In more uncomfortable but probably-for-the-best housekeeping, today the Chicago Cubs dismissed six more employees – four professional scouts, and two amateur scouts.

The two amateur scouts are Southeast Crosschecker Charlie Aliano and Rick Schroeder. As a Crosschecker, Aliano served as the top scout for his region (which, you’ll note, is an amateur hotspot), with a National Crosschecker ahead of him, and, ultimately, new Scouting Director Jaron Madison and Scouting/Player Development Chief Jason McLeod.

The four dismissed professional scouts are Tom Borque, Joe Housey, Tom Shafer and Richie Zisk. Each previously reported to the Director of Professional Scouting Joe Bohringer, who was brought in late last year with the new crew.

These changes were probably not unlike the recent dismissal of Oneri Fleita and others in the front office – the new guys in charge wanted to take a year to review performance, make connections, figure out where improvements could be made, and then plan transitions. Now those transitions are taking place, and Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod will work to bring in new scouts. I expect the ranks to, overall, be upped.

  • Edwin

    Did they fire whoever scouted Hayden Simpson?

    Just kidding, I’m sure even the best scouts make bad decisions now and again.

    • Eric

      As far as I know, during that draft. Sam zell was in temporary ownership and probably gave them very little money to work with during that draft. So Hendry had to go for a guy who would sign for way less money.

      • JR

        @ Eric, that’s exactly what I was thinking too..

      • Edwin

        There were dozens of players better than Simpson that the Cubs could have signed for just as much money. I understand that the Cubs were looking for a cheaper first round option, but Simpson was cleary not the best “cheap option”.

        • JR

          I hear ya Edwin, it was a bad pick..

        • Eric

          Ok so it was a combination of crap scouting and a temporary owner that didn’t give a crap about the long time health of the franchise. God I’m glad I didn’t follow the drafts during that time I bet it was a depressing draft for anyone who had atleast minimal knowledge on the draftees.

          • Pat

            You can’t really put that on Zell. The front office (Hendry and Kenney) were given a budget for the year. I doubt Zell had any input at all as to how that was spent. They chose to allocate most of the money to the MLB team.

      • Harry Ramirez

        As I see it, you don’t always have to settle for mediocrity, you can just wait a year to maximize your options. For exemple, you draft someone you know you can’t sign, in this case someone like Zach Lee, you fail to sign him and end up with 2 first round picks next draft instead. If indeed Wilken decided that Simpson is a good option nonetheless, it is his fault, at least for the time being.

        That being said, I think we have to respect the fact that when Wilken signed with us he was considered one of the best, you can’t ask for more than that.

    • Luke

      The same guy who scouted Simpson also scouted Trey McNutt and Ben Wells. I’d rather keep him around.

      • Bric

        Don’t many scouts these days say McNutt is over rated and over hyped? I thought I read that somewhere. I guess our scouts know better.

    • Cryinmybluecoolaid

      I believe Wilken was running the draft for Hendry when the Cubs drafted Simpson.

    • fromthemitten

      dude I was going to make this joke

  • Deer

    Anyone who’s name was on a report regarding Ian Stewart or Volstad was probably let go.

  • JR

    It’s probably difficult to analyze past drafts fairly because there wasn’t a philosophy of overspending on drafts like the smart teams did. But yeah that Hayden Simpson pick is pretty crappy..

  • Jeff1969

    Wow, we’re rewriting history here a little bit. There is no way Simpson as even close to being the best available signable pick. Read the Baseball America assessment of him, many scouts cosidered him no higher than possibl 6th rounder. The Cubs just fell in love with him & threw the dice. That said, I really do hope he figures it out as a Cub. Go Hayden!

    • Cedlandrum

      There were some rumors that there was a few teams who might take him with a supplemental pick. I don’t know if this is true or not, but the Cubs liked him better then anyone else and so they took him that high so they wouldn’t lose him.

      • Dumpgobbler

        That is true IIRC. I think the Cardinals and a second team were considering him in the supplemental round. Scouting reports were high on him. Fastball in the mid 90’s with command of 3 average to plus pitches. Fact is, budget restraints we’re probably the main factor in drafting Simpson. I thought it was a bad pick at the time, and obviously do now, but I understand it. They took a risk on a guy they were high on to save money, and it didn’t work. It is a but frustrating when you look at guys drafted after Simpsom, knowing we could have had them. Noah Syndergaard, Zach Lee, Aaron Miller, Taijuan Walker and Tyrell Jenkins would be awesome right now. All pitchers drafted after Simpson.

  • baldtaxguy

    The same Richie Zisk – Pirate 1B-3B?

    • Alou and Vinegar

      former Cub in the mid 80’s also.

    • Stinky Pete

      My first real baseball glove was a Richie Zisk model.

      • Rynomite

        My first glove also was a Zisk.

  • donnie kessinger

    Gotta be the same Zisk… right?

  • BluBlud

    My Mother always did the big house cleaning in the Spring. I guess these guys prefer late summer cleaning. I wouldn’t be suprised if this time next year everybody not named McCloud, Hoyer, Epstien, or the ones they brought with them isn’t replace.

    It’s like a regular business structure. Once the CEO of a company is replaced, you can bet that a new CFO and COO will be coming soon also.

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    edison volquez on waivers 29 yr old rhp 4.18 era in 26 starts under control for next yr….this would be a cheap filler for 2013 an a trade deadline candidate…..any thoughts

    • Adam

      Personally yes I would be interested in the Cubs acquiring Volquez

    • SouthernCub

      Crusty Faye Baker strikes again, effectively ruining another SP, Jocketty was able to ship him outta town before the rest of the league noticed.

    • AB

      the cubs are not going to trade prospects for a guy like Volquez.

      • http://bleachernation ferris

        wouldnt you at least see what it would take…were gonna need to do a lil better than what volstad has given us or coleman…ect.

      • Northside Matt

        Then don’t trade prospects for Volquez. The Cubs can still put in a claim. They can offer to take the $2M contract and see if SD will bite or let SD pull him back.

  • Bric

    Sure, let’s blame Sam Zell for all his penny pinching, cutting of salaries, meddling in the affairs of all the “good baseball” guys like Hendry, Fleita, and all of the scouts. If it wasn’t for him the Cubs wouldn’t have drafted Simpson, Ryan Harvey, Mark Pawalek, Ben Christensen, Wayne Gretsky’s kid and all the others.

    Oh wait- I don’t think it’s that simple. Was Sam Zell responsible for the signing of Milton Bradley, a guy who had been a problem child on six different teams, AND outbidding the next closest offer by 12 mil? Was it Sam Zell who complained that their per diem was being cut from 50 bucks a day to 30? Really? 50 dollars for food? A day? Get the F out of here. Produce a couple of decent prospects that make it past high A and I’ll change my mind.

    Until then you scouts should probably shut up about having to share a room at the Cubs convention and concentrate on your job. You all know it was Hendry and these so called “good baseball” guys that produced the highest team salary in the league (primarily throught free agent contracts) and left the farm system a joke to the rest of the league. So complaining about having to ride the L to the Cubs Convention isn’t some thing I’d broadcast if I were you, Richie. Woops- too late.

    • Ogyu

      Strong opinion to follow . . . 😉

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Actually, a $30 / day per diem gets you only breakfast and lunch in most major cities in the US. Heck, in NYC, it’s a cup of coffee, tops…..

      • Bric

        Why are these guys using their per diem in New York? 4 of these guys were minor league scouts. How much does a cup of coffee cost in Beloit?

        • Pat

          Remember that these guys are on the road. They can’t go out shopping and fix their own meals. Even $50 a day isn’t all that great if you are looking to eat a balanced diet out at restaurants. $30 is definitely poor. You can’t expect these guys to eat fast food three times a day.

          • Cubbie Blues

            The US General Services Administration gives government recommended rates per city. This is what we use at work when we are out of town. For example even Springfield IL is $81 per day. Here is the link.

            • Matt3

              That would be nice. I get 40 federal reserve notes per night no matter where I stay.

              • Cubbie Blues

                Last time I was out in California I got close to $500. It was especially nice since most of my meals were provided by the conference during the day and vendors at night.

    • Mush

      Great post. Keep bringing it strong. Most of the people in this room are the reason the Cub fans get a bad rap. People stop making excuses. We stinks!

  • Doug Dascenzo

    Long, long history of bad picks, someone had to take the fall. 😛

  • Zach

    Hey brett where is that korean kid the cubs signed two years ago. I thought he was a top 20 international signing. I think his name was Kim Jin-Yeong i havent even heard about him since the signing

    • Tommy

      I’m not Brett, but I am guessing you’re thinking of Hak-Ju Lee and he was traded to Tampa Bay in the Matt Garza deal. I think we got Rosscup in that same trade, but we also gave up Archer, as well (among a few other players I can’t remember, but a quick search would probably find it).

      • Brett

        Nah. He’s talking about the pitcher.

      • FFP

        I’m not Brett

        I am noting this flat-out denial. (I had a theory, Tommy, that you were Brett’s alter ego–sort of a Batman to his Bruce Wayne;)

        • Tommy

          I’m glad that I am the Batman side. Thanks FFP!

          • Tommy

            Oh, and for the record – that’s the coolest thing anyone has said to me! Comparing me to my two favorite superheroes – Batman and Brett!

    • Brett

      You’ve got the right guy. Hasn’t been able to make it out of rookie ball/SS. Not sure if injuries have been an issue.

  • lou brock lives

    My best guess is these scouts who were let go were given 7/8 months to show they were on board & up to the daily tasks assigned – AND THEY FAILED THE TEST. This happens in many industries when new management & new ways are introduced & the guys who do not want to make the changes are given enough rope to hang themselves.
    This does send a message to the rest of the scouting & development group to shape up or ship out.

  • Rebuilding

    Watch out commenting on these guys. I had the audacity to question Tim Wilken being kept in the organization and was raked over the coals the other night. I’m glad that Ricketts made the change to Theo and Company but there have been 2 things that have really given me a pause: (1) There is no excuse for not getting Cespedes. He’s young and our nearest CF (I wont count Jackson until his K rate is under 45 percent) is 18 and was just drafted. Yes, I know it was a blind bid, but you don’t have to give up talent and you have to win it and (2) the handling of Jackson and Vitters – neither one has any business being in the big leagues. Vitters had seemed to turn a corner this year and if he has any confidence left I’ll be surprised

    • Jimmy james

      I dont think u can blame them for missing out on cespedes, all reports are they made a strong offer

  • 5412


    Zell should absolutely be blamed. In the summer of 2011, after Ricketts had bought the team they signed 19 of their first 20 picks. Randy Bush was quoted in the paper as saying this is the first time the Cubs were given the money and instructions to get them all signed.

    If you want the link, I can find it, to the article in the Tribune highlighting the Cubs increased their scouting and player development department in January from 90 to 120 people, a 33% increase, just to bring them up to parity with other teams.

    Those are some pretty good indictments of Zell and the Tribune Company.


    • Pat

      No, it’s not on Zell. Do you really think he paid attention to the Cubs budget details? They were given an overall budget, just like any subsidiary company is. He is not the one to choose to spend it on majors vs minors.

      • Scotti

        Yes, Zell paid attention to the budget. It is what he does as a turn around specialist. And, no, Hendry didn’t have the ability to decide majors or minors. Zell was selling the team and wanted the team to be winning so he could sell for a higher profit.

        • MikeL

          This is amazing…..The team is where it is today because of Jim Hendry, not because of Theo Epstein. Sure, fans in Boston have a right to blame Theo for part of the mess in Boston (although if you are going to blame Zell here, than you have to blame Henry and Lucchino in Boston as well). I find it amazing people are willing to give Hendry a pass……it cracks me up. You want to go out on a spending spree in free agency??? Give the fan something to cheer, right??? How is that working out for the Marlins? The Angels? You can say that the Angels are at least competitive, but they certainly aren’t the best team and now don’t have much payroll flexibility to make themselves much better this offseason. This is Jim Hendry’s team….not Theo’s….The farm system that includes Vitter and Jackson is Hendry’s,…not Theo’s….you can whine and complain all you want…..but this team is not going to be competitive until 2014 at the very earliest. You can thank Hendry for that, nobody else. 2013 will more than likely be another 90+ loss season. Some posters are in denial about how bad of shape Hendry left this organization in. Hendry got 9 years and brought us no world championships and many are Hendry apologists. I say give Theo at least three years before you start claiming he is the worst executive in baseball. I think that would be fair…..

          • Jim L.

            Finally some sanity. You’re absolutely correct, MikeL.

  • art

    as far as the Rick Schroeder firing, here’s my take. Rick has never been the same since leaving “Saved By The Bell”..

    • RoughRiider

      Wrong Show.

    • OlderStyle

      Silver Spoons

  • 5412

    Hendry had a fraction of the budget that teams in much smaller markets get. In the last two years he saved some payroll budget for the trading deadline and Zell would not let him spend the money.

    • OlderStyle

      right on. from the Tribune to Zell, Cubs ownership went from bad to worse. Hendry is a very polarizing figure on these boards. If you don’t hate him then you you’re an apologist, a kool aid drinker, blah, blah, blah…

      Truth is, we don’t know a lot of the details of what Hendry’s marching orders were. Zell was just trying to flip a product for a quick profit, not develop for long-term. Hendry may have been hand-cuffed and overridden on a lot decisions. We do know he brought more winning baseball to the North Side than had been seen in a long time.

      The Ricketts leave me much more hopeful. it’s darkest before dawn.