By Jason Wojciechowski on October 27, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Per this from Cash Kruth (!), the A's have promoted (?) Darren Bush from AAA manager to MLB bullpen coach, replacing Rick Rodriguez, who, again per that story, is being offered a minor-league position if he wants it.
The interesting thing about Bush being put in the bullpen coach spot in particular is thinking about who is in the bullpen. As you know, because you're a baseball fan, the players who sit (and warm up, and hotfoot, and crowd-watch) in the bullpen are pitchers. The bullpen coach is a second pitching coach, essentially. I mean, look, Wikipedia even says it. It also says
Generally, the bullpen coach is either a former pitcher or catcher.
Darren Bush is a former catcher in that the relevant part of his minor-league stats look like this:
I've cut out all his outfield games played, but left in his totals so you can see: Darren Bush played catcher one year (that 30 games played in 2000 is out of 33 total, for what that's worth) and dabbled in it otherwise and was really bad, implausibly bad even, at letting guys steal -- I mean, 2 1/2 steal attempts per game? Really? Ouch, man. That's just rude.
Why did I even look at this? Because Bush's first coaching job with the A's was as the hitting coach in Stockton. Hitting coach! That's what you do if you're a minor-league outfielder who hit .283/.375/.436 but never got past High-A (except for one glorious two-for-four game for Las Vegas in 2000), I guess? It's a plausible job, at least. Or at least it ends up looking plausible in the end because he became a manager soon thereafter (and actually managed in an independent league before joining the A's) and hasn't looked back, building up a good reputation as he moved up the chain.
But bullpen coach? The guy who keeps an eye on the relievers and keeps them on target with their mechanics? What's Bush's qualification for this job as compared to the thousands of retired pitchers out there? I'm not criticizing, note: I'm legitimately asking.