Doug Padilla’s chat:
Q: This may be a tough question for you to answer. But, do you have any idea how highly the White Sox FO values sabermetrics?
A: They put a solid emphasis on it. Not saying it’s the deciding factor in all their moves, but they have a guy that works closely with KW to break down those numbers.
“Solid emphasis” would be better than I thought. Hopefully, Padilla is right. Another interesting note:
Q: Whats the biggest difference between Walker and the new hitting coach?
A: Walk was huge on mechanics, passing along what he had learned over the years from some of the greats in the game. He coached the mental side as well, but the word is that Manto will stress the mental side even more. Manto wants you in a great frame of mind to hit, then he will go to work on mechanics.
Greg Walker announced his resignation as White Sox hitting coach, effective after Wednesday’s 2011 season finale against the Blue Jays.Speaking to a group of writers Wednesday morning in Ozzie Guillen’s old office, the hard-nosed Walker became emotional at times when talking about his relationship with the players, coaches and people in the clubhouse over his nine years working with White Sox hitters.Walker informed White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf of his decision roughly one month ago. …
Press release here.
How about Joe Crede? Nah, too many popups.
A contract extension for White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper figures to become official on Tuesday afternoon with the announcement of a new multi-year deal that will precede a two-game stint as manager in place of Ozzie Guillen.
Cooper is finishing his ninth full season and 10th overall as Chicago’s pitching coach, having begun the task on July 22, 2002. He has worked under managers Jerry Manuel and Guillen, and soon will be practicing his craft for a third — whomever is hired during the offseason to replace Guillen.
With Guillen released from his contract after Monday’s 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays to pursue other opportunities and bench coach Joey Cora apparently heading to the Marlins with Guillen, Cooper will run the show over the final two days of the 2011 season as the team’s interim manager.
CSN reports first base coach Harold Baines will get a multi-year deal too, but third base coach Jeff Cox and hitting coach Greg Walker won’t get new deals.
UPDATE: The extension is for 4 years:
Of Cooper, Williams said, “Well, the pitching has been as consistent over the last decade, and that’s a testament to our scouting department, to our player development department, to Don Cooper, directly in his direction. It’s something that’s well deserved and I’m happy, thrilled to know that he’s going to be on board here for the next four years.”
Schouwen @ CST:
The frustration stemming from the shortage of production from Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham recently reached a boiling point between general manager Ken Williams and hitting coach Greg Walker.
Walker took issue with Williams’ comments about Beckham’s swing, and after he and Williams exchanged heated words in the tunnel leading to the Sox clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field, Williams told Walker to clean out his locker, a source said.
When chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was made aware of what happened, things were smoothed over.
Williams had said he liked the swing Beckham had at college. Walker said as long as Beckham keeps working on his swing, he’s OK with it. The odds that Brett Ballantini’s prediction of big changes after the season is over comes true seem to increase everyday.
Schouwen @ CST:
A source said the Sox were one of several teams putting a claim in for Thome, whose mere presence in the clubhouse would be a plus. It wouldn’t hurt Dunn and those Sox who didn’t play with Thome in 2006-09 to watch the future Hall of Famer approach his every-day job and the designated hitter role.
What do you say Ozzie?
“I’d love to add Jim Thome back, to be honest with you,” said Guillen, who was looking for a more versatile designated hitter that also could play the field when Thome left for Minnesota in 2010. “A lot of people think I don’t want Jimmy. It was just at that time we didn’t have any place for him.”
Yeah, we had room for Mark Kotsay but not Jim Thome.
“But I have said day in and day out that Jimmy is one of my favorite guys in baseball. That’s up to [general manger] Kenny [Williams]. I don’t know if we’re going to have five DHs. I don’t expect him to be here, but if they want to bring him here, if you ask anybody wearing this uniform if they want Jim Thome back, everybody here would say yes. But that’s not our department.”
UPDATE: I forgot this last night the Sox may be blocking Cleveland from getting Thome. And we see today that they may have claimed another lefty: OF/DH Jason Kubel.
Other White Sox links:
Gonzales @ CT:
Paul Konerko recalled how he salvaged his 2003 season, when he batted .197 in a poor first half but elected to make some changes under new hitting coach Greg Walker and raised his average by 37 points.
It’s tough because in the second half, I felt I was as good as any hitter in the field, and you look up and you’re hitting .220,” Konerko said. “But I told myself I’m going to survive. People need to gain a little perspective on the outside.”
And it may be working:
Alex Rios said he’s started the process of revamping his batting stance in an effort to resurrect his production.
Rios, who didn’t start for the White Sox on Friday night for the second consecutive game, said he has moved his hands away from the middle of his body and said he will continue this if he feels aggressive and comfortable.
This is the start of a process that Rios hopes won’t require the entire offseason to get comfortable with. …
Frank Thomas suggested to Rios to change his batting stance last Sunday:
For Rios, on the other hand, Thomas suggested an entire overhaul of his plate approach.
“Right now, he’s fighting himself,” Thomas said. “For me, I would change that stance. We talked about it the other day. There’s nothing wrong with going in the cage and messing around with it. We saw one of the most successful players to ever play this game, Cal Ripken, he had a new stance every week. I told Alex, the bottom line is hitting the baseball. Go in the cage and figure something out, Get comfortable, because he’s not comfortable right now.”
Other White Sox links: