Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Au revoir Joe Lefebvre

The blog-o-sphere is alive and kicking this a.m. about the role of a hitting coach at the ML level and the 'impact' of losing one and getting a new one. For the record, Lefebvre will still be in the organization. So will Willie Upshaw, who was supposedly our 'second' hitting coach. Next year we will see a new butt-slapping whisperer along the 1B line. Gee, I wonder who it will be? I vote for a strapping, manly-looking fellow who can intimidate umpires into making close calls go our way. I expect to see a lot of our team speed in action next year, weak-hitting guys straining like galley slaves to eke out dribblers. A good 1B coach could add 10 points to a batting average just by threatening to emasculate the man in blue if he calls our boy out. Seriously, what in God's name does replacing a 1B coach have to do with WINNING? (Now a 3B coach, on the other hand, can LOSE games for you. Tim-I-never-met-an-OF-with-a-good-throwing-arm-Flannery had his share of "git-along, little doggies" windmills that turned in to easy outs at home this year. With our new team speed, I expect that to continue!) So, who replaces Morgan (er, Joe) LaFey? Someone who actually TEACHES young players. Gives them the benefit of their experience. Scouts pitchers for them. Helps them relax and focus. Encourages good habits. Mike Sciosia (my favorite manager despite being a Smogger Scum) says "you have to encapsulate the game." In other words, do the task at hand, don't try to see the whole game and all that has to be done. If it is 1-2 with a guy on 2nd, shorten your swing and try to go the other way. Stuff like that. A good coach can help young players with their mental approach. Does such a guy exist? We'll see. Now if we can just get rid of Righetti, we might be able to build a bullpen with the plethora of young arms we have.

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