From dugout to booth, Mazzone active
FOX commentator keeps eye on returning to game as coach
CINCINNATI -- Leo Mazzone hasn't seen much Braves baseball in person lately, but he's no stranger to what's going on with his former team.
Or any other club, for that matter.
The former Braves pitching coach was in the booth doing color commentary for the FOX broadcast of the Braves-Reds game on Saturday. It was just his second game as a broadcaster -- a job he's taken on as another way to stay in touch with baseball in case he ever makes a return to the game.
"I've been following [the Braves] on TV and radio," Mazzone said. "I've been following Major League Baseball, in general. I've got the satellite package so I can keep up with teams. I'd like to know who's doing what in case somebody calls me to get back down on the field. That's the ultimate goal."
Mazzone spent 17 years with the Braves before leaving after the 2005 season to become the Orioles' pitching coach. He was dismissed two years later.
He spent the early part of the day visiting with Reds players after spending part of Friday night in the Braves' dugout.
"Yesterday, I was supposed to visit with both teams, but I sat there with Bobby Cox in the dugout and never did get over to Cincinnati's dugout," Mazzone said. "It was great to see everybody. I saw Kent Mercker and Paul Bako with the Reds, and Ken Griffey Jr. came over and gave me a big hug."
As for which job is easier, Mazzone said it wasn't even close.
"[Broadcasting] is good and keeps me busy," Mazzone said. "It can be a little nerve-wracking at times because it's a different ballgame at times, but you learn. Down on the field is nothing.
"I've just got to make sure I don't sound like I'm one-sided, which I am."
Brandon Harris is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.