If I say the name Don Mattingly, you probably think a couple of things right away. One would be New York Yankees and the other would probably involve the words “Great hitter.” A few words pop to mind quickly as well when I mention the name Mark McGwire. Unfortunately the words “Performance Enhancing Drugs” might come to you but if you wade past that you’ll find, “Great Hitter” back there somewhere.
Put these two guys together on the same team and you might just have one of the most successful combinations of hitters in the history of Major League Baseball. Mattingly would be all about getting on base and posting yet another year with an average above .300 while big Mark would be bashing his way into the bleachers with or without drug rumors. But, of course, both of these guys are long retired, Mattingly longer than McGwire. Still, they are coming together on the same team. The Los Angeles Dodgers have hired Don Mattingly as their manager as most know by now. Also, they have signed Mark McGwire as their hitting coach. Wow!
First things first, forget any talk about drugs of any kind. Unless they take something that alters the mind or their ability to teach others, it doesn’t matter if they fall down walking to the water cooler. They are coaches now. Forget the other stuff. What matters is their approach to hitting. Neither Mattingly or McGwire just ran up randomly with a stick and hoped they hit the round thing being thrown at them. These guys had specific and well practiced approaches to hitting.
As it turns out they both have the same overall thoughts. What luck? For their first year as a tandem of coaches, a couple of things are going to be keyed upon by many watching from the stands. First of all, people will look at the effect they have on their players; Mattingly overall and McGwire the hitters. No Hitting Coach I have ever seen is perfect for all 25 guys on a MLB roster. What will matter is how successful he is at guiding all of the guys, especially those that he does not immediately develop a report with.
If all goes well, this could be touted as one of the best and most daring moves of the season. Imagine McGwire being snubbed by Cooperstown and going out to lead a huge and thunderous offensive attack from the bench. It would be pretty cool .What matters most of all to those watching, however, will simply be results. If this works, it will be great for all involved and no one will question anything. If the guys go out and do not produce, Mattingly and McGwire will be getting the fingers pointed in their direction by mid-season.