Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dismissal by Phillies still stings ex-hitting coach Greg Gross

GG All-in and The Disappointments (Bitter Boy Records)

Knowing the possibility existed that he’d be among the dismissals did not help ease the sting on the final day of the 2012 season, when general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. summoned Gross into the manager’s office at Nationals Park.

“They called me in right after the game was over in Washington,” Gross said. “They told me they were going in a different direction, and they weren’t going to have me back.”

Gross said he walked out without saying a word.

“I basically thought I had been thrown under the bus,” he said. “I know we didn’t hit, but we also didn’t have much of a lineup for most of the year. It was disappointing.”

If Gross thought he deserved better than a pink slip after last season’s uphill battle without Ryan Howard and Chase Utley for half the season, he’s right. The Phillies also fired bench coach Pete Mackanin and first-base coach Sam Perlozzo, two men who were around when the team won its second straight National League pennant in 2009.

“It took me a long time to think about what I wanted to do,” Gross said. “I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to go back into [the Phillies’] system. That wouldn’t have happened. But going to a whole different organization where I don’t really know anybody, I looked at that as a positive thing.”

Repoz Posted: February 17, 2013 at 09:41 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. bookbook Posted: February 17, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4370956)
"Hitting Coach" = "Scapegoat"

Where has Greg Gross been all these years?
   2. spike Posted: February 17, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4370977)
Hitting coaches seem to be the tiger-repelling rocks of baseball. I empathize with the tenuosness of their position, but it's a pretty sweet gig while it lasts.
   3. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: February 17, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4370984)
He had a mess to work with last year, but I'm hard pressed to think of any evidence that he has any particular accomplishment to point to. Domonic Brown has not thrived under his tutelage; there have been many mitigating factor on the other hand. John AAAABerry had a nice 2nd half of 2011 but that didn't continue into 2012. A 2 month Kevin Frandsen surge? A BABIPpy good year for Juan Pierre? Adderall enabled Chooch fluke year? For all that, the veteran players all declined as you expect and more. Who knows?

So GG, yeah you're a scapegoat, but there is no compelling reason for you not to be scapegoated.
   4. bigglou115 Posted: February 17, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4370991)
3. I tend to think MLB level hitting coaches are largely overrated in their effects on hitters. It would seem all the underlying mechanics and such would have been ingrained before they ever see a guy, so their job boils down to offering tips and helping guys bust slumps. Asking him to fix Dom Brown in the limited amount of time him and Brown worked together, while Browns problems have obviously become ingrained over an entire MiLB career, seems to be asking a lot.

Obviously there are exceptions, I figure there are guys who espouse philosophies that can be good or bad (expand your zone if your a 4 hitter with 3 balls so you can drive in a run). And there are probably a few guys who really can change a players fundamentals to make them more slump proof. All that said it seems to me we're too quick to expect these guys to do miracles, but also too quick to give then credit when a player comes out of a slump likely caused by bad luck.
   5. McCoy Posted: February 17, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4371010)
About the only real use I could see for a major league hitting coach is for him to be the "captain" of the organization's hitting philosophy and for him to work and coordinate with the lower rungs of the organization to make sure that the philosophy is fully ingrained within the organization. Having said that I doubt they do that at all.
   6. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: February 17, 2013 at 03:09 PM (#4371047)
biglou, I think we are actually on the same page. My thinking is that there is nothing to point to to say GG is a good coach and deserves a job and there is nothing to say that he isn't that good and doesn't deserve a job. He's just 1 of seemingly 100s of guys capable of being an MLB hitting coach competing for 30 jobs, IMO. If he's not a miracle worker after a couple of years, let's try another one of the inexhaustible supply.
   7. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: February 17, 2013 at 05:25 PM (#4371100)
Would a team be wise to hire multiple hitting coaches for a major league team?

From the outside it seems impossible, even with 12-man pitching staffs, to spend sufficient time with every hitter. Granted, equal time may be a seriously sub-optimal goal. But asking one ex-major leaguer to work as a technical and psychological instructor for half a team seems, as others have pointed, essentially impossible.

Hitting's about as specialized a skill as playing golf and I don't think many (if any) swing coaches have even 10 professionals in their portfolio, plus you have short game and/or putting specialists sub-dividing the coaching landscape.
   8. flournoy Posted: February 17, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4371108)
The Braves have two hitting coaches: Greg Walker and Scott Fletcher. I don't really know how they divide their duties.
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 17, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4371134)
Scott Fletcher played in 1612 major-league games and hit 34 home runs, so hopefully Walker is in charge of the "power stroke" department.
   10. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: February 17, 2013 at 07:47 PM (#4371141)
But ... who's going to teach people to bat .280 with no power now?
   11. Walt Davis Posted: February 17, 2013 at 10:47 PM (#4371172)
Hitting's about as specialized a skill as playing golf and I don't think many (if any) swing coaches have even 10 professionals in their portfolio, plus you have short game and/or putting specialists sub-dividing the coaching landscape.

An interesting analogy. It probably goes deeper than that once you start including the Euro tour and the various sub-tours though. Since it's an individual sport, the very top teachers can sell themselves to an elite clientele but once you're outside the top 5 swing coaches or so, I suspect the client lists get pretty long.

But, yeah. It's always mystifying that somehow guys who weren't good hitters/pitchers somehow become good coaches but it's doubly mystifying that somebody like Greg Gross would have any insight into how Ryan Howard should swing. He might of course -- just because he had no power doesn't mean he doesn't understand how to swing for power. He might have even understood it as a player but, being Greg Gross, swinging for power still would have meant little more than warning track flyballs so he went with an approach that would be a lot more successful for him.

I suppose it's "natrual" to think that somebody like Gross would be a better hitting coach than Rob Deer but it seems common-sensible that you'd want Gross working with your slap hitters and a guy with power working with your power hitters. Next thing you know they'll have catchers as pitching coaches! :-)

Scott Fletcher as a hitting coach is pretty hilarious.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Jim Wisinski
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogMLB’s Biggest Star Is 40 (And He Just Retired). That Could Be A Problem.
(22 - 9:53am, Sep 30)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogMets close season optimistic for next year
(56 - 9:51am, Sep 30)
Last: Conor

NewsblogRemembering George ‘Shotgun’ Shuba, 1924-2014
(7 - 9:49am, Sep 30)
Last: Accent Shallow

NewsblogMadden: How dare the sabermetrics crowd and others try to diminish Derek Jeter’s greatness
(145 - 9:49am, Sep 30)
Last: Russ

NewsblogFangraphs/Cistulli: Post-trade WAR for deadline trades
(1 - 9:45am, Sep 30)
Last: AROM

NewsblogAL WILD CARD GAME 2014 OMNICHATTER
(10 - 9:42am, Sep 30)
Last: Alex meets the threshold for granular review

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8140 - 9:35am, Sep 30)
Last: Norcan

NewsblogThe Calm-Before-The-Storm and Postseason Prediction OMNICHATTER, 2014
(86 - 9:34am, Sep 30)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2014
(4 - 9:30am, Sep 30)
Last: bobm

NewsblogBaseball Past & Present: Vote: The 25 Most Important People in Baseball History.
(283 - 9:19am, Sep 30)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogOT August 2014:  Wrassle Mania I
(263 - 9:07am, Sep 30)
Last: Conor

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(440 - 8:49am, Sep 30)
Last: Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14!

NewsblogESPN: Ron Gardenhire out after 13 Seasons with Twins
(39 - 8:48am, Sep 30)
Last: Bug Selig

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2014 Discussion
(10 - 7:32am, Sep 30)
Last: bjhanke

NewsblogAttanasio discusses Brewers collapse, changes coming for 2015
(127 - 7:04am, Sep 30)
Last: Harveys Wallbangers

Page rendered in 0.2697 seconds
52 querie(s) executed