Ah, harmony, ain’t it grand? Not a frequent visitor to the Dodgers the last two seasons, but they have found a comfortable accord in one area.
The Dodgers announced Friday that their entire coaching staff would return next season, which, though expected, is still noteworthy for the speed in which it was accomplished.
Of course, the staff could still change if one of the coaches –- Tim Wallach? –- gets an offer to manage over the winter, but for now at least one significant area is all settled. And think how happy agent Dave Stewart must be.
It was Stewart who complained about the way the coaches Larry Bowa and Bob Schaefer were handling his numero uno client, Matt Kemp, last season. Guess which two coaches didn’t return in 2011?
Kemp, of course, found his groove this year with a breakout season, so why would there be any rocking of the boat now? Plus, they all seem to work well together with Manager Don Mattingly and are liked and respected by the players. Win-win.
So the seven solid coaches the Dodgers ended the season with are now all scheduled to return, though that technically still leaves them down one spot from the last few years. After hitting coach Jeff Pentland was fired in July, another coach was never added.
The seven samurai are:
Dave Hansen, originally hired as a hitting instructor to assist Pentland, was promoted to hitting coach on July 20, the team hitting .261 the rest of the way; Trey Hillman is back for his second year as bench coach; Rick Honeycutt is back for a seventh season as pitching coach after the staff composed a 3.54 ERA; Ken Howell returns for his fifth year as the bullpen coach; Davey Lopes, credited for igniting the team’s running attack, returns for his second year as first base coach; Wallach is back for a second stint as the third base coach; and Manny Mota a record 33rd year as a coach.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Don Mattingly. Credit: Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press.