Gone Chili

By Jason Wojciechowski on October 19, 2014 at 5:11 PM

The title doesn't make any sense. It's like it's almost trying to be a Gone Girl reference except it isn't really and also what does Chili Davis have to do with that pile of thrilling mediocrity? In any event:

The actual story by Bradford makes clear that this is all according to a source, with no official announcement yet, but this isn't some rando Twitter attention-seeker reporting this, so one would guess that Bradford's source is solid, especially since we knew that Davis was interviewing with the Red Sox.

So: goodbye to Chili Davis, goodbye to my Chip 'n' Chili platter, which is now for sale as a vintage item for the low low price of $2,000.

Hitting coaches matter, surely, at the very least in the sense that there's a baseline and some number of guys who are at that baseline and most of us would not perform at that baseline. And they surely matter in the sense that some hitting coaches will click with some hitters where other coaches would not.

But if we think we can tell which coaches are which, we're fooling ourselves, regardless of what data we're looking at -- the samples are simply too small given the amount of noise and given the other variables we'd want to account for (a player's winter work, say, which may or may not be with that hitting coach; teammates; physical growth or degradation). And that includes griping in the media about a coach, which nearly always happens anonymously, which means we can't evaluate the motives a player might have for whining, not to mention how many different players are actually complaining and whether those are important or unimportant players on the team. (Do you really care what Nick Punto thinks about the team's hitting coach, for instance? An anonymous quote wouldn't allow us to tell whether it was him or Brandon Moss complaining.) And it also includes (non-anonymous) hosannas to the immaculate job performance of the coach! Players think all kinds of things that may or may not be true, and their attribution of their comfort at the plate and level of success to a coach may or may not be fallacious. We can't know without combining in-brain access to the player with rational, objective, outsider evaluation of that brain. Which, hey, that's impossible!

All of which is to say that while I liked reading Chili Davis' quotes and it seemed like the players got along with him, and it says something that the Red Sox wanted to steal him away, I'm not going to declare any falling skies forecasts for 2015 based on Davis' absence.