CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 28: Hitting coach Greg Walker of the Chicago White Sox, who announced his resignation after ten years with the team effective after today's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, stands in the dugout at U.S. Cellular Field on September 28, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Braves hitting coach Greg Walker opens up about what happened last year with his former team the Chicago White Sox.
Last September Greg Walker resigned from his post as the hitting coach for the Chicago White Sox shortly after manager Ozzie Guillen was fired, and now holds the same position for the Atlanta Braves. Walker was a part of the 2011 White Sox team that underachieved and he was partly to blame. Their offense ranked 11th in the American League and Adam Dunn who is not known for his average had a historically bad season with .145 batting average, so there was pressure from the fans toward Walker.
There seemed to be more under the surface to why the White Sox struggled in 2011 and it had to do with the bickering from the coaching staff and management. Walker decided now was a good time to talk about the 2011 season and opened up to the Chicago Sun-Times about what the real problem was:
‘‘You can dissect it any way you want, blame it on whoever you want, but it was not a positive situation for anyone involved,'' Walker said. ‘‘We talked about it. There was a feeling in the clubhouse and the coaches' office that we should have never been back for 2011. After 2010, it was obvious that the first sign of adversity was going to make things bad.
‘‘When it gets off track like it did and you have more going on than the normal team, it's too hard to overcome. The atmosphere the past few years reached the point where winning baseball could no longer be played, no matter which players were brought in.''
Walker took it a step further and said the idea that the players weren't affected by the circus atmosphere - whether it was former manager Ozzie Guillen and general manager Ken Williams sparring, Williams and members of the coaching staff quarreling or the coach-on-coach distrust that existed - just wasn't true.
Walker seems to have said his peace and is now looking forward to a fresh and drama-free start with the Braves.