-Dale Sveum: (B-): No good Cubs fan blames the first year manager for 101-losses. And had it not been for Sveum’s strong leadership, it’s probably an even worse record.
Remember, this Cubs team could’ve mailed it in on several occasions…a 12-game losing streak, the trade of veterans at the deadline or the horrific beating by the Nationals in Washington, just to name a few. They never did, and that’s about the most encouraging sign for this team, and its manager, moving forward.
That’s not to say Sveum isn’t without fault, he certainly made his share of mistakes, too. But given the youth, inexperience, and at times, inexplicable bone-headed plays from his players, Sveum handled it all with poise and professionalism. There couldn’t be a better quality for a manager skippering a team on the rebuild.
-Dave McKay (A+): He proved to be one of the best acquisitions last offseason. His instruction responsible for Soriano’s improved defense was invaluable on its own, as was his coaching of base runners at first. The Cubs are very lucky to have this guy.
-Chris Bosio (B): His arrival was a first step in the right direction for the pitching staff. The starters thrived before the All Star break and the deadline departures of Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm. More importantly, Bosio finely tuned Jeff Samardzija into a quality starter, oversaw the redevelopment of Manny Corpas, straightened out Carlos Marmol and survived the task of coaching a bullpen largely void of major league talent. Next season will test Bosio’s mettle even more, but it’s promising to think what he could actually do with an entire staff of major league quality talent.
-James Rowson (incomplete): Will he stay, will he go? We do know Rowson buys into the new regime’s patient plate philosophy, and it seemed the Cubs took kindly to Rowson after he replaced Rudy Jaramillo mid-season. You obviously can’t fault Rowson for the Cubs’ lackluster offensive production, but there’s a ton of work to be done between now and the end of spring training…and not much to work with. I imagine he won’t have the long leash Jaramillo did either.
Interesting side note to Felix Hernandez’s perfect game yesterday: the last no-hitter thrown by a Mariner was Chris Bosio, the current Cubs pitching coach, who on Tuesday, April 22, 1993, blanked the Red Sox 7-0 at the old Seattle Kingdome.
Here’s a bulleted recap of the game and parts of Bosio’s career:
- After walking the first two batters of the game, Ernie Riles & Carlos Quintana, Bosio was perfect the rest of the way.
- He got a ground ball double-play from Mike Greenwell followed by a strikeout of Andre Dawson to end the top of the first inning.
- Bret Boone’s two-out, two-run HR off Joe Hesketh in the bottom of the third gave Bosio a comfortable 4-0 lead. The Mariners tacked on another run in the fourth and two more in the sixth.
- Jose Valentine, Tony Pena & Riles each grounded out in the top of the ninth to complete Bosio’s no-no and the second in Mariners’ history.
- The game took 2:12 minutes to play, Bosio (1-1) threw 97-pitches.
- The Red Sox fell to (11-5) under Butch Hobson. The Mariners improved to (7-8) under Lou Piniella in his first season of a 10-year reign in Seattle.
- In addition to Boone (3-for-4), Ken Griffey Jr (0-for-4), Jay Buhner (0-for-3), Tino Martinez (1-for-3) and Omar Vizquel (2-for-4) were in the starting lineup for Seattle.
- Bosio, in his eighth season in the majors and first with Seattle, finished the ’93 campaign (9-9, 3.45). He made 29 appearances, 24 starts, and even managed one save.
- He followed up his no-hitter with another win, but only threw five innings allowing no-runs on three-hits in a 4-0 victory against Cleveland.
- Bosio went on to pitch three more seasons in Seattle finishing his stay with a (27-31) overall-record and 4.43 ERA.
- His 11-year stay in the big leagues spanned from 1986-1996 and produced a (94-93) career-record and 3.96 ERA. Bosio’s first seven seasons were played with Milwaukee (67-62, 3.76).
- The 2012 season marks Bosio’s first as the Cubs pitching coach after serving in a variety of coaching positions with Seattle, Tampa Bay & Milwaukee organizations.
New Cubs pitching coach, Chris Bosio, has his work cut out for him in 2012.
Not only did Chicago post an NL-worst 4.79 starters ERA in 2011, but Carlos Marmol fizzled out in the closer’s role blowing 10 games, and the staff’s most reliable reliever, Sean Marshall, was dealt to Cincinnati earlier this week.
Additionally, there’s the enigma of Randy Wells who’s been consistently inconsistent, Jeff Samardzija’s transition back to a starter’s role, the development of the newly acquired Travis Wood, and last but not least, the Zambrano situation.
That’s a lot of wood to chop in a single offseason.