I figured we ought to do a a series of polls asking seeing asking if we should keep each of our coaches. Let's start with batting coach Kevin Seitzer.
Kevin joined the team this season as the genius batting coach. Blue Jays televised spring games turned into the Kevin Seitzer show. Buck and Pat were tripping over each other to tell us how terrific he was. I'm a pretty obstinate guy, so if people work hard to sell be on the idea that someone is a genius i kind of dig my heels in and decide to hate the guy right away. That really wasn't fair to Seitzer, because he didn't really do anything wrong. It was just that he was oversold to us.
I never buy the idea that a hitting coach can turn a team around. A few years back we had Gary Denbo who was sold to us as the genius that would turn all our hitters into, well, Derek Jeter. That, by itself, got him into my bad books. Then when it seemed like he was trying to turn all our batters into singles hitters, it didn't help my opinion of him. The season didn't go well and Denbo didn't last for long.
Seitzer wasn't helped by the story of Ryan Goins coming to spend a weekend with him and Buck and Pat telling us that that he would turn Goins into a hitter. It seemed like he was gambling his whole reputation on Goins learning to hit. Now I know, and you know, that no hitting coach can turn someone into a hitter, but we were sold on the idea that he would.
Early in the season, Buck and Pat credited every single hit to Seitzer's influence, then, when the hitters all seemed to hit a slump at the same time, we didn't hear about him any more.
So who do we count as Seitzer's successes this year? Let's see:
- Jose Bautista has a terrific year and did seem to take the ball the other way more often than ever before, he was willing to beat the shift. Let's put Bautista in the positive column for Seitzer.
- Adam Lind had a very good season, if you ignore the absence of home runs. He did seem to be going the other more than ever. I did sometimes think he would have been better off to pull the odd one, but, he had a good year. Let's put Lind in the positive column for Seitzer.
- Edwin Encarnacion had another great year, but then he didn't seem to be following Seitzer's plan of going the other way. I''d put Edwin in the positive column for Seitzer, just because Kevin didn't try to force Edwin into being something he isn't. Or Edwin had the strength to know that his way was working and didn't listen to Kevin.
- Melky Cabrera had a great season. I'm not sure if we should credit that to Seitzer or not, but it was a good year. I'll leave it to you to decide how much credit goes to Seitzer.
- Dioner Navarro had a very good year with the bat. Again I don't how much credit to give to Kevin but Dioner clearly belongs in the win column for Kevin.
Who goes into the loss column for Seitzer:
- Ryan Goins, fairly or unfairly, was the one who was tied to Seitzer the most and he hit much worse this year than last. In 2013, Ryan hit .252/.264/.345 in 34 games, numbers that made your think that, if he improved just a bit, his glove could carry his bat. This year, with Kevin's help, he's hit a pathetic .180/.202/.257, numbers than made you think that you'd rather DH for him and let our pitchers hit.
- Colby Rasmus got along great with Chad Mottola and had a great season last year. This year, you heard the interview, he clearly didn't have the same relationship with Seitzerr. It might not be fair, but Colby clearly sits in Seitzer's loss column.
Beyond those two, I'm not sure who else should go into his loss column. Juan Francisco? He was great for his first month or so with the team, then teams learned how to pitch him. It likely isn't fair to blame Kevin. He didn't fix him but it is possible that Francisco isn't fixable. I did have this idea that Dwayne Murphy or Cito would have been the right guy to work with Juan.
Beyond that I'll leave it to you to make the case for or against him.