|Dodgers fire Eddie Murray as hitting coach|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 14 June 2007 08:29|
Bill Mueller, hired as special assistant to general manager Ned Colletti during the offseason, will serve as interim hitting coach.
The Dodgers led the NL with a .276 batting average and a .348 on-base percentage last year - Murray's first as their hitting coach - and reached the playoffs as the NL wild-card team. They're 38-28 and percentage points behind NL West-leading San Diego despite hitting just .261 and averaging 4.4 runs per game.
``Change is never easy, but sometimes it is necessary, and we feel that this is the best thing right now to help the team win,'' manager Grady Little said in a statement. ``Our offense hasn't lived up to our expectations, and no one person is responsible for the results we've had this season.''
The 51-year-old Murray is one of only three players in big-league history to get 3,000 hits and hit 500 homers. A switch hitter who spent most of his career with the Baltimore Orioles, he played for the Dodgers from 1989-91 and again in 1997 before retiring with 3,255 hits and 504 homers.
The 36-year-old Mueller retired at the end of last season with a lifetime batting average of .291 in 11 seasons with the Giants, Cubs, Red Sox and Dodgers.
``Bill Mueller will serve as a very solid bridge as we look for our next hitting coach,'' Colletti said. ``He already has a great reputation within the clubhouse and he has a very deep knowledge of our team and the rest of the league.''
Mueller hit .326 for the Red Sox to win the AL batting championship in 2003, and was a member of Boston's world championship team the following year.