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What's up with the Walker love?

[Scott Merkin]:

Leaving behind Greg Walker, a man Rowand refers to as "not only the best hitting coach in baseball, hands down, but also one of my best friends," Rowand was forced to rely more on his own knowledge to make corrections with his swing. This bit of personal growth should help answer critics who point to 2007 as a spectacular anomaly compared to his past solid seasons.

"During the last couple of years, I learned a lot about myself and my swing," said Rowand, who hit .309 in 2007, with 27 home runs, 45 doubles, 89 RBIs and 105 runs scored. "[In Chicago] I depended on [Walker] to watch and break down every one of my swings, and I leaned on him and depended on him too much, instead of learning a feel.

"Milt Thompson is Philadelphia's hitting coach, and I have nothing bad to say about Milt whatsoever. But he doesn't break down your swing mechanically the way that Walker does. He's more of a feel guy than about mechanics with the swing.

"So it's almost like I became my own hitting coach and had to make adjustments myself," Rowand added. "I'm already out swinging right now. Two months have gone by, and normally when I start hitting, I feel like I don't know what I'm doing. This year, I feel like I'm right there still."

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