Hello again everyone! In spite of the best efforts of Delta Airlines, I have made it back to Michigan in one piece, only slightly battered and bruised!
Speaking of battered and bruised, I think it’s safe to say that the Braves offense and its batting coach Larry Parrish are battered and bruised by all the negativity coming through both traditional media and the blogosphere. I guess when you perform at the level they have versus the expectations of their fans, you have to expect this kind of reaction.
Personally, I’ve never thought that the batting coach should necessarily be held accountable for the batting performance of the team. I feel that the batting coach can only be reasonably expected to help identify flaws that have arisen in the swings of hitters and help them address those problems. The coach also needs to make himself available to all the hitters, even when the hitters don’t seek out their help. But there’s a fine line between helping one problem and being the cause of other problems. As such, having an approachable personality is also important. But, for the most part, the coach can’t do the hitting for the players.
The hard part to figure for this team is how things have gone so wrong and stayed wrong for so long. Given the talent levels involved, I would have never thought it possible for the offense to have these numbers at the mid-point of the season. Yet everyone swears there has been no organizational directive to change the philosophy of hitting from last season. Even though the team’s OBP has plummeted at the same time that its HR rate has soared. And all of this is (coincidentally?) timed in tandem with the tenure of Larry Parrish as hitting coach.
So, here’s the question for all you would-be GM’s: Is it time to fire Larry Parrish? I say no, that the best cure for this offense is still “time”. Please vote, and tell us why you think the way you do!