This morning, the Bullets noted that Chicago Cubs’ manager Dale Sveum might make another coaching staff decision or two this week, and it looks like he may have made a big one today.

Houston Astros’ beat writer Brian McTaggart reports Sveum has tabbed Astros’ bullpen coach Jamie Quirk to be his new bench coach.

“It’s just a great opportunity,” Quirk, 57, said. “When Dale Sveum was interviewing, he asked me if I’d be interested if he gets any of the jobs and he got the Cubs. I talked with [Cubs general manager] Theo [Epstein] and passed that test and called [former Astros general manager] Ed [Wade] for permission and all that. I was excited.

“It’s the Cubbies. Who wouldn’t watch that job? They have a very famous tradition in baseball, and it will be nice to be part of turning it around.”

Quirk says it wasn’t just the lure of coaching in Chicago that pulled him North, but also the chance to move out of the bullpen and back onto the bench.

“Pretty much, once the game started I was out of it,” Quirk said. “I was looking forward to the opportunity to get back in the dugout and having more one-on-one with the manager and feeling like you’re actually helping rather than sitting back and watching. I’ve done it many years before, and I kind of missed it.”

Quirk was a long-time Rockies bench coach under Clint Hurdle before coming to the Astros (by way of a one-year stop as a Cincinnati scout). Before his time in Colorado, Quirk was a coach with the Kansas City Royals, for whom he played in 11 of his 18 Major League seasons as a catcher.

Where the selection of Quirk leaves current bench coach Pat Listach, who is under contract through 2012, is unknown.

If nothing else, together with presumed pitching coach Chris Bosio, the media will have a bad-pun field day with Sveum (same), Bosio (bozo), and Quirk (well, quirk).



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