Dave Hansen Falls On His Sword

Per Bill Shaikin and everybody else, the Dodgers have informed Dave Hansen that he will not return as the hitting coach in 2013. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, of course, given that the Dodgers topped only four teams in wOBA – two of which lost 100 games. They were next to last in homers, third from the bottom in slugging… well, you were there. There was no bigger problem this year than the offense.

Now whether Hansen did a good job as hitting coach coach or not, I can’t say. Maybe it was his fault that it took so long for the new additions to come together at the end of the season  Maybe if he’d done a better job, they’d be in the playoffs.

And maybe, just maybe… everyone who is celebrating that he’s gone doesn’t have a damn idea what they’re talking about. Have we forgotten that it was just barely over a year ago that we had a similar conversation detailing how Hansen’s sudden status as “golden boy” for the team’s second half turnaround after replacing the deposed Jeff Pentland was foolish?

As it always seems to be, the answer lies on the field, because the difference here is largely that the roster of the Dave Hansen Dodgers simply isn’t the same as the roster of the Jeff Pentland Dodgers. Just look at the mess Pentland had to deal with before he was let go:

- 289 of Juan Uribe‘s 295 awful, awful, plate appearances
- 142 lousy PA from the supposed LF duo of Jay Gibbons (.668 OPS) & Marcus Thames (.576 OPS)
- 70% of Casey Blake‘s injured and generally ineffective season
- 79% of Rafael Furcal‘s terrible year
- 79% of Dioner Navarro‘s atrocious performance
- the initial growing pains of rookies Jerry Sands (144 PA) and Dee Gordon (85 PA) who were each rushed to the bigs ahead of schedule and made it clear that the lessons they learned helped them adjust in AAA for their inevitable, and more successful, returns

Meanwhile, Hansen has benefited not only from not having to look at Uribe, Gibbons, Thames, Blake, Furcal, and Navarro, he’s had nearly 200 plate appearances of Juan Rivera‘s 119 OPS+ that Pentland didn’t. He’s had the one hot streak that Rod Barajas runs into every year. He’s had Sands and Gordon return with a better idea of what they need to do. He’s been able to get the injured Ethier out of the lineup. The roster, overall, is simply a better collection of players (both health- and talent-wise) than it was earlier in the season, and that, more than anything, is the reason for the rebound.

Now tell me what Hansen worked with this year, would you? He got two great months out of Matt Kemp and four months of him either being hurt or limited while trying to play through being hurt. He had four months of James Loney. He had three months of Dee Gordon. He had no left fielder the entire season other than the three weeks or so where Bobby Abreu was playing well. He had a roster that was so torn apart by injury that on June 1, this was actually the lineup that Don Mattingly filled out:

1-Gwynn-CF 2-De Jesus-3B 3-Ethier-RF 4-Hairston-2B 5-Van Slyke-1B 6-Castellanos-LF 7-Treanor-C 8-Gordon-SS

Not hideous enough for you? Here’s June 28:

1-Gordon-SS 2-Herrera-3B 3-Rivera-LF 4-Loney-1B 5-Van Slyke-RF 6-Kennedy-2B 7-Treanor-C 8-Gwynn-CF

Lineups like that are a penalty punishable by death in some countries.

So fine, fire Hansen; I’m not trying to defend his work and to be honestly I really don’t care whether or not he keeps his job. Let’s just not pretend that this is suddenly the move that turns around the offense. After all, it was only a year ago that everyone couldn’t stop singing his praises.

794 comments
EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

RT @molly_knight: Flight from LA to SF packed with excited Giants fans and a large group of very confused looking Eastern European tourists. Natch.

 

RT @craigary: @molly_knight Don't Giants fans usually travel by bandwagon? {ducks} {looks sheepish}

 

BURRRRRN! well played Craig

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

big dilemma of the day - Brodard for spring rolls or Santouka for ramen? 

 

suggestions? 

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

Ugh. I feel dirty saying this but GO BELTRAN AND HOLLIDAY!  Hah it will be nice for Carlos to harass the giants

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

Christ. Last night was fucked up

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

I know many of you wanted to see the Nats vs the gnats, but I think this is the best scenario for the stopping those gnats for now.  The Cards, man....they have to be the Immovable Object to the gnats Unstoppable Force.  The way they won, they've got momentum to match whatever the gnats were able to muster, so let's see how this unfolds.

 

Too bad for the Nats, though.  They did win 5 of 6 vs the gnats, but all those wins came before the gnats turned into God Mode, and...they couldn't get out of their own NLDS, so there's that.  If only they had Strasburg...

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

 @EephusBlue No shit I went out on a limb made a prediction and fell out of the damn tree!

plaza234 (Charter Member of Trade Kemp bandwagon)
plaza234 (Charter Member of Trade Kemp bandwagon)

 @Frank J Lapidus i think the Cardinals can beat the Giants...my only concern is that Timmy might have gotten it together and the Giants pitching could shut the Cardinals down...Cards pitching looks shaky...Carpenter/Wainwright have barely scraped by lately and i dont trust Lohse to keep it up

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @capnsparrow Naw not baseball. That WAS fucked up. Shitty Nats. Theme of the posteason is choke.  

 

No I was referring to my buddy who is now fucked up because he does dumb shit while drunk. and no not driving. Jumping off shit and tearing his knee up after shattering his right wrist.

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

 @plaza234 gnats pitching wasn't all that great, either.  No one lasted longer than 5 1/3, and the bullpen was depended on heavily.  Timmy's problem was the One Bad Inning, he just didn't pitch long enough to get to that inning.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

 @EephusBlue  @el serracho  Don't be the dam that get avulsed into the valley. The government doesn't give any thought to what happens to young men after they return home. They just send us to 42nd and Clement for pain pills and sedatives.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @capnsparrow  @el serracho  well in his case I dont think its PTSD. He's een out of the corps for a long while, though I cant say for sure he doesnt suffer from that. He is very angry deep down. And yeah you are spot on about breaching the dam and stuff overflowing.  

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

 @EephusBlue  @el serracho  Never underestimate the effects of post traumatic stress. The fact that he can bottle up and not show his stress is due to training. It's kind a like a huge rainstorm over a man made lake. Once the dam is breeched the dam gets avulsed and all the water rushes out int the valley. 

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @capnsparrow Honestly I am worried now. This guy was under so much pressure already and now he is physically fucked up. And my student is probably afraid of him

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @capnsparrow of course she did. SHe always does. Well if I was there I am pretty sure I could have diffused the sitch.  The student is kind of sheltered and oblivious so he couldnt read the signs that my buddy was pissed. The Marine has been dealing with a lot of pressure at work that he hides well but bottles up.  I think had the student just laid off and not provoked him, it would have been alright.

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

 @EephusBlue Your girl saved you once again. Keep that in mind next time somebody tells us we are wooped!

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @capnsparrow No i was out to dinner by then. The full story is I bailed at around 10 to go get some grub with my girl. I left two friends at work still drinking. I get a text a few hours from one friend (my student) that he is scared out of his mind and my buddy (a former marine) is nuts when he is drunk.  Apparently the student tried to get the Marine to punch him and the Marine was so trashed he kinda lost it and went after the student. In the process he smashed his wrist up.  Later he calmed down and they left work and on the way the marine inexplicably jumped off something and landed on his surgically repaired knee tearing it up. Ambulance comes. and student shits his drunk self freaking out about what to do. He called me in a panic. I had to talk him through the rest of the night. Now one friend is scare of the other because he almost got the shit beat out of him. And the other is in the hospital likely needing surgery.  Jesus, people, pump the breaks when you drink and DO NOT TRY TO GET A DRUNK MARINE TO FIGHT YOU because you will lose.

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

 @plaza234 if the gnat bullpen would've have overachieved so much, Bochy would look like a fool.  Again, he got lucky all his moves panned out.  That gnat pen wasn't that great during the season and if they keep being relied on so heavily, I can't believe they won't falter.  

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

 @plaza234 also, Nats had Gio Gonzales and....Detwiler, who was shitty and EJax, who was shitty