Dec 14, 2011|
Rob Bradford is joined by Boston Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan. Dave discusses a wide range of topics with Rob including Carl Crawford's struggles in 2011 and what the outfielder needs to do going forward, Adrian Gonzalez's power outage in the 2nd half of the season, how Jacoby Ellsbury became one of the best hitters in the AL and getting to work with new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.
Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.
And so forth over -- -- finals right now phone WEEI they've -- Welcome to another edition of the Bradford files today's guest of Red Sox hitting coach Dave -- Among the topics we discussed what Carl Crawford. Negative just recently visited down in Houston and you'll talk about profits struggled this year and what you have to do is going poured into the second year with the Red Sox. We also talked about Adrian Gonzales and his power outage in the last couple months of the season. Jacoby Ellsbury is ascension into one of the best hitters in the American League. And Bobby Valentine with the Red Sox new manager who -- and and had no history with before Valentine gave McCall to invite him back in the coaching staff. So would no further ado I give you Dave -- Dave thanks for joining me in I guess welcome back he never left but -- just talk a little bit about the last two months if he could about. If there was any anxiety earth or if you just felt a member of the Boston Red Sox the entire time. Well I mean it was it was strange to say the least the first -- I've ever been in that situation. You know. Could go from the way we played them last month and and and for two months not knowing whether it was going to be back or not people in part right after the season -- You know Roger Johnson and rob Leary in Lego in. I think you know my conversations with the with the front office during that time at the time deal -- still there and you know with them of course and you know they always assured me that you know they would. Give whoever new manager was going to be my their highest recommendation. You think -- look for. Did you did you proceed cabinet as normal in other words I know that. Is really went down and talk to Carl Crawford I know that you are part of the contingent that that looked at suspend this element in the Dominican. Is that this kind of want you do -- -- doing business as normal. Yeah I tried to we're still in contact with the players and and you know I would felt confident that are going to be coming back but I felt pretty good about my chances come back side and one. All of a sudden. You know start from mosque where one remaining in the hitting coach again and so I wanted to at least keep lines of communication -- with the players. And that would mean when Ben called me happy to go down two the main villain in the Dominican players and coupled with -- players. You know -- I think -- a little bit better about my chances to come back. In an effort to call Crawford as that was was needed I think we. We all realize. An organization that he uses he's going to be huge part of the turn around turn things around. Public of important Gordon and have a physical. The -- state government in the Carl Crawford conversations and in regards to the progress he had over the years and we talked a lot about in the adjustments that he's made in and didn't make over the course -- the year. Do you sense that. That he had to change anything dramatically from the from the time he was in Tampa Bay or did he change anything dramatically or was it just one of these rights work. Players get -- in and it interest and work out and he's he's gonna try to continue the same sort of approach that he had when he was for the race. It was I think of a little bit of everything. I think he you know when when he started and got off to the poor start really in the first series. Not that he was pressing -- you know now the start you mean you start asking questions about you know -- you want one for fourteen or someone that boxes and did have a lot of good at that than you know he was surprised by that and all of a sudden start to come. You know. Get two -- three -- every at bat and prove everybody wrong in substantiate the big contract him. You know so it it was a it was a combination of a lot of -- I think he he didn't get a little bit away from what. The mechanics of what you do when and in Tampa Bay. You know he's very athletic hitter into the athletic player. He's got great hand eye coordination. You know when you look at video haven't Tampa Bay throughout the years see you know he change he had a real open stance there were -- wasn't as open their country. Stood up all other content is really squatted down and and we we talked about it than and he was just trying to get the place where -- felt comfortable place. And you know I get I think -- your question I think most of that was. Mentally trying to please everybody trying to. But you know make everybody. You know understand that he was worked for money and you know one in just getting the real bad place mentally and and then just kind of snowball but. You know like a total working in the year. When he got to average up the you know. Sixty in that area. You know when you look at you eliminate that first month that the numbers were pretty close to what they normally would have -- If you -- You know if you would have to some normal for -- and -- them. That's what you get is the hitting coach you know you have to sometimes. Find a way to get the guys look at the bright side and and you know some conflict you know going. From a from a and -- Carl from a technical aspect -- a lot of people look at his stance and his approach and -- what is he doing how connect. That are possibly hit a baseball that way not really understanding that like you said. He had a lot of success and in doing this approach for the open stance from a tactical aspect. Why is he able to do -- why does he do it that way and will he continue to pretty much have that same foundation of having that open stance going for. I think the most important thing I mean you look at Kevin Youkilis and I'm sure. It's be you know like blustery kind of had a little bit of a little bit of an all -- But people look at standpoint how can anybody -- that way the most important thing. Is it does not necessarily so much. Understand from your setup -- Okay is he up ready on time and is he in the right position when the ball up in the hitting area. And you know it doesn't matter what your -- like -- whether you can listen David Ortiz there Carl Crawford. If you're not ready to hit on the ball they are to be head. You're not gonna hit the ball part of a consistent basis and you know I wasn't asked concern that you you know it was part of the conversation how opening was I mean. It's spring training his right foot was out of the -- Open. So that was pretty drastic. And we. You know I I kind of approach shots subject with a good spring training in they wanna make it to be a big -- -- -- to have some -- you know because while Noah you know from public get real -- it's comfort. So on and so -- but my concern was. Okay you wanna be open that's fine. You wanna have a circumstance that's fine you're just not ready to hit and I think everybody that bought -- plan a consistent basis -- just saw how. Inconsistent he was. Being ready to hit the -- the fastball. Fouled off a lot of fastball late chasing them up out of the zone. And then you know try to cheat to get too fast for the chase some breaking ball down the third. So it was it was a nasty combination so. I'm not really sure don't have my stuff for me right now but it it was. Maybe in. Beginning in June late may we started trying to go with that would. A very low strident we're currently taking to get its foot down. And trying to get themselves to where he was seeing the ball in -- -- half with allowing and the drive to the ball. Instead of -- being a real offensive on your heels -- swing or your just. You know you're not drive the -- just kind of making contact. So he. He showed signs -- you know he he and -- Got hot and raise his average from below 200. You know the highest point that it reached you know in the sixties so. But he was never really comfortable with that and that's the biggest difference between being a hitting -- during the year and in talking hitting in the off the during the year you need to make. On the fly adjustments. And you're getting you're having to deal with the results. Part -- being -- hitter you know -- you need hit and you need to put numbers on the board in. You know you can't experiment a whole lot when when you're doing stuff during the season -- everyday. Though. Part of our conversation with a we've -- is so we'll make sure that. When we go to you know those spring training that he hit the ground running at a place where he wants to be where -- -- -- -- So that he doesn't have to deal with the I don't want -- drastic changes but getting himself in position where he's not feeling real comfortable. Why wasn't why wasn't why don't did you identify him as being the guy that. You really says you know I really wanna go down and talked to this guy wanna get them a good place having intimate. Mid season and start that foundation in the offseason our -- our other outward are others on the radar. Who knew we thought were equally as important in terms of media -- Well I mean he's not going to be the only guy that I that I speak to currency. But I just felt it was real important and and then what was kind of the guy that that's spearheaded. You know talk to me and in. Communicated then maybe that was a good idea to get him early in the Warner. One -- these will still fairly fresh from the mine. And get. From some major feedback on what it seemed or of the year the way it -- The the negativity. From the fan button in the media he would never really experiences that much in Tampa you. Pretty much under the radar down here so. Just try to get. -- feel for words had with that. And you know just. What he was stake in as far as you know looking ahead in in. Maybe it's some goals that he might have tougher for coming in spring training and what he warned inaccurate you know it's. Forget about money forget about the contract we just want him. To be the call also that he's always -- not and not anything more and that he does that then and he's doing what we expect. The the other guy who was -- micro managed throughout the course I guess maybe more in the last couple months in the first. Part of this season just because of the success of the aging Gonzales. And a lot was made of there's power dipping in the last you after the all star break but. And having come from the winner meetings and a few people suggests that. It was a product of may be you know he had to get the shoulder ready in the shoulder wearing down enough people who work out the same way here. Or but there was definitely obviously a difference in in regards to the the power that he was able to display and is threat you know last month compared to earlier and a year. Who -- that would that be. A legitimate argument that hey this was the getting back to shoulder a full season with a shoulder. Or were there other things and implied. Now I think. Which you heard the winner means it's pretty accurate I mean that is coming from you know. I had three shoulder surgeries in and I know what it's like it's. And I wouldn't complain every day when I came back from -- more. Utility player put -- and I've player. You know when when you're spending your off season trying to rehab from a major surgery like that in and you know I think he got the spring training and continued his rehab entering training didn't start hitting parts of the middle of march from playing games. I think it wore on them and add this season one arm and you know I'm a believer I know he doesn't agree with a you know when he went the officer -- -- to callables swing. It put that. The fact that amount. Fatigue on the shoulder and and his body in general. He would differ when he came back you know and you know I know he he doesn't he doesn't conclude that he does agree with a third. I've felt different this morning. And then. You know that that's kind of the second half started to Wear on. You know he really started. You know I don't want to complain but he it was it was bothering them shall move bother him in what happens is he start change in the way he swings start. Cheating a little bit to get the ball and you know. When he starts doing that -- -- -- left is left field stroke and trying to get the head out and he's making a lot of outs from the pool side yeah. And you know it's just. -- the problem -- Kind of snowballed from there but. I I expect. -- come in the spring training and and had there's not a better year than that this year and 2000. Well that must be enormously frustrating for a player like him because he he. Clearly he's he's an intelligent hitter clearly works hard at it but this physically and as this you get to the end of the season when especially when you go on through that I've -- slide you're not able to -- acute life. That you have been executing two months before. What could you see that can you see the frustration thumb and like you said you've had gone through it before its oil imagine that. You cannot understand that sort of frustration. Yeah now he was very frustrated but he he's so good I mean that's what makes them such a good team leader he states very even keel. You don't simple helmet a whole lot you don't -- you know point sending discuss sector make an out or anything like that he's. He understands that people are looking at them and you know he's really he's the leader on the thing. Both defensively and offensively so he doesn't really good job trying to trying to keep that you think he'll -- you get. You get immunized we spent so much time together just went down in the -- to the pre pre batting practice and pregame routines. You know he really had to limit themselves he would take batting practice on the field a whole lot the second half the season. He did. You know 90% of the slowing down in the case you thought to be here -- the machine her or just fall off so you really had to cut it down. But since trusting BK is but I know we we talked a lot about the post all star game in the fact the all star game but I think the feeling was that. That was a long lines of that past trying to hit home runs we -- And with other players before but but what you're saying is it was more product of this was an exhaustive experience. This whole thing. Yeah I think rob I think it was more. It was prior combination of the two. Because I mean we -- watching the home run derby. And seeing the ball and hitting. You know seeing them and San Diego and and throughout the first half with -- much involved in training. You know I never saw him hit that many homers to the -- You know he's got enough -- where he can drive the ball. You know -- -- let straightaway left field center field. And seen and taken so many swings. Where you know humans catching the ball. Out why not let it travel but try to hit it out front to give up in the air to report side. You know I just never saw pick them and swing. Like that you know not that he never took a swing like that during. During the first half but who have that condemned and don't just one batting practice session do over and over and over again. To me it can't help it leak in the here. In the at least you know lead in the some bad habits you know record. Always hear him the example Gonzales also probably helps paint the picture of read the in the lineup as a whole and I if you give any kind of perspective in the last for a couple weeks especially in every team gets banged up. You know in a long season by how banged up was this lineup up and down we know. Know what Dustin was going through and regress the foot and you know what he had to adjust but was was -- we're the position player was the bush haters. Where they banged up more than people know. We have got banged up then I think most things going in the last. Martin feasible because of things -- pretty good. -- anything. That's can use your core players who want to apply in every day I get a lot of days off. But. Yeah I mean there were some guys that really had a tough about it you know very had a great last month of the season he was pretty banged up he fired you use use worn out. They quit after we had that double header against Oakland. At the end of August we have the two days -- I think I think mentally and physically guys were kind of worn down you know. He was dealing with a lot of physical physical things that -- Adrian Marco was being lot of stuff so. Don't help with that you know that's what that's what makes. You know baseball such a tough sport it's not only the mental grind for for a 162 games but. Physically get beat up in our travels kind of I mean not that were complaining that. We have what you've traveled with us you know how -- -- can be wounded in the cities will be some coming up we got to play that day in. I mean it's tough for me it's the coaches convention. Port so. The combination of a lot of things. You talk about Ellsbury and before. If for having coach. Must have been extremely gratified obviously for -- ferry was gratifying. But if you go back to spring training and in the things that you worked on in terms of being able to identify pitches better which correct me if I'm -- that was when the biggest things with him right. Yeah of course and and did you see that. As spring training when alive again I think he had three home runs and spring training which is more of the media. And -- any other time in the ball is jumping off a little bit more but could you see this coming at all with the Ellsberg. I mean I saw it coming. 2007. And watch him take batting practice even back then when he was in the low ball the other way in making him. Wouldn't -- take batting practice way he can back and the ball on the way he can drive the ball all part of the field. Are we thought of as a matter of time before he was and then. You know. -- -- -- -- the numbers that he put up last year. And it it kind of goes back without saying about call you know when we use so late. Being -- ahead. Use your hand or allowed to get back to that position where you can really drive the ball in your and you're more or less sitting on your heels. And that's kind of what what else would do. Throughout this personal. For your way. You know he was there were times he would be ready and he would have in his mind. That he was gonna swing at every pitch for the for the -- ball. That's a big difference. You have to be ready this one in every pitch if you're up there trying to make sure to strike. And then decide or to strike in trying swing it you know united drug bought going to be a defense for five point. So the hitter you have to have the mentality that your gonna swing at every single pitch until football. And that's kind of what. The next step that -- In 2011. He went from. He's on the lead off -- wanna make sure swung at strikes and you know of one point Paula Newton in with a little bit defensive. He went from -- being what it -- last year where he was up there swinging first. Still try to get a strike but being ready to hit every pitch and then taken if -- the ball that that's a big difference than. That's what made the biggest difference for well last year against. You know you see him take BP were -- mentality in batting practice I'm swinging every pitch to very purposes is more about the strike. So he's driving ball all over the field. And I get in the game and he. You know okay now got to make sure you strike that you've got maybe a little while and that little bit of defenses that -- I'm a little bit behind the ball and weren't getting back to that spot where he can drive the ball and then. You seem possible -- that way so that to me that the biggest jump in -- You remember the -- do you remember when it clicked on a full time basis -- obviously like you said you could see the potential money could see him maybe doing this once and while. But it was -- in this season where you like he's doing this all the time and this is going to be something that we see on a regular basis. Well I've built -- like he said spring training where we'll play well okay and go you know he's. He looked like he's he's finally getting that. Just the consistency of the and then you know the season started the he got off a little bit of a rough start and and like he has a lot of career. But what he started hitting its stride in mid may late may early June and you know it will. Looking like that consistency. Looking to do damage. Was with something that that he can be you -- be able to carry it wrong so. And then of course would be good for -- it was. Incredible. And the what the other interesting players at least I find an interest in contrasting. Pomp and in the relationship that you had to develop within a short amount of time is Raila Vineland -- armed robbery saying that. When he got back up to the major leagues he was doing the same regiment. That he did in spring training correct in my remember that right there and so obviously that that regiment who worked throughout his time in. In the mile -- an unbelievable year. But in the short time you just it was up with the Boston what impressed you the most about him and what are some of the things that he's think tell you know what he's going to be better attic or he he really should be better at this in the coming years. Part of this quiet confidence. He knows he can hit and you know what you have to do. To prepare himself. -- have success in the game. You know I think he's seen him ten years down the line has -- pardon the -- a little bit. But -- you're right he's very consistent with the continues in the same thing. Throughout the season you know when -- in contact with. You know -- -- there's some and -- -- -- Throughout the year you know they update your -- guys. That's what they do or say very consistent with his work the same thing every day. And it works for him so. You know he's of these very sharp guy very Smart know the swing which is great for me because then now I can have. Pretty good dialogue with -- because. You know. That's the part one of the most frustrating thing as a hitting coach when is when you're talking -- he -- -- -- really doesn't even know it won't swing. It's hard. The kind of have. Good conversation with them this morning so. But. You know he can -- can definitely headed in he really improved behind the plate get from spring training. So they did a great job with a triple and in he's you know I think I think it would be -- big contributor. This this might be a stupid question but did you see any differences in the way of Baltimore approached him in those last two games. Obviously -- enormous game in the second the last game. And it certainly tourniquet -- victories and a little while ago. You know -- mean -- store. But it really. Pitching him in off the played in and you know -- -- pretty battle couple. Couple balls and the bill labels were literally blowing off the plate so. Let you know he. That's just what what teams are gonna do you know he has to to home run came before and I -- strike something different. Just so happened they got about what these are a little over anxious for which I think normally. When he's from the at the top of the game he's not gonna swing vote that is the end of sworn in. But. No electricity he's very intelligent hitter and he referred -- -- You guys signed -- Kelly Shoppach today you have. When when when there are about to sign a guy like that did did you look at and the Kelly Shoppach filmed -- they ask you about Kelly Shoppach. Are you familiar with Kelly shot back at all or what's your role on that and and -- it will you talked him in the in the near few future. I can't say that I had anything to do that. You know obviously I'm familiar with Kelly can -- -- the division. You know -- -- -- in Cleveland. You know what he's done a lot of things and what he's pitching and so that. That's going to be Wal-Mart these bullet. Now there was no. Phone call or any video that are like that and I I think it felt pretty comfortable with. What is. With what we're getting blind you know a lot of guys and open got a lot of history with -- so. Not -- that hasn't happened before me that. Was gonna ask you is there consultation when when there are obviously going to list of potential guys that you can inquires -- consultation review. -- what do you think your viewer your perspective. Now. You know that's one of the reasons I went down -- the Dominican Republic with those guys. In book itself. And but later. And some other guys so. You know feel would call me. You know I've had conversations with them about employers. You know nothing that I mean we haven't really tiny -- there. And topics so. Feel we always hear about in the -- that's what -- port. The last question is just regards to in regards to the new manager -- -- you don't really have any history Bobby Valentine. But you have worked with a different manages -- not named Terry Francona before. What is going to be the challenge in terms of integrating yourself in regards to philosophy. Is in other words our island though if you had another conversation with -- body at all. You know anything about you might not nobody but you know anything about the way that he likes his -- to approach things has he deferred to hitting coaches in the past. So what's what's your take on how that relationship is. It what you gonna have to really go through in regards to developing in nurturing going forward. Well actually we are in contact with each other over the last week a few times on the phone and mail. Because he's -- captioning after we spoke. Couple weeks ago. In the offered to bring me back. You wanna be sent them kind of like a rough outline of what my off these words and coach and you know IE mailed with whom we kind of went back and forth wasn't. You know I think. I think Bobby. We all know that is the that is the hands on manager. And you know I think Hedo it's good if it's going to be an adjustment. On both our parts. But I think we're we're on the same page I think we you know conversations over the last couple days I think we've we kind of hit -- stride -- that was concerned and could the property that really know me and I don't know him and I think in January gonna make the trip down the Fort Myers on the drive right down and spent some time -- If it is important you know we got to make sure we're on the same page he's got to understand. What my philosophy is and I think he's got a pretty good idea he's got a pretty good idea that right now. But they're not like sitting down face to face and you know at that -- we'll go over each individual hitters. You know. What I think makes Baghdad good hitters you know -- -- what is it like when you know when it doesn't like what does not like him. But he's he's very hands on which is fine you know I think it was more. You know Mac you're saying am I gonna bother you follow law. I think Bobby is. The type that it's gonna ask a lot of questions which as far you know I walk. You know he does he does have a lot of energy a lot of positive energy and and its its gonna be different but it's going to be it's going to be fun. Well Davis all Natalie ego but it was. I really appreciate you joining us in Nam the factors is that I think that everyone has gotten past the first month of the offseason and actually looking forward to baseball and then. And I know that you probably looking forward to as well also thanks again. Yeah I think I think everybody. Is ready to actually stock thoughts are talking about pitching and hitting in those sorts of things I appreciate it. --