Ken Rosenthal reports that Rick Peterson is officially out as pitching coach. Perhaps the word “fire” is too strong, but I don’t think there’s any other way to put it — he had one more year left on his deal, and the team is deciding to let him go. Ken Macha had his option declined. Rick Peterson got fired.
I can understand Ron Roenicke wanting his own guy. But Rick Peterson is not the type of pitching coach you hire for a short-term fix. It doesn’t make sense to turn over the keys to the entire organization to him, only to fire him after one season. You can’t overhaul an entire system’s worth of pitchers’ mechanics in just one season. And really, by bringing in someone else who may very well tell them to do something different, you’re probably doing the young arms more harm than good.
We’re not even talking about the young pitchers on the big league staff, who in the past few years have gone through Mike Maddux, Bill Castro, Chris Bosio, and Peterson. Add in the new guy, and that’s 5 pitching coaches in 3 seasons. This is honestly getting ridiculous.
Peterson deserved better. For the most part, I wouldn’t call the Brewers’ organization classless very often, but they damn near got there with the way they treated Peterson the past few weeks. He went from being the one safe staff member (due to the fact that he had one year left) to being on shaky ground with the Roenicke hire to having to interview for his own job. Treating a well-respected guy like that won’t earn you many brownie points across the league.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m not 100% in the Peterson camp. For all I know, given more time, things could have continued to stink. Maybe he knew this was coming. Maybe Roenicke hires the next stud pitching coach. But the organization’s pitchers deserve better than this much turnover when it comes to pitching coaches, and Peterson sure as hell deserves better than to be treated like this.
Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk made the Office Space connection. In this case, I couldn’t help but think of the classic “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!?” scene:
UPDATE: Tom Haudricourt is reporting that the Brewers have hired former Baltimore pitching coach Rick Kranitz to be Peterson’s replacement. They also announced the hiring of Jerry Narron as Roenicke’s bench coach, so there’s your bench coach with managing experience. It sure seems like the Brewers like making all of their moves at once this offseason, doesn’t it? I’ll try to dig up more on Kranitz for a future post, but just wanted to throw the update in.