Well it happened (Oct 1st). The D-backs fired hitting coach Dave Magadan after 3 seasons. The D-backs 2018 2nd half offensive collapse and 1st half inconsistencies, especially with Lord Goldy, practically sealed Magadan’s fate. We all called for his head and his head was presented to us in a ceremony so exclusive no one showed up. Take a look at this article from Sept 20th in which Magadan essentially blamed the batters for their “improper approach” at hitting.
“Magadan believes his hitters’ solid performance for that middle of portion the year was an indication of what they are capable of doing. And he thinks their struggles before and after – particularly after – are a result of their inability to carry the proper approach into a game.”
The D-backs obviously will look to fill the hitting coach position and who exactly knows where the team is looking. I’ve thrown out Mark Grace as a possible candidate to much grumbling and questioning and that’s fine, but the grumblings rarely produced an alternative. I present you that alternative: Chili Davis.
I would hope that if you are reading this you already know who Chili Davis is. If you do not know allow me to explain whom’st he is. Chili Davis made was an all-star in ‘84, ‘86, and ‘94. Chili Davis has 3 World Series rings, ‘91, ‘98 and ‘99. Let’s take a look at his career line shall we?
WAR AB R H BA HR RBI SB OBP SLG OPS OPS +
38.3 8673 1240 2380 .274 350 1372 142 .360 .451 .811 121
This career line is thicc but is no indicator of Chili Davis’ ability to be an effective hitting coach. However, he does come with a ton of experience. Chili Davis’ big league career began in 1981 (year I was born) with the SF giants and ended in 1999 with the NY Yankees. 18 long years of MLB player experience. Chili Davis is not new to being a MLB hitting coach either, and I’ll quote from wiki: “Following his playing days, he was a hitting coach for the Australian National Baseball team for three years and was hired in 2010 by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a hitting coach for their instructional league. While there was speculation that he might be joining the Dodgers as a coach for the 2011 season, he instead joined the Pawtucket Red Sox’s coaching staff as their new hitting coach. On November 25, 2011, Davis was hired to be the Oakland Athletics hitting coach. In October, 2014, he returned to the east coast, as the hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox. On October 26, 2017, he was named hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs.”
The Cubs have announced that Chili Davis has been fired after just 1 season.
Here are the club’s hitting ranks in 2018:
- Batting average: .258 (third in MLB)
- On-base percentage: .333 (second)
- Slugging percentage: .410 (13th)
- OPS+: 95 (18th)
- Runs per game: 4.67 (11th)
We also have this on Twitter
#Cubs source says that player exit-interview feedback against Chili Davis was "too strong to ignore," and it "would have been counterproductive" to go into next season with him. 1/2— Dan Bernstein (@dan_bernstein) October 11, 2018
Mentioned last week on @Bernstein_McK on @670TheScore that some material players told Theo that they felt their swings/approaches had been altered for the worse. 2/2— Dan Bernstein (@dan_bernstein) October 11, 2018
Magadan’s and Davis’ termination seem almost identical in reasoning due to the 2nd half offensive collapses of their teams, Cubs and D-backs. But does that mean Chili Davis would not be a fit for a potentially young and rebuilding D-backs team? Who knows. But Davis’ resume would certainty look good on paper and in person, should someone actually interview him for the job. According to wiki Chili Davis currently spends his time with his wife Ann and his three sons in Arizona and his family in California. If Chili comes cheap and can positively influence/grow the D-backs’ young offensive talent, then why not give Chili Davis a shot as a hitting coach during a (most likely) D-backs’ rebuild?
Chili Davis for hitting coach?
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