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Respecting Rudy Jaramillo

By bullpenbrian at 06.13.2012 4 comments.

Rudy Jaramillo must be wondering what took the Cubs so long to fire him?

He’s not a Theo guy. He doesn’t teach the ‘grind it out’ plate mentality the Cubs are looking for, and he gets paid a ton of money to fix the unfixable Cubs lineup.

Besides, who wouldn’t want out of this mess trying to make respectable hitters out of Tony Campana, Joe Mather, Geovany Soto, Ian Stewart, Marlon Byrd and a gimpy Alfonso Soriano?

After two and half seasons spent with three different managers and the highest paycheck of any big league batting coach, what more could Jaramillo want than to be given his release and the opportunity to coach elsewhere?

His 18-years of highly acclaimed big league hitting instruction wasn’t about to fool him into believing he could help this pathetic Cubs offense any more than he already has.

Some team, some where, with true major league talent could use a guy like Jaramillo, and now he’s free to join them. What a relief that must be.

That’s not to say Rudy didn’t work his butt off trying on the North Side. But what more could one expect from a guy working with the putrid hitting talent on this 2012 roster?

Not to mention, the stubbornness of past players with talent such as Aramis & D-Lee who took months to accept Jaramillo as a help and not a hindrance.

Jaramillo’s a batting coach, not a miracle worker; and the Cubs truly need the later more than the former.

May 27 post: Energy hogs growing this big, this fast, don’t come without casualties. It could mean the end for hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, Ryan Dempster asking to be traded, or any number of scenarios that don’t end well for the men wearing Cubbie Blue.

But canning a highly respected coach like Jaramillo is just the latest sobering reminder of how far this rebuilding plan still needs to grow.

The Cubs have only begun laying a foundation for what we hope are the pillars of the organization in soon-to-be callups Anthony Rizzo & Brett Jackson, among others.

However, these guys are hardly lifesavers for a team destined for 100-losses, or a magic potion for interim hitting instructor James Rowson, who’s now burdened with changing the club’s entire hitting culture.

Culture changes are never easy, let alone, ones that needs a complete turn-around. Perhaps if Rowson is judged solely on the team’s plate approaches, and not by the numbers, he’ll have a fighting chance to retain the position.

Jaramillo, on the other hand, will make hay elsewhere. I couldn’t be happier for him, or the next guy (Dempster), to be saved from the Cubs sinking ship.

When you’ve earn the respect of your peers at the highest level as both a good guy, and a good talent, you deserve a good team.

I say, good for Rudy Jaramillo.

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4 Comments

  1. Spoda17 says:

    Ouch Brian, I couldn’t disagree more, but I have class in a few minutes, and I can’t really put a good response together. All I will say is that a true leader adjusts to the follower (and his/her new guidance), not to be stuck in a paradigm that doesn’t work in the situation. I have nothing but respect for Rudy, but when people don’t adjust, that says something about them as well.

    At no time am I blaming him, but he is not a martyr, or a victim or a circumstance. I think if he would have embraced the new vision and adjusted to the new philosophy, he would still be there, and be part of rebuilding a winner. He chose to stick to his guns, throw his nose up to the new leadership, so now he is gone… I am not disappointed he is gone. I have more thoughts on this… maybe I will share when I have more time…

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Those are valid points.
      But I’d be curious to know how the Cubs addressed Jaramillo about the organization’s new approach?

      Did the Cubs ask Rudy to adjust his teaching style this past offseason?
      Was Jaramillo’s performance evaluated in spring training?

      If so, was something working better then, than now?
      What took so long to make the move if it’s obvious Jaramillo wasn’t the right fit?

      Jaramillo is widely regarded as one of the top hitting instructors in MLB.
      Many of his players, present and past, swear by his teachings.

      He’s been at it longer than some of the Cubs players have been alive.
      Is it in Rudy’s best interest to change what he’s doing because the Cubs are running fringe players out on a daily basis?

      Jaramillo’s job as hitting instructor, as it is for many clubs, is to guide each individual batter.

      The new Cubs regeim is taking a different approach…an approach where James Rowson will beat players over the head until they adopt a ‘grind-it-out’ mentality at the plate.

      That doesn’t mean it’s the wrong approach, and it did famously work well in Boston.

      However, Jaramillo’s long shelf-life working with players young enough to be he grandchildren speaks volumes of his ability to adapt and successfully lead young men at the highest level; and at the hardest thing in all of sports, no less–hitting a round ball with a round bat.

      If the Cubs wanted a terrific leader Jaramillo would still be wearing Cubbie Blue.

      Instead, Team Theo wants a dictator–and Jaramillo is far from it.

  2. Spoda17 says:

    I hear ya Brian, but I still disagree… I will have to see if I can respond later or tomorrow. I get your point, but its the same philosophy as why you don’t see an A&P Grocery store any more… if you don’t adjust, you don’t last… Just ask Bobby Knight…

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