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View Full Version : Should Greg Walker be held accountable?


anoone
09-23-2005, 11:48 AM
I hesitate to start this because someone will say, "Oh no, not another Greg Walker thread." However, I think it's more appropriate now with recent events.

One of the early season mantras around here was, "If the Sox weren't winning, Greg Walker's job would be in jeopardy." I'm not trying to lead a 'Fire the coach' rally, I'm just trying to objectively figure out how much responsibility for the lack of hitting should fall on the hitting coach. I know that this isn't exactly murderer's row, but some disturbing things stick out about the hitting. In no particular order;

- Lack of clutch hitting. See innings 8, 9, 10 from yesterday.

- Lots of pop-ups. It seems like a struggle just to get solid wood on the ball, much less drive it anywhere.

- Understanding situations. Yesterday in the ninth, Dye has to know that with the bases loaded, Rincon was going to want to get ahead in the count and start with a fastball. While I advocate taking pitches and working counts, this is a rare situation where you look to drive that first pitch. Dye didn't seem to realize this (or worse yet, did and just couldn't pull the trigger).

- Homer or nothing. Short, compact swings still seem to be a foreign concept.

- Offspeed futility. Any time a pitcher with a good change or breaking stuff is on the mound, you know the hitters are going to struggle.

I know that some of these problems feed into the other. But what concerns me is that these problems are pretty universal throughout the lineup. So, is this the hitting coach's fault, just a case of not being able to polish a turd, or the Sox misfortune to run into consistently great pitching the 2nd half?

PatK
09-23-2005, 11:53 AM
I thought Greg was a hitting coach following the Charlie Lau school of hitting.

For one thing- I don't see it.

For another, hitting with that style is supposed to lessen the chance of pop-ups.

However, it doesn't work if the players don't do it. Remember, Greg isn't the one swinging at bad pitches and hitting pop-ups.

mike squires
09-23-2005, 12:01 PM
There's a scene in the 83 documentary where it shows Mike Boddiker getting several Sox hitters on K's. They show them one after the other each of them having the EXACT same wing and follow through. The game has certainly changed. Everyone has their own approach and style that they feel comfortable with.

White Sox Randy
09-23-2005, 12:01 PM
There are no big RBI guys on the White Sox. When we get some, then we can expect key runs to be driven in.

anoone
09-23-2005, 12:03 PM
I thought Greg was a hitting coach following the Charlie Lau school of hitting.

For one thing- I don't see it.

For another, hitting with that style is supposed to lessen the chance of pop-ups.

However, it doesn't work if the players don't do it. Remember, Greg isn't the one swinging at bad pitches and hitting pop-ups.

Ah yes, pitch selection. I forgot to list that one.

BTW, I have nothing against Greg Walker. He seems a nice enough guy.

TDog
09-23-2005, 12:05 PM
I thought Greg was a hitting coach following the Charlie Lau school of hitting.

For one thing- I don't see it.

For another, hitting with that style is supposed to lessen the chance of pop-ups.

However, it doesn't work if the players don't do it. Remember, Greg isn't the one swinging at bad pitches and hitting pop-ups.

Greg Walker patiently tries to work with hitters to hit the way that works best for them. Not everyone comes out with the same Walt Hriniak swing that sports columnists used to complain about in the '90s, insisting it was the reason the Sox would never win. Some people in the Sox organization (Joe Crede, for example) have been especially high maintenance. The fact that people found reason to complain that Crede successfully bunted Pods over in extra inning last night says something about Walker's work with hitters, but it isn't all on the coach. Hitting is hard work, about making lightning quick judgments and adjustments. And well-grounded confidence.

Walker is not the problem.

daveeym
09-23-2005, 12:09 PM
Greg Walker patiently tries to work with hitters to hit the way that works best for them. Not everyone comes out with the same Walt Hriniak swing that sports columnists used to complain about in the '90s, insisting it was the reason the Sox would never win. Some people in the Sox organization (Joe Crede, for example) have been especially high maintenance. The fact that people found reason to complain that Crede successfully bunted Pods over in extra inning last night says something about Walker's work with hitters, but it isn't all on the coach. Hitting is hard work, about making lightning quick judgments and adjustments. And well-grounded confidence.

Walker is not the problem. Then what's a hitting coach for? Walker is a problem, if the sox never tanked and even if they go on to win the WS Walker should still be let loose.

Randar68
09-23-2005, 12:09 PM
I hesitate to start this because someone will say, "Oh no, not another Greg Walker thread." However, I think it's more appropriate now with recent events.

You can't make Chicken Marsala out of Chicket ****...

Would people like to take a look at the career numbers and 3-year histories of the players Walker has to work with?

Very few guys are far from their career trends...

This team will be dramatically different next year, IMO, and this almost-complete collapse relatively assures that.

You will have a new starting CF'er, possibly a new LF'er, a new 1st baseman, and perhaps a new player at either SS or 3rd... The bench will be almost entirely replaced...

The only thing this team will have next year is a similar rotation, and if Contreras pitches next year like he has since the light went on for him the last 2 months, we'll be a contending team regardless of offense... will we be a better team? We'll have to see.

TDog
09-23-2005, 12:14 PM
...

The only thing this team will have next year is a similar rotation, and if Contreras pitches next year like he has since the light went on for him the last 2 months, we'll be a contending team regardless of offense... will we be a better team? We'll have to see.

I agree with you on that point. Even when the Sox have had the 15-game lead, I have considered pretty much everyone aside from the pitchers to be replaceable.

fledgedrallycap
09-23-2005, 12:15 PM
Yes, it's all the coaches fault. Let's get rid of Don Cooper while were at it for the problems of Buerhle and Garcia.

The offensive talent on this team does not equate to potent numbers. With exception of a couple players, all are playing at about the expected levels.

wassagstdu
09-23-2005, 12:46 PM
Seems like too many Sox hitters have two things in common:
1. Tendency to pop up in clutch situations or under pressure.
2. Sitting on dead red and unable to handle a change-up.
Is it the coach's fault or the players not really buying into the need to shorten their swings? Got me.


.

rdwj
09-23-2005, 12:49 PM
I really never put a ton of value on the hitting coach, but it seems to me that Cleveland started to turn it on shortly after getting rid of Murray. Was it the reason? Who knows?

miker
09-23-2005, 01:20 PM
For what, the hurricanes? High gas prices?

Seriously, some believe that coaches are hired to be fired, but I'm still waiting for the body to be cold before doing the autopsy.

BainesHOF
09-23-2005, 02:59 PM
I don't think Walker has anything to do with it.

Hangar18
09-23-2005, 03:12 PM
NO. Walker isnt to blame. Leaving Everett to play in Sept is the reason.
Thinking that Dye would partially replace Ordonez/Lee also to blame

Hangar18
09-23-2005, 03:15 PM
I really never put a ton of value on the hitting coach, but it seems to me that Cleveland started to turn it on shortly after getting rid of Murray. Was it the reason? Who knows?


RDWJ, your Signature is making me laugh hysterically .....on a day that is
Dark and Cloudy (no pun intended) here in Chicago. thanks! :cool:

beckett21
09-23-2005, 03:20 PM
NO. Walker isnt to blame. Leaving Everett to play in Sept is the reason.
Thinking that Dye would partially replace Ordonez/Lee also to blame

Ordonez has had one helluva year, hasn't he?

:wink:

Dye has not been the problem, though last night he blew it.

Podsednik's injury, along with the offense collectively slumping, is the culprit in my book. I don't think Walker is to blame completely, but he shouldn't be immune either.

OH!foracold1
09-23-2005, 03:22 PM
If you're going to blame Walking then you better include Cooper. Why hasn't
he found a solution on why 3 of our pitchers have been getting their butts kicked for a month and a half now. :angry:

Hangar18
09-23-2005, 03:28 PM
Ordonez has had one helluva year, hasn't he?

:wink:

Dye has not been the problem, though last night he blew it.

Podsednik's injury, along with the offense collectively slumping, is the culprit in my book. I don't think Walker is to blame completely, but he shouldn't be immune either.


Replacing Ordonez with a guy with Un-Ordonez-like numbers was foolish.
Building a one-dimensional offense around Scott Podsednik only Compounded the Foolishness. Again, if you lose Ordonez and Lee, better make sure we replace them with guys very similar to them

getonbckthr
09-23-2005, 03:35 PM
walker did a good job with Uribe, as with Crede. the player must be willing to listen, before they are able to learn.

TomBradley72
09-23-2005, 03:40 PM
It's not Walker. He can't change the fact that our hitters are basically choking under pressure when we need key hits....the whole theory of this line up was "veterans with something to prove"...there's a reason Dye, Everett and Pierzynski bounce around from team to team and are at the low end of salaries...they are B- level free agents. Pods isn't running, Iguchi is no longer going to RF, Everett is slumping, Paulie is streaky, Dye and Rowand seem to be gagging, Pierzynski has 1-2 HR's in the entire 2nd half. Only Crede and Uribe have anything going right now.

It's not the hitting coach. It's the players.

BeviBall!
09-23-2005, 03:45 PM
Replacing Ordonez with a guy with Un-Ordonez-like numbers was foolish.
Building a one-dimensional offense around Scott Podsednik only Compounded the Foolishness. Again, if you lose Ordonez and Lee, better make sure we replace them with guys very similar to them

The small ball appraoch is great but we've always had two problems. 1 - US Cellular Field's dimensions. 2 - Our meat of the order doesn't put the ball in play. We overcame this for 4 months but it finally caught up to us.

BeviBall!
09-23-2005, 03:46 PM
walker did a good job with Uribe, as with Crede. the player must be willing to listen, before they are able to learn.

Hriniak worked with Uribe.

kitekrazy
09-23-2005, 07:12 PM
If you're going to blame Walking then you better include Cooper. Why hasn't
he found a solution on why 3 of our pitchers have been getting their butts kicked for a month and a half now. :angry:

Maybe some of these guys should take about 3-4 hours of batting practive earlier in the day.
I wonder why Cooper is never criticized. The staff puts up impressive numbers in the 1st half and the turn to BP pitchers the 2nd half. As Hawk, DJ and many of you have noted that the Sox staff does a lot of pitching outside and rarely inside. This is a 2nd half trademark.
Mark B wins about 15 games a year, but 2/3 of them come before the break. Maybe one of you stats freaks could verify this. I'm curious.

beckett21
09-23-2005, 07:21 PM
Replacing Ordonez with a guy with Un-Ordonez-like numbers was foolish.
Building a one-dimensional offense around Scott Podsednik only Compounded the Foolishness. Again, if you lose Ordonez and Lee, better make sure we replace them with guys very similar to them

The plan was to go in a totally different direction. That plan was working great until Pods suffered the groin injury. The loss of the speed game cannot be discounted in this collapse. I wouldn't say it was foolishness, because the team was going gangbusters when Podsednik was stealing bases. Now that he has lost that dimension, his value is negated entirely.

Dye has put up good numbers this season despite a very slow start, and he has stayed healthy. He has been a servicable replacement for Magglio. I wouldn't pin this on him. That's all I'm saying.

Daver
09-23-2005, 07:35 PM
I have always had a problem with Greg Walker, and his approach to coaching young hitters. He seems to have a swing set in his mind, and tries to change everyones approach to match the image in his head, as opposed to Von Joshua's style of analyzing the positive and negative aspects of a hitters swing and working on reinforcing the positives, and minmizing the negatives.

The 2000 team under Joshua's guidance had a lineup that hammered the ball one thru nine in the order, that disappeared when Von was unfairly fired.

LaHerdiaGrande35
09-23-2005, 07:57 PM
There's no way Walker is to blame for our recent struggles. We have no great hitters on this team, nobody is patient at the plate, and it seems as though everyone is very streaky and can't getting anything good going consistently for long periods.

TheOldRoman
09-23-2005, 08:13 PM
Replacing Ordonez with a guy with Un-Ordonez-like numbers was foolish.
Building a one-dimensional offense around Scott Podsednik only Compounded the Foolishness. Again, if you lose Ordonez and Lee, better make sure we replace them with guys very similar to them
I will point everyone to the post in the other thread, where I shot down every piece of BS you threw at us. Dye is putting up LEE-LIKE NUMBERS. His numbers are almost the same as Lee's (sans RBI). He has been very similar to Lee in average and homers. We subsituted Ordonez for a very "Un-Ordonez-like" LEAD-OFF HITTER. We needed a lead-off hitter, which even you admitted, and we got one of the best in the game. He happens to play OF. It would have been great if we got a lead-off hitter who played SS or 3B, and then we could sign another "Ordonez-like" player for the outfield. We couldn't so we had to get an outfielder who leads off. You seem to have an unhealthy obsession with Lee and Ordonez. You act as if they were both first ballot hall of famers, when Ordonez in his prime (which passed him by when he ran into Willie) was an all-star at best, while Lee was little more than a lazy mediocre power hitter.

Soxfanspcu11
09-24-2005, 01:24 AM
Greg Walker IS the problem. Absolutely NO doubt about it. Check my earlier post about this and reference TWIB. Walker has absolutely NO idea what he is doing out there, he is a TERRIBLE coach! No scouting reports? No tape? are you kidding me? This guy is a joke! KW is paying attention and I have already emailed him about 50 times to get rid of that "coach" asap!

Mohoney
09-24-2005, 05:03 AM
Actually, I thought that the approaches that they had against Millwood and Westbrook were really good. They were really trying to hit the ball the other way more. They didn't swing for the fences as much.

After they scored some runs and hit some balls hard off Millwood and Westbrook, it looked like they went in Wednesday and completely abandoned that approach against Elarton, opting to try and decimate him. I think this team wanted to try and go long-ball happy against Elarton and score double-digit runs to make a statement. The problem is, though, that after the first two looks for everybody in the order, we were left with a goose egg in the run column, and we didn't adjust our approach AT ALL until Rowand and Crede put some nice swings on the ball in the 7th.

As for Thursday's game, it was lack of execution, plain and simple. Dye couldn't even manage a sac fly in that 9th inning, and more often than not, that will burn you. The real kicker, though, is that they had ANOTHER chance in the 10th and failed again.

I'm hoping that Joe Mays can cure what ails us. He's nowhere near what he once was, and if we can win 6-1, 7-2, or something similar where we just dominate a mediocre team for all 9 innings, we might be able to right the ship.

Mohoney
09-24-2005, 05:13 AM
I have always had a problem with Greg Walker, and his approach to coaching young hitters.

You have a good point here. I'm starting to think that maybe he's not the right guy for less seasoned guys like Crede or Uribe, since they don't seem to be making as much progress as I would like in making the transition from overwhelmingly streaky .250 hitters to .250 hitters that have more consistency and make better contact.

But he seems like a good guy to work with veteran hitters. The first 4 months of the year, we were hitting outside pitches the other way. The first 2 games of the Cleveland series, we did the same thing.

eastchicagosoxfan
09-24-2005, 06:32 AM
The Sox have a bunch of career .270 hitters. Some guys may be below .270, I'm not sure. What's a .270 career guy gonna hit, .325? It looks like Uribe had a career year at the plate last season. Rowand hasn't produced near expectations. Dye's been healthy, but how do his season numbers stack up against his career numbers? A.J. is having a good offensive season, based on his career numbers, I think? Coming into this season, the Sox had one legitimate offensive threat, Hurt, and unfortunately, he's been just that. This team is the modern version of the Hitless Wonders. That said, go on out there, and recreate past glories.

TornLabrum
09-24-2005, 08:46 AM
People around here want to make silk purses out of sows' ears.

jerry myers
09-24-2005, 10:36 AM
I think its like a disease, and it spread. ( the no hitting). but anytime with someone breaking out could cause hell for the other team. hopefully todays game agained the twins.

kitekrazy
09-24-2005, 12:12 PM
I think its like a disease, and it spread. ( the no hitting). but anytime with someone breaking out could cause hell for the other team. hopefully todays game agained the twins.

It's been that way for few years with this team, no matter who the hitting coach is. How many hitting coaches did Manuel fire?

If you make a habit of keeping a guy in the 3rd spot making no contact, you blame the manager and the player.

SoxFan64
09-24-2005, 01:58 PM
The only thing this team will have next year is a similar rotation

We will the same 2B and C. But with Konerko's contract up everything else is up in the air.