Thursday, July 1, 2010

Former Hawkeye DB turned 3rd Base Coach

When Iowa Football speaks of those who make it to the next level, the NFL is the league most will consider. But out of the last 20 years an All-Big Ten Defensive Back has made his way into the coaching ranks of Major League Baseball. Recruited to play two sports as a Hawkeye from New Jersey, Bo Porter excelled in baseball following his college career. After bouncing around the minor leagues with a couple of opportunities in the majors, Porter has found success as a coach.

Porter spent five years in the Marlins organization and was elevated to third base coach by manager Fredi Gonzalez. Bo joined the Diamondbacks prior to the 2010 season, but has managerial aspirations. He was most recently rumored as a replacement for Gonzalez at Florida, and has had other interviews. The time is near when Porter will be the manager of a Major League Club, and while in St. Louis for a three-game series, he sought the advice of Cardinal manager, Tony LaRussa.

Part of Bo's responsibility is throwing Batting Practice before games. In St. Louis, BP was taken inside Busch Stadium on this warm afternoon. Hitting Coach, Jack Howell oversees the session. Howell is a native of Arizona, and the barbs were being tossed between the ex-Hawkeye Football player and the fan of the Arizona Wildcats. The Hawkeyes and Wildcats meet again in 2010 after the Hawkeyes won the 2009 battle in Kinnick Stadium.

Howell utilizes video with all of his hitters. A video coordinator travels with the team and takes in all the different angles shown of home plate. The Arizona hitting coach will spend time after innings looking at some pitches and swings, but will rarely try to fix anything in-game. Typically he utilizes the video to check on location of pitches, or noticing anything that may be out of place in a player's swing. However he will sit down with the hitters after the game if he observes anything needing work.
Without a doubt Porter will be calling the shots soon at the Major League level. At the end of the season there will be many more openings, and it will be no surprise to anyone to see Bo sitting in the dugout was the team's Manger.

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