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View Full Version : Greg Walker Now vs June 1st


gf2020
08-19-2008, 10:31 PM
I'm curious and I mean this sincerely. Does the current offensive surge make the people who wanted Greg Walker gone think that they were wrong OR does this level of production make you even madder that the White Sox weren't producing in April and May. Is there anybody who still wants Greg Walker fired, (likely crediting all of this to the weather)?

I was never for his firing. I think its the easiest thing in the world to blame the hitting coach.

doublem23
08-19-2008, 10:56 PM
I still would have fired him.

Save McCuddy's
08-19-2008, 10:58 PM
Sometimes a guy has to be a sacrificial lamb when good hitters slump.

HangWiffum
08-19-2008, 11:03 PM
i still don't like greg walker

doublem23
08-19-2008, 11:03 PM
Sometimes a guy has to be a sacrificial lamb when good hitters slump.

Seriously... By the way, what sort of twisted logic is it that I'm not allowed to rag on Walker when his hitters suck, but I'm supposed to endlessly praise him when they rock? ***?

On June 1st, Walker's lineup full of professional hitters had been in a slump for about 180 games. Thankfully, for whatever reason, they pulled it together and are now hitting the way we knew they could, but they just as easily could have tanked this season too with another prolonged slump.

Sometimes you have to axe someone to shake things up. Walk seems like a nice guy, so I'm happy for him personally that he's still employed with the Sox, but I still would have canned him.

TomBradley72
08-19-2008, 11:48 PM
They were wrong.

This is a team of veteran, free swinging hitters...over the course of a 162 game season they needed time to return to their career norms.

Jokers on this site refer to the Sox offense as "Walkerball"(only when it does poorly, never when it does well)....it should be called "Kennyball"...since he engineered this roster. If Walker should have been fired for the poor offense in April/May...then Cooper should have been fired for the horse**** pitching in July/1st half of August.

jabrch
08-19-2008, 11:50 PM
I still would have fired him.

And you still would have been wrong. :D:

Walk wasn't the problem - nor the solution - nor was any other hitting coach. The same guys doing the same things are now hitting better. That's what is important.

Craig Grebeck
08-19-2008, 11:53 PM
It helps that since June 1st Swisher, Dye, Thome, and Ramirez have improved drastically upon their numbers. Even OC is batting .290 since then.

TomBradley72
08-19-2008, 11:56 PM
And you still would have been wrong. :D:

Walk wasn't the problem - nor the solution - nor was any other hitting coach. The same guys doing the same things are now hitting better. That's what is important.

Absolutely correct. That's why when you ask the question.."Who should replace him?"..you get *crickets*...because there are very few "great" hitting coaches at the major league level...they are professional hitters and in most cases will deliver very close to their career averages.

35th and Shields
08-20-2008, 01:30 AM
On June 1st, Walker's lineup full of professional hitters had been in a slump for about 180 games.
Sometimes you have to axe someone to shake things up. Walk seems like a nice guy, so I'm happy for him personally that he's still employed with the Sox, but I still would have canned him.

And you still would have been wrong. :D:

Walk wasn't the problem - nor the solution - nor was any other hitting coach. The same guys doing the same things are now hitting better. That's what is important.

I'm not saying we should fire him now, because it would most likely only hurt things, but I just don't see how you could defend him. We all know hitting coaches don't mean a whole lot but doublem's right, sometimes shaking things up is all a team needs. Look at all of the players recently who have benefited from a little change in scenery.

Konerko05
08-20-2008, 02:03 AM
Harold's backup should replace Walker.

Frater Perdurabo
08-20-2008, 06:17 AM
The hitting turnaround has more to do with the Sox having played a greater percentage of their June, July and August games at home in warm weather than anything Walker has done.

It would have been nice if the hitters could have scratched out a few more runs during the disastrous 0-6 trip to Minnesota and Toronto.

That being said, I fully expect the Sox to make the playoffs.

Zisk77
08-20-2008, 06:34 AM
The hitting turnaround has more to do with the Sox having played a greater percentage of their June, July and August games at home in warm weather than anything Walker has done.

It would have been nice if the hitters could have scratched out a few more runs during the disastrous 0-6 trip to Minnesota and Toronto.

That being said, I fully expect the Sox to make the playoffs.


And you know this how?

Can anybody explain any of Walk's philosophies of hitting?

Its amazing how people can be so cavalier about making decisions on peoples' livelyhoods without knowing anything about the jobs that the people are doing.

southside rocks
08-20-2008, 06:44 AM
And you know this how?

Can anybody explain any of Walk's philosophies of hitting?

Its amazing how people can be so cavalier about making decisions on peoples' livelyhoods without knowing anything about the jobs that the people are doing.

FWIW, I completely agree with you. A lot of frustration gets vented on this board, I understand that, but honestly -- unless you know the job and how it should be done (not just what results it *should* produce), and could explain in detail how the job requirements aren't being met, then it seems to me just silly to rant about firing someone.

As for the idea that someone has to be "sacrificed" when hitters slump, that to me is absolutely absurd. That same logic had some primitive tribes in times past sacrificing humans when it didn't rain for a few months. I think we've got a better grasp of cause and effect by now! :rolleyes: The whole notion of making a scapegoat is ridiculous and something that we should try not to give in to.

jabrch
08-20-2008, 06:58 AM
I'm not saying we should fire him now, because it would most likely only hurt things, but I just don't see how you could defend him. We all know hitting coaches don't mean a whole lot but doublem's right, sometimes shaking things up is all a team needs. Look at all of the players recently who have benefited from a little change in scenery.


Sometimes it is right to "shake things up". Other times it is wrong.

If it was felt that Walker was doing the wrong things, or that there was some great hitting coach organizationally who we had who we could move up who would do things BETTER, then that makes sense. But by all real accounts, Walk was doing the right things, working with the guys, being listened to, and we were just slumping.

I don't know how, in hindsight, you can criticize me for defending him. The position that we just needed to let veteran good hitters hit and not pull the plug on Walk was proven very much correct. Pulling the plug on a hitting coach is a good move for a bad team playing bad. We were never that. We were a good team hitting poorly to open the season - but we were still winning games, still pitching well, and working out the kinks.

jabrch
08-20-2008, 07:00 AM
The hitting turnaround has more to do with the Sox having played a greater percentage of their June, July and August games at home in warm weather than anything Walker has done.

It would have been nice if the hitters could have scratched out a few more runs during the disastrous 0-6 trip to Minnesota and Toronto.

That being said, I fully expect the Sox to make the playoffs.

So we have bad hitters and a bad hitting coach, but we got lucky to get to play more at home in June/July/Aug?

Come on now Frater...

hawkjt
08-20-2008, 09:48 AM
Wasn't the low point in the season right after the Tampa Series down there and Ozzie went off on the hitters and Walk a little and walk fired back? Don't look now, but here comes Tampa...with Jackson,Kazmir,and Sonnestine...I believe we faced all three in Tampa also...beating Jackson? and losing badly to the other two. No easy spots in the Rays rotation. This weekend will be a measuring stick of sox hitting.

dickallen15
08-20-2008, 11:52 AM
I think if you're going to blame Walker when the Sox don't hit, you have to give him credit when they do. If they did fire him a couple of months ago and the season went exactly as its gone, his replacement would be getting a lot of credit here, and there would be more than a few "I told you Walker was the problem" posts. He obviously wasn't the problem.

daveeym
08-20-2008, 12:18 PM
Sometimes it is right to "shake things up". Other times it is wrong.

If it was felt that Walker was doing the wrong things, or that there was some great hitting coach organizationally who we had who we could move up who would do things BETTER, then that makes sense. But by all real accounts, Walk was doing the right things, working with the guys, being listened to, and we were just slumping.

I don't know how, in hindsight, you can criticize me for defending him. The position that we just needed to let veteran good hitters hit and not pull the plug on Walk was proven very much correct. Pulling the plug on a hitting coach is a good move for a bad team playing bad. We were never that. We were a good team hitting poorly to open the season - but we were still winning games, still pitching well, and working out the kinks.
I love how the Walker defenders are now completely ignoring last season and as doub said, it was a 180 game slump at the time of the fire Walker rampage by the board and Guillen. Talking like this was an April/May issue only. :?:

PatK
08-20-2008, 12:23 PM
I wish he'd teach them to be better at bunting.

TDog
08-20-2008, 12:41 PM
I wish he'd teach them to be better at bunting.

In general, hitting coaches are not the bunting coaches on major league teams. For example, when Ted Williams was the manager/hitting coach of the Washington Senators and Texas Rangers, Nellie Fox was his bunting coach. I don't believe Charlie Lau or Walt Hriniak coached bunting when they served as Sox hitting coach.

My guess is that Joey Cora coaches bunting on the Sox. Jeff Cox may work with hitters on bunting, although the thought of Jeff Cox working with major league ballplayers on anything strikes me as funny.

hawkjt
08-20-2008, 12:42 PM
Listening to Walk right now on the pre-game show. He says that for a power hitting team, Soxpark is not a great venue in April and May. Not an excuse..just a fact, he says.

Says that the approach has not changed. Talking about Alexei and Carlos.
Deepest offensive team he has coached with these two additions.

tstrike2000
08-20-2008, 01:04 PM
That's kind of the dilemma with Greg Walker. Like any hitting coach, he's supposed to work individually with every hitter, stressing strengths, correcting problems in mechanics, but other times we're wondering just exactly what influence does he really provide? Hawk Harrelson likes to tell us he's a great hitting coach and it's the hardest uniformed position in baseball. If so, then why are there so many .220 and .230 hitters on the team, but on the flipside are guys like Quentin, Dye, and Alexei hitting well inspite of Walker?

jabrch
08-20-2008, 05:05 PM
I love how the Walker defenders are now completely ignoring last season and as doub said, it was a 180 game slump at the time of the fire Walker rampage by the board and Guillen. Talking like this was an April/May issue only. :?:

Everything sucked in 2007. But firing the hitting coach midseason wouldn't have fixed anything then either. That's a reactionary move to fans displeasure and hardly ever a good baseball move.

SoxyStu
08-20-2008, 06:22 PM
And you know this how?

Can anybody explain any of Walk's philosophies of hitting?

Its amazing how people can be so cavalier about making decisions on peoples' livelyhoods without knowing anything about the jobs that the people are doing.

His philosophy could be to smoke weed, sing songs, and sacrifice virgins. It doesn't matter whether anyone here has experienced it, can explain it, or even write a doctorate on it. Ultimately, I don't care what his philosophy is. Here's the thing, though - it is easy (and rightly so) for people to be "cavalier" as we all get to witness the fruits of his philosophy and hard labor. And what was it we witnessed earlier this season?? Atrociousness. He should have collecting unemployment months ago, if not longer.

SoxyStu
08-20-2008, 07:26 PM
FWIW, I completely agree with you. A lot of frustration gets vented on this board, I understand that, but honestly -- unless you know the job and how it should be done (not just what results it *should* produce), and could explain in detail how the job requirements aren't being met, then it seems to me just silly to rant about firing someone.

I don't think that's how the real world works, at least in my real world. In my real world, results still carry more weight than effort. The results were quite easy to see for many months.


Sometimes it is right to "shake things up". Other times it is wrong.

If it was felt that Walker was doing the wrong things, or that there was some great hitting coach organizationally who we had who we could move up who would do things BETTER, then that makes sense. But by all real accounts, Walk was doing the right things, working with the guys, being listened to, and we were just slumping.

You're 100% right; that totally makes logical sense. However, maybe I'm too much of a cynic, but I can't help but think that characteristics in human nature such as loyalty, politics, and the effect of money can easily interfere with such sound logic.

I don't know how, in hindsight, you can criticize me for defending him. The position that we just needed to let veteran good hitters hit and not pull the plug on Walk was proven very much correct. Pulling the plug on a hitting coach is a good move for a bad team playing bad. We were never that. We were a good team hitting poorly to open the season - but we were still winning games, still pitching well, and working out the kinks.

Is there an assumption in this statement that says that rookies only, never veterans, need hitting coaches? That vets never need improvement or to hear advice? That the vets simply need to go out and see it and swing it?

Also, how is under performing at your job not reason enough to be fired? That, to me, is probably one of the most logical reasons to be fired. The team did a ****load of time under performing offensively. It goes beyond this season. And what happens to under performing groups? They get their leaders, managers, foreman, whatever you want to call them in any type of job, whacked. His firing was so called for long ago.

SoxyStu
08-20-2008, 07:42 PM
They were wrong.

This is a team of veteran, free swinging hitters...over the course of a 162 game season they needed time to return to their career norms.

Jokers on this site refer to the Sox offense as "Walkerball"(only when it does poorly, never when it does well)....it should be called "Kennyball"...since he engineered this roster. If Walker should have been fired for the poor offense in April/May...then Cooper should have been fired for the horse**** pitching in July/1st half of August.

Wow. How much of the season--actually, better yet, how many seasons would you sacrifice in order to wait until, maybe, maybe, they return to their career norms?

southside rocks
08-20-2008, 08:26 PM
His philosophy could be to smoke weed, sing songs, and sacrifice virgins. It doesn't matter whether anyone here has experienced it, can explain it, or even write a doctorate on it. Ultimately, I don't care what his philosophy is. Here's the thing, though - it is easy (and rightly so) for people to be "cavalier" as we all get to witness the fruits of his philosophy and hard labor. And what was it we witnessed earlier this season?? Atrociousness. He should have collecting unemployment months ago, if not longer.

The problem I have with that reasoning is: it's not Walker who EXECUTES and produces the results of his "philosophy and hard labor." You want him to pay the price for the failure of the players to execute? I'm curious: why don't you want THEM to pay the price?

Are you saying that because they didn't produce, he must have "taught" them badly? We don't really have enough information to back up that assumption, though, so I won't make it.

And if I'm a manager in a corporate environment and my team members aren't producing, I get rid of them. I only find my own job at risk if I don't take steps to improve the production of my unit, which means replacing non-performing individuals.

(Having said that, I don't think that comparisons between professional ballclubs and factory or office jobs are valid in any way.)

jabrch
08-20-2008, 09:25 PM
Is there an assumption in this statement that says that rookies only, never veterans, need hitting coaches? That vets never need improvement or to hear advice? That the vets simply need to go out and see it and swing it?


No more than you are assuming that Walker wasn't working with Vets or giving them advice.

Also, how is under performing at your job not reason enough to be fired? That, to me, is probably one of the most logical reasons to be fired.

You are assuming that it was Walker who wasn't performing. I don't think that's reasonable. If he was doing everything asked of him, and the players weren't executing, what more could he have done? Take a look - they are hitting now. Credit shouldn't go to him any more than blame should. I assume you'd agree with that? Hitters hit - or they dont. A coach works with them - but that's it. He doesn't hit.

kitekrazy
08-20-2008, 09:53 PM
I think if you're going to blame Walker when the Sox don't hit, you have to give him credit when they do. If they did fire him a couple of months ago and the season went exactly as its gone, his replacement would be getting a lot of credit here, and there would be more than a few "I told you Walker was the problem" posts. He obviously wasn't the problem.

Good point. Maybe Walker is the reason Carlos Qunetin has been great all year.

SoxyStu
08-20-2008, 09:56 PM
The problem I have with that reasoning is: it's not Walker who EXECUTES and produces the results of his "philosophy and hard labor." You want him to pay the price for the failure of the players to execute? I'm curious: why don't you want THEM to pay the price?

Are you saying that because they didn't produce, he must have "taught" them badly? We don't really have enough information to back up that assumption, though, so I won't make it.

And if I'm a manager in a corporate environment and my team members aren't producing, I get rid of them. I only find my own job at risk if I don't take steps to improve the production of my unit, which means replacing non-performing individuals.

(Having said that, I don't think that comparisons between professional ballclubs and factory or office jobs are valid in any way.)

I totally understand what you're saying. I do agree that players should get the ax. But why is it that coaches/managers/leaders always get fired first? Because it's always easier to fire 1 guy instead of 5/9/11/25 or however many players on any team and any sport...or any group. As in baseball, there are millions of dollars tied up into guaranteed contracts, so, the ax falls on one person. And, as the bug says, the first rule of leadership is that everything is your fault.

I was probably unclear in my post; I should have said in my real world (I thought I did). I never get to pick my crew and most of 'em have never shown success. Yet, the bar continues to increase no matter what. I've also led crews in stores and never had the fire/hire power. Walk is in this same situation. He doesn't have the power to pick and chose his crew. The crew was hired for him and he's got to do the best with what he has. Fortunately for him, his crew has shown prior success; and unfortunately for him, because they've shown prior success, when the crew slips big-time, it's time for a new chief.

kitekrazy
08-20-2008, 10:04 PM
I wish he'd teach them to be better at bunting.

You would hope they would have learned this some time between Little League and the big leagues. It's not exactly a rocket science.

SoxyStu
08-20-2008, 10:24 PM
No more than you are assuming that Walker wasn't working with Vets or giving them advice.

I assume he worked his ass off with all of his players, and squat came of it for not just 1, but quite a few players. So, ya go with a different approach. A different method, style, or intelligence. His approach wasn't working.


You are assuming that it was Walker who wasn't performing. I don't think that's reasonable. If he was doing everything asked of him, and the players weren't executing, what more could he have done? Take a look - they are hitting now. Credit shouldn't go to him any more than blame should. I assume you'd agree with that? Hitters hit - or they dont. A coach works with them - but that's it. He doesn't hit.

Ok, I'm digesting...I want to be sure I understand - you think coaches deserve zero credit and zero blame for however their players do?

jabrch
08-21-2008, 07:20 AM
I assume he worked his ass off with all of his players, and squat came of it for not just 1, but quite a few players. So, ya go with a different approach. A different method, style, or intelligence. His approach wasn't working.

If a coach does all the right things, and the wrong thing happen, I'm OK with that for a while. Walker has built up enough capital in my eyes to have his offense suffer a slump..Fortunately we didn't overreact.


Ok, I'm digesting...I want to be sure I understand - you think coaches deserve zero credit and zero blame for however their players do?

I wouldn't go as far as zero...and I wouldn't make a blanket statement. I will say a hitting coach gets way too much credit and way way way to much blame. Walker, around here, got crucified when I don't believe he deserved it. In 05, OG got too much credit.

Of the major US sports, professional baseball is less about coaching than any of them.

asindc
08-21-2008, 08:24 AM
FWIW, I completely agree with you. A lot of frustration gets vented on this board, I understand that, but honestly -- unless you know the job and how it should be done (not just what results it *should* produce), and could explain in detail how the job requirements aren't being met, then it seems to me just silly to rant about firing someone.

As for the idea that someone has to be "sacrificed" when hitters slump, that to me is absolutely absurd. That same logic had some primitive tribes in times past sacrificing humans when it didn't rain for a few months. I think we've got a better grasp of cause and effect by now! :rolleyes: The whole notion of making a scapegoat is ridiculous and something that we should try not to give in to.

Well said.

oeo
08-21-2008, 08:33 AM
The problem I have with that reasoning is: it's not Walker who EXECUTES and produces the results of his "philosophy and hard labor." You want him to pay the price for the failure of the players to execute? I'm curious: why don't you want THEM to pay the price?

This team has been far too streaky in his time here, and that's the big issue. Whatever he stresses, he only stresses it for a short period of time.

There are times when this looks like the best offensive team in baseball. They're taking the ball the other way, driving it in the gaps, not swinging for the long ball. I think one of those times is right now. Yes, we're hitting a lot of homeruns, but that's not all we're doing.

Then there are times where everyone is trying to pull the ball, and go deep. Let's hope that isn't upcoming...

Walker seems like a coach that only tries to coach when you're struggling. He just lets you be when things are going good, and that's why guys start changing their approach. He should be driving the same 'philosophies' everyday, whether you're going good or you're going bad.

southside rocks
08-21-2008, 08:47 AM
I totally understand what you're saying. I do agree that players should get the ax. But why is it that coaches/managers/leaders always get fired first? Because it's always easier to fire 1 guy instead of 5/9/11/25 or however many players on any team and any sport...or any group. As in baseball, there are millions of dollars tied up into guaranteed contracts, so, the ax falls on one person. And, as the bug says, the first rule of leadership is that everything is your fault.

I was probably unclear in my post; I should have said in my real world (I thought I did). I never get to pick my crew and most of 'em have never shown success. Yet, the bar continues to increase no matter what. I've also led crews in stores and never had the fire/hire power. Walk is in this same situation. He doesn't have the power to pick and chose his crew. The crew was hired for him and he's got to do the best with what he has. Fortunately for him, his crew has shown prior success; and unfortunately for him, because they've shown prior success, when the crew slips big-time, it's time for a new chief.

I agree, in many business or corporate environments, the blame falls as you describe it. I think it's quite different in professional baseball, however, for a number of reasons.

IMO, most times when a coach is fired it's for one of two reasons: either the manager's been fired as well and the GM is cleaning house; or the manager and the coach have had a falling out that led to the coach's departure. Even without the drama of a firing, that happens -- Tim Raines quietly disappeared from the Sox a year or so ago.

If teams fired the hitting coach every time the team underperformed at the plate over a stretch of time -- even an entire season -- there would be far more firings of hitting coaches. We'd expect to see the teams that trail the league in BA or runs scored every year change hitting coaches. We don't see that. IMO that's because the management in baseball realizes that old trusim: that hitting successfully is the most difficult job in the game, and that even for very good, established hitters, there are times of non-production and slumps. When you combine those slumps with injuries and with the presence of some less-talented players on the club, you have a year like the Sox 2007. But there was way more of a "**** happens" reason behind that than there was any failure of Walk in the performance of his duties.

southside rocks
08-21-2008, 08:51 AM
This team has been far too streaky in his time here, and that's the big issue. Whatever he stresses, he only stresses it for a short period of time.

There are times when this looks like the best offensive team in baseball. They're taking the ball the other way, driving it in the gaps, not swinging for the long ball. I think one of those times is right now. Yes, we're hitting a lot of homeruns, but that's not all we're doing.

Then there are times where everyone is trying to pull the ball, and go deep. Let's hope that isn't upcoming...

Walker seems like a coach that only tries to coach when you're struggling. He just lets you be when things are going good, and that's why guys start changing their approach. He should be driving the same 'philosophies' everyday, whether you're going good or you're going bad.

See, I think that unless we actually get to spend some time with Walk and know first-hand what his philosophy and methods are, we can't make those statements with any assurance. We see what the players are doing, and we assume it's what Walker was teaching -- but that's not necessarily true.

I've heard a lot of talk, from Farmer and Stone and probably other commentors, about how Juan Uribe, for instance, just has his habits that won't be altered by any amount of coaching. Do we blame Walker for that? Or do we do what Ozzie does, which is to accept that Juan -- at this stage in his career and maturity -- is what he is, and he can be very helpful in certain roles but you can't count on him in others?

To me, that's the essence of good managing: knowing how to best use WHAT YOU HAVE -- not what you should have, or what you think you have, or what you want to have -- to win games consistently.

JMO.

oeo
08-21-2008, 09:01 AM
See, I think that unless we actually get to spend some time with Walk and know first-hand what his philosophy and methods are, we can't make those statements with any assurance. We see what the players are doing, and we assume it's what Walker was teaching -- but that's not necessarily true.

I've heard a lot of talk, from Farmer and Stone and probably other commentors, about how Juan Uribe, for instance, just has his habits that won't be altered by any amount of coaching. Do we blame Walker for that? Or do we do what Ozzie does, which is to accept that Juan -- at this stage in his career and maturity -- is what he is, and he can be very helpful in certain roles but you can't count on him in others?

To me, that's the essence of good managing: knowing how to best use WHAT YOU HAVE -- not what you should have, or what you think you have, or what you want to have -- to win games consistently.

JMO.

I can't say for sure, but it is just my opinion that Walker backs off when things are going well. Why else do all these guys get into the same habits every time things are looking good? They shouldn't be this streaky.

southside rocks
08-21-2008, 09:03 AM
I can't say for sure, but it is just my opinion that Walker backs off when things are going well. Why else do all these guys get into the same habits every time things are looking good? They shouldn't be this streaky.

I don't know, and that raises the interesting question of just how much of an effect a batting coach has on professional hitters.

Do the hitters get mentally complacent when things are going well, and therefore relax certain aspects of their game? Do the opposing pitchers pay attention to their pitching coaches and scouting reports and start to pitch the successful batters differently, thus dictating the need for an adjustment by the hitter? That can be tough to do when you are feeling 'in a groove', I think.

To me, there are too many unknowns in that equation for me to arrive at the answer of 'Greg Walker.' :tongue:

oeo
08-21-2008, 09:09 AM
I don't know, and that raises the interesting question of just how much of an effect a batting coach has on professional hitters.

Do the hitters get mentally complacent when things are going well, and therefore relax certain aspects of their game? Do the opposing pitchers pay attention to their pitching coaches and scouting reports and start to pitch the successful batters differently, thus dictating the need for an adjustment by the hitter? That can be tough to do when you are feeling 'in a groove', I think.

To me, there are too many unknowns in that equation for me to arrive at the answer of 'Greg Walker.' :tongue:

The thing is, you don't see nearly as much "streaky-ness" from other teams. That's why I look to Greg Walker.

balke
08-21-2008, 09:12 AM
If Brian Anderson really starts hitting and stays that way for the rest of the season, I'll forgive Walker a bit. My main gripe is that I haven't really seen a hitter get "better" with Walk. I've seen a lot get worse. This season though, JD is hitting the crap out of the ball, as is Carlos Quentin and Alexei. There's something to be said about that.

jabrch
08-21-2008, 10:25 AM
This team has been far too streaky in his time here, and that's the big issue. Whatever he stresses, he only stresses it for a short period of time.

There are times when this looks like the best offensive team in baseball. They're taking the ball the other way, driving it in the gaps, not swinging for the long ball. I think one of those times is right now. Yes, we're hitting a lot of homeruns, but that's not all we're doing.

Then there are times where everyone is trying to pull the ball, and go deep. Let's hope that isn't upcoming...

Walker seems like a coach that only tries to coach when you're struggling. He just lets you be when things are going good, and that's why guys start changing their approach. He should be driving the same 'philosophies' everyday, whether you're going good or you're going bad.

I just don't know how you can conclude any of that...

jabrch
08-21-2008, 10:31 AM
The thing is, you don't see nearly as much "streaky-ness" from other teams. That's why I look to Greg Walker.

Is that a fact? I'm not sure. I've asked if anyone has run the numbers of the teams that are in the top quartile of offense to see the spread of their streakyness and haven't seen anything. I know it feels like we are that way, but are we more streaky than Texas? (the only team who has scored more runs than us this season) Boston or Baltimore? The only other two teams over 650 runs. Detroit? There are the top 5 teams in runs scored in the AL. The next 5 are MN, NY, TB, LA, CLE. Are we statistically any more streaky than they are? We've outscored them by about 75 runs...

I know we feel like it is that way, but I'd love someone to show me the math.

Even still - I am not convinced you can pin that on a hitting coach since there are so many factors to be considered outside of just who is the hitting coach.

daveeym
08-21-2008, 11:16 AM
Everything sucked in 2007. But firing the hitting coach midseason wouldn't have fixed anything then either. That's a reactionary move to fans displeasure and hardly ever a good baseball move.
Then please let us know when is a good time to fire a hitting coach?

I don't get all the love for Greg Walker. The hate, while over the top, I can understand. It was an 180 game slump.

palehozenychicty
08-21-2008, 11:32 AM
Then please let us know when is a good time to fire a hitting coach?

I don't get all the love for Greg Walker. The hate, while over the top, I can understand. It was an 180 game slump.

Me neither. They're playing well now, but from mid-06 until June of '08, this offense was not pretty. If he didn't get an axe after all of that, then he's almost Tefloned.

tstrike2000
08-21-2008, 11:33 AM
Then please let us know when is a good time to fire a hitting coach?

I don't get all the love for Greg Walker. The hate, while over the top, I can understand. It was an 180 game slump.

From that standpoint, that's when hitting coaches are fired. I don't remember a time when hitting coach wasn't fired for any reason than just poor team hitting or as a wake up call to the team. Looking at those typical reasons, Walker should've been gone long ago.

southside rocks
08-21-2008, 11:45 AM
I don't get all the love for Greg Walker. The hate, while over the top, I can understand. It was an 180 game slump.


I am not sure it's love for Greg Walker so much as it is a 'not enough evidence to convict Greg Walker' attitude being expressed. And clearly, there are differing opinions on that.

TDog
08-21-2008, 12:56 PM
Then please let us know when is a good time to fire a hitting coach?
...

It may appear to observers, including observers in the media, that hitting coaches are fired as change for the sake of change when teams go into prolonged hitting slumps. And there are times when that indeed does happen, with teams that are struggling to find success. More often there are other reasons contributing to the firing of hitting coaches. These include philosophical differences between hitting coaches and managers compounded by prolonged slumps and difficulty in connecting with players. Sometimes those conflicts aren't so much between the hitting coach and the manager, but between the field manager and upper management, which looks to changing the hitting coach as a way to change the field manager's philosophy.

The White Sox have been in harmony with Greg Walker's philosophy as a hitting coach. Although they promoted Walker from the minors before bringing Ozzie Guillen in to manage the team, there don't seem to be philosophical conflicts between Walker and Guillen. If Guillen has been in any sort of trouble with upper management (and I don't believe he has) it is unrelated to his philosophical acceptance of Walker as a hitting coach. Players for the White Sox don't have a problem working with Walker. Former players for the White Sox report having enjoyed working with Walker.

It is simplistic to believe team batting averages and run production can tell you if there is a good time to fire a hitting coach. Judging from the lack of success many major league teams have had after firing hitting coaches over the years, one could raise a similar question. When is it a bad time to fire a hitting coach?

daveeym
08-21-2008, 01:14 PM
It may appear to observers, including observers in the media, that hitting coaches are fired as change for the sake of change when teams go into prolonged hitting slumps. And there are times when that indeed does happen, with teams that are struggling to find success. More often there are other reasons contributing to the firing of hitting coaches. These include philosophical differences between hitting coaches and managers compounded by prolonged slumps and difficulty in connecting with players. Sometimes those conflicts aren't so much between the hitting coach and the manager, but between the field manager and upper management, which looks to changing the hitting coach as a way to change the field manager's philosophy.

The White Sox have been in harmony with Greg Walker's philosophy as a hitting coach. Although they promoted Walker from the minors before bringing Ozzie Guillen in to manage the team, there don't seem to be philosophical conflicts between Walker and Guillen. If Guillen has been in any sort of trouble with upper management (and I don't believe he has) it is unrelated to his philosophical acceptance of Walker as a hitting coach. Players for the White Sox don't have a problem working with Walker. Former players for the White Sox report having enjoyed working with Walker.

It is simplistic to believe team batting averages and run production can tell you if there is a good time to fire a hitting coach. Judging from the lack of success many major league teams have had after firing hitting coaches over the years, one could raise a similar question. When is it a bad time to fire a hitting coach? So the only time it's okay to fire your batting coach is when Machiavelli disagrees with Thomas Hobbes and Sir Thomas More needs to step in and say enough is enough?

TDog
08-21-2008, 01:32 PM
So the only time it's okay to fire your batting coach is when Machiavelli disagrees with Thomas Hobbes and Sir Thomas More needs to step in and say enough is enough?

There are probably plentiful and varied good times to fire hitting coaches. But they have little to do with why posters here were calling for Greg Walker to be fired.

daveeym
08-21-2008, 01:40 PM
There are probably plentiful and varied good times to fire hitting coaches. But they have little to do with why posters here were calling for Greg Walker to be fired.Crap hitting from mid 06 - end of May 08 isn't a good enough reason? Then I once again ask the question what is a good reason for firing a hitting coach?

I doubt Walker is signed for millions and doesn't have a no-trade clause either.

jabrch
08-21-2008, 01:55 PM
Then please let us know when is a good time to fire a hitting coach?

I wouldn't - unless I have a fundamental disagreement with his tactics.

I don't get all the love for Greg Walker.

No such thing exists. It isn't about love or hate. It's about what benefit you get from eating a contract and bringing in a new guy with a group of hitters who have already proven they are skilled hitters. I don't see the upside to letting him go.

The hate, while over the top, I can understand. It was an 180 game slump.

Where were you when they were on the 180 game streak? By all accounts, Walker works hard with hitters doing the right things. It isn't a lack of effort or of skill on his part. And having waited it out, look at the results - guys are hitting like they can. It's not that Walker is a miracle worker and these terrible hitters are hitting - it is that good hitters who slumped are no longers slumping.

jabrch
08-21-2008, 01:57 PM
It may appear to observers, including observers in the media, that hitting coaches are fired as change for the sake of change when teams go into prolonged hitting slumps. And there are times when that indeed does happen, with teams that are struggling to find success. More often there are other reasons contributing to the firing of hitting coaches. These include philosophical differences between hitting coaches and managers compounded by prolonged slumps and difficulty in connecting with players. Sometimes those conflicts aren't so much between the hitting coach and the manager, but between the field manager and upper management, which looks to changing the hitting coach as a way to change the field manager's philosophy.

The White Sox have been in harmony with Greg Walker's philosophy as a hitting coach. Although they promoted Walker from the minors before bringing Ozzie Guillen in to manage the team, there don't seem to be philosophical conflicts between Walker and Guillen. If Guillen has been in any sort of trouble with upper management (and I don't believe he has) it is unrelated to his philosophical acceptance of Walker as a hitting coach. Players for the White Sox don't have a problem working with Walker. Former players for the White Sox report having enjoyed working with Walker.

It is simplistic to believe team batting averages and run production can tell you if there is a good time to fire a hitting coach. Judging from the lack of success many major league teams have had after firing hitting coaches over the years, one could raise a similar question. When is it a bad time to fire a hitting coach?


That's a fantastic post TDog. Very well said.

daveeym
08-21-2008, 02:03 PM
I wouldn't - unless I have a fundamental disagreement with his tactics.



No such thing exists. It isn't about love or hate. It's about what benefit you get from eating a contract and bringing in a new guy with a group of hitters who have already proven they are skilled hitters. I don't see the upside to letting him go.



Where were you when they were on the 180 game streak? By all accounts, Walker works hard with hitters doing the right things. It isn't a lack of effort or of skill on his part. And having waited it out, look at the results - guys are hitting like they can. It's not that Walker is a miracle worker and these terrible hitters are hitting - it is that good hitters who slumped are no longers slumping.
You guys are so full of it. You dance around the question, there's never a reason to fire a hitting coach, it's the players fault, why waste the money on his contract etc., only if philosophies differ, 180 games is a slump for "proven hitters."

Not one of you can describe the job requirements and absolve him from all blame because the team is full of veterans that aren't to be coached anymore. If that's the case he should be fired anyway because he's clearly just a Reinsy lapdog and not actually performing any duties.

And while I like that you're consistent and saying he doesn't deserve praise for 05 - mid 06 just like he doesn't deserve the blame for the crap you guys won't answer the question. You defend walker but have given no reasons for firing a hitting coach other then some mumbo jumbo about Philosophies.

I swear all the Walker defenders could be oil market analysts.

jabrch
08-21-2008, 02:12 PM
You defend walker but have given no reasons for firing a hitting coach other then some mumbo jumbo about Philosophies.

I'm sorry if you are uninterested in listening - but I expressed a clear and defined reason to fire a hitting coach.

If the manager/GM are not in agreement with the approach, tactics, philisophy and work of a hitting coach, then you'd want to remove him. But if you think he is doing all of the right things, and the guy who you'd seek out to replace him would do many of the same things, then you don't make a change for change's sake. It's not brain surgery. Make a change if you can tie the change to improvment, not because you are willing to close your eyes and pray that the next guy will do the same things and get different results.

2906
08-21-2008, 02:33 PM
I'm sorry if you are uninterested in listening - but I expressed a clear and defined reason to fire a hitting coach.

If the manager/GM are not in agreement with the approach, tactics, philisophy and work of a hitting coach, then you'd want to remove him. But if you think he is doing all of the right things, and the guy who you'd seek out to replace him would do many of the same things, then you don't make a change for change's sake. It's not brain surgery. Make a change if you can tie the change to improvment, not because you are willing to close your eyes and pray that the next guy will do the same things and get different results.

Interesting thread.

I'm neither a Walker apologist or a Walker basher. I tend to place most of the burden on hitters. When the hitters aren't doing their job though, everything needs to be examined, including the hitting coach.

I agree with you that a good reason to fire a hitting coach is if his philosophy isn't in synch with the manager and GM.

Other reasons:

- poor communication skills
- can't relate to the players
- doesn't put in the hours
- isn't aggressive enough with the players, i.e. offering help if he sees something amiss
- being too aggressive with the players, i.e. jumping on them after every bad at bat
- can't get along or work with the rest of the coaching staff
- a clearly better alternative is available and wants the job

Those are seven off the top of my head. From what I've read, the little I've seen, and the little I know personally, none of the seven scenarios pertain to Walker.

It is a results business though. There may come a time when, for whatever reason, a change is necessary. The White Sox don't seem to operate on a change-for-change-sake philosophy. To me, it is always better to make coaching changes in the offseason. It's generally too disruptive mid season and the horse is usually out of the barn by then too.

daveeym
08-21-2008, 03:01 PM
Interesting thread.

I'm neither a Walker apologist or a Walker basher. I tend to place most of the burden on hitters. When the hitters aren't doing their job though, everything needs to be examined, including the hitting coach.

I agree with you that a good reason to fire a hitting coach is if his philosophy isn't in synch with the manager and GM.

Other reasons:

- poor communication skills
- can't relate to the players
- doesn't put in the hours
- isn't aggressive enough with the players, i.e. offering help if he sees something amiss
- being too aggressive with the players, i.e. jumping on them after every bad at bat
- can't get along or work with the rest of the coaching staff
- a clearly better alternative is available and wants the job

Those are seven off the top of my head. From what I've read, the little I've seen, and the little I know personally, none of the seven scenarios pertain to Walker.

It is a results business though. There may come a time when, for whatever reason, a change is necessary. The White Sox don't seem to operate on a change-for-change-sake philosophy. To me, it is always better to make coaching changes in the offseason. It's generally too disruptive mid season and the horse is usually out of the barn by then too.Now there's an answer that isn't bs. Now at least the warring factions can argue something they have no first hand knowledge about within some more real guidelines. You didn't have to go and give them the answers though. I wanted to hear more about philosophies and veteran hitters.

jabrch
08-21-2008, 03:07 PM
Interesting thread.

I'm neither a Walker apologist or a Walker basher. I tend to place most of the burden on hitters. When the hitters aren't doing their job though, everything needs to be examined, including the hitting coach.

I agree with you that a good reason to fire a hitting coach is if his philosophy isn't in synch with the manager and GM.

Other reasons:

- poor communication skills
- can't relate to the players
- doesn't put in the hours
- isn't aggressive enough with the players, i.e. offering help if he sees something amiss
- being too aggressive with the players, i.e. jumping on them after every bad at bat
- can't get along or work with the rest of the coaching staff
- a clearly better alternative is available and wants the job

Those are seven off the top of my head. From what I've read, the little I've seen, and the little I know personally, none of the seven scenarios pertain to Walker.

It is a results business though. There may come a time when, for whatever reason, a change is necessary. The White Sox don't seem to operate on a change-for-change-sake philosophy. To me, it is always better to make coaching changes in the offseason. It's generally too disruptive mid season and the horse is usually out of the barn by then too.

I'd agree with those - most (not the last one) fall under approach and tactics to me - but I do agree with them. The last one is also true - if you believe there is someone more likely be match your philosophy and be effective. Either way - I agree - none do apply to Walker.

SoxyStu
08-21-2008, 06:17 PM
If a coach does all the right things, and the wrong thing happen, I'm OK with that for a while. Walker has built up enough capital in my eyes to have his offense suffer a slump..Fortunately we didn't overreact.

I wouldn't go as far as zero...and I wouldn't make a blanket statement. I will say a hitting coach gets way too much credit and way way way to much blame. Walker, around here, got crucified when I don't believe he deserved it. In 05, OG got too much credit.

Of the major US sports, professional baseball is less about coaching than any of them.

I think I see where you're going. I was going to ask how long, in your opinion, a slump lasts, but it wouldn't matter because of all of the capital he'd built up in your eyes. I imagine you'd be willing to put up with a season and a half slump because of the goodwill accumulated.

Maybe I've also been somewhat disillusioned of the importance of a hitting coach (as you commented on the importance of 'em)...I remember when Frank would struggle, he'd personally hire Walt to get himself back on track. Maybe that stuck too much with me too much as proof that hitting coaches are worthy of praise or, on the flip side, blame?

kitekrazy
08-21-2008, 06:46 PM
Crap hitting from mid 06 - end of May 08 isn't a good enough reason? Then I once again ask the question what is a good reason for firing a hitting coach?

I doubt Walker is signed for millions and doesn't have a no-trade clause either.

There's times I would rather fire the whole organization for always keeping one foot on the station to station philosophy. Kenny has to go outside the organization to break that. Then we want to plug any kid from the minors into DH/1B because they lack some basic baseball skills like defense.

SoxyStu
08-21-2008, 07:21 PM
As an aside, Kenny has gone through two hitting coaches before hiring Walk. One was fired because a new voice was needed in the organization and the other was fired because the offense was pitiful.

Brian26
08-21-2008, 07:44 PM
:firenardi

:fireward

:firepettis

jabrch
08-21-2008, 07:59 PM
Whatever works for ya Stu. You keep on cheering for him to be fired if that's what you want to do. Who am I to disagree? I just don't see the point of it - and that's my right as well.