The David Ross Coaching Question, Pirates and Openers, Rays Stadium Falls Apart, and Other Bullets

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The David Ross Coaching Question, Pirates and Openers, Rays Stadium Falls Apart, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

You know what’s really fascinating? Paint drying. Sometimes I just like to watch it. Because it’s so very interesting. Watching paint dry. I actually love it.

  • The Orioles aren’t making it official just yet, and there are some headlines out there to that extent, but the expectation around the baseball world is very much that Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde is off to finally get a managerial job. He interviewed for about 50 of ’em over the past two years, so it only seems right that he now gets a crack. It means, though, that Joe Maddon will have his third bench coach in three years (his long-time lieutenant Dave Martinez left the year before to manage the Nationals). That, combined with a third hitting coach in three years and a third pitching coach in three years … I really can’t ever recall seeing this kind of coaching turnover on the staff of a winning team with a winning manager. It’s nuts.
  • Everyone’s question – and admittedly it’s a logical one – is whether David Ross, who is already in the organization and whom the Cubs want to get a little more involved this coming year, will be the replacement. There are two issues there: (1) is Ross, who spoke at length about wanting more time with his family after retiring (presumably before getting back into a more full-time role), may not be ready for the grind of a coaching job; and (2) having Ross, long-dubbed a future manager with close ties to the Cubs’ front office, sitting over Maddon’s shoulder in the final year of his contract sure could be awkward. (Also, what if the Cubs front office really does see Ross as the manager of the future, and thus wants him to learn some … from Maddon … and Maddon isn’t an idiot … oh my, lots of potential awkwardness.)
  • That said, it’s going to make the most sense at this stage to have a bench coach who is already familiar with the players and with whom Maddon has already worked, so … yeah, it’s not crazy to suggest Ross. It’s also not crazy to suggest that the Cubs will just bump one of their current coaches into the bench coach role, and then they can hire someone to fill that third or first or whatever coach role.
  • Ah, this was not a joke. Hey, whatever works:

  • The Pirates are doing it, too:

  • With a group of young starting pitchers who don’t have the clout to make waves about the approach, I can see it working well for the Pirates. And, to be sure, I don’t have a problem with openers – I think teams have bungled optimal pitcher strategy for decades – but I don’t want to see them used as an opportunity to screw young pitchers out of money since they are no longer “starters.” As long as the arbitration system (and front offices) adjusts to this setup, it’s fine by me.
  • Sigh, it looks like the stadium deal in Tampa is falling apart:

  • The broader implication there is that MLB will not expand to 32 teams until the Rays situation is settled. With their best hope for a new ballpark now having been snapped away, we might eventually see threats of a relocation, which complicates the expansion plans quite a bit (though a move could be performed in tandem with expansion, especially if there were three cities that were strong contenders for expansion anyway).
  • It’s furniture, lawn, and garden at Amazon today for the 12 days of deals.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.