It is a trend. But my impression is that when great players fail at coaching it’s because their egos get in the way, and they lose patience for the drudgery of a daily routine in which they are not the focus. But Mattingly was never a big ego and he seemed to revel in the actual dirty work of ball playing. So if ever there was a great player with the personality to coach major leaguers, i’d say he fits the bill. Bill James pithy summation of Mattingly in his historical abstract is right on target: “100 percent ballplayer; 0 percent bullshit.” Mattingly didn’t walk much, but he almost never struck out: the Yankees biggest weakness at the plate. In his prime, he k’ed a miniscule 35 times per season (600 or so at bats) while hitting as many home runs with more than 100 rbi. So he should be a good tutor for Soriano and–god forbid he’s still around–Boone. And one can only assume that he’ll also help Giambi and Johnson with their fielding at first base. So he seems ideally suited for the job. A concern: He never had much patience for George’s tirades. His patience will likely be tested over the course of one or more seasons.
Posted by YF on 11/4/2003 11:08:21 AM