Sunday, September 29, 2013
Jaramillo open to a Sox interview
By Bruce Levine
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox will be looking for a new hitting coach and iconic batting instructor Rudy Jaramillo will be paying attention.
After firing hitting coach Jeff Manto on Saturday, Sox general manager Rick Hahn said he would do an extensive search both inside and outside the organization. Former Chicago slugger Jim Thome, who went to work for the White Sox this summer, is not being considered for the job due to family obligations.
Jaramillo, who has been staying busy with his hitting school in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, said that if the right circumstance comes his way he will certainly listen.
“It has been a long year and a half away from the game,” Jaramillo said from his Texas home. “I love the game and still have great passion for teaching. I am still fine tuning my teaching and finding ways in how to get better as an instructor.”
Jaramillo said he won’t campaign for a job, but said he keeps in touch with his friends in different organizations.
“I have known (Sox assistant GM) Buddy Bell for a long time and (scouting and minor leagues assistant director) Del Matthews is also a good friend,” Jaramillo said.
Jaramillo, 63, has 22 seasons on his resume as a hitting instructor. He coached 18 seasons with the Texas Rangers and two-plus with the Chicago Cubs, before he was let go by the team in June of 2012.
The five-step system he teaches consists of his video, “A professional approach to hitting.”
“All the young people you see get a chance to play at the big league level have the talent to hit,” he said. “The mental approach is the difference in making it or not. As a coach, that is what you are trying to do. You are trying to be there for these guys . You try to support them, make them feel good about themselves . You help them learn to have a plan when they are at the plate. You can prepare and practice all day long, if you don’t trust it when you get to home plate, executing the plan is not going to happen.”
Jaramillo’s five steps include: seeing the ball, rhythm, separation, staying square and weight shift-transfer.
“Hitting has become a more difficult process,” Jaramillo said. “The technology has become so advanced that they know your hitting weaknesses better than any time in the past. We also can turn that around and use that against the pitchers, and we do.”