Saturday, June 7, 2008

Ultimately, the head coach is responsible

You may have seen where White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen publicly criticized his players' hitting and hitting coach Greg Walker, demanded that his GM take action, and promised to make changes himself.

Another bad game. If we think we are going to win with the offense we have, we are full of [bleep]. I’m just being honest. I expect better from them, if they are in the lineup.  It can be me. It can be [hitting coach] Greg Walker. It can be the players. It could be anybody. I’m sick and tired to watch this thing for a year and a half. I’m not protecting anybody anymore. [Bleep] it! If they can’t get it done, Kenny should find someone to get it done. That’s it. 

Who am I going to blame if my team's not hitting? My wife?  I can't do anything about it. I think (Walker is) doing his job. I don't think it's his fault that we've been in a slump for two years. People think we've been a slump for a couple months. No, we've been a slump (for two years). Someone has to be blamed. I'll take the blame first, but he should take the blame second.

Clearly, Ozzie is frustrated with his club's hitting.  But blaming his assistant coach for the problem is out of bounds.  The truth is, ultimately, how his team hits is his responsibility.  The President of the United States is responsible for homeland defense, the economy, education, healthcare, etc.   He delegates those important responsibilities to members of his cabinet (his assistant coaches), but in the end he'll be held accountable.

In fairness, a few days after his outburst, Ozzie explained his strategy, saying it was designed to "get people back on track.":

"I don't want those [my players] to say, 'OK, Ozzie doesn't care if we lose today.' I'm going to show them I care. I'm going to show I have feelings. I'm going to show the fans ... I'm not going to sit here and take it. I'm going to push as hard as I can—in a positive way—to get the best out of my players."