I would say that right about now, you have to like what the Dodgers are doing. They seemingly had a pretty good Brain Trust around Ned Colletti in De Jon Watson, Logan White, Rick Ragazzo, Vance Lovelace, Ken Bracey, Toney Howell, Bill Mueller, Aaron Sele, Jose Vizcaino, Juan Castro, Maury Wills and scouts like Gib Bodet, Paul Fryer, John Green, Gary Nickels, Brian Stephenson, Larry Barton, Ralph Avila, Clint Bowers, Mike Brito, Wilton Guerrero, Rich Delucia, Lon Joyce, Marty Lamb, Carl Lowenstein, Dennis Moeller and about twenty others.
They have added Gerry Hunsicker and Bob Engle to the upper echelon of the Brain Trust and probably Patrick Guerrero. Now, they are about to add Mark McGwire as hitting coach and to those who say the coach doesn’t make any difference, I say that you are just plain silly. Who thinks General Patton made a difference in the US Troops batting average back in the day? We have seen McGwires’ Cardinal hitters improve under his tutelage, and have heard their praises of him.
A good leader and teacher who can motivate people is invaluable and it doesn’t hurt that he is intimidating in size as well. McGwire may not be as intimidating as he was back in the Steroid years, but he’s still a big dude. He talks the talk and walks the walk. Dave Hanson was a good guy, but don’t tell me that a coddled star player might question his .260 career batting average – “You hit what?” Mark McGwire will make a difference. I really didn’t know he was available and never made the connection he might want to come home.
I endorse this move whole-heartedly. He has admitted his steroid use and it is time to move on. I don’t particularly like that he wouldn’t talk about it for 5 or 6 years, but in retrospect, I don’t know what else he could have done. It’s over. He has to deal with that as his legacy but right here, right now, he will impart his hitting wisdom to the Dodger hitters. Mattingly, Mota, Lasorda and others need to “stand down” as Mark McGwire becomes the ONE VOICE to Dodger hitters. The change will not happen overnight, but I expect that as soon as the signing is final, he will be in touch with the Dodger hitters, looking at film and trying to correct flaws. He’s not a miracle worker, but he is a worker and good things will come from this.
I am sure that as we speak, there are meetings being held about Dodger front-office and on-field personnel. I don’t expect changes in the major league coaching area, but I am certain there will be major front-office changes and minor league changes. If mistakes have been made, people need to be accountable. Let’s see how the dominoes fall…