Thursday, August 04, 2005

Is this supposed to be a rhetorical question?

Or does hitting coach Tom McCraw, quoted in today's Post, just want some advice?

McCraw believes that outfielder Ryan Church has altered his approach at the plate, and it is affecting his results. Church is 2 for his last 16, and his average has dropped to .304 as he has struggled to adjust to a pinch-hitting role since the arrival of Preston Wilson
from Colorado. "He used to hit the fastball," McCraw said. "Now, for some reason, he lets the fastball go, and tries to hit the breaking ball.

McCraw is steadily devolving into the Admiral Stockdale of MLB hitting coaches. I'm dubious as to the amount of influence---positive or otherwise---that any batting coach wields, but most of them at least emit a scent of competence.

Speaking of McCraw, it's a bit difficult to parse this section of St. Barry's Post chat yesterday, but give a try:

Yes, he has tried to change his approach recently after a talk with some of the Nationals front office staff. They want him to go back to who he was in Minnesota, when he put most of his weight on his
front foot when he hit and drove hard grounders through the infield and line shots to the gaps, rather than sitting back and flailing away.

It seems that:

1) Guzman changed his approach at the plate; and,
2) someone in the front office (Barry Larkin?) has pulled rank on McCraw and given Guzman some personalized advice ("FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY, STOP DOING THAT!!! CHANGE BAAAAAACK!!!!").

Is it also reasonable to speculate that:

1) someone on the Nats' coaching staff instructed Guzman to change his approach in the first place; and,
2) that someone was Tom McCraw?

Well, maybe it's reasonable, but it's still speculation. Even so, unless St. Barry misspoke (mistyped?) yesterday, McCraw seems a bit marginalized at this point.


Too late for Aught Eight? No sir, say the fellas from the DC Sports & Entertainment Commission, who insist the new yard will be ready for ball on schedule. Well, "schedule" might be a loose description of the current state of things and (I think) "Touhey" rhymes with "fooey," but you get the drift. Not suprisingly, prospective owners are trying to angle negotiations to account for the exigency of no new ballpark before '09.

In other news, I'm not certain if Eric Fisher's article breaks this detail about the design for the new park, but I don't remember hearing before that the orientation was set:

To that end, the commission yesterday approved an $11.5 million relocation of Pepco utility lines to help make way for the ballpark near South Capitol and M streets SE. HOK Sport and Devroaux &
Purnell, architects on the project, continue to work on preliminary models. Designers have selected a northeast orientation for the stadium, which will give views of the Capitol dome over the left-field wall. A construction manager to oversee the $607 million ballpark will be selected within three weeks.

Whoa, I'm in shock. How dare the commission select a former (Baltimore) Oriole as architect!




Kenny Kelly's rapid descent through the Nats' organization continues. NBC News is already all over this story. Andrea Mitchell just got pushed around by New Orleans Zephyrs' officials while requesting a rationale for Kelly's demotion. Anne Thompson is on location in Harrisburg, ready to report on the economic consequences of Kelly's arrival. Roger Hager has come out of retirement to track Kelly's flight to Harrisburg. Mike Taibi has made the jaunt to Woodbridge Potomac, just in case Kelly has another demotion in him. And Norah O'Donnell is certain to ask about the transaction during the next briefing with Scott McClellan.

Yeah, firing the hitting coach would probably be prudent at this point. It sure won't hurt anything.
ugh... why wouldn't the view be to the northwest so that you can attempt to see both the washington monument and the capitol dome??
MLB strongly advises the N to NE orientation. I think it would be tricky getting the monument in view from that location anyway. I am just glad they did decide to have it face the Anacostia.
The batter should face in a generally Eastern direction so he doesn't look into the afternoon sun. A NE orientation would have a view of the Capitol in the outfield, but not the Anacostia River.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brick, you are correct. What I meant to say was "I am just glad they decided not to have it face the Anacostia."

Every now and then, my self-editing leaves a something desired little to be.

; )
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