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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Rays fire hitting coach Henderson after record-setting production

“The Tampa Bay Rays have fired hitting coach Steve Henderson following a season in which the Rays set team records for runs, home runs, on-base percentage and walks.” Outstanding!

The Rays announced Monday that hitting coach Steve Henderson, along with quality assurance coach Todd Greene, will not be back with the team in 2010. A new hitting coach will be hired during the offseason while the quality assurance position is being discontinued.

“It was something we’ve been talking about for the past couple of weeks,” said executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman on a conference call. “I think it’s obvious the impact that [Henderson has] had on our guys in the Minor Leagues and also the Major Leagues, and ultimately it was a very difficult decision. Both of us have tremendous respect for him—his tireless work ethic and all the things he does on a daily basis. But ultimately we felt like it was time for a new voice.”

...Friedman said “there were some inadequacies offensively this year,” but the move wasn’t about pointing a finger at Henderson. Friedman went so far as to say, “I’m accountable, and [the move] has nothing to do with things that have transpired.” But he said the Rays were making the right move and that such a move would allow them to “advance things going forward.”

Maddon has harped on the importance of situational hitting throughout his tenure as the team’s manager, so it’s likely Henderson’s replacement will have some definite ideas about how to improve that facet of the Rays’ hitting. The Rays are in the process of identifying the candidates they would like to interview for the open position.

Repoz Posted: October 06, 2009 at 12:35 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rays

Reader Comments and Retorts

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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. Halofan Posted: October 06, 2009 at 12:41 AM (#3341152)
PLEASE hire Mickey Hatcher. Thanks, Joe!
   2. Young Blasarius yonder Posted: October 06, 2009 at 12:44 AM (#3341154)
PLEASE hire Mickey Hatcher. Thanks, Joe!


Took the words right out o' me mouth!
   3. God Posted: October 06, 2009 at 12:44 AM (#3341155)
Greene's transgression was forgetting to leave a little "inspected by" slip of paper in the pocket of each garment.
   4. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: October 06, 2009 at 12:47 AM (#3341160)
Is that the same Todd Greene who was a catcher in the majors a few years ago?
   5. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 06, 2009 at 01:11 AM (#3341165)
quality assurance coach

Wait, is this a real thing?
   6. Darren Posted: October 06, 2009 at 01:19 AM (#3341169)
After the hitting coach works with a player, the QA coach throws baseballs at him and tries to find ways to break him. If he does, he sends a note back to the hitting coach, who has to fix the problem.
   7. Tripon Posted: October 06, 2009 at 01:22 AM (#3341172)
Eric Stephen at True Blue L.A. was going over NBC's Mickey Hatcher's scouting report from the 1988 World Series that basically described him as a free out.(Free swinger, puts the ball in play, doesn't strike out, good run and hit guy.) How the hell a guy like that gets to be a hitter coach, I can't figure out.
   8. God Posted: October 06, 2009 at 01:23 AM (#3341173)
   9. jwb Posted: October 06, 2009 at 01:29 AM (#3341176)
Tim Bogar preceded Todd Greene (yes, the recent backup catcher) as Tampa Bay's QA coach. They do self-scouting. NFL teams generally have QA coaches, MLB teams do not.
   10. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: October 06, 2009 at 01:38 AM (#3341182)
Excellent link, jwb. Thanks.
   11. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 06, 2009 at 01:40 AM (#3341184)
Interesting story about the Quality Assurance coach.

Maybe they are replacing Todd Greene with a rotating battery of Secret Shoppers from one of those temp agencies.
   12. jwb Posted: October 06, 2009 at 02:02 AM (#3341189)
I imagine other teams self-scout using a scout and that people with the word "coach" in their job titles generally get paid more than people with the word "scout."
   13. rlc Posted: October 06, 2009 at 02:21 AM (#3341202)
I imagine "scouts" report to the scouting director and "coaches" report to the manager.
   14. SouthSideRyan Posted: October 06, 2009 at 02:32 AM (#3341213)
The Cubs fired 2 really good hitting coaches in the past 4 months after they got rid of Von Joshua(if he re-takes his AAA job, I won't be nearly as upset)
   15. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: October 06, 2009 at 06:38 AM (#3341298)
can't wait to hear that the Royals are keeping Kevin "all LHB hit the ball to left field" Seitzer
   16. tjm1 Posted: October 06, 2009 at 09:00 AM (#3341305)
What do they want from the hitting coach? Bartlett and Zobrist turned in years that are nearly unbelievable based on their past performances. Upton and Burrell were terrible, but maybe Burrell has fallen off the cliff. It would be a bit sudden and he's only 33, but stranger things have happened. Navarro had a bad year, but most of the years in his career have been bad. My guess is that this is all about Upton - the Rays management think he's a future superstar, and if he doesn't return to, and indeed, exceed his 2007 performance, they're going to get rid of the hitting coach.
   17. bunyon Posted: October 06, 2009 at 11:38 AM (#3341321)
Friedman went so far as to say, ā€œIā€™m accountable, and [the move] has nothing to do with things that have transpired.ā€

?
   18. Mr. J. Penny Smoltzuzaka Posted: October 06, 2009 at 12:23 PM (#3341336)
Andrew Friedman is applying the Wall Street management approach to baseball operations. Those employees who show some sign of competency will not go unpunished.
   19. ColonelTom Posted: October 06, 2009 at 12:34 PM (#3341341)
Henderson's an ex-Met - he might be a good fit for one of their coaching vacancies. Hard to believe he's getting fired with the team hitting so well. Upton's certainly the red flag, but you'd think that Bartlett and Zobrist might outweigh that. Guess not.
   20. Keith Law Posted: October 06, 2009 at 02:22 PM (#3341434)
Zobrist credits his improvement to his work with an outside hitting coach who revamped his swing. I'm not sure you can list him in the win column for Henderson.
   21. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: October 06, 2009 at 02:29 PM (#3341446)
If that's true, did Zobrist just throw Henderson under the bus?
   22. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 06, 2009 at 02:33 PM (#3341450)
Not only that, he ripped him and blasted him.
   23. BDC Posted: October 06, 2009 at 03:02 PM (#3341474)
applying the Wall Street management approach to baseball

Before each plate appearance, batters will indicate areas of improvement that they will commit to making deliverable in the ensuing PA. After each plate appearance, batters will be required to complete a sixteen-question Quality Enhancement Protocol on-line. Batters who indicate improvement on fewer than 75% (12 of 16) self-reporting measures will be required to complete a one-hour Continuous Quality Improvement Initiative on-line training module before being approved for the starting lineup of the following night's game. After each Sunday game, batters will receive a special "360" performance review conducted by the manager, the batting coach, the team owner, the opposing catcher, the batboy, the radio PBP guy, and four random fans selected from the box seats, a popular sports bar, somebody's parents' couch, and the Nurse Ratched Imaginary Ballgame TV Lounge.

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