The manager Jack McKeon is a daily communicant. When I saw the Marlins play in Cincinnati earlier this year, most of the team was at Mass in the Cathedral that Sunday. Mike Lowell and Mike Redmond sat a few pews in front of me and both conducted themselves like this wasn't an infrequent occurence in their lives. Perhaps the real secret of the Marlin's success is their manager's faith and his dependence on God not on sports.
From the Sun-Sentinel:
He arrives just before the 8:30 a.m. mass at St. Matthew in Hallandale Beach, just another worshipper in shorts, golf shirt and gray hair. Plus, there's the cigar. You've got to love this touch. Even here, Jack McKeon has a trademark cigar puffing, as well as a strategy for it.
"This is my spot, right here," he says, placing the cigar carefully on the ledge of a post before walking a few steps through the church door.
Do you want to know how it felt to wake up Thursday as everyone's Manager of the Year, as the surprising boss of baseball's surprise team, as the leader of the Marlins as they stand one game up in the wild-card playoff race with 16 games to go?
It felt about the same as it did any day. That's just being honest. The man's 72. He has his days down pat by now, no matter where he wakes up. Go to mass. Take communion. Say a few prayers. And then, of course, hope your cigar is still waiting for you on the way out.