One key adjustment will be not letting B.J. Rosenberg record a fifth career at-bat. Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

New Phillies Hitting Coach Promises He "Understands On Base Percentage."

Trying to stave off rumors that he is already fired

Steve Henderson thinks the Phillies lineup still has a lot of potency, which gives him a better attitude than most of the people reading and/or writing this sentence.  Most would look at the terrible run production of the 2012 Phillies and think, “Ah, shit.  That’s terrible.”  And they would be right.

Last night, the Cardinals pecked the Giants to death 8-3 in the game three of the NLCS.  Eight runs is about twice the league’s regular season average, so we have to ask?  What are the Cardinals doing so, so right?

  • Hitting the ball
  • Hitting the ball, again
  • Hitting the ball when other hitters have just hit the ball and can score
  • Hitting the ball during several different innings of the game, so that the “offense” is not limited to a single, desperate, all-or-nothing gasp
  • Hitting the ball so much that whatever scrappy underdoggedness the Giants could scrape together from a Hunter Pence speech was dissolved
  • No Michael Martinez
  • Continuing to score even after just enough runs had been scored to win the game

They’re notes worth examining, as the Phillies’ official web site recently released a story on how the Phillies will be trying to kill the Cardinals and take their place.  As far as examples go, the Cards are solid, and with a new hitting coach in place who claims to “…understand on base percentage,” yet also wants to be “aggressive” at the plate, the recipe is there for an offensive revolution in Philadelphia.

Of course, a hitting coach’s influence on a lineup of cold veterans could be limited, depending on what mood Jimmy Rollins is in when he gets to Clearwater.  But if Henderson is watching this NLCS in a large, regal easy chair next to a roaring fireplace while jotting down notes like in my head, he could change the climate.  Did I say he would need a weapon of some kind?  Not to like, point at the players, but just reference time and time again that he had in his locker or nod menacingly toward.

Ha ha ha, of course I am kidding.  How would physically threatening the players get them to do better?  If they can hear any of the things I scream at the TV [EDITOR'S NOTE: And I know they can] then we can guarantee that strategy does not work.  I’m not insane.

Henderson is a man whose spent years riding the rails between locales of the Phillies farm system, always winding up where he was needed most. A struggling offense; a slugger trapped in his own head; a shipment of bats stuck in customs; Henderson was there to give a gruff stare and keen advice.  With Wally Joyner at his side, will there be anything he can’t do?

Yes.  He can’t literally hit for the team.  He can only explain his strategies and give them suggestions, and it will be up to them to decide whether or not their league average run production is good enough for them.

“IT ISN’T,” says me from a table at a bar to the TV in the future.

Tags: Hitting Coach Philadelphia Phillies Steve Henderson

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