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Sports & Recreation

Best Coach 

Charlie Manuel

Snicker at his syntax. Dread his drawl. Josh his John-Wayne-with-a-hernia gait. But last we looked, the Indians were comfortably atop the A.L. Central standings. Cleveland's headed for the playoffs where, barring some Hargrovian meltdown, the Tribe's fortunes will be determined by the guys who actually play the game. Yes, Manuel draws from an awesome lineup, but he's also had to manage injuries (Finley, Fryman, Nagy, Shuey, Wright), head cases (Burba, Rocker), and stubborn veterans (pick 'em). Surely he and his staff deserve some credit for the emergence of Sabathia and Baez, and the MVP-quality seasons of Gonzalez, Thome, and Alomar.

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