(CBS) Greg Walker sat on the White Sox bench for nine seasons, rarely saying much, rarely receiving any praise.
That’s the way things went for the former hitting coach, who announced he wouldn’t return to the team for the 2012 campaign, during his tenure with the White Sox. Often the easy target for critics after offensive failure, but never the hero for stellar production.
That is until a few players spoke out on the day he resigned.
“I think sometimes – not sometimes, all the time – he doesn’t get the credit he deserves,” A.J. Pierzynski told the Chicago Tribune. “I’ve know him for seven years. He’s taught me more than I ever knew about hitting. I think because certain guys haven’t done what people expected out of them, I think he’s got a bum rap and he deserves to credited with a lot of really good people and lot of success.
“And it ‘s a shame. I hope people remember what he did and what he taught people. And moving forward, whoever is the next hitting guy here is going to have big shoes to fill because Greg Walker did a lot of really good things here and he deserves a ton of credit. And hopefully now that he decided to step away, he’ll get that.”
Gordon Beckham, whose lack of offensive production may have put Walker in a bad light, had nothing but positive things to say about his former hitting coach.
“We’re good friends, you know, away from baseball,” Beckham said. “He lives in Georgia and we spend some time together in the off-season, so it’s sad to see him go.
“But I think it’s his decision and his time in terms of what he thinks and what he wants to do. I respect it 120 percent.”