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On Rusty Greer as Hitting Coach

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Richard Durrett has a blog post up that discusses the Rangers interviewing Rusty Greer for their vacant hitting coach position, and asks if we as Rangers fans want to see Greer become the hitting coach.

Greer has also been someone who has been talked about in the past by fans, when the Rangers' managerial job came open a few years back, and then when Ron Washington looked like he might be on the verge of getting fired early in 2008.  For some reason, he seems to be the go-to guy with fans for someone they want to see take over.  Similarly, in Houston, where I live, people regularly talk about Jeff Bagwell or Craig Biggio as the manager.

In any case...Durrett asks if we want to see Greer as hitting coach, and I, myself, don't have an opinion on the matter.  Much like with the various guys who were interviewed after Buck Showalter was fired after the 2006 season, I just don't know enough about Greer, or the other hitting coach candidates, to be able to gauge whether or not they'd be a good hire. 

So much of the job is about communication, about working with guys individually and developing trust and rapport, and I just don't see any way that someone on the outside can meaningfully judge whether, for example, Thad Bosley would be a better hire than Carney Lansford.  Unlike with, say, a player, whose performance is all on the field, or even a manager, who makes moves and non-moves during the game that you can evaluate (even though you may have incomplete information), with a hitting coach, there's no real good way for someone on the outside to tell who would be good for a team and who wouldn't. 

So I don't really have an opinion as whether Greer would be a good hitting coach or not.  But at the same time, I also feel like that folks who say that they want Greer on board don't really have enough information to judge whether or not he'd be a good coach, either.

The justification is basically, well, he was a good player who had a good approach at the plate and got the most out of his abilities (before his body started breaking down and injuries ended his career).  That's it.  None of the fans who want to see Rusty as a coach have any idea whether he can work with hitters on their mechanics, if he can communicate with them effectively about their approach, if he can translate being a good hitter into being a good coach. 

A lot of it, I tend to think, is just wishful thinking...folks who loved Greer as a player, who were disappointed his career ended prematurely, and who want to see him associated with the Rangers going forward.  They don't necessarily want him to be hired as the hitting coach because they have a basis for thinking he's the best choice and he'd be a good pick...they want him to be hired because they want him to be the best choice and they want him to be a good coach.