Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Davey Lopes - 1st Base Coach, Economics Professor

Quick, name the greatest first base coach that ever lived? Can't think of any besides the one already named in the post title? Okay then, what about all-time leader in games coached from first base? All-time leader in steals while coaching first? American League First Base Coach of the Year in 2009?

Davey Lopes told the team and the media yesterday that he would no longer be occupying the first base coach's box any longer for the Fightins. The reason: straight cash, homey.

Here's what Lopes said:
It's the principle of the thing. In any kind of work, you put a value on your worth to the organization and try to negotiate to the point where both parties are happy. They had their idea as to what they felt my value was monetarily and it wasn't close to what I was thinking about.

Was it a good offer? Yeah but it was something I felt I needed to do because of the fact that it's been happening my whole career. I believe you have to take a stand. You figure what your value is to an organization. Once you figure out what your value is to an organization, you have to be compensated for it.

Throughout baseball, coaches are paid on their importance to a club: pitching coach, hitting coach, bench coach, third base coach and then first base coach. That's not going to change, but there are always exceptions. The general philosophy in baseball is why pay someone $500,000 when there is a list who would take it for $100,000? You don't know if the guy will be as good, but the supply is greater than the demand.
How valuable was Davey Lopes to the Phillies? We all know the stats/facts - Davey controlled the running game and the Phils lead the league in stolen base percentage the last four years - but we might not know his true value until he leaves. Was he just fortunate to have Victorino, Rollins, Utley and Werth doing the running? Or was he truly a guru?

Davey was exactly right though when he said "the supply is greater than the demand." There are hundreds of qualified ex-players who are willing and waiting to take the job for presumably less than Lopes.

Here's what I don't understand - despite his insistence on compensation and value, the decision couldn't have been about money. He won't get more taking the same job for another club. And he certainly won't make more not coaching anywhere. If it was about money and compensation, wouldn't he continue working until a better position was available? So it must be what he said at the beginning of the quote, "the principle of the thing." Principle? What the hell is principle, besides the excuse of the greedy?


furiousBall said...

I do think Davey was incredibly valuable to our team and I am very disappointed he will not be back.

I think his personality and talent will be missed. I think he did help Vic, Werth, and Jimmy be better base stealers. I also was looking forward to seeing what kind of help he would be to Dom Brown on the base pads.

That said, it was also a matter of time. He has prior head managing experience and was very successful here in Philly. He will not have a problem finding a new gig.

GM-Carson said...

Now's the time the Phils bring in an ex-Phillie for the 1st base job. Dutch Daulton, Mickey Morandini, Steve Jeltz...yeah, that would be awesome.

Corey said...

jeltz for 1st base coach. the campaign starts today...

ripjgarcia said...

What about Juan Samuel.

According to Wikipedia after his stint as Orioles interim manager "Samuel accepted a position elsewhere in the organization as an evaluator for its Dominican Republic academy."

SirAlden said...

Dumb Loss. Dumb.