Phils Fire Hitting Coach Milt Thompson

Posted by Paul Boye, Thu, July 22, 2010 10:35 PM | Comments: 106
News, Posts

The Phillies have fired hitting coach Milt Thompson, according to multiple reports from Phillies beat writers.

Thompson, a .274 career hitter in 13 seasons with the Phillies, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Rockies and Dodgers, joined the Philly coaching staff in 2003 as their first base coach, and was promoted to hitting coach the following season. The Phils, who had led the league in runs scored two of the last three seasons, leaves a Phillies team that has endured more offensive futility than it has become accustomed to. The team had hit just .253/.322/.411 entering Thursday, with those average and OBP marks good for only thirteenth and twelfth in the N.L., respectively.

Greg Gross takes over Thompson’s role in the interim.

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  • Posts: 0 Andrew R.

    Part of the game I guess. Sad to see Milt go. A great guy. I wish Milt the best of luck in his future endeavors.

    Way to not hit the ball guys :(

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Holy crap they DID fire him!

    Sad to see him go. But I support the decision. With the exception of Howard, everybody else forgot to hit.. and for a longggg a$$ time.

  • Posts: 0 Great

    Scapegoat firings, already?

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    This should not make any difference but it probably will. Sorry to see him go as well.
    Not his fault that the team could not hit.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    One of my all time favorite players.
    Sorry to see him go but something needs to be done.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Wonder if this means no deals are coming and this is the shake up.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    He’s the HITTING coach… he’s partly responsible. Are you kidding me?

  • Posts: 0 Terri

    I got the feeling that Milt won’t be the only one to lose his job. So it begins..

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Chalrie was a hitting coach. You thnk he talks to the pitchers about pitching? No he talks to hitters about hitting. He needs to get the team motivated or he could be next. Then RAJ. You guys will throw a party on that one.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    New hitting coach, Werth gets a rare RBI – what in the world is going on here???

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    The team is coming home – I will be there Monday with my sign “WTF?”

    We’ll see.

  • Posts: 0 jt

    It’s not all his fault with the offense struggles,but something had to be done…

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Phillies have the FOURTH highest payroll in all of baseball.. with the most talented group of hitters in the league (at least on paper)… and 90% of them are underperforming. Nearly ALL of them (Utley prior to injury, Jimmy lately, Victorino, Werth, Raul, the entire bench). It’s widespread and this move had to be done.

    If he’s not partly responsible, then why is there a hitting coach in the first place? Hitting coach: Coach the hitters.

  • Posts: 0 Brett

    Good. Even if this is just change for change’s sake, at least it’s something new. Maybe this’ll be the start of something good.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Manny no one is arguing that. Like the pitching coach is responsible for the pitchers. But wouldnt Milt be responsible for the 2 previous years great hitting partialy too?
    Regardless with how this team is now I will not cry about any move. Only if they traded Ruiz. Even if Charlie got canned Id say ok. And hes my favorite manager ever.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    ……can’t fire the whole team.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Fishtown University

    First they came for the hitting coaches…

  • Posts: 0 Brian Sr. of CO

    Wait, you mean to tell me, if the offense is not HITTING, the HITTING coach might be held partly responsible for the offense not HITTING the ball? I couldnt imagine. Dont get me wrong, sad to see him go, I always liked seeing a former Phillie as a coach, but he really has NOT been doing a good job at all this season. Howard and Polanco are doing well, but other than that…NOTHING. Werth is hitting .236 since 18 May (UNDER .200 with RISP), thats HORRIBLE. J-Roll’s average is down again, Vic’s average is steady at a low .250 ish, Ibanex is hitting about .260 since 18 may, but that still isnt a good average, but I guess its better than .236 since May. The offense is in an extended slump, and have look like the Mets. HORRIBLE. Something needed to be done, and it was going to be either Milt or Charlie. I really didnt think Charlie would be gone, but he will be if they finish the season within 5 games of .500 and will DEFINATELY be gone if they finish below .500. This team has too much talent to be slumping like this.

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  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    What’s the relationship between underperforming superstars and their hitting coach? Aside from being the scapegoats … someone show me the correlation between a hitting coach and batting numbers … not a coincidence, but a correlation. If Milt told them to hold the bat the wrong way, or to try using a 9-iron, then I’d understand the firing … but come on. Players need to own up.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    The players got Milt fired.
    I think Charlie gets to next year regardless of this year. But the leash gets shorter with every loss. You consider that coming into the year he was probably one of the most secure managers in the majors.
    That we are even dsicussing him being fired tells you how pathetic the 2010 phils have been.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Andrew, I think Cholly has a pass for this year an probably most of next if the Phils don’t produce. Every year he has been here the Phils have played pretty decent.
    It would take a terrible first half of next year to get him canned.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I haven’t even THOUGHT about the possibility of firing Charlie.. that would make absolutely no sense this year.

  • Posts: 0 George

    A player can’t always figure out exactly what he is doing wrong. It’s the hitting coach’s job to help show them. Given the stats this year, it appears Thompson hadn’t done a good job “showing.”

    Not only that, but the Phils’ offense has gone into major slides before this one, although this year’s is more pronounced. It always seems to come down to impatience, and a good coach should be able teach some plate discipline.

    I think it was time for a change. The story might be premature, though. If it’s just rumor, I’ll be disappointed. Being an ex-Phil and a nice guy doesn’t always equal being a good coach.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    I was responding to Brian who said that he could be canned this year if finsih under .500. I agree dont see it.

    BTW Greg Gross is also a former Phillie and one of my favorite players from teh 1980 team. Where as Milt was one of my favorites from the 1993 team. Well Milt was my very favorite player.

  • Posts: 0 George

    Firing Manual would be completely unfair. He’s had to juggle the lineup and the pitching staff this entire year because of all the injuries. Given the problems this season, I doubt that anyone else could manage what Manuel’s been dealt and do any better than being four games over .500.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Well the letting Blanton hit 2 nights ago was really jumping off the page. But in the old mans defense he hadnt done that in a long time.
    I like the old man and I still (believe it or not) think this team can get it going this year. It jsut needs to happen. I thought that the 3 straight walk offs vs the Reds would do it. Maybe winning in 11 innings and only allowing 1 hit and firing the hitting coach will do it. I just want to see some life and enjoy the games.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Excuse me, where is the OFFICIAL notice/announcement by the Phillies that Thompson is indeed fired? Mr Boye is quoting “beat writers” and their hearsay as his source. It’s probably accurate but presumptuous with unofficial sources. I’ll wait for the news from Phillies management.

  • Posts: 0 George

    Greg Gross knew a bit about getting key hits. He and Ollie Brown it seemed were always coming off the bench back in ’80 to start or continue rallies. Maybe some of that will rub off on this year’s players.

  • Posts: 0 George

    Aha! I’m not the only one who has expressed the thought that this news might be premature!

    I’d berate Boye for his jumping the gun, but his has generated a lot of comments, so I’ll forgive him this time. This isn’t a news site, anyway.

  • Posts: 0 George

    “his” should be “he.”

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Remember Dewey did defeat Truman.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Ok, I went to the OFFICIAL website of the Phillies and read their press release that Manuel announced the dismissal of Thompson and replaced by Greg Gross. As one or two suggested here, it has the foul odor of “scapegoat” maneuvering perhaps to appease unhappy fans. There is a saying that managers often like to quote.. they are hired to be fired. Apparently that also applies to coaches too. ;-)

  • Posts: 0 Ryk

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    no i think its official saw it on the actual news…its a shame i figured someone was going to lose their Job…shame it had to be Milt..couldnt they find another spot for him…as far as pay roll remove Moyer and Ibanez and our payroll wouldnt be to shabby..

  • Posts: 0 BostonKate

    A good guy doesn’t equal a good coach. Sad to see Milt go though.

  • Posts: 0 Psujo

    I am so torn on what to do. Firing milt? Not sure that will help these guys hit with men in s orange position, but clearly something has to change somewhere.

    Perplexed fan.

  • Posts: 0 Morris Buttermaker

    For the past few seasons prolonged slumps have been common among the Phillies players. This is the first time I remember so many players going into extended slumps for so long. The job of the hitting coach is to help players get out of slumps. Watch video with them, help them correct what they are doing wrong. Obviously, he was not doing his job. And the move was needed to shake things up a bit. I like Milt a lot, he was a great guy and a good player. And he always treated the fans right. But I was surprised he has lasted this long. I remember speculating in June 2008 that he would be fired soon.

    The slumping offense has taken some of the heat off of Perlozzo. With the lack of baserunners, he has not had many chance to screw up.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Nobody is wrong here. Milt did not do his job yet, he probably was not doing anything different that what he had done in the past few years when the Phils were hitting with RISP.
    To bad for Milt – low hanging fruit.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    The Mutts get shut out again. So lucky to have Carlos Beltran back.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Phils have been shut out 9 times this year, will this help?

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    On a slightly different note early reports says Moyer is done for season/career…if RAJ was a good GM he would have a contingency plan as this was a strong possibility…I cross my fingers than Happ can make a come back right now…and a deal is down with out given up Happ or Brown…doesnt look good for our Phils….Ps…Martinez says he isnt pitching this year…maybe we should of kept Meyers….Hmmmmmmmmmm!!!!

  • Posts: 0 Philly Texan

    This kind of thing never works.

    Does anyone actually believe that Greg Gross is a better hitting coach than Milt or that he’ll get different results?

    Sacking Milt is supposed to do what exactly? Make the guys try harder? I don’t think lack of effort is the problem. If anything, as Charlie has said, the hitters are pressing and trying to do too much.

    But, no, we’ve got to “shake things up,” and “something has to be done.”

    I know this: When a team starts reaching for “something has to be done,” we might as well pack it in.

    This is the action of a losing organization…..Never thought we’d fall back to that so soon.

  • Posts: 0 Tits Mcgee

    So, where does that leave the Phillies now? With a trade for Oswalt looking less and less likely and with Werth playing as badly as he’s been … are the Phils still going to try Trade Werth? Is Domonic Brown on his way up before the trade Deadline???

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Most people love Milt and he’s had a really nice double career with the Phils, BUT it was apparent he’s been more of a hitting instructor than a good coach. This was the cumulative effect of several big slumps to key guys over his tenure. His job was saved by the championship but it was clear he was having no affect on putting a strategy in place that could spark the offense and stop the bats pressing to break out which became apparent by Charlie’s comments last week.

    Sacking Milt doesn’t say the Phils are in free-fall, it says they recognize there’s a problem and their ready to address it and lets be real there has been a problem for a while now and not just this year.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Personally, I think that reassigning Milt, keeping him in the organization would have been the classier thing to do. He pretty much has the same tools and talent that he’s had in the past 2 years when the Phils won the NL.
    As far as Philly Texan, dude – are you seriously giving up? Jayson had an RBI tonight!!!

    B 0

  • Posts: 0 jt

    The offense had it’s struggles in the past with milt here…remember the annual june slumps and when they set a record for most ab in the world series without a hit with a risp in 08?yeah the year they won…hitting with risp has been a struggle for this team in the past and that’s something they need to work on…

  • Posts: 0 jt

    Charlie isn’t and shouldn’t go anywhere…now if they struggle into next season like this with the lineup at full strenght,possibly.

  • Posts: 0 Adrian

    Charlie Manuel made an interesting observation (yes, I’m serious!) a few days ago when he said that pitchers across that National League have been throwing Phillie hitters a much higher frequency of off-speed pitches than in years past. The Phillie lineup, injuries or no, is full of verteran hitters who should be able to make adjustments, but a hitting coach’s responsibility is to help that process along. Milt Thompson apparently hasn’t, so he got fired.

    Like anyone else, I’m just taking my own stab at this recent change, but it seems to make sense. Still, it doesn’t explain how everyone was knocking the cover off the ball through late May, and then fell off track. Sorry to see Milt go, but maybe Gross can somehow help the boys (outside of Howard and Polanco) find their stroke again.

  • Posts: 0 Archer

    This is the third posting of my Phillies-blog trilogy.

    You don’t become a successful family by trying to be a successful family; you become successful by focusing on fundamentals. It’s all very counterintuitive. Forget success and you can attain it. You don’t try to get a hit in baseball; you focus on the ingredients that are likely to produce a hit. Why? Because you can’t control a hit as there are too many factors that go into getting a hit; but you can control your body and mind – your part.

    When we press for material goods, when we move too rapidly for an end result, we forget the fundamental steps to success; we become angry and stressed and move further away from our goal. We begin to do damage to ourselves and others; we may even have a meltdown.

    Meltdowns occur because time becomes distorted for the stressed. Time compresses, and we begin to feel as if our lives are on the line right then and there. We snap and say things we would not ordinarily say. We may even hit someone.

    What do we do to reverse these feelings and tendencies.

    1. Be aware of what is going on. Just knowing and being aware of what is going on in your body is half the battle in solving the current problem.

    2. Tell yourself to eff it. I can’t think of a nicer way to say it. Just saying so is like taking a cork off a bottle that’s under pressure.

    3. Try to lose. Sometimes the only way to get the idea of trying to attain an end result out of your mind is to force it out by trying to lose.

    4. Take the conscious thoughts out of your mind. The best way to do this is to only allow your mind to receive sensory impulses. You have five senses; allow your mind to feel these senses. By doing so, you allow your body to revert to a pre-conscious state. This is relaxing to the mind. And if one of your own thoughts should enter your mind, allow it to flow out without commenting on it. By doing so, you take the background, radio-static chatter our of your life.

    5. Be honest with yourself about the problem you are having, and be tolerant of your own mistakes and failures. Who doesn’t make mistakes?

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