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Ding, Dong!

We got our wish!

Those of us who used to rail at Wavin' Wendell Kim waved goodbye to him today, as he was the only 2004 coach not retained for 2005.

There will be changes in duties for the other coaches. Gary Matthews, so beloved as a Cub player in 1984, but equally rotten as a hitting coach, will switch duties with first-base coach Gene Clines. I don't know how good Clines will be as a batting coach, but he sure can't be any worse than Matthews.

There were rumors that a Dusty Baker favorite, Sonny Jackson, might become third-base coach, a position he had under Baker at San Francisco. But the Cubs website article linked above says he will remain "special assistant" to Baker, so that leaves the 3B coaching position vacant, for now.

This is a good thing, and shows that Jim Hendry is not going to allow Baker an absolute free rein next year. Don't get me wrong -- I'm a Baker fan. But his pet coaches haven't been very good, and this gives Hendry a chance to go out and get someone who's actually good at being a 3B coach, rather than just a manager's pal, as Kim was, and as Gene Glynn was under Don Baylor, and ... well, you get the idea.

No one's going to listen to me, but if I were doing the hiring here, I'd try to pry Rich Donnelly away from the Brewers.

Not only does he have impeccable credentials (23 years as a coach, including working closely with managerial genius Jim Leyland for several years), but he's well known around baseball as having a great sense of humor.

This is something that couldn't hurt in a clubhouse that had its underwear on WAY too tight most of 2004.

Just my $0.02.

UPDATE --
Tuesday's Tribune reports that former Cub Chris Speier is the favorite to be named third base coach.

Speier spent 2004 as bench coach for the Oakland Athletics. Yesterday, the A's announced in a very terse press release that his contract wasn't going to be renewed. Apparently Speier was involved in a lineup snafu (sound familiar?) and also gave bad batter-pitcher matchup information to A's manager Ken Macha.

I'm still pushing for the Cubs to at least interview Rich Donnelly.

(Note, I have had big problems trying to post to my server the last two days -- this update was originally written Tuesday morning. Working on it!)