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Giants bench coach suspended for a game

Jul 26, 2011, 5:03 PM EST

San Francisco Giants Photo Day Getty Images

I have long questioned the utility of bench coaches.  I mean, I don’t want them to go anywhere because who else is the manager gonna have a beer with after the game, but I’ve never had anyone convince me that they have much of an impact on the game itself.  I guess it depends on the bench coach and what he’s asked to do.

But maybe we can get a data point tonight because Major League Baseball has just suspended Giants bench coach Ron Wotus “for his inappropriate actions, which included coming on to the field following his fourth inning ejection from his Club’s Saturday, July 23rd game against the Milwaukee Brewers at AT&T Park.”

Dear God. How will the Giants win without their bench coach?

In other news, I’m willing to bet that this is the last time we ever use a pic of Ron Wotus on HardballTalk.

  1. dlevalley - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    I’ve always thought it interesting that the Giants have maintained such consistency with their coaching staff. Rags has been the pitching coach since 2000, and Wotus has been the bench coach since 1999, both through three different managers (Baker, Alou, Bochy).

    Does any other team have this kind of arrangement? It seems to me that most coaching staffs follow the manager, or at least turn over quickly after managerial changes.

    • marshallnbrown - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:27 PM

      Spot on! Rags has never gotten the credit he serves for the Giants having such excellent pitching.

      • bigleagues - Jul 26, 2011 at 8:44 PM

        Rags is the new Duncan.

        The Giants are an unconventional organization for an unconventional City. The reason Wotus and Rags (and Jack Hiatt, Dick Tidrow and Bobby Evans) have remained through multiple managers is because Sabean has been there through 2 ownership groups.

        Sabean largely hires the right people, then promotes from within the organization to fill holes when they arise.

  2. skerney - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    A bench coach is a second set of eyes on both defenses, moves players into position on shifts, takes over game in event of manager ejection allowing pitching coach to monitor guy on the mound, is consigliere on plate match ups, and gets to wear a uniform.

    • trevorb06 - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:25 PM

      So basically a bench coach is about as useful, albeit necessary, as a Vice President…

      • cerveceros82 - Jul 26, 2011 at 8:29 PM

        I’d say a bench coach would be closer to Chief of Staff than VP

    • bobulated - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:26 PM

      Wasn’t Tony Consigliere a journeyman utility infielder back in the day?

  3. bigharold - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Bench coaches are the Manager’s wing man, good cop to his bad cop or the other way around depending on the circumstances, somebody that can and if necessary will tell him his in game strategy is horse sh&^. In the case of Joe Torre and don Zimmer it seems that Zimmer was the brains of the outfit.

    Everybody, especially leaders at all levels, need somebody that they respect that they can bounce ideas off off that they trust. Someone that isn’t afraid to disagree with his boss, is respected enough that the boss will give his ideas their proper consideration without feeling challenged but is also loyal enough that execute to the bosses decision even if he doesn’t totally agree with it.

  4. gallaghedj311 - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    And Timmy it scratched from tonites lineup too

  5. kmgannon - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    I was watching that game, and Wotus got ejected because he was barking at Sam Holbrook about the strike zone (as was the entire Giants bench), and Holbrook called a pitch right down Broadway a ball. Then he turned toward the Giants’ dugout and threw Wotus out. Then Wotus came on the field, though he didn’t bump the umpire or anything–just barked a lot. I was watching the Brewers’ feed, and the Milwaukee announcers couldn’t believe how bad and inconsistent the strike zone was–they’d been on Holbrook all game, too. It was definitely Joe West syndrome: Holbrook’s strike zone was a constantly-moving disaster (as usual), he knew it, and as a result was extra defensive, it looked like. Wotus’s suspension is a joke–but as long as umps aren’t accountable for their performance, these things will continue to happen.

  6. deathmonkey41 - Jul 26, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    “In other news, I’m willing to bet that this is the last time we ever use a pic of Ron Wotus on HardballTalk.”

    How about if he goes OJ on his ex-wife?

    • bigdicktater - Jul 27, 2011 at 12:29 PM

      What makes you say anything remotely like that about anyone, let alone Wotus?
      Grow up!

  7. bigleagues - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    I’m with you, Craig, on the impact of a ‘bench coach’, however, Ron Wotus will be a MLB manager some day – and you will use his photo again someday.

  8. humanexcrement - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:36 AM

    I think the bench coach’s job is to assist in instructing young players, help guys out, provide advice, remind the manager of stuff he forgot to do and say stuff like “Remember, Joe that guy can gets jammed up easy if you keep feeding him fastballs inside.” And he takes charge when the manager gets tossed from a game or fired. I guess it’s kind of like being a backup quarterback and assistant coach all in one–you have to be ready to step in as needed, but mostly you just wonder around trying to be useful whenever possible.

  9. Walk - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:05 AM

    Carlos Tosca the braves bench coach was the recipient of the gift win tonight, well him and scott proctor i believe. Much as i like the braves that win left a sour taste in my mouth, bad call even though it went the braves way for the winning run and losing mccann to injury.

  10. asimonetti88 - Oct 28, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Good thing you didn’t bet anything specific!

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