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Cubs fire pitching coach Chris Bosio

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And the first domino has fallen in offseason 2017-18.

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

In Theo Epstein’s Friday news conference, he stated that Joe Maddon would have all the coaches back that he wanted.

It appears that Joe didn’t want Chris Bosio back:

Bosio had served as Cubs pitching coach for six seasons, from 2012-17. That’s three managers’ worth, from Dale Sveum to Rick Renteria to Maddon.

When a team doesn’t go as far as management wanted, there has to be someone who winds up as a scapegoat. Cubs pitching wasn’t nearly as good in 2017 as in 2016, and the team allowed 139 more runs. A lot of this can be chalked up to injuries; all the starters spent at least some time on the disabled list (or out without being on the DL, as Jake Arrieta was in September).

Cubs relievers, especially during the postseason, seemingly forgot how to throw strikes. Cubs hurlers issued 554 walks during the 2017 season, fifth-most in the National League and more than 100 more than the league champion Dodgers. This compares to 495 walks issued by Cubs pitchers in 2016.

Jim Hickey was the Rays pitching coach from 2007-17, starting in Tampa along with Maddon for that 2007 season. Just a few days ago Joe denied that Hickey might be considered for the Cubs job:

"I have talked to Hick, (but) purely how he's doing," Maddon said Wednesday before Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers. "It surprised me and a lot of us (when Hickey and the Rays parted ways after 10 seasons).

"He's going to turn out just fine."

But now that Bosio is gone, it would seem quite likely that Jim Hickey, who was widely praised for the job he did in Tampa, might be the Cubs’ next pitching coach. I think Bosio did a good job with the Cubs and I wish him well. He’ll certainly find another baseball job.

As always, we await developments.