Thursday, January 18th, 2018

You’ve got to be kidding me (Part 3)

August 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Coaching

Here is another episode of “You got to be kidding me.”

My family and I recently attended a AA game in Reading, PA.  I actually caught a foul ball (!) but that’s not why this post is being written.  Here’s the story.

Every time I go to a minor league game I check who the coaches are.  There are times when a coach is a former teammate or a guy I played against in my career.  When the opposing team was hitting in the top of the first inning the first base coach trotted (actually he walked … don’t get me started on that) to the first base coaching box.  My seat was close by so I quickly looked at his number and then checked out the program to see the coach’s name.  He was not listed under the coaches.  Not unusual since sometimes a minor league team will have a volunteer coach (usually a high school coach or college assistant from the local area) help out.  Normally they would never be on the field during a game but that’s what came to mind.  Another (better) possibility was that a roving instructor had arrived and was helping out.

In the bottom of the inning when the Reading Phillies came to bat the same thing happened.  The first base coach was not listed in the coaches section of the program.  Hmm.  Kind of strange for two teams to do that but whatever.

And then it got interesting.  Actually, alarming.

In about the third inning, another guy was coaching first base.  Also not listed under the coaches section.  Then, in the fourth inning, another guy was coaching first base for the opposing team.  All of a sudden, my inner voice said “No %$#@ way.”  I checked the program again and groaned.  The reason both teams had people coaching first base who were not listed as coaches was because they were not coaches.  They were PLAYERS!

Are you kidding me?  Professional organizations at the AA level are using PLAYERS as first base coaches?  Since when did professional baseball become middle school?

Using players as first base coaches has always been a pet peeve of mine.  I’ve never done it at any level I’ve coached.  I can understand it to a point if a team is short on staff.  However, when major league organizations throw around millions it is tough to conceive a reason for not having an actual coach at first base.

I hope this is not common around all of minor league ball.


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