Rangers hitting coach Thad Bosley has spent the last few weeks with a handful of Rangers in the batting cages in Arlington. He's seen Josh Hamilton (before the AL MVP was treated for pneumonia), Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, Craig Gentry and Chris Davis. And he's supposed to work with David Murphy this week.
Bosley talked to ESPNDallas.com and shared some of his first impressions and how he's going to go about his job. Some of his thoughts:
Q: How has your initial experience with the club been so far?
TB: I think it’s been great overall. As a hitting coach at the major league level, the thing you have to establish is a relationship and a level of trust. Having done it before, it’s a little different. Being able to spend some quality time with Josh, Ian and Mike, guys I consinder the nucleus of the club, and working with them in their envoriment and talking about ideas has been great.
Q: What has been the reaction from players?
TB: Here’s a ballclub that’s having success with young players and another guy is coming into the room in three years. From their part, having played, you want to know what this guy thinks. What are his ideas? What are his philosophies? It’s been good in terms of us talking. I watched 30 or 40 games. I’ve come out to the ballpark when they were in California against Oakland. I came into the stadium and Clint was good about introducing me to some of the guys, so I did see them a little bit.
Q: What are your ideas and philosophies?
TB: Having played 17 years as a professional baseball player, I think I have a clear understanding of what it takes to hit in this league. I believe in the traditional fundamentals of hitting. I think I had some of the best hitting coaches and played with some of the best players, like Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Cecil Cooper, Bobby Bonds, Don Baylor, Ryne Sandberg, George Brett. That helps.
I think I bring an understanding of what it means to compete at the major league level and what it means to come in a ballgame late. You can’t take an at-bat for granted. I think the similarity between me and Clint is that we have a general understanding of hitting and we're both mental and mechanical. You have to keep it as simple as possible. We get into some sophisticated stuff, but it's about winning games. You’ve got to get guys to understand the importance of an at-bat and how one pitch in an at-bat can change a baseball game.
We'll have more from Bosley as spring training nears, but he's clearly a student of the swing and loves to dissect it. I'll be curious to see the similarities and differences between Bosley and Hurdle as the spring and season progresses. Hurdle did a nice job of getting this team to become a better situational hitting club. Bosley's job will be to continue that.