The first extended managerial search coaching casualty?
According to multiple reports, Dave McKay has left the Chicago Cubs to join the Arizona Diamondbacks’ coaching staff. McKay was nominally the Cubs’ first base coach for the last two seasons, but his influence spread to areas all over the field. He was a long-time coach under Tony La Russa, and was a respected teacher and leader. It was no surprise to hear that the front office was hoping to be able to keep him once the new manager was in place, and it stings to learn that he is moving on.
That said, you can’t blame McKay for taking a new job. With the coaching staff in managerial search limbo, it was the safer play to grab a job when one presented itself rather than hold out hope that the Cubs would land a manager who wanted to keep McKay on staff. That’s probably what would have happened, but you never know.
And you also can’t blame the Cubs for not tailoring their managerial search to maintain a coaching staff the next guy may or may not want in place. It’s easy to say that “of course he would have!” and “the front office could have just made the decision!,” but managers put together their staff with a variety of goals in mind. We can’t know for sure that having McKay was going to work, and it couldn’t be decided until the manager was in place.
This is simply the way the cookie crumbles when there is turnover. Hopefully McKay finds success with the D-Backs, and hopefully the Cubs can ably replace his experience and leadership.