I suspect we’ll find these questions resolved soon enough, but, in the interim, it’s an interesting story to follow.
Last Fall, the Chicago Cubs brought in a new hitting coach – Billy Mueller – and assistant hitting coach – Mike Brumley – replace the previous hitting coach regime, which was something of a three-headed beast (Dale Sveum, James Rowson, and Rob Deer). This Summer, the Cubs added Manny Ramirez as a player/coach at AAA Iowa, where he was well-received by the young players he was brought in to influence.
Earlier this offseason, Brumley was offered a position in the organization other than assistant hitting coach, which he was, at last check, considering, together with options outside of the organization. Speculation about Ramirez replacing Brumley started immediately, with Theo Epstein saying only that it wasn’t something he was going to address while Ramirez still harbored desires to keep playing, which he’ll do this offseason in the Dominican Republic.
Today, Bill Mueller resigned as the Cubs’ hitting coach, reportedly in part because of the departure of Brumley (who may not be accepting another spot within the organization). Although I figured that it was unlikely Ramirez would be brought in as the lead hitting coach, it did seem to even more clearly open a path for Ramirez, together with an experienced hitting coach, to take the reins as the organization’s big league hitting instructional team.
There were rumors earlier in the week that Ramirez becoming an assistant hitting coach with the Cubs was a real possibility, not just dot-connecting speculation. But now Dave Kaplan writes that Ramirez “is not a candidate for Mueller’s job for 2015 and is not expected to be a candidate for the assistant hitting coach position.”
Kaplan goes on to discuss the possibility that Ramirez takes on some kind of role in the organization after his playing days, but it may not be in a hitting coach capacity.
I guess we’ll see what happens.