October 24, 2010

Jeff Bagwell Out as Astros Hitting Coach

Yesterday, the best Astros blog in the country posted the following about former Houston slugger Jeff Bagwell leaving his post as the team's hitting coach:

I guess we need a new hitting coach since Jeff Bagwell won't be returning as hitting coach in 2011.  This is incredibly disappointing, and with (general manager) Ed Wade and (manager) Brad Mills meeting to immediately put together a list of candidates, at least we'll now have something to talk about until the Hall of Fame vote is released in January.

Now...since I've gone on record as being decidedly PRO-Bagwell when it comes to the 2011 Hall of Fame class...it's time to re-iterate my case for him.

Here’s the deal with me and Bagwell…I always admired, but was never a huge Bagwell guy until after he hung up his spikes.  I mean, I respect the Hell out of the man for leaving the game after only 15 seasons. And while injuries and what not might have precluded him to doing so, it is possible that he could have hung around the American League as a DH to pad some numbers to his already bloated 449 home run and 1529 RBI totals.

But he chose not to.

He could have left Houston a number of times.

But he chose not to.

His .948 OPS is 23rd all-time and the only Hall eligible player that is higher on that list and not enshrined is Mark McGwire. Bagwell was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1991 and followed it up three seasons later with the National League MVP award. A career .297 hitter, Bagwell also appeared in four All-Star Games and was twice (yes, twice) a 30-30 man.

And...he had a bitchin' goatee.

You can read Jeff Bagwell and Astros general manager Ed Wade had to say about the Houston legend's decision to move on over at Astros County.

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