Friday, September 30, 2016


I have mixed emotions when it comes to Alan Cockrell. I try to be objective about everything this season but I change my mind constantly. The Yankees are in a very different place now then they were in May and he may deserve some of that credit. Even if so, there is something that still doesn't sit right with me. It's like I am making weekly "pro" and "con" lists as to whether or not he should stay.

It's no secret, I am not sold on this guy as our hitting coach. Back in May I wrote THE BLAME GAME because I felt like he was getting off too easy. Sure, hitters have to hit but our team was under performing similar to his track record back with the Mariners. I didn't like that Hal Steinbrenner wasn't holding him accountable too. I also didn't like how sometimes when he spoke to the media it sounded like complete word vomit. His lack of ability to express a clear thought was just more evidence to me that the guy can't coach players how to hit!

So here we are at the end of the season. The Yankees have done better when it comes to their hitting but I would hardly call them consistent. Last week the Yankees were shut out in three consecutive games and going back further six times in the past month. This is hardly a great way to stay in the playoff hunt.

I sit here and see the positives and the negatives with Cockrell this season but as I dig deeper I realize it took a lot of digging to get to the silver lining here. Chase Headley did get better after a disastrous start. He was batting .140 at the end of April and didn't have an extra base hit until May 12th. Now his .252 BA, 14 home runs and 50 RBI's are hardly worth bragging about but it is an improvement.

I would like to give him credit for the improvement in Didi Gregorius. At the beginning of the season he was batting ninth and lately we have seen him hitting clean up. It's nice to see, but that also comes in the wake of a removed Alex Rodriguez, part time Mark Teixeira and traded Carlos Beltran. Was his success being masked by the "bigger" bats, or has he simply evolved? This I am just not sure of yet.

And what about the baby bombers? Maybe Cockrell has a hard time reaching the veteran players who are so set in their ways but the young kids like Tyler Austin and Gary Sanchez do respond well to his teachings. It's possible. Maybe Cockrell helped Sanchez break out and become the hitter he is now....the young kid who has performed so well that he could be the Rookie of the Year.

As we approach the off season, I have to wonder if Cockrell should continue to be the Yankees hitting coach. The inconsistency and the lack of accountability just do not sit well with me. We need a coach that is going to help mold these young players in our youth movement into good hitters. There are bright spots this season, but I just don't know how much of that credit can go to him. The Yankees have gone through three hitting coaches in the last three seasons, but should the Yankees look for number four and hope that one is the charm? I don't know. I am conflicted. It's too hard being on the fence!

Are you a Cockrell believer....or are you hot and cold like I am?

 --Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer & Editor
  Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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