Coach Dave McKay of the St. Louis Cardinals argues with umpire Angel Campos against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. McKay will be the Cubs' first base coach in 2012. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Carrie has the scoop:
Kind of like the old saw about wedding gifts: "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue"... they'll all be wearing blue, and nothing's really "borrowed". Carrie also tweets that minor league infield coordinator Franklin Font has been promoted to "special assistant" to manager Dale Sveum.
In the past, the position of "special assistant to the manager" has included such duties as getting lost driving to Cincinnati. Let's hope Franklin Font has other qualifications. Or at least a better GPS system. A Cubs news release says he'll assist Rudy Jaramillo. Also, Mike Barzello, who has been a bullpen catcher for the Dodgers for the last four years, has been hired as a "special assistant", to help instruct catchers.
More after the jump.
Three coaches are returning from last year's staff: Listach, Strode and Jaramillo, two of them in the same roles (Strode as bullpen coach, Jaramillo as hitting coach). Listach moves from bench coach to 3B coach, which is a much better spot for him. He was regarded as a good 3B coach with the Nationals, before coming to the Cubs. It'll be an improvement over , who wasn't very good, and that was surprising, because he came with good credentials.
Jamie Quirk becomes bench coach. There's been some criticism of this move because Quirk supposedly was "demoted" the last three years to "just" a bullpen coach -- I prefer to look at it as getting a bench coach who served on a World Series team (2007 Rockies) under Clint Hurdle. Quirk doesn't have managerial experience, but six years as Rockies bench coach, to me, is a pretty good qualification.
I'm a little less sure about Chris Bosio as pitching coach. He has quite a bit of minor league pitching coach experience, but only a tiny bit more major league coaching experience than the exiting pitching coach, Mark Riggins: just one season (2003 with Tampa Bay under Lou Piniella) and two months as Brewers pitching coach in 2009. Obviously, he and Dale Sveum know each other from that, and they were also Brewers teammates as players from 1986 to 1991.
I guess he can't be any worse than Riggins and he could be better.
Dave McKay is a highly regarded first base coach; he's been one since 1984 and has been a coach under Tony La Russa both as Athletics manager and Cardinals manager. He's been St. Louis' 1B coach since 1996. That's a good hire and a significant improvement over Bob Dernier, whose main accomplishment as 1B coach was... well, if you know, let me know.
Overall, this seems to be a decent coaching staff. Of course, having better players to coach would also be an improvement.