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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Dodgers Fire Murray
2007-06-14 10:22
by Jon Weisman

The Dodgers have fired Eddie Murray as hitting coach and replaced him on an interim basis with last year's Opening Day third baseman, Bill Mueller.

"Change is never easy but sometimes it is necessary and we feel that this is the best thing right now to help the team win," Dodger manager Grady Little said in a press release this morning. "Our offense hasn't lived up to our expectations and no one person is responsible for the results we've had this season. I have the utmost respect for Eddie Murray as a person and as a professional and I wish him nothing but the best."

Said Dodger general manager Ned Colletti in the release: "Bill Mueller will serve as a very solid bridge as we look for our next hitting coach. He already has a great reputation within the clubhouse and he has a very deep knowledge of our team and the rest of the league."

I used to write frequently about hitting coaches in the early days of Dodger Thoughts, motivated by my lack of faith in Jack Clark. Here are some samples:

Fire Jack Clark? (June 12, 2003)

The Clark Bar (July 11, 2003)

Look Out, Vinny - You're Next (August 5, 2003)

Talk to Floyd (August 5, 2003)

Cry Us a River, Jack (August 24, 2003)

Hmm. Coaching Can Help (September 25, 2003)

Jesse James and Jack Clark (July 14, 2004)

Despite being a great believer that batting coaches wouldn't exist if they couldn't help - that if hitting were something players were supposed to master on their own, natural selection would have done away with hitting instructors - I'm surprised by today's move. I'm not saying the Dodgers can't do better than Murray, but I'm still surprised. And they might do worse. Either way, the timing catches me off guard.

The kids have mostly met expectations this year, especially with Wilson Betemit's resurgence. Was Murray expected to wring more power out of Juan Pierre? Is he to take the blame for Nomar Garciaparra's struggles? It has been stipulated that the Dodgers are an offense-challenged team by construction. Though there are reasons we could speculate about, I don't have any great insight into the decision.

Update: Tony Jackson of the Daily News is less surprised:

I had a sense this was coming. Explains why Ned went straight into Grady's office as soon as the media cleared out last night. I'm told it was done shortly thereafter. And before you ask, I have no idea what "interim" means in this case, but it's the first thing I will ask when we have our conference call at noon. I really thought when they decided to do this that they would replace him with either Bill Robinson or Mike Easler, so I'm not sure if Mueller will be the guy for the rest of the year or not. Interesting that they waited until after they scored 18 runs in a three-game series to do this. That could mean they made the decision a few days ago and waited until the "right time" to act on it.

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