The Dodgers have a lot of work to do this winter. They need a new general manager, new hitting coach, new third base coach, a new second baseman and possibly a new catcher. Their laundry list of needs seems to grow bigger each day. That’s a big holiday shopping list. Let’s talk about the vacant hitting coach position for a minute.
Former hitting coach Turner Ward left to take the hitting coach job with the Cincinnati Reds. He stated that he wanted to be closer to his family. Dodger right fielder Yasiel Puig will likely miss him the most since he’ll have to kiss someone else every time he hits a home run. So who’s the best candidate to replace Ward?
I think that would be former Dodger Nomar Garciaparra. The current SportsNetLA analyst and broadcaster was a 14-year major leaguer. Garciaparra played with the Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers and Oakland A’s. He spent only three seasons (2006-2008) with the Dodgers and was a 6-time all-star. He won rookie of the year in 1997 after slashing .306/.342/.534 with 209 hits and 30 home runs. He’s a two-time batting champion (1999-2000) when he hit .357 and .372 with Boston respectively. He tallied more than 190 hits in six seasons and slugged 229 career home runs. Needless to say his resume speaks for itself as Garciaparra was one of the most feared hitters in MLB.
What Garciaparra would bring to the job is a contact oriented approach. He was a notorious first pitch swinger and his aggressive hitting approach would be a welcome change to the Dodger’s swing and miss philosophies. As a matter of fact, Garciaparra never struck out more than 100 times in a season and only notched more than 63 whiffs only once early in his career.
We don’t know who the Dodgers have in mind yet for the job, and we don’t know if Garciaparra would be interested in leaving the broadcast booth. But if he were, I think it would be a great fit in the Dodger’s clubhouse. Not only would his hitting strategies work well with the Dodgers, but his experience and hard nosed style is something the Dodgers could use. I think he would work well with the younger Dodger players and be a mentor like presence in the clubhouse. After all Nomar has been there and done that before. He’s certainly no stranger to clutch hitting performances in the late innings of games.
13 thoughts on “Nomar Garciaparra Could Be a Good Fit For Dodger’s Vacant Hitting Coach Position”
I would love to see Nomar as the hitting coach. I also believe his type of approach would benefit the team. I do not know if he is even being considered, but I would definitely like to see him in the job. We find out by Monday afternoon if Ryu and Grandal accept or reject the QO. Former Dodger pitching coach Ken Howell passed away at 58. I saw him pitch a few times when he was a Dodger.
Dodgers’ FO doesn’t believe in the approach to hitting that Nomar would bring to the table. Huge swings with many strike outs, zero base stealing, zero small ball tactics is the current and stupid approach that they are invested in. This approach is getting to be a very boring and frustrating affair for baseball fans. Like I have said many times over the last few seasons, this approach lacks entertainment value for the fans. I’m a life long diehard Dodgers fan and they have turned me into a casual Dodgers fan. Shame on those stat-nerd bastards.
I read that Nomar’s father used to give him 25 cents for every hit and fine him 50 cents when he struck out–that was in T-ball! Maybe they should hire him. Now that Zaidi, who actually got off on walks, is gone it may be time for a change in philosophy. The only problem is that games would be even longer if Nomar implemented his ritual fiddling with the batting gloves before every pitch.
Make Ned the acting GM…at least other GMs will take him seriously.
Dustin Nosler must have read Michael Norris’ comments about Francisco
Cervelli. I’m not adverse to trading for Realmuto but I hate to give up two of our top five prospects for two years of J.T.
Friedman says if Utley ever decides to pursue a further baseball career as a coach or manager, the Dodgers will stalk him. Chase wants to spend time with his young kids right now. To all who served, thank you.
Michael are you a veteran
I know, but I always recognize those other than myself who have served. My son was in the Navy for 4 years. My father served in the Navy for close to 13 before his WWII injuries forced him out. I have friends who are Viet Nam vets. One of my close friends spent 34 years in the Navy. I still say thank you to guys I see in the stores and one the street who are vets. Just the way I am now. A lot of that comes from the fact that when I served, we were not liked very much.
No action the last few days just lots of rumors and the Japan series. But there will be some action tomorrow as the 7 players offered QO’s will make their decisions.
Another long shot for hitting coach, but someone like Adrian Gonzales if he decides to retire. He’s great at situational hitting, especially getting that runner from third in with less than two outs.
I am not as up in arms about launch angles and focus on the walks and homers, but I get really really frustrated with the near-total lack of situational hitting. This was our number one weakness that gets somewhat disguised when we have some games where we score a lot with 3+ home runs or a bunch of hits.
Hopefully they realize that as well and the next coach will stress those issues. Gonzalez plans on playing next year. At least that is what he said in an interview earlier this month. I think Nomar is a much better choice. But as was said earlier, he has to want to do it and they have to offer it. Besides the 7 free agents from the major league roster, they have 20 or so minor league free agents also. Two of the better known are Jacob Scavuzzo and Daniel Corcino.
I could be wrong, and often have been, but I don’t remember a hitting coach starting off at the major league level.
They generally get some coaching experience in the minors (on the bench or just handling hitting) then migrate over.
I guess Magwire is the notable exception to this.
Reggie Smith never coached in the minors to my memory. My guess is that they either pilfer some other teams hitting guru, or promote some one from the minors. Adam Melhuse is the AAA instructor, Termel Sledge is the AA guy, Justin Vele at Rancho, Luis Ortiz and Brant Brown are the assistant guys on the big league team. None of those guys inspire a lot of confidence. But just because you are a good hitter in the majors, it does not mean you can connect with players and turn their games around. Charlie Lau, who was one of the real successful coaches years ago, was a lousy hitter. And Ward was not much of a hitter himself even though he managed to play for over 10 seasons.
After his playing career ended, Smith rejoined the Dodgers, where he served as a coach under Tommy Lasorda, a minor league instructor and a player development official.
Smith became involved with USA Baseball in 1999 as hitting coach on the 1999 Professional Team at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada (Silver, Olympic qualifiers). He also served as hitting coach for the 2007IBAF Baseball World Cup in Taiwan (Gold). Smith also served as hitting coach for Team USA during the 2006 World Baseball Classic, and served as hitting coach for the Bronze medal winning USA Baseball Olympic team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
I think Nomar would be a great choice to be the next hitting coach…. how about Orel for assistant pitching coach (heir apparant to Honeycutt)? How about Ned for GM? How about Hairston for Third Base Coach? Alana Rizzo as Bench Coach? I’m serious…. No Joke! I think the Sportsnet Crew know more about baseball than the current coaching staff the Dodgers have now.
Better than that, how about hiring the entire coaching crew for Samurai Japan?
I love their style of play both offensively, and defensively. Love the hustle, love the small ball, Makes for a very exciting game…. much better than launch angle and long ball. Their style of play also makes it very easy to beat the shift.
Donny Baseball was dead in LA, it is dead in Miami, and is a total failure in Japan.”.. what a joke!
The only thing that will be difficult would be to get these lazy MLB players to is to play for the TEAM, and play with HEART. All these players care about now, is themself, and their wallets.