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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Jackie Bradley’s ‘stubbornness’ got him sent back to minors

They’re throwing Bradley under the bus in Boston. Must mean he’s on his way out for Giancarlo Stanton.

According to two league sources, there was a growing sense of frustration within the Red Sox clubhouse—both coaches and players—with Bradley due to his perceived “stubbornness with the coaching staff.” One source added that Bradley was unwilling to work with coaches to fix his swing. Both sources said Bradley’s attitude was one of the main reasons he was sent to the minors.

Manager John Farrell did not give Bradley the greatest of reviews prior to Tuesday’s game against the Yankees when asked about the outfielder’s progress in the minor leagues.

“Jackie was well aware when we sat down and described what needs to be the focal point. I don’€™t know that has necessarily needs to be repeated right now. The reports have been mixed,” Farrell told reporters in New York. “There have been days as he’€™s executed between the lines as he’€™s been working on but it’€™s still a work in progress.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 03, 2014 at 12:52 PM | 82 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jackie bradley jr., john farrell, red sox

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   1. TJ Posted: September 03, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4784791)
Great- now we can all be inundated by Red Sox Nation asking about why wouldn't the Marlins take Bradley Jr, Middlebrooks, Bryce Brentz, and Allen Webster for Stanton...
   2. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 03, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4784848)
According to two league sources, there was a growing sense of frustration within the Red Sox clubhouse—both coaches and players—with Bradley due to his perceived “stubbornness with the coaching staff.” One source added that Bradley was unwilling to work with coaches to fix his swing. Both sources said Bradley’s attitude was one of the main reasons he was sent to the minors.


If my "broken" swing had gotten me to the point where I was one of the best baseball players in the world, I'd be reluctant to allow people who were never as good as I am to F with it also.
   3. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 03, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4784857)
Anyway, the excerpt misses the best part of the story, which was Bradley's tweet:

Say what you want about me as a ball player but trying to tarnish my character or my work ethic isn't going to fly..truth will reveal itself
   4. McCoy Posted: September 03, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4784859)
Youth and great athleticism got him to where he is at now. His hitting sucks and also his hitting coach has shown himself to have been a much much better hitter for far longer than Jackie has even been playing professionally.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: September 03, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4784862)
#2 - terrible attitude right there.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 03, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4784867)
If my "broken" swing had gotten me to the point where I was one of the best baseball players in the world, I'd be reluctant to allow people who were never as good as I am to F with it also.

Does this also apply by definition to every other player in the Major Leagues, even a player in a season long slump where he's just lunging at pitches way outside the strike zone? Christ, one of the defining characteristics of the truly "best" hitters is that they're always looking to detect flaws in their swings, however tiny and however invisible they may appear on a video.

   7. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 03, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4784868)
If my "broken" swing had gotten me to the point where I was one of the best baseball players in the world, I'd be reluctant to allow people who were never as good as I am to F with it also.


Your oft-articulated position that coaching and leadership are by definition useless is always refreshing.
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 03, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4784870)
I'm gonna just hazard a guess that there *may* have been some friction between Ray and the partners during his first couple years as an associate.
   9. kthejoker Posted: September 03, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4784872)
Yeah, I'm not sure JBJ is touted for his bat.
   10. madvillain Posted: September 03, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4784873)
Seems like every time something doesn't work in Boston the media does one of these hit pieces to point the blame at anywhere but the club. Kinda the opposite of most towns, including Chicago and NYC media.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: September 03, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4784876)
JBJ has never been one of the best baseball players in the world.
   12. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 03, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4784877)
JBJ has never been one of the best baseball players in the world.


He obviously has been.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: September 03, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4784891)
JBJ is one of the best 1,000 players in the world. But that's not good enough.
   14. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 03, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4784896)
Mookie Betts >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> JBJ.
   15. Mr2bits Posted: September 03, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4784932)
If my "broken" swing had gotten me to the point where I was one of the best baseball players in the world, I'd be reluctant to allow people who were never as good as I am to F with it also.

Uh....JBJ has an OPS+ of 65 so far on his young career. Greg Colbrunn had a career OPS+ of 106, and several strong seasons. He also had great postseason numbers, and contributed to a World Series victory. I'm thinking thus far, JBJ has never been as good a hitter as Greg Colbrunn.
   16. BDC Posted: September 03, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4784934)
Ray, you play piano, right? Don't supreme talents often study with teachers who were never as good as they are, and gladly and attentively? What does one call a great young pianist who thinks s/he has nothing more to learn?
   17. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: September 03, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4784935)
I agree with Ray's post 2. Mind you, that doesn't mean that I'd be correct in doing so or that there aren't consequences from resisting (or going along with it), but it's ultimately my career. How many trevor Bauer long toss threads have we had anyway?
   18. JJ1986 Posted: September 03, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4784942)
Why would anyone leak this now? You either upset a player you plan to keep or run down his trade value. Better to wait until right after he's on another team.
   19. The District Attorney Posted: September 03, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4784949)
Speier:
As reported at the time of his assignment to Pawtucket, there have been questions inside the Red Sox organization about whether Bradley was receptive to some of the messages that he was receiving from team officials and coaches — a concern that is distinct from his willingness to work or his desire to improve. While those questions were real, however, GM Ben Cherington suggested that such concerns had nothing to do with the move to demote Bradley and call up Mookie Betts to be the everyday center fielder in mid-August.

“First of all, as far as the question about whether that was part of the decision to send him down, I can say absolutely not... There’s never been an issue from the Red Sox’s perspective of whether he’s willing to work or whether he cares, anything like that.
Bradley has taken issue with the suggestion that he needs to develop his routine. But Cherington suggested that while the center fielder does have a pregame routine, he needs to find one that permits him to develop more consistent offensive success.

“I wouldn’t want to get into every detail of conversations we’ve had with him but I think on the one hand there is work and then there is finding a way to excel and finding what works for you and what works for a particular player to excel at the major league level,” said Cherington. “Jackie has a routine that has worked for him to this point. And now he just had to find the way to for him to be successful offensively, a little bit more successful offensively at the major league level. Does that require an adjustment? It may. Ultimately he’s going to find an answer to that.”
   20. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 03, 2014 at 06:47 PM (#4784951)
I agree with Ray's post 2.

well yeah if you frame it the way Ray does:

If my "broken" swing had gotten me to the point where I was one of the best baseball players in the world,

well sure he's hell of lot better than me, but he's not remotely one of the "best" among MLB players

I'd be reluctant to allow people who were never as good as I am to F with it also.

Well sure again, if I was the batting coach I could understand Bradley not wanting me to mess with his swing- but so far it doesn't look like Colbrunn was never as good as Bradley is, he was BETTER.
   21. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 03, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4784955)
This is a really surprising development involving Bradley. As he zipped up the minor league system, two of the things people commonly said about him (besides his amazing defense) is:

1) He had a very advanced approach to hitting, very cerebral, patient, mature; and
2) He was a really good guy, liked by teammates, older than his years, etc.

This season has been everything but these two things - and yet, his defense has been amazing. I find it interesting that he has never let his struggles offensively impact his success with the glove and the arm. I still think he'll be fine, and I hope so, too, because he is one of the relatively few players in the game that you pay money to see them play defense.
   22. Kurt Posted: September 03, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4784956)
Ray, you play piano, right? Don't supreme talents often study with teachers who were never as good as they are, and gladly and attentively? What does one call a great young pianist who thinks s/he has nothing more to learn?


It certainly never happens in golf, as evidenced by the 25 majors Butch Harmon won.
   23. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: September 03, 2014 at 08:24 PM (#4785005)
Bradley's stubbornness seems eerily similar to another currently butthurt AL East "centre-fielder": Colby Rasmus. Rasmus' attitude got him traded out of St Louis after just one (his best) season.

As for #2, natural talent only gets you so far... to be successful at the MLB level, you have to make adjustments in order to evolve as a hitter.
   24. Bruce Markusen Posted: September 03, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4785041)
According to Ray's logic, no major league player should ever accept advice or teaching from his coaches because he's already "one of the best players in the world." Boy, that's a great attitude to have as a professional ballplayer. Ray's clubhouse would be a fun place to be, now wouldn't it?

Bradley's OPS for the Red Sox this year is .578; it's even worse at Triple-A Pawtucket, .519 at last look. These aren't acceptable numbers for either a major league or minor league center fielder, not even if he's Paul Blair in his prime. If Bradley keeps those numbers up for another three years or so--and keeps refusing to accept any advice that might make him better--he'll likely be out of Organized Baseball within that same span of time.
   25. Guapo Posted: September 03, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4785049)
You know he's a special talent when the Red Sox throw him under the bus BEFORE they trade or release him.
   26. Spahn Insane Posted: September 03, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4785063)
Or maybe the Red Sox brass is channeling Jim Hendry.
   27. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 04, 2014 at 12:42 AM (#4785124)
If my "broken" swing had gotten me to the point where I was one of the best baseball players in the world, I'd be reluctant to allow people who were never as good as I am to F with it also.


What does this even mean? No one is perfect at any job/task/undertaking. As a professional, and professional being the key to this sentence, you need to keep improving to stay ahead of the curve anyway. The best players in any sport seek advice to improve. The best doctors continue to read up on new procedures. The best lawyers continue to research newly written laws and interpretations for better understanding. The best teachers are not necessarily the best practitioners, the skill sets are different. Heck, I know what a golf swing should look like and I can impart that knowledge onto my kids, however there is no way I can hit a ball 300 yards consistently straight or I'd be out there with Rory winning heaps of majors. I don't have the physical ability to do this.

Bradley was blessed with speed, timing, balance and eye-hand coordination that few of us possess, he almost has an obligation to try to maximise it's value.

   28. Spahn Insane Posted: September 04, 2014 at 12:54 AM (#4785130)
What does this even mean? No one is perfect at any job/task/undertaking. As a professional, and professional being the key to this sentence, you need to keep improving to stay ahead of the curve anyway. The best players in any sport seek advice to improve.

Seriously--does Ray think the usual development curve of a star baseball player is a result of that player's *refusing* to make adjustments as he goes along, or that a young player's improvement just sort of randomly happens?
   29. Norcan Posted: September 04, 2014 at 02:49 AM (#4785137)
Bradley's stubbornness seems eerily similar to another currently butthurt AL East "centre-fielder": Colby Rasmus. Rasmus' attitude got him traded out of St Louis after just one (his best) season.


Maybe he's been stubborn behind the scenes but it's hard to derive that from how he's tinkered with his swing over the course of the season. In a span of a few months, he opened his stance up again, after switching to a parallel stance last season to counteract MLB pitchers relentlessly busting him inside and then when that didn't fix things, incorporated a slight leg kick, which ended up being awkward as hell because instead of striding from that into his swing, he'd plant into a tiptoe and then swing (first time I've seen that hybrid leg kick-toe point).

Xander's tinkered as well but has abandoned the changes really quickly except for one thing. He went without batting glove for two promising games and then switched back. And in the game he got concussed, he ditched his leg kick and tried just shuffling forward from his very slightly open stance. In his first at bat with that change, he hit a monster home run that got called foul because the third base ump couldn't be bothered to, you know, get into position to accurately gauge its flight but whatever. He came back from his concussion still trying out the shuffle but only stuck with it for a few games.

The one change he's stuck with is ever so slightly opening up his stance. It's really perplexing. Maybe it had no appreciable effect and maybe he would've gone on to hit well under .200 if he hadn't made the change but for some reason (I guess because pitchers were attacking him more inside) he went from basically a parallel stance when he was going good to slightly opening his stance and staying with it to this day even though he's morphed into a sub-Jeff Mathis hitter.
   30. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: September 04, 2014 at 03:36 AM (#4785139)
Seriously--does Ray think the usual development curve of a star baseball player is a result of that player's *refusing* to make adjustments as he goes along, or that a young player's improvement just sort of randomly happens?
Batting coaches are just plebs trying to take down John Galt.
   31. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 04, 2014 at 06:18 AM (#4785143)
Seriously--does Ray think the usual development curve of a star baseball player is a result of that player's *refusing* to make adjustments as he goes along, or that a young player's improvement just sort of randomly happens?

Considering the number of times (zero) that Ray has ever acknowledged he was wrong about anything after he's dug himself into a ten foot ditch, I can see why he'd identify with Bradley.
   32. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 04, 2014 at 08:43 AM (#4785165)
Considering the number of times (zero) that Ray has ever acknowledged he was wrong about anything after he's dug himself into a ten foot ditch, I can see why he'd identify with Bradley.


"Hi Kettle! It's Pot!"

Seriously though, JBJ is pretty much guaranteed to start 2015 in the minors as the 7th OF for the Sox, no?
   33. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 04, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4785169)
Considering the number of times (zero) that Ray has ever acknowledged he was wrong about anything after he's dug himself into a ten foot ditch, I can see why he'd identify with Bradley.

"Hi Kettle! It's Pot!"


Apparently your reading of my comments over the years is as selective as Ray's. I'll cite but one example: Ray himself convinced me that the evidence against Clemens wasn't nearly as conclusive as I'd first thought it to be.

Here's the difference between Ray's approach to discussions and that of a person who's not looking merely to argue: Most people who want to get anywhere in advancing a solution look for common ground to build upon. OTOH with people like Ray (and he's not the only one by a long shot) you can agree with 90% of what they're saying and they'll keep pressing the 10% of disagreement while ignoring the 90%.
   34. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 04, 2014 at 08:54 AM (#4785170)
Seriously though, JBJ is pretty much guaranteed to start 2015 in the minors as the 7th OF for the Sox, no?


I think right now there are no guarantees about the Sox' 2015 outfield. I think if you take Castillo/Cespedes/Bradley/Nava/Betts/Craig/Victorino an over/under of 3.5 being in the organization come Opening Day is a tough bet. I'd actually put it lower but I can't imagine Craig or Victorino are tradeable right now.
   35. What Zupcic? Posted: September 04, 2014 at 09:21 AM (#4785190)
Take this all to OT:Ray thread.
   36. Kurt Posted: September 04, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4785191)
Apparently your reading of my comments over the years is as selective as Ray's. I'll cite but one example: Ray himself convinced me that the evidence against Clemens wasn't nearly as conclusive as I'd first thought it to be.


So, you're digging your heels in on this? No way (smile).
   37. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 04, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4785193)
Apparently your reading of my comments over the years is as selective as Ray's. I'll cite but one example: Ray himself convinced me that the evidence against Clemens wasn't nearly as conclusive as I'd first thought it to be.

Here's the difference between Ray's approach to discussions and that of a person who's not looking merely to argue: Most people who want to get anywhere in advancing a solution look for common ground to build upon. OTOH with people like Ray (and he's not the only one by a long shot) you can agree with 90% of what they're saying and they'll keep pressing the 10% of disagreement while ignoring the 90%.


Andy, I have been reading your posts for years now, and you have definitely improved your overall tone to a great extent, but you are without a doubt one of the most stubborn posters here. You are no doubt sincere in your approach, but you obfuscate, obfuscate, obfuscate and claim some small technicality is the reason you are not incorrect. Ugh, I am drawing a blank but there was a thread a week or two ago where you made some claim that had the entire thread arguing against you, trying to get a simple "ok, I was wrong" and it just never happened. Doesn't really do too much good if I can't remember though...damnit.
   38. McCoy Posted: September 04, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4785194)
Ray basically pulled the pin and rolled a grenade into a room. You guys are all the shrapnel. You can pretty much tell when Ray is full of it and he knows it. This thread is a great example of it. His only rebuttal to all of this so far is to say again that Jackie is one of the best ballplayers in the game and of course by Ray's extremely broad interpretation of reality that is true so he can defend that. His other statements just hang out there like low hanging fruit.
   39. McCoy Posted: September 04, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4785196)
Ugh, I am drawing a blank but there was a thread a week or two ago where you made some claim that had the entire thread arguing against you, trying to get a simple "ok, I was wrong" and it just never happened.

If it wasn't for the time statement in your post pretty much every single poster on BTF could have offered you a suggestion as to what thread you were thinking of.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: September 04, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4785198)
I think if you take Castillo/Cespedes/Bradley/Nava/Betts/Craig/Victorino an over/under of 3.5 being in the organization come Opening Day is a tough bet.


I predict Castillo, Cespedes, Betts, Craig, and Victorino are still in the organization, although nothing really would shock me.
   41. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 04, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4785199)
Ray basically pulled the pin and rolled a grenade into a room. You guys are all the shrapnel. You can pretty much tell when Ray is full of it and he knows it. This thread is a great example of it. His only rebuttal to all of this so far is to say again that Jackie is one of the best ballplayers in the game and of course by Ray's extremely broad interpretation of reality that is true so he can defend that. His other statements just hang out there like low hanging fruit.

If only there was some pithy term for this behavior...
   42. formerly dp Posted: September 04, 2014 at 09:33 AM (#4785201)

Seriously though, JBJ is pretty much guaranteed to start 2015 in the minors as the 7th OF for the Sox, no?
It's going to be an interesting decision-- do they sell low on him, or hold him in the hopes that he rebuilds some value in the minors next year? Even if he hits well, a lot would have to go wrong for them to have an opening for him in the majors, and without that sort of redemption, teams will only give up so much for him. They'll probably get a lot of unsatisfying offers for him over the winter.
   43. McCoy Posted: September 04, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4785204)

If only there was some pithy term for this behavior...


Being a primate?
   44. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 04, 2014 at 09:36 AM (#4785205)
touche
   45. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 04, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4785211)

I predict Castillo, Cespedes, Betts, Craig, and Victorino are still in the organization, although nothing really would shock me.


I think Bradley has a better chance than Betts simply because if the Sox make a major trade this winter Betts is the guy teams are going to want. Bradley does not really have useful trade value right now. My other fear is that the Sox have been a bit reactionary lately and I can see Cherington saying to himself "Bogaerts and Bradley killed their trade value this year, I'd better deal Betts before he does the same."
   46. The District Attorney Posted: September 04, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4785217)
Ugh, I am drawing a blank but there was a thread a week or two ago where you made some claim that had the entire thread arguing against you, trying to get a simple "ok, I was wrong" and it just never happened.
It was that when people say "lineup", they don't mean the batting order/hitters, they mean the entire team including the pitchers.
   47. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: September 04, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4785223)
This thread looks more like a few dozen posts beating up on Ray to me (vitriol I've managed to escape).

His original post:
If my "broken" swing had gotten me to the point where I was one of the best baseball players in the world, I'd be reluctant to allow people who were never as good as I am to F with it also.

Okay, I think he'd've been better served without the "people who were never as good as I am" part - and not just because Colbrunn was a better hitter than Bradley is or is likely to be (particularly if you took away Bradley's speed advantage), but it's a reasonable sentiment.
How many stories have we seen about guys being tinkered with by coaches and improving once they shook off advice or went their own way? (Alternately, how many have we seen where a coach suggests a tweak and they take off? Lots of both.)

It's Bradley's career - he gets only one of them. As much as my natural sentiment is to say "listen to everybody!" that's not a good approach at this level. Be clear with coaches, open to listening, use what you can, discard what you should. If you don't think what they have to offer will help you, don't use it.

One thing I'm surprised wasn't part of the discourse, Ray-centric as it has been, is the idea that Bradley is suffering from a bad/unlucky stretch of plate appearances, that this isn't reflective of his true MLB talent level. (See Drew v. Jeter.) I think there's more to his struggles than that but - well, I'm surprised it hadn't come up.
   48. Nasty Nate Posted: September 04, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4785224)
I think Bradley has a better chance than Betts simply because if the Sox make a major trade this winter Betts is the guy teams are going to want.


That makes sense. I think at least one of the two will be still with the organization next opening day.
   49. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: September 04, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4785226)
Betts is a lot of fun to watch play - really rooting for him.
   50. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 04, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4785227)
It was that when people say "lineup", they don't mean the batting order/hitters, they mean the entire team including the pitchers.


YES! Thank you.
   51. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 04, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4785228)
It's Bradley's career - he gets only one of them. As much as my natural sentiment is to say "listen to everybody!" that's not a good approach at this level. Be clear with coaches, open to listening, use what you can, discard what you should. If you don't think what they have to offer will help you, don't use it.


You're bending way too far to defend what was a remarkably stupid comment.

No one's saying listen to everyone. But you do listen to the guy who is paid to give hitting instruction (whether he had a better career than you, is, of course immaterial). And yes, you do listen, weigh and accept/reject on your own. But anyone who enters any job with the idea that "what I did in the past was good enough to get here, I'm not going to let anyone else F with me", in the overwhelming majority of cases, is not going to maximize his ability. Very few of us comes fully formed into the working world, in any setting.
   52. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 04, 2014 at 10:12 AM (#4785232)
How many stories have we seen about guys being tinkered with by coaches and improving once they shook off advice or went their own way? (Alternately, how many have we seen where a coach suggests a tweak and they take off? Lots of both.)

It's Bradley's career - he gets only one of them. As much as my natural sentiment is to say "listen to everybody!" that's not a good approach at this level. Be clear with coaches, open to listening, use what you can, discard what you should. If you don't think what they have to offer will help you, don't use it.


That's a fair point, but this isn't a case of a team drafting a guy and immediately saying "I know you were great in college, but we need to retool your swing/windup so it fits our organizational philosophy." Players need to adjust constantly at the ML level, and the coaches can be very helpful. e.g., After watching the Orioles flail for so many years and then turn things around under Showalter (and Duquette of course), I'm more convinced than ever that coaching and managing plays a huge role in the success of a MLB team. The Orioles certainly didn't do a great job of drafting during the bad years, but they should have developed at a least a few more decent players. I attribute that to bad coaching throughout the system.
   53. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 04, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4785235)
And how many stories have we seen about guys being tinkered with by coaches and becoming stars?

Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are two that jump to mind.
   54. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 04, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4785239)
Dwight Evans tinkered a LOT. Not sure how much of that was Hrniak and how much was just him.

Keith Hernandez in one of his books told a story about his dad calling him to tell him that his batting stance had opened up. Normally on TV he would see the 17 on Keith's back but lately he had just seen the 7 indicating Hernandez was opened up. Keith closed down and broke out of a slump.

Sometimes that's all coaching is, the ability to put a set of fresh eyes on a situation. My guess from reading a couple of pieces is that Bradley is probably frustrated with his performance and also a bit sick of everyone telling him what he's doing wrong. There is probably an element of paralysis by analysis at work here that in trying to absorb everyone's well meaning suggestions he's not letting his skills work for him.
   55. J. Sosa Posted: September 04, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4785254)
re: 52

The Orioles have always been one of my favorite examples of what you are talking about. I've often wondered how much of a prospect's success is due to talent vs how much is due to development. What would happen if you took the raw materials the Orioles have drafted over the years and gave it to say, the Cardinals, or the Braves.

I've never reached a firm conclusion on it, and I don't think there is ever a way we could know for sure, but it sure does seem to matter a lot in baseball whether you have good developmental people in place.

edit: me fail English
   56. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: September 04, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4785258)
There's a meaningful difference between "I'm not going to let anyone else F with me" and "I'd be reluctant to allow people to F with it".
Incidentally, what's Colbrunn's rep as a hitting coach, if he has one?

My guess from reading a couple of pieces is that Bradley is probably frustrated with his performance and also a bit sick of everyone telling him what he's doing wrong. There is probably an element of paralysis by analysis at work here that in trying to absorb everyone's well meaning suggestions he's not letting his skills work for him.

That's where I am as well.
   57. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 04, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4785262)
There's a meaningful difference between "I'm not going to let anyone else F with me" and "I'd be reluctant to allow people to F with it".


In the context it was used, not really.
   58. Ron J2 Posted: September 04, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4785268)
#2 My go to story on this in Brad Fullmer. Fullmer got off to a rough start in 1999 and batting coach Tommy Harper wanted him to make major changes. Fullmer wasn't receptive and got sent out. Would have probably stayed in Ottawa had his replacement not got hurt.

Got called up and hit very well after his recall. Felipe Alou tried to credit Tommy Harper, but Fullmer was adamant that he hadn't changed anything -- that he was just getting better results from the exact same approach.
   59. Spahn Insane Posted: September 04, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4785308)
And how many stories have we seen about guys being tinkered with by coaches and becoming stars?

Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are two that jump to mind.


Sammy Sosa.
   60. Spahn Insane Posted: September 04, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4785317)
After watching the Orioles flail for so many years and then turn things around under Showalter (and Duquette of course), I'm more convinced than ever that coaching and managing plays a huge role in the success of a MLB team. The Orioles certainly didn't do a great job of drafting during the bad years, but they should have developed at a least a few more decent players. I attribute that to bad coaching throughout the system.

Agree with all of this, and I'd say the same of the Cubs; until Starlin Castro, they hadn't developed a decent position player since Mark Grace (I suppose you can argue for Geovany Soto--even so, that's 20 years). A lot of that was really terrible drafting (take a look at the Cubs first rounders over the years), but even with that you'd figure they'd develop SOMEBODY into a useful regular given 20 years and decent minor league instruction. That that didn't happen says to me that the organization was both really terrible at identifying position player talent, and at developing what talent they did have. The early returns on the Thed regime's drafting and player development appear to be much more positive. Anyone who thinks coaching doesn't matter is out to lunch.
   61. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 04, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4785327)
My throwaway line about the coaches never having been as good as Bradley was an overbid (actually, I didn’t even know Colbrunn was the hitting coach, which is how much I think hitting coaches matter), but my I was also thinking of Farrell too, and my point remains. The first impulse of the coaches – and it starts with Farrell, who was a pitcher, instructing the hitting coach under his command – is that they must tinker with a hitter who is slumping. Particularly a young hitter. And maybe sometimes it helps (I can think of McGwire and Sosa although they weren't "young" at the time) but I would bet it often does more harm than good (Walt Hrniak possibly screwed up Gedman). I don’t know why the default of people here is to blindly assume that the coaches are helping and is to assume that a young hitter must listen to the coaches and must change if they say he should change. The hitting coach has to tinker in order to justify his job – otherwise he’s just sitting there collecting a paycheck for doing nothing even though oftentimes doing nothing is the best approach – and when he tinkers he is for the most part just throwing #### up against the wall and seeing if it sticks. This is art, not science. And if it works the coaches will assume they were the reason, and if it doesn’t they will assume that the hitter either didn’t make the adjustments or is just a lost cause.

There is no reason to bow at the altar of these coaches as people in this thread are doing. These are professional baseball players they are working with, not little leaguers or high school kids.
   62. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 04, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4785341)
Sammy Sosa.


Yeah, remember when everyone thought that?
   63. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 04, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4785356)
There's a meaningful difference between "I'm not going to let anyone else F with me" and "I'd be reluctant to allow people to F with it".


In the context it was used, not really.


Yeah, let's ignore what people actually say and criticize them for what we imagine they say. That sounds very productive.

   64. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 04, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4785372)
Yeah, let's ignore what people actually say and criticize them for what we imagine they say.


From you, BTF's master mindreader and arguer of points never made, that's absolutely ####### rich.

Your original comment was dumb. Any player with as little success (read, none) hitting in the big leagues as JBJ should not take the approach that his swing is ####### sacrosanct. That's what you said, and it was rightly called out for being stupid by many, many people. DK added some hypothetical context that makes it less so, but mostly he was just being more generous of your silly remark than it warranted.
   65. McCoy Posted: September 04, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4785397)
Agree with all of this, and I'd say the same of the Cubs; until Starlin Castro, they hadn't developed a decent position player since Mark Grace (I suppose you can argue for Geovany Soto--even so, that's 20 years). A lot of that was really terrible drafting (take a look at the Cubs first rounders over the years), but even with that you'd figure they'd develop SOMEBODY into a useful regular given 20 years and decent minor league instruction. That that didn't happen says to me that the organization was both really terrible at identifying position player talent, and at developing what talent they did have. The early returns on the Thed regime's drafting and player development appear to be much more positive. Anyone who thinks coaching doesn't matter is out to lunch.

I'd say it has more to do with drafting than coaching and developing. No hitter that was ever drafted and signed by the Cubs ever developed into a decent hitter between Grace/Palmeiro and somewhere around 2008 or so and so far the hitters that did get drafted by the Cubs have been pretty cromulent so far.
   66. BDC Posted: September 04, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4785424)
To be fair, I'll bet there are a lot of coaching situations where the coach is a foolish tyrant, or three coaches offer contradictory advice, or where the better is the enemy of the good and they're tinkering with success. Not sure if any apply here, and I stand by my point that "you were never as good as I am" is a bad attitude.
   67. Spahn Insane Posted: September 04, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4785489)
Sammy Sosa

Yeah, remember when everyone thought that?


I'm not sure what you're getting at here.
   68. Spahn Insane Posted: September 04, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4785491)
I'd say it has more to do with drafting than coaching and developing.

I'd say so too, but the evidence still suggests the Cubs have been pretty bad at the latter as well, and that they've paid a price for it.
   69. Spahn Insane Posted: September 04, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4785499)
I don’t know why the default of people here is to blindly assume that the coaches are helping and is to assume that a young hitter must listen to the coaches and must change if they say he should change.

Nobody has "blindly assumed" this. They've taken issue with your position at the opposite extreme--that Jackie Bradley Jr., being "one of the best baseball players on the planet," should resist coaching on that basis notwithstanding his total lack of success at the major league level--and rightfully so. Or, what SoSH said in 64 (see particularly his reference to "arguer of points not made").
   70. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 04, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4785518)
Andy, I have been reading your posts for years now, and you have definitely improved your overall tone to a great extent, but you are without a doubt one of the most stubborn posters here. You are no doubt sincere in your approach, but you obfuscate, obfuscate, obfuscate and claim some small technicality is the reason you are not incorrect. Ugh, I am drawing a blank but there was a thread a week or two ago where you made some claim that had the entire thread arguing against you, trying to get a simple "ok, I was wrong" and it just never happened. Doesn't really do too much good if I can't remember though...damnit.

You're talking about my use of "lineup" to include pitchers, which is almost certainly a carryover from the days before the DH, when I heard hundreds of PA announcements of starting lineups that did indeed include them.** But clearly from all the feedback I can see that my usage isn't standard, and in any case I obviously should have spelled it out the first time I used it.

**As they still do in the National League, but since 99% of the games I watch are AL games, that's not really much of an excuse.

-------------------------------------------------------------

After watching the Orioles flail for so many years and then turn things around under Showalter (and Duquette of course), I'm more convinced than ever that coaching and managing plays a huge role in the success of a MLB team.

You can discount the source because of his employer, but Jim Palmer has a lot of credibility with me. And he's been talking up Dave Wallace's work with the O's pitching staff all year, especially in helping Showalter ration the bullpen usage so that no pitchers will be gassed by the end of the season. I've almost never seen a staff of relative no-names perform at this high level for this long, both starters and relievers.
   71. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 04, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4785536)
Sammy Sosa

Yeah, remember when everyone thought that?

I'm not sure what you're getting at here.


Clearly all of Slammin' Sammy's improvements were from TEH 'ROIDZ.
   72. Spahn Insane Posted: September 04, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4785554)
Clearly all of Slammin' Sammy's improvements were from TEH 'ROIDZ.

OK, that's sort of what I figured the OP was driving at, but TEH ROIDZ don't really explain Sosa's increased selectivity and willingness to hit to the opposite field that kicked into gear in 1998.
   73. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: September 04, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4785558)
Yeah, let's ignore what people actually say and criticize them for what we imagine they say.
If my "broken" swing had gotten me to the point where I was one of the best baseball players in the world, I'd be reluctant to allow people who were never as good as I am to F with it also.
Did Bradley actually say this, or did you imagine he said this?
   74. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: September 04, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4785576)
Players becoming stars after coaches tinkered with their mechanics, Leg Kick Edition:

Sadaharu Oh
Josh Donaldson
   75. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 04, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4785583)
Clearly all of Slammin' Sammy's improvements were from TEH 'ROIDZ.


Nah, wasn't trying to suggest that - was just saying it seems quaintly naive in retrospect that so many people believed it was all because of Jeff Pentland for so long. A combination of both, probably.
   76. SandyRiver Posted: September 04, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4785616)
You can discount the source because of his employer, but Jim Palmer has a lot of credibility with me. And he's been talking up Dave Wallace's work with the O's pitching staff all year, especially in helping Showalter ration the bullpen usage so that no pitchers will be gassed by the end of the season. I've almost never seen a staff of relative no-names perform at this high level for this long, both starters and relievers.


Would be nice for the Birds if it was repeatable, but Bosox 2014 offer a caution. They got a lot of quality PA (OPS at/near .800) from spare-parts-type players last year, and as a group those folks fell of the cliff this year. A lot of other things have gone downhill as well, but that loss of production from about half the batting order is much of the reason why a team that led the league in runs scored last year is now 15th of 15.
   77. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 04, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4785625)
If I were the Orioles I'd be more worried about the pitching staff than the offense. The offense is good, not great, but it looks like a reasonable performance. The pitching staff (3rd in runs allowed) is where I see concerns. Gausmann is the guy that could make a leap but beyond him I see more downside than upside.
   78. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 04, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4785647)
But a lot of their success is simply due to the defense, and none of the key defenders are particularly old (although Machado is a wild card). If they resign Hardy and Machado is relatively healthy next year they should be in pretty good shape.
   79. DKDC Posted: September 04, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4785669)
It's interesting up thread that some see the Orioles recent string of developing major leaguers as a validation of how important coaching is, while to me it has only further confirmed my suspicion that certain teams being supposedly "good" (Red Sox/Cards) or "bad" (Orioles) at developing players is mostly random.

Every teams will develop their share of quality major leaguers over the long term. Coaching is important, but most coaches are pretty good and I doubt there's a tremendous difference between the best and average coaches. When a team does have a string of better development outcomes, we will point to changes that occurred around the same time as evidence that the team has made some major changes and that's why they are getting better outcomes.

In the Orioles case, they certainly were awful at developing players for a long time, and while they've gotten better, much of their resurgence has come from savvy trades/waiver claims/signings at the major league level, and effective deployment of talent, for which I do give credit to Showalter and MacPhail and Duquette. Many of the players they have developed pre-date Duquette or Showalter, and it's not clear to me that either made major changes at the minor league level.

If I were the Orioles I'd be more worried about the pitching staff than the offense. The offense is good, not great, but it looks like a reasonable performance. The pitching staff (3rd in runs allowed) is where I see concerns. Gausmann is the guy that could make a leap but beyond him I see more downside than upside.


Their pitching is cromulent. Slightly below average as a whole, but it's mostly spare parts and young players, so they don't have much payroll sunk into it (except for Ubaldo...ouch). I like their chances to repeat their pitching next year, and I'm more concerned about the offense/defense, which has been buoyed by some fluke performances and could lose Hardy and Cruz next year.
   80. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 04, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4785693)
If I were the Orioles I'd be more worried about the pitching staff than the offense. The offense is good, not great, but it looks like a reasonable performance. The pitching staff (3rd in runs allowed) is where I see concerns. Gausmann is the guy that could make a leap but beyond him I see more downside than upside.


By "3rd in runs allowed" you mean 3rd fewest. Whether it will keep it up is never going to be certain, but none of their pitchers have been overworked.

Their pitching is cromulent. Slightly below average as a whole,

With a 109 ERA+ that's been improving by the week. No big names, it's true, but we've seen what's happened to many of those big names over the course of the season.

   81. McCoy Posted: September 04, 2014 at 07:10 PM (#4785717)
I guess we have to define what "mostly random" means. The Cubs, Pirates, Royals, and Orioles were pretty horrible at drafting and developing talent. Regimes changed and sometimes the futility continued at sometimes it didn't. The Cardinals have had a great system for pretty much forever. The Dodgers had a rough patch during the Fox years but they look to have rebounded from that. The Marlins have almost always had a very good system. I guess I'm wandering what exactly do you think is random about baseball development systems. Sure, finding a Babe Ruth or a Walter Johnson every now and then is largely random but it is pretty clear that some teams/management groups are either consistently bad or good at doing their job.
   82. DKDC Posted: September 04, 2014 at 07:52 PM (#4785743)
I guess we have to define what "mostly random" means. The Cubs, Pirates, Royals, and Orioles were pretty horrible at drafting and developing talent. Regimes changed and sometimes the futility continued at sometimes it didn't.


"Mostly random" means that we judge player development success by the relatively few players that contribute significant value in the majors, and we make up stories retroactively to explain why that happened. My belief is that, in reality, those players were going to contribute significant value no matter what system they were in, and there is probably some talent in identifying and drafting that talent, but very little value add in developing that talent.

If you disagree, pick 15 teams with an average record of roughly .500 and a roughly average payroll overall. I'll take the other 15, and let's check back in ten years and see who gets more value out of the 2015-2019 drafts. If you're right, your teams should trounce my teams.

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