Is Former MLB Star Dennis Cook the New Manager for Team Poland?

Dennis Cook, to be the manager of the National Baseball Team of Poland

by Nouman Rasool
Is Former MLB Star Dennis Cook the New Manager for Team Poland?
© Ezra O. Shaw /Allsport

Polish Baseball Federation takes a huge step forward, naming Dennis Cook, for the position of the manager of the National Team. Former Olympian Paul Bragiel will join Cook in the dugout as the new Bench Coach and Special Advisor, bringing more than two decades of experience as a player and manager at the major league level.

Enhancing the leadership, the team adds vast international experience with the addition of veteran MLB manager John McLaren to its staff. Cook, who spent 15 years in MLB with highlights that included World Series championships in 1997 and 2002, said he was looking forward to the job with Poland.

He said the Polish team bore a resemblance to other teams in Europe he has previously coached: "The potential is there, and the federation is making a concerted effort to elevate their game. A wealth of experience the team will lean on is that of John McLaren, who managed the Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals during his time.

He had been a coach for the Italian and Chinese National Teams and worked in the inaugural World Baseball Classic. "I'm very excited to work with and develop the talent in the Polish team, in preparation for their success on the international stage especially looking at the 2026 World Baseball Classic," said McLaren.

Born to Polish parents and an experienced entrepreneur, Paul Bragiel is using his business instinct, which he sharpened during his sports career, to lay a solid basis for baseball in Poland. Bragiel is encouraged by what he saw from the teams representing Italy, the Netherlands, and England, and the position he takes with Poland.

Poland's Achievements

Poland, ranked 72nd level with Finland in the WBSC Konami World Rankings, gets ready to host the group in the Baseball European Championship Qualifier in July. A squad of 29 will come up against Ukraine, Lithuania, Finland, and Romania in Kutno as they look to improve on their position in the world order.

The federation also seems at one with the pool of talent by Polish-Americans in the U.S., where at some point, there were reports citing that they drew some inspiration from some of the strategies employed by England to fire up its team's prowess.

"Infusing our team with Polish-American players could be a game-changer," Cook said, speaking to the depth of potential talent with Polish heritage in the U.S. The 26th of April firstly in Kutno, then during the first days of May in Chicago.

This reflects the transatlantic effort of putting a very strong team together. Cook, McLaren, and Bragiel still showcase dedication and passion to develop and make a notable impact in the next World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. This trio has certainly proved to be the one to watch out for and could indicate bright days ahead for Polish baseball.