Kevin Seitzer – The Royals fired the former Royal as their hitting coach Thursday. Manager Ned Yost (couldn’t the case be made that he should have been the one who was fired?) said the team wasn’t getting enough production from third baseman Mike Moustakas and first baseman Eric Hosmer. Yost also lamented the team’s lack of home-run power. That’s Yost. He wants wall
bangers, even in a stadium that is not conducive to home runs. It’s always interesting when teams start firing coaches at the end of a season. The Royals, though, are holding on to everyone else while running Seitzer out of town after four seasons. KC just wrapped up a 72-90 (“It’s Our Time”) season and one would presume that unless there’s significant improvement made in 2012, Yost and general manager Dayton Moore could be looking for work. Let’s look at how the Royals stacked up among American League teams in some key offensive statistics: Runs (12th of 14), average (fourth); total bases (eighth); OPS (eighth); home runs (13th); walks (14th); extra-base hits (10th); strikeouts (14th, fewest in the AL). The Royals put the ball in play, with the fewest walks and fewest strikeouts. They hit a bunch of doubles. But they didn’t produce runs, at least not nearly enough to be a competitive team.
Chris Chambliss – The Seattle Mariners also fired their hitting coach, Chambliss, who is one of my all-time favorites from his time as a player in Wichita. He first showed up here in 1969, when he led the Anchorage (Alaska) Glacier Pilots to the National Baseball Congress World Series championship. A season later, after being chosen in the first round of the draft by the Cleveland Indians, Chambliss was the every-day first baseman for the Triple-A Wichita Aeros. The man could hit. Unfortunately, the Mariners couldn’t and Chambliss, who is 63 and still makes it to Wichita frequently because he is married to a native of the city, is out of a job.
Jeff Fisher – I like this guy as a coach. And I’m looking forward to watching the St. Louis Rams tonight against the Arizona Cardinals. Am I the only one? Fisher has already instilled a different attitude into the Rams, especially on the defensive side of the football. St. Louis still gives up way too many rushing yards, but the Rams are forcing turnovers and playing well in the secondary. They’ve also been able to put together a decent pass rush. Arizona is a surprising 4-0 but I’m calling a Rams upset tonight.
Kyle Lohse – The veteran right-hander is 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals. He gets the assignment Friday of facing Atlanta Braves rightly Kris Medlen, the hottest pitcher in baseball. The Braves have won games in each of Medlen’s last 23 starts dating back to 2010. And since moving from the bullpen to the rotation this season, Medlen has been nearly unhittable. But Lohse isn’t chopped liver, either. I, of course, am a wreck about this game. So please don’t call or text me late Friday afternoon. Thank you.
National Hockey League – Seriously, guys? Seriously? You’re cancelling the first two weeks of the regular season due to another lockout? Seriously?
Bobby Valentine – It was never gonna work for Bobby V. in Boston. No one should be surprised. No one, as far as I can tell, is surprised. I doubt he gets another chance to manage in the big leagues and I’ll be surprised if he returns to ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth should Terry Francona, who replaced Valentine on TV after Francona was canned by the Red Sox after the 2011 season, get a managerial job. It looks like Francona is the odds-on favorite to land in Cleveland. Congratulations, I guess.
Jeff Lutz – That last comment was meant for my son, who is an Indians fan despite being raised in an adamant Cardinals household. I don’t understand how he strayed. I often imagine what life would have been like had my son, too, been a Cardinals fan. I think of all the tender moments we would have shared over the years, and the 2006 and 2011 championships we would have reveled in. Oh well. I’m sure the Indians will win a World Series again someday. Just as sure as I can be.
Casey Pachall – The TCU quarterback has been suspended indefinitely by Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson after being arrested for DUI. Good for Patterson, who is willing to bench his team’s most valuable offensive player before a Big 12 game against Iowa State. I like the message Patterson is sending here and wish coaches would all get on the same page on this one. Of course, the cynic inside of me wonders if Patterson would have done the same thing had TCU been preparing for a game against Oklahoma. I’m betting he would. Hoping he would.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I’ll return tomorrow with Friday musings.