Earlier this season, with the Los Angeles Angels' offense massively underperforming, longtime hitting coach Mickey Hatcher was fired.
Related or not, the Angels' offense has been much better in the three months since Hatcher's firing. Now, with the Angels' pitching staff (the starters, in particular), the heat has been turned on pitching coach Mike Butcher.
"I never worry about my job because I know what I bring to the table every day," Butcher said. "I know I get these guys prepared every day. They do work every day. Nothing's going to change about the way I go about preparing the guys. I'm always looking to improve.
"But as far as worrying about myself? I'm not."
Butcher spent one season as the Tampa Bay pitching coach (2006) before replacing Bud Black on the Angels' staff when Black left to become manager of the San Diego Padres in 2007. In the six years that have followed, the Angels' staff has consistently performed well enough to keep Butcher from the kind of criticism directed at him this season.
But the Angels' starters have an ERA over 5.00 since late June, and the bullpen's ERA is even higher since the All-Star break.
"I'm not going to defend my job because I know how good I am. I do," Butcher said. "I'm not worried about my job. I'm not going to pout. We want to pitch better, play better, perform better as a group. Nobody likes to lose. Period.
"We all want to win and we're very capable of winning games. We're capable of going on a big run. But we have to believe we can do it and go out and execute. That's it."