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Padres' Hitting Coach: Blame Me

May 6, 2009 – 2:55 PM
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Matt Snyder

Matt Snyder %BloggerTitle%

After an improbable stretch where the San Diego Padres won eight of nine games, they were sitting with a 9-3 record. Since then, they have fallen to 12-15, a bad stretch which included a six-game losing streak. The team has many issues, obviously, but the offense is not doing the job at all. They rank 11th in the NL in runs scored, 15th in batting average and 14th in on-base percentage.

First-year hitting coach, Jim Lefebvre -- the fourth in four seasons for the Fathers -- is willing to be accountable for the failures of the entire offense.
"Put the blame on me," he said. "Don't put the pressure on the players. Put it on me. These players are busting their butts, doing everything we ask them to do. They just haven't had that luck, but we're close, real close.

"We're growing as a group. We're frustrated, yeah, but we're going to keep battling and it'll start to come together."
As far as I'm concerned, Lefebvre is doing exactly what any coach worth his salt would do. He's falling on the sword for his players and making sure none of the pressure is felt by them. It's a good old-school type move, because he's risking his own neck when it's really difficult to blame him for the offensive woes. You want to blame someone, start with the front office. Outside of Adrian Gonzalez -- who is one of the best hitters in the league and is buried in a terrible hitting park away from the limelight -- there isn't much talent in the batter's box.

Kevin Kouzmanoff has been a disappointment, though he's still young enough to turn it around. Brian Giles and David Eckstein are completely washed up, Jody Gerut is more of a "never was," and Chase Headley and Nick Hundley are still developing into a major league hitters.

In fact, I'd go as far as to praise Lefebvre for whatever he's done with Scott Hairston. He's a career .252 hitter who is raking this season -- with a .351 average, 1.124 OPS and 15 RBI.

The Padres are going to have a very long season. Though it's admirable of Lefebvre to protect the players and attempt to accept all the blame, it's hardly accurate.

Now, when is Kevin Towers going to publicly accept any blame?
Filed under: Sports