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George Brett named new Royals hitting coach

May 30, 2013, 12:45 PM EDT

George Brett

Big news out of Kansas City.

One day after the Royals hitting coach Jack Maloof gave an interview in which he claimed that home runs aren’t important, the Royals have demoted him and made a familiar face their new hitting coach:

 

I am long of the view that a hitting coach can’t do an awful lot to help bad bats and can do far less to harm good bats than most people think is possible. But with Maloof’s comments yesterday and the serious lack of production by Royals hitters lately, there was a quickly-developing crisis of confidence among fans. Maybe putting the biggest name in Kansas City baseball history out in front will help matters. Maybe it won’t. But it definitely changes the subject .

  1. number42is1 - May 30, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    He gonna shit himself on his first day to keep it interesting?

    • kjericho43 - May 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      Double tapered

      • billybawl - May 30, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        I don’t know how I was never aware of this video until now. Thank you, kjericho43, this is awesome.

        I still remember as a kid, watching the 1980 World Series, and Howard Cosell repeatedly screaming at America that George Brett was playing with hemorrhoids. He may have the most famous a** in all of baseball history.

      • threefingerclown - May 30, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        And for the full George Brett bowel movement experience, don’t miss the autotuned version:

      • jaysjunkie - May 30, 2013 at 7:04 PM

        I also had never seen this before. Thanks as well!

  2. sleepyirv - May 30, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    I’m sure some of you can name the chapter and verse in Moneyball which states great hitters make terrible hitting coaches.

    • stex52 - May 30, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      It has certainly happened, because the great hitter is so talented that he can’t transmit the things he does as teachable to lesser talents. Voila, Ted Williams flops as hitting coach.

      But I think the real job of the hitting coach in this day and age is to watch miles and miles of film with the hitter and spot the inconsistencies in his approach. By the time a kid gets to the MLB it’s pretty clear what his likely hitting ceiling will be. The hitting coach works to keep his team on track within their skill sets.

      No question Brett was a great hitter. The question is whether he has the patience to do the job as it is actually needed. I imagine it can get quite dull.

      • 18thstreet - May 30, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        Ted Williams was named manager of the Washington Senators in 1969 and left after the 1971 season (in Texas)

        In 1968, the Senators scored 524 runs. In the 1969, they scored 694 runs. Nice increase, no?

        In 1971, the Rangers scored 537 runs. In 1972, they scored 461 runs. Pretty big decline, no?

        I’d say Ted Williams was a fine hitting coach.

      • stex52 - May 30, 2013 at 5:05 PM

        Well, I’m not sure that it is cause-effect at all. But I will say you shot my argument down.

      • rje49 - May 30, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        Ted Williams was the manager, not the hitting coach. So who gets the credit for the increased run production; Ted or the hitting coach – whoever it was?

      • cubanxsenators - May 30, 2013 at 8:35 PM

        Your timeline is horrendous.

        1971 was in Washington. In 1972 Ted Williams *was* the manager in Texas for that decline.

        Plus, league-wide AL runs were up 20% in 1969 relative to 1968, so most of that increase had nothing to do with anything but reducing the strike zone.

    • gunpowderjones - May 30, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      It’s pretty much an all-sports thing. How many great players were great coaches? “Hey, ok, let the WR run by you and when they throw it, make up the difference and pick the ball off”. Thanks, Coach Deion.

      • 18thstreet - May 30, 2013 at 3:20 PM

        Great (or even good) players who were also great (or just good) managers? Let’s see … Joe Torre, Billy Martin, Lou Piniella, Davey Johnson, Mike Scioscia, Red Schoendienst, Felipe Alou, Cap Anson …

        Anyone else?

    • rufuscornpone - May 30, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      I don’t know…Mark McGwire got a lot of praise in St. Louis (not sure how much he’s getting in LA currently though). The A’s themselves currently have Chili Davis who was a pretty damn fine hitter.

      I do understand there may be a tendency to great hitters to assume everyone should just do what they did, as opposed to tailoring your instruction to each player. That being said, I’m not actually sure it matters a whole hell of a alot of the big league level.

      • paperlions - May 30, 2013 at 5:01 PM

        Yeah, he did…and not a single hitter on those teams was better than people expected them to be…those guys mashed their way through the minors and just kept doing it in the majors….and they are still doing it now.

        Hitting coaches just don’t have much potential for positive effect at the MLB level….it isn’t like guys get to MLB without some understanding of how to hit.

      • spudchukar - May 30, 2013 at 6:02 PM

        That is a pretty broad brush PL. But if the players believe that McGwire was helpful, then he is a success. It is almost impossible to ascertain the effect a hitting coach can have on a team.

      • forsch31 - May 30, 2013 at 7:16 PM

        It is a broad brush. The word on McGwire is that he’s a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” guy, so those players who were hitters coming through the system remained that way. But there definitely were changes in plate approaches and profiles with guys like Matt Carpenter, Yadier Molina, and Pete Kozma once they started working with McGwire.

        A good hitting coach is like a good pitching coach–teach from a basic overall philosophy and use it address weaknesses with individual hitters.

    • eightyraw - May 31, 2013 at 1:45 AM

      I can see that you’ve never read Moneyball (or even a synopsis of the book).

      • louhudson23 - May 31, 2013 at 3:50 AM

        I read it…and lots of other books….not sure of the point…but I certainly hope you are not implying that Moneyball presented some sort of infallible gospel….there is no such thing….

      • sleepyirv - May 31, 2013 at 10:23 AM

        I can see you’ve never read Moneyball (maybe you did read a synopsis of the book). Scott Hatteberg, on the Red Sox, is this ringing any bells?

  3. sportsdrenched - May 30, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Not sure I like this. As long as the interim tag stays there no longer than the end of the season, and he doesn’t become permanant, I’m OK with it. The reason I don’t like it. At some point you’ll have to fire him, and who wants to fire #5 in the Royals organization?

    • sportsdrenched - May 30, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      And just to be clear. I beleive they never should have fired Kevin Sietzer, but I’m glad David Maloof is back in the minors.

    • blacksables - May 30, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      The same people who fired Frank White.

    • cubanxsenators - May 30, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      They fired Frank White without much compunction.

    • geoknows - May 30, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      As long as he has the “interim” tag, he won’t be “fired.” He just won’t get the permanent job. Which I don’t think he wants anyway.

    • billybawl - May 30, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      There’s getting “fired” and then there’s getting “promoted” to a vaguely defined front office job. He’ll be fine.

      • geoknows - May 30, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        He already has a vaguely-defined front office job. He’s VP of Baseball Something-or-another.

  4. cur68 - May 30, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Tsk. What was Maloof thinking? Chicks Dig The Long Ball so you PROMOTE the long ball. “We’re All About The Long Ball” sells more tickets than “We’re All Bout The Bloop SIngle”. Bad PR move to be anything BUT all dreamy over home runs.

    Now, if you actually WANT more homers, that’s a different strategy all together. That strategy is called “Play In New Yankee Stadium a Lot”.

  5. xpensivewinos - May 30, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Well, the Royals need a decent PR move right about now to get fans excited about something. We’ll see how Brett likes being the interim hitting coach and manager here in a couple of days……..

    I’m willing to bet if he stepped into the batter’s box right now, he would do no worse that Moustakas and Hosmer.

  6. cubanxsenators - May 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    ¡Viva Charlie Lau!

  7. tycobbfromfangraphs - May 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    I love George Brett, and the idea that he is below Ned Yost on the organisational depth chart is disturbing. Fire Yost at the break, and give the job to Brett if he wants it.

    • geoknows - May 30, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      He has repeatedly said he doesn’t want it. That doesn’t preclude him changing his mind, though, or being properly convinced.

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 30, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        Ya he has said he doesn’t want it, but today he just accepted a position that puts him on the doorstep. George may be dripping a toe.

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 30, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        dipping*

  8. rufuscornpone - May 30, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    He may not be able to teach them how to hit, but at the very least he’ll teach them how to look sex beneath palm fronds

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/u/images/georgebrett.png

  9. mybrunoblog - May 30, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    George Brett attends spring training with the Royals most years so I don’t see him being interm batting coach a big deal. Brett being a HOFer and legend means most players will automatically respect him. I think he’ll do great.

  10. wogggs - May 30, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    He is my favorite player of all time. I hope he does well, but I have always thought that great players do not make good coaches. When you have that much talent, I think it is hard to communicate what to do to people who aren’t as talented as you are. While there are exceptions, it seems that the best coaches are usually marginal players who had to spend a lot of time figuring out how to succeed, rather than being able to rely on natural abilities.

  11. rejamaro - May 30, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Can George play third base too!

  12. jsally430 - May 30, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    that’s right alex gordon and moose you still can’t hack it.

  13. kcrobert10 - May 30, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Desperation is an ugly thing. Shield ur eyes kids its about to get really ugly at least were used to ugly baseball in kc.

  14. 13arod - May 30, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    bout time

  15. proudliberal85392 - May 30, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Two words: pine tar.

  16. eightyraw - May 31, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    And in his introductory press conference he declared that home runs can kill rallies.

    R.I.P. those 30 rallies Brett killed last time the Royals made the playoff

  17. ujmcd - May 31, 2013 at 4:37 AM

    Craig, I will overlook your comments since you are just a youngster and don’t know anything about anything. Your comment hear is obviously flawed because you lack the knowledge:

    “I am long of the view that a hitting coach can’t do an awful lot to help bad bats and can do far less to harm good bats than most people think is possible.”

    Really Craig? So where do you get your knowledge about the subject? You obviously know what your talking about. Since we are talking about George Brett, why don’t you ask him, how much Charlie Lau is responsible for his hitting?

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