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The Giants just hired Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens to replace Carney Lansford. David Pinto was critical of the hiring at first, but later reconsidered:

…. Meulens holds a .288 career OBP in the majors. Yes, he played mostly before the offensive explosion of 1993, but .288 is still poor. I’d feel better about the Giants if they hired someone who knew how to get on base to teach their players how to get on base.

Update: I was a little flippant in that last paragraph. Poor hitters do go on to be good coaches.

Yeah, but a .288 OBP isn’t poor, it’s abysmal. It’s a league-worst performance most seasons. Meulens was a flat-out terrible hitter, managing to stay in the majors for only about 180 games. In all honesty, he was so terrible, he makes Neifi Perez look like an All Star.

Carney Lansford, by comparison, was Mike Schmidt. His career OBP was .343, 55 points better. Put another way, Lansford had almost as many home runs as “Bam Bam” had games played. There is no question that this move is pointless, and in fact, should be viewed simply as a reflection of the mindset of an organization operating with an almost willful ignorance of the refinements and changes in the modern game. Watching the Phillies and Yankees only serves to remind me that it is possible to put together a team that that can execute a game plan, can take pitches that aren’t strikes, and that can win despite a lack of all-around production.

And don’t give me any of the bullshit about the Yankees buying a title. You either compete or you don’t. The 2009 Giants had the pitching to handle either of these teams this year, and our GM, our ownership group, and our organization failed, failed completely in their efforts to take a shot at a title.

A couple of real hitters would have made a huge difference, maybe would have been THE difference. Instead, they fire their hitting coach the day he buries his father, and hire one of the worst hitters in baseball history to coach their anemic offense. Sure, maybe it’s true that you can’t teach hitters knowledge of the strike zone, to be selective, as Michael Lewis suggested in Moneyball. But, if you can, it’s hard to argue that a guy who walked a total of 42 times in seven seasons is the guy to teach it.

Or maybe, just maybe, you reach out to an icon, who knows just a little bit about hitting.


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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
None of the opinions expressed should be construed as being endorsed by the
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