The Only Constant is Change

With the smell of jet fuel still lingering from their trip back from Chicago, Arizona Diamondbacks manager AJ Hinch had already set in motion his plans for next season. Shortly after returning on Sunday night Hinch met with third base coach Chip Hale and first base coach Lorenzo Bundy. Each coach was told he would not be returning for the 2010 season. And so began the rebuilding project that will ultimately become the Arizona Diamondbacks.

When Hinch took the job on May 7 he inherited a coaching staff from Bob Melvin with the exception of pitching coach and hitting coach. Given the way the Arizona Diamondbacks played this season it was probably inevitable that there would be additional changes to the coaching staff. After all, it is easier and cheaper to change coaches than it is to change players.

Of the two coaches that were let go, it is Hale that surprises me more. Chip Hale has been with the Diamondbacks organization for six years and in that time he had been identified within baseball circles as being on the fast track to becoming a Major League Baseball manager. At the time when it was rumored that Melvin’s job was in jeopardy it was Hale along with bench coach Kirk Gibson whose names were mentioned most often. His resume included winning a Triple-A crown with the Tucson Sidewinders. He also coached in the Arizona Fall League which, has acted as a proving grounds for up-and-coming manager prospects.

I can only guess that perhaps Hinch was looking for a little different type of personality to work with and someone who was more closely aligned with his philosophy of baserunning.

Lorenzo Bundy has to wonder why he ever even gets involved with the Arizona Diamondbacks. This is the second time Bundy has been relieved of coaching duties with the club. He acted as bench coach to interim manager Al Pedrique during the fateful 2004 season. Hmm, come to think of it, Bundy was on the payroll during two of the worst seasons the Diamondbacks have had in their history. He may be a good coach but his luck is horrible.

The Diamondbacks did announce that they signed bench coach Kirk Gibson to a two-year extension to remain on the staff. They also offered a one-year contract to Glen Sherlock to remain the bullpen and catching coach. Sherlock is the one constant in the universe. He has now survived ever change in Diamondbacks managerial history. He began in 1998 with Buck Showalter and stayed on when Bob Brenly was brought it. During 2004 when Al Pedrique replaced Brenly, Sherlock was there in the bullpen. He remained in place during the four-day tenure of Wally Backman and was a part of Bob Melvin’s staff. Now he becomes a part of AJ Hinch’s staff for 2010. He must be doing something right.

It should not come as any surprise that pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. and hitting coach Jack Howell were both retained. Both did a decent job in the half year they were on the job and definitely seemed to work well with Hinch’s management style.

If anyone was wondering what to get the Diamondbacks for Christmas, the gift list just got a little bigger. Now besides looking for a starting pitcher, bullpen help, and a couple of position player veterans, the Diamondbacks will also be looking for a first base coach and a third base coach too.

Hopefully they will take this opportunity to bring in a couple of hungry and aggressive coaches that will instill a sense of urgency into this team. This past year the team has played lethargic at times without the desire to get mean. I would suggest someone with a fiery attitude who has a chip on his shoulder. But then that was kind of how Chip Hale coached in Tucson so I have no idea what they are looking for. Maybe they need someone who possesses more “organizational advocacy”. I don’t think we have enough of that yet.


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  1. Diary of a Diehard » Blog Archive » Is There a Leak in the Diamondbacks Think Tank? - [...] day after the Arizona Diamondbacks parted ways with two of their coaches, General Manager Josh Byrnes and manager AJ…

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