Only a couple days after Joe Maddon said he wanted to see his coaching staff return, we have a report that Chris Bosio has been fired as Cubs pitching coach. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted the news, offering some insight into the Cubs’ plans to replace Bosio.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 21, 2017
While Nightengale hasn’t been the best when it comes to getting his information right, it’s unlikely that he’d be wrong on something this big. There hasn’t been any direct confirmation of the report as of post time, but Carrie Muskat retweeted it and Jesse Rogers indicated that no one around the team is surprised by the move.
It did come as a pretty big surprise to many outside the team, not only because of Maddon’s recent sentiments, but because of Bosio’s track record when it comes to grooming starting pitchers over six years in Chicago. But he’s also a no-nonsense guy whose gruff personality may well have conflicted with Maddon, the front office, or the pitching staff (which seems to be heavily implied by Rogers’ tweets). And the performance of Bosio’s charges down the stretch couldn’t have helped.
All that said, it’s hard to imagine the Cubs making this move without having either tacit or explicit agreement with someone else. Nightengale specifically mentioned Jim Hickey, who recently parted ways with the Tampa Bay Rays and was Maddon’s pitching coach during the skipper’s time there.
After a managerial shakeup in Washington, Mike Maddux could also be in search of a new gig. Hickey sure makes a ton of sense, though, and I’m guessing we’ll hear of a corresponding move soon.