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Joe Maddon disgusted with today's all-or-nothing approach to hitting: 'There are too many holes'

Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Baseball

PHILADELPHIA -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon gave two Philadelphia writers an appetizer when they asked about hitting coach John Mallee, who was fired Tuesday by the Phillies less than two seasons after the Cubs released him.

"Every hitting coach I've known in the recent past was dedicated, hard-working, cares about his players more than he cares about himself," Maddon said. "A lot of times you have a good sense of humor, which I think is important.

"I love John Mallee, and I think he's an outstanding hitting coach. That's all."

Despite Mallee's popularity with Cubs hitters and the fact the team won the 2016 World Series in his second season, he was dismissed after the 2017 season. The Cubs dumped Mallee, a proponent of launch angle, and hired Chili Davis to emphasize situational hitting.

According to multiple sources, several players immediately tuned out Davis and opted for their personal approach, going that route even as the offense deteriorated in the second half.

The topic of hitting is personal to Maddon, a former minor league hitting instructor who has been more hands-on this season at the request of his bosses.

 

So when a Philadelphia reporter asked whether there are now too many hitting philosophies, resulting in confused batters, Maddon provided plenty of meat to chew on.

"Just to go Twitter and search 'hitting guru,' " Maddon said. "And find out all these different people making money these days. They're making it too complicated, and it's really sad. I grew up as a hitting coach, and I taught hitting a certain way. And I still think it's germane to the way you should hit today.

"It's really being morphed into an area that's non-sustainable. There are too many holes in the methods that are being profligated right now. It just doesn't work that way."

For the record, Maddon endorsed Cubs first-year hitting coach Anthony Iapoce and assistant Terrmel Sledge. But Maddon expressed his displeasure at some of the trends being taught elsewhere at a price.

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