Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Randy St.Claire Fired


If for 7 years you have been considered one of the hardest working pitching coaches in the game, always available, looking at video, going over pitches--anything that as to do with throwing a pitch from the mound--making your job a 24 Hour A Day Effort.

Why then after being given a rotation of Baby Starters, Daniel Cabrera--whose issues were well known before he arrived in Washington, a lefthander starter acquired from Florida in Scott Olsen not throwing as hard as two years ago, and a bullpen that has few dependable parts--Why is Randy St.Claire finding himself fired today?

A few months ago--that thought would have been unthinkable.

It's still hard to believe after reading about his termination.

Randy St.Claire hung around the Montreal/Washington Club through the orphaning of the franchise by Major League Baseball, the relocation to The District Of Columbia and seemingly made the attempt every single day to improve what he was given to work with. Players really not of his own choosing. But it apparently wasn't enough and Mr. St.Claire took the fall today for our pitching woes.

Steve McCatty called up from AAA Syracuse to replace Randy.

Randy St.Claire Fired. Never thought I would write that sentence.

"Yes, never thought he would be first to go this year," exclaimed Sohna.


The Washington Nationals today relieved Randy St. Claire of his duties and named Steve McCatty pitching coach. Nationals Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

McCatty joins Manny Acta’s staff after serving the first two months of the season as pitching coach with the Syracuse Chiefs
of the Triple-A International League. McCatty was in his fourth season as the Nationals’ Triple-A pitching coach.

McCatty joins the Nationals with pre-existing individual relationships and working knowledge of ten Nationals pitchers: Jason
Bergmann, Jesus Colome, Joel Hanrahan, John Lannan, Mike MacDougal, Shairon Martis, Craig Stammen, Ron Villone, Kip Wells
and Jordan Zimmermann. He also worked closely with the remainder of the Nationals’ pitching staff during Spring Training.
The 55 year-old McCatty boasts an impressive resume, which includes 14 seasons as a pitching coach, a nine-year big
league career and three seasons of broadcasting.

He began his coaching career with a seven-year stint with Detroit that culminated upon being appointed Tigers pitching
coach in 2002. During that ‘02 season, he worked with a young staff that included Jeff Weaver and Mike Maroth and finished ranked favorably with 11 complete games (third in AL), 463 walks (fifth-fewest in AL) and 163 home runs (fifth-fewest in AL).
After a three-year term (2003-05) as pitching coach for Triple-A Ottawa in the Baltimore Orioles organization, McCatty joined
the Nationals as a member of the coaching staff at Triple-A New Orleans in 2006. His first staff of Nationals farmhands led the Pacific Coast League with 1,114 strikeouts and registered the 3rd-best ERA (3.84) in the 16-team PCL.

McCatty went 63-63 with five saves and a 3.99 ERA in 221 games (161 starts) during a nine-year (1977-85) career with
Oakland. He tallied three double-digit win seasons, including his finest campaign in 1981, when he finished 14-7 with a 2.33 ERA and 16 complete games in 22 starts.

In 1981, his 14 wins tied for the big league lead, and his .211 batting average against paced all American League starting
pitchers. He also ranked second in the AL in both ERA and complete games. For his efforts, McCatty finished second in the 1981 AL Cy Young Award voting behind only future Hall-of-Famer Rollie Fingers of the Brewers.

At the conclusion of his pitching days, from 1989-91, McCatty spent two seasons broadcasting Oakland A’s games and one
season as a baseball announcer for ESPN.

St. Claire was named Nationals’ pitching coach in December 2002. He was the NL East’s longest-tenured pitching coach.


Smirkman said...

I think this shows that the organization has not a clue. I look forward to the draft (and signing period) to prove otherwise.

Shiane said...

The GM quit.

The bullpen has been "fired" twice.

The pitching coach just got fired.

Unfortunately, if things don't turn around fast, Manny is next (he's the only one left).

LetTeddyWin.com said...

'fraid so. Scapegoat day has arrived. Firing St. Claire isn't going to give the starters more experience, bring back the 2007 bullpen, or stop the defensive lapses occuring behind his pitchers.

SenatorNat said...

The cart appears to have been replaced as a precusor to the horse. I have been saying for two weeks that Tim Foli is logical replacement for Manny by All-Star Break, since he is experienced baseball man who knows the younsters becoming the Nationals. Plus, and this is key, his ascendency does not cost the Nationals new money!!

Come on up Tim Foli and grow up with your team.

All in the Family. And somewhat comical. All shoes dropping...

An Briosca Mor said...

"Come on up Tim Foli and grow up with your team."

SenatorNat, why do you hate Tim Foli so? If they make him interim manager now, he's either got to succeed mightily or he's gone too at the end of the season. Why not let Manny manage out the string of this already lost season, and if Foli's so good give him the job on a permanent basis in October?

Sam R said...


This writing has been on the wall, not many other changes could be made. This now leaves the inevitable firing of Manny as the literal last straw. And after that happens there will be no excuses left. Well this just resigns us to looking to our opponents to provide interest in the game. The Big Unit going for 300 tomorrow and whatever other opponent milestones are coming to Nationals Park this summer. So sad to be mathematically eliminated in May...Sigh.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!


Davidson said...

I may be in the minority here, but this move was a LONG time coming. I attribute many of the Nats pitching woes to St. Claire and a lot of the success of our pitching staff was due to the work of McCatty.

Think about this, how many times in the last few seasons can you think about pitchers that were sent down for poor performance, performed great in AAA, were brought back up to the majors, had 2-3 great outings, and the regressed to their old form? Their success was due to McClatty and their problems were caused by St. Claire getting a hold of them. (Now, I understand that there could be a lot of other variables here, but this has just been my observation over the last few seasons.)

SBF & TAQ, I love your blog and don't want you to think I mean any disrespect. I just wanted to share my opinion.

For me, St. Claire is to Lenny Harris as McClatty is to Eckstein.

Seymour Jones said...

It's the Slow Lerners that need to go. Randy did as good as he could with what Ted, Mark, and Stan provided him.

The owners and mgmt need to get with the reality that they have not done a good job themselves.

How is The Plan working now...slow to the process of making the necessary adjustments. Must be just Slow Lerners at this game of baseball.

Davidson said...

Well, that last line made no sense. It should have read St Claire is to McClatty as Lenny Harris is to Eckstein.

Maybe I should take the SATs again.....

SenatorNat said...

By the time Rizzo is finished, Acta remaining sole duty will be to make sure the gatorade trays are refilled - Mr. "I was tired of watching him" about Cabrera makes no mention of Acta in the statement, and I suspect that he is equally tired of the manager. It is sad for those like me who question his managing substance and style, and project his departure, but still like him as a person. I do not like his twisting in the wind.

No way to treat a decent guy. Play with some class. All together.

Bryan said...

I think we need to have some consistency -- both in terms of on the field play and in personnel. A pitching coach can't do well if we're constantly trading away players and not signing pitchers who can close the deal. I thought St. Clair had done a decent job with what he had and was looking forward to seeing how he could help our likely first round draft pick (Strasburg) adjust to the major leagues.

All that being said, Steve McCatty apparently has worked with many of the pitchers on the roster and has experience working with younger pitchers. Perhaps that will be beneficial in the long run

Edward J. Cunningham said...

I think it's no longer a question of whether the Nats will fire Manny Acta now, but when.

Anonymous said...

Hardest working doesn't equal results. This is a results oriented league. Ask Dibble.

paul said...

The only reason you fire someone as talented and hardworking as St. Claire is ego. This is not a good omen.

Johanne said...

That is a shocker.

Smirkman said...

How can McCatty be sooo different from St. Clair when the Nats imposed a organization wide instruction philosophy? Everthing we hear is bunk. I love this team, but every move is a puzzle that doesn't fit.