On Wednesday, Steve Gilbert at mlb.com reported the Arizona Diamondbacks named Steve Sax and Turner Ward as coaches, rounding out manager Kirk Gibson‘s staff before Christmas. Sax will be taking over first base coaching duties vacated since the dismissal of Eric Young and Ward becomes the assistant hitting coach, a newly created position working under current batting coach Don Baylor.
Sax, a teammate of Gibson’s on the 1988 World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers becomes a coach for the the first time. Since his retirement as a player in 1994, Sax did some analyst work before moving on to other ventures including financial consulting as well as a stint as a motivational speaker. Sax, who stole 444 bases in 622 attempts for a 71% success rate will be entrusted to help a running game that in 2012 made numerous mistakes on the bases.
Ward briefly played for Arizona, joining the club in August 1999, batting .348 in 10 games as the Snakes won the National League West championship. He appeared in 15 games the following year and was released by the club at the end of the season. Ward has been in the organization for four years. the last two of them as the manager of the Mobile BaySox, the D’backs’ Double A affiliate. He led the club to back-to-back Southern League Championships and judging by Gibson’s remarks, he may become a Major League manager himself.
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