UPDATE: Chip Hale has been hired by the Athletics. Quick work, there, Chip!
3:50 PM: The Mets announced a few minutes ago that bench coach Ken Oberkfell, third base coach Chip Hale, first base coach Mookie Wilson, and bullpen coach Jon Debus won’t be with the the major league club in 2012. It’s not clear yet if they’ve all been canned for good or are just being reassigned. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.com reports that Hale was invited back to the team in another role for 2012 but declined.
I never know what to think of these kinds of things. Hitting coaches and pitching coaches at least have some tenuous metric by which they are judged (even if it’s hard to find a connection between their coaching and the metrics). Maybe a third base coach who has a lot of runners shot down at the plate needs to be reassigned. It’s a little harder for first base coaches and bullpen coaches, I presume. Often times, however, these guys have other duties besides those. For example, Andy Martino reports:
Sources say there were concerns about Wilson’s work preparing OF defense, particularly Duda.
Other first base coaches work on base running and stuff too. Kind of a catch-all coach. Mookie probably did an OK job patting the base runner on the tush and collecting the shin guards, but didn’t exactly excel in other areas. It happens. Even to guys with cool names like Mookie.
Because of course he did.
It wasn’t just his first at bat, but it was his first pitch. It came off of John Kilichowski, an 11th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals out of Vanderbilt. The ball went out to left center, off the bat of the lefty Tebow.
Next time, meat, throw him a breaking ball.
The other night, Blue Jays reliever Joaquin Benoit needed help getting off the field after the second benches-clearing incident with the Yankees. It was later revealed that Benoit tore a calf muscle during the fracas, ending his season.
Yesterday he pointed the finger at just about everyone else for the incidents like the one that led to his injury. Hitters specifically. From The Star:
“I believe as pitchers we’re entitled to use the whole plate and pitch in if that’s the way we’re going to succeed,” Benoit said. “I believe that right now baseball is taking things so far that in some situations most hitters believe that they can’t be brushed out. Some teams take it personally.”
That “take it personally” line is interesting coming from Benoit as, in this instance, it seemed pretty clear that the whole plunking exchange which led to his injury started because Josh Donaldson took an inside pitch that did not seem to be a purpose pitch at all, too personally.
Did Benoit take a veiled swipe at his teammate here? If so, that’s pretty notable. If not it’s notable in another way, right? As it suggests that Benoit believes it’s OK for his teammates to take issue with inside pitches but anyone else who does is part of the problem?
Which is it, Joaquin?