Rick Sutcliffe is usually known as an affable guy.
That’s why I found it so interesting that he openly ripped the prior regime in Carrie Muskat’s latest.
Sutcliffe was asked by Theo Epstein to come in and help with the pitchers this spring, and to actually coach and not “sign autographs”. The former Cy Young winner says he wasn’t really welcome in last year's camp, and he didn’t like what was going on with his old club anyway.
It's obvious to me that Mike Quade had a lot of insecurities running the club last year. This article does nothing but further convince me that the regime was trying to circle the wagons and look out for themselves. Now Sutcliffe is happy there is a new vibe around Mesa this spring.
"There's some nice things going on here," he said. "I wasn't here last year. I wasn't on board with what was happening and I love the Cubs, pull for them, but I didn't feel I was welcome.
"I've been around the Phillies and the Yankees, and when you go down to a bullpen and watch five or six guys throw, you sit back and almost every other guy, you go 'Wow, he's got a chance,'" Sutcliffe said. "There wasn't a whole lot of 'wow' going on here [in Cubs camp]. It was disappointing. You've got to know where you're at to get better."
"There aren't any secrets," Sutcliffe said. "There's the truth and the fact that this is a mess. To me, the chain of command was broke, people were going in different directions with no leadership. There's leadership now."
Sutcliffe then drew an unfavorable comparison between the picks Epstein's regime made while in Boston compared to what Hendry’s organization drafted in a stretch from 2002-2004. Jon Lester was Boston's top pick in 2002, outfielder David Murphy in '03, Dustin Pedroia in '04.
The Cubs meanwhile selected Bobby Brownlie, Ryan Harvey, and Grant Johnson. None reached the Major Leagues.
"Those guys [they drafted] in '02, '03, '04, they're supposed to be carrying us now," Sutcliffe said. "Those guys are no where to be found [with the Cubs]. That's why Jed was brought in and Jason was brought in.
Strong words from the Red Baron.