Thursday, July 22, 2010

Phillies fire hitting coach Milt Thompson

The Phillies have found their scapegoat for their seemingly endless hitting woes: hitting coach Milt Thompson has been fired. Given how poorly the Phillies have been hitting since about mid-May, it's hard to blame them for looking for a change, though I doubt Thompson is at fault for the team-wide slump. It's debatable how much of an impact hitting coaches really have on a group of professionals, anyway. When the Phillies were at their peak offensively in the previous few seasons, I doubt many gave any credit to Thompson. Now that they can't hit, the hitting coach gets the axe. Such is the life of a coach, I guess.

Replacing Thompson will be Lehigh Valley hitting coach Greg Gross, who previously had the job with the Phillies when Larry Bowa was the manager. Gross, who played 10 seasons with the Phillies in the early eighties, was a lifetime .287 hitter in the majors with zero pop. Hopefully the team will respond to a new coach although a rebound in hitting will have less to do with who the coach is and more to do with a bunch of good hitters finally playing to their abilities.

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