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Rico Brogna for hitting coach? Really?

Nov 12, 2013, 5:33 PM EDT

And now your weird rumor of the day:


This is not weird simply because Brogna was a pretty bad hitter with a pretty bad approach to hitting for much of his career. I mean, there are a lot of hitting coaches who weren’t themselves good hitters. It’s more about communication and identification of others’ flaws. By the same token, just because you could hit doesn’t mean you’d make a good hitting coach. You want Manny Ramirez to coach your hitters? Does he even know why he murdered baseballs so effectively? Not gonna bet a lot on it!

But it is weird in that Brogna has spent almost his entire post-playing career coaching high school football and basketball and stuff. He spent a year managing in minor league baseball, but for the most part he’s been a multi-sport journeyman coach, making tons of stops. The lack of obvious hitting coach bona fides and the fact that he’s been mostly away from the game for a decade plus is what makes this weird.

But hey, it’s just the assistant hitting coach’s job. And that’s a job that didn’t really exist a couple of years ago, so let us not get too hung up about it.

  1. jaysfan64 - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Hey – I remember this guy – he played for the London Tigers in the early 90’s – his name was always in the London paper for some reason..
    Ah well…good luck to him coaching Hamilton and Pujols on hitting…

  2. Matthew Pouliot - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Well, the Angels initially replaced Mickey Hatcher (89 OPS+) with Jim Eppard (91 OPS+). Now they have Don Baylor (118 OPS+), with Brogna (96 OPS+) looking like the assistant. Definite upgrade, at least until they can persuade Tim Salmon (128 OPS+) to take the job.

    • km9000 - Nov 12, 2013 at 8:16 PM

      I’d like to see the average lifetime OPS+ and ERA+ of current hitting/pitching coaches. And managers too, although that’s probably trending upward the last few years.

  3. beefytrout - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    weird that the Texas Rangers got tagged on this story.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      The system automatically tags active players and the teams they’re listed on. Technically, Manny is still an active player and he’s listed with the Rangers, even though he was released during the season.

  4. tfbuckfutter - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    “Hey, cool Rico Brogna autograph, where’d you get it?”
    “At my kids high school football game.”
    “Oh, does his son play on the team too?”
    “No…he’s the coach.”
    “Weird. Are they any good?”

    • kardshark1 - Nov 12, 2013 at 11:31 PM

      Funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for this post.

  5. shanabartels - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    He wasn’t just coaching high school kids this whole time — he’s a pro scout. I chatted with him at a minor league game last year when he was scouting for the Rays. Super nice guy.

  6. maikoch - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Actually, Manny being Manny aside, he was–by all accounts–an astute student of the game, and of the mechanics of hitting. I read a few articles about his approach and his prep, and I was impressed. I would not hesitate to hire him as a hitting coach. For example:

  7. vanmorrissey - Nov 12, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Gee, almost as weird as lawyers living out their fantasies as bloggers on sports websites like PFT, HBT,….oops. Whoduthunk, right?

  8. jrocknstuff - Nov 12, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    For the record, Brogna drove in over 100 runs in consecutive seasons, so he wasn’t exactly “miserable.”

    • Bob Loblaw - Nov 12, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      Did you just quote RBI on HBT? LOLzzzzz

    • tfbuckfutter - Nov 12, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      Is that why Ruben Amaro keeps trying to retire his number?

    • tfbuckfutter - Nov 12, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      Also with 100 RBIs in two consecutive seasons:

      Tony Batista and Jeff Francoeur.

      And they were 93 and 91% as good as the average player in their careers!

  9. jc4455 - Nov 12, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    They’re not headed in a good direction with this. Here’s Don Baylor, the new hitting coach:

    “I don’t harp on guys about strikeouts, but that’s not one of the things I really condone,” Baylor said. “If guys think it’s OK to strike out 120, 130 times a year, that bothers me. You can’t start runners if guys strike out. That kills you. Put the ball in play, and something might happen.”,0,7603155.story#axzz2kUwZJqmF

    Mike Trout struck out 136 times last year. And Paul Goldschmidt struck out 130+ as well. Baylor had a front row seat for that. He watched Paul Goldschmidt hit for a season and thought, “this person needs to change his approach at the plate because he’s killing us with these strikeouts.”

  10. ryanrockzzz - Nov 13, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    Rico should only be hired to lead the team in stretching from the first base bag before games, Brogna style!

  11. deathmonkey41 - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Ummm, you do realizet hat Hensley Meulens has been a hitting coach of some sort since 2005, right? Apparently you don’t actually know how to hit in order to do that…

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