Tag Archive | "Hitting Coach"

The state of the Royals offense

If you are a fan of the long ball, the Kansas City Royals may not be the team for you.

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Kansas City has 54 home runs as a team this year. This puts them second to last in the MLB, in front of only the Marlins. The Royals are the only team in baseball that doesn’t have a player with 10 or more home runs. Eric Hosmer leads the team with nine homers, including five home runs in the teams’ last eight games. Alex Gordon is second on the team with eight home runs.

The Royals have only four players with five or more round-trippers. Billy Butler has six and Mike Moustakas has five. As a point of reference, the Orioles lead the league in homers and have eight players with five or more and four players with 10 or more.

Last year Butler led the team with 29 homers and Moustakas added 20, but both are well off the pace they set in 2012.

Not only does Kansas City struggle to hit home runs, but they also don’t walk and thus they are in the bottom half of the league in runs scored.

With 210 walks on the season, the Royals rank 26th in the majors. Kansas City is 21st in the league with 334 runs scored. They are also in the bottom half of the league in on-base percentage, slugging and OPS.

The strengths of the Royals’ offense are hitting for average and being aggressive in the running game. As a team, Kansas City is hitting .260 on the year and is 4th in the majors with 60 stolen bases.

For the offense to get better, they must get more runners on base, especially via the walk. With more base runners, the Royals can attack on the base paths and have more chances to hit with runners in scoring position.

George Brett, the new Royals hitting coach, needs to stress the importance of drawing walks and having a patient approach. Kansas City has plenty of good hitters, even if hitting home runs is not their strength. With more walks the team should see a spike in runs scored and will give the Royals’ pitchers the run support they’ve been lacking.

The sixth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians was a good example of the power of drawing a walk. Hosmer and Butler drew back-to-back free passes off of Ubaldo Jimenez and after Moustakas reached on an error, Lorenzo Cain launched a grand slam. It was nice that Cain came up with the big hit, but it was all set up by the lead-off walks.

The Royals took advantage of eight walks in the game and hit three home runs in a 10-7 victory over Cleveland.

More of the same would be nice for Royals fans.

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Is George Brett making the Royals a better team?

A couple of weeks ago, the Royals were in their worst funk of the season. After losing seven games in a row by May 29 and with a 21-29 record, the Royals made a change and reassigned hitting coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David to the Minor Leagues. In their place, the Royals hired interim hitting coach George Brett. Yes, the Royals legend George Brett.

George and Ned

At the time, it appeared to be a move done by the Royals to show they’re trying to do something and placate a cynical fan base. Hiring the Hall of Famer and the all-time Royals hits leader on an interim basis could either be a brilliant move that sparks the team into winning or become another flop that’s plagued the Royals for almost two decades.

So what happened on Brett’s first day of his job? The Royals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2, snapping the losing streak. Then the Royals went on to an 8-4 run with a six-game winning streak thrown in. Sure, the majority of the winning streak was against the Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros, teams they should beat. But a win streak is a win streak and they did take two out of their last three games with the A.L. Central leading Detroit Tigers.

So with the addition of George Brett, the Royals should be hitting for higher average, hitting more home runs and scoring more runs per game, right? Well, not exactly. When Brett joined the Royals, the team had a .261/.314/.375 average. Now they have a .256/.310/.365 average. They’re still last in the A.L. with 33 home runs, with just two home runs hit in June. Since Brett was hired, the Royals average 3.3 runs a game. They averaged 4.0 runs before Brett was hired. And if that’s not enough, Mike Moustakas has a .184/.250/.286 average, Chris Getz is at .211/.247/.319 and Alcides Escobar is at .238/.263/.313. The Royals won’t win many games if these team and individual stats don’t improve.

So does Brett bring any value to the Royals? I believe he does. Just his presence in the dugout should inspire confidence among the players to play better and the coaches and manager Ned Yost to perform better. When Brett talks about hitting, offense and baseball, I’m sure the players will listen. And while the stats don’t reflect it, the bottom line is the team is getting timely hits and winning games. It doesn’t hurt the pitching staff has an A.L. leading 3.45 ERA either.

George Brett didn’t need this job. He had a good life as a retired Royals legend. He could do what he wanted when he wanted. His legacy as a Royal was secure. Brett knows he’s risking his legacy and perhaps reputation by taking this job, even if it’s only an interim basis. As the hitting coach, Brett will work long hours and spend a lot of time on the road, making players less than half his age listen to him concerning hitting, offense and baseball. But at 60 years old, Brett still has that competitive fire and still looks for a challenge. And it’s obvious Brett has a passion for the Royals to succeed or else he wouldn’t take the job.

The Royals have made it clear Brett will decide at the end of the month if he stays with the team or lets someone else be the hitting coach. And if the Royals keep playing well, Brett might have a real hard decision to make.

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Texas League All Star Rosters Announced

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Springdale, AR – Four Naturals have been selected to represent the host team at the 77th Annual Texas League All Star Game presented by Castrol on June 25th at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, AR.

Texas League President Tom Kayser announced the 48 Players elected to the June 25th exhibition game between the North and South divisions that recognize the tops stars in the league.

Orlando Calixte leads the list of Naturals selected. The Shortstop is the Royals #5 Prospect according to MLB.com. Fueled by a May to remember, he will represent the Naturals as a starter for the North Division. Other Naturals selected include Angel Franco and Mitch Canaham ,who will back-up the Infield positions and Catching position respectively. RHP Yordano Ventura was also voted to the team. After eleven starts for Northwest Arkansas to begin the season, the Royals promoted the right-hander to AAA-Omaha last week. Former Texas League Manager of the Year Brian Poldberg will lead his usual field staff of pitching coach Jim Brower, hitting coach Nelson Liriano, trainer Masa Koyanagi, and conditioning coach Nate Dine as the coaching representatives of the North Divison’s squad.

Corpus Christi’s phenom George Springer highlights the list of South Division All-Stars. The slugger is the Houston Astros’ #3 prospect according to MLB.com and currently leads the league in homeruns and RBI. The League’s winningest pitcher David Martinez (9-0), ERA leader Jake Buchanan (0.80 ERA), and Catcher Rene Garcia also join Springer as representatives from Corpus. RHP Mike Foltynewicz, the #5 Houston prospect according to Baseball America, and OF Domingo Santana (Baseball America’s #11 Astros Prospect) round out the selections from the first-place Hooks.

The eight Arkansas Travelers elected as All-Stars represent the most by any team. The Frisco Rough Riders are represented by seven players which count as the most selections on the South Division side. Frisco Manager Steve Buechele and his staff of pitching coach Jeff Andrews, hitting coach Jason Hart, athletic trainer Carlos Olivas, and strength and conditioning coach Eric McMahon will lead the South Division All-Stars.

In total fifteen players who sit in their respective organization’s Top 30 Prospects lists, according to Baseball America, were chosen for the North-South Showdown. Players were selected through polling each division’s managers and broadcasters. A voter was not allowed to choose players from their own club.

All-Star Festivities in Northwest Arkansas include a Gala at Razorback Stadium on Monday June 24th with proceeeds going to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the Tyson Foods Home Run Derby at 6pm on Tuesday June 25th, and a Post-Game All-Star Fireworks Spectacular.

Some tickets are still available for these events by visiting nwanaturals.com/tickets, visiting the Arvest Ballpark Ticket Window or Guest Services during a Naturals Game, or by calling the Naturals Front Office at 479-927-4900.

The complete list of 2013 Texas League All-Stars are listed below.

 2013 North Divison All-Star Team

Starters                               

POS PLAYER TEAM
C JETT BANDY ARK
1B C.J. CRON ARK
2B ANGELYS NINA TUL
SS ORLANDO CALIXTE NWA
3B RUBEN GOTAY SPR
OF KENT MATTHES TUL
OF MIKE O’NEILL SPR
OF KYLE PARKER TUL
DH KIEL ROLING TUL

Reserves

POS PLAYER TEAM
C MITCH CANHAM NWA
INF ANGEL FRANCO NWA
INF TAYLOR LINDSEY ARK
OF RANDAL GRICHUK ARK
OF THOMAS PHAM SPR

Pitchers

PLAYER TEAM
LAY BATISTA ARK
CHRISTIAN BERGMAN TUL
KEITH BUTLER SPR
DERYK HOOKER SPR
BRANDON HYNICK ARK
KEVIN JOHNSON ARK
TYLER MATZEK TUL
MIKE PIAZZA ARK
KEVIN THOMAS SPR
YORDANO VENTURA NWA

2013 South Divison All-Star Team

Starters                               

POS PLAYER TEAM
C RENE GARCIA CC
1B ANTHONY ALIOTTI MID
2B ODUBEL HERRERA FRI
SS DUSTY COLEMAN MID
3B JAKE BLACKWOOD SA
OF REYMOND FUENTES SA
OF RICO NOEL SA
OF GEORGE SPRINGER CC
DH BRETT NICHOLAS FRI

Reserves

POS PLAYER TEAM
C TOMAS TELIS FRI
INF GUILDER RODRIGUEZ FRI
INF JUEDY VALDEZ SA
OF JAKE GOEBBERT MID
OF DOMINGO SANTANA CC

Pitchers

PLAYER TEAM
MATT ANDRIESE SA
JAKE BUCHANAN CC
MIKE FOLTYNEWICZ CC
DAVID MARTINEZ CC
CARLOS PIMENTEL FRI
KEVIN QUACKENBUSH SA
NEIL RAMIREZ FRI
BEN ROWEN FRI
MURPHY SMITH MID
MATT STITES SA

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and proud host of the 77th Annual Texas League All Star Game presented by Castrol. The Naturals play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, AR. For more information including statistics, ticket options, and more, please visit NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.

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George Brett Takes Over As Hitting Coach

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KANSAS CITY, MO (May 30, 2013) – The Kansas City Royals announced today that George Brett and Pedro Grifol will assume the interim hitting coach and major league special assignment coach roles, respectively, effective tonight when the Royals play in St. Louis at 7:15 p.m.  In a corresponding move, the Royals have reassigned coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David to the minor league organization.

“Obviously things have not gone as we would have expected and in light of the downturn in offensive production and poor results we’ve decided to make a change,” said Dayton Moore, Royals’ Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager.  “First of all, I can’t thank Jack and Andre enough for accepting this challenge with the Major League club.  They are both tremendously knowledgeable and hard working men who have already made our organization stronger by their work in the system.  I’m thankful that this organization has one of the greatest hitters and more importantly one of the greatest competitors our game has ever seen in George Brett and he has accepted our offer to join the coaching staff on an interim basis.  We’ve also added Pedro Grifol, who brings a wealth of knowledge to our staff and will work various aspects of the coaching staff.”

Brett, 60, is the Royals’ all-time hit leader with 3,154 during a playing career that spanned 1973-1993 and was capped with his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.  His familiar #5 was retired by the organization on May 14, 1994.  He is the only player in Major League history to win batting titles in three different decades, winning the American League crown in 1976, 1980 and 1990.  His 1980 season will always be remembered for his run at the elusive .400 mark, finishing the campaign with a .390 average and winning the American League Most Valuable Player Award.  A 13-time All-Star, Brett is the club’s all-time leader in every offensive category with the exception of stolen bases.  He was also a Rawlings Gold Glove winner for his work at third base.  Retired as a player following the ’93 season, this is Brett’s first-ever in-season coaching role in baseball.  He has served as a Vice President of Baseball Operations since his retirement and has worked on the field during spring training for the organization.

Grifol, 43, is in his first year in the Royals’ organization, initially assigned as the hitting coach for the Surprise Royals.  He joined Kansas City after 13 seasons in the Seattle chain, serving most recently as manager for High Desert (A) in 2012.  Previous roles have included area scout, manager at Everett (2003-05), Coordinator of Instruction (2006-08) and Director of Minor League Operations (2008-11).  Pedro was also on the Mariners’ major league staff for the second half of the 2010 season.  He was also the Winter League manager this past year for the Venezuela squad where Alcides Escobar played.  A Florida native, Grifol was the Florida State High School Player of the Year in 1988 out of Christopher Columbus High School and then helped Florida State University to the College World Series in 1989 and 1991, earning All-America honors in ’91.

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No offense, but the Royals offense isn’t very offensive

It’s a quarter of the way through the season, and May hasn’t been a good month for the Royals. Since May 1, the team is 7-12 and 21-22 for the season. In 11 of their 19 games, the Royals scored 3 runs or less with a 1-10 record in those games. They’ve suffered two three game losing streaks and a four game losing streak Since May 6.

Chris_Getz

Besides Alex Gordon (.352), Lorenzo Cain (.298) and Salvador Perez (.308), the other regulars on the lineup are hitting .267 or less. Mike Moustakas has the lowest batting average of .176. As a team, the Royals are last in the American League in home runs (27) and walks (108). They’re next to last in the A.L. in at-bats (1,483) and total bases (573). They’re 13th in the A.L. with 184 runs.

The bright side? Well, Royals batters have only 290 strikeouts, the least in the A.L. They’ve stolen 33 bases and caught stealing seven times. They’re second in the A.L. with 11 triples. They’re fourth in the A.L. with a .265 batting average, but are tenth in the A.L. with a .318 on-base percentage and 13th in the A.L. with a .386 slugging average.

The Royals focused most of their offseason upgrades on starting pitching, which was desperately needed. But little was done concerning the offense, except for firing hitting coach Kevin Seitzer and hiring new hitting coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David. Maloof and David were brought in to help the offense to drive the ball and hit more home runs. So far, that hasn’t happened yet. But would the Royals offense be any better if Seitzer was the hitting coach? It’s hard to say, but realize Seitzer was the hitting coach when the Royals had their 12-game losing streak in April 2012 and were 13th in the A.L. with 131 home runs.

So what can be done? The Royals could send Moustakas down to AAA Omaha, but that means the 38-year old Miguel Tejada would be the third baseman the Royals pick off of the Third Baseman Tree. Sending Chris Getz to Omaha and calling up Johnny Giavotella might help, but Yost would probably keep Giavotella on the bench and play Elliot Johnson at second base. The Royals could bench or release Jeff Francoeur, but is David Lough capable of being an everyday league average outfielder until Jarrod Dyson returns? As for firing Ned Yost and/or Dayton Moore, it might temporarily satisfy a frustrated fan base, but that won’t improve the offense. If there’s any blame to be placed, it’s on the Royals offense. Yes, they’re a young team and they’re pressing. But they have to adjust and get out of this offensive slump or it’s going to be another losing season.

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Cardinals Coach In Super Bowl Ad

Phillip Wellman, the hitting coach of the Springfield Cardinals, once had a monumental tirade on a baseball field.

PhillipWellman

That tirade has made it’s rounds on the internet and television for many, many years.  It resurfaced around the Cardinal corner of the internet a few years ago when Wellman was named the hitting coach for the Double A franchise.

Not sure what I am talking about?  Here you go:

Fast forward a few years and, thanks to Volkswagen and a Super Bowl Ad, and Wellman has found new life for an old tirade.

The following commercial ran during the 2013 Super Bowl.  At the :20 mark, we see a brief clip of the above “highlight” and by the 1:08 mark, he’s tossing bases around the grassy hill.

Don’t worry, I will always keep a look out for a little Cardinal baseball, even during the Super Bowl.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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Royals Announce Minor League Staff Additions

KANSAS CITY, MO (November 5, 2012) — The Kansas City Royals today announced that Terry Bradshaw was named the organization’s minor league hitting coordinator.  In addition, Jose Castro was named the assistant minor league hitting coordinator while Milt Thompson was named outfield, bunting and baserunning coordinator.

“Terry has been an integral part in the success of our young minor league hitters as they have progressed through our system and reached Kansas City,” said Royals Director of Player Development Scott Sharp.  “He now will have the ability to positively impact our hitters throughout all levels of the organization.”

“Jose is held in high esteem as a hitting coach,” said Sharp.  “We are excited that he will join the Royals and assist Terry in preparing our young players for the challenges of professional baseball.”

“Milt has a tremendous reputation in the game as being one of the best instructors in outfield, base running and bunting,” Sharp continued.  “We are very fortunate to have him join the Royals and know he will make an immediate impact on our young players.”

Bradshaw has spent the past four seasons as a hitting coach for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA).  Prior to that, he served five seasons with Triple-A Omaha.  Bradshaw played for parts of the two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1995 and 1996.

Castro joins the organization from the Seattle Mariners where he served as the minor league hitting coordinator for the past five seasons, including 2010 when he worked in several roles including interim Major League hitting coach and was named Staff Member of the Year.  2012 was Castro’s 24th as a professional hitting coach.  He played 13 seasons in the minor leagues from 1977-89 after being drafted by the Phillies in 1977.  Castro and his wife, Lisa, reside in Miami, Fla., and have two children, Rachel and Matthew.

Thompson has worked the past two seasons as the Houston Astros minor league roving outfield and baserunning instructor.  After retiring from a 13-year Major League career with the Braves, Phillies, Cardinals, Astros, Dodgers and Rockies in 1996, Thompson has served as an instructor and coach for the last 16 years with the Rays, Phillies and Astros.  He joined the Phillies as the Major League first base coach during 2003 and later worked for more than five seasons as the club’s Major League hitting coach, including the 2008 World Series title campaign. As a player, the left-handed hitting outfielder batted .274 with 214 stolen bases in his big league career and was a key member of the 1993 World Series champion Phillies, recording 5 RBI in Game 4 of the World Series.  Thompson resides in Sewell, N.J., with his family.

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St. Louis Cardinals coaching changes might be most-notable offseason moves

The St. Louis Cardinals made several changes to their coaching staff this week before free agency gets started. That’s not huge news, but it might be more than the team changes to its player roster during the offseason.

Hitting coach Mark McGwire said Friday he will take the same position with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cardinals also announced earlier in the week that bullpen coach Dyar Miller had not been offered a contract to stay with the team.

The team will replace Miller with Blaise Ilsley, who had been the pitching coach for the AAA-affiliate Memphis Redbirds, and it is expected to promote John Mabry next week from assistant hitting coach to McGwire’s old position as hitting coach, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The team will likely fill the assistant hitting coach position with someone already in the organization.

But don’t expect a similar amount of changes to the Cardinals roster during the offseason.

The Cardinals offered a $13.3-million qualifying offer Friday to starting pitcher Kyle Lohse, but it would be shocking to see Lohse accept that offer or remain with the team heading into 2013. Lohse’s value is very high right now given his 16-3 record in 2012 and a weak free agent class.

But other than Lohse, the Cardinals will likely trot out a team very similar to the 2012 squad. Lance Berkman won’t return, but every other position player on the team’s regular postseason lineup is under contract for next year.

Following the Cardinals disappointing seven-game loss to the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series, many people have trumpeted the need for improvements at the shortstop and second-base positions.

However, those yearnings for new faces up the middle might be misguided.

Assuming his elbow is healthy heading into Spring Training, Rafeal Furcal should be back for the start of the 2013 season. Regardless if people think he is the best possible solution, he is an accomplished veteran who can handle the position. That takes care of shortstop, and Pete Kozma can be Furcal’s back up.

Many also seem to think Kozma was a one-hit wonder down the stretch last season, which he very well might be, but he certainly played well enough while in the big leagues to earn serious consideration as the team’s back-up shortstop.

That is also a much cheaper scenario than signing a mid-level free agent such as Stephen Drew or Alex Gonzalez.

Second base is a tad more tricky. Skip Schumaker did not play well in the second half of the season, but he is still under contract for next season and has proven in the past that he can be an everyday starter. Daniel Descalso is the best fielder on the team besides Yadier Molina, but his surge at the plate in the postseason will have to become his norm for him to hold the second-base job for an entire season.

The Cardinals also have highly touted prospect Kolten Wong, who will have a shot to play second base for the Cardinals, perhaps as soon as 2013. Even if he needs more time in the minor leagues, he figures to be the team’s long-term plan at that position.

Maybe a veteran could fill the spot until Wong is ready, but this year’s free agent class at second base includes players such as Placido Polanco, Marco Scutaro and Adam Kennedy. The Cardinals have already had Polanco and Kennedy earlier in their careers, and both are surely in the final steps of their careers.

Scutaro might be an option. He played great for the Giants this year, hitting .362 in 61 games after he was traded mid-season from the Colorado Rockies, but he is a career .276 hitter. That’s not bad, but Schumaker is a career .288 hitter and does a fine job defensively.

All of that means the team that sneaked into the playoffs, made a miracle comeback to win the division series in the playoffs and missed the World Series by one game will likely be the same team that takes the field on Opening Day 2013.

Changes are always interesting and exciting, but St. Louis fans probably won’t have many of those feelings this winter.

The current team, with supposedly full seasons from Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter and a large group of talented, young pitchers, already has the pieces to create expectations that it should at minimum be in strong playoff contention at the end of the season.

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Big Mac Leaves St. Louis

One year ago, Cardinal Nation tasted the very definition of bittersweet as the team reveled in its 11th—and inarguably most dramatic and improbable—World Series Championship while also saying goodbye to Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan, the outgoing brain trust of so much on-the-field success over a decade and a half in St. Louis. Their departure set in motion a transfer of eras to new manager Mike Matheny, and on Friday another big chunk of that transfer disappeared from the Busch Stadium landscape and headed west.

As reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire is expected to depart for the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he will assume the same role under manager Don Mattingly. McGwire cited a desire to be closer to his family as the reason for the move.

It’s hard to know just what a hitting coach contributes to a major league team. He does not teach players to hit—they have to know how to do that before they get past Double-A. He can’t provide a magic bullet to kill a slump, or a magic potion to prolong a streak (not in this era, anyway). Certainly some combination of encouraging words, a watchful eye for changes in approach, and a general bank of knowledge to pass on to the younger generation has a lot to do with it. In the World Series film from 2011, a scene from the batting cages before Game 6—yes, that Game 6—shows David Freese horsing around a bit with McGwire and talking about his stance. McGwire tells him, “Just keep doing what you’re doing, David.” Was it a profound, Nostradamus-like vision from Big Mac? Maybe, maybe not. But it was a neat moment that perfectly framed the notion that McGwire knew what he was talking about as a coach at least some of the time. He wasn’t just the recipient of a bone tossed by La Russa, as so many surmised after the announcement of his hiring before the 2010 season.

But there was Mark McGwire the player, too, and no matter how controversial his feats as an on-the-field Cardinal were, he left an indelible mark on this great franchise in 1998. And though injuries were making it the twilight of his career, he did contribute to the playoff teams in 2000-01 that started the remarkable run the Cards had under La Russa and continue to have under Matheny. It seems odd that McGwire was in the same lineup as Albert Pujols, doesn’t it? But he was…they were teammates for Pujols’ first year as a Cardinal, and he was Pujols’ hitting coach for his last year as a Cardinal. Now that’s bookending a relationship.

And, really, McGwire did the same with the Cardinals as a whole. No one felt any closure with Big Mac after the steroid scandal broke, and we all watched uncomfortably as he painfully stood before that congressional hearing in 2005. He finally took his medicine—albeit years too late—and redeemed himself by doing his job and doing it well. He proved he deserved to be a part of the game again, and he proved he was worthy of donning the Birds on the Bat again. Both were longshots at best for almost a decade.

Maybe it is a shame that McGwire is leaving the Cardinals but still coaching. In the storybook version of this tale, he retires a Cardinal and that’s the end of it. But this is real life, and moving on to another team not only validates his desire to remain in the game; it validates the game’s desire to keep him around.

So long, Big Mac. Thanks for the memories.

Chris Reed also writes for InsideSTL Mondays and Bird Brained whenever he feels like it. Follow him on Twitter @birdbrained.

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Royals hire Maloof David as their hitting coach

In baseball, you can never have enough pitching and the Royals figure you can’t have enough hitting coaches. The Royals hired Jack Maloof as their new hitting coach and Andre David as the assistant hitting coach for the 2013 season, replacing the departed Kevin Seitzer.

Maloof, 63, spent the last five seasons as special assistant to player development and hitting coordinator. He was in the Atlanta organization from 2002-07 and the Marlins’ hitting coach from 1999-2001. Maloof will be the primary on-field batting coach.

David, 54, has been a part of the Royals organization for 14 years. He was the Royals Minor League hitting coach from May 2005 to May 2006. For the last three seasons, David was the hitting coach for Surprise in the Rookie Arizona League. David will assist Maloof with batting coach duties.

With both Maloof and David being a part of the Royals organization, they have familiarity with the current Major League players and players in the Minor League system. The 2012 Royals were fourth in the A.L. with a .265 batting average, but were 12th in the A.L. with 676 runs scored and tied for last in the A.L. with 131 home runs. Maloof and David hope to improve the Royals power hitting and home run totals.

But why two hitting coaches? There’s concern two hitting coaches might send mixed signals to the players, but Maloof and David insist they work well together and are on the same page hitting wise. If that’s the case, they can work on two different players at the same time, being able to coach more players. And though the hitting philosophy of Maloof and David are likely to be the same, some players might “click” better with one of the coaches, increasing their chances to improve their hitting. Of course there’s the danger of the players forming “cliques,” liking one coach over the other, which could cause friction.

There’s also the “extra set of eyes” from David that gives Maloof another perspective. During games, David will be in the stands, observing batters to see what they’re doing right or doing wrong. Maloof can use the information to improve the Royals hitting.

Many teams have their pitching coach as the “primary” coach and their bullpen coach as the “assistant” pitching coach, so it’s not too far fetched to have two hitting coaches. The Giants, Tigers, Braves, Cardinals, Phillies and Padres have two hitting coaches. The Giants and Tigers are in the World Series, and the Braves and Cardinals made the playoffs, so there’s the argument two hitting coaches can be successful. With the hire of Maloof and David, The Royals are the second A.L. team to employ two hitting coaches.

The promotions of Maloof and David won’t magically propel the Royals above .500 and into the playoffs. The Royals main focus this off season is starting pitching. But they need players like Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas to reach their offensive potential and the team needs to score more runs. The Royals hope Maloof and David will take the team’s offense to the next level. Who knows, maybe they’ll get Chris Getz hitting opposite field home runs. Hey, they’re hitting coaches, not miracle workers.

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