The Near-Term Future of the Coaching Staff – Dave McKay Puts It Out There

dave mckay cubsWhen the Chicago Cubs fired Dale Sveum as manager on Monday, they also kinda-sorta fired the entire coaching staff. Although some of the coaches are desirable return candidates, and some are believed to have had a contract through 2014, the front office decided to let all of the coaches go, with the understanding that they may want to see some return when the new manager was hired and had an opportunity to pick his own staff.

In that way, it was simultaneously a rough thing and a courteous thing to do – although the coaches may now be unemployed, they are at least not being held entirely in limbo awaiting a new manager. Should they want to pursue other opportunities, they could do so now. If they’re willing to wait on the next guy to see what’s up, they can do that, too.

One of the coaches that I’d think the Cubs very much hope waits it out is outfield/first base coach Dave McKay. An extremely successful and well-tenured coach over his long career with the Cardinals and Athletics, McKay is believed to have been instrumental in Alfonso Soriano’s outfield renaissance over the past two years, among other things.

In a great piece at ESPN Chicago, Jesse Rogers spoke at length with McKay, who sounds interested in waiting to see how the managerial situation shakes out before exploring non-Cubs options. You’ll want to read the whole thing for McKay’s thoughts, but I did want to share one particularly striking, and appropriate quote, given the state of things.

“I’m 63 years old. If they say you’re going to be winning in four or five years, I might not be there [in four or five years] even if I was asked,” McKay told Rogers when asked about the desire to win again soon. “It’s getting close to when I’m going to be retiring. Right now, I feel like I can do everything in the past. I don’t feel my age. The chance to work with these guys is exciting …. They do have some talent where you’re saying you wish they could fast forward this a little bit. There’s going to be some talent showing up soon. You know they are going to be a winning organization, but you often wondered if you’d be a part of that.”

That really sums it up, doesn’t it? There’s always a timetable running up against the excitement of the possibility of being a part of history. It can’t be an easy choice for McKay or the other coaches who are considering waiting things out. And, for that very same reason, it can’t be an easy choice for someone like Joe Girardi to decide whether to leave the comforts of success in New York for the challenge of Chicago.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

40 responses to “The Near-Term Future of the Coaching Staff – Dave McKay Puts It Out There”

  1. Ben

    How about McKay for manager?

    1. Blublud

      I would rather have McKay than some of the other names like Ausmus, Alomar or Hinch.

    2. YourResidentJag

      Experienced. Coming out of the Cardinals organization. Players that he worked with showed skilled improvement. Why this guy shouldn’t get a REAL SHOT at the managerial position, outside of hiring Girardi, is beyond me???

      1. ETS

        he’s 63 and already, to some degree, thinking about retirement. There’s a good chance he doesn’t want the managerial job.

        1. YourResidentJag

          So? Torre and Cox managed until they were how old? If the question was posed to him and an interview was given to him, I think he would strongly consider being a manager.

        2. arta

          two year contract?

    3. C. Steadman

      “I’m 63 years old. If they say you’re going to be winning in four or five years, I might not be there [in four or five years] even if I was asked,” McKay told Rogers when asked about the desire to win again soon…..for reasons he said himself….He isnt going to be around much longer..if he was 55 then I’d be up for it but if he is already thinking about retiring I dont want another Lou Pinella on our hands…I’d love for him to return under the new manager though

      1. YourResidentJag

        He said this about retaining a coaching position….with no knowledge of his future not a managerial job since he didn’t have that.

  2. Justin

    I’d really like to see Chris Bosio back. He’s done so well with Wood, and he can do wonders with Arrieta and more.

    1. Norm

      What about how he’s done with Samardzija? If he gets credit for Wood, shouldn’t he get blamed for Shark?

      1. CubFan Paul

        Shark had an okay season that he should be able to build off of.

        1. Funn Dave

          Not to mention he progressed last year, which is when Bosio was hired. I’d love to see Bosio stay.

  3. ssckelley

    Rob Deer for manager!!!!

    :D

  4. FastBall

    These two guys would be fine coming back IMO. But I doubt either one will. New Manager is going to want his guys running the team without any this is how we were doing it last couple years input. Who would want that if they are trying to take this over the top. I think McKay and Bosio have produced results. The hitting coaches I hope are out looking for work right now. There is no way in hell they are coming back. The bullpen coach and McKay are the only two guys I think make the cut.

    1. JohnT

      I am a fan of the FO, but if you believe that the next manager will be making every decision I think you are wrong. Much of what was done over the past two years is part of the “Cubs Way.” The new manager, whomever it is, will continue to do things the “Cubs Way” and because of that, I don’t believe that this will be as much of a problem as it might have been with other manager changes.

  5. Spriggs

    Very encouraging, and in my opinion, wise comments from McKay. Having seen him on a daily basis during spring training the last 2 years, I just love this guy’s work ethic and the way he works and interacts with players. He seems to know what’s going on all around him too.

    I really hope the next Cubs manager is interested in retaining McKay. In fact, I hope Theo informs the next manager that he probably needs to be interested in McKay.

    1. Voice of Reason

      I’ve watched porn star Tabitha Stevens work out on a daily basis for the past year. I just love her work ethic and the way she interacts with players. She seems to know what’s going on all around her, too!

      I think if Girardi says no then Tabitha will say yes… she always does!!

  6. Jon

    Dave McKay would be a horrendous hire

    1. Ben

      Yep, we wouldn’t want someone from one of the best org’s in baseball who worked alongside one of the best managers in a generation and has a proven record of developing players. That would be a “horrendous hire” exactly why?

      1. Jon

        By “developing players” do you mean shooting steroids in their ass?
        51hnj4PXzKL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

        1. YourResidentJag

          Oh, dear god!

        2. MichiganGoat

          Well lets just face it Cubseco is coming there is no stopping it now
          mlb_g_canseco1_400.jpg

    2. YourResidentJag

      Team Hinch. :)

  7. TheRiot2

    Alice (not Don) Cooper.

  8. cubsin

    Dave McKay can afford to wait on the next manager because there are probably at least a dozen teams that would like to hire him. I’d like to keep McKay, Bosio and the assistant coach that works with the catchers. In fact, if I were in charge, I’d promise him a job as a roving catching instructor for the minor leaguers if the new manager wanted to replace him.

  9. Jon

    Sounds like the Cubs can have Girardi if they are willing to give him 7million a year

    Joel Sherman ‏@Joelsherman1 2m
    I believe #Yankees will offer 3 yrs, $13M-$16M range. Been told they will never go to Torre $7M-ish area, and would let Girardi go b4 that

    Worth it?

    1. Jon

      I got of say this, if you really think Girardi is the guy, and were already willing to pay him 4-6 million, what’s an extra 2 million a year?

      1. When the Music's Over

        $7M/year for a MLB manager is ridiculous.

    2. C. Steadman

      I think Cubs will offer more years, which could be what Girardi is looking for

  10. mr.mac

    if you’re Girardi, don’t the Cubs have more overall upside, and a better chance at winning in the near future than the Yankees do based on current ML team and system? Maybe my thinking is out of whack, though.

  11. Scotti

    Your thinking is right on. Everyone seems to forget that, before their recent run, the Yankees went 17 years without a WS title and 13 years without even making the playoffs. And even during their run, they went 9 years between their 4th and 5th. The players that started their recent run are now old and/or gone. It took them forever to build up last time. Where are they going to find their next Jeter? Their next Rivera? Their next Girardi (he was with them for four WS). Managing the Yankees has not been “Just show up and win a WS” and it surely wont be for the next five years or more.

    Do I wish the Cubs had had a stretch like the Yankees had? Sure, it was great and I don’t diminish it. But the question is who is better poised for a good stretch GOING FORWARD. Between the Cubs and Yankees, it’s the Cubs.

    1. Voice of Reason

      “who is better poised for a good stretch GOING FORWARD.”

      Hey, that statement sounds familiar! The Cubs said that in 1984, 1989, 1998, 2003, 2007, 2008…. how many World Series did we win? I guess we weren’t as poised then as we thought. Are we poised now?

      The Yankees are the Yankees. They are the champions of MLB, period.

      You can say the Cubs are poised, but the tradition is losing! The Yankees tradition is winning. That’s why Girardi will take a pass on the team that is supposedly “poised for a good stretch”.

      1. Scotti

        “They are the champions of MLB, period.”

        Uh, no. The Giants are the MLB champions, period. And 2013 will crown another, non-Yankee, team champion, period.

        And the prospects, or lack thereof, going forward for the Yankees are retiring, aging, leaving, suspending and being injured and/or ineffective all while the team is lowering payroll so they are under the $189 million salary cap.

    2. Kyle

      Going forward between the Yankees and Cubs? It’s close. The Yankees’ finances and already-in-place useful players can’t be completely ignored.

      But if that’s the deciding factor, he’ll go to Washington.

      1. Scotti

        Their already in place players are retiring (Pettite, Rivera), suspending (A-Rod), leaving or costing them a TON in free agency (Cano, Kuroda, others) old/injured/ineffective/all three (Jeter, Ichiro, Texiera, and a host of others). If they don’t resign Cano, their best “position player” could very likely be Soriano in the final year of his “dear lord have to dump it crappy Cub contract”.

    3. Blackhawks1963

      Good grief. How on earth can you question the future success of the NY Yankees ?!? This is a franchise that has won 28 World Series, to include 7 since the Steinbrenners bought the club in 1974. This is a franchise who sets the goal every single year of winning a World Series. Do you really think they are going to roll over and die now that they are in a period of significant transition??? And you’re going to sit there and preach that a Cubs organization who hasn’t won anything in 105 years is a better situation than the Yankees? And you’re going to say that to Joe Girardi, a guy who has the Pinstripes in his veins and is already a significant part of that franchise’s amazing history?

      Get a grip.

      1. Scotti

        “Good grief. How on earth can you question the future success of the NY Yankees ?!?”

        I can question the NEAR future of the Yankees by looking at the last time they didn’t have a good, quality team. 19 years between WS wins and 13 of those without a postseason bid. Despite being “The Yankees” they didn’t magically get great players and leadership when they needed them.

        “Do you really think they are going to roll over and die now that they are in a period of significant transition???”

        Uh, did they roll over and die the last time they were “in a period of significant transition?” Nope, but they still didn’t win a WS for 19 years, did they? Did they???

        “This is a franchise who sets the goal every single year of winning a World Series.”

        Isn’t that nice. Did that work for them the last time they didn’t have the talent to win? No. All teams go through rebuilding phases. Even the Yankees have to rebuild. Even the Steinbrenner family owned Yankees go 19 years without a WS and 13 years without a playoff game.

        “And you’re going to sit there and preach that a Cubs organization who hasn’t won anything in 105 years is a better situation than the Yankees?”

        Ah, I get it. The Yankees winning in the future has nothing to do with talent they currently have but the fact that they are “The Yankees” and they have won before. Conversely, the Cubs winning in the future must also have nothing to do with the talent the organization has but, rather with the fact that they are “The Cubs” and have fewer championships and haven’t had one in 105 years.

        I suggest that you let the Ricketts family in on your little secret. They will want to dump the team as soon as possible. I’m sure Theo would like to know so he can move along as well.

  12. Blackhawks1963

    A decade plus ago McKay was on record as saying that he was very content being a coach under LaRussa. He didn’t have aspirations to be a manager. And now he’s 63 years old so I don’t suspect the bug is going to hit him all of a sudden.

    1. YourResidentJag

      That was a decade ago…

  13. Corey

    If i’m a new manager, the last thing I wanna do is come in stepping on toes. I think whoever it is, will ask the current staff if they want to remain as staff.

    Theo’s a classy guy, and I like how he let them know that they can look for other work, instead of just sitting in the middle, not knowing.

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