Pendleton ready for new role as first base coach

(Staff writer Carroll Rogers is filling in for David O’Brien.)

So this isn’t exactly the warmest and fuzziest place to talk about the topic I want to bring up today – Terry Pendleton’s job change – especially given the tone on the blog of late inspired by a certain frequent visitor in recent days.

Nevertheless, (Jack Wilkinson, are you reading?) I got a chance to talk to Pendleton last week at the rookie camp, and some of you have asked how he’s reacted to the change in his role, from hitting coach to first base coach.

We first got a clue in October, when he agreed to stay and take the new job as first base coach for Glenn Hubbard, who was not retained. I’m sure some of that has to do with the fact that this is where Pendleton makes his home, this is where he’s raising his kids, and this organization is still home. But that also said to me, this isn’t a guy full of resentment either.

Pendleton will be spending less time on the rail

Pendleton will be spending less time on the rail

Can’t remember the last Braves hitting coach to lose his job and stick around – not sure if any were given the choice, but you get my drift – Clarence Jones, Merv Rettenmund come to mind.

(Don Baylor left to take the job as Cubs manager, obviously his choice.)

Pride always comes into play, especially in a baseball clubhouse, especially in such a public position. Still, everything I see and hear from Pendleton tells me he is taking this all in stride… with his usual honesty.

“It was not something that I would say I welcomed, but it’s something that I’m up for,” Pendleton said. “Change is good. Some people would think it’s not, but sometimes change is good.”

What is in it for him, is something GM Frank Wren pointed out back in October – this will help give Pendleton a more well-rounded resume when he tries to become a manager some day. And Pendleton does want to manage. “I would like the opportunity, yes,” he said.

Pendleton applied for manager’s positions in Philadelphia (Charlie Manuel got the job in 2005), Tampa Bay (Joe Maddon got the job in 2006) and in Washington (Manny Acta got the job in 2007).

But here’s the part of his old job he will miss:

“Being in the cage with all the guys, like in spring training every morning talking baseball, talking hitting, laughing and clowning,” Pendleton said. “Not that some of that won’t happen in spring training but just being in the cage with all the hitters and having them all together will be a little different for me….I love to talk about hitting. I love to listen to the guys talk about it. I’ll still be able to hear some of that, but it won’t be a regular thing for me.”

Pendleton with Jordan Schafer in spring training

Pendleton with Jordan Schafer in spring training

I figured one plus to all this might be OK, well at least Pendleton doesn’t have to deal with the pressure that comes with being a hitting coach anymore. He knew it was his behind, when Nate McLouth struggled, Jeff Francoeur, Kelly Johnson, Andruw Jones or fill-in-the-blank.

But he wasn’t biting on that.

“I never felt that, to be honest with you,” Pendleton said, when asked about the daily pressures. “When we didn’t hit, I understand the game of baseball, I understand it happens. I understood when I took the job if we didn’t hit it was going to be on me. I knew that already. Then when we did, it was them. So those things I understood. I never felt like it was pressure, I felt bad for our kids because I knew when we struggled as a team, they were off trying to do way too much and trying to pick up the slack for the other guys. Just with talking to them, and trying to get them to just relax, just do what they’re capable of doing. I’ve been in that position and I know it’s easy to say but it’s difficult to do because of the competitiveness that’s in you.”

The way Wren put it in October: “I just think it was probably time for a new voice.” After nine years, maybe it was. I’m just giving credit here for way that TP is handling this move.

Exhibit A: when I asked him why he didn’t leave.

“People who know me know that I attempt to do things for the ball club; it’s not about me,” Pendleton said. “The bottom line with me is I want to win. If we feel like we’ve got a better opportunity for somebody else to be the hitting coach, and for me to be in another position for us to win, then let’s go get it done.”

Leftovers from rookie camp:

Some tidbits about the first annual Braves Rookie Development Week last week when 26 of the Braves top prospects were invited to Turner Field to acclimate to big league life.

Wren said the first team he knew to do it was the Cleveland Indians, who’ve been doing it for 20 years. They used to go as long as a month, with a couple weeks in Cleveland and a couple weeks in Arizona at their spring training facility. The Braves started with a week and will see where they go from here. There might be fewer players invited going forward but they wanted to start broad.

A quote I liked but didn’t get a chance to use when I asked Wren about shortstop Andrelton Simmons’ arm and how his first basemen liked catching his throws. (He’s been clocked at 98 mph off the mound.)

(Tyler) Pastornicky was warming up with him out there and he says ‘I don’t think I got the right guy on a cold day to warm up with,’” Wren said.

I asked top pitching prospect Julio Teheran who his favorite pitchers to watch growing up were. His answer: Curt Schilling and John Smoltz. Now his favorite? Felix Hernandez.

Cox to be honored by Braves 400 club

The Braves 400 Fan Club is honoring Bobby Cox at its annual winter banquet to be held Saturday Feb. 5 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Those expected to speak include: John Smoltz, former major league umpire Bruce Froemming, Phil Niekro, Leo Mazzone, Darrel Chaney, and Gene Garber. Greg Maddux and Dale Murphy aren’t scheduled to attend but will be giving video tributes.

Cox on his farewell night as manager

Cox on his farewell night as manager

Pete Van Wieren

and former coach Pat Corrales plan to attend. Broadcaster Jim Powell is emceeing.

The event will be held in the Georgia Ballroom of the World Congress Center. A reception, silent auction and raffle begins at 5 p.m. The awards dinner and program starts at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets, which include dinner, are $95. They can only be bought in advance, and the deadline is Monday, Jan. 31. Go to www.braves400.org to make a reservation or mail a check to Braves 400 Club, PO Box 7689, Atlanta, GA 30309.

Coming up

Braves players and staff are out mingling with the people this week in the second year since the return of the Braves caravan. Stops this week include Birmingham on Wednesday, Peachtree City on Thursday, Athens on Friday and Montgomery and Auburn, Ala. on Saturday. For the complete schedule, go to braves.com/caravan.

Camp Roger, more officially known as the Braves voluntary two-week pre-spring training pitching camp, will begin on Monday at Turner Field. It will go for two weeks leading up to the time when pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Monday, Feb. 14. (Happy Valentine’s Day to all the wives and girlfriends who have to say goodbye that day!)

OK, that’s a wrap.

4,178 comments Add your comment

JoeBrave

January 25th, 2011
5:57 pm

Pendleton still employed???? what the heck?

Welcome back Chipper!

January 25th, 2011
5:58 pm

TP should do fine as a 1b coach. I can’t wait for the season to start!

Brooks Conrad

January 25th, 2011
5:59 pm

BOOOO!! I like to scare you!

Intervention

January 25th, 2011
6:01 pm

Just can’t get the warm and fuzzies with any story about TP. But thanks for the effort.

TennesseePaul

January 25th, 2011
6:05 pm

Thanks for the work CR.

Trey

January 25th, 2011
6:08 pm

Thanks for the blog.

McFann O O

January 25th, 2011
6:09 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Ms. Rogers!

bravedawg

January 25th, 2011
6:10 pm

i’m glad TP is still around! everyone forgets about 91 and his leadership back in his playing days. The guy is loyal as hell and ra-ra guy which I think even the biggest critic on here can at least agree the braves could always use. He’s well respected and I’m glad that one of the guys that helped turn the braves around is still doing it for the ole ball club. Go Braves!!

Murph

January 25th, 2011
6:10 pm

From McLouth to TP… getting the yucky stories out of the way so you can focus on the good stuff come February?

Trey

January 25th, 2011
6:13 pm

Great drawing on Mr. Ed.

T for Texas

January 25th, 2011
6:14 pm

Nice blog, Carroll. I hope Bruce Froemming doesn’t throw Bobby out of the winter banquet.

Murph

January 25th, 2011
6:14 pm

Ooohhh, aaaaaa, horse is a horse, of course, of course

TS

January 25th, 2011
6:14 pm

Umm, getting canned as hitting coach doesn’t “round out your resume,” regardless of whether it’s a termination or merely a demotion.

bruce

January 25th, 2011
6:15 pm

Carroll,
Sounds like TP got your respect with his remarks, (not saying he did not have it before) and with his remarks and yours, TP got my respect as well. Nice story, thanks for taking the chance in a tough situation.

cabravesfan

January 25th, 2011
6:15 pm

I hope Bruce Froemming doesn’t throw Bobby out of the winter banquet.

OK, that made me laugh :lol:

Trey

January 25th, 2011
6:15 pm

Murph that was a hell of a theme song. Much better than Mr. Belvedere.

BravesFanChris26

January 25th, 2011
6:17 pm

As long as he stays at the 1B coach position it’ll be fine >_>

I think he’ll do great as a 1B coach and maybe he can help some with their defense.

Coach (2011 and Fredi G. a GO!)

January 25th, 2011
6:18 pm

Jorge Cantu signed with the Padres today. Good for him because Cantu was never a fit for the Braves in 2011.

Hervé Villechaize

January 25th, 2011
6:22 pm

I dont dislike Cox as a person. What I dislike is him managing a team I root for – Robert

I don’t dislike Robert. I just dislike him commenting on a blog I like to read.

T for Texas

January 25th, 2011
6:24 pm

You obviously have a refined sense of humour, cab.

Big Jake

January 25th, 2011
6:26 pm

coach, that long rambling rehash of what your betters already know wasn’t worth reading the first time, but you were conceited enough to post it again like somebody here actually cares?

McFann O O

January 25th, 2011
6:27 pm

Thanks Trey and Murph!

that was a [heck] of a theme song. Much better than Mr. Belvedere.

Haha…I’ve never heard that one… but oddly enough, Alan Young (Wilbur Post) was in one of the Mr. Belvedere movies (Mr. Belvedere Goes to College).

Love the Mister Ed theme song.

Steve McP

January 25th, 2011
6:27 pm

Hervé Villechaize – Good to see you got past 007 to post here

McFann O O

January 25th, 2011
6:29 pm

cabravesfan

January 25th, 2011
6:30 pm

That might be the first time my sense of humor has been called “refined” :D

rave1914

January 25th, 2011
6:30 pm

maybe i missed it before – -but why was braves lifer glenn hubbard not retained in some capacity and whqt is he up to now?

Dante

January 25th, 2011
6:32 pm

When people don’t listen to you as a hitting coach you aren’t doing your job. Granted, some players just will not listen but from an outsider’s view it appeared he had trouble getting through to much of the team for years. Franceour and Andruw were headcases, no blame on TP there but not being able to help a guy like McClouth out? Not good. I also think a new hitting coach will help Heyward with his approach, that was my biggest gripe watching last year. J-Hey’s got all the talent in the world and whatever he was being told last year seemed to be messing him up. Just my opinion…

Bat Masterson

January 25th, 2011
6:33 pm

Thanks Bat. If I stick around to eat before driving back I’ll check it out. Wouldn’t it be nice just to spend the whole day at Captiva?! _ Carroll Rogers

Sure Carroll. I’ve spent a lot of days, and nights, there over the years, have not had a bad one yet.

Diehard

January 25th, 2011
6:34 pm

Pendleton’s attitude is simply this – he’s lazy and he just wants a job in baseball – any job – and his comments about what he will miss prove it “Being in the cage with all the guys, like in spring training every morning talking baseball, talking hitting, laughing and clowning,”

Chris from the Rock

January 25th, 2011
6:40 pm

T for Texas, that’s funny stuff. Best one-liner on this blog in quite some time.

Rowland Office

January 25th, 2011
6:40 pm

Braves fans who badmouth TP are morons. Without him ‘91 wouldn’t have happened and it’s not his fault that Jeff Francoeur has zero baseball sense. Golden Boy is blaming Citi Field now — soon he’ll exhaust all scapegoats.

http://rowlandsoffice.wordpress.com/

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
6:43 pm

Yeah, that’s foolproof evidence that Pendleton’s lazy.

Bat Masterson

January 25th, 2011
6:43 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Carroll. Pendleton sounds like a guy with his head on straight. I’m not surprised.

I gotta say Jordan Schafer does not look nearly as goofy in profile and with out the cap. That’s something, right.

Murph

January 25th, 2011
6:43 pm

Robert is to Bobby Cox as I am to Terry Pendleton

I do not have many nice things to say about the guy. I’m not going to blame him for the Braves not winning multiple championships, but I do hold him at least accountable for the horrible years some hitters have had under his watchful eye.

Yes, I know, a coach can but only so much and then it’s up to the hitter, but in my mind there is something fundamentally wrong with TP’s approach or coaching style or coaching work ethic or something.

I don’t think he was as much to blame for hitters performing poorly, but he certainly wasn’t the part of any solution to correct the problems.

I loved watching him play, am glad he was a Brave, and am very thankful he’s no longer the hitting coach.

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
6:43 pm

T for Texas, that’s funny stuff. Best one-liner on this blog in quite some time.

Hey!

Rowland Office

January 25th, 2011
6:43 pm

Makes you wonder what’s behind all the animus toward TP. Just sayin.

Chris from the Rock

January 25th, 2011
6:43 pm

Dante, there is nothing wrong with Heyward’s approach. He’s gifted beyond belief. He just played hurt for about a month or so, that’s all.

Hervé Villechaize

January 25th, 2011
6:44 pm

Good to see you got past 007 to post here SteveMcP

007 was tough to get past. I’m hoping Danny DeVito will be 008 in the next James Bond movie.

Big Jake

January 25th, 2011
6:44 pm

Who is this McClouth person of whom you speak?

P'cola Brave

January 25th, 2011
6:45 pm

TP got a lot of crap being the hitting coach when the Braves scuffled. I made it known myself that he needed to be removed from that position. Theres nothing wrong w/ him as a coach and may flourish as a first base coach. Being a hitting instructor for 9 years is a long time. Especially in the same organization. I’m sure for many the instruction was just repetitive. Theres a new voice in there now with new ideas which is what needed to be done.

Trey

January 25th, 2011
6:48 pm

Murph, except the two share the same first name.

Trey

January 25th, 2011
6:48 pm

Big Jake

January 25th, 2011
6:49 pm

Terry took way too much undeserved grief here, but a change after all these years is perhaps a good idea

T for Texas

January 25th, 2011
6:49 pm

Best one-liner…

Thanks, Chris.

TakethatJefferey D!

Murph

January 25th, 2011
6:50 pm

What year did TP become Braves batting coach?

Snotboogie

January 25th, 2011
6:50 pm

jeffrey

This seems to address some of what you said yesterday about your carnival kids.

Big Jake

January 25th, 2011
6:51 pm

But props to Jeffrey who always has good one liners, as do a few others here. Just sayin’

Little Jake

January 25th, 2011
6:52 pm

My multiple blog personality is getting the best of me again. BOW DOWN MINIONS!!!!!

Bat Masterson

January 25th, 2011
6:52 pm

J-Hey’s got all the talent in the world and whatever he was being told last year seemed to be messing him up. Just my opinion… _ Dante

I’m doing with, ( and Dante may burn me for this) whatever problems Heyward had last year they were mostly due to his thumb injury.

Big Jake

January 25th, 2011
6:54 pm

Do you mean that other people than yourself have multiple personalities Little?

Bobby junior

January 25th, 2011
6:54 pm

Nobody realized just how long Bobby Cox had been in Atlanta until his desk was cleaned out, and movie tickets for Gone with the Wind were found.

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
6:54 pm

Boy do I hate egg salad. One time, at a dinner party, I served egg salad first, and this one guy outside watching the dinner party got so mad, and said that serving egg salad first was the stupidest thing you could ever do.

Bat Masterson

January 25th, 2011
6:56 pm

Hey! _ Jeffery

Credit where credit is due, jeffery. Great line T for Texas. Kudos

Big Jake

January 25th, 2011
6:57 pm

Don’t go all “syco” about it Little no matter what you think you are imagining.

Michael C

January 25th, 2011
6:58 pm

I sure appreciate the off-season blogs. It’s a long, long time between October and April. And cold. Very cold. Y’all make it much better.

Big Jake

January 25th, 2011
6:59 pm

Very funny Bobby Junior :)

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
6:59 pm

Terry took way too much undeserved grief here, but a change after all these years is perhaps a good idea

I completely agree Big Jake…come of these guys have been hitting for over 20 years. There’s only so much TP can do. There’s only so much any hitting coach can do.

Here’s the Braves’ rankings in runs scored and average under TP’s tenure. Looks to me to be pretty above-average.

2002 – 10th in runs, 9th in average
2003 – 1st in runs, 1st in average
2004 – 5th in runs, 5th in average
2005 – 4th in runs, 6th in average
2006 – 2nd in runs, 2nd in average
2007 – 3rd in runs, 4th in average
2008 – 6th in runs, 3rd in average
2009 – 6th in runs, 4th in average
2010 – 5th in runs, 6th in average

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
6:59 pm

Oh, I didn’t mean to take away any sheen from T for Texas at all.

Kyle

January 25th, 2011
7:01 pm

CR – Do you know which Braves besides Heyward will be in Birmingham tomorrow?

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
7:02 pm

Snot – just so there’s not any confusion, I know I said I majored in history, but I’m actually working in the math section of the carnival now. There wasn’t a high demand for social studies carnies, so I got math certification which qualifies me to run the more in-depth and technical rides. And at my carnival (and in a lot of the state) we’re not doing so hot.

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
7:04 pm

Oh, and thanks for the blog Carroll….great work as always :)

reagan

January 25th, 2011
7:04 pm

Murph………………sic a deer on him.

Murph

January 25th, 2011
7:05 pm

If TP was such a great hitting coach, why did he lose his job?

Big Jake

January 25th, 2011
7:05 pm

I was a little disappointed that the Braves made no effort to sign Cantu.
I don’t think he was a necessity, but I think he might have been an asset.

Murph

January 25th, 2011
7:07 pm

Murph………………sic a deer on him.

I don’t control the deer, I coexist with them. For now.

Speaking of which, anyone seen ward?

Big Jake

January 25th, 2011
7:07 pm

I’m not sure that anybody said that he was a “great” hitting coach.

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
7:07 pm

Because he was solely responsible for the demise of Francoeur, Schafer, KJ, and McLouth, and had nothing at all to do with McCann, Prado, Chipper, Infante, or Heyward’s success.

P'cola Brave

January 25th, 2011
7:09 pm

Murph

I don’t think TP was a terrible hitting coach but I don’t think thats where hes most valuable as a coach. 9 years as a hitting coach with the same team, lessons can get repetitive. It was time for a new voice.

Bat Masterson

January 25th, 2011
7:09 pm

I read the end of the last blog’s comments and my conclusion was, somewhere in Montana ward still has a pulse, weak though it may be.

Murph

January 25th, 2011
7:10 pm

Sorry, if TP was an “above-average” hitting coach, why is he now relegated to holding shin guards and pointing towards 2nd base few times a game?

Murph

January 25th, 2011
7:11 pm

Hopefully, the next time Robert shows up on the blog, y’all will give him a chance… if you want to see ward post again.

Don’t push me, I’m on edge as it is.

P'cola Brave

January 25th, 2011
7:12 pm

Big Jake

I agree. Especially for what Cantu signed for. He wouldn’t of been a detriment to this team by any means. Would of gave us a RH bat off the bench that has some pop and had success in the NL East. I think he would of been well worth the sign.

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
7:12 pm

I really don’t think the hitting coach has nearly as a big of an influence as some would like to believe.

Snotboogie

January 25th, 2011
7:15 pm

jeffrey

That’s quite a transition man. And I’ve heard there is a lot more need/demand for your types these days. Must be tough. Hope it gets better soon.

Big Jake

January 25th, 2011
7:16 pm

Yes he would P’Cola, especially if Chipper gets hurt much as everybody here seems to think will happen.

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
7:16 pm

This year is the first year they’re administering the Georgia HS Graduation Test under the new GPS standards….they’re anticipating it going horribly.

Big Jake

January 25th, 2011
7:17 pm

It might help if they made you the stand up comic jeffrey. You could invite some of the funnier posters to be guest comics.

Big Jake

January 25th, 2011
7:19 pm

I have to go to work. Will talk again another time. Take care.

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
7:20 pm

One of my students says I should do stand up, but that would go horribly. My jokes/zingers are usually reactionary, so I’d just be standing at the mic, waiting for something to happen or someone to say something.

Soph

January 25th, 2011
7:20 pm

Snot’s going to take us all on a field trip to the carnival. I’m excited.

Trey

January 25th, 2011
7:21 pm

“Boy do I hate egg salad. One time, at a dinner party, I served egg salad first, and this one guy outside watching the dinner party got so mad, and said that serving egg salad first was the stupidest thing you could ever do.”

I always thought that was Paris Hilton.

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
7:21 pm

Did Trey just get his first funny one-liner?

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
7:22 pm

Shoot, you guys are gonna go to a carnival, see a fat hairy grump running the ferris wheel and forever think that’s me.

FEAR

January 25th, 2011
7:24 pm

TP seems like a nice guy, but didn’t like him at the hitting coach

T for Texas

January 25th, 2011
7:26 pm

Oh, I didn’t mean to take away any sheen from T for Texas at all.

Impossible to do, Jeffrey, as I am clad head to toe in an outfit of gold lamay and sequens.

Soph

January 25th, 2011
7:26 pm

UGA game, jeffrey. Watching?

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
7:26 pm

You know what I just realized? If we win the World Series this year, we’re going to have to deal with guys like Robert beating their chests about how it’s proof that Bobby was the worst thing to ever happen to baseball.

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
7:26 pm

Impossible to do, Jeffrey, as I am clad head to toe in an outfit of gold lamay and sequens.

:lol: He zings another one

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
7:27 pm

I sure am, Soph.

Trey

January 25th, 2011
7:27 pm

“Did Trey just get his first funny one-liner?”

Don’t get too used to it, Jeffrey, it was a one-time thing.

CB

January 25th, 2011
7:27 pm

Actually the fat hairy grump is my cousin. Our family is very sensitive about him.

Bat Masterson

January 25th, 2011
7:28 pm

Well, jeffery you have my admiration. I’ve know quite a few people that worked at the carnival, metaphorically speaking, and it was rough on them. I have one friend that teaches remedial English at a small college and reading her students papers damn near breaks her heart.

P'cola Brave

January 25th, 2011
7:30 pm

There aren’t many FA left who could make a difference on this team. The only ones I see that could add any value are:

Lastings Milledge
Felipe Lopez
Cristian Guzman
Orlando Cabrera

Eric In Albany N.Y.

January 25th, 2011
7:32 pm

keep terry and ditch hubbard? i may be wrong about this didnt hubbard turn kelly johnson into a 2nd baseman? and isnt TP going to be the infield coach?

could be wrong, but may have kept the wrong guy. but terry was an infielder. im sure he could help. who knows.

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
7:32 pm

I have one friend that teaches remedial English at a small college carnival

There we go. Seriously though, I didn’t know they had remedial English in college.

I mostly have “repeaters” (still at the bottom of the totem pole) and I have to teach these guys how to graph a hyperbola when they can’t add integers. And now there’s talk about having performance-based carnie-ing? I don’t think so.

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
7:33 pm

I meant to imply that I’m still at the bottom of the totem pole. Not the carnival-goers

Jimmy Beam, you are my friend

January 25th, 2011
7:34 pm

jeffrey d (6:59) — LOL. Were those TP stats for all MLB or just for the NL East?

jeffrey d

January 25th, 2011
7:35 pm

It’s the NL, Jimmy Beam, so that’s out of 16

daniel buck

January 25th, 2011
7:36 pm

P’cola brave…. I love and HATE the Lastings Milledge idea all at the same time… He could keep striking out and get hurt or turn into another Marquis Grissom…. It puzzles me… What do you think Carol or DOB??

T for Texas

January 25th, 2011
7:37 pm

Well, jeffery you have my admiration. I’ve know quite a few people that worked at the carnival,

I second Bat’s sentiment here. My oldest nephew is a first year carnie in Kansas. His stories from work are “a spectacle.” I shared the carnival analogy with him, and it got many laughs, followed by a deep sigh of resignation.

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