TORONTO – The final word in any - and all - coaching changes belongs to manager Ozzie Guillen. And the fifth-year skipper made it very clear on Saturday that the villagers should put down the torches and go back to their homes, because hitting coach Greg Walker’s job security is alive and well.
“That's not going to happen,’’ Guillen said of a possible coaching change to try and remedy the slumping offense. “To be honest with you, I don't think we need coaches. Look at the lineup. Everyone is a veteran, everyone knows what they're doing, everyone has experience, everyone went through it. I think you can ask the players. I'm not going to blame Walker about it. Greg is not a babysitter.
“Greg gives the best information and works hard, works harder than anybody and ‘Walk’ sometimes takes this game too deeply, too serious. I bet you one guy who is sick to his stomach now is him. It's not easy to be a hitting coach, it's not easy.’’
Guillen said that if the Sox lineup was loaded with a bunch of “kids’’ who were not progressing, then he would look at a change. That’s just not the case, however.
The .190 batting average and six runs scored through the first four games of this current six-game road trip falls on the players, according to their manager.
“[Nick] Swisher, [Orlando] Cabrera, Konerko, [Jim] Thome, [Jermaine] Dye, A.J. [Pierzynski] and [Joe] Crede, they don't need coaches,’’ Guillen said. “They need to get their heads out of their asses and start hitting. It's easy when the team is not hitting, it's the coaches' job on the line. When the team isn't pitching or the team isn't playing as a unit, it's the manager's job on the line. I don't think Walker has a problem. I have faith in him. That's part of the game.
“Greg Walker was the best hitting coach in April. Now he's the worst hitting coach in May. That's our job, take the heat for the bad things and we never get credit for the good things. But just get people to be patient. Whoever does their thing there, if they think they can do a better job than Greg Walker make sure and let me know. I'll hire him. People out there say we should do that, tell them to talk to me and I'll tell Kenny Williams and we'll hire him. Hopefully, help us to get out of this.’’