"Upton on Sports" Blog by Larry Upton

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Recent articles...

Hitting Coach's   -   "ARE SPORTS SEXIST?"
10/24/2014 @ 09:59 AM
What a dumb question - of course they are - they always have been - and will always be.....

Hitting Coach's   -   "OLD AIN'T FOR SISSY"S"......
10/23/2014 @ 08:53 AM
Lakers star Kobe Bryant's coming into his 19th NBA season with many questions to answer - two-big one's - can he still perform after last years season of serious injuries - and age of 36?

Hitting Coach's   -   "BRUCE BOCHY"......
10/22/2014 @ 11:17 AM
They say Bruce Bochy is the best manager in major league baseball - I'll not dispute that. He's a manager who mixes "old and new school" baseball - maximizing his rosters talents. The man wins........

Hitting Coach's   -   LOU LUCIER - "WHO'S HE?".....................
10/21/2014 @ 11:29 AM
Lucier was the oldest former Red Sox player (until Saturday) - he died at 96.........

Hitting Coach's   -   WHERE'S TIMMY?............
10/20/2014 @ 09:15 AM
He's gone from being a star starter to last man in the bullpen but he remains positive and available to help the Giants anyway he can. Tim Lincecum is a two-time Cy Young winner and Giants aren't pitching him - why not?.................

Hitting Coach's   -   "WORLD SERIES HISTORY" .......
10/19/2014 @ 10:13 AM
The 2014 World Series begins tomorrow but do you know MLB players with the most World Series rings? The player with the most World Series appearances? What player pitched the World Series only no-hit game (perfect game)?

Hitting Coach's   -   "TURN BACK THE CLOCK"................
10/17/2014 @ 08:42 PM
If you watched the Giant/Cardinal playoff games then you know its time baseball dumped the American Leagues DH - time AL managers get back to making decisions about taking out pitchers going well for pinch hitters.....

Hitting Coach's   -   "LASER LOUTS"..........
10/17/2014 @ 10:26 AM
Casino's in the world share photo's -information on gambling cheats - use a "laser pointer" at a sporting event and like Casino's - you'll be blacklisted from attending sport events for the rest of your life.

Hitting Coach's   -   "FAMOUS BOSTON GARDEN PIZZA"............
10/15/2014 @ 04:23 PM
Memories - they're great - when places are gone - they may physically be gone forever - but - not in our minds. They're with us forever - like the old Boston Garden Pizza joint.......

Hitting Coach's   -   "TRUMPED TRUMP?"......................
10/14/2014 @ 12:23 PM
America's real estate mogul wanted a pro football team but it didn't happen - calling the team (Buffalo Bills) "overpriced" he folded - threw in his cards - is that a "Trump frown?"


Hitting Coach's - "WHO CAN'T HIT"..........

Posted on 10/24/2014 @ 06:59 PM

Hitting Coach's   -

You want frustration? Try being a major-league hitting coach.

It's no surprise to me major-league offense has declined. What surprises me is why teams continue to hire "hitting" coach's? With a few exceptions (Mark McGwire) most during their playing years were - wimpy - so-so - lousy hitters.


For the 2014 season - when combining all American League teams - their batting average was .231
Combining all National League teams - their batting average was .212
Combining all major-league team hitting for the season - it works out to a whopping .221

Our 2014 World Series teams at least had a bit stronger offense that propelled them into championship mode - Kansas City ended the season with a team batting average of .253 - the San Francisco Giants led the National league with a team average of .250 - Kansas City's hitting coach is Dave Sveum - the Giants Hensley Meulens.

Sveum spent a dozen years in the big leagues with 8 different teams (1986 - 1999) and left the game with a "healthy" lifetime batting average of .236 - the Giants Meulens bounced around with the Yankees (1989-1993) followed by a stay with the Expos - ending his big league career with Arizona (1999) - his career batting average was a "healthy" .220 with 53 runs batted in (wow)..

Please - someone - anyone - tell me how .236 - .220 career hitters are hired to be major league hitting coach's? What am I missing?

The Boston Red Sox just hired a new hitting coach - Chili Davis (photo) - Davis has a strong San Francisco connection having played with them (1981-1987) before moving on to the Angels - Twins - Kansas City - ending his career with the Yankees (1998-1999). His career batting average was .274 - I was being a bit nasty (facetious) calling Sveum's .236 and Meulens .220 batting averages "healthy."

In general - when you individually review the credentials of MLB hitting coach's you'll find most were lousy hitters during their big-league careers. Did you know during this 2014 season seven (7) hitting coach's "never" played big league baseball? That's right seven - John Malee (Astros - Jack Maloof (Royals) - Kevin Long (Yankees) - Derek Shelton (Rays) - James Rowson (Cubs) - Johnny Narron (Brewers) - Rick Eckstein (Nationals). This 2014 season analysis reports 14 present hitting coaches were above - average major-league hitters - nine were below average - with seven as noted never having played at the major-league level. Now you have some explanation why MLB offense has dropped - why pitching dominates - it's not about facing "fresh arms."

Hitting Coaches - "WHO CAN'T HIT" are a joke - baseball needs to hire hitting coach's with better batting averages than .236 and .220 - at least make sure they played in the big leagues...

Larry Upton
"Upton on Sports"
source: espnstts/teamrankings/fangraphs/