He spent a year in sabbatical simply hunting and fishing. In search of bigger game, sharpening the skills needed to become a better predator, Frank Menechino wanted to get some distance from the game before he came back to teach others.
A little insight into the man who made himself into a big leaguer while scrapping for the Oakland A’s for many years was published in the Miami Herald recently. Frank Menechino, a gritty infielder who, despite batting .240 for his career, was respected for his work ethic has parlayed his success into a coaching gig with the Fish. He is going to serve as one of two of the staff’s hitting coaches.
What is his philosophy? The article didn’t really get into X’s and O’s at all, but did leave us with this image:
“I had to work for everything I had,” he said. “I had to be better than everybody out there. I was a 45th-round draft choice. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs. You’ve got to make it your goal that you’re going to outwork the other guy.”
Right now the Marlins are showing a change in culture as many of the position players are already reporting to camp a bit early to get a head start. If Menechino is as energetic as he appears to be, he will be the fuel to helping these players work and establish a strong locker room environment where character will play a critical role in determining the success and destiny of this team. Instead of banking on potential, the Marlins will have to prove it by executing and working.
All the right things have been said so far. If this team is to truly make a leap, it will have to get down to it and get dirty. Frank Menechino seems like a drastic change for a staff that was formerly anchored by coaches like Tino Martinez who despite lots of major league success, did not seem to be able to reach his students and convey a message to them that would inspire them to work. Menechino, like Mike Redmond, is an effort guy and was respected for his character and competitiveness on the field. If that translates, the Marlins will have the same grit, which will be a refreshing change from the recent past and the underachievement that has plagued the team.
If not, Menechino will go back to hunting big game.