Coleman's bad attitude is only one of his problems. An outfielder with a weak arm, he is below average defensively. He is also a singles hitter with no power, and he had driven in 21.8% of runners from scoring position in his career before this season. Over the last 17 years, according to the 1992 Elias Baseball Analyst, no player with as many opportunities as Coleman had driven in a lower percentage of runs.
O.K., so Coleman is a leadoff hitter, and his job is to get on base and raise havoc with his speed, but due to hamstring injuries, he doesn't even run the bases much anymore. At week's end he had 18 steals in 27 attempts. In fact, he has been far more disruptive to his own team than he has been on the bases.
Unless the Reds make a stunning comeback and win the crown in the National League West—at week's end they were 6� games out—major changes are expected at the end of the season. Sources on the club say owner Marge Schott might fire general manager Bob Quinn and perhaps even manager Lou Piniella, both of whose contracts expire after the season.
Schott more than doubled Piniella's salary—from $325,000 per year to $750,000—after the Reds won the 1990 World Series, but she is no longer enamored of him. A club source says Piniella is financially secure, and if he isn't happy with the way the team finishes, he might resign before he gets fired. Piniella is a native of Tampa, so it's only logical to guess that if the Giants play there in 1993, Piniella might want to manage that team.
Says Piniella, "Let the chips fall where they may."
The shake-up may not end with management. Pitcher Greg Swindell is expected to become a free agent after the season. Schott probably won't dole out big bucks for free agents if her $35 million payroll this year yields only a second-place finish. Reliever Rob Dibble has talked of moving to a team where he can be the number 1 closer instead of sharing that role, as he now does with Norm Charlton. The Reds might indeed go with one closer next year, but if one of them is traded, it could be Charlton.
The monster trade for A's outfielder Jose Canseco might have saved Tom Grieve's job as Ranger general manager and perhaps even gotten him a two-year extension. If he's back next year, that's a good sign for Ranger manager Toby Harrah and the coaching staff....
With the uncertain health of Dodger outfielders Eric Davis and Darryl Strawberry, it's not likely that L.A. will re-sign Davis when he becomes a free agent after this season....