Dave McKay Leaves Cubs in Favor of Diamondbacks

dave mckay cubsThe 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.

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

87 responses to “Dave McKay Leaves Cubs in Favor of Diamondbacks”

  1. Funn Dave

    Weaksauce. Hopefully the new manager can find someone that can live up to the high standard set by McKay.

  2. CubChymyst

    I would hope that who ever the Cubs hire would want McKay on their staff for every reason you suggested above. I would of begin question the new manager if he decided he didn’t want McKay on his staff.

  3. Cardfan

    interesting. Word is that Dave Duncan was talking with Arizona, as well. Could a reunion be in the making.

    1. Cardfan

      actually came here expecting to see something on Dempster throwing BP until 3 in the morning at Fenway after the series wrap. Thought that was one of the coolest stories I have come across in a long while.

      1. King Jeff

        It was talked about in an earlier post. I’m too lazy to look it up for a Cards fan.

      2. Matt

        I couldn’t find it, I may have been overlooking something obvious. I don’t remember if it was much more than mentioning it and giving him props for it though.

    2. Assman22

      This is true…the Dave Reunion has had legs for nearly a month now…imagine if the Dbacks land Duncan with those arms to work with…

  4. dshea

    Dang! I liked him.

  5. Blackhawks1963

    That’s too bad. But any new manager will wand to hire his own staff. And McKay owes it to himself to land employment once he contract expired today. Plus I see where he lives in the Phoenix area and family considerations made working for fhe Diamondbacks very desirable. I wish him well. Class act.

  6. Moises Canchola

    Dave McKay was one of the great signs that the Cubs had. He will be missed big time. He is def jumping ship because I think like most coaches, players and fans they probably thought that the Cubs rebuild would be over in the 2-3 year span and the rate its going it will probably be closer to 5-7 years. And until they see that the cubs young talent are ready and the Cubs are finally willing to spend on FA not alot of elite managers/coaches want that cubs spot cuz they are still a few years off and probably another coach away.

    1. DarthHater

      Thanks, Kreskin. Next time I need any mindreading, I’ll know who to call.

  7. Kyle

    I didn’t care at all about Dave McKay three hours ago. But now that he’s left and Brett spend three paragraphs doing everything he could to make sure that nobody blamed the front office, I feel like I want to blame the front office for this horrible blow.

    1. YourResidentJag

      ;)

    2. Jason Powers

      I think we’ll survive the loss.

      KYLE for 1st base coach!

    3. northsiders6

      This is a glass half-full site, but I prefer to think of the front office as the glass is twice as big as what they can handle

      1. 1CubFanInPA

        A “glass half-full site”, Northsiders6? I always thought that as Cub fans we just looked at the glass and wondered when the hell it was gonna spill. And, King Jeff: great snarky response to the Cards fan on the Dempster story. That really made my night. (LOL)

    4. Brains

      hah – i genuinely love Brett’s work, but you have to wonder if he’s received a few furtive death threats from the FO when his constructive criticism is a little too accurate. he’s trailed back lately.

  8. aisle 19

    I think he left because they wouldn’t consider him for the manager job.
    I think he was the one who said he could bring in Duncan.
    The only worthwhile coach they had, now gone.

    1. northsiders6

      Bosio

  9. Jason Powers

    New game: Bleacher Nation FO, managerial and coaching candidates nominations.
    Some potential candidates…

    CEO/Owner: Brett
    Board Seats; Michigan Goat, Diehard, DocPeterWimsey, Professor Snarks
    President of Baseball Operations: Kyle

    General Manager: assman22
    Asst. GMs: King Jeff, Cubbie Blues, 2003Cubs
    VP of Communications: DarthHater
    VP of Marketing; Blackhawks1963
    Director of Scouting: On the Farm
    Director of Player Development: Oswego Chris
    Legal Analyst: Brett

    Manager: Die hard ;)
    Pitching Coach: Your Resident Jag
    Hitting Coach: Mike F
    Bench Coach: Norm

    Put in your names for positions…

    bret-michaels-watseka-theatre-watseka-il-41.jpeg

    1. Brains

      Brains = mascot

      1. DarthHater

        c00608-running-brain-clipart.jpg

        1. Brains

          YES

    2. King Jeff

      Assistant GM? That’s probably my dream job. Be able to help run a front office without being “the man”. For a bonus, I get to work directly with Assman and Kyle, which would lead to some very “interesting” personnel meetings. Also, when Assman goes down in flames for feeding information as anonymous sources on baseball blog message boards, I have a 1 in 3 shot at moving into the GM seat.

      1. Jason Powers

        I was looking for a competitive team…at least having the FO fires stoked would be fun!

      2. YourResidentJag

        Good plan! Just whatever you do, don’t hire Jason McLeod. You’ll never get to be GM, then.

    3. Professor Snarks

      Jason,
      I appreciate it! However, I am much more qualified to be the CFO.
      Please inform everyone they should send ALL their money to me.

      Thanks,

      1. Jason Powers

        Check is ready for direct deposit…

        1. Professor Snarks

          Oh boy…Oh boy…goody….

    4. hansman

      I didn’t make the cut? Awww, man. I’m internet sad now…

      1. Professor Snarks

        We are going to put you in charge of the Javier Baez fan club.

      2. Jason Powers

        Director of prospect progression…and prostitute acquisitions.

      3. ssckelley

        Get a job with the Astros you stat nerd!

      4. YourResidentJag

        You can be Director of Decision Sciences…like they have with the Astros.

        1. Jason Powers

          That’s such a BS title. Decision Sciences…No, we are going to use no science and be the king of indecision. Director of WAG and Hem Haw.

          More positions to fill:
          Director of Ballpark Operations: MJHurdle
          VP of Accounting: someday…2015?
          Minor League Scouting Director: SSCKelley
          VP of Operational Development: Rebuilding
          VP of Media Reporting: Serious Cubs Fan

          1. Jason Powers

            The ‘Head’ of Decision Science and Neurostatistics: Brains

            1. Brains

              you really don’t want to give me any position of responsibility. and my name is more of a reference to zombies than smarts. mascot it is!

          2. YourResidentJag

            Hey, talk to Luhnow on Twitter about it…I didn’t create it. ;)

            1. Jason Powers

              Leave it baseball and certain Fortune 500 companies to load up on middle MGMT, creating enough directorships and VPs to make Joe Biden seem useful enough.

          3. YourResidentJag

            Speaking of Hem Haw…Luvollo’s father was a producer of the TV show Hee Haw.

            1. Jason Powers

              Well I declare! Now with Theo’s connection to Casablanca, we got us a real live honest-to-goodness star in the making. I’m sayin’ it! ;)

          4. hansman

            Really? I didn’t even make the second cut?

            Ya know what, screw it. I’m gonna start my own team.

            Dictator of Everything: ME

            1. Jason Powers

              I made you, “Director of prospect progression…and prostitute acquisitions.”

              You get to watch a lot of action….

              But DICTATOR it is!

            2. ssckelley

              VP of Food Services.

              We like cheeseburgers.

      5. Cedlandrum

        You can be general manager of the ICubs.

      6. DarthHater

        Director of Stadium Concessions: hansman

    5. Mike F

      You make me laugh and lift my spirits, what a fun guy! I love people who can laugh at themselves. Great stuff. Awesome!!!!!!

      1. Jason Powers

        First ASSignments: burn bats used in 2012 2013. Acquire signs of opposing team. And get Alice Eve as ball girl.

        1. Jason Powers

          The new Cubbie Blue!? She’s in my managerial race. alice-eve-live-wallpaper-hd-2-3-s-307×512.jpg

    6. MichiganGoat

      Will the boardroom have at least 10 taps of quality craft beer? If not my first vote will be to take money away from the budget and filter it into the creation of an amazing taproom.

      1. ssckelley

        and a couple of these for the executive lounge please

      2. Brains

        as usual, goat and i agree

      3. Jason Powers

        Done. And good finger food…that falls under food service….

    7. miggy80

      Radio play by play: Me

      Radio Color commentator: TWC

      On field reporter: Spriggs (in a bow tie)

      1. ssckelley

        Blublud needs to be radio/tv expert analysis, since he has all the experience from his playing days.

        1. Jason Powers

          Id forgotten the on air talent…;)

  10. Die hard

    McKay leaving and not a clue as to opening day lineup is a train wreck on the way

  11. kielovher

    Oy vey.

  12. cards suck

    Dale is a royal dumb arz ratbird 1 fan

  13. Barroof

    Barroof – ballgirl washer. Yes ballgirl washer.

    1. Jason Powers

      You are it. Liability? Brett will discuss.

  14. Jon

    He’s a base coach. Who gives a f’ck ?

    1. gocatsgo2003

      He’s also pretty well-regarded as one of the better base-running and fielding coaches out there. Much more than just “a base coach.”

  15. MightyBear

    I hope this isn’t somebody’s friend but I had to post this link. Worst analysis of the Cubs ever. Should make everyone appreciate Brett, Luke and BN that much more. Analyst’s solution for fixing the Cubs? Sign Robinson Cano

    http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2013/11/1/5055656/how-to-fix-chicago-cubs-trade-rumors-hot-stove-starlin-castro-masahiro-tanaka

    1. Brains

      The problem is that there are no solutions to the position we’ve put ourselves in. We sabotaged the team, our young players, and our prospects. It’s over.

      1. CubsFaninMS

        Yep. Time to sell our Cubs memorabilia, unsubscribe to MLB.tv, change our diapers, and throw our Cubs sippy cups in the trash.

        I believe I have spotted a whinoceros.

        1. DarthHater
        2. DarthHater

          10635568036_879efb70ef_n.jpg

    2. The Dude

      I think my brother wrote that. He’s a White Sox and Cardinals fan… we rarely talk.

    3. Kyle

      I wonder if it occurred to the author that a wide gap in defense-independent pitching stats and runs allowed might be due, at least in part, to the team being pretty good at defense?

      1. hansman

        Since it’s posted on SB Nation and isn’t on one of the 3 respectable blogs it has, probably not.

  16. J.F.Edwards

    Most underrated coach in baseball? Dave McKay.

    Pitching coaches, bench coaches and others all seem to get the nod before McKay. But a defensive-minded coach who can inform your initial baserunner how to act in the current situation?

    That’s underrated.

  17. The Dude

    Later, Dave. Good luck, bro.

  18. college_of_coaches

    Completely random and unrelated question. Who is the BN commenter that has the film blog? I thought I had it book marked, but I can’t find it now.

    1. Jason Powers

      Minor League Coaching Coordinator: college_of_coaches

      1. college_of_coaches

        sure, why the hell not…

      2. college_of_coaches

        Actually, I ended up declining the position. When I spoke to the team president, Kyle, he simply contradicted everything I said. He even told me I wasn’t interested in the job! I never met the GM, Assman22, although he sent me a few random texts that were short and cryptic. I didn’t even know where I was supposed to go for the interview.

        1. Kyle

          You tried to tell me we were having an argument, but I shot that down pretty quick.

        2. Jason Powers

          VP/Exec. Director of Conflict Resolution: me.

          Kyle go to your happy analytical place.
          College, find some coaches for us to coordinate!

          All the rest: Back to work, tomorrow! Same place.

  19. jayrig5

    If Lovullo ends up getting the job, I wonder if Butterfield would get a look too? Either bench coach or at 3B. Supposed to be a wonderful fielding instructor.

  20. rudymeolismullet

    It’s just a bloody 1st base coach. We should be more concerned with the Cubs putting together a pitching staff.

  21. CubsFaninMS

    What else is there to say about this other than: “Damn it.” He has a right to leave and has a right to feel slightly misused after only being here for two years. Although it’s difficult for any of us to have an acute understanding of the dynamics required to run a Major League baseball team, let’s hope that this “select your own coaches” managing philosophy pays off for the front office. We will see. Either way one thing is clear: We lost a good coach.

  22. Frank

    He did say he was going to retire soon, so maybe he has a house in Phoenix. Nothing like working your last two years where your going to retire. Bob did it.

  23. Doctor_Blair

    Dave: The Cards would have made the playofffs..
    …/wave

  24. carklos

    OZZIE….OZZIE….OZZIE… Still the best and only choice. Oh OZZIE…OZZIE…OZZIE Where are you??????

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