Ozzie to Cubs: Put me in as coach
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org May 25, 2013 12:04AM
Cubs starter Scott Feldman, getting the ball from catcher Dioner Navarro in the fourth inning, lost the game but hit his first home run. | Al Behrman~AP
Updated: June 26, 2013 6:21AM
CINCINNATI — Maybe Ozzie Guillen’s the answer to what ails the Cubs.
The former White Sox manager and all-time Chicago lightning rod is certainly willing to rent his expertise to the North Siders. All they have to do is call and find a place for him on manager Dale Sveum’s coaching staff, and Guillen’s all in.
“Of course,” Guillen said Friday as a guest on the “Sports Talk Live” show on Comcast SportsNet Chicago. “And I would tell Dale and Theo [ Epstein], I don’t look for anybody’s job. Let him take the heat. When you’re kicked out of the game, I’ll manage in that game.”
Guillen, who still keeps a home on the North Side nearly two years after leaving the Sox, used to say he’d be open to managing the Cubs back when Jim Hendry was the general manager. But he says he’d be happy helping the Cubs’ building process as a coach.
“People say, ‘With you [as a coach], the manager’s got to look behind his back. They might want you to be the manager,’ ’’ Guillen said. “I don’t think that way. I never did. I coached for Jack McKeon [with the Marlins’ 2003 champions], all those guys; my mind never was [on] managing.
“That’s a brutal thing. If you want to coach, you coach. If you want to manage, you manage.”
Team president Epstein did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Committed to E-Jax
Sveum said he has no intention of demoting struggling pitcher Edwin Jackson (1-7, 6.11 ERA) from his rotation spot, and 52 million of the most obvious reasons involve the right-hander’s four-year contract.
“That’s a part of a lot of things, too,” he said of Jackson’s free-agent deal.
“You’ve got a commitment there, [and] you’ve got to stick with the commitment and coach him and teach. It’s not like he’s a kid. He’s a veteran player, and sometimes as a veteran, you just have to do it yourself.”
Bottom line: “We’re going to stick with him. It’s a long season. There’s still another 20-plus starts there to fix this and get it going.”
Right-hander Scott Feldman, whose five-start unbeaten streak put him high on the early list of MLB trade candidates, gave up five runs in the fourth inning Friday night as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Cubs 7-4 and handed him his first loss in more than a month.
The five runs — four on home runs by Joey Votto and Ryan Hanigan — equaled the total he’d allowed in his five previous starts.
The bright side of his night: Feldman hit his first career home run, a two-run shot in the second that gave the Cubs’ pitching staff 15 RBI this season — all in May and just one fewer than they’ve gotten from their cleanup spot this year.