New Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria was introduced to the media via conference call yesterday, and you can see more complete thoughts on his remarks a number of places, including here, here, here, here, and here, among others. Some of the highlights:
- Renteria seems to be relentlessly positive, a default state that will be tested over the coming years, I’d think. He said that it’s pretty rare to see him without a smile on his face.
- RR is all about player development, though he seemed to underscore that a big part of development is winning and believing you can win. He said folks might think he’s nuts, but he believes the Cubs can win with the talent they have. (What else is he going to say?) His specific wording, from the Cubs.com account: “The assumption that our team or our club won’t be able to play at a high level, quite frankly, I don’t make that assumption. I assume that every team that’s put on the field – and it might sound naive, and I know people are going to say, ‘This kid is naive’ – but I still believe any team that goes in and plays between the lines has a chance to win a ballgame every single day.” I like that he called himself a kid.
- It sounds like RR is all about keeping player issues in-house, and believes that holding players accountable can look different depending on the player.
- There was a lot of talk of confidence being a key to development and success.
- RR isn’t phased by the Cubs’ uniquely losing character, mostly because he can only look and more forward. That’s the “right” attitude to have, though it remains necessary to understand that, for better or worse, that 105 years thing tends to lay at the periphery of every fan reaction.
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer added, by the way, that, when he was in San Diego, there wasn’t a better prepared or harder working member of the coaching staff. I am thinking Hoyer’s input here went a long way to getting Renteria in this position.
- All in all, it seems to have been a relatively rah-rah affair, the sort you’d expect from an introductory press conference. We’ll hear a great deal more from RR as the offseason goes on, but mostly once players report for Spring Training in February. Then we’ll really start to get a better sense of what he’s all about. For now, he sounds like a positive guy whom the front office really digs. I’ll take that.