CLEVELAND: Coaches are the last to get credit and the first to get fired.
Their value is underappreciated within the baseball industry and among the sporting public. Moreover, it is considered bad form for a coach to become a self promoter. Too many people thing that coaches do only two things: hit fungoes to infielders and outfielders and throw batting practice.
But twice on Saturday, Indians players credited coaches with giving them an edge.
Shin-Soo Choo mentioned that hitting coach Jon Nunnally gave him a tip that would help him even the odds against tough left-handed reliever Matt Thornton of the White Sox.
""But I can't tell you what it was,'' Choo said after producing the game-winning double off Thornton Saturday night.
In the same game, Chris Perez earned his third save of the season after suffering meltdowns in his previous two save opportunities.
He, too, got help from the coaching staff.
""After my Texas outing, I spent 30 minutes with all the pitching coaches,'' said Perez, referring to pitching coach Tim Belcher, bullpen coach Scott Radinsky and coaching assistant Ruben Niebla. ""They figured out -- I think actually it was Ruben -- that I was tweaking my shoulder, and that made me have a hard time hitting the right side of the plate to right-handers.''
Perez was twisting his shoulder so far to the right, he was throwing himself slightly off balance. The result: He couldn't hit the outside corner against right-handed batters.