CHICAGO -- Hitting coach Greg Walker has said that he will once again use the early part of the offseason to decide whether or not he wants to return to the Chicago White Sox.
Walker did the same last season and ended up agreeing to another one-year deal to return for the 2011 season.
The odds of him coming back would seem to be less this time around. Not only was it reported that Walker and general manager Kenny Williams had a heated argument just outside the clubhouse last month, there is also the uncertainty of the status of manager Ozzie Guillen.
Walker often comes under fire from White Sox fans disappointed with the club’s offense, and this season has been no exception. Guillen, though, continues to stand up for his coach.
“Greg Walker is a better person than me because he loves the White Sox, he loves the owner, loves the players,” Guillen said. “Greg Walker is the only thing I can ask for. He did it; he's doing it. He takes the kids out to practice. He takes guys to hit. He tries to help the best he can. He comes here every day without missing one day, trying to help the ballclub. At the end of the day, they not perform."
Guillen continues to point out that while Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham have underachieved, the White Sox had two players -- Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin -- make the All-Star Game because of their offense. Alexei Ramirez also won a Silver Slugger Award last season.
“The thing that gets me, it's Greg Walker's fault because he's the hitting coach, but nobody say how much he help Konerko, how much he help Ramirez,” Guillen said. “He’s got more hitters than that but he doesn’t get any credit for that one. But that's why we coach. That's why we take the heat because when everything goes wrong in baseball, football, they’re going to blame the coaches and the manager.”
Time and time again, White Sox hitters compliment the work Walker does. And Walker himself will say that he might not have been a Hall of Fame hitter, but he passed on the keys to hitting that were passed on through the system from Charley Lau and Walt Hriniak.
“There's one thing [Walker] should worry about, and that’s what his players are going to say about him,” Guillen said. “I think our hitters respect him and like him because he gave every minute this year from spring training to the last pitch to help those guys.”