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Bad Ideas and the People Who Love Them

From Doug Miller's piece on how the 2006 outfield is shaping up:

Aside from the starters, Everett and Lawton, the Mariners have another intriguing outfield prospect in their shortstop prospect from last year, Mike Morse.

(...)Morse looked a bit shaky there in a few games but has worked hard all winter in the outfield with coach Mike Goff and big league veterans Cliff Floyd and Jeffrey Hammonds, who live in South Florida near Morse's offseason home.

"Last year was a quick class on how to play it and not look like a fool at the big league level," Morse said. "Now I know what to do and what not to do. And with Jeff and Cliff, they know what they're doing, too, so I'm just like a sponge out there."

Now, I can't speak to the merits of being coached by Mike Goff (although if he looks anything like this guy, then I have to question the practical value of his instruction), but when I consider the various things you could learn from Cliff Floyd and Jeffrey Hammonds, I think the following:

-how to become a moderately effective Major League hitter
-how to begin your career as one of the last talented players in a dying organization
-how to throw away a lot of the promise that made you worthy of a first-round draft pick
-how to be a DL-prone nancy boy
how to be good enough to generate interest on the trade market, and bad enough to actually get dealt
-how to never play in the AL West
-how to get guys with funny names like Rip Repulski, Nippy Jones, and Richie Zisk on your list of Baseball-Reference comparables

What I don't think about is how either Floyd or Hammonds could help Morse become a better outfielder. According to my trusty 2000-2003 UZR numbers, Floyd averaged a -17 (runs) rating as an outfielder per 162 games, while Hammonds came in at -18. Each of these guys were nearly two wins below average based on defense alone. That's bad (although the both of them probably know more about being a legitimate shortstop than Morse does). It's often been said that "those who can't, teach," but Helen Keller never founded any culinary institutes and nobody goes to Cary Elwes for acting lessons, so it doesn't seem like the most sensible cliché. Now all we need is for Greg Dobbs to take batting practice with Ron Calloway and Joey Hamilton and we'll be set.