Cubs coaching staff shuffle continues

Last week we learned the contract of popular Pitching Coach Chris Bosio would not be renewed. Earlier this week we learned Assistant Hitting Coach Eric Hinske had been hired by the Los Angeles Angels as their main hitting instructor and long time Maddon Bench Coach Davey Martinez would interview, and is considered a front runner for the Washington Nationals top job. Since then, some fans have wondered if other coaches on the Cubs staff were on the chopping block. Today, we received confirmation.

In an internal promotion, the Cubs replaced Hinske by elevating Minor League Hitting Instructor Andy Haines to the Assistant Hitting Coach post. He will not be working alongside the Hitting Coach for the past three seasons however. Out is John Mallee, in is former Red Sox Hitting Coach and longtime MLB veteran Chili Davis.

Mallee issued the following statement: “I would like to thank the Chicago Cubs for the amazing opportunity to be part of a great tradition and organization for the last three years,” the statement read. “I left a great Houston Astros org to be closer to home with my family and to help my hometown team win a World Series. We did that. I have no regrets and stand by my work. I wish nothing but the best for the Cubs organization and all the amazing people I met along the way, especially my hitters.”

These were not the only moves. The club also chose not to retain the services of 3rd Base Coach Gary Jones. In his place the Cubs turn to 22-year coaching veteran Brian Butterfield. Butterfield will man the 3rd base coaching box for the 18th season in 2018. Jones had been with the Cubs since 2014.

Still no news to report on replacing Chris Bosio. We know the club has interviewed Jim Hickey, but the former Rays coach has many suitors and is continuing to meet with various teams.

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  • Just a little Bio on Davis from various other sources.

    Davis, 57, in 2018 will mark his seventh season as a major league hitting coach as he previously spent three seasons with Oakland (2012-14) and three with Boston (2015-17). Over the last three seasons under Davis’ watch, the Red Sox have led the majors in runs (2,411) and pitches per plate appearances (3.95), tied for first in on-base percentage (.334), ranked second in batting average (.268), third in OPS (.762) and plate appearances per strikeout (5.35).

    He served as Triple-A hitting coach for the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2011 before joining Oakland’s major league staff.

    The switch-hitting outfielder was a career .274 hitter (2,380-for-8,673) with 424 doubles, 350 home runs, 1,372 RBI and won three World Championships (1991, 1998, 1999).

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    Thanks. I'm at work and put this together between meetings. Didn't have time to go in-depth.

    Also saw this posted on Twitter:
    Under hitting coach Chili Davis the last 3 years, the Red Sox led MLB in runs (2,411) and pitches per plate appearance (3.95)

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Haines has a good rep. I know he got some credit for his work with Schwarber when he was sent down.

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    How did his teams do in Oakland?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Great question, does anyone know?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Here are some tweets from 2014 when Chili departed from Oakland to Boston.

    Davis’s career as a hitter garnered him respect as a hitting coach. He was Pawtucket’s hitting coach in 2011 before he took the opportunity in Oakland, overseeing the breakouts of Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Reddick, Brandon Moss, Josh Donaldson, and others.

    I really have a hard time believing Chili wasn’t a big reason why all these scrap heap, AAAA players started crushing the ball in 2012 and how it really never stopped until the injury bug kick their asses in late 2014.

    I’m sad to see him go and now just that much more worried about the A’s in 2015.

    I'll say this: I thought Chili was the best hitting coach the A's had in recent memory.

    The A’s had a total of 5545 ABs for the season & 249 with a runner on third w/-2 outs(less than .5%). Their slash line was .353(8th)/.386(4th)/.550(5th) w .936OPS(2nd). They scored a total of 241 runs(5th), with 221 RBIs(5th).

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    Thank you for the info, much appreciated; God-willing Chilli can find similar success with, and help these Cub hitters!

  • After Bosio was fired, I figured Mallee had no chance. And when Hinske was allowed to leave, I thought a wholesale change was coming. For the same reasons Theo said Bosio was out, you could sense the same reasons for Mallee to be relieved of his duties.

    Fresh voices in 2018. Any chance Girardi comes home as a bench coach if he is not made a manager elsewhere? Or be the replacement to Martinez if he lands in WAS?

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Can't see Girardi doing that. He's an established manager and will have plenty of suitors for that post this offseason and in the future should he choose to take some time off.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Which started speculation that he is instantly the leading candidate for Washington. Also, there again is Fox or a plethora of other TV jobs.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I was surprised but not shocked. By all accounts Chili Davis shares a lot of the same theories as Mallee but sometimes you need a new messenger for the same message. I can't imagine Girardi not getting a job if he wants one and frankly I think Philadelphia is a nice fit for him. A team with a lot of young talent and oodles of money to spend. The guy I do wonder about though is John Farrell. I can't see him in NY, Philly doesn't seem like a great fit for him and if I'm a veteran manager I don't touch Washington with a ten foot pole. He was a good pitching coach for Boston in Theo's regime. Maybe if they can't land Hickey they look in his direction?

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Carrie Muskat‏Verified account @CarrieMuskat

    Maddon says changes more on availability of other coaches

  • Coach speak from Maddon but he felt it was time the team needed a "new voice" in regards to the hitting and pitching coach. Its a cliche statement but I agree, I also think Bosio & Mallee deserve alot of credit I have no ill will towards either.

  • Red Sox fans are pretty upset about losing butterfield

    I thought Jones was a good coach

    Not surprised about mallee , the Cubs need to grind out ab's like the dodgers did vs them in the postseason. Hope Davis does great

  • In reply to bolla:

    I liked Jones, but he seemed to throw the stop sign up too often; most of the best runs scored with throws to the plate, were ones where the players ran threw Jones' 'stop' sign.......

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    In reply to Treebeard:

    Big Change from the days of Waving Wendell Kim.

  • Lots of changes.

    I still expect two of Russell or Baez and Schwarber or Happ to be traded; one for an outfielder/leadoff man, and the other for pitching.

    I hope Granda Rossy is the new bench coach.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    The Cubs and Astros have shown that tanking works. Now for the Cubs, it gets more challenging.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Don't need Ross - his value was overated

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Not sure how you can say that. By his 2nd year here he clearly earned a special place in that clubhouse. I mean, his teammates put him on their shoulders after that GM 7 win.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    The bench needs some coaching. Too many splinters :-)

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    David Ross would be an excellent bench coach ! Another step toward managing in the future !

  • These coaches were great successes overall given the teams performance over the last 3 years. I wish them all well in the future.

    Chili Davis sounds like a great replacement for Mallee. He was a he'll of a hitter in his own career and seems to have done a nice job in Boston. Welcome to Chicago Chili!

  • Just saw Madduz is going to STL, continues to point to Hickey coming to the Cubs

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    What is taking so long?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Hickey was interviewing with multiple teams, flying all over the country. Probably wants a day two to think about his options as well. My guess is we hear on decision by him later today or tomorrow.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Is that the reason u let Bosio go? You had joe’s Guy in wings?

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Decision didn't come today so prob won't come until Monday at the earliest.

    MLB doesn't like news breaking during the world series games. They don't want anything taking away from the spotlight, and I honestly can't blame them.

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    Garvin Alston is the Twins' new pitching coach, the team announced Thursday. He was the bullpen coach for the Oakland A's for most of last season

    Two of the rumored spots gone

  • Interesting moves by the Cubs.

    I thought Mallee was a really good hitting coach and had a lot of success both here and in Houston.

    One thing the Cub hitters have to fix for next year is a better approach at the plate, by recognizing how a team is pitching you, what your weaknesses are as a hitter and being a bit more patient at the plate. Hopefully Davis can help Heyward get back on track to where he was with St.Louis.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    The odd thing is they did all those things the year before. I do think they needed a new voice.

  • In reply to TC154:

    So they listen one year and tune out the next.year
    Don't buy the need a new voice cliche
    This coaching staff had 3 straight NL finals
    Concentrate on talent on the field

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I think what he means by "listen" is a fresh approach. I don't think any of the players tuned Bosio or Mallee out necessarily, Davis for example may have a different philosophy say with RISP & 2 outs. Hickey, if hired, may preach a more aggressive strike throwing philosophy, etc.

    The Cubs are a young team, a different approach or new voice is not a bad thing and isn't necessarily a knock on the coaches who left either.

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    Why doesn’t New voice excuse apply to the manager?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I will just say after the firing today of Girardi, the Yankees commented that he didn't have enough personal touch with the team. I also saw a report were today FO's have alot more control of rosters and personnel than every before due to analytics and that what FO want the most out of managers today is a good relationship with players, media and creating a good clubhouse.

    This is very much an analytical FO, which suggestion Maddon is their perfect choice for manager . I have disagreed with many of Maddons move BUT he has been here 3 years and 3 postseasons, plus a WS title. Firing him would be absurd!

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    Wouldn’t it be absurd to fire a hitting coach, pitching coach and 3rd base coach who has there for 3 postseason and the WS??? I think those guys do most of the teaching anyways.
    I give yanks credit for firing up top then getting rid of all the help.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    First of all, its sounds like Bosio was a goner because the relationship between he and Joe broke down. I'm not sure why (nor do I particularly care), but a dysfunctional and disconnected leadership is no way to direct a team so I don't think you can blame Joe or Theo for letting him go.

    As for Jones and Mallee, your own words indicate exactly why they were let go. You said, "I think those guys do most of the teaching anyways". Indeed. I have been a teacher my whole life and I know that no matter how go you are as a teacher, sometimes the message just stops reaching the students. They've heard your message before and eventually they tune it out. It's a little analogous to listening to the same song over and over again. No matter how much you may like the song or think it is well composed, your mind will eventually start tuning parts out until you don't even hear it anymore. I think that's what happened with Mallee.

    In addition to this, Maddon has also basically said that Mallee and Jones would probably have been back if those other guys weren't available meaning that he wasn't entirely dissatisfied with their performance. He just thought the new guys could bring a new direction and a new approach to reach the hitters.

    Lastly, I know you seem to think that if Maddon's coaches go then he should go, but the higher up the food chain you go, the greater your job security and the longer your leash. It's not uncommon or shocking or strange that they should go before Maddon.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    So if the Cubs today announced that they were going to part ways with Joe Maddon, you wouldn't have a problem with that?

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    What approach did old hitting coach have with RISP? Compare that to Davis philosophy? You don’t know.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    Not sure how you equate Mallee being a good hitting coach and follow it up with multiple areas needing improvement. These are the exact things a hitting coach needs to work on. Your points make no sense----well the last para does but kind of obviates the first.

  • Does the FO think Hickey still has enough left in the tank to help this club?
    What are the chances he signs with us?

    Hopefully, he uses analytics in pitching a lot more, like the Dodgers and Astros are doing right now.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    chances are strong due to Maddon connection along with 2 of his interviews picked someone else

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    That brings up something Smoltz said last night. He said Rich Hill either was going to be pulled or was pulled because Roberts believes in analytics and you don't want a pitcher facing the batting order the third time around. In retrospect, Hill was pulled too soon, and Roberts exhausted his bullpen.

    I wonder if Maddon was using the same reasoning all the times Hendricks was pulled early.

  • In reply to jack:

    I for one agree with Smoltz, I still in the long run thinks its better to ride a starter who is throwing well than continue to dip in the bullpen every game. Eventually either the opposing team is gonna see them enough that they "figure" him out (a la Chapman last yet in WS, Cleveland began to time the fastball) or even the best, like Jansen, wont have their good stuff on a given night.

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    Agreed. In Game 1, Smoltz's theory was that you don't want to trail in the 6th because the LA bullpen is untouchable, but it was sure touched last night (even though in the 7th of Game 2, I expected the same game as Game 1).

  • In reply to Ronnie’sHairpiece:

    But rereading your post, I don't think you agree with Smoltz, who didn't seem to be criticizing Roberts at the time, but only predicted the move on the basis of analytics.

  • Welcome back Jacob Hannemann!

    The Cubs have claimed him off waivers from Seattle and DFA Mike Freeman.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Likely closes the book on Martin returning as well. No question he wouldn't be dropped from 40 man, but I thought they might try to bring him back on MiLB deal. With Hannemann filling that role with Iowa again, Martin really has no place.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Good deal about Hannemann. I've always liked his raw abilities and felt like he was on the verge of helping the big club as a 4th or 5th OF. He was injured coming out of ST but he played well at AA Tennessee and then Iowa. I was hoping he would've been a Sept. call-up. He has decent pop and has good speed for the OF and has a good stolen base pct.

  • In reply to Terry Rosdail:

    He honestly could have done everything that Martin ended up doing. Sure, having the proven vet around in case of injury was a nice luxury, but even if one of Almora or Jay go down they probably would have turned to Heyward in CF anyway.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Cool! Nothing against Freeman, but Hannemann and his speed in the OF is a useful thing to have on the roster.

    The big question that remains - can he hit enough to be a MLB OF?

  • Is today the first time it was made public about hitting coach and 3rd base coach. I didn’t know they were looking for both?

    Joe/Theo are throwing a ton of guys under the bus. Saying that joe will have everyone back that he wants back. Yikes. Who is next!!!!

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Yes. While Mallee's departure was certainly speculated about, nothing official leaked out.

    Shouldn't be a surprise though. The FO is very good about keeping things like this quiet. Occasionally news gets out early, but often they make trades or other moves with little to no warning.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Sounds to me, the only person that Theo threw under the bus was Maddon. The comment sort of puts the expectation on Maddon to deliver.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Theo is running the organization in the current corporate manner. Joe's in charge of what's on the field, and Theo said it was ultimately Joe's decision. It isn't like Steinbrenner and Loria sitting in the stands telling the managers what to do on a day to day basis. Hence, nobody threw Joe under the bus

    If course, if Joe doesn't deliver,he could join Dusty Baker on the "his contract was allowed to expire" train, but Joe appears nowhere close to that.

  • In reply to jack:

    Don't quite understand your attempt to equate your Loria/Steinbrenner comment to putting 'expectations on Maddon to deliver'. Not at all the same category of involvement.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Only was a comment on level of corporate delegation of authority.

  • In reply to jack:

    The bus won't start moving out of the garage until April.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I don't think that it throwing people under the bus. Just new voices. Players can be resistant to coaching after they have had success and they try things their own way. It's probably not about better, but new.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Didn’t Theo say he’d bring back everyone joe wanted? And we have since have to replace 3 coaches.
    Why doesn’t New voice excuse pertain to the guy who is leading the club house?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    See my respnse above.

    Although Cashman and Mike Rizzo made a different decision, but in both of those cases, the contracts were up.

  • In reply to jack:

    So if joe doesn’t win it next year then is he fired?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Do I look like Theo and Jed?
    Aside from that, he's reportedly under contract through 2019. The people I mentioned were out of contract.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Theo & Company don't share your conviction that coaches don't matter. They believe in coaches who can get the maximum out of their massive investment in players. They're professionals and they aren't going criticize departing employees in public. Instead of "Bosio didn't do this, and Mallee failed to do that," they talk about "new voices" and "changes in direction" and let the public draw their own conclusions.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Didn’t Theo say everyone Joe wanted back would be back? Didn’t Theo say bullpen lead league in walk and that was unacceptable? So no they didn’t take the high road.
    So u are saying the Chili Davis will fix jason Heyward ??? Because Theo has invested in him!!!! You are giving way to much credit to a hitting coach. Maybe new pitching coach will get Lester to throw over hand to first. All it takes is a new voice.
    Chili Davis isn’t an up grade. I’d rather have chili in rf.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    "Didn’t Theo say everyone Joe wanted back would be back?"

    I explained that in a comment to which you responded. For some reason (apparently because someone else was available), Joe didn't want them back. Let me know when there is a news conference where Joe says "Theo forced me to fire these coaches and I resign."

    This doesn't negate that Joe could have conferred with Theo, Jed, and others.

  • In reply to jack:

    It was spelled out. Let me know when there is a news conference that says joe says he wanted them back.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    If you can, read Paul Sullivan, who published that Joe admitted he lied as a smokescreen during the waning days of the season. That's the only relevant press conference, not one in your fantasies.

  • In reply to jack:

    Not sure why you are bringing up a Joe interview. And one from my fantasies. I just know the one theo had that said Everyone that Joe wants back will be back.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    If you're this bitter over a few coaches, you're really in for a bad winter when they start moving players.

    I don't know if Chili Davis will have any impact at all on Heyward. I know Bosio didn't.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I am not bitter. You just don’t understand. As I said New voice and bullpen lead leagues in walks is a super weak and chicken way out. Was great 2 years ago but now they aren’t great so they need a new voice to say keep ball down and this guy likes ball down and a way. Bosio helping Jhey. Come on man.
    I have no issues if trade guys. That won’t make me bitter. I hope the trade Addi. He is overrated anyways and get a good TOR starter in return. Players win the game. If you don’t like the bullpen walks then u find new bullpen arms. If you don’t like way guys take pitches then u get rid of Baez. If you don’t like Jhey sucking then do a better job evaluating talent. Not hitting coaches fault.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Why does it have to be anyone's "fault?" Bosio's contract was up - just like players, the Cubs either offer another contract or fill the position with someone else. Mallee signed whatever contract he signed, so if he doesn't stay to finish it, he probably gets paid, anyway. The only thing that I don't understand is your anti-management attitude. I'm not sure which Cubs era you'd rather live in, but I'll take this team and this FO over any of them.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    We you back pedaling? Anyway u slice it he was fired or let go. You blamed Bosio and now u claim nobody’s at fault.
    So now I am anti management. Keep grasping for straws. Just because I am big cub fan and I have my own mind doesn’t mean I have to automatically agree with every Theo move. He had done some good things and he has had some bad moves. Comes with territory.
    That is another topic about era. The 03 team had it all and thought they’d have 5 year window. Years later we know the truth but we don’t know what next couple years may bring.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    If Theo didn’t throw joe under the bus miggy didn’t throw Jake under the bus.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    No, Miggy threw Jake under the bus, and Theo shipped him to Toronto.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yes he did.

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    Let's say Jim Hickey doesn't come to the Cubs,do they go after John Farrell? Here is something else to ponder,Jeter fires Mattingly and replaces him with Girardi and the Yankees hire Mattingley to replace Girardi.

  • In reply to Harvey Schnepper:

    There a lot to unpack there. First the Marlins can't afford Girardi and are about to embark a fire sale to dump $50-$60 mil in salary, might not compete again fro years. They sure couldn't hire him and eat Mattingly's money. The Phillies had seemed to have zeroed in on Farrell for their job but does the availability of Girardi make him odd man out? with St. Louis hiring Maddux you would assume Hickey is coming but I'd take Farrell as pitching coach for sure.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Considering it's a new group that could afford to pay Loria's group an obscene amount for the team, I don't think anyone can make the assumption about what they "can't afford." Even Loria could afford the Ozzie/Buehrle team while trying to con the locals into building him a stadium, then dumped it.

  • In reply to jack:

    I'm not guessing. They've stated it. By all accounts they overpaid for the team and now have to cut immeasurably. They have to be at $90 mil payroll by the start of the 2018 season and it's $160 mil now. They are purposely leaving some FO jobs unfilled to save money. It's going to take them a year or two to get their footing.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Source?

  • In reply to jack:

    Derek Jeter during his introductory press conference.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I think the Marlins want to dump something closer to $30M. $50M-$60M sounds a little high.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    You're correct. I was listening to MLB radio the other day and they kept saying the payroll was $150 mil. they were incorrect, it's $115 so cutting $35 mil.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Oops bad math alert. That's $25 mil. I think they'll cut more than that though. Everyone is on the trading block.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Maybe like Stanton's salary.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I think they'll trade Stanton as soon as they find a taker. The contract isn't as awful as it seems when you do the math but they won't get a lot back unless they eat about $50 mil of the total deal which right now is 11 yrs $265 mil.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Stanton, Yellich, AJ Ramos, Chen for Russell, Happ, Almora, Heyward, Ian Rice, and Mills? One could dream big. Haha! Take their salary down for them and replenish with young good players.

    You kick the tires but the cost has to be insane on Stanton. He IS the franchise at this point.

  • In reply to TC154:

    And, yes, it is very far-fetched. Just having fun with contract numbers. I realize this would never happen except in MLB 2K18. LOL.

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    In reply to TC154:

    WOW. I like where your heading with this. As you say, it will never happen, but that doesn't make it any less fun to discuss. Especially since we will have to get Sandy Alderson good and drunk to have him give us AJ Ramos for nothing. He is a NYM afterall.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Well duh. Everyone gets Alderson drunk to make trades. Lol.

    I didn't recall Ramos being dealt. I was looking at MIA stats of potential relievers to add to a deal and Ramos' were still listed.

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    In reply to Harvey Schnepper:

    Girardi already managed the Fish. I am not sure he will go from a top payroll team to a bottom payroll team. He already proved he could win w a crap payroll and young roster. He will only move his family for a good job w as much security you can get in this game. If he doesn't find that job, he's got plenty of money in the bank and can work for Fox for a year or 2 until the perfect job opens up. Maybe when Maddon retires?

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    I have to assume Hickey will be the pitching coach but, if I'm Jim Hickey, I want as much leverage as possible (like an offer from the Cardinals).

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    They hired Maddux. Looks like it's between the Cubs and Giants.

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    Maybe Joe did get what he wanted, or maybe he thought the new hires are better or that when they suddenly became available he jumped, just like the Cubs did when Joe became available. I don't understand getting rid of Gary Jones. Maybe someone can let me know.
    If the choice is between Hannemann or Martin I don't know either. I thought we would have seen more of Martin in the PS; we got him for base running and defense and didn't see him. I wish we would have.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    At the very least we will have to pay Hannemann less than Martin. He will be AAA depth. Not a bad thing to have.

  • If I recall weren't most of these coaches in place before Maddons surprise hiring? In his defense maybe he can finally have the coaches around him that he wants.

  • or maybe, they all think the coaches available are better and there is no ulterior motives behind any of these moves

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Is that even possible?

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    In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Man, you just threw the whole narrative of this thread "under the bus."

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    It was reported in TB that the Cubs signed Hickey.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yeah, I just read that they signed Hickey. From 3 sources.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Yes!!! The bullpen is fixed!!!!

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Best sarcastic post I read today.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Will b interesting to see how many of bullpen guys are back.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    +1

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Yes, and the Tigers signed Chris Bosio.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Nice. Hope he does well.

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    I read an article saying the Cubs are targeting Miami(Yelich) & Boston(Benintendi). Is this just the media trying to get readers, or does this rumor have any truth to it?

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    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    If it's Benintendi, then Boston is going to want Baez or Russell. Pedroia is old and they need to fill the hole at 2b. Schwarber could be their dh, but I highly doubt he would be the centerpiece.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I tend to agree with Irwin, that I don’t understand how anyone would know who the Cubs are targeting in a trade. Typically, their big trades happen and no one predicted it (think Quintana, Russell).

    With that said, I could see the BoSox having interest in Schwarber. I think they were last in the AL in homeruns, and their DH (Hanley Ramirez) is getting old. Schwarber would absolutely crush the Green Monster and the short right field at Yankee Stadium.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Yes, those were purely conjecture much like all the rumors you hear during the winter. Writers try and put together scenarios that might work but rarely do in real life. Doubt anyone from the Cubs would leak to a reporter who the Cubs were targeting in a trade.

  • I was shocked to see Zobrist nominated for gold glove. My eyeball evaluation was that Zobrist had no decent range at all at 2nd.

    I have never paid enough attention to advanced stats. I guess I am missing a lot.

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    In reply to granvil:

    His defense actually was positive this year. I was surprised when I looked at the numbers. DRS of 5, UZR of 8.5 UZR/1150 in 541 innings at 2B. For perspective Baez had 503 innings and 5 DRS and 5.4 UZR/150. He doesn't pass the eye test that Baez does and I would still rather have Baez out there, but I didn't realize that Zobrist was actually not much of a liability on defense at 2B.

  • The Rays beat reporter is tweeting that the Hickey to Cubs deal is final:

    @TBTimes_Rays: It’s official, former #Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey is going to #Cubs

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    Ah, yes, the off-season tradition of vastly over analyzing things and reading far more into it than is justified continues.

  • All the coaches leaving will forever be World Series champions. The best World Series champs because it was THE CUBS WINNING THE WORLD SERIES. So they will always hold a special place.

    But I like the turn over, getting new voices like Chili Davis. Chili Davis! He's always been bad ass.

    The Cubs were almost lethargic this year. I think new coaches can help energize the vibe.

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    In reply to TTP:

    Yup almost as much as a spark plug at the top of the order.

  • Did anyone see the ESPN (Jesse Rogers) article that said the Cubs were shaking up the staff "after failing to get past the LCS for the second time in three years"? Which is technically true, but give me a break--how many teams get to the LCS at all, let alone three years in a row? :-) I checked again later, and the line was changed to something like "after not getting back to the World Series."

  • In reply to seattlecub:

    Sounds like a distinction without a difference, as one doesn't reach the World Series without winning an LCS, at least these days.

  • In reply to jack:

    It just struck me as the most negative way to spin the last three years--the most successful three years for the franchise in over a century--by painting them as a failure.

  • In reply to seattlecub:

    Since you lumped in the World Series year, you are making a distinction with a difference, unlike what you are accusing Rogers of.

    It also gets down to most teams saying "the goal is winning the World Series," while 29 of 30 teams can't in a given year.Only LAD and Houston can claim that title this year. If that's the goal, the other teams are a failure. If the goal is to get to the LCS, 26 teams are a failure.

    The bottom line is that Joe now has his guys (IIRC, his Tampa coaches were not released when he exercised his option), and the Cubs do need improvement, as they were not as good as LAD this year (regular season record and playoffs). I suppose one can debate whether it is the coaching or the Cubs need 2 starters and 4 relief pitchers.

    In the meantime, if AC is still up, it is now 01-00-00. Take any of the 3 numbers as you wish.

  • In reply to jack:

    Not sure hitting coach and 3rd base are his guys??? More like theo’s guys.

  • In reply to seattlecub:

    Actually, 01-01-00. IIRC, the pennant, not the LDS counts in that calculus.

  • Man this comment section has changed over the last few years.

  • In reply to lglqbar:

    A note to all:

    With success comes heightened expectations and I can understand the losses hitting (some) people harder than others. Emotions are high. I get it.

    I don't want to stifle conversation or opposing viewpoints.

    I will not stand for people openly attacking others in the comment section. I have deleted one comment already this week. I don't want to ask Jared to ban anyone.

    We can be better than this.

    I'm willing to continue to remind people to keep it civil, keep it about baseball, and not to take another person's opposing opinion personally. We all get carried away at times, we all leave food for trolls on occasion, we all take the bait they leave as well. But we can be cognizant of it occurring, and we can choose to cut ourselves off rather than continuing down a dead end road.

    Please use some self-restraint. Take a day or two away from participating if you find yourself angry while reading or writing comments regularly. This is supposed to be fun. And I want this site to remain a place for not just great content, but also a great discussion board. That I what Cubs Den has always been about, and that is how ii should continue.

    Thank you

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Amen Michael. I'm almost five years in as a member of this community and this year has been the toughest in terms of tone and arguments arising here. With all the good writing and all of the invaluable insight that John provided the most amazing thing that I thought that he accomplished was the civil discourse. As someone who has run a forum for a Rock band for eight years I can tell you that's not easy to do. I told John just how much it was appreciated many times and I know others did too. Now, I'm not immune on this score. I've probably crossed the line a few times in responding to folks who I know were just out to instigate and I'm not proud of it. I've done what you suggest though, Michael, and stayed away for a few days and even a week once because it was uncomfortable to participate. I hope we can all agree to try to bring back that spirit. We all know baseball here and we all different aspects of it and, most importantly, the vast majority of us are eager to learn more, have our preconceived notions challenged and hopefully become better fans in the process. This has been a special place in the wacky world of the internet. I hope it can remain so.

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    Thank you Michael. I've also noticed that the tone of some comments have changed. It's like when our regular teacher is not here and the substitute teacher is standing there and students are pushing to see what they can get away with. John is unfortunately gone and we all miss him, but you Michael and Jared and whoever is governing Cubs Den are the substitute teachers. Maybe one reason is that we don't have a face or name of that one person in charge like we did with John. However, that shouldn't matter. What matters is our love of all things Cubs and to keep all of our other feelings outside of this blog. I am very political but I don't bring it here. Let's keep it Cubs and continue to talk about that.
    btw, I saw this morning that Joe Torre said the umps got it wrong in game 5 and that Javy should have been called out. I guess I buried the lead here--but I had to say something too.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    That may be part of it. Perhaps John's experience as a teacher helped him keep all of you rowdy kids in line!

    I do think it is worth noting that this is not a new phenomena though. We have had issues like this in the past. Speaking from personal experience, one of my first interactions with John outside of the comment section was because of a heated exchange I had with Mike Moody years ago. A day after the exchange, I felt bad about how far I had taken it and emailed John and asked if he could provide me with Mike's contact information so I could send him an apology.

    We have always been able to right the ship in the past, and that was not all due to John's influence. The content on the site is the responsibility of the writers. The comment section is partially owned by all who choose to participate. The writers are the current, but the everyone else steers the boat down here. It can be anything we want it to be.

    Historically, we have chosen for it to be a place of reason, honest opinions, and polite disagreements. I, for one, hope it continues in that fashion. It is the reason I first chose to participate and it is the main reason I wished for the site to continue on after John's passing.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    It's funny you mention this, because I thought of it, too. I was more to blame than you. I was not in a great spot and John certainly let me get away with stuff that he never would have let others get away with. I'm assuming because he was just too decent a guy to tell me to knock it off. I apologized to him personally for it but I'm pretty sure I never apologized to the board so, why not put it here, at the bottom of an old thread, where few people will actually read it... I'm sorry for being a constant source of fights and drama on the board.

    One of the things I'm not sure many people saw about John was how good he was at defusing bad situations and keeping things from getting out of hand on the board. When I would be irate about how commenters were treating John, he would just brush it off and reply relatively kindly to them or ignore them altogether. It set the tone. When a comment thread was getting out of hand, John always stepped in and said something intelligent that refocused the conversation and kept things from spinning out of control.

    He'll never be replaced. Put most of the above on the long list of things I wish I'd told him when I had a chance.

    Turkey Creek Jack Johnson: Doc, you oughta be in bed, what the hell you doin this for anyway?
    Doc Holliday: Wyatt Earp is my friend.
    Turkey Creek Jack Johnson: Hell, I got lots of friends.
    Doc Holliday: I don't.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Honestly, I just remember thinking I could have stopped typing at any time and chose to continue on long past when I should have stepped away.

    Once we had a day to think about it, we both regretted it. And we both apologized.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Hey Jonathan,

    I think you've got this right, to a degree. Though I am technically the site manager now, I have not had the desire to make that a widely known fact. Cubs Den is the product of John's hard work, and I didn't want to take away from that by creating the appearance that I was sweeping in and claiming leadership over something that I had not built. I recognize the impact that has on readers' perception of the site, however. For what it's worth, we are still navigating how to make this all work without John as best as we can, and we appreciate the patience of the readers through some of the awkwardness.

  • Jonathan,

    As to your baseball comment, yes I did see Torre's release. I feel bad for the Nationals. Not only were they probably the better team this year, but this was a tough break that went against them. If the Cubs don't blow that game open in that inning it seems unlikely the pen would have been able to hold up.

    This is one of the things I love about baseball though. I've watched thousands of games and I have never seen that happen. I had no idea what the rule was, and apparently no one else, including the umps did either.

    Once a year it seems that a play will happen where you can honestly say: "I have never seen that before!" Think about that. Think about how many swings those players and those umpires have taken part in during their lifetimes. And none of them knew what to do in that situation. Unbelievable.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Isn't that the beauty of baseball. So many moving parts with so many players and it can be different all the time. Just look at the last WS game--no game has ever had 5 HRs in extra innings before. I just watch and wonder at what I'm seeing and sometimes no one knows what to do, i.e. the Javy Baez play.
    It's a great game and I love talking about it here. I hope we can for many years to come. Thanks Michael and Jared very much.

  • Another good read on the new pitching coach.

    https://www.draysbay.com/2017/10/5/16417124/tampa-bay-rays-jim-hickey-pitching-coach-retrospective

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    If Hickey can accomplish with Carl Jr. what he did with Rodney, he'll be worth every nickel.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    He has had +20 saves with 5 different teams. Doesn’t make much of a difference.

  • Ken rosenthal & jon heyman(2 of the best reporters of mlb with the best sources) both said dave martinez is considered the front runner for the nats job.Looking like the cubs will new a new bench coach too

  • In reply to bolla:

    John Farrell is the likely replacement. He has Cubs connections already.

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    Last I heard he was the frontrunner for the Phillies job though, unless he's been supplanted by Girardi.

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    Connections aside isn't he super over qualified for this position?

  • In reply to jefeggs2542:

    Managers that don't get a job often take a bench coaching gig while they wait for something to open up.

  • In reply to jefeggs2542:

    He is, but this could be something of a stepping stone to whatever comes next for him.

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    Any possibility David Ross steps in here? He's not experienced, but he has the respect of the players and a head full of knowledge.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    It's an interesting thought, but I've never heard it come up at all. He works for the team, but in a front office role currently. It does seem as though he would be a benefit as a bench coach.

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    In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    Any insight on why it isn't Ross? That is, Does David not want to leave his family or do the Cubs prefer Farrell?

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    sorry didn't see the question above

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    This will be a very interesting. If cubs have a big name bench coach I wonder how joe will get along with him. Might b reading into it too much but wonder what Theo really thought of joe’s ability to strategize in game, handle a bullpen, and having schwarbs hitting lead off. I like having some pressure on joe to step up.

  • FWIW On Cubs Reddit a tweet from white Sox Dave says a shark and melancon for heyward trade is being discussed between Cubs and giants

    Don't shoot the Messenger

  • In reply to bolla:

    Awesome thought, but I need a LARGE grain of salt for this one. If it happens, there's gotta be more players involved.

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    In reply to bolla:

    Seems like just random speculation until KatyPerrysBootyHole and Wetbutt23 confirm it.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I saw it, and it was being talked about as a bad contract for bad contract thing. Here's the deal though, Shark's contract isn't a bad one in fact he's out earned it already. If he stays in SF he basically has to be a 1.5 WAR player for the next three years to earn the contract and you'd have to figure there's surplus value there as he's never had a season under 2.5 WAR as a starter. Plus he's a workhouse, why in the world would they move him in bad contract swap? Makes no sense.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Honestly, it isn't the worst suggestion I've heard.

    Melancon's contract is so bad they need to attach something of value to it in order to dump it. Two soon to be 33-year old pitchers with a lot of mileage and 3 years/roughly 115M remaining total on their deals.

    Heyward is going to be 28 with 6 years and about 125M remaining. It allows the Giants to spread the cost out over more years. Always a chance Heyward bounces back a bit, where as Shark/Melancon likely just downhill from here out. Cubs would surely need to include prospect(s) though.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    My guess is Heyward's no trade clause would be a pretty major hang up here. The Cubs have gone to 3 straight NLCS and the Giants look to be entering a long rebuild. I don't see how he sees that move as a good idea.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    If they are shopping him, as has been reported, I assume they have his permission and list of teams he would consider.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    It is logical -- but after Randall Delgado I no longer make that assumption. ;)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Good point.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Sounds like a made up story to me. I don't think it would be leaked out. Plus with Heyward's full no trade clause. Also Heyward is owned over $145M.

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    I hope this isn't real. Giving up a 28yo gold glove caliber RF who is young enough to possibly have an offensive bounce back AND prospects for two pitchers for whom it's "like just downhill from here out"? No thanks.

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    In reply to John Winter:

    Likely, not like. And this was supposed to in response to the Heyward trade rumor.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    What makes you think he's in position to bounce back? I was very encouraged last year with his new swing. And he morphed right back to his '16 form. If you can rid your self of him for a MOR and closer, then you do it. In 3 seasons, you open up a lot of flexibility. Heyward is easily replaced.

  • The Heyward for Shark/Melancon deal was started on ESPN 1000 by Dave Kaplan as pure speculation. Kap made sure to explain it's not a rumor. He was just offering up a couple opinions on how the Cubs could get out from under JHey's contract.

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    I saw that Anthony Rizzo just won the Roberto Clemente award. Good for him--he does so much off the field and doesn't just give lip service to doing good, he actually does it.
    For those of you who never saw Clemente play--you missed something. Standing in the batters box, moving his head back and forth, loosening his neck (?), he played with abandon, and had one of the best arms ever. He died while flying to aid victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. He also got his 3000 hit the last game of the season, and then passed away in the off season. One of the greats.
    Congratulations Anthony.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Best arm I ever saw.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UUy65ZpSP0

    Only Bo Jackson comes close.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB9wi_zvMdM
    Take that, Harold Reynolds.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I am sure I could just look it up, but do you recall if Clemente was planning on returning to play more seasons in Pittsburgh? If so, he could have put up some serious numbers.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yes, he was not retired.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    He had just turned 38 when he died and his role with the Pirates may have diminished, but I'm sure he would have played another year. I believe he would have been a coach and probably a manager, too. He loved the sport.

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    Watching the WS on Fox and I notice that in front of the batter’s name is their order in the line-up. I don’t remember seeing that before. Also, their graphics are in the lower right hand corner and are bigger than TBS and so much more legible.
    Right now it’s in the bottom of the 2nd, 1 out and Houston leading 3-0.

  • Might not be the right place for this but I am truly bothered by Gurriel’s gesture after hitting the Hr off of darvish. There is no place for this in baseball. I have always thought baseball had the best melting pod of players from all over the world. Which was a big reason I love baseball. I hope he gets several games.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I totally agree with you. He is getting a lot of brushback for it and with good reason. Racism has no place anywhere and his denial of it being racist is not believable. We have to stop these kind of gestures, any kind of gestures that are racist. I'd suspend him for a game. Make it a learning experience for everyone.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Darvish's comments were classy and professional. Gurriel's "apology" rang a little hollow, to me. Regardless, I will be surprised if MLB doesn't deal with it.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I can’t believe mlb went that soft!! Really next year. Should been 1 game now and 5 next year. Manager for Astros said he was embarrassed that it happened on his bench but yet you fill out the line up card and start him. Lost respect for Astros.

  • Wade boggs congratulated dave martinez for getting the nationals job on his verified twitter.They are good friends

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