Iglew's post got me thinking about the A's manager situation. In the poll, I voted for Rickey for manager. But the more I thought about it, the problem is really a lot bigger than the manager. In fact, a large part of the problem is that the traditional staffing structure of an MLB coaching staff just doesn't fit with the philosophy/DNA/je nous se que that is the A's. We're the team that zigs when everyone else zags. It's high time the coaching staff reflected that.
My humble proposal...
The Manager is responsible for in game decisions (e.g. Pulling a pitcher, pinch hitter/runner, etc).
- Nomination: David Forst's Laptop. Seriously folks. Quit with this 2nd guessing which reliever should we have used in that situation BS. Just run the numbers and let it go. Also, when the wrong decision gets made, I would very much enjoy reading “FIRE LAPTOP NOW!!!” comments on AN (and yes, from my laptop).
The Head Coach is responsible for motivating the team, giving Eric Chavez “heart” and “grit,” fighting with umpires, etc.
- Nomination: This man has been the namesake of my fantasy football team for years. He is one of this nation's premiere motivational speaker. I say we let him motivate our staff to personal excellence.
The Assistant Coach plays “bad cop” to the Head Coach's “good cop.” When players slack off, or get out of line, and the positive approach doesn't work, someone's gotta bring the hammer down.
- Nomination: Dave Stewart. Would you fail to run out a grounder, or mess up routine plays if you knew that “The Stare” would be waiting for you back in the dugout? Yeah, me neither.
The Assistant Coach for Special Cases (ACSC) is brought in only in desperate times. When both the good cop and bad cop have failed to inspire heart and grit the ACSC comes in to unify the team against a common enemy: himself. This individual's job is to create an atmosphere so wretched that the players rise up and overthrow him, and in the process somehow find their inner power animal and start playing better baseball.
- Nomination: Jose Canseco. When it comes to clubhouse cancers, nobody tops Jose. I can't think of any one individual more universally reviled among baseball players, and coaches (especially when his accusations end up being right). Barry Bonds can't even sniff this throne. His hiring would have the added bonus of assuring us that the team was steroid free, as Jose would surely out any users immediately upon his arrival.
After all the in game management and motivation is done, someone needs to actually teach people how to play better baseball. The Fielding Instructor takes on this task for defense.
- Nomination: Scott Hatteberg. Instructors aren't there for the good athletes; they're there for the screw ups. And no one is better at teaching others how to overcome defensive suckitude than someone who has once done it himself. Hatte will be all over this job like bad smell on ballony.
- Nomination: Actually, seems like Curt Young is doing alright here. Perhaps because of reasons cited in Mr Hatteberg's nomination. I guess he can keep his job.
Hitting Instructor. The A's, for a long time now, have sucked at hitting. Even good hitters from other teams come to the A's and learn how to suck.I know batting average is a useless stat, blahblahblah, but the fact that we haven't had a .300 hitter on this time in eons is a sign of real futility. It's embarrassing.
- Nomination: Tony Gwynn. I don't know if anyone in baseball knows hitting better than Gwynn. In putting his name here, I'm really just hoping some of his ability gets absorbed through osmosis. That's at least as valid a reason as any other coaching decision.
Other coaching positions? Other nominations? Have at it in the comments!