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Cubs to hire Bill Buckner as Single-A hitting coach

Dec 21, 2011, 2:44 PM EDT

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Bobby Valentine wanted to add Bill Buckner to his Red Sox coaching staff, but the team’s upper management reportedly balked at the idea and now Buckner has taken a minor-league gig elsewhere.

Jeremy Schaap of ESPN.com reports that the Cubs have hired Bucker as their new hitting coach for the Single-A Boise Hawks, which makes sense given that Buckner lives in Idaho.

Buckner hasn’t coached in the majors since 1997, when he was the White Sox’s hitting coach, but spent this past season managing the independent league Brockton Rox to a 51-42 record.

Bucker played five seasons for the Red Sox and is most famous for his miscue in the 1986 World Series, but he also played eight seasons for the Cubs and his best years came in Chicago.

  1. paulsdamnblog - Dec 21, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    Good thing he was’t brought on as a fielding coach.

    • AK47 - Dec 21, 2011 at 3:03 PM

      That has got to be the #1 most obvious joke to be made about this article. Congratulations.

      • paulsdamnblog - Dec 21, 2011 at 3:34 PM

        Actually to be honest I was going to comment on the picture making his mustache look lopsided, but I thought… nah, Buckner deserves better, then I re-thought that thought and decided to go for the cheapshot. Not that you’d care to know, but that was it. Next time I’ll try harder. Apologies to all.

  2. aceshigh11 - Dec 21, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    “Hey, Larry, that was a horseshit throw.”

  3. crisisjunky - Dec 21, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    New Skip knows nothing like having a pariah on the bench to instill
    abject fear of failure throughout the dugout.
    Start prepping ‘em for the Roiling Crabpot at Single-A.

    Inset: Do they take infield on Blue Turf in Boise?

  4. willcoop - Dec 21, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    I think people forget that this guy could rake and had a very good glove. That incident could have happened to anyone. I like the hire be ausr the guy still has some fire in his gut and can teach the youngsters about hitting a baseball

    • Francisco (FC) - Dec 21, 2011 at 3:46 PM

      In that documentary I saw about infamous baseball events, Bill had positioned himself correctly but his loose glove closed before the ball made it. Equipment Failure! Happens to everyone, even the best.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 21, 2011 at 4:02 PM

      “I think people forget that this guy could rake and had a very good glove.”

      Because he couldn’t and he didn’t. He had a career 99 OPS+, meaning his OPS was 1% below the league average…which is not so hot for a first baseman/corner outfielder. His career OBP was a paltry .321 and he posted a +.800 OPS just twice in his career. He collected a lot of hits because he played everyday, hit near the top of the lineup and couldn’t draw a walk to save his life. In today’s game, he’d never last 20 years and get that much playing time at a premium offensive position.

      Though he was the record holder for assists by a first baseman, that was more to do with him making pitcher’s come over and never running the ball to the bag himself. Fine, either way it’s an out and it’s not a knock against him. But it did give the impression that he was better with the glove than he was. Bill James talks about his fielding in a lot of detail in the New Historical Abstract. BR has him at 0.2 career DWAR and Fangraphs has him at average throughout his career too.

      • mgflolox - Dec 21, 2011 at 7:30 PM

        While I agree that Buckner wasn’t a particularly great offensive performer due to his lack of walks and having only middling power, he was one of the best ever at making hard, solid contact. I don’t know if that’s something that can be taught, however.

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