Ex-Cards Exec Manno Lands in Atlanta

Former St. Louis Cardinals scouting and player development executive Bruce Manno has been hired to be the Atlanta Braves' assistant general manager.

After the numerous changes associated with the end of the Walt Jocketty regime in St. Louis, another of the Cardinals front office departees landed softly as expected when Bruce Manno was named as the Atlanta Braves' new assistant general manager.

Manno, 53, spent the last six seasons with the Cardinals before his contract was not renewed for next season. The Ohio native spent the first five years of that stint in the role of Director of Player Development before he was asked to step aside into the newly-created role of Senior Director of Professional Scouting and Special Assistant to Jocketty.

Twelve months ago, Cardinals Chairman of the Board and General Partner Bill DeWitt, Jr. awarded Manno's player development role to a hire of his, Vice President Jeff Luhnow, against the wishes of Jocketty. This move and its aftershocks are representative of the front office rift which ultimately claimed the jobs of Jocketty and Manno, among others.

Manno has been in the AGM role before, serving Milwaukee in that capacity from 1987 through 1994, culminating his 15 years in scouting and player development assignments in the Brewers organization. He was also an assistant general manager in Baltimore in 1999 just prior to joining the Cardinals.

Manno's boss in Baltimore is the same man who will be his new boss. Frank Wren was the Orioles GM in 1999 and two weeks ago was named to replace John Schuerholz in the same capacity with the Braves. Manno is Wren's first hire in his Braves job, a man he hired basically to replace himself.

In a somewhat-related move, last week, the Washington Nationals named former Cardinals Director of Professional Scouting Marteese Robinson their new East Coast crosschecker. At Seton Hall University, Robinson's teammates included former Major Leaguers Craig Biggio, Mo Vaughn and John Valentin along with current Nationals Director of Scouting Dana Brown. Bruce Manno's son, Nick, has been the Nats' assistant director of player development since 2005.

Jocketty, who is being paid by the Cardinals for the 2008 season, has not disclosed his next move. Others who have left the organization in recent weeks include Minor League Field Coordinator Jim Riggleman, Minor League Hitting Coordinator Gene Tenace and several coaches.

Perhaps as much or even more so than in most other lines of business, past relationships are important in securing jobs in baseball. As a result, it is only a matter of time until all are employed again.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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