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Marv Foley takes on Tulsa Drillers

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ New Tulsa Drillers manager Marv Foley says a baseball team's success depends more on the players than their leader.

``A donkey has never won the Kentucky Derby,'' he said. ``A thoroughbred wins it. You can't take a bad team and win a championship. You can make a bad team better, but you have to have the players with the right approach and techniques to win.''

Foley, named manager of the new Colorado Rockies farm team in November, arrives in Tulsa after managing Newark to the Atlantic League title. He is the only manager to win pennants in three Triple-A leagues.

Foley spent Monday at Drillers Stadium during his first trip to Tulsa. He stopped in Tulsa en route from his Sarasota, Fla., home to Tucson, where he will be a Rockies spring-training coach until the minor leaguers report early next month.

Foley has managed playoff teams in six minor leagues. He was hired by the Double-A Drillers to end a streak of seven straight losing seasons.

``I have a formula. I do the things I do for a reason,'' Foley said. ``They've been successful in the past and I see no reason why they can't be successful here.''

Plenty of top talent appears headed to Tulsa.

Colorado's top pitching prospect, Chin-Hui Tsao, is slated to lead the Drillers' starting rotation. Tsao, coming off Tommy John elbow surgery, was 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA for high Single-A Salem.

Others likely to make the jump from Salem into Tulsa's rotation are Kip Bouknight (14-7), Scott Dohmann (13-5) and lefty Nicholas Webb (10-10).

Edmond North product Matt Roney is a slim possibility for the pitching staff. Roney, who split last season between Carolina and low Single-A Asheville, was selected in the major league Rule 5 draft by Pittsburgh, who dealt him to Detroit.

Foley said he has been impressed by the Drillers' new parent organization, the Colorado Rockies. He also has managed in the White Sox, Cubs and Baltimore Orioles farm systems.

``They appear to be very caring,'' he said. ``Communication has been very good; they call me quite often. They have definite positive feelings about what's going on, what's happening. That's a little different from where I came from with the Orioles.

Tulsans will be able to see Foley and the 2003 Drillers for the first time when the Rockies visit for an exhibition March 30. The Drillers' home opener April 13 is against Frisco, Texas, led by former Tulsa manager Tim Ireland.
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