Coaching Carousel

Dave · October 7, 2005 at 10:40 am · Filed Under Mariners 

You know, I think, currently, we are in the most underrated phase of being a baseball fan. Sure, the playoffs are great, but I’m not sure there are many things more fun than reading about the managerial and coaching changes and the potential interviewees. Every day, you learn shocking things that bring a smile to your face. For instance, today I learned that Lee Tinsley is the D’backs outfield instructor and is in line to become their first base coach. Lee Tinsley!

Watching the coaching carousel take place brings back memories. Did you know Torey Luvullo is one of the better young managerial prospects in the game and has an interview for the Dodgers opening? Or that Mickey Brantley is a hitting instructor in the Mets organization? I mean, when I think Mickey Brantley, I think disciplined hitting.

Those who can’t, teach, right?


42 Responses to “Coaching Carousel”

  1. PositivePaul on October 7th, 2005 10:47 am

    I always get a kick out of hearing “Mickey Brantley” and “hitting instructor” in the same sentence. But, hey — Bobby Kielty’s on his comp list!

    Well, I guess if one of the best hitters of all time, if not THE best ever, Ted Williams couldn’t really coach hitting (even though he wrote a book about it), then who’s to say a bad hitter can’t?

    Just because you understand how to do something, doesn’t mean you can do it. And, likewise, just because you can do something really, really well, doesn’t mean you understand what you’re doing well enough to be able to explain it. I deal with this at work all the time…

  2. Mike L on October 7th, 2005 10:48 am

    I was a swimmer and college and the guys who would make the best coaches were among the worst swimmers on the team.

  3. Mike L on October 7th, 2005 10:54 am

    “and” = “in”. Duh.

    I’m waiting for Greg Briley to be on the short list of managerial candidates.

  4. djw on October 7th, 2005 10:58 am

    Was Brantley’s career shortened by injuries? I’m kinda surprised he didn’t at least get a few more chances after 89; not that he was anything special, but he had enough pop that I’d expect another team or two to give him a shot in his late 20’s.

  5. Evan on October 7th, 2005 11:02 am

    It actually makes a lot of sense. Luvullo put up a career line of .224/.301/.335 – with that sort of talent, he needed smarts.

  6. pensive on October 7th, 2005 11:05 am

    Dave-Did I miss the post you were going to do on the 2005 draft? Know you have been very busy so if is something that now is not relevant perhaps you could point to a more obscure way to get info on Mariners draftees other than Google, Baseball America and usual suspects.

    Brian Contreras Puerto Rico 18 year old switch hitter. The only info found is that only Upton has more speed and he (Contreras) is five tool prospect. Thankyou

  7. roger tang on October 7th, 2005 11:10 am

    Well, it often is that that people with lesser talent are encouraged to learn how to maximize it…and if they learn how, it can often be taught to others.

    Wonder what this says about Bloomquist.

  8. Matt Williams on October 7th, 2005 11:13 am

    One reason that people who are poor at something can be good teachers is that they understand the problems people are having (since they went through it themselves). I’ve heard that’s especially the case in math classes, if your teacher is one of of the people who are really good at math they often just understand it intuitively and can’t explain it as well.

  9. Evan on October 7th, 2005 11:16 am

    I’ve had that problem teaching math.

    “I don’t get it.”

    “What’s not to get?”

  10. Mike L on October 7th, 2005 11:17 am

    Hmmmm, I used to teach 3rd grade. I was pretty good too. Does that mean I was a dumbass in 3rd grade? I know I’m a dumbass now, but I thought I was pretty smart back then.

    How about Henry Cotto as the pitching coach?

  11. Replacement Level Poster on October 7th, 2005 11:18 am

    Well this seems like the post, so Dave if you were in charge of hiring coaches for the Mariners who would you look at for the open hitting a pitching coach spots.

  12. Dave in Palo Alto on October 7th, 2005 11:20 am

    No stranger than Mike Parrott as pitching coach for Sacramento. His 1980 season may be the worst in modern era.

  13. Smegmalicious on October 7th, 2005 11:35 am

    So what are the odds that sweet Lou ends up managing the A’s now that Macha got the axe? Wouldn’t that suck.

    Personally, I’d give anything to get Lou back as our manager, but it just seems like it will never happen.

  14. Russ on October 7th, 2005 11:37 am

    Instructing others to do an athletic task requires the ability to comprehend motion analysis and to visualize how the pieces fit together. Many times, the greatest natural athletes simply are able to do the task without knowing how or why. They are superior athletes who, for the most part, have excelled at sports on ability rather than on know-how. As one rise to the top of any sport, the athlete is now facing the best of the best. It takes a trained

    Here is where a person who has the ability to observe and understand why certain tasks are easily repeated or how a piece of the puzzle is either missing or needs to be reinforced. The ability to understand these concepts AND present them in a manner in which the student is able to put them to work is the key part.

    I’m a ski instructor and every season we have a bunch of hot shot skiers that can literaly ski anything at any speed who think they want to be a ski instructor. They like the idea until they realize that being able to ski is not the same thing as teaching others, many of whom are non-athletic. What the hotshot can do naturally, many have to think about it. Those that have to think about the task need to be given clues on how to visualize themselves doing so.

    Often the hotshot simply hasn’t been taught to teach. Those that had to learn how to do something are often better at teaching.

  15. Smegmalicious on October 7th, 2005 11:39 am

    Wait, if sucking at pitching is a requirement for being a good pitching coach, why don’t we just convert Franklin to our coach right now?

  16. Mike L on October 7th, 2005 11:40 am

    The paralysis of analysis.

  17. Benjamin Ramm on October 7th, 2005 11:41 am

    My favorite off-season update was finding out that Cam Bonifay was also fired wtih Chuck LeMar. THAT’S a front office.

  18. Russ on October 7th, 2005 11:50 am


    Franklin isn’t awful. His inability to recognize his limitations is the real trouble. If he had a realisitic view of his abilites, strengths and weaknesses he could likely be able to improve his consistency.

    To me, he is a decent pitcher, not great but certainly not the worst in the Majors. In truth, there simply isn’t enough good pitchers to staff 30 teams. It’s odd to me that in all this world, finding 350 or so people who can pitch is so damn difficult. It speaks volumes about how hard the job must be.

  19. Felixfastfreight on October 7th, 2005 11:53 am

    I’ve already wondered whether Mike Hargrove has had a conversation with Greg Dobbs about Dobbs being a good manager someday…heh

  20. dante hicks on October 7th, 2005 12:10 pm

    Last I heard, Mickey Brantley left the Mets to work in Toronto. Did he go back to the Mets?

  21. urban shocker on October 7th, 2005 12:20 pm

    I thought it was settled on here that coaches don’t make much difference to team success, so who cares who they hire for batting coach?

  22. Rusty on October 7th, 2005 1:00 pm

    Some day Olerud will be a baserunning coach. Mark my words. But seriously, thanks for opening this thread. And Dave, I agree with you. This time of year is underrated in terms of the entertainment value of watching teams either change or try to change.

    I said this in another thread, but I think Tampa Bay is an interesting team to watch considering how much young talent is on the team and in the farm system. Same goes for Pittsburg.

  23. Evan on October 7th, 2005 1:22 pm

    Olerud would be a great baserunning coach. With his speed, he can’t afford to make any mistakes out there.

    Jose Lima should make a fine pitching coach. Wow he had a terrible season.

  24. msb on October 7th, 2005 1:34 pm

    and it IS a merry-go-round!

    M’s– Price, Baylor resign.
    rumored? pitching: Mark Wiley, Jim Colborn, Jim Slaton, Pat Rice, Rafael Chaves ; hitting: Don Long, Bill Robinson

    Dbacks– fired pitching coach Mark Davis, 1B coach Brett Butler.
    rumored? pitching: Price ; hitting: Lee Tinsley

    A’s– fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens. have to wait on new manager.

    KC — fired pitching coach Guy Hansen, bench coach Bob Schaefer
    rumored? pitching: Wiley, Bob McClure ; bench? Doran shuffled in after adding Bell-favorite Fred Kendall to bullpen

    Brewers– fired bench coach Rich Dauer, 3B coach Rich Donnelly.
    rumored? going to talk to Yount & Molitor….

    Tigers- hired Leyland after token interviews with Juan Samuel & Bruce Fields

    Marlins- rumored? Tom Foley, Billy Hatcher, Fredi Gonzalez, Ron Washington

    Pirates- rumored? Ken Macha, Jim Tracy, Fredi Gonzalez

    A’s- rumored? Bob Geren, Ron Washington, Rene Lachmann

    LA– rumored? Terry Collins, Jerry Royster, Alan Trammell, Torey Lovullo, Ron Washington

    O’s- still haven’t announced if keeping Perlozzo or are looking outside, rumored if do go outside, Piniella, Baylor

    D-Rays- have to sort out FO first

    D’Backs: Garagiola, left for MLB. rumored? Bob Gebhard, Dave Wilder, Al Avila, and in an interesting rumor, Kevin Towers after an ‘off-season shake-up’

    D-Rays: LaMar fired. rumored? Gerry Hunsicker, Pat Gillick, John Hart, Josh Byrnes, Chris Antonetti, Tony Lacava

    Texas: Hart resigns, Daniels in.

  25. tede on October 7th, 2005 1:40 pm

    #12 “No stranger than Mike Parrott as pitching coach for Sacramento. His 1980 season may be the worst in modern era.”

    Parrott took a line drive to the nuts. Niehaus said that story would be in his book if he ever got around to writing one.

  26. Adam S on October 7th, 2005 1:53 pm

    I find it interesting that Tracy, Trammell, Macha, and Pinella, who were all effectively just fired, are at the top of teams’ lists. There are some special circumstances on this list but doesn’t anyone think that the guy who wasn’t a good manager for “them” won’t be a good for us either? This is such bad business I can’t even write an analogy without laughing.

    I’m glad to see LA and Oakland seem to have some new ideas.

  27. Dave in Palo Alto on October 7th, 2005 1:59 pm

    #24 — Of course I remember the rope to the nuts on Parrott. No question it was a turning point in his career. But man, did he suuuuuuuuuuck after that point.

  28. David on October 7th, 2005 2:09 pm

    Way back when Mickey Brantley was a Mariner (late 1980s), I went to an auction held by the Mariner wives. To give you an idea of how the world was different then, the auction was held DURING a Mariner game and was on one of the outside concourses of the Kingdome (on the railroad track side). The wives had a couple of tables and went through some pretty average stuff. I bought a signed mid-80s autographed Yankee ball, only to find out it didn’t have Ricky on it; also got a Reuben Sierra ball (he was still a young stud then).

    Anyhow, the wives had a pair of autographed Mickey Brantly batting gloves for sale — and no one would bid on them. It got to be a little embarassing, so I eventually bid $5 and they were so grateful that someone took them. I took them home, put them with the rest of my baseball memorabilia in my den and forgot about them.

    Fast forward to 1999. I am in the den and my 7 year old son spies the batting gloves, grabs them and puts them on. He asks where I got them and I tell him they are from a former Mariner player — Mickey Brantley. He looks puzzled and asks who he was. I say he was an outfielder, no one to get excited about. He asks if Mickey is still playing — I say, in all honesty, that I have no idea what Mickey Brantley is doing.

    The very next evening, I am watching Sportcenter and they are reporting the big news of the day — Bobby Valentine (then Mets manager) has been forced to fire his hitting and pitching coach as a means of shaking up the team. They cut to the dugout and next to Bobby is his new hitting coach — none other than Mickey Brantley himself.

    Somehow, I think that the gloves are still worth less than $5.

  29. Mat on October 7th, 2005 2:19 pm

    Al Newman (3B coach) left the Twins, citing differences with Ron Gardenhire, to become an advance scout for the D’Backs. Not too long ago, he was rumored to be in the running for the potential opening at manager in KC.

    It does seem like there’s more recycling of managers than would be optimal, but it seems like there could be plenty of candidates that are considered but don’t get discussed in the media. After all, it would require actual reporting to describe a new character to your readership.

  30. mZak on October 7th, 2005 2:23 pm

    Does every thread have to include yet another derrogatory comment about our least favorite players, regardless of the fact they have anything to do with the subject?

  31. Rusty on October 7th, 2005 4:22 pm

    Jerry Royster… there’s a weak hitter who became a coach.

  32. pensive on October 7th, 2005 4:47 pm

    Dave—OK thanks

  33. deleted for aesthetic reasons on October 7th, 2005 4:49 pm

    Mickey Brantley had big glasses.

  34. Steve on October 7th, 2005 5:21 pm

    #21: forget Olerud as a baserunning coach. The guy you want is Edgar. From the 1999 season on, he was a 76% success rate base stealer. The slower he got, the better he got. Wouldn’t that be the mark of someone who has studied and learned?

  35. John D. on October 7th, 2005 5:26 pm

    Re: “Those who can’t, teach…”(Staff) – The way I heard it was: Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach in the teachers’ colleges.
    (It was the thing to say if you didn’t care for a certain teacher in teachers’ college.)

  36. Adam M on October 7th, 2005 6:15 pm

    “I’ve heard that’s especially the case in math classes, if your teacher is one of of the people who are really good at math they often just understand it intuitively and can’t explain it as well.”

    Brantley was among the best bunters I ever saw. The fact he was Rey Ordonez’ hitting instructor explains so much now.

  37. msb on October 7th, 2005 6:22 pm

    I’ve heard that’s especially the case in math classes, if your teacher is one of of the people who are really good at math they often just understand it intuitively and can’t explain it as well.

    cue sudden flashback to painfully long nights spent at the kitchen table as engineer father attempts to explain basic mathematics to uncomprehending child.

  38. Kirk on October 7th, 2005 7:11 pm


    Not a chance. Billy Beane likes his managers to be his on-field puppets. I think you can imagine how well that would fly with Lou. Besides, I expect him to stay on the East Coast – I would think Florida and Baltimore would be strong possibilities.

  39. Jim Thomsen on October 7th, 2005 7:59 pm


    Shawn Barton, who was a Mariner for about 15 minutes in 1992, was the pitching coach in Triple-A Las Vegas.

    Doug Strange, one of the heroes of 1995, is the Pittsburg Pirates’ assistant GM.

  40. Bela Txadux on October 8th, 2005 4:56 am

    I call this time of year the ‘Dream and Scheme’ period, and yes, it’s one of my favorites, too.

  41. Ira Sacharoff on October 9th, 2005 9:33 am

    I went to the game @ the Kingdome where Mickey Brantley hit three home runs. At the time I thought that all he needed was playing time. It turned out that all he needed was playing time and talent.
    I hear Bobby Ayala is our new pitching coach.

  42. Manzell on October 9th, 2005 3:10 pm

    Mickey Brantley was a childhood friend of one Mike Tyson.

    Also, many ballplayers will say that good hitters make bad hitting coaches – something about good hitters trying to impress their style/philosophy on a hitter, whereas poor hitters try to take a more individual approach.

    – MRB