[FONT=Arial]Coaches bring experience[/FONT][FONT=Arial]Dozier said that working with Paul Molitor, who joined Gardenhire’s coaching staff this season, has been a big help.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]“It has been awesome,” he said. “Any time you have a Hall of Famer on your staff it’s amazing. We’re so lucky to have him. I think his title is baserunning or whatever, but he has his hand in on everything. It’s always good to pick his brain about a lot of stuff, hitting, defense, everything. It is pretty special to have him and I can speak for the rest of the team, too.”
[FONT=Arial]And what about Tom Brunansky, in his second year as hitting coach?[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]“Brunansky is awesome, he’s kind of the same way as Paul, he has his hand in on a lot of stuff, not just hitting,” Dozier said. “He was one of the best, in my opinion, when he was playing. I know for me he has kind of transformed everything with my swing, and a lot of things with other guys, too. He has done an outstanding [FONT=inherit][FONT=inherit]job[/FONT][/FONT], too.”
[FONT=Arial]Asked what changed in the clubhouse this year, Dozier replied: “I think everything. I think it’s night and day compared to where we were at this point last year. We upgraded our pitching staff. Our lineup has pretty much flip-flopped, night and day. It’s a lot better 1-9. Everything is going well and it’s a great mix of guys, too, in the clubhouse. That makes for a good day.[/FONT]
What I really like about this quote is that it's an internal confirmation of what is being reflected on the field: things are different and the additions to the coaching staff have a big hand in that.
Maybe the take-away here is that this is the first time the coaching staff has had long-tenured, successful players working with everyone. Gardy has always been a good players coach, but maybe his expertise was never in the details. On the other hand Molly and Bruno appear to have the experience and teacher's mentality to add a lot to this staff and the results are bearing that hypothesis out.
Or maybe this was just bound to happen after three years of miserable play and no progress?