Cubs’ season gets more pathetic with firing of coach Rudy Jaramillo
BY RICK TELANDER firstname.lastname@example.org June 12, 2012 10:40PM
Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo was fired on Tuesday.
Updated: July 14, 2012 6:47AM
Now we’re talking.
Fire the hitting coach!
The Cubs did just that, and you have to figure Rudy Jaramillo was personally responsible for 50 or so of the Cubs’ losses this season.
The bottom-feeding Cubs have only lost 40 games?
Well, whaddaya know.
Whatever, the Rudy-less Cubs should now go on a hitting and pitching and base-stealing and run-producing and towel-snapping tear that will rocket them into —dare we say it? — 28th place.
With the great news that the Cubs just signed 20-year-old Cuban power-hitting outfielder Jorge Soler — and he might be ready for the big leagues in two or three years — why shouldn’t we all be dancing and singing about the World Series?
May I answer my own rhetorical question?
If the Cubs were your doctor, and you were suffering from, oh, let’s say, hemorrhoids, Theo Epstein (MD) would have just removed a wart from your neck and promised you some Preparation H in 2014.
Maybe Jaramillo, whose reputation was among the best in baseball, was too old. At 61, he could be Soler’s grandfather. Of course, at 20, Soler could be Jaramillo’s pet turtle.
And maybe with less than a year left on his hefty three-year, $2.4 million contract, Jaramillo just needed a fishing pole and a shove out the door to get on with the rest of his life.
Clearly, he wasn’t making the Cubs — who are 10th or worse in the 16-team National League in on-base percentage, runs scored and batting average — into hitters. Maybe he just forgot all those details he knew when he was with the Texas Rangers for 15 years and had them leading the American League in batting average three times.
Maybe it’s the weak-hitting Cubs pitchers. Maybe it was all done with smoke — and ’roids — with the Rangers.
Who can say? Except, boy, this smells like a red herring to me. Or maybe it’s a sacrificial goat. Possibly it’s a stinky sleeping potion.
Because if Cubs fans are supposed to simply sit back and doze while owner Tom Ricketts and architect Epstein and all the boy geniuses who are supposed to turn Wrigley Field into Boston Midwest do their thing a few years ‘‘down the road,’’ then why even field a team now?
Every player, coach and batboy is apparently up for trade or sale. The payroll is going down, the talent is going down further and a team that was predicted to be bad is worse than anyone knew.
In what other business could you get away with this?
I know I’m asking a lot of questions, but not nearly as many as pop into my mind.
How would you like to be Dale Sveum?
Obviously, he’s not a great manager, but daily he gets to bask in the wretched material the Cubs’ front office has surrounded him with, and he knows that his likely template is to be the Tim Floyd of Chicago baseball.
The Cubs are on pace to be not just pitiful, but the worst ever. No Cubs team has ever lost 104 games in a season. This version is on pace to lose 108. That’s going back to the 1800s.
Is this what Mrs. Sveum had in mind for Dale when she birthed him 48 years ago in California, watching him become an All-America high school quarterback, then a respected major-leaguer?
Again, I’ll answer myself.
You can really have fun as a boss when you tell your customers that, sure, the steak is rotten and the wine tastes like radiator fluid and the silverware is plastic-ware because it’s gonna get better. Keep paying full price, folks, because once we get the cockroaches and tapeworms out of here, you’ll be amazed!
Let’s ask another question.
Would you put up with this nonsense if Epstein and Co. were anybody else?
Look what I did with the Red Sox! buys you time no one else could get.
Then there’s this, dark as it may be: If the Cubs can descend to the bottom without fans revolting, then imagine the genius of the execs who make the Cubs good after ruining them.
The Cubs might win 30 more games next year than this.
They ought to. Maybe Theo’s already got his 2013 Executive of the Year speech polished.
And you know what, just-promoted interim hitting coach James Rowson, 35, might be the answer to it all.
You pay your money, and you gotta believe.
Last question: Right?