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Coaching Staff Overhaul

Via Larry LaRue and Matt's diary, we find out the following:

Manager John McLaren will have a busy off-season after his decision Friday to completely revamp his coaching staff, asking only one man - batting coach Jeff Pentland - to return for 2008.

Four others, bench coach Mike Goff, third base coach Carlos Garcia, pitching coach Rafael Chaves and bullpen coach Jim Slaton, will not return.

The biggest news here is that Raffy Chaves won't be coming back, although anyone who saw the embrace between him and Felix after the last game probably knew that something was up. Still, it comes as a bit of a surprise, even if I don't think it'll make that much of a difference. I always kinda of figured he'd get a more extended opportunity.

I had high hopes for Chaves after his initial promotion, but honestly, looking back, it seems like his biggest asset was how well he got along with most of the pitching staff on a personal level. I can't think of any remarkable accomplishments on the field. I mean, the biggest development on the staff over the last two years was JJ Putz learning how to throw a splitter, and that only came about because of Eddie Guardado. Whether Chaves could've done anything with this year's nightmare of a rotation is unclear, but what it boils down to is that he didn't blow anyone away, and so he likely won't be much of a loss. Except to Felix. Chaves, Wlad, and Jose Lopez are three of his best friends in the organization. This could be an unpleasant winter for the King.

If we've learned anything about pitching coaches over the last few years, it's that they all bring their own little gimmick. Bryan Price messed around with everyone's hand position early in the windup. Raffy Chaves tried to teach everyone a two-seamer. Ron Guidry drinks. They're all uniquely interesting, but rarely do they have a real impact, and as long as the next guy doesn't try to improve our staff's focus under pressure by having them juggle flaming chainsaws, I don't think we'll come out of this any worse for wear.