Phils Fire Hitting Coach Milt Thompson – Phillies Nation

Phils Fire Hitting Coach Milt Thompson

The Phillies have fired hitting coach Milt Thompson, according to multiple reports from Phillies beat writers.

Thompson, a .274 career hitter in 13 seasons with the Phillies, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Rockies and Dodgers, joined the Philly coaching staff in 2003 as their first base coach, and was promoted to hitting coach the following season. The Phils, who had led the league in runs scored two of the last three seasons, leaves a Phillies team that has endured more offensive futility than it has become accustomed to. The team had hit just .253/.322/.411 entering Thursday, with those average and OBP marks good for only thirteenth and twelfth in the N.L., respectively.

Greg Gross takes over Thompson’s role in the interim.



  1. Andrew R.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Part of the game I guess. Sad to see Milt go. A great guy. I wish Milt the best of luck in his future endeavors.

    Way to not hit the ball guys 🙁

  2. Manny

    July 22, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Holy crap they DID fire him!

    Sad to see him go. But I support the decision. With the exception of Howard, everybody else forgot to hit.. and for a longggg a$$ time.

  3. Great

    July 22, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Scapegoat firings, already?

  4. Brooks

    July 22, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    This should not make any difference but it probably will. Sorry to see him go as well.
    Not his fault that the team could not hit.

  5. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 22, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    One of my all time favorite players.
    Sorry to see him go but something needs to be done.

  6. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 22, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Wonder if this means no deals are coming and this is the shake up.

  7. Manny

    July 22, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    He’s the HITTING coach… he’s partly responsible. Are you kidding me?

  8. Terri

    July 22, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    I got the feeling that Milt won’t be the only one to lose his job. So it begins..

  9. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 22, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Chalrie was a hitting coach. You thnk he talks to the pitchers about pitching? No he talks to hitters about hitting. He needs to get the team motivated or he could be next. Then RAJ. You guys will throw a party on that one.

  10. Brooks

    July 22, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    New hitting coach, Werth gets a rare RBI – what in the world is going on here???

  11. Brooks

    July 22, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    The team is coming home – I will be there Monday with my sign “WTF?”

    We’ll see.

  12. jt

    July 22, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    It’s not all his fault with the offense struggles,but something had to be done…

  13. Manny

    July 22, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Phillies have the FOURTH highest payroll in all of baseball.. with the most talented group of hitters in the league (at least on paper)… and 90% of them are underperforming. Nearly ALL of them (Utley prior to injury, Jimmy lately, Victorino, Werth, Raul, the entire bench). It’s widespread and this move had to be done.

    If he’s not partly responsible, then why is there a hitting coach in the first place? Hitting coach: Coach the hitters.

  14. Brett

    July 22, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Good. Even if this is just change for change’s sake, at least it’s something new. Maybe this’ll be the start of something good.

  15. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 22, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Manny no one is arguing that. Like the pitching coach is responsible for the pitchers. But wouldnt Milt be responsible for the 2 previous years great hitting partialy too?
    Regardless with how this team is now I will not cry about any move. Only if they traded Ruiz. Even if Charlie got canned Id say ok. And hes my favorite manager ever.

  16. The Dipsy

    July 22, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    ……can’t fire the whole team.

    The Dipsy

  17. Fishtown University

    July 22, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    First they came for the hitting coaches…

  18. Brian Sr. of CO

    July 22, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Wait, you mean to tell me, if the offense is not HITTING, the HITTING coach might be held partly responsible for the offense not HITTING the ball? I couldnt imagine. Dont get me wrong, sad to see him go, I always liked seeing a former Phillie as a coach, but he really has NOT been doing a good job at all this season. Howard and Polanco are doing well, but other than that…NOTHING. Werth is hitting .236 since 18 May (UNDER .200 with RISP), thats HORRIBLE. J-Roll’s average is down again, Vic’s average is steady at a low .250 ish, Ibanex is hitting about .260 since 18 may, but that still isnt a good average, but I guess its better than .236 since May. The offense is in an extended slump, and have look like the Mets. HORRIBLE. Something needed to be done, and it was going to be either Milt or Charlie. I really didnt think Charlie would be gone, but he will be if they finish the season within 5 games of .500 and will DEFINATELY be gone if they finish below .500. This team has too much talent to be slumping like this.

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  20. Jeff

    July 22, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    What’s the relationship between underperforming superstars and their hitting coach? Aside from being the scapegoats … someone show me the correlation between a hitting coach and batting numbers … not a coincidence, but a correlation. If Milt told them to hold the bat the wrong way, or to try using a 9-iron, then I’d understand the firing … but come on. Players need to own up.

  21. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 22, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    The players got Milt fired.
    I think Charlie gets to next year regardless of this year. But the leash gets shorter with every loss. You consider that coming into the year he was probably one of the most secure managers in the majors.
    That we are even dsicussing him being fired tells you how pathetic the 2010 phils have been.

  22. Brooks

    July 22, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Andrew, I think Cholly has a pass for this year an probably most of next if the Phils don’t produce. Every year he has been here the Phils have played pretty decent.
    It would take a terrible first half of next year to get him canned.

  23. Manny

    July 22, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    I haven’t even THOUGHT about the possibility of firing Charlie.. that would make absolutely no sense this year.

  24. George

    July 22, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    A player can’t always figure out exactly what he is doing wrong. It’s the hitting coach’s job to help show them. Given the stats this year, it appears Thompson hadn’t done a good job “showing.”

    Not only that, but the Phils’ offense has gone into major slides before this one, although this year’s is more pronounced. It always seems to come down to impatience, and a good coach should be able teach some plate discipline.

    I think it was time for a change. The story might be premature, though. If it’s just rumor, I’ll be disappointed. Being an ex-Phil and a nice guy doesn’t always equal being a good coach.

  25. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 22, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    I was responding to Brian who said that he could be canned this year if finsih under .500. I agree dont see it.

    BTW Greg Gross is also a former Phillie and one of my favorite players from teh 1980 team. Where as Milt was one of my favorites from the 1993 team. Well Milt was my very favorite player.

  26. George

    July 22, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Firing Manual would be completely unfair. He’s had to juggle the lineup and the pitching staff this entire year because of all the injuries. Given the problems this season, I doubt that anyone else could manage what Manuel’s been dealt and do any better than being four games over .500.

  27. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 22, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Well the letting Blanton hit 2 nights ago was really jumping off the page. But in the old mans defense he hadnt done that in a long time.
    I like the old man and I still (believe it or not) think this team can get it going this year. It jsut needs to happen. I thought that the 3 straight walk offs vs the Reds would do it. Maybe winning in 11 innings and only allowing 1 hit and firing the hitting coach will do it. I just want to see some life and enjoy the games.

  28. Bruce

    July 22, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Excuse me, where is the OFFICIAL notice/announcement by the Phillies that Thompson is indeed fired? Mr Boye is quoting “beat writers” and their hearsay as his source. It’s probably accurate but presumptuous with unofficial sources. I’ll wait for the news from Phillies management.

  29. George

    July 22, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Greg Gross knew a bit about getting key hits. He and Ollie Brown it seemed were always coming off the bench back in ’80 to start or continue rallies. Maybe some of that will rub off on this year’s players.

  30. George

    July 22, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Aha! I’m not the only one who has expressed the thought that this news might be premature!

    I’d berate Boye for his jumping the gun, but his has generated a lot of comments, so I’ll forgive him this time. This isn’t a news site, anyway.

  31. George

    July 23, 2010 at 12:00 am

    “his” should be “he.”

  32. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 23, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Remember Dewey did defeat Truman.

  33. Bruce

    July 23, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Ok, I went to the OFFICIAL website of the Phillies and read their press release that Manuel announced the dismissal of Thompson and replaced by Greg Gross. As one or two suggested here, it has the foul odor of “scapegoat” maneuvering perhaps to appease unhappy fans. There is a saying that managers often like to quote.. they are hired to be fired. Apparently that also applies to coaches too. 😉

  34. bacardipr05

    July 23, 2010 at 12:08 am

    no i think its official saw it on the actual news…its a shame i figured someone was going to lose their Job…shame it had to be Milt..couldnt they find another spot for him…as far as pay roll remove Moyer and Ibanez and our payroll wouldnt be to shabby..

  35. BostonKate

    July 23, 2010 at 12:20 am

    A good guy doesn’t equal a good coach. Sad to see Milt go though.

  36. Psujo

    July 23, 2010 at 12:22 am

    I am so torn on what to do. Firing milt? Not sure that will help these guys hit with men in s orange position, but clearly something has to change somewhere.

    Perplexed fan.

  37. Morris Buttermaker

    July 23, 2010 at 12:25 am

    For the past few seasons prolonged slumps have been common among the Phillies players. This is the first time I remember so many players going into extended slumps for so long. The job of the hitting coach is to help players get out of slumps. Watch video with them, help them correct what they are doing wrong. Obviously, he was not doing his job. And the move was needed to shake things up a bit. I like Milt a lot, he was a great guy and a good player. And he always treated the fans right. But I was surprised he has lasted this long. I remember speculating in June 2008 that he would be fired soon.

    The slumping offense has taken some of the heat off of Perlozzo. With the lack of baserunners, he has not had many chance to screw up.

  38. Brooks

    July 23, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Nobody is wrong here. Milt did not do his job yet, he probably was not doing anything different that what he had done in the past few years when the Phils were hitting with RISP.
    To bad for Milt – low hanging fruit.

  39. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 23, 2010 at 1:12 am

    The Mutts get shut out again. So lucky to have Carlos Beltran back.

  40. Brooks

    July 23, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Phils have been shut out 9 times this year, will this help?

  41. bacardipr05

    July 23, 2010 at 1:40 am

    On a slightly different note early reports says Moyer is done for season/career…if RAJ was a good GM he would have a contingency plan as this was a strong possibility…I cross my fingers than Happ can make a come back right now…and a deal is down with out given up Happ or Brown…doesnt look good for our Phils….Ps…Martinez says he isnt pitching this year…maybe we should of kept Meyers….Hmmmmmmmmmm!!!!

  42. Philly Texan

    July 23, 2010 at 1:47 am

    This kind of thing never works.

    Does anyone actually believe that Greg Gross is a better hitting coach than Milt or that he’ll get different results?

    Sacking Milt is supposed to do what exactly? Make the guys try harder? I don’t think lack of effort is the problem. If anything, as Charlie has said, the hitters are pressing and trying to do too much.

    But, no, we’ve got to “shake things up,” and “something has to be done.”

    I know this: When a team starts reaching for “something has to be done,” we might as well pack it in.

    This is the action of a losing organization…..Never thought we’d fall back to that so soon.

  43. Tits Mcgee

    July 23, 2010 at 1:53 am

    So, where does that leave the Phillies now? With a trade for Oswalt looking less and less likely and with Werth playing as badly as he’s been … are the Phils still going to try Trade Werth? Is Domonic Brown on his way up before the trade Deadline???

  44. NJ

    July 23, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Most people love Milt and he’s had a really nice double career with the Phils, BUT it was apparent he’s been more of a hitting instructor than a good coach. This was the cumulative effect of several big slumps to key guys over his tenure. His job was saved by the championship but it was clear he was having no affect on putting a strategy in place that could spark the offense and stop the bats pressing to break out which became apparent by Charlie’s comments last week.

    Sacking Milt doesn’t say the Phils are in free-fall, it says they recognize there’s a problem and their ready to address it and lets be real there has been a problem for a while now and not just this year.

  45. Brooks

    July 23, 2010 at 3:00 am

    Personally, I think that reassigning Milt, keeping him in the organization would have been the classier thing to do. He pretty much has the same tools and talent that he’s had in the past 2 years when the Phils won the NL.
    As far as Philly Texan, dude – are you seriously giving up? Jayson had an RBI tonight!!!

    B 0

  46. jt

    July 23, 2010 at 3:23 am

    The offense had it’s struggles in the past with milt here…remember the annual june slumps and when they set a record for most ab in the world series without a hit with a risp in 08?yeah the year they won…hitting with risp has been a struggle for this team in the past and that’s something they need to work on…

  47. jt

    July 23, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Charlie isn’t and shouldn’t go anywhere…now if they struggle into next season like this with the lineup at full strenght,possibly.

  48. Adrian

    July 23, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Charlie Manuel made an interesting observation (yes, I’m serious!) a few days ago when he said that pitchers across that National League have been throwing Phillie hitters a much higher frequency of off-speed pitches than in years past. The Phillie lineup, injuries or no, is full of verteran hitters who should be able to make adjustments, but a hitting coach’s responsibility is to help that process along. Milt Thompson apparently hasn’t, so he got fired.

    Like anyone else, I’m just taking my own stab at this recent change, but it seems to make sense. Still, it doesn’t explain how everyone was knocking the cover off the ball through late May, and then fell off track. Sorry to see Milt go, but maybe Gross can somehow help the boys (outside of Howard and Polanco) find their stroke again.

  49. Archer

    July 23, 2010 at 5:57 am

    This is the third posting of my Phillies-blog trilogy.

    You don’t become a successful family by trying to be a successful family; you become successful by focusing on fundamentals. It’s all very counterintuitive. Forget success and you can attain it. You don’t try to get a hit in baseball; you focus on the ingredients that are likely to produce a hit. Why? Because you can’t control a hit as there are too many factors that go into getting a hit; but you can control your body and mind – your part.

    When we press for material goods, when we move too rapidly for an end result, we forget the fundamental steps to success; we become angry and stressed and move further away from our goal. We begin to do damage to ourselves and others; we may even have a meltdown.

    Meltdowns occur because time becomes distorted for the stressed. Time compresses, and we begin to feel as if our lives are on the line right then and there. We snap and say things we would not ordinarily say. We may even hit someone.

    What do we do to reverse these feelings and tendencies.

    1. Be aware of what is going on. Just knowing and being aware of what is going on in your body is half the battle in solving the current problem.

    2. Tell yourself to eff it. I can’t think of a nicer way to say it. Just saying so is like taking a cork off a bottle that’s under pressure.

    3. Try to lose. Sometimes the only way to get the idea of trying to attain an end result out of your mind is to force it out by trying to lose.

    4. Take the conscious thoughts out of your mind. The best way to do this is to only allow your mind to receive sensory impulses. You have five senses; allow your mind to feel these senses. By doing so, you allow your body to revert to a pre-conscious state. This is relaxing to the mind. And if one of your own thoughts should enter your mind, allow it to flow out without commenting on it. By doing so, you take the background, radio-static chatter our of your life.

    5. Be honest with yourself about the problem you are having, and be tolerant of your own mistakes and failures. Who doesn’t make mistakes?

  50. Bob Myers

    July 23, 2010 at 7:25 am

    What about Michael Jack Schmidt for interim hitting coach?

  51. SpinJamin

    July 23, 2010 at 7:39 am

    I don’t know about you but I don’t give a crap what Milt did as a player or how nice a guy he is…..I remember watching some video of him working with Werth on his struggles and I was just thinking to myself what the heck does that drill have anything to do with Werth’s struggles? Never been a fan of him as the coach and I’m glad that he took some responsibility for this horrible hitting season. I’m not expecting anything to really change, but at least he can’t fill people’s heads with pointless drills anymore. I just don’t think Greg Gross is any different. Same pedigree as Milt….ex player with a marginally decent career.

    Bob, yeah we wish Schimdty would come back and help this team out. That might actually put a spark under the team and give players some credible source of information about how to hit your way out of your struggles. Unfortunately all the Phillies can ever convince Schimdt to do is special instructor in spring training for like a week.

  52. Bob Myers

    July 23, 2010 at 8:28 am


    Well, we need to convince Schmidty to come back and do a couple weeks now. Pay him to do it.

    I know slumps are tricky, as they can worsen by trying too hard, but I just don’t see the sense of urgency.

    1. What’s the balance between sense of urgency and trying too hard?

    I don’t know, and I guess Cholly is trying to figure that one out too.

    I have tickets for tonight’s game.

    2. If I took a sign in to the game what should it say? “WTF?” is taken, and I prefer something PG….

  53. Brooks

    July 23, 2010 at 8:35 am

    How about “WTH”

    Archer, dude – roll another bunky… eff it? try to lose? Take conscious thoughts out of your mind?

    Yeah man, pass it along.

  54. The Dipsy

    July 23, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Archer is AWESOME. Articulate and thought provoking (I’m not Archer:). Firing Milt, unless there is something that I don’t know, is insulting to me. We all know that its not his fault yet we know that someone has to be fired so it might as well be him. Its really all about sending a message to the players. That message is that a good man and friend is now without a job because they can’t get their shit together. It won’t work. It only alienates. Firing the hitting coach in midseason is just another checkmark on the list for a team in freefall. The next time I hear of a team “ripping off 8 of 9 since changing hitting coaches” will be the first time.

    The Dipsy

  55. SpinJamin

    July 23, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Not really sure what Archer’s point is…..Is he trying to get the Phillies players to read this and put into practice his philosophies of winning? Or trying to explain to us feebleminded people the process of winning?

    Dipsy, how in the world do you find it insulting? Who in their right mind thinks that firing Milt is actually going to really change anything? I for sure don’t think anything will change, but at least we don’t have to see him getting paid for doing nothing. Let’s be serious. Milt Thompson brings NOTHING to the table. Not that Greg Gross really does either, but who cares. Its the principle of the matter that if you don’t help you are part of the problem. Milt did not help this team….so lets see if someone else can actually help.

  56. SpinJamin

    July 23, 2010 at 9:35 am


    I think that slumps happen and you shouldn’t be changing anything too much as it might affect others areas. With that said adjustments are apart of this game and these players should be adjusting all the time regardless of whether they are in a slump or not. This team unfortunately is not in a slump but more that this is who they are this year. Bad defense, horrible situational hitting, bad managing, etc….so I don’t categorize this problem on the team as a slump. I think it starts from the top with Charlie……the game in which he left Blanton implied about 3 things that Charlie may not have realized he might be saying to his team: 1) He has no confidence in his bench 2) he has no confidence in his bullpen 3)he has no ability to protect his players. I’ll explain the last one. Joe B hasn’t had a decent start ALL season. He’s given up at least 3 runs in every start. So when Joe B has a chance to contribute to this team positively…..6 Innings 1 Run is a great start for Joe….you let him do it. Instead he leaves him in and crushes whatever positive he could have gotten from the start. To me what Charlie did that day pretty much insulted the ENTIRE team. Starting pitchers feel like they have to fend for themselves……the bullpen never knows when they’ll be used…..and the expectations of the bench are non-existant.

    BTW, love Charlies reasoning for not pinch hitting……”Two-out hits are hard to get,” Manuel said. “The percentages were definitely not good for us.”

    So pretty much saying why even try since we know we are going to fail…..gotta love that from your manager.

  57. Ted Bell

    July 23, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Charlie Manuel is WAY down on the “Things That Are Wrong With This Team” list.

    I’m Ted Bell.

  58. The Dipsy

    July 23, 2010 at 9:46 am

    SpinJamin – Firstly, welcome to PhilliesNation. The firing is insulting because everyone in their right mind know that Milt has nothing to do with the hitting woes. So your question in the first few sentences of your first post is actually your answer. He is nothing but a fall guy. Hey, I know how the worlds works and someone has to go but the fact that it is the guy who over the last two years has been the best hitting coach in baseball (per results) is now the worst. Its all a joke. Charlie’s the hitting coach anyway.

    The Dipsy

  59. SJHaack

    July 23, 2010 at 9:56 am

    At least they hired a guy who had twice as many career walks as strikeouts.

    Teach Jimmy and Shane to not swing at the first goddamn pitch.

  60. Geoff

    July 23, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Its a sacrificial scapegoat move. Hopefully it will make a player or two refocus, who knows. I smell a trade coming today though.

  61. Don M

    July 23, 2010 at 10:01 am

    It wasn’t Milt Thompson’s fauilt that Jayson Werth steadily watched Called-3rd-Strikes right down the heart of the plate …. or that Shane Victorino has become determined to break the Phillies All-Time HR record this season.. and swings wildly at pitches, popping them up, instead of keeping the ball on the ground and using his speed …

    It wasn’t Milt’s fault that the offense has been without Rollins, Polanco, Utley, Ruiz, etc .. for long stretches.. and guys like Dane Sardinha and Paul Hoover were on the squad. . . It’s not Milt’s fault Rollins looks fine in the field, but not quite comfortable at the plate yet.. I don’t think he’s 100% recovered from that injury.. etc..

    That said … a change had to be made.. its much easier to fire a coach than it is to trade players and create-and-fill holes in your lineup.

  62. Don M

    July 23, 2010 at 10:19 am

    … I think this was in MONEYBALL ?? But just found a similar quote online:

    an analysis of nearly 100 of the top hitters in baseball suggests that the best [hitters] bat about 70 points higher and slug 130 points higher” on 0-0. (1) From this Boswell claims that batters “should be swinging at a lot more first pitches

    Like Ichiro is a .390 hitter on a 0-0 count
    Pujoles = .365
    Mauer = .412
    ARod = .369
    Vladdy = .371
    Hanley Ramirez = .418
    Chase Utley = .384
    Ryan Howard = .393
    Jimmy Rollins = .338 (carerr .273 hitter)
    Shane Victorino = .350
    Placido Polanco = .366
    Jayson Werth = .475
    David Wright = .383
    Manny = .380
    Big Papi = .365
    Josh Hamilton = .406
    Derek Jeter = .385

    That’s probably enough examples to prove the point, right?

    People complaining about our hitters going after the 1st pitch fail to realize that’s often the best pitch you’ll see in an at-bat, as the pitcher does not want to fall behind in the count. .. it pays to be aggressive

  63. Phillynut

    July 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Gross use to be the phillies hitting coach as well and he got fired for not doing a good job haha

  64. BurrGundy

    July 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Like it or not, the Phils’ lack of hitting and the sign stealing controversy are tied together. The Phils are at a severe loss without knowing what is coming next. Overall, they are overrated as hitters except for a few. That is the way I see it. The proof is in the facts. After the binocular scandal, averages, runs have been way down for this team, including Werth and Utley.

  65. The Dipsy

    July 23, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Just when I thought that posters on here are not always “with it”. In today’s Daily News, Sam “How Does My Hair Look?” Donnellon, queries “Amaro’s hands tied by owners?” while Paul Hagen, a namby pamby beat writer who contributes no insight whatsoever, puts forth the bright idea that the Phils should trade Ibanez, not Werth. Good idea, Paul. Why didn’t I think of that? And to the Mariners (as if his old team would have affection for him). And we could pick up 8m of Raul’s contract.

    I’m serious. Go pick up the paper. Gee Sam, are you suggesting Amaro doesn’t have complete control over personnel????? Thanks, Captain Obvious. Hagen: You actually think someone will give you anything more than a warm six pack of Schlitz for Ibanez? Honestly, if someone would take half of Raul’s money, I wouldn’t need to get an a player back. I would just send him on his way and even spring for the gas money to get him to the airport.

    The Dipsy

  66. The Dipsy

    July 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Point being, these guys are idiots. Dave Murphy is good. I actually learn tons more about the team by just reading the posts on here. I just found those two articles, especially in tandem like that, really freakin funny.

    The Dipsy

  67. ashmidt

    July 23, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    back in 82 or 83, in sept. greg gross had another great at bat fowling pitches off and finally hitting a line drive to left field,for a hit. none other then whitey ashburn himself said greg gross has had more quality at bats this year then anyone on the phillies including pete rose. that was quite a statement coming from a hall of famer. greg gross was a great hitter, when he was the hitting coach a couple of years back for mgr bowa, he got fired because of the killer BEES. BURRELL, BELL AND BYRD, they all sucked. bowa lost his job too because of those loosers. it doesnt matter how good a batter you were when the team doesnt hit you are the one that takes the hit. someone mentioned ollie brown in 80. i think you must mean del unser, down town didnt play for the phils in 80.

  68. Chuck

    July 23, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Don M, I don’t mind hitters being “aggressive” on the first pitch….I get that philosophy. But Shane Victorino…IF he’s gonna swing at the first pitch…..needs to to STOP with the wild flailing of the bat.

    It DOES look like he trying to break the Phillies HR record.

  69. Jeff

    July 23, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    The hitting coach has alot to do. I just listened to a great interview with Doug Glanville. He said hitting coaches have all different ways to get you out of a slump. Of course the hitter has to do his part. He said when Scott Rolen wasnt hitting, the hitting coach found something in the way he was swinging. Changed it and it worked. This team needs a shake up. Thats what they are doing.

  70. JeffS

    July 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    “Does anyone actually believe that Greg Gross is a better hitting coach than Milt or that he’ll get different results?”

    Only if it’s by virtue of simply shaking things up. They haven’t been hitting all that well in LV under Gross.

  71. Ted Bell

    July 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    BurrGundy, have a stopwatch handy the next time you watch a game. Clock the amount of time between the time the catcher puts down his signals and the point when the pitcher begins his windup. Then explain to me how Billmeyer was able to steal the catcher’s sign and relay that information back to the batter (420 feet away) – all in a matter of seconds.

    I’m Ted Bell.

  72. bfo_33

    July 23, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Between salaries, travel expenses, benefits,…. it probably costs each team between $150 – 200K/season for a hitting coach. Pennies compared to Ryan Howard’s salary, but certainly a cost. Every team has one, and when they fire one, they get another. At least the clubs feel they add value. If they add value, they must play a factor. As much as I like Milt, and I do give him credit for 08 and 09, there is something going on now that he can’t fix. This is not a scapegoat firing. A new approach is required. I haven’t seen the press release yet, am hoping that they are giving him another job in the organization.

    In regards to Vic, agree completely that while there is no issue in swinging at the first pitch, the wild hacks need to come under control. 22 homers and a 240 average is not the way to help this team, especially when batting 1st or 2nd – get on base.

  73. Jeff

    July 23, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    I guess pitching coaches dont matter either. Thats why D.Duncan with the Cards is the best. He does wonders with them

  74. Manny

    July 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    The Astros are looking to obtain “two top prospects, a third minor-league player and a young player who is ‘major league ready’” for Oswalt.

    LOL. Thanks, but no thanks.


  75. Jeff

    July 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Your right Manny. NO WAY. I dont like Oswalt. Something about him. Happ is young and needs to get back to where he was. He is a very good lefty. We need him. I do agree we need another starter. Kendrick is aweful. We need to make a trade. I would like Myers back. I also do not want to trade Werth. I would love them to sit and work something out. His value is down. Give him 3 years. Then just eat Raul contract and bring up Brown. I know they wont do that. Just wishful thinking.

  76. shag beta sigma delta

    July 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I am not sure what a hitting coach can and can not do to help a hitter get out of a slump. But there has to be something hitting coaches do or they would not have them on the bench. I like Milt and I am sorry to see any one let go do to players under performing, but I do think it can change things up for the hitters to hear from a different source, another set of eyes on them just to get a different view. Gross was a really good pinch hitter and that is one of the hardest things to do, come off the bench and get a hit every other day. Who knows what he will bring to this team.
    On a positive note the defense seems to be coming around, lets just take at least 3 of these four against the Rockies and move on from there.

  77. Chuck

    July 23, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    “Gross was a really good pinch hitter”

    So was Dobbs. Does that mean he’s the hitting coach in 15 years??


    I don’t like Roy Oswalt enough either to give in to those demands from Ed Wade. He (Wade) has a week to come off and get reasonable.

  78. JeffS

    July 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I think I would take my chances that Happ can come back alright before giving up that much. Yikes! Still need one more, though.

  79. psujoe

    July 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Rube is not that stupid. No way. How about Herndon and Worely for Myers or something like that. then bring up Mathiason or Scwimmer.

  80. The Dipsy

    July 23, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Wade is a moron. He has to trade Oswalt and he knows it. He needs to trade Myers too because he is not coming back. I’m sure glad he is in the other side of the table.

    The Dipsy

  81. Don M

    July 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Roy Oswalt is NASTY …. but if he doesn’t want to come here, there’s nothing we can do about it . . . . but we shouldn’t try to spin that into “he’s not that good” or “i don’t like him that much anyway” … cause he’s seriously FILTHY

    Herndon is a Rule V guy, would have to be offered back to the Angels..
    and Vance Worley has crappy numbers up until this year, isn’t ranked all that high by any publications .. I dont think he holds much value … maybe as an “extra player” in a deal, but not someone a trade is centered around

    Nate Bump made the AAA All-Star team for the Iron Pigs .. has a 3.15 ERA in 100 Innings Pitched, 1.33 WHIP

    not great, but wouldn’t he be a better option to spot-start, than the talks of randomly adding Carpenter, Worley, etc …

  82. Bacardipr05

    July 23, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Does any one think the sign stealing has anything to do with the slump? At first i said no but i wonder….even just hypotheically speaking shouldnt by now things be returning to normal….????? Shouldnt the hitters the coaching staff made the adjustments….???

  83. SJHaack

    July 23, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Don M, you can’t strike out on the first pitch. You can only achieve a batting average for the first pitch when you put the ball in play and someone makes a play on it. So balls, foul balls, called strikes and swinging strikes aren’t counted. Utley has a high batting average because 1) he’s a good hitter and 2) his batting eye is so good that he’s squaring up HITTABLE pitches. Howard has a high batting average because he hits .350 on ANY ball he puts in play. Werth has a high batting average because he has an even better batting eye than Utley.

  84. psujoe

    July 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm


    Any player chosen in the Rule 5 draft may be traded to any team while under the Rule 5 restrictions, but the restrictions transfer to the new team. If the new team does not want to keep the player on its 25-man roster for the season, he must be offered back to the team of which he was a member when chosen in the draft.

    Ok, Who would be a player(s) that might be worth trading for Myers?

  85. psujoe

    July 23, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Good point SJHaack,

    I check 3 players, Pujoles, Polanco and Howard. Howard and Pujoles had much better averages ahead in the count than they did on the first pitch. Pujoles, except for 3-0, did better on the first pitch. I think the key is to get ahead in the count. if you’re not a good hitter when down in the count you need to swing at 1st pitch strikes.

  86. Section 102

    July 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Gregg Gross??? really?

    Milt is a great guy and its ashame that they fired a guy that makes 1/1000th of what the guys that get paid to swing the back make.
    He was good enough a hitting coach when we were winning but not now?

    Ruben Amaro Jr aka Ruin Tomorrow Jr must go. CLiff Lee will be the albatrose around his next for years to come.

  87. karen

    July 23, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I really know nothing about him but Oswalt seems like a pain and he had said that he would rather go to the cards….and something about the intense fan pressure in philly? I say trade werth or vic, bring up brown, maybe haran from arizona?

  88. branderson

    July 23, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    jesus, so many 08 and on Phils phans on here.

    yeah, fire Manuel. the guy who brought us our first WS in many moons and took us to repeat WS. i know he isn’t the best manager but do you guys know baseball? its not like the phils went from a WS team to a 20 games back team. there is plenty of baseball to be played

  89. Jeff

    July 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    relax branderson. charlie is not a great manager. he had an offense putting up huge numbers and a pitcher that dominated that year. plus a closer that was lights out. not saying he did not having anything to do with it but he makes alot of puzzling moves.

  90. Jeff

    July 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    haren will sign with the yankees. the phillies will not do anything. i think ruin wants to wait and see this weekend. which will not make doc happy.

  91. JeffS

    July 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    What is the consensus view on Myers? Is he too much a mental case for the team to stomach taking back? Is there enough bad will between him and the team that it wouldn’t work? I actually think that talent-wise, he might provide the most bang for the buck. Just unsure about the other stuff.

  92. BurrGundy

    July 23, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Ted. regarding communicating a stolen sign to the batter–It can be done. Use voice sender to earpice receiver. Receiver puts hand on left or right hip for inside or outside. Other hand goes on hat for fastball, on letters for slider or curve, on belt for any offspeed pitch including slow curve or change-up. Not all that hard. It can be done almost simultaneously and offer a big advantage to the hitter.

  93. Don M

    July 23, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    People have some really short memories if they think the combination of:

    Charlie is a bad manager
    Bringing Myers back is a good thing

  94. Psujo

    July 23, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Phils went to the ws 2 straight years in large part because of Myers. The team as it’s constituted is comatose.

  95. Pat Gallen

    July 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    A cheap version of the gameday is now up.

  96. Ted Bell

    July 23, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    BurrGundy – Is that the best you can come up with? Really??? Do you actually think a team would try something that stupid? Do you really think an ex-player or disgruntled employee would not report something like that? So the Phillies were using electronic equipment built into their batting helmets???? Yeah, sure…

    I’m Ted Bell.

  97. JeffS

    July 23, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    People who think the Cliff Lee for B and C level prospects was a good thing (Don) are the ones with the short and very selective memories. I was just raising the question.

  98. David

    July 23, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Not sure that Milt was the problem.

    To mention the obvious, I think there is a big problem in having Valdez in the lineup as an everyday player. Today, he left 7 runners on base. He was up twice with a man on third an less than two out and he didn’t bring the run home.

    It’s almost as if the other team can pitch around the 7th place hitter (and they intentionally walked Ruiz to get to Valdez) because they know Valdez can’t hit.

  99. George

    July 23, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Psujo-Myers lost a lot of games in 2008 before he was farmed out for a month or so. His only real contribution was in the second half of that year, but that only made up for his lousy performance in the first half. In 2009, he was on the DL most of the year. “In large part because of Myers” is really a stretch.

    Myers is having a good year so far, but he’s had too many bad years in the past. He has too many personal issues for my liking, and he’s not under contract past this year. I think it’d be stupid to waste a good prospect to rent Myers for two months.

    I’ve also read that the Astros have no intention of trading him.

  100. bacardipr05

    July 23, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    I agree David Valdez is brilliant defensively other than he cant seem to scoop the ball up with the best of them…however who else do they have no in the minors other wise they would of bought that person up I think..if everybody plays up to 80% of their potential then we at least on paper should have the potential of absorbing Valdez weak batting average…

  101. George

    July 23, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    It’s obvious Valdez is no hitter and so teams can pitch around Ruiz. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that Werth, Rollins, Victorino, and numerous others can’t seem to hit either. Do you honestly think Howard has been seeing hittable pitches the way Werth has been hitting behind him?

    Something has been wrong. Maybe the players aren’t doing their part, but maybe Milt Thompson wasn’t communicating with them anymore.

  102. robnewjersey

    July 24, 2010 at 9:21 am

    First they demoralize the team by trading Lee, now they fire a popular coach. Seems like the owners and General Manager know exactly what they want from the Company (The Phillies) PROFIT AT ANY COST . Or should I say budget.

    It is a business after all!

    So, when do the sell outs stop FANS!

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  104. Brian Sr. of CO

    July 28, 2010 at 6:04 am

    I said IF the Phillies finish the season below.500 Cholly would be gone, I dont believe they will finish the season below .500! I cant say I see the Phillies winning the NL East again, but I believe they will at least finish within a few games. Also, robnewjersey…Are you serious? “demoralize the team by trading lee” You really think the team is that mentally fragile? WAKE UP. “fire a popular coach” When did they fire Charlie Manuel? DUH. Milt has a completely mixed following. Popular as a Phillies PLAYER, not completely as a coach. Honeslty with that post you sound like a sell out and not a fan. Sorry.

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