Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Two Hitting Coaches Released

It has been reported (Chron) that hitting coach Joe Lefebvre and 1st base coach Willie Upshaw (who was also acting as a hitting coach) have been released by the Giants, though Lefebvre, who is Brian Sabean's old high school buddy, will be offered another position with the team (probably roving minor league hitting instructor :^), as was Upshaw (who was formerly the roving instructor, so maybe both will be roving now :^).

This move makes sense since the offense has been a problem the past few years, so you fire the guys who were in charge of that. Particularly, as the article suggests, both shared the same hitting philosophy. You would want to purge whatever is was that caused the poor hitting, and if both shared the same philosophy, both should go. But it would be very lame if they got a job as minor league hitting coaches in the farm system then, so I have to think that they get other jobs, HOPE that they get different jobs.

It would be interesting who they make as hitting instructor. That should give a hint as to the current hitting philosophy espoused by the team's management. Given all of Bochy's talk about small ball, I would think whoever they hire will be good at teaching that. I have no idea otherwise, just know that it would be interesting to see who they hire (Barry Bonds! :^). I wonder who Bochy's hitting coach was before with the 'Dres, could it be back to the future all over again, like his hiring of best bud Tim Flannery?

Ricky Henderson would have been an interesting choice as he could have been both hitting instructor as well as stealing instructor. But I think he's the Mets hitting coach right now, or at least some sort of coach. And he would be interesting, though whether he would be effective would be another thing. :^)

I've seen JT Snow mentioned as a possible candidate by some fans. I think he would be an interesting choice, based on how he was able to control the strike zone and get a lot of walks. But given that he was never able to figure out the park, he would be kind of useless then, wouldn't he, with our lefthanded hitters?

Jack Clark, I think, would also be an intersting choice. He might be able to instill in the hitters his "killer" instincts that earned him his nickname of Jack the Ripper. Plus he remembered when it was an huge thing to be an OF in the Giants farm system, the honor and the pride, and might be able to instill that in his young charges. However, I would be afraid of him taking said young hitters to local car dealerships and talking them into buying sportscars and asking for a ride. Bad news seems to follow him, so that would be the big risk there.

Hey, think Bochy could talk Tony Gwynn to take over batting coach duties? :^) Now THAT would be inspired! However, it would be unlikely, he seems happy coaching, plus could have done that with the 'Dres, HIS team for so long, when he retired and Bochy was manager, so why would he do that now?

That's all I can get out of this sleepy brain right now. I don't think most hitting coaches are that important to a team that he would make or break a season, though I would like to note that Ted Williams totally improved the team's offense after taking over as manager. Iconic batting coaches are few and far between, unfortunately. However, I think he can totally affect fans' expectations going into the 2008 season, after the failures of the past few years. And might be able to help out some of the hitters we have. So it will be interesting.

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