Within the Ducksnorts April Review, Geoff defends Dave Magadan and gives us some questions that we should ask ourselves before ordering Mags be rended limb from limb. In this post, I offer my rebuttal.
If a hitting coach wields a significant amount of influence over the performance of his charges -- particularly veterans who have a track record and presumably understand what their job entails and how to do it -- then why isn't he paid as much as the hitters he is supposed to be coaching?
For exactly the same reason that a writer or a director doesn't make as much money as an actor. As much influence as they may have on the performance, in the end the performers are the ones performing and should be making the money. While the effect of talent is huge, the writer and the director can do a lot towards how well the film turns out, particularly if it turns out poorly.
If the hitting coach's presence is not such a significant factor, then why aren't the players held accountable for their own performance? Shouldn't they be fired for not performing to expectations?
Two words: Players Union. Two more words: Guaranteed Contracts.
If the hitting coach must be fired, then who will replace him? You can't just fire someone without having a plan to improve things. I mean, you can -- it happens all the time; but there's a word for that. Hint: it starts with "s" and rhymes with "tupid."
Tim Flannery can be the hitting coach. He has coaching experience. Players love him. If he's not really going to affect how the players hit then all that matters is we get somebody friendly in there.
How long would any new hitting coach be given to "make the players perform" (as if he could "make" them do anything) before meeting the same fate as his predecessor?
Here's the trouble with Magadan, as I see it. Others might see it differently. I don't read in the papers that any of the players are particularly enamoured with whatever philosophy he's trying to implement. I may be wrong, but I feel like I read enough of the blurbs and articles that come out. It seems like the only people going to bat for him are other coaches and the front office. Remember when Tony was on the team and he would always talk about Merv Rettenmund? You kinda got the feeling that Merv could be credited with something
even if it was seemingly minor.
What gets me is the idea that Dave Magadan won't have any effect on the hitting at all. If this is the case, then get rid of the position. We don't need a hitting coach. If a hitting coach really can't have any effect on the outcome of the game, then it's an extra person that doesn't need to be in the dugout.