This offseason, the Oakland Athletics have not been very active when it comes to wheeling and dealing their players. However, there have been many changes made to the front office and coaching staff. Some of these moves have made sense while other have been questionable.
With all of these adjustments, it makes one wonder is this will hinder the A’s overall goal to boost team chemistry. Some of these moves have been controversial and may have caused some negative feelings among the coaching staff or resentment from the players. Just like how the addition of all of the new players affected the team’s chemistry and success this season, could the rearranging the coaching staff cause the same result?
Let’s do a quick rundown of all of the major coaching changes that have occurred. First off, the A’s let third base coach Mike Gallego, lovingly known as “Gags”, go in August of the 2015 season. Even though it was almost inevitable that Ron Washington would take over third base for 2016, it would have been more respectful to let Gallego go after the season officially ended for the Oakland Athletics.
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Then, first base coach Tye Waller was fired for not being innovative and cutting edge. These are terms you would usually hear in some of the high-tech companies around silicon valley, not in a ball club. Many were surprised by this move, even Waller himself.
Most recently, the Oakland Athletics hired Mark Kotsay to be the new bench coach for next season. However, the A’s already had a bench coach in Mike Aldrete. As a result, the Athletics move Aldrete to first base coach, which in reality was a demotion even though manager Bob Melvin does not see it that way. Unlike Aldrete who has been a professional baseball coach since 2001, Kotsay landed his first MLB coaching job in 2014.
Could all of these coaching changes affect the team’s overall performance? Supposedly Melvin and Kotsay have the same approach and philosophies about the game of baseball. But will Aldrete have the same influence he did as bench coach in his new position? Washington works well with the younger, rookie players, but will the veteran A’s be upset that he ultimately pushed out Gags, who was the third base coach since the 2009 season? And who else is still upset and confused about Waller’s dismissal?
The Athletics say they are just trying to put together the best coaching staff possible for next year. However, they may be stepping on some toes along the way. There is bound to be an adjustment period as all of these coaches fall into their new roles. Let’s just hope this happens before spring training, so all of the coaches know what is expected of them and can coach effectively come the start of the 2016 season.