Rick Honeycutt was the longest tenured pitching coach in Major League Baseball, but that is no longer. The Dodgers will be moving in a new direction with bullpen coach Mark Prior transitioning to pitching coach and Honeycutt moving into the front office as a special advisor.
Honeycutt truly saw it all in his time with the Dodgers as a pitching coach from Grady Little and Joe Torre to Don Mattingly and now Dave Roberts.
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) October 18, 2019
Honeycutt on Sad Ending to Career
The Dodgers did not send Rick Honeycutt with a well-deserved ring, sadly. When asked whether or not this was the most painful loss he had experienced, he said:
Honeycutt to Kershaw During Game 5
Clayton Kershaw was a major reason why the Dodgers lost Game 5 of the NLDS this season and in Rick Honeycutt’s final act, he consoled Kershaw. Here is what Honey described the situation as and what he told Kershaw after he was pulled:
“I remember playing with [Dennis] Eckersley, he was so good, and you can still come back and do it, but you give up the home run [to Kirk Gibson in the 1988 World Series] and you’re the last line of defense and don’t do your job — it’s painful. You’re used to succeeding and you feel like you’ve let the other guys down.
I told [Kershaw], ‘There’s nothing I can say right now, but I want you to know I care about you and we all hurt. You’ve always given everything you got and when you do that, you shouldn’t let this eat at you. You got us here.’ Told him I love him and care about him.”
It is truly a shame to see the experience and wisdom of Honeycutt vanish from the clubhouse.
Friedman on Honeycutt
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman knew how vital of a role Rick Honeycutt played in the Dodgers’ successes and as everyone will, he will dearly miss him as a pitching coach. However, he now has him as a front office asset:
“Obviously he’s meant a lot to this organization for a long time, and he still will going forward. It’ll just be in a slightly different role that we’re still kind of working out the details on.”
All good things must come to an end, I suppose.
Honeycutt on Mark Prior
With Mark Prior taking over the vacancy, here is what Honeycutt had to say about him:
“Mark’s extremely smart, always observing, very conscientious, very prepared. He’s a good communicator with the pitchers. He always wanted to be at every bullpen session, always listening. The continuity I hope will be very streamlined going forward.”
A10/10 rating from Honeycutt, with his expertise and daily contact with Prior, is a good thing to hear for the future.