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Huh? Wasn't it just a couple weeks ago that Randy St. Claire was spirited away from my hometown Ottawa Lynx to become Syracuse's pitching coach? Now comes word that Tom Filer has been brought in to replace St. Claire. I've never heard of a guy being hired and fired in the same off-season before. Maybe someone can shed some light on the situation? BTW, yes, that's the same Tom Filer who went 7-0 with the '85 Blue Jays. Maybe he and Doug Linton can reminisce about the good times.

Also, Merv Rettenmund was hired as the Skychiefs' hitting instructor. Rettenmund, formerly the batting coach for a number of big-league teams, most recently the Tigers, Braves and Padres, is an interesting hire, to say the least. He's said to emphasize plate discipline, but the teams he's been advising haven't walked a great deal and haven't scored a lot of runs: last year's Tigers posted an incredible .300 OBP and .679 team OPS, while the previous year's Braves produced .324 and .736 lines. He was supposed to help Andruw Jones make the next step up in Atlanta, but after some early success, he regressed (though there's always been some question about Jones' coachability). You can find a number of sabrmetric people who don't think much of Merv Rettenmund, so this hiring surprises me a little. I'm looking forward to finding out more about it.
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_Keith L. - Tuesday, December 10 2002 @ 09:59 AM EST (#101620) #
St. Claire became the Expos' major league pitching coach:
_Jordan - Tuesday, December 10 2002 @ 10:07 AM EST (#101621) #
D'oh! Thanks, Keith. That'll teach me to post first and search for answers later. I wonder why the sudden change of heart -- first the 'Spos canned him from Ottawa, then they hire him in Montreal. Weird organization. Thanks again.
_Kent - Tuesday, December 10 2002 @ 11:10 AM EST (#101622) #
Seems to me St. Claire was ignored, not "canned," and took the job in Syracuse because he was tired of waiting for MLB's Puerto Rican team to make a decision on his status. Generous of J.P. to allow Randy to accept a better offer. If Filer's as good as the last ex-Yankee coach the Jays picked up (Brian Butterfield) this move will have a happy ending for Toronto fans.

I don't think there's a hitting instructor alive who could get results with the 2002 Tigers; several of the talented guys (Higginson, Fick) are jerks, and the ones who might have listened and worked are terrible hitters. If Merv shares the organizational philosophy and is a good communicator, the AAA hitters are in very capable, experienced hands. Kevin Cash will be a good test case.

Jordan, the "post first" approach eliminates the need to search for answers, as they are quickly provided by our knowledgeable readers. Since OBP doesn't apply in this Batter's Box, I'm going to keep swinging at everything, even pickoff throws, and hope I make contact once in a while.
Craig B - Tuesday, December 10 2002 @ 02:07 PM EST (#101623) #
I don't think that Merv Rettenmund would be hired if he didn't fit the organizational philosophy... so clearly he is saying the right things at least.

It's great to have so muxch experience on board, and I'm sure that Rettenmund is eager to prove himself after some disastrous stops. Anyone who has worked with Bobby Cox, I consider to be a good hire.

It's good to see that Randy St. Claire has an opportunity with the Expos, although it was a shame that they had to let Dick Pole move on to better things.
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