The Giants salute their past with several familiar names.
For unknown reasons, the San Francisco Giants have announced most of Bob Melvin’s new coaching staff for the 2024 season. in a Friday night news dump.
Now, maybe it’s because most of the front office was recovering from norovirus detected during the general managers’ meetings earlier this week (wash your hands!!) or maybe it’s just because – ah, well, no. It’s probably not for any other reason.
Anyway, the headline here is that Pat Burrell — yes, that Pat Burrell – goes from traveling hitting instructor to co-hitting coach alongside the late Justin Viele (who had one year left on his contract). It’s going to be very difficult for me to make a witty observation or even just a solid joke, not only because I’m generally not very good at it, but because this one is really difficult – if not impossible – to surpass:
We can be sure that none of Pat Burrell’s tendencies will be factored into teaching the sport’s worst lineup how to hit better, but there will undoubtedly be several times throughout the season where there will seemingly be an overlap – “Wow, JD Davis looks really loose. Pat the Bat must have taken him out last night,” et cetera et cetera.
Burrell has received positive reviews from across the organization for his work with the team’s prospects, some of whom have really managed to progress in the years since the minor leagues shut down in 2020. We’ve seen that players of the Giants minor leaguers are minor league talents, but coaches rise through the ranks of an organization alongside their prospects. seems as a bottom-up organization.
And then Justin Viele is there to make sure Burrell sticks to the script – swing decisions only, no real ability. His mere presence in the clubhouse should help many players relax and also channel their anxiety about being part of the worst roster on the planet into something more constructive.
The rest of the hires stick to what I mentioned just a few weeks ago in this tongue-in-cheek article about all the old faces the Giants could bring back to appease a grumpy base.
- Matt Williams becomes the new third base coach.
- Mark Hallberg moves to first base.
- Alyssa Nakken and Taira Uematsu will return as assistant coaches.
- JP Martinez will return as assistant pitching coach and Pedro Guerrero will return as assistant hitting coach.
The new pitching coach or pitching director is not mentioned in the announcement. Brian Bannister has already left the organization and Andrew Bailey has been expected to leave since the start of the offseason, so it appears a change is coming.
That leaves the bench coach. It looks like Kai Correa is gone (along with Antoan Richardson), and the new bench coach will be Ryan Christenson, who was Bob Melvin’s bench coach in San Diego and Oakland. Christenson, of course, played for the A’s from 1998-2001 and had a .666 OPS in those four seasons. He led the organization starting in 2013, first in the classroom, then in Double-A and finally in Triple-A Nashville before becoming the A’s bench coach.
I only really knew him from when he had to apologize for giving a Nazi salute in the summer of 2020. It’s definitely not something anyone else remembers, but I only mention it here because, well, I like to paint these posts with the last thing I remember a guy And It’s one of those moments where you don’t just say “oh, that was an old A that Zaidi knows.”
It’s hard to look at the coaching careers of Melvin, Christenson and Williams and say they had much success – they are best known for their failures. Even Bruce Bochy had been to a World Series as manager of the Padres. Dusty Baker invented the high five. But for a franchise desperate to maintain interest while it treads water, returning to the past to stabilize the present is its last, best move (except to attract players). These names should calm fans because it creates certainty: these are former Giants, therefore it is Giants Baseball.