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KellyGram – No “I” in Team

 

 

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge fan of the USC Gamecocks and the Atlanta Braves—hands down, they’re my two favorite teams. This season has been a great one for the Braves, and they’re currently leading the National League East Division. Still, their long-time, former manager, Robert “Bobby” Cox—who is in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame—is my favorite MLB manager of all time, second to none! He stood up for his players, and if ever one of them was in danger of getting thrown out of the game, he marched out onto the field and took on the umpire’s fire. In his last season, Sports Illustrated featured a cover story on Cox—specifically about the 156 times he was ejected from the game during his career as a MLB manager.

Bobby Cox has had two successors since retiring from the Braves, and this past Sunday, the current manager, Brian Snitker, stood up for his team in a different but equally unforgettable way. In a most important game against the LA Dodgers—currently the best team in Major League Baseball—Snitker pulled the Braves’ most promising player, Ronald Acuna, Jr., out of the game after he lost time admiring a play instead of running it. The decision shocked fans because, frankly, no one with more potential has ever worn an Atlanta Braves uniform than the 21 year-old All-Star. When asked how he could unceremoniously bench an MLB prodigy in a critical game, Snitker said—and I quote—“As a teammate, you’re responsible for 24 other guys and that name on the front is a lot more important than that name on the back of that jersey.”

 

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Snitker’s decision delivered a lesson and reminder, to Acuna and fans alike, that no one player—no matter how talented—is more valuable than his team, and maintaining a collective mindset is critically important to a team’s success. To drive this point home, a player only just pulled up from the minor leagues hit a grand slam homerun to beat the Dodgers 5-3! And if there was any doubt as to whether Snitker’s decision to bench Acuna was anything but an act of tough love, it was resolved on Wednesday when the manager, in a very Bobby Cox fashion, was ejected from the game after heatedly defending his star player.


The message transcends baseball, and it inspired me to pause and reflect on our team philosophy at Mike Kelly Law Group. Although we strive to duly recognize individual accomplishments, the key ingredient to our firm’s success has always been to work and think as a team and leverage the talents and interests of each “player” in furtherance of providing our clients with the best possible experiences and results. Our 21 employees recognize the importance of their individual roles in the representation framework and that no one person can be credited with a courtroom victory. We push each other, uplift each other, and help each other, and like the Braves, this strategy works for our team!

Have a great weekend, and Go Braves!

 

Mike Kelly

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