HOUSTON — Alonzo Powell still regularly texts with many of the coaches he worked with and players he instructed in two seasons as the assistant hitting coach for the Astros. But that will change this series.
“I told them that for two days, I’m not talking to them,” he said Tuesday, laughing.
That wasn’t entirely true. Powell's interaction with club officials before the opener of a quick two-game set was one of the most important moments of his career. In a ceremony shown on the scoreboard, Powell received his 2017 World Series ring from owner Jim Crane and manager A.J. Hinch. Many of the Astros players came out to hug Powell before the ceremony.
“It’s something you’re going to cherish for a lifetime,” he said. “To have that opportunity to have a World Series ring is something you’ll never forget. Tom Brady said it best, try to get the next one. Hopefully I can do that here.”
Powell is off to a good start as the Giants’ hitting coach. After a dismal offensive season in 2017, the club has shown improvement in several key areas, most notably home runs. The Giants already have 50 of them after hitting 128 all of last season. Their OPS is up 43 points and according to Sports Info Solutions they lead the National League in hard-hit rate.
“He’s been great with us,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s got a good feel for hitting and a very positive attitude. He’s got a great way about him and he’s fit with the staff very nicely. We’re glad to have him, we’re lucky to have him.”
Powell said he would hand the ring off to a family member for safekeeping since the Giants are just beginning a long trip. He was thrilled the Astros did the exchange in a ceremony.
“It brings back a lot of memories of being here and winning last year,” he said. “Hopefully we can do our part to win a couple games and get out of town.”