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Frank McCourt fired Dodgers hitting coach? 'Oh, yeah,' coach says

July 20, 2011 | 12:48 pm

Jeff Pentland
said he didn’t think the decision to fire him as the Dodgers’ hitting coach was made by General Manager Ned Colletti or anyone else in the baseball operations department.

So, did he think owner Frank McCourt made the call?

“Oh, yeah,” Pentland said when reached by phone on Wednesday.

Colletti rebutted the claim.

“Frank was informed of our decision,” Colletti said. “He did not make the decision.”

Pentland said he wasn’t surprised by his dismissal.

“I’ve been in this game for 40 years, so you have a feel for what’s going on,” Pentland said. “Obviously, we were struggling to score runs. … The one area that people don’t know a lot about is hitting, so we’re the first to go.”

Asked if he thought there was anything he could have done to help the Dodgers score more runs, he said, “That’s hard to say. Obviously, we weren’t scoring enough runs. That’s the bottom line.”

The lack of scoring, he said, was a reflection of the Dodgers’ shortcomings in two areas.

“We didn’t have a lot of power and we didn’t have speed. It’s hard to create runs when you don’t have that.”

Pentland said he didn’t blame the players for his firing.

“I have a lot of respect for all of them,” he said. “The really busted their butts. We went out there and did what we had to do. They were tremendous workers.”

When told players said they felt responsible for his removal, Pentland replied, “You know what? They still have to try to hit a 95 mph fastball today. They better get over me quickly.”

Pentland, who graduated from Grant High School in Van Nuys, said he was grateful that he was able to work for his hometown team for four seasons.

“It’s been a ball,” he said. “I really enjoyed being with the Dodgers.”


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-- Dylan Hernandez in San Francisco

Photo: Jeff Pentland. Credit: Bret Hartman / Associated Press