During the introductory news conference for new Cubs manager David Ross, it was noted that Ross had “reached out” to the members of the 2019 coaching staff. No commitment to any of them was made going forward, though.
There are going to be new Cubs coaches in 2020 in at least two positions:
Sources indicate two members of Joe Maddon’s Cub staff will follow him to the Angels . Brian Butterfield will coach third base . Cubs Strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss will be in the Quality assurance role for Anaheim.The popular Buss was with Cubs since 2001.— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) November 1, 2019
Brian Butterfield has been the Cubs’ third-base coach for the last two seasons. Previously, he held the same position for the Boston Red Sox from 2013-17. Per his mlb.com biography, he also served as infield coach and baserunning coach in Boston and I believe he had similar duties with the Cubs.
Frankly, I can’t remember hearing much about what he did or didn’t do as a Cubs coach; he was largely invisible. I can’t say this is a big loss for the Cubs.
Tim Buss, though — he probably got more attention than anyone in baseball holding his position. As Bruce Levine’s tweet notes, Buss has been in the Cubs organization for 19 years. In addition to his duties as strength and conditioning coach, Buss and Cubs players had fun with various spring-training stunts over the years:
- In 2008, Cubs players wrecked Buss’ car — and then bought him a new SUV.
- In 2016, Cubs players taped Buss to a chair during a workout.
- In 2017, Buss arrived at a spring workout driving a Ferrari. and later conducted a workout dressed ... well, dressed very strangely.
- In 2018, Buss conducted a spring workout wearing a fur coat.
This kind of thing lightened the atmosphere at spring training. Buss, who got a shout-out from Anthony Rizzo at the World Series rally, will definitely be missed. Interestingly, Buss and Ross have a connection:
Buss went to work for the Dodgers’ Single-A affliate the San Bernardino Stampede for the 2000 season. He said he was a coach as well for the Stampede throwing batting practice, working with several of the position players and leading the stretching and conditioning programs.
“Our catcher that season was David Ross,” Buss said.
But, it appears the promotion to quality assurance coach with the Angels sealed the deal, as Chris Denorfia likely sticks around in that role with the Cubs. (Among the duties of the QA coach is to help the field staff decide when to challenge plays for review.)
So the Cubs will need a new third-base coach and a new strength and conditioning coach, at the very least. I’m still thinking Ross names someone other than Mark Loretta as his bench coach.
As always, we await developments.