Rick Renteria In, Chris Bosio Back and Other Cubs News and Notes

Rick Renteria was introduced as the 53rd manager in franchise history during a conference call with the Chicago media on Thursday afternoon. Renteria said all of the right things during the 30 minute teleconference and Theo Epstein was complimentary of his new skipper. Epstein explained that Renteria has an “impeccable reputation” and he tried to hire him as a field coordinator in Boston more than a decade ago.

Rick Renteria said the one thing the players need is confidence and his team will be prepared each and every day. Renteria also stressed the importance of communication and added he will draw his managerial style on what he learned from Jim Leyland, Dick Williams and Bud Black, as well as minor league manager Johnny Lipton.

The Cubs’ new skipper thinks he’s prepared to manage the Chicago Cubs, which is a very taxing job, but admitted his personality is going to change.

As for the perceived delay in hiring Renteria, Epstein explained the Cubs spent the month after their first interview with Renteria doing their due diligence. The Cubs could not find anyone in the game that had a bad word, or even a neutral word, to say about Renteria. All of the feedback was positive.

Rick Renteria is still recovering from hip surgery and is expected to be fully recovered by the time pitchers and catchers report to the Cubs’ new facility in February.

Chris Bosio and the Coaching Staff

Theo Epstein addressed the coaching staff and said there will be some turnover from Dale Sveum’s staff. Announcements will be made in the coming weeks on who will fill out Rick Renteria’s staff. Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein said that the front office will work with Renteria to assemble his staff.

Chris Bosio reportedly has a two-year deal in place to return as pitching coach. The front office is happy with the job Bosio has done over the past two seasons. Lester Strode is also expected to return to his position of bullpen coach, or assistant pitching coach.

As for the rest of Renteria’s staff, according to several reports Alex Cora, Mariano Duncan and Henry Blanco are also in the mix for coaching positions. Plus, Mike Borzello is expected to retain his position on the coaching staff after the improvements Welington Castillo made under his tutelage last season.

Mariano Duncan spent a majority of the final month of last season with the big league team after Daytona rapped up their Championship season. Duncan developed a solid relationship with Javier Baez before his promotion to Double-A Tennessee. It is unclear on what position Duncan could fill, but assistant hitting coach seems very likely. Duncan was the hitting coach for the Daytona Cubs last year.

There has not been any names surface on who will be the Cubs’ new hitting coach. As for Renteria’s bench coach, the Cubs could hire A.J. Hinch to fill the position according to the Sun-Times. As the Tribune reported, with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer involved the coaching staff “could have an infusion of coaches from the Red Sox and Padres organizations.”

It will be interesting to see if the Cubs use the seventh uniformed coaching position on an assistant hitting coach or if they will go the route of Matt Williams and the Washington Nationals and hire a defensive coach. Major League Baseball changed their rules and allowed each team to have a seventh coach in uniform and in the dugout during games. Most teams used the addition as a way to get their assistant hitting coach in the dugout. But the Nationals have added a new wrinkle. Will the Cubs follow their lead and look into hiring a defensive coach?

News and Notes

Darwin Barney was named the Cubs’ Wilson Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday.

Rick Renteria, or RR, was called “The Secret Weapon” by his teammates during his playing career.

Peter Gammons was on MLB Network Radio on Thursday and briefly discussed the Theo Epstein-Red Sox agreement. According to Gammons, Theo Epstein and the Red Sox have a three-year, Separation Agreement. So for another year, the Cubs cannot hire a current employee of the Boston Red Sox. As for how it impacted the Cubs being able to talk to Torey Lovullo that came from above Ben Cherington. According to Gammons, Epstein and Hoyer spoke with Cherington following the regular season about their desire to possibly interview Lovullo once the Sox post-season run came to an end. Cherington did not indicate there would be a problem at the time, but that changed and Lovullo benefited with a three-year contract extension.

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  • Sir Gladiator

    RR is completely right that confidence is the key. This is a team that had confidence early in the season and owned the Cardinals. This is the same team that lost its confidence and ended the season being owned by the same Cardinals. Clearly Sveum wasn’t inspiring confidence, hopefully RR will. He does have that Spanish advantage, of course this is America and these players should all be taught English but for some insane reason that doesn’t happen anymore, so having a guy who can speak Spanish is a huge advantage for us. And we need all the advantages we can get :) . We’re flush with cash, we’ve got a (hopefully) great new manager, now let’s go get him the tools he needs to win us a Championship! That starts with a bigtime hitting coach, and then some bigtime hitters to be coached. Then we need some relievers. We’ve got great starting pitching (though I’d trade Samarja if the deal is right), so all we need is some power bats and some good relievers (Mujica tops that list) , and we’re talking Championship!

    • Tom U

      Sir Gladiator, I can tell you from my experience that minor league players are receiving instruction in English, even on the last day of the season.

      • Dorasaga

        Perhaps not enough? Latin American players, who didn’t have an education in the States, Puerto Rico, and Guam, play baseball 7-11, and take two hours of uninspiring English class per week (my guess) that may or may not interfere their pro-sport schedule? They need more help or life lessons than what they have right now, so they can cruise through a USA environment:

        http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?id=5428431

      • CubbyDenCritic

        I wonder if the Hispanic minor league players listen to Rosetta Stone tapes on the team bus?

  • Tony_Hall

    ” Cherington did not indicate there would be a problem at the time, but that changed and Lovullo benefited with a three-year contract extension.”

    I guess Ben just learned what Theo learned, he is not really in charge of as much as he thought. Cherington will follow Theo’s lead at some point and go to a team where he can be in charge at some point.

    I am not confident that Lovullo would have been hired over Renteria, no way to know, as they never interviewed him, but I stand by that the Red Sox looked foolish and this will effect them when hiring coaches in the future, as every team can say no to a coach interviewing for another teams manager’s job, if they have a contract. Nobody likes to have their current employer stand in the way of them advancing their career. Coaches will now start asking for language to be added to their contract that says they can interview for managers job’s.

    • SuzyS

      It’s not a Boston Red Sox thing…It’s a vindictive ownership thing….they are still po’d at Theo/Ricketts….Either way, the Cubs have moved on to better things.
      It’s a new day with the Cubs….and I’m looking forward to seeing how it evolves….Good things…good things!!!!

  • Steve Baier

    I do think Henry Blanco would be a nice addition to the staff, but what position would he fill – bench coach?

    • Tony_Hall

      1st base coach would be my guess

      • Steve Baier

        I could see that, yeah.

        • Tony_Hall

          Just using the names above.

          Pitching – Bosio
          Bench – Hinch
          1st Base – Blanco
          3rd Base – Cora
          Hitting – Duncan
          Bullpen – Strode
          Asst Hitting or Defensive ??

          Borzello is not a “game” coach, listed as a staff assistant

          • Tom U

            Duncan would be named an assistant hitting coach/defensive coach before being named a full-fledged hitting coach.

          • Tony_Hall

            I kind of figured that but haven’t heard any other names and was trying to fill in the spots from the names Neil listed.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I know it doesn’t much matter, but I’d prefer a hitting coach who was able to hit. I defended Sveum a lot, but hiring Rob Deer as an assistant hitting coach was laughable.

          • cubtex

            agreed. It is like making Henry Blanco your 1st base coach. He has 6 career stolen bases.Mariano Duncan has 174 career stolen bases. Who do you think would be a better fit and add more to the table?

          • Ripsnorter1

            Dave McKay. He could actually coach.

          • cubtex

            he is no longer here.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I understand that. : )

          • Tony_Hall

            Duncan will be in the hitting coach department.

            Last time I checked, these guys don’t actually steal the bases anymore, they coach 1st base. Dave McKay was a extremely good 1st base coach and he stole 20 bases and was thrown out 12 times.

          • cubtex

            I know you like to categorize like saying how catchers make good managers etc. How many catchers are known to be great 1st base coaches? The point is that a catcher normally does not take an aggressive lead off 1st. Doesn’t pay a ton of attention to pick off moves or see them since they don’t take aggressive leads and pitchers don’t give them their best moves. That is why you do not see catchers coaching 1st base that often.

          • Tony_Hall

            Don’t see the big deal as a 1st base coach.

            I don’t see him as either hitting coach, bench coach, 3rd base coach, bullpen coach, pitching coach, that only leaves 1st base. In a few years he will be a great bench coach, in training to be a manager :)

          • cubtex

            If you are a base stealer….would you rather have a Davey Lopes tell you to take another step off the base or Henry Blanco? That is all I am saying

          • Tony_Hall

            Just because Davey could steal a base, doesn’t mean he can coach it to others (Davey can coach though). I have seen many professional athletes who couldn’t coach their sport at all.

          • cubtex

            He has studied leads as a player. He has studied pick off moves. He has worked on baserunner a hell of a lot more than a slow catcher. When a former basestealer speaks…players listen

          • Tony_Hall

            So every player who was good at stealing bases, is good at coaching 1st base.

            Not true.

            Just like every catcher is not going to be a good manager. Of course, if you had 2 equal coaches in coaching ability, I would take the base stealer over the guy clogging the bases to coach baserunners how to take leads and read pitchers.

          • cubtex

            agreed. Categorizing by saying EVERY is 100% not true but they have much more knowledge about baserunning than most catchers.

          • Tony_Hall

            Agreed.

          • Sonate

            I agree completely. Between the BB’s, K’s and HR’s, I doubt that Deer was ever “on base”! However, regarding weak hitters in general, I guess Charley Lau, considered a great hitting coach, but was clearly a weak hitter as a player.

      • cubtex

        Blanco as a 1st base coach? Don’t see that. Teams usually have a guy who was a good baserunner and/or basestealer to help with leads etc.
        Mariano Duncan would seem like more of a fit as a 1st base coach than Blanco. Look at some of the 1st base coaches in the NL. Steve Sax, Terry Pendleton, Billy Hatcher, Davey Lopes(considered one ot the better ones) Dave Roberts.

        • Ripsnorter1

          When the Cubs had Davey Lopes, he taught Sandberg to steal. 54 SB for
          Sandberg and Lopes, in a part time role, had 47 steals in only 275 AB.

          YES!

        • Tony_Hall

          Dave McKay

  • CubbyDenCritic

    For all those who do not get local Chicago Comcast Sports program, here is how they listed their important sport stories last night…..

    1 – Jay Cutler Playing this Sunday

    2 – Bulls Slump

    3 – Miami Heat Basketball game……Really?

    4 – Jay Cutler Groin Injury Story

    5 – Blackhawks Wed. Night Victory

    6 – Cubs Hiring of Renteria

    So Jay Cutler’s groin is more important than Cubs hiring Renteria.

    Local tv stations spent no more than 20 seconds on Renteria hiring…..

    Seems the Chicago Media is getting tired of the Chicago Cubs FO / Manger Circus.

    • Josh Man

      Often news programs hold what they view as the most important story until later in the program, because they know people will be sticking through the show to get to that story. Renteria’s hiring airing late in the show only proves that the Cubs are still the big draw in Chicago, regardless of the struggles on the field the last couple of seasons.

      But don’t let facts get in the way of your negativity!

      • cubtex

        Actually that is not true, but who cares? Cubs are down right now and not newsworthy.

        • Josh Man

          I have a degree in television. It is absolutely true that the big stories are held until later in the news program. If the story everyone wants to see airs first, then there is no reason to watch the rest of the show, which means ratings go down, which means advertising money also goes down.

          Are the Cubs as big a draw as when they are winning? No. But is the story about the Cubs hiring a new manager still a big story in Chicago? Absolutely.

          Hell, it’s kept all of us riveted for the last month on this site.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            “I have a degree in television”…………most men between the age of 25 – 65 also have that same degree.

          • Josh Man

            So you believe that over 50% of men between the ages of 25-65 all have a bachelor’s degree in television?

            Sure they do.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Many of their wives know it for a fact.

          • cubtex

            yours is in “television watching” you probably have a masters degree in that. lol

          • CubbyDenCritic

            You still watching the Cubs on a Black & White screen no doubt !

          • cubtex

            Degree in Television? I am in the media industry and purchase advertising all over the country. Look at your news stations all over. What is usually the lead story? Is it the minor story or the main one? What story does WGN lead with on Instant Replay on Sunday at 9:40pm? Is it the minor one? Again. This is sports. This is not Dateline or 60 minutes. Ask your media outlets what advertisers would rather run their spots? Top of the hour at the beginning of a program….or at the end?

          • Josh Man

            All programs usually start with a tease of the main story, then fully cover it later in the program. You get it at the beginning and fully at the end.

          • cubtex

            we are talking sports John. Again. I buy advertising nationwide. If anyone should know it is me. But again….who cares. The Cubs are absolutely back page news now. When they start to get exciting again, they will be front page again. There is a reason on why the attendance is dropping. A bad product does that.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Very true.

          • Josh Man

            I agree overall that the Cubs are not a big story right now. But their managerial search HAS been a pretty big story, and the hiring of a new manager for the Cubs, still the most popular baseball team in the third largest baseball market, is also a big story.

            I’m a huge Cubs fan, and this season I didn’t pay as much attention, because I know we’re in a rebuilding phase and won’t win as many games, plus I’m a huge hockey fan and the Blackhawks are clearly a bigger draw for me right now.

            That being said, the manager search has had me captivated, and I’m sure a lot of people who have started paying a little less attention to the Cubs overall lately feel the same way.

            I agree that the Cubs are not the story they are when they are winning. But the Cubs hiring a new manager IS big news, and is being treated as such.

            Now, with the new manager hired, barring any big free agent signings (Tanaka perhaps), the Cubs will go back to the back page.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Rebuilding Phrase for the past 105 years with this team………the Egyptians built their Pyramids faster.

          • cubtex

            We are all huge Cubs fans on here. Some agree with the slow rebuilding process, some think it doesn’t have to be this slow. That doesn’t make anyone more of a fan over the other.

          • Josh Man

            I certainly didn’t mean to imply anything of the sort. I’m absolutely not claiming I’m a bigger fan than anyone else. Just pointing out that I am a big fan, and this particular story, regardless of the recent lack of success, is, to me, a very big story.

          • cubtex

            I guess that was more meant as a reply to your earlier post above.
            I will be happy when we start talking about who the starting pitcher will be in the postseason for the Cubs as opposed to replacing managers and resigning Ryan Sweeney to start in CF. This losing is getting so old.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            You have to be out of work if you think like that……..
            a “tease” story in the tv media is something that has Sex in it……then that is the last story of the night…….
            Renteria is not Sexy……
            Kim Dejesus is Sexy!

          • Sonate

            Come on! You post too much on here to have a job like that! (It’s snark, don’t hit me!)

          • cubtex

            hahaha. it is nice to have good people working for you.

        • CubbyDenCritic

          I think everyone is tired of Theo now…..

          • Josh Man

            When the Cubs win a World Series in the near future, which I absolutely believe they will, thanks to this rebuild and new structure, I hope that all of the people who constantly complain about Theo and this process (which is a tough process, no question, but is ABSOLUTELY necessary in order for the Cubs to become the team/franchise we all want them to be) publically apologize for their past negativity.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            ….and all those who got fooled once again by this organization when this team fail to put a winner on this field…….will cry in their $6 beer.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            So you are no longer a fan? You didn’t have to tell us that. It’s obvious you don’t support the club.

          • Ripsnorter1

            What is the deadline for Theo’s rebuild, that the negative posters should apologize?

            I mean this: if 20 years from now, Theo finally gets the Cubs over the hump, should
            the negative posters apologize after waiting another 20 years?
            Please give me a deadline when, if Theo hasn’t gotten the
            job done, that the positive posters were dead wrong.

            I think the positive posters should apologize if Theo hasn’t produced a playoff team by the end
            of his contract. What do you think?

          • cubtex

            well said Rip!

          • 07GreyDigger

            I say we can all apologize if Baez, Bryant, Almora and Soler come up and all stink and Theo gets fired.

          • John_CC

            Apologize for being an optimistic fan of a sports team? In the words of you……Fuggitaboutit!

            When do you start apologize?

          • Ripsnorter1

            John,
            You need to read my post again. I asked when the negative posters should apologize to the
            positive posters if indeed Theo turns this thing around.

            But if Theo never does it, then the negative posters were right, weren’t they? Shouldn’t the positive posters apologize to the negative posters for lambasting them? Or in your mind, is it only a one-way thing? This one way business doesn’t seem fair or truthful.

            So I think there ought to be some kind of a deadline to this thing. Tell us, when is Theo’s deadline?

            I do not think it is being disloyal or even evil to disagree with some or even all of the moves a GM makes, if one thinks his moves are deleterious to the welfare of the team.

            I think the idea that one HAS to agree with anything the brass does in order to be a real fan is ridiculous. I do not enjoy being a sheep or a lemming.

            After the 1985 Bears won it all, Ditka & Co. disassembled the team that won it all. As Bill Walsh said it, “The Bears have replaced great players with good ones.”
            And they never won another thing.

            Was it disloyal to say, “They should not have gotten rid of Wilbur Marshall?”

          • John_CC

            Sorry I misread your last line, I thought you said the positive posters should apologize if …

            Anyway, of course I do not think it is being disloyal to disagree a team’s moves. Come on, do come off as that much a patsy? Maybe you don’t recall but I had a lot of fun raking Hendry and Quade over the coals with you.

            My point was simple, why would I apologize for believing in the Cubs’ plan of rebuilding? I mean who would I be apologizing to, you?

            Dear Rip, I am so sorry that I bought into the idea and had a fan’s faith and hope in Epstein to be able to build a winning team.

            You mean an apology like that?

          • Ripsnorter1

            John,
            It’s like this: The positive posters want the negative guys to say, “We were wrong about Theo.”
            So I’d say, “What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander. The positive guys need to apologize if the negative guys were right.” At some point, somebodies on here will have to eat crow and say, “You were right.”

            That’s all

          • cubtex

            I am not in the “negative” category. I am in the “realistic” category.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I’d say the same thing. But if you do not fully support Theo’s way of doing things, you are
            considered a “negative” poster by those who do.

          • cubtex

            Lol. Of course. I said that to get a rise out of the “positive” posters. I wanted one of them to reply! LOL

          • Tony_Hall

            Do you think you are just a notch below “fully” supporting Theo’s way of doing things, or a whole bunch of notches below?

          • Ripsnorter1

            I do not knock everything Theo does just to be knocking him/.

            Example: Bryant. I wanted him. Theo drafted him. Thanks to Theo.
            Almora: I wanted him, he drafted him, Thanks to Theo.
            Marshall trade: I approved it when he did it. Check the files and see.

            There are other examples.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree, but you are still more than a notch below, full support. Ray on the other hand had to create new notches just to hang on.

          • Tony_Hall

            Realistically speaking, you are awfully negative.

          • Ripsnorter1

            LOL

          • cubtex

            hahaha. I was waiting for that. And Realistically speaking….you have never said a negative paragraph,sentence or word against Team Theo and anything he has ever done since being employed by the Cubs.

          • Tony_Hall

            Not true, I said just the other day, that if they gave our 4 FA’s, QO’s, I would join you in the ranks of naysayers.

            Sorry, I have stated this before, I don’t feel a need to pick apart every move, whether I thought it was great, ok, or terrible. I agree with the overall plan, I know it is not good to watch how sausage is made, yet we all are watching this rebuild every day.

          • cubtex

            the point is that I know you don’t agree with certain things but you will never say it. It is about having a discussion on a site like this where we can all say….damn, I would have rather done this instead of that. We can all predict what you will type before you do. You say I hate all moves. Have you seen me post any negative comments about Renteria? Do I say many things negatively about Castro? You think I am negative because I do not like many or very few of the moves Theo has made since he has been here. I love what Theo has done with the farm system, I loathe the product he is putting on the field at the mlb level.

          • Tony_Hall

            Renteria? It is Day 2!

            Think of the MLB product on the field as the sausage making process. It is probably better to look away while they are making it, but you will still love it when it is done!

          • cubtex

            I am thrilled Sveum is gone. Most inept manager I have seen in a long time.

          • Tony_Hall

            I will be shocked if you aren’t ultra critical of Renteria by May 1st.

          • cubtex

            Get ready to be shocked because I like what I have read about him. Love the fact that he says be prepared to see him with a smile on his face everyday and I bet Castro will respond a hell of a lot more to him. How many times did you see Sveum actually smile in the dugout? That is just one example but keeping the players relaxed is important.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree, I like what I hear about him. Just wait until the 1st time he doesn’t bunt when you think he should, then we will see how much leeway you give him.

          • cubtex

            he is 51. He is from my era. I bet we will see a bunt or 2. :)))

          • Tony_Hall

            Clint Hurdle is 56 years old and learned to adapt his style to use the information made available to him. I am pretty sure for Renteria to get hired he knows how to use the stats made available to him.

            “After being fired by the Rockies midway through the 2009 season, Hurdle knew he had to change.

            Hurdle is a product of 20th century baseball thought. To earn another job in the 21st century, he knew he had to embrace new-age information. He saw how the game was trending toward a greater acceptance of sabermetrics. He spent time on websites like Fangraphs.com, and he took a job as an MLB analyst where he was exposed to even more cutting-edge information.

            “It was definitely a transformation in understanding the game. It has been for me for the last 10 years, especially the last five years,” Hurdle said. “You have to get involved in the information. You’ve got to read. You’ve got to study. You can’t just stick your head in the sand and just say, ‘It doesn’t exist. It doesn’t count. It doesn’t make sense.’ ”

            When the Pirates hired Hurdle during the 2010 offseason and he was introduced to Fox at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort at the winter meetings, Hurdle didn’t scoff at the notion of taking advice and information from a computer scientist and, later, Mike Fitzgerald, a 24-year-old MIT graduate. Rather, he embraced the information.”

            http://triblive.com/sports/pirates/4689239-74/pirates-defensive-season#axzz2f4BnFVMH

          • cubtex

            Good for Hurdle. I think you posted this before. The NL game is different than the AL. Would you agree? Bunting is something that should not be thrown away and not utilized. It was and is still a huge part of the game.

          • Tony_Hall

            Yes, I have. Good, no great article.

            He manages the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League.

            I think outs are even more important in the NL, where we have to give up so many easy outs with pitchers batting.

          • cubtex

            How many outs does Darwin Barney give up on his own in a season? What is better for a .200 hitter to do? Advance a runner so a base hit drives in a run….or B. hit into a DP C. Strike out D. Fly out(no advancement) E. Get a hit(which the odds are less than 20% he does that)

          • Tony_Hall

            Different story. Barney is below league average offensively. He may be more productive bunting every AB.

            I don’t think, we need to worry about Barney, I don’t see him as a full time starter moving foward.

          • Ripsnorter1

            You and I know he’s your starting 2B for 2014. He’ll leave ST as the starter. And it’s likely
            he finishes 2014 as your starter.

          • SuzyS

            I disagree Rip. It’s more than likely that Barney will be replaced as a starter before the end of 2014…by either Baez/Castro…or Alcantra.
            I expect Barney to be gone by the trade deadline….Unless, of course, his hitting improves dramatically.

          • Ripsnorter1

            You are welcome to disagree. : )

            I think your real motive is that you
            want Barney in Boston to replace Pedroia. I know, I know: Pitching and
            defense wins games, not offense. Dempster and Barney will be the connection
            to take Boston to back to back WS titles. : )

            Yeah. I see your point. : )

            My points:
            1. Theo deals Castro this offseason–“He’s uncoachable,” says Team Theo, while they tout
            the three prospects they received in the deal who will never get 50 IP in MLB.
            2. Theo signs some castoff, perhaps Scott Moore, to handle the SS duties
            until Baez is ready in 2015. Or Luis Valbuena moves over to SS. Or both.
            Barney stays the regular 2B because Team Theo doesn’t
            understand that pitching and defense does not win titles, but offense does. After all,
            Sveum would not play Logan Watkins because “Barney is our 2B.” Never mind that Barney
            had the 8th worst offensive season of any 2B since the beginning of time.
            3. 2014 is over. Barney starts 155 games. The Cubs lose another 101 games. Why? No offense at all. Rizzo joins Barney in the .208 club. No bats to protect him in this lineup. Not to worry: BA is overrated. It’s all about OBP. Rizzo has a .266 OBP and .303 slugging, just like Barney did in 2013.
            4. Many hail Team Theo as “brilliant, incredibly savvy” leaders of your ChiCubs, for staying the
            course and building a “top five” minor leagues system.
            5. Barney is not traded. No team and no GM in all of MLB wants Barney on their roster. They already have enough .188 hitting infielders.
            6. Renteria, our new “secret weapon,” tells all the writers about his great confidence in Barney.
            “He knows how to bunt.” And other famous line of RR: “He knows how to take a pitch.” The Secret Weapon bats Barney leadoff for most of the year.

          • Tony_Hall

            Wow, and you think your are just a notch below fully supporting Theo and the rebuild :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            Just a half-notch below full support. That’s all. One-half of a notch.
            : )

          • Tony_Hall

            He very likely could be the starter out of ST, I am not convinced that Watlkins won’t beat him out in ST with a new coaching staff. I see them platooning at 2B until Alcantara is ready, probably after the trade deadline.

          • Tony_Hall

            Same story with the coaches, it is never always or never.

            I still feel there are times to bunt, just far fewer times than you.

          • cubtex

            I will take my chances playing for 1 run in a tie game many times from the 7th inning and on.

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t want to get into another long drawn out debate. So I will post this and go to dinner

            Here is a chart that covers real games from 1984-1994 situations and the results of runs scored (Expected) and the probability of scoring 1 run. I haven’t broken it down to cover all situations, but from spot checking, it almost always reduces the probability of scoring 1 run and the number of runs scored, even with a successful bunt. The numbers get skewed much further when you take into account unsuccessful bunt attempts.

            Yes there is more to many situations, but these are over a lot of baseball games that take all of those situations into account. If someone wants to, and I bet teams like the Cubs have done, is they break these numbers down much, much farther to come up with the break point range for players, as to which players swing the numbers one way or another. I get that you can’t take this chart and use to make every decision and that a live, breathing manager has to take this info along with who the hitter is, who is on deck, who is pitching, who is in the bullpen, basically everything else about the game into account to make their decision. This is just more information that tells what has happened in the past, based on situations.

            http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/users/brooks/public_html/feda/datasets/expectedruns.html

          • Sonate

            So agree Tony. This has been studied to death, starting with Earnshaw Cook (MIT Engineer) in 1964. Pete Palmer, Bill James, Craig Wright all agree. If you’re not a pitcher at the plate, the sac bunt is almost always a bad play.

          • cubtex

            what position did Earnshaw Cook play for the MIT Engineering School of baseball?

          • Sonate

            Cook was the “father” of Sabermetrics (before Bill James coined the term).

          • Tony_Hall

            I love this comeback that if you didn’t play at a level higher than you, you must not know baseball.

            What do you think of the guys who played above you, who think the same thing?

          • cc002600

            hope not. The most overrated, worthless strategy in baseball.

            You have 3 outs in an inning, why do you want to just give one up ? And that assumes the sac bunt is successful, which is often not the case.

            I coached travel baseball for 10 years, I never used sac bunt once. We played .750 ball almost every year. :-)

          • daverj

            Quade?

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I think that is a really good analogy.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Cubtex was dead right about Sveum.
            He was right about Soriano and the lack of slugging with him gone.
            He was right about anybody could rebuild the Theo way, and for a lot less than $4 million per.

          • cubtex

            It was obvious to me what would happen to this lineup if Soriano was removed. I cannot believe that some were actually surprised. This rebuild is not different from any of the small market teams. Same.

          • Ripsnorter1

            You were dead right.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            i don’t think that’s true at all. It took someone with his clout to tear down the house before rebuilding it. Also he’s made gutsy and savvy moves such as the Garza deal that others wouldn’t have. Also we always seem to get the better end of deals with the exception maybe being Rizzo’s which still remains to be seen, and Theo got his guy. Theo is a hard negotiator. The international signings, all kind of other moves. Anyone could do it, just like anyone could have started Microsoft or be president of Bloomberg News. The fact is they aren’t. Theo is doing what anyone could do but many wouldn’t or wouldn’t have had his foresight. Don’t sell short what he has accomplished. Anyone could have put together the Braves of the 90’s or Yankees, but they didn’t. Anyone could have put together the Cardinals or modern times but they didn’t. It’s easy to write off accomplishments as capable of happening by anyone, but that doesn’t lessen their signifigance.

          • Tony_Hall

            C’mon boardrider, anyone could have done everything Theo has done, building the FO up from 3 guys and a typewriter to a modern FO, rebuilding a farm system in 2 years to a Top 5, that is all easy stuff.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I agree but I think everyone knows that. Theo chose to strip the building down to the foundation and rebuild from the lowest levels up. I like that plan and am willing to be patient for it. There could be things done differently but overall I think it’s been done with savvy such as moves like Feldman. Also I just feel like usually Theo gets the better of deals.

          • John_CC

            Rip, I guess the difference between my positive attitude about the future of the Cubs differs from the standard negativity because it is not about a single person. You may not believe that, but my view is not the Theo Epstein is infallible. He has made mistakes and will make more. I have admitted that and do so again right now. But I do believe that the Cubs are on the right path. So if they are not competitive in a couple more years then I will be very disappointed and sorry. But I guess I do see how I can be sorry to you or anyone else about me believing in something.

            That’s what I feel is the difference. Most of the negativity is based on immediate actions: Renteria isn’t the guy, Castro is ruined, that kind of stuff that I think is just silly. So if Renteria does not suck, then the haters could apologize about something – ragging on me for giving him a chance first. But again, what would I apologize to you for, reserving my judgement?

          • Ripsnorter1

            No apology necessary. And we aren’t speaking about apologies at this time frame, either. The posts were instigated by Josh Man demanding an apology from the negative posters when the Cubs win the WS. My response was “What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander. If the Cubs do not make the playoffs by Theo’s 5 year contract, the others should apologize to us because they lambasted us for critiquing Theo.”

            Castro: he may be ruined, imo. I’ve seen it before. Case in point: Gary Templeton.

            Renteria: yes, we need to give him a chance. He’s an unknown quantity right now.
            If we see Sveum-like regression in our future core, he’ll get the blame.

          • John_CC

            I didn’t read that stuff so I wasn’t really following where you were coming from.

            No worries, silly conversation, but it is Friday after all.

            Have a good one!

          • Ripsnorter1

            Yes, have a good one! And looking forward to an improving Cubs’ team for 2014.

          • DWalker

            I can understand criticizing bad choices, but not all bad choices are significant. Sveum was a mistake, but did they learn from it, grow from it and move on; or did they repeat it.I don’t see the point of constantly dwelling on mistakes over successes, because well, its the cubs. It could be worse, we could be the marlins, but really there is no where to go but up, because the cubs haven’t done much more than look up for the last century and wish we had a system that was producing champions and not chokes. face it, the cubs have sucked for the vast majority of the last 100 years, and on the occasion when the cubs did field teams that were better than marginal, they still managed to choke.I don’t know why people are so up in arms over loosing, because thats what they have spent everyone on heres lifetimes being the only thing they are good at. Hendry and the tribune ownership was one of the worst of a series of bad jokes played on cubs fans, and for once we have an ownership and fo that is actually making decisions and putting the money on the line with a plan to actually succeed on a sustained basis, which I know is something most of us aren’t familiar with outside of watching other teams do it. . please forgive us if we are willing to give them some credit for having a plan to someday win, or at least different plan from “patch it up this year and worry about it next year as long as we sell a couple of more tickets”. Right or wrong, there isn’t a thing wrong with supporting what they are doing even if we don’t always agree with it (and I certainly don’t agree with everything they have done). I don’t blame anyone for not liking it, but there are a handful of posters on here who never seem to find a positive in anything and seem to be rooting for failure, and its gotten really bad in the last few months. If we didn’t have some hope, we would all be cardinals fans by now because it means nothing anyone does will ever make the cubs winners.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I agree, it is taking time but shaping up. I don’t think anyone needs to apologize, but personally I expect to be at .500 by 2016 at the latest. But I think this rebuild will be the type that we’ll be at .500 and looking better one season, then the next we will be in the NLCS or close.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I think you are absolutely wrong. I’m a fan of Theo and trust the way he is building this club. I think most fans do.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I don’t have a degree in television (but took classes in school, worked in radio and have family who have worked in media for the past 40+ years)

      But of course the Cubs are not a big story right now. It’s November. Regardless of our differing thoughts on Theo, even if this team was more relevant, this story would be 4th at the most.

      What’s on right now? Bears, Bulls, Hawks. Bears are first place in their division, Bulls have Derrick Rose back and the Hawks have won two Stanley Cups in the past three years. The only way I see the Cubs being a top story in November is if they won a world series the following month.

      You run stories based on what people care about at the moment. People care about Jay Cutler right now.

      Josh Man, you do have a point about running stories later in the program and I would assume that the Renteria story may have been longer and more in depth than some of the others, but not necessarily the most important.

      As for local TV taking 20 seconds on Renteria? Again, have you seen a local sports cast? It’s 3 minutes at best. They’ve got to get a lot of information in there. What do you want them to do?

      • cubtex

        sounds like you stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night. lol

        • CubbyDenCritic

          No doubt he packed a few towels in his luggage before he left.

        • 07GreyDigger

          I remember the commercial, but don’t get the joke. Sorry.

          • Tony_Hall

            C’mon Man!

      • cc002600

        Just to add to what you said and others.

        This is a fact in life in sports – if your team is in last place, no matter what the town or no matter what the sport, people are not going to pay that much attention, Only the diehards will, the casual fan will find something else to do. Let’s face it, when the games are meaningless, (i,e not fighting for playoff spot – see cubs last 4 years) the games are boring. There is no buzz, no excitement.

        I find it so funny how short people’s memories are. Case in point, Think back to about 6 or 7 years ago for the Blackhawks. You literally could not give away their tickets. Routinely, there were 6000 people at their games. The team stunk. Nobody cared. But now look at them. Winning cures all. The point is, this stuff goes in cycles. Cubs are down right now, but when they start winning again, they will be front page news again. And it will probably take 7-10 years, but there will come a time again when the Hawks suck too, and nobody will care about them either again, except the diehards. That’s how it works. People love a winner. Losing is boring. That’s just a fact of sports.

    • cc002600

      no idea what you are talking about.

      I watched the comcast sports show at 10PM last night, and the lead story was Renteria.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        maybe I a getting a different version……or………you are the Comcast Director of Operations manager who has a TV degree and just lying to protect your goof.

        • cc002600

          uh, not really. I know what I saw.

          but if that’s what you want to believe and that makes you feel better, go right ahead, pal.

          But honestly, I could care less.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Then why are you replying?…maybe to make yourself feel better!

          • cc002600

            Because I know how important this is to you, and I want to make sure that facts don’t get in the way of your arguments.

            LOL

          • CubbyDenCritic

            time for you to empty out the garbage cans.

  • cubtex

    Reds sign Brayan Pena so those who mentioned they would like to see him with Cubs….scratch off list.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Koyie Hill is getting excited now.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Koyie Hill doesn’t want to play with the Cubs.
        When Theo traded for him, he left on his own as soon as the
        season was over.

        • CubbyDenCritic

          What is George Mitterwald up to these days?

          • Ripsnorter1

            I don’t want him. Bring back Ken Rudolf. He broke up Tom Seaver’s no hitter.

            And J.C. Martin. And George Hyiatt.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            you are going old school on me now.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Bill Heath, C.

          • cubtex

            and bring back Tarzan Joe Wallis to play CF next year.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            right now, Joe would be an upgrade.

          • Ripsnorter1

            And that is one Cub missing in action. As I understand it, no one knows where he is.

          • cubtex

            this is what made me think of Tarzan Joe when you typed this.

            A little over six years later, on September 24, 1975,
            Seaver took another no-hit bid into the ninth inning against the Cubs.
            This one was at the Friendly Confines. Seaver got the first two batters
            out, but then, up came “Tarzan” Joe Wallis. (He got the nickname from
            jumping into motel swimming pools from second floor balconies.) With two
            outs, and two strikes, Joe Wallis became Jimmy Qualls and hit a single
            into right center. (Seaver left the game after ten innings, having given
            up three hits. Rick Reuschel also pitched ten innings, giving up five
            hits. The Cubs won the game in the eleventh, 1 to 0.)

          • cubtex

            Both starting pitchers going 10 innings. The good old days! What are the odds of that happening today?

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Agents will never allow it.

          • Ripsnorter1

            ZERO.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            Jumping off of hotel balconies with a motorcycle to be exact!
            I saw that game…..Seaver was pi**ed off.

          • cubtex

            I saw that game as well.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Cubs become “back page” news in November……
    Cubs become “back page” news when June 1st comes around also !
    lol

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Lets ace facts here….
    Cubs will suck in 2014…..so lets trade our big Blue chips when their value is high and other GM’s push the panic button….
    I have no doubt that Castro will rebound from a bad season…..yes, he could be a future HOF, but this is not what having a team is all about…..we are here to WIN……we are in last place…….we need to rebuild this club……….Castro can get us three top notch prospects……..Baez & Torres are in the wings……..
    Samardzija is a wanted pitcher by a dozen MLB clubs……..his prime years are now…………if 2014 is the same as 2013, then the Shark is not helping us……get what we can for him…….
    T. Wood…….starts out the same as in 2013, and this team is a division bottom feeder again by June, send Wood packing for prospects…..
    Rizzo…….I am hoping this guy breaks out in 2014…..if he does, he is our future team captain……..I would NOT Trade Rizzo if he becomes a Star……but if he hits like Pete LaCock, at least we can shift Olt, Bryant, Canderlario or Soler at first.
    Having Luvable Cub players and being in last place cannot be the norm any longer.

    • Ripsnorter1

      You sound like you’ve joined Team Theo.

      Prospects are suspects until proven otherwise.

      Lots of folks have traded MLB players away for a handful of garbage.
      Not a wise way to live.

      If you deal Castro away, you’d better receive a starting position player who is a future HOFer.
      If you don’t, you lost that trade.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        of course……but we cannot advance if we stay with the status that we have…….
        as Dallas Green once said ” You need to trade quality to get quality”…..
        if we don’t get any pitching by 2015, then the next several years after that will still be bad if Bryant, Baez and others are here.

        • Ripsnorter1

          The Cubs had the 5th best starting staff in the NL in 2013 if you measure it by quality starts.
          And the Reds, who had 94 QS, was the only NL Central team ahead of the Cubs, who had 91.0

          It was the offense that killed us. Fix the offense.

          • CubbyDenCritic

            I think Olt will be a “wild card” for the Cubs….might see big numbers by him………..2/3 of the outfield will be traded off by July…..Rizzo & Castro have to rebound…….Barney will be Barney………if we add bats to long term contracts, which is a whole new story, then what happens to Soler, Baez, Bryant & Almora?……..I have to believe Theo will tell Cubs Nation that he needs one more year to restock this farm system with trades…..big bats will come after he sees what the present prospect group can do…..why spend big $$$$ on F/A’s when you are a last place team for the next two years?………Hiring Theo was like giving birth to a child……can’t expect your baby to throw a baseball right away……give it time……your Theo kid is 2 yrs old now…..it is a long process.

          • DWalker

            that and the wonderful bullpen, don’t forget Marmol and co. Sharks probably gone since hes too much a wildcard for what he wants, but after this down year castro ain’t going anywhere and shark won’t bring back what fans think he should. not saying it won’t be nice, but it won’t be what people are hoping for.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I blame Bosio/Sveum/Team Theo for Marmol’s problems. They did not
            want him to succeed, imo, and they messed with him. He succeeded in LA.

            But the bullpen was bad, saving for Blake Parker, and Strop on the end.

          • 07GreyDigger

            “Succeeding” for Marmol is what? Sure, Marmol had a 2.53 ERA in LA, but he also walked 19 batters in 21 innings. No thanks.

          • Ripsnorter1

            The object is not to let the other team score. If he walks a batter, and they
            do not score, I do not see that as a problem.

          • cubtex

            sounds like the Cubs offense. LOL. Players walking and no one able to hit and drive them in(especially our 3,4 hitters once Soriano was traded)

          • TheWrongGuy

            Soriano was easy to pitch around in our line-up, and the ONLY threat in our line-up if you even call him a threat. Trading him was an option for Theo to say he will not be here when/if the team is successful in the coming years.

          • cubtex

            his contract is up next year so of course he would have not been here when/if the team is successful in the coming years.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Yes and we both agree his free swining approach at the plate didn’t agree with Theo.

          • cubtex

            either does Starlin Castro, Junior Lake, Wellington Castillo. I guess they should all pack their bags as well.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Its not all of that. Its more of those guys are young and coachable. Where as Soriano is less coachable at his age. And more easily you will follow your piers rather than your coach(Soriano was a clubhouse leader). Soriano has had success so easily will gain followers of the free-swinging approach, which Theo doesn’t want.

          • Tony_Hall

            He did not succeed in LA and we have blown that out of the water so many times.

            ERA is not the best way to judge a reliever.

            WHIP 1.547 is terrible for a reliever

            And I can just see Theo meeting with Sveum and Bosio, telling them how we want Marmol to fail, so let’s come up with a plan to make him worse, because that will help our team. Ridiculous thought.

          • Sonate

            I agree that WHIP is the best judge of a reliever. I still favor ERA for a starter. Runs crossing the plate represents the final score. All else is like yardage gained/lossed in football. If yards don’t produce points, you lose.

          • Tony_Hall

            Relievers, whip is huge, inherited runners scoring, etc. ERA can be completely out of whack with actual productions, high and low.

            Starters, ERA is something to look at but still not as good as WHIP, xFIP, FIP, etc.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Best Scenario for 2014 Cubs……
    – Castro, Rizzo, Olt & others hitting the ball like MVP’s.
    – Pitching outstanding
    – Bullpen outstanding
    – Baez NL ROY
    – Samardzija Cy Young
    – Renteria MOY
    – Cubs are 100 – 62
    – W.S. party …last three months

    Worst scenario……
    – Castro & Rizzo still in slump
    – Samardzija sent to the bullpen
    – Players heading to DL at trade deadline
    – Cubs lone All Star misses A.S. game
    – Baez, Soler and Bryant hitting low .200 in minors
    – Cubs are 60 – 102
    – Renteia calling San Diego to see if they take him back.
    – Roof Top Owners sue Ricketts and win.

    What might happen……
    – Rizzo, Castro & Olt have good years
    – Cubs out of the pennant race by June
    – Samardzija gets traded in July
    – Schierholtz gets traded
    – Barney gets traded
    – Villanueva gets traded
    – Russell gets traded
    – Edwin Jackson stays
    – W. Castillo is an All Star
    – BJax in center field
    – Baez hits HR’s in August that means little
    – Kyle Hendricks looking good in Sept.
    – Vitters ends the season on a strikeout
    – Cubs are 70-92
    – Renteria extends his rent contract for one more season
    – Roof Top Owners sue over outfield signs, litigation for years, Ricketts plans to build new stadium in suburbs instead of renovate Wrigley…….Roof Top Owners sue to block Cubs from moving.

    • Denver Mike

      I think “What might happen” is pretty realistic prediction. I could see all of those things happening except moving to the ‘burbs, but anything is possible.

  • Tony_Hall

    Sorry, passed this on MLBtraderumors and I know it has already been discussed, but this is hilarious.

    Santana Seeks $100MM; Nolasco Looking For $80MM

    The price of 30 something FA’s is going through the roof. Better start developing our own players.

  • Tony_Hall

    JIM BOWDEN @JimBowdenESPNxm
    Hoyer said they interviewed 6 people in person for their managerial opening & a handful more by phone before hiring Renteria;5-week process

  • Tony_Hall

    JIM BOWDEN @JimBowdenESPNxm
    Hoyer @Cubs : “From the first interview, Renteria was a guy that was going to fit well for us, in the end it was a pretty easy decision”

  • Tony_Hall

    JIM BOWDEN @JimBowdenESPNxm
    Hoyer said the most important traits they were looking for in MGR: 1. connection to young players 2. Positive Person 3. Toughness 4. Teacher

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I can’t believe there are people out there who still follow what Jim Bowden has to say.

    • Tony_Hall

      I can’t believe you don’t realize that these are quotes from Jed Hoyer.

  • CubbyDenCritic
  • cubtex

    See Tony. Even Theo can admit he has made several mistakes. Mentions the EJax signing, Sveum hiring and handling of Castro.

    Jesse Rogers
    ‏@ESPNChicago

    Epstein admits to mistakes in rebuilding http://es.pn/1c6CSE3

    • Tony_Hall

      Already read it. Of course he can, he knows he is not perfect, and I know he is not perfect. I just don’t feel the need to blast him for everything I think is wrong.

      Also, he finished EJAX talk with “Epstein was quick to point out Jackson has three years left to prove himself a worthy addition. “

      • Eugene Debs

        To be fair, he also has 3 years to stink up the joint.

        • Tony_Hall

          To be honest it has been 2 years. October 22nd of 2011 was when he was hired. The 1st off season he had to spend a ton of time hiring a real FO staff, he inherited 3 guys and a typewriter.

          What he has done in just 2 years is pretty amazing. The product at the major league level has had to suffer, and if that is all you are concerned with, I can see your point.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    One of the bobble heads that the Cubs will give way next season will be Sammy Sosa…..the head will be ten times larger then normal.