Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt wrote in an opinion piece for the Associated Press that when George Brett served as the Kansas City Royals hitting coach for part of last season, Royals hitters didn't want the 3,000 hit club member's advice.
Brett, who took over the position as the interim coach in May 2013, stepped down eight weeks later. He had told the Royals he would commit to one month as their hitting coach, but according to Schmidt, Brett quit because he "felt he was wasting everyone's time in a failing effort to connect with him."
[Brett] said when he was hitting instructor last year, there were two indoor cages, and he would be in one flipping balls and the assistant coach in the other. The young Royals hitters were lined up to hit in the cage with the assistant, and none to hit in George's cage.
Schmidt said there could be behind-the-scenes reasons the players did not want Brett's advice, but said he got much of the same report from all of the Hall of Famers he spoke to, which confirmed his own experiences: today's young hitters don't want coaching from great players.
Schmidt said today's strikeout rate is over 20 percent, writing that "these days, major league hitters are being eaten alive by pitchers."
According to CBS Sports, a record 36,426 major league batters struck out in 2013, a number that is expected to be eclipsed this season.
- Molly Geary