Coaching is a part of the game that is hard for a fan to really understand than one may think. Pitching, hitting and third base coaches are a bit more visible than others since you can usually see the fruits of their labor in the teams stats. But unless you watch a team more closely and know a bit more about the game than the average fan you’re not going to notice how good or bad a job the bench coach is doing. Or the first base coach. Or the bullpen coach.
That being said it’s hard for me to say why the Mets have fired bench coach Sandy Alomar Sr. Granted that I have not followed the team very closely since August but based on what I’ve seen of Alomar over the years it’s hard to see why the team would think he’s not an asset to the coaching staff.
The Mets have also fired Luis Alicea, generic first base coach. Big woop.
Staying on for 2010 will be pitching coach Dan Warthen, whose starting staff was decimated by injuries. It’s hard to say if Warthen is to blame for this year’s pitching troubles but I have to think that he had some input regarding the re-signing of Oliver Perez. That alone should be enough of an indictment to merit a re-assignment.
Also retained was hitting coach Howard Johnson. I don’t think HoJo was as much to blame for the lack of power this year as the DL revolving door and the new stadium were. I think he has something to prove next year.
Third base coach Razor Shines was also retained. His energy and relationship with manager Jerry Manuel, who, it appears, will also be back, make him an early favorite to fill Alomar’s bench coach role.
Bullpen coach Randy Niemann will also be back. No word on training and medical staff changes.