He says it’s not a product of the new manager, but either way, Larry Rothschild is gone.
Today, the (former) Chicago Cubs’ pitching coach, who had previously exercised an option for 2011, took advantage of a clause in his contract allowing him to depart the organization. He did so in favor of a three-year contract with the New York Yankees.
“My reasons for pursuing and accepting this opportunity are personal and family-based, as the Yankees hold Spring Training in, and travel several times a year to, my hometown of Tampa,” Rothschild revealed in a prepared statement. “The chance to spend increased time with my family was something I wanted to explore, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have done so.
“My nine years with the Cubs were tremendous, and I’m proud of the pitching staff I leave behind. I wish Mike Quade, the Cubs and their great fans the best and look forward to returning to Wrigley Field in June.”
There’s no way to sugercoat this news: Rothschild has been an excellent pitching coach. For nine years the Cubs had an above-average pitching staff. While that is certainly at least partially the product of talent, it also reflects a dedicated coach who is well-respected around the game.
As for his rationale, I’ll take him at his word. Spring Training is, of course, a very small period of the year, but I suppose a little time at home during the season is more than none.
And before you ask, unfortunately Greg Maddux is not a candidate to replace Rothschild. He likes the flexibility in his current role as an assistant to GM Jim Hendry. Someday Maddux may come to the coaching ranks, but for now, the Cubs will have to look elsewhere.