McLaren announces coaching staff
If you haven’t heard by now, John McLaren’s announced 80% of his coaching staff for the 2008 season – Jim Riggleman as bench coach, Eddie Rodriguez as first base coach, Mel Stottlemyre as pitching coach, Norm Charlton as bullpen coach, and Larry Bowa as the candidate-of-choice to be the third base coach.
I’m sure they’ll get offended by this, but by and large, major league coaches don’t really matter. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, these guys real job title is John McLaren’s Drinking Buddy. They’re around to make McLaren more comfortable, and their impact on the players on-field actions is going to be minimal.
However, it’s nearly impossible to not see the obvious trend here. We rode McLaren pretty hard in the second half for his ridiculous love of veteran players, and it’s not hard to see that McLaren went back to the experience well when picking these guys. Clearly, he values track record above almost anything else in decision making, and he’s far more comfortable with someone who has experience than someone who doesn’t.
Considering he’s Lou Piniella’s understudy, that shouldn’t come as any real surprise. Piniella hated young players, especially young pitchers, during his early years in Seattle. He mellowed as the years went on, but McLaren certainly has Piniella-ish tendencies when it comes to the experience bias.
If the coaching staff he chose is any indication, I’d expect another year of Rick White type inexplicable decisions, with old guys getting the longest leash imaginable and unproven players sitting around watching.