When the Rangers fired hitting coach Thad Bosley yesterday after just two months on the job I wrote that it couldn’t have been based on the lineup’s performance, because they rank fourth among AL teams in runs scored with a similar output to last season.
And sure enough, comments from the front office and various players made it clear that Bosley was let go not because the offense was struggling under his tutelage, but because most players didn’t like working with him.
Here’s what Josh Hamilton told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas:
He just didn’t fit with us. He’s a professional in the way he approaches the game and teaches the game, but it just didn’t mesh with our clubhouse. It was communication … not a lot there. You’d like to have somebody that knows when to back off, knows when to approach, gets what they want to get across to you, but find out your personality and find out how to get it across to you. Those things just didn’t happen the way they needed to.
Adding to the surprisingly quick firing is that Bosley was hired in part because of his long friendship with Ron Washington, but the manager seemed to accept the move while praising replacement Scott Coolbaugh:
Coolbaugh has a relationship with those guys and they trust in him. He’s sharp. We won’t miss a beat. We’ll move forward.
Coolbaugh worked with many of the Rangers’ hitters in the minors and shortstop Elvis Andrus in particular had good things to say about him. Of course, just a few months ago everyone had good things to say about Bosley too and now Coolbaugh is the Rangers’ fourth hitting coach in less than three seasons.
The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.
Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.
The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.
After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.
Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:
The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.
The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.