taking over on an interim basis last year. He appears to have made the most with the least, and the fiery player has been a thoughtful manager who has led Arizona to the top of the N.L. West.

Old-school Manuel may suffer from Phil Jackson syndrome. His team is loaded with talent, and everyone knew it before the first pitch. Yet he has deftly led a team of superstars and super egos to the best record in baseball.

Three deserving candidates. Only one can win, of course, but whoever it is will have Dodger roots.

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-- Steve Dilbeck


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