August 27, 2008

Last Days of Lenny?

The Nats are starting the September call ups a little early this year, but instead of adding a 3rd catcher and a few spare bullpen arms, the team has added an extra coach. AAA hitting instructor Rick Eckstein, older brother of the quintessential scrappy white infielder, will be joining the big club "to become an extra hitting coach and do anything else manager Manny Acta wants him to do."

Like helping Lenny Harris clean out his office and pack up his car?

As the article notes, this is the third time in the last five years that the team has added an extra coach for the closing weeks of the season. This may be a month-long tryout for Eckstein, or just a chance to get an extra set of eyes and hands on our struggling hitters, but it can't be seen as anything other than an indictment of the work done by Harris, who has coached one of the worst offenses in MLB history.

We know Rick Eckstein has ample experience working with young hitters, from his time in the Nats farm system, to his just-completed Olympic stint with Team USA. So Godspeed, Rick. Feel free to start with Bonifacio and work your way down the lineup.


Harper said...

To be fair to Lenny a big knock on coaches who were long-time major leaguers is that they can't impart their knowledge to players very well. Lenny has given the Nats everything they need to be the slap-hitting, no-pop bench player that he was.

Nate said...

Manny hired him to be the Pinch Hitting Coach, and Lenny just misunderstood. Manny didn't say anything because he abhors confrontation, and now here we are. Yeah, I'll buy that.

Harper said...

You're buying the fact that the Lerner's would pay for TWO hitting coaches? Oh wait maybe your saying Manny himself hired him and is paying for him. I can buy that. I wouldn't be surprised if he has to take the uniforms out to the laundromat after the game.