Best Coach - 2006
Readers' Choice: Tony La Russa
Jose Oquendo is the Jose Oquendo of this year's "Best Coach" category. Even as the managers of all three of St. Louis' professional sports teams piloted their clubs to subpar seasons, only Oquendo, the Cardinals' "Secret Weapon" of the 1980s and 1990s stands out. During the World Baseball Classic this past spring, Oquendo moved from the third-base coaching box to the dugout to manage the Puerto Rican national team. As he did throughout his playing career, Oquendo made a flawless transition, leading Puerto Rico to a 3-0 record in the opening round. Things didn't go so well in the next round, as Oquendo's squad which featured Carlos Beltran, Bernie Williams and Ivan Rodriguez (not to mention Redbird receiver Yadier Molina) beat Albert Pujols and his Dominican mates 7-1 but lost 6-0 to Venezuela and then was narrowly defeated 4-3 by Cuba to end the run.