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DODGERS ANNOUNCE 2011 COACHING STAFF

DODGERS ANNOUNCE 2011 COACHING STAFF

Six former Dodgers, including newcomers Davey Lopes and Dave Hansen, highlight a staff with 176 combined seasons of big league experience

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced their Major League coaching staff for the 2011 campaign under new manager Don Mattingly. The staff consists of four coaches that will be entering their first season on the Dodgers’ big league staff, including two former Major League managers and four coaches that have served a combined 42 years with the Dodgers on the Major League coaching level. The staff has logged 176 combined seasons playing, coaching or managing in the Major Leagues.

“I’m extremely excited about this coaching staff, which has a great combination of experience and youth that will create a positive environment for our team,” said Mattingly. “We’ve been able to reach back and bring in a number of coaches with Dodger roots and that’s one of the things that was very important to us. Not just the quality of the people and the experience they bring with them, but the history of this organization – where it came from and where we want to go.”

The coaches:

Dave Hansen – Hitting Instructor (first season)

Trey Hillman – Bench Coach (first season)

Rick Honeycutt – Pitching Coach (sixth season)

Ken Howell – Bullpen Coach (fourth season)

Davey Lopes – First Base Coach (first season)

Manny Mota – Coach (32nd season)

Jeff Pentland – Hitting Coach (fourth season)

Tim Wallach – Third Base Coach (first season)

Rob Flippo – Bullpen Catcher (10th season)

Mike Borzello – Bullpen Catcher (fourth season)

Hillman, 47, will begin his first season as the Dodgers’ bench coach after managing the Kansas City Royals from 2008-2010 (152-207). Prior to being named the 15th skipper in Royals’ history, Hillman piloted the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters from 2003-07 in the Japanese Pacific League. While in Japan, Hillman led the Fighters to the Japan series title in 2006, the club’s first championship since 1962. The Texas native compiled a .520 winning percentage and reached the playoffs in three of five seasons with Hokkaido Nippon while being named the Japan’s “Sportsman of the Year” by the Foreign Sportswriters of Japan in 2006. Hillman was the Rangers’ Director of Player Development in 2002 and was a skipper in the New York Yankees’ organization for 12 seasons from 1990-2001. While with the Yankees, Hillman compiled a record of 855-761 (.529), leading his teams to eight winning seasons and four postseason appearances. The former minor league shortstop won the Florida State League (A) Manager of the Year in 1996 and the International League (AAA) Manager of the Year in 1999.

Honeycutt, 56, will enter his sixth consecutive season as the Dodgers’ pitching coach, making him the longest tenured full-time coach on the Dodgers’ staff. Since Honeycutt became the pitching coach in 2006, his staff has posted a 3.90 ERA, which is the best in baseball over that time. In 2009, the Dodgers led the Major Leagues with a 3.41 ERA and a .233 opponents’ batting average while tying for second with 1,272 strikeouts.

Howell, 49, enters his fourth season as the bullpen coach for Los Angeles and since he took over in 2008, the club’s relievers own a Major League-best 3.49 ERA. In his three seasons, the bullpen ranks first in the National League with 90 wins and a .237 opponents’ batting average while ranking third with 1,432 strikeouts. In 2009, the Dodger bullpen led the Majors with a 3.12 ERA. Howell pitched for seven seasons in the Major Leagues, including five with Los Angeles and posted a 3.95 career ERA.

Lopes, 65, played in Los Angeles from 1972-82, becoming part of the longest-tenured infield in Major League history along with Steve Garvey, Bill Russell and Ron Cey from 1973-81. With the Dodgers, he led the NL in stolen bases two times (1976-77), won a Gold Glove (’78) and played in four consecutive All-Star games (1978-81). Lopes’ 413 stolen bases are the second most in Dodger history behind Maury Wills and in 1978 he had a stretch of 35 bases without getting caught, which was then a Major League record. After his retirement in 1987, Lopes was the first base coach in Texas (1988-91), Baltimore (1992-94) and San Diego (1995-99) before getting hired to manage the Brewers from 2000-2002 (144-195). Lopes returned to San Diego from 2003-05 as their first base coach and filled the same role for Washington (2006) and Philadelphia (2007-10). While in Philadelphia, the Phillies made the playoffs in each of Lopes’ four seasons as he served as the baserunning and outfield instructor. From 2007-10, Lopes coached the Phillies to a Major League-best 84.3 cumulative stolen base percentage (501 SB/93 CS) with the club leading the Majors in that category in each of his four seasons, including a big league single-season record of 87.9% (138 SB/19 CS) in 2007. Philadelphia’s outfielders led the Majors with 136 outfield assists during Lopes’ time with the club.

Pentland, 63, has served as the Dodgers’ hitting instructor under Mattingly since July 1, 2008. This year he will be the full-time hitting coach in his 14th season as a coach on the Major League level. Since Pentland has come aboard, the Dodgers are hitting .263, which is tied for second in the National League over that time. He has previously served as the hitting coach for the Cubs (1997-2002), Royals (2002-05) and Mariners (2005-08) following a career in scouting, player development and coaching at the collegiate level.

Wallach, 53, spent the last two seasons managing the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. While in Albuquerque, Wallach compiled a record of 152-135 (.530) and set an Albuquerque franchise record with 80 victories in 2009. He was named the 2009 Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year as well as Baseball America’s “Best Manager Prospect.” The five-time NL All-Star spent 17 seasons in the Majors as a player, including four with the Dodgers (1993-96). In 2004-05 he was the Dodgers’ Major League hitting coach and prior to that he coached and managed the Dodgers’ Single-A affiliate at San Bernardino (1997-98), coached at his alma mater Cal State Fullerton (2000) and managed Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in the Angels’ organization (2001). Wallach’s three sons have followed in his footsteps as Matt catches in the Dodger organization, Brett pitches in the Chicago Cubs’ system and Chad is a freshman infielder/pitcher on the Cal State Fullerton baseball team.

Mota will enter his 32nd season as a coach with the Dodgers and 42nd year overall in the organization.  He donned a Dodger uniform as a player in parts of 13 seasons from 1969-80 and 1982 and finished his career as the all-time leading pinch-hitter in Major League history. His tenure as a coach is the longest in Los Angeles Dodger history, as he has served as the club’s bench coach and hitting coach at various times during his career.

Hansen, 41, played 11 seasons with the Dodgers (1990-96, 1999-2002) during his 15-year Major League career and ranks sixth all-time with 139 career pinch-hits, including Dodger team records for most pinch-hits in a season (18 in 1993), pinch-hits in a career (110) and pinch-hit homers in a season (7 in 2000). Hansen joins the Dodger organization after four years in the Diamondbacks’ minor league system and the last three as their minor league hitting coordinator. He retired as player following the 2005 season and began his coaching career in 2007 as the hitting coach with Arizona’s Double-A affiliate, Mobile, where his hitters led the Southern League with a .271 batting average.

Flippo, 44, and Borzello, 40, will return as the bullpen catchers for their 10th and fourth seasons, respectively.

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

19 Responses to “DODGERS ANNOUNCE 2011 COACHING STAFF”

  1. Ken says:

    A good start to a new era.

  2. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I’m especially glad to see Lopes back. He’s part of the reason I believe that it isn’t absolutely necessary to add a 30 HR guy to the outfield. I’d be just as happy to add a player with more modest power in the 15-25 HR range, but with good speed, who gets on base, and hopefully has a good arm. The defense would be much improved, especially when compared with what we put in left field in 2010. Lots more balls would be caught and cut-off in the gaps and down the lines. That can only help the pitching. I’m not talking about a light hitting outfielder, but it doesn’t have to be someone at or near the top of the leaders in HR.

    I only glanced at the previous thread, but I don’t agree that “It All Comes Down to 3B”. Third base is important, and I’d definitely like to see an upgrade. Bringing in someone like Adrian Beltre would be nice, but it’s probably not in the cards. But if there is a productive (or even potentially productive) left-handed hitting third baseman out there (e.g., Alex Gordon) I wouldn’t be opposed to a platoon at 3B. Blake might still be productive playing only part-time and against primarily left-handed pitching. If the left-handed part was Gordon (if he could be acquired at a reasonable cost), I don’t know what he would do, but I believe he has hit right-handers a lot better than lefties. However, when all is said and done, I believe an outfield upgrade is what we need most.

    I saw a comment or two that Beltre’s power would be cut in Dodger Stadium. That’s absolutely the case. However, the issue isn’t whether or not his power production would go down. It’s more about what his power production would be relative to opposition third basemen in Dodger Stadium. Dodger Stadium doesn’t only adversely affect the power of Dodger players, it does likewise to the opposition. So 25 HR by Beltre playing for the Dodgers might be worth 30 or more for someone playing elsewhere. As Einstein would say, it’s all relative.

    What I don’t want to see is Gibbons, Paul or even Casey Blake patrolling left-field. Gibbons can hit, and Paul might be OK with the bat (although still unproven), but theie defense (especially Gibbons) leaves a great deal to be desired. And I don’t even want to think about Casey Blake in the outfield.

    As for power, I think a lot of that has to come from in-house guys like Kemp, Ethier, Loney, and perhaps 3B, and behind the plate. A healthy Ethier should improve significantly on his numbers, and I’m hopeful that Kemp will pick it up. And I haven’t totally written off Loney in the power department. Certainly, I’m looking for more than the 10 he produced last year.

    For me the answer is pitching, defense, speed, and some added power throughout the lineup. And playing with more heart and mental toughness is also necessary. And for me, the possibility of that happening is increased by the Torre’s absence, Bowa’s absence, and Lopes’ presence. And I’m guessing that Wallach and Hillman are an upgrade over Duncan and Shaefer. Only time will tell.

  3. Roger Dodger says:

    I seem to have a different memory watching Gibbons play the outfield last season. I though he made a number of great catches out there. And some nice throws.

    What was I missing?

    On another subject, what I am feeling from most of you is — McCourt is so much in $$$ trouble — he cannot properly fund this team. As one of the leading attendance getters in all of baseball — the Dodgers, under McCourt cannot put the players on the field that are needed to make this team work.

    Most of the guesses of lineups have 2 and 3 and even 4 weak spots in the lineup. If that is the case, and every player does not have a career season next year — look for a 3rd or 4th place finish in the N.L. West.

    As Mark would say, even Ray Charles can see that.

  4. artie says:

    now we’re going to see more triple a players come up this year in the bigs. like a justin sellers who will probably back up ralfy furcal!

  5. lawdog says:

    I saw the same thing about Gibbons in left Roger. Sometimes a player’s reputation can’t be modified by improved play–particularly in the mind and eyes of fans who are not paying attention to what he’s done lately. Gibbons might surprise more than a few here if he plays the way he did when he got his chance at the end of last year.

    At the same time, it’s hard to get excited by the idea that he’s the answer to our offensive woes for next season. He could prove to be a plus out there in left, but we’d still need a new power bat for 3rd and a 2nd baseman who is solid–offensively and defensively. And that’s to say nothing about our lack of a true ace going into 2011.

  6. Badger says:

    Dana Eveland?

    Uh, OK. A guy with a 1.739 WHIP. I never heard of him, but, maybe Honeycutt will be able to do something with him. I won’t hold my breath.

    Yep, Roger, I think you summed it up. As long as McBorrow is tied up in this domestic battle, his resources are limited. artie hit it, look for more AAA signings with a few Ortiz Bros. thrown in for good measure.

    Beltre isn’t coming here and frankly I think that is a good thing. He isn’t the answer. For the time being, the answer is to find the Uribe’s and Huff’s out there. Get some gritty $2 million players in here and hope like hell Loney, Ethier and Kemp show some pride in their work.

  7. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I can imagine Gibbons making a great play in left field. Problem is, his great play is probably a routine play for a good defensive outfielder. Outfielders often make circus catches not because they’re great outfielders, but because they got a lousy jump on the ball or were too slow to get to where the ball was headed sooner. Gibbons is, pure and simple, not a good outfielder. However, that doesn’t preclude him from making a nice play every now and then. Every dog has his day.

  8. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger, I thought you knew better. Surely you realize that every MLB team signs marginal players to minor league contracts, if only to have bodies to pitch some meaningless innings early in spring training, when most of the players that really count are still logging very few innings.

    Every year when the Dodgers sign these kinds of guys I hear the same complaints. It’s normal, and the vast majority of such players do not see the light of day when the regular season begins. Most, in fact, are gone somewhere midway through spring training. Don’t expect another Russ or Ramon Ortiz. Barring injury, the Dodgers already have four spots in their rotation locked up, and probably most of the bullpen.

  9. Roger Dodger says:

    Reality Must Set In At Some Point –

    Back in 1967 when I was in graduate school in Chicago, I drove with a fellow student to a meeting. On the way he said, “You know, I am a life long Yankee fan.” He paused for a few long seconds. “Roger, did the Yankees really finish in last place last year?”

    I said, “Yes, last in the American League.”

    He paused again and said — “I usually follow every game, know all of the averages, have all of their baseball cards — but I just have blanked out the end of last season.”

    1966 was the Baltimore Oriole season. Winning the A.L. and taking the L.A. Dodgers 4 straight in the World Series. Willie Davis missed those fly balls in centerfield . . . I wish I could even now block those errors or mis-qs out.

    But the Yankees were 70-89 or .440 in 1966. 26.5 games out of first place. And the Red Sox were 72-90 or .444 and 26 games out.

    But my bringing this up, is this — our 2010 Dodgers finished second to last in the N.L. West, 12 games out. No matter how one spins it — that was terrible, and it will take some major changes to correct that.

    So far, a new manager, several new coaches, and I am sure changes in the farm system. But because of ownership problem that most of us see as a problem — getting the players that could make for a chance at a winning team is now present.

    The Giants, like ‘em or hate them — they are on top, S.D. is right behind and their owners and staff will most likely improve in 2011.

    So, let’s get moving around here . . . .

    • “The Giants, like ‘em or hate them — they are on top, S.D. is right behind and their owners and staff will most likely improve in 2011.”

      SD is right behind them? I am willing to wager they end up back in the cellar in 2011…..wait, the DBacks are in the West too….ok….they will end up in 4th in 2011.

      Pitching wins and the Dodgers have a solid 1-4 in their rotation right now…..stay positive. The power of positive thinking can be beneficial.

      • Badger says:

        “The power of positive thinking can be beneficial.”

        You and Mark crack me up. The power of positive thinking can actually have an effect in your own life. “If you can see it you can be it” and all that. But, a fans hopes has absolutely no effect whatsoever on a professional baseball team. Ask Cub fans about that.

        If you actually believe the Dodgers will be able to fill all their holes with exceptional players next year I think you are setting yourself up for huge disappointment.

        The reality is, once again we need everything to go our way next year to make up ground on the several teams in the N.L. that are better than us. That’s just a fact. You can wish it wasn’t, but, it just is. Yeah, we have some good starting pitching, but so do the Giants, the Padres, the Braves, the Phillies, the Mets……….

        One step at a time. We need to get the ownership thing straightened out, we need a left fielder, we need a second baseman, we need a better third baseman, we need a 5th starter, we need our bullpen to recover, we need our minor league system to improve, we need 3 million people to show up again…… the list is long. It’s all possible of course, but reality is screaming that this is an organization in need of restructure.

  10. Badger says:

    We did Roger. We just signed two Japanese kids, Hector Gimenez and Dana Eveland.

    I wouldn’t expect much anytime soon. Certainly not until the Winter Meetings in December. Then, not until next year. Then maybe the year after.

    I don’t remember much about ’66 either. I was in boot camp from July to September, then ITR. Baltimore you say. Seems to me I remember them in a very short World Series that year.

    Yeah, I know Brooklyn. And, I expect a whole lot more of those kind of signings. Gotta have fodder for training camp. This guy has been up and down since ’05, so, I kinda figured he was signed to be LHer out of the pen. Oh, wait, he’s a starter. Just a minor leaguer you say? OK. Send him to AAA. Last year he had a better ERA in the Majors 6. something, than he did in AAA – 7. something. I am sure he can lower that in the PCL.

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “So, let’s get going around here….”

    It’s early Roger. Only November. Lots of free agents sign in December and January, some even later. The Winter Meetings aren’t until the first week in December. Last I looked most of the big name free agents are still on the market, and very few of all the free agents have signed. Now is not the time to be criticizing the Dodgers for not moving. Very few teams have.

    Actually, the Dodgers have probably been among the most active to date. They re-signed Lilly, Kuroda and Gibbons, and re-did the coaching staff. Have a little patience, and let the process play out like it does every year. Maybe the Dodgers will be active, maybe they won’t. But there is no way to judge that now. In fact, this could go on through spring training. As I pointed out in an earlier post, the Dodgers didn’t trade for Milton Bradley in 2004 until just before the season opened.

    And 12 games is not all that insurmountable. Keep in mind that there is a swing of two games in the divisional standings when the Dodgers play a Western Division team. For example, in 2010, the Giants were 10-8 vs. the Dodgers. If the Dodgers had beaten the Giants 3 more times, they would have won the season series 11-7. Therefore, instead of being 2 games down in the season series between the teams, the Dodgers would have been 4 games up. That’s a swing of SIX games. That leaves the Dodgers only 6 games behind the Giants. Consequently, it’s conceivable that the Dodgers could have been tied at seasons end with only 9 more victories. And that doesn’t take into account that the Giants could win a few less games against other opponents.

    The point of all the verbiage above is this. It really doesn’t take all that much to make up 12 games the following year. A few more losses by the Giants and a few more wins by the Dodgers, and improved Dodger play in head-to-head competition with the Giants is all it will take.

    Didn’t the Dodgers follow-up a losing 2005 with a wildcard berth in 2006? Why is it so hard to believe that can’t happen again?

  12. Ken says:

    Rumor has it that the Dodgers signed 2 of the 5 best free agent pitchers this off season. The Dodgers cleaned house by finally got rid of the lousey manager and the over the hill gang of coaches. A new era has started. There is a fine line between a cheapskate and limited budget monitoring/talent searching VP of bean counting. The SF Giants controlled their budget in 2010 and won the WS. However, Ned has not demostrated that kind of financial ability in the past. Maybe Ned has turned over a new leaf or maybe he will once again sign 87 NRIs so that the starting pitchers will be ready to go just 4-5 innings per start the first month of the 2011 season. We will see if an old dog can learn new tricks. Fortunately there are some young dogs around Chavez Ravine these days.

  13. Badger says:

    “Why is it so hard to believe that can’t happen again?”

    Because we have an embarrassment for an owner. A man who lived on enormous sums of borrowed money and just so happens to be in the middle of a nasty, potentially very costly divorce.

  14. Roger Dodger says:

    Okay, now let us see just how those last place 1966 Yankees (and Red Sox) did the following season.

    1967 – Red Sox went from 26 games behind to win the American League. “The Impossible Dream.” The Yankees played a game or so better to .444, but were only 20 games behind. KC was 29.5 back.

    Baltimore, winners in 1967, fell to 15.5 games back playing .472 ball or 76-85.

    In 1968, the Yankees played .512 ball with 83 wins, but 20 games back. Red Sox fell back to 17 games behind the Tigers (they won 103 games).

    Baltimore was second, but still 12 games back with 91 wins.

    In 1969, Baltimore won with 109 wins, and the Yankees were second to last with 80-81. 28.5 games behind. Red Sox were 22 games behind. (note: this was the Miracle Mets season)

    In 1970, Baltimore won again with 108 wins, the Yankees were in 2nd place now, 15 games back with 93 wins. Red Sox in 3rd place 21 games back.

    1971, Baltimore won again with 101. Detroit second, Red Sox third, Yankees 4th with 82-80.

    1972 the Yankees were 4th with 79-76. Detroit won, Red Sox second, Baltimore third.

    1974 Yankees 4th place with 80-82, Baltimore won, Red Sox 2nd, Detroit 3rd.

    1975 Yankees 3rd place, 12 games back, 83-77; Red Sox won, Baltimore 2nd; interesting that the Tigers were last with 102 losses.

    Then, 10 seasons after being in last place, the Yankees won, with 97 wins. Baltimore second 10.5 games back, followed by the Red Sox, Cleveland, Detroit…..

    Ah, looking to the past…..

  15. Badger says:

    Hey Roger……… do you remember where you were and what you were doing 47 years ago today?

    I sure do. I was sitting in my 10th grade drafting class, listening to the radio that Mr. Finney allowed to be on when we were working on a project. I was drawing some kind of cylinder. My desk was right in front of Mr. Finney and when the news came on we locked eyes. I’ll never forget it. Class was let out and the entire school sat out on the Senior Lawn. Girls were crying, teachers were covering their eyes….. for days the collective national sadness was palpable. I am not sure this country ever got over it……..

  16. Bobby says:

    its amazing you say that badger. what’s even crazier is that my mom was a 17 yr old student, IN INDIA, and they even stopped class there to tell everyone what happened!

    people were crying over there at the news!! unreal.

  17. chucky says:

    I am getting a little dismayed at the lack of faith of this group (and I am talking to myself also). We are fans and we have to be fans with faith that our players will do well. Brooklyn is right, it is early. We know that we need more offense and that there is a hole in the 5th starter, LF, maybe 3rd base and 2nd base and the joy of baseball (and spring training) is who will be on the team and will a younster step up and become a star (Sands, DeJ, Xman etc). Torre never gave the real youngsters a chance (other than the identified franchise younsters). Maybe our new coach will be more open minded.

    Things are just getting started, we MUST BELIEVE.

    Go blue, we believe….. remember the guy signing DON’T STOP BELIEVING. It is classic and in 2011 the dodgers will be classic.

    Happy Thanksgiving, we have lots to be thankful for:
    Kemp, Either, Frucal, Carrol. Loney, Billingsly, Kershaw, even Martin and our (un) faithful closer, Kuo and the great memories of last year (and the heart break).

    It is just a game, a game that is glorious and fun. Remember though it is just a game.

    PEACE

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