Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
June 9, 2008 2:00 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
Lee Elia doesn't mince words about the approach he'll be taking with Seattle's hitters now that he's replaced Jeff Pentland as hitting coach. Sort of the "new sherriff in town" approach. That's a given. Elia has dropped more "F bombs" over the years than the M's fielders have dropped balls.
"I'm probably more spontaneous,'' said Elia, known for his combustion. "If we're talking about beating a (pitching) guy in a certain way and we don't accomplish it, then maybe for that moment I might say something.
"There's two scenarios,'' he added. "If you love your children, there's going to be times you're going to say things to your kids that might be a little aggressive, but it's only because you love them.
"And the other one is, there's nobody in the world that I love more than my wife, and probabaly four or five days out of every month I really can't stand her. So, I mean, those are the kinds of things they might have to understand at times about me.''
Elia had talked before the season about not wanting to be in baseball full-time anymore. He says the M's approached him last night about replacing Pentland and that he didn't say yes right away.
"I discussed it with my wife and daughters,'' he said. "It's not like I'm going away for 100 years. I'll be up here for a little while.''
So, as I told you earlier, this is not a permanent fix by any means.
"In everything in life, sometimes change is better,'' he said. "Sometimes you make an omelette in a baggie and put it in boiling water and it comes out just as juicy and even better than if you fry it.''
OK, then. Remind me to cancel tomorrow's breakfast date with Elia.
Just got done talking with GM Bill Bavasi as wellHe said today's firing was done to give the players "a different voice" to hear in the batting cages. Bavasi added that Elia will bring his own nuances to the hitting approach taken by the players. But make no mistake, it's all about the voice.
"It's all about results,'' Bavasi said. "And that's probably the biggest thing. We felt that this crew had underperformed for a long period of time. So, this is nothing new.''
Bavasi went on to add:
"We hope to hit is the bottom line. And beyond the bottom line, specifically, we're hoping that a lot of the work that Jeff did can be done by Lee, but just by using a different vpoice, a different approach. I think that a lot of their swing theories, and angle theories and plane theories are similar and the same. But Lee might have more emphasis on some different things that might have different keys for this group of hitters.''