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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Red Sox Feel Void Without Stricken Colbrunn

It was a terrible trip because the Sox went 2-7 in Cleveland, Detroit, and Baltimore. It was a terrible trip because the Sox lost six straight after the return of Stephen Drew, then watched Drew strain an oblique muscle and miss the entire Oriole series. It was a terrible trip because the Sox were six games out when they left Boston, and they are nine games out as they ready themselves for Tito and the Tribe Thursday night at Fenway. It was a terrible trip because of interminable rain delays in Baltimore at the end of the junket. It was a terrible trip because the Red Sox can . . . not . . . hit (one run in 27 innings at Camden Yards). And they were dangerously close to going 0-9 on the tour through traditional American League cities.

Most of all — for the Sox ballplayers, manager, coaches, and support staff — it was a terrible trip because hitting coach Greg Colbrunn suffered a brain hemorrhage on the final day in Cleveland and was still at the Cleveland Clinic when the Sox returned to Boston in the early hours Thursday morning.

A baseball team is much more than 25 guys playing three-plus hours of hardball every night. A baseball team is a multilayered family with individuals from diverse cultural, educational, and economic backgrounds.

This is why I hate Dan Shaughnessy.  When he decides to just write and not be a ######### he can really do a good job.  This is a sweet piece about Colbrunn specifically and generally about coaches.

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 12, 2014 at 08:55 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4724095)
Fans have a pretty good idea what the players are doing during the games, but like a travelling rock band, the franchise requires numerous talents with specific skills working as a unit to produce maximum performance. There are front office people, medical people, strength and conditioning people, massage people, video people, clubhouse people, interpreters, TV and radio people, and a traveling secretary responsible for the buses, airplanes, and hotels that accommodate the party of 60-plus.

And there are also major league coaches — quiet men who work 12-hour days without getting much attention. Occasionally you’ll see a high-profile coach (Mark McGwire comes to mind), but most of them were marginal big leaguers or perhaps career minor leaguers.

In addition to manager John Farrell, the Red Sox coaches are Arnie Beyeler (first base), Brian Butterfield (third base), Dana LeVangie (bullpen), Torey Lovullo (bench), Juan Nieves (pitching), Victor Rodriguez (assistant hitting), and Colbrunn (hitting). Three of them never played in the majors. None of them were big league stars.

In the words of longtime Orioles coach Jim Frey (he later managed the Royals and Cubs), “We teach these guys a lot of stuff we could never do ourselves.’’

This is a nice contrast to the commercial for High Heat currently infecting MLB Network where Chris Russo is shrieking about how hitting coaches are so overrated because the '27 Yankees didn't need a hitting coach. Jeez, wotta maroon.
   2. Brian C Posted: June 12, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4724257)
I remember Colbrunn when I was a kid and he was playing his AA ball in Jacksonville. I didn't realize then that he was pretty young for the league at the time. Still remember the PA guy: GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEGGG COLLLLLLLLLLBRRUNNNNNNNN!!!!

/random memory.
   3. Bote Man Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4724557)
I wonder how much money I could make selling a box that automagically mutes MAD DOG whenever his voice comes through???
   4. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:10 PM (#4724581)
In the words of longtime Orioles coach Jim Frey (he later managed the Royals and Cubs), “We teach these guys a lot of stuff we could never do ourselves.’’

Teddy Ballgame got a lot of credit as a hitting consultant/manager for the '69 Sens*,but, in general, the most well-knownest hitting coaches were pretty horseshit as hitters (e.g. Lau)

*he helped Eddie Brinkman hit .266, which doesn't sound impressive unless you remember Eddie Brinkman
   5. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 13, 2014 at 02:10 AM (#4724682)
Huge bummer. Haven't RTFA, but best wishes to him and his family.
   6. Ron J2 Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4724770)
#4 Ty Cobb got a lot of props for his work with a variety of hitters. But yeah, just another exception to the general rule.

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